The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, would have marked his 101st birthday on October 26, 2020, had he been alive. To commemorate this occasion, I composed a piece on my blog wherein I discussed, among other topics, the esteemed Iranian King of Pop, Aref. I expounded on the following:
Aref, one of Iran’s most esteemed singers, and known as the “Iranian King of Pop”, is widely adored. However, he was an active participant in the revolution against the Shah in 1979 and even sang songs endorsing it.
Aref was such a vehement critic of the Shah that after his departure from Iran in 1980, he performed for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, a group that carried out several acts of terrorism during the Shah’s reign and is considered an archenemy of the Iranian monarchy and the Shah himself.
Just a month prior to the Shah’s 101st birth anniversary, in September 2020, Aref released a single, an ode not only to the Shah but also to his father, Reza Shah the Great. This single has gained considerable attention among Iranians. I concluded my previous post with these words:
History is often regarded as the finest judge, revealing the truth over time. In the Shah’s case, it took merely four decades for his true legacy to surface.
Transitioning to another figure of note, let us delve into Shahkar Bineshpajooh. A celebrated figure in the Iranian music industry, Shahkar has earned high regard and popularity. His official website describes him as:
DR. SHAHKAR BINESHPAJOOH
POET, MUSIC COMPOSER, UNIVERSITY LECTURER, AND SINGER.
Shahkar Bineshpajooh was born in Tehran, Iran. Even before Shahkar’s birth, his parents had already decided to name him Shahkar, equating him to a masterpiece. Shahkar remained the only child in the family. When he was fifteen, he found solace in writing poetry and, eventually, in music. Without having any formal instruction, Shahkar learned to play the guitar, piano, and drums.
Shahkar studied Political Geography, Urban Planning, and Music Composition. He immersed himself into these academic fields while producing several albums of music and books of poetry.
In 2002, he received his Doctorate degree in Urban Planning with high honors. The Iranian Department of Education officially announced him to be the youngest student in the Doctorate program. All of his hard work has been in an effort to live up to the meaning of his name.
A recent development of significance is Shahkar’s departure from Iran, where he had lived for his entire life. I would like to draw your attention to one of Shahkar’s songs, specifically “Mashti Mashallah”. This song serves as a critique of the Islamic regime in Iran. It expresses how the mullahs have led the country into a state of ruin. Amid the applause of the audience, Shahkar then brings forth the question of how Iran ended up in its current state. He sings: “All this is our fault. We cried death to the Shah, and we deserve this.”
The Shah of Iran’s popularity among the Iranian people today is arguably unprecedented. His legacy is now more alive than it perhaps ever was during his reign.