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Remembrance of the Notable Members of the Zoroastrian Community

Amordad has attempted to write about the Zoroastrian benefactors and prominent figures; those who have spent their entire lives building religious, scientific and cultural foundation, and their good names are reminiscent of this borderland’s prosperity.

People come to this world one day and pass through another day. Many of these people have been forgotten. Meanwhile, a few whose good thoughts and deeds are remembered will become immortal and their names will be remembered forever, and the world of existence will benefit and progress from their existence.

In this post, an article is written on the biographies of famed and well-known Zoroastrians. There have been undoubtedly many who have spent their lives in serving their homeland and preserving its name and integrity. We hope that by updating this post, we will take a brief glimpse at their fruitful lives. In separate posts we will write about the lives and social activities of each of these personalities. The history of Iran and the world is closely tied to the destiny of these famed characters. Each of them have taken a step towards construction and advancement of their land.  A large part of history is hidden in the life stories of these great people.

Dastur Jamasb Velayati: At the beginning of the 18th century, Dastur Jamasb Velayati was sent from Kerman to India by Iranian Zoroastrians. In India, Jamasb found out that the Zoroastrians of India were not aware of many of the details about our religion, because of the countless wars they faced. So, after selecting three talented mobeds and giving them the necessary education and training, he returned to Iran with peace of mind that his mission was accomplished. This turned out to be a very valuable service to all Zoroastrians, because later on, when the Zoroastrians of Iran were under such great pressure by the rulers that their number decreased drastically, the Parsis of India rushed to their help. If it were not for the Parsis, the Zoroastrians of Iran would undoubtedly have been destroyed in Iran.

Maneckji Limji Hataria: Mankejipour Limjipour Houshang Hataria was born in 1813 AD in Mora Sumali, one of the ports of “Surat.” His ancestors were Zoroastrians who migrated from Iran to India during the Safavid period. He was one of the Zoroastrian leaders and scholars and the first Mumbai Parsi ambassador to Iran during the reign of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar. He attempted to organize the affairs of Zoroastrians in the two Zoroastrian regions of Iran, namely Kerman and Yazd. Besides leaving behind many buildings and monuments, his landmark service to the Iranian Zoroastrians was succeeding in eliminating the jizyeh tax on Zoroastrians.

Pashutanji Markar: A Parsi merchant and philanthropist, who dedicated his wealth to establishing welfare and educational facilities for Iranian Zoroastrians, and many of his benefactions are remembered and utilized in the cities of Yazd, Kerman, and Tehran. Markar was born on November 9, 1871, in a Parsi family in Mumbai, India.

Bahramji Biykaji: Bahramji Biykaji, the founder of Firooz Bahram High School, was one of India’s leading Zoroastrians. In 1932, Bahramji Bikaji paid about 70,000 rupees to construct a building on a piece of land belonging to the Zoroastrian Anjuman of Tehran in memory of his late son, Firooz and named it Firooz Bahram High School.  During the WW1, when he was serving on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, his ship was hit by a projectile and he drowned.

Arbab Jamshid Jamshidian: Arbab Jamshid Bahman Jamshidian (born 1850 in Yazd – died on January 16, 1933, in Tehran) was a famous Zoroastrian merchant and landowner in the Qajar period and was the first Zoroastrian representative in the Iranian parliament. However, in the first parliament, he was formally the representative of the Tehran businessmen, not the Zoroastrians. Arbab Jamshid was also one of the founders of Bank Melli Iran. Jamshid Jam Elementary School in Tehran was founded in 1905 by the efforts of Arbab Jamshid Jamshidian. The historical passage of Jamshid alley in Tehran has kept his memory alive.

Keikhosrow Shahrokh: One of the high-ranking members of parliament and the founder of the library of parliament, Keikhosrow Shahrokh, was known as Arbab Keikhosrow (28 June 1864 Kerman, 2 July 1939 Tehran). He was the founder of the Telecommunication Company of Iran, the founder of the library of parliament, the discoverer of Ferdowsi’s burial place, and the founder of the Ferdowsi Tomb, the representative of Zoroastrians in the 11th cycle of the national assembly (second to twelfth terms). Arbab Keikhosrow is mentioned as one of the most prominent figures of the Zoroastrian community in Iran and one of the well-known figures in the contemporary history of Iran.

 

Dr. Esfandiar Yegangi: The founder of modern irrigation in Iran, Dr. Yegangi, the founder of the Nationwide Irrigation Company, has dug more than 2,500 deep wells throughout the country.

Arbab Ardeshir Yegangi: Arbab Ardeshir Yegangi is the first modern leather factory founder in Hamedan. In 1935, he established the first hydraulic power plant that worked with water power on the Abbas Abad hill in Hamedan.

Farangis Yegangi: Farangis Yegangi is the founder of Iran Handicrafts Organization, daughter of Arbab Keikhosrow Shahrokh, and wife of Ardeshir Yegangi, one of the prominent Zoroastrian families of Iran. She is one of the pioneers in promoting women’s rights in Iran and promoting Iranian handicrafts. For many years, she was the secretary of the Supreme Council of Women of Iran and also the deputy secretary-general of the Iranian Women’s Organization. This generous lady founded a library with her own money for everyone to use under the name of her husband, Ardeshir Yegangi.

Arbab Hormoz Arash: Hormoz Arash or Arbab Hormoz is one of the famous Zoroastrian benefactors and builders of the Tehran Pars area in Tehran.  His charity works included building and dedicating several schools, mosques, hospitals and donating several hectares of land to the Red Crescent.

Arbab Rostam Giv: Arbab Giv, founder of the Giv charity foundation and the 3rd representative of Iranian Zoroastrians in Iranian parliament, and a senator of the Iranian Senate, builder of several reservoirs and clinics, elementary school cultural complex, construction of Rostam Bagh complex for housing the poor, had a significant role social activities and community centers, and has left behind a good name.

Arbab Jamshid Amanat: The current building of the Yazd Fire Temple was built in November 1934 with the investment of a Parsi Zoroastrian named “Hamabaei” on a plot of land donated by several Iranian Zoroastrians, including the Amanat brothers, in memory of the death of their father “Ardeshir Mehraban Rostam.” The architect of this building was Eng. Parsi and Arbab Jamshid Amanat was in charge of managing and supervising the construction of this building.

He was an excellent farmer and built and organized a large green belt in the east of Yazd. He was an athlete and wrote for Keyhan sports. He collaborated on the construction of the Bahman maternity hospital, to which he also donated 7,500 square meters of land with his brothers. He collaborated on the construction of the Bahman maternity hospital, to which he also donated 7,500 square meters of land with his brothers. Jamshid entrusted 900,000 square meters of Ardeshir farmland to Yazd Municipality, which later became Khold-e Barin. He was in charge of the construction of Abanbar Giv, Keikhosrow High School, and Abanbar in Yazd.

Mirza Soroush Lohrasb: Soroush Lohrasb or Mirza Soroush (born 1904 in Tehran, died May 14, 1996, in Tehran), was a Zoroastrian director, writer, and poet. He has worked in the foundation, management, and maintenance of Markar Yazd Complex and many other Zoroastrian schools, especially Pashootan Ji Dusabhai Markar donations and Markar Yazd Boys’ Elementary School.

Rashid Shahmardan: Iranian and Avestan scholar and historian, born on April 5, 1905, in Zeyn Abad, Yazd – died on December 12, 1983, in the United States. He wrote and translated numerous books and articles. Farzanegan-e Zartoshti (Zoroastrian Sages), and the History of Zoroastrians after the Sassanid Era, he Khordeh Avesta, the Iranian kings in India, are among the books of this prominent scholar.

Mobed-e Mobedan Rostam Shahzadi: Rostam Shahzadi (born March 23, 1912- died March 13, 2000) was born in a parish in Yazd where the mobeds lived. Rostam Shahzadi spends two years at the “Kama Aturnan” Higher Center for Religious Studies in India. First, he completed a three-year course to receive the degree of “Mobed of Avesta,” In four years, he received the honorary degree of “Mobed of Science.” He is one of the translators of Gahan and Zoroastrian texts, a famous cleric, a researcher of ancient Iranian culture, and a graduate in law from Tehran University. He is one of the founders of the Council of Tehran Mobeds. This productive Zoroastrian author with best-selling books such as Zoroastrian Worldview, A Survey at the Teachings of Ashu Zarathushtra, Marriage in Ancient Iran, Zoroastrians Are Monotheistic, Zoroaster and His Teachings, Translation of the Gathas, etc., and several articles in Zoroastrian and non-Zoroastrian publications made great efforts to spread the Zoroastrian religion. For 65 years, Mobed Shahzadi went on writing and giving speeches, and in total he left behind more than a thousand speeches and hundreds of articles and dozens of books.‌

Mobed Ardeshir Azargoshsab: Ardeshir Azargoshsab was one of the great priests. He was born on the 4th of January 1906 in Yazd, in the Dastur parish. He was the son of Dastur Namdar. At the age of four, he was named after his uncle, Mobdyar Hormozdyar Khodabakhsh, and he has been called Ardeshir Mobed Hormozdyar. Ardeshir Azargoshsab studied agricultural engineering in India and law at the University of Tehran. Administration of the Zoroastrian Marriage Office of Yazd is one of his first activities. In 1941, he established the Yazd Zoroastrian Center and selected the members of this center among the intellectuals of the Zoroastrian community. After moving to Tehran, he founded the Tehran Mobed Council.

Mobed Firuoz Azargoshsab: Mobed Firooz Azargoshasb was born in Yazd, in 1920and his father was Dastur Namdar Dastur Shahriyar. He completed his primary education in Yazd and Tehran. The Yazd center for Kankash-e Mobedan sent him together with Mobed Shahzadi, to “Kama Aturnan” a center for Zoroastrian religious studies, in India, a college and research institute specializing in educating scholarly mobeds to learn advanced teachings in the Zoroastrianism and study Avestan, Pahlavi, Pazand, and comparative religion. At the end of the 18-years education courses the students would receive the honorary degree of “scientist priest”. He also translated the Gathas from the original manuscript to Farsi. A translation that is undoubtedly one of the most valuable translations of Gathas in the world, an accurate translation including Avestan, Persian and Latin transliteration, word-by-word translation, free translation, analysis of each paragraph, and lexicology at the end of each section.

Mobed Hormozdyar Khorshidian: Hormozdyar Ardeshir Khorshidian was born in Mobed family in Yazd, 1917. At the age of 15, after receiving the middle school degree and learning Avesta and Mobed manners, he became Nowzut. Mobed Khorshidian, in consultation with other Mobeds, put great efforts in holding religious celebrations, conducting the construction of the Yazd Zoroastrian Youth Club. In 1972, with the efforts of Hormozdyar Khorshidian, and land donation of Shah Fereydoon Zartoshti, and kind assistance of Arbab Mehraban Zartoshti, a house known as the “Isfahan Zoroastrians house” was bought and rebuilt for the purpose of gatherings of Zoroastrians.  In 1982, he reactivated the tradition of “Yasna Khani” and “Yasht Gahanbar” At the beginning of each Gahanbar, with the help of our great mobeds, such as late Mobed Ardeshir Azargoshsab, late Mobed Firuoz Azargoshsab, and late Mobed Rostam Shahzadi, in the Council of Mobeds. Among his activities, we can see teaching mobeds and mobedyars, teaching Avesta, religious courses, Den-dabireh (Avestan) alphabet, and religious rituals. In Tehran he trained 17 students for Nowzut and the rank of “Mobed”. We can also mention the late Mobed Jahangir Ashidari and Mobed Mehraban Firuozgari among them. Mobed Hormozdyar Khorshidian passed away on the 5th of September, 2003.

Arbab Fereydoun and Mehraban Zartushti: The Zoroastrian brothers, sons of Mobed Jamshid Keikhosrow Zadeh Yazd, were two active Mobeds who owned a joint import company in Iran. Buying a building to establish a Zoroastrian nursing home in Yazd (Porochista 2), donating their house to a girls’ dormitory that is now the site of the Yazd Zoroastrian Association, rebuilding the Homabai fire temple in Yazd, and buying a home in Isfahan for the use of Zoroastrians, are among the valuable services rendered by these two late brothers.  By renovating the residence of the brothers, the Zoroastrian House of Culture and Art was established through the efforts of Tehran Zoroastrian Association.

Arbab Ardeshir Hemmati: Arbab Ardeshir Hemati was born in Kerman, in 1896.  Construction of the first indoor gym in Kerman, opening of a kindergarten, a clinic, and donating a residential house as a student dormitory, are some of his deed, in cooperation with his wife, the late Gohar Banoo Raeisi. He also founded the Ardeshir Hemmati Charity Foundation, which continues its charitable activities after his death. He passed away in 1990.

Khodadad Rostam Mehrabi: Khodadad Rostam Mehrabi, born in Tehran, is one of the benevolent Zoroastrians of Kerman, the founder of Khodadad Mehrabi Hospital and the Khodadad Mehrabi Committee in Kerman. The committee now operates under the name of Khodadad Mehrabi Charity Foundation with an official license. The Late Khodadad Mehrabi passed away in London, on July 13, 1965.

Mirza Borzoo Amighi: He was one of the activitists in the educational field in Kerman and the renowned principal of Iranshahr High School in kerman.  Mirza Borzu, son of Marzban, was born in Kerman, in 1892, and died in August 1969. His name was Borzoo, and later, he became “Nayeb Borzoo,” and after entering the cultural services, he became known as “Mirza Borzoo” and carried this surname until the last days of his life.

Jamshid Soroushian: Jamshid Soroush Soroushian was born in 1914 and died in 1998. He was a prominent Zoroastrian writer, historian, linguist, bibliographer, and researcher of Avesta in Kerman. By composing an outstanding and lasting book, “Farhang-e Behdinan,” he did a remarkable service to Iran’s history, culture, and ancient literature, especially Zoroastrism. Professor Jamshid Soroushian was a productive writer in the field of research. Today, he is best known for his book, “Farhang-e Behdinan” (culture of the Zoroastrians), which is a dictionary of Zoroastrian Dari dialect and republished many times. The other book of this scholar, “Literacy and teaching in Zoroastrianism,” discusses the value of public education in ancient Iran. Another of his books is “Beyaad-e Pir-e Moghan” (In memory of Zarathushtra), a research in the Zoroastrian religion and culture. “History of Zoroastrians of Kerman,” “Shahnameh of the Achaemenids,” and “Water, bath, and cleanliness among the Zoroastrians of Iran” are among the other works of Arbab Jamshid Soroushian. The last work is a book called “Chasht,” which deals with the abuse that the Zoroastrians of Baluchistan suffered from the Arabs.

Dr. Boozarjomehr Mehr: Boozarjomehr Mehr, son of Arbab Mehraban Mehrzadeh, was born in 1922 in Tehran and died in 2014 din Canada. He was the last representative of Zoroastrian Iranians in the National Assembly. He was a medical graduate and a specialist in histology and internal medicine specialist. He was a professor in Tehran University, Shahid Beheshti University and Azad University of Karaj for 51 years.  For many years he was in charge of the internal department of the Oil Company Hospital.

Dr. Farhang Mehr: Farhang Mehr, son of Arbab Mehraban Mehr, born in Tehran, 1923, and died in California, 2017, retired professor of international relations at Boston University, former Deputy Prime Minister of Iran, and President of Shiraz University (former Pahlavi University). He received Ph.D. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom and his L.L.M. from the University of Pennsylvania in the United States. He is the only Zoroastrian to hold a position in the cabinet of Iranian ministers. Farhang Mehr traveled to Iran in 1996, when the Sixth World Zoroastrian Congress was held. During his stay in the US, he was well known by Zoroastrian organizations and for rendering the highest level of services to the Zoroastrian religion and community, by the World Zoroastrian Organization and the Lifetime Achievement Award by Fezana (Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America).

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Keikhosrow Khosraviani: Keikhosrow Khosraviani was the founder of the first Zoroastrian printing house, “Rasti Printing House”, one of the most valuable Zoroastrian cultural centers in Iran, which has played a significant role in the cultural development of Zoroastrians since 1949 with the publication of books, calendar, and Avesta. Until 1994, Zoroastrians were deprived of having a Zoroastrian calendar, and no calendar carrying the name of Zoroastrian days was available. In that year (1949), he published a small picket and wall calendar with a unique shape that became the signature Rasti calendar.  This job has continued, even after the death of the late Keikhosrow, by his daughter, Eng. Parirokh Khosraviani.

Khodadad Khanjari: Khodadad Houshang Khanjari, born in 1945, died in 1996, a Zoroastrian intelect who was a true narrator of Zarathushtra’s vision. He was one of the founders and activists of the “Zoroastrian Religious Association” founded in Yazd in the first years of the 1970s. For many years, Khanjari was one of the conventional speakers of various Zoroastrian rituals and ceremonies. He was sharp sighted and had a skill of analyzing and wrote his books in a simple language, his comprehensive insight and knowledge of religion and Zoroastrian culture became more prominent by publishing small but meaningful books such as “Fire and Fire Temple,” “Forty Stars from the Galaxy of Zoroastrian Thought,” and “Insight of Zarathustra.”

Pariborz Nasimi: This educated figure, son of Rostam Bahram, born in Yazd, 1916, and died in 1997. He was a prominent writer and researcher of Yazd popular culture and one of the famous people of Yazd who had a great interest in Persian culture and Literature, especially in Shahnameh. His works have been published in several publications in our country. “Pariborz Nasimi” is known as one of the benevolent Zoroastrians of this province. He had a great interest in Persian culture and Literature, especially in Shahnameh, and had extensive research in this field. His works have been published in many publications such as Hokht, Farvahar, Pashtun, Pendarha, and Armaghan magazine. As a teacher, vice principal and principal of Yazd schools, he worked on cultivating the minds of the future generations of Iran.

Dr. Parviz Shahriari: Parviz Shahriari, born in Kerman, 1926, died in Tehran, 2012. He was a mathematician, translator, writer, teacher of mathematics, journalist, and one of the lasting figures of Iran in the field of knowledge and education. This prominent figure in the field of science, education, culture, and politics of contemporary Iranian history, authorship in Literature, and translation, published more than four hundred volumes of books in the fields of mathematics, history, philosophy, and Literature, and more than a thousand articles by him have been published in several journals. He studied mathematics at the University of Tehran and was a high school teacher and university professor for many years. Many Iranians have learned mathematics from the professor’s books. He received an honorary doctorate in mathematics from the University of Kerman, 2002. Until the last days of his life, he was the editor of Danesh va Mardom magazine and Chista magazine.

Dr. Dowlat Nikomanesh: She is the first woman to receive a doctorate in physical education. She was one of the foremost champions and former referees in volleyball and athletics. She won silver and gold medals for Zoroastrian schools through sports activities at Anoushiravan High School. Then she continued her education in physical education and was one of the four women who received a physical education degree for the first time in Iran. Later, she led a sports team at Nourbakhsh High School, and after eight years, she won a sports service medal from the Minister. After eight years, she transferred to the University of Tehran, and after 16 years of service as a scholarship student, she left for Washington to study and received her doctorate degree. She continued her activities at the University of Tehran after the revolution.

Dr. Abtin Sasanfar: Dr. Abtin Sasanfar, a researcher in the history of Iran and Zoroastrianism, conducted word-by-word research on the Ghatas of Zarathushtra and translated the Ghatas after the late Firuoz Azargoshsab. He provided the translation of the seventeen chapters of Ghatas with the Avestan text and the grammatical explanation of all Avestan words, which resulted from three decades of his research work. A former professor at the National University has rewritten the poems of Zarathustra with the text of Din Dabireh and Persian transliteration with a view to the text created by Goldner, a scholar of Iranian studies. This researcher’s accurate understanding of Zoroaster’s poems and his acquaintance with his culture and philosophy has caused the recent translation of the Gathas to be of exceptional value.

Colonel pilot Keiqobad Ardeshiri ‌Cham: Keiqobad (Keikhosrow) Fereydoun Ardashiri ‌Cham, retired pilot of the Air Force, born in the village of Cham in the city of Taft in Yazd province, 1955, died in his home town on June 2019. The late Keiqbad Ardeshiri Cham was the pilot of F5 planes on the fronts of defending the homeland. He received his pilot’s license from the United States and then returned to Iran to join the Air Force. After retiring, he also worked for Kish Air.

Dr. Rostam Foroudi Ghasemabadi: Rostam Foroudi, son of Jamshid and Mah Khorshid Foroudi, was born on November 1, 1936, in Qasemabad, Yazd, and died in Tehran on May 5, 2020. Twenty-six years of teaching at the Azad University and teaching at the Universities of Science and Technology, Al-Zahra, Beheshti, and Arak Higher School of Sciences is part of Dr. Rostam Foroudi Ghasemabadi’s professor’s work at the country’s universities. Professor Rostam Foroudi was the director of the Mathematical Research Institute from 1979 to 1984 at the suggestion of Dr. Gholam Hossein Mosaheb, mathematician and founder of the institute.

Keyvan Mazda: surgeon, father of spine and orthopedic surgery, was a member of the Change of Hope Institute of France, a Doctors without Frontiers Organization.

Zubin Mehta: He was born in India, and he is the famous conductor of the Classical Music Orchestra.

You may wish to add to these names. Fellow Zoroastrians may send a profile of the nominees, culture, knowledge, sports, industry, construction via email to amordadzn@gmail.com or telegram address Amordadpayam@, or via WhatsApp messenger and telegram number 091980405. After review, it will be written in this post.

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