Unpublished memoir of Dr. Qamar Aryan

A poem that never made its way to Mosadegh

Meysam Qolampour
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian


It was a warm summer morning of 2010, when I went to BehjatAbad neighborhood in Tehran; to a house where on its doorbell was written: “Zarrinkub”. However, it was more than a decade that Dr. Abdolhossein Zarrinkub had left that house and this world. The love of his life and spouse was living in that house.

I went to meet Qamar Aryan as the reporter of one newspaper on the event of her husband’s anniversary and hear about professor Zarrinkub. The meeting was coordinated by Dr. Ruzbeh Zarrinkub (nephew) and conducted in the presence of his wife. What I remember from that interview is the face of kind woman, nearly 90 years old; she was physically weak; hard of hearing, but she remembered some memories clearly.

Qamar Aryan has left a shining list of translated and compiled books, including “Women in Quran Stories”, “Jesus in Farsi Literature” and “Kamaleddin Behzad” and translated books such as “Near East in History” by Philip Hata, “Islamic World” by Bertolt Scholer and many more articles. 

Out meeting was in Ramadan. I remember that once I got there, she pointed to a small size Quran and stated that she was reading Quran before I arrived. Qamar Aryan addressed her husband as Abdi and with respect.

I had reviewed his books so many times by then. It was right about that time that I was reading his book “Dawn of Islam” and I enjoyed it. Qamar Aryan was devoted supporter of her husband climbing the ladder of science; she is a woman behind a successful man.

In that short interview, the lady stated various points about her husband; from the first days of meeting him and his moods up to Zarrinkub’s friendship with martyr Motahari and his last hours.

But, in between she spoke about the court hearing of Dr. Mosadegh, which I ignored it in the last episode of the article in the newspaper because it wasn’t relevant. She was in her thirties during the coup d'etat of August 18. She was a strong supporter of Mosadegh at the time and she attended Mosadegh’s court hearing along with Dr. Zarrinkub. They were married for almost 3 months at the time. She wanted to be in the court but they were not allowed until “… a police officer who knew my husband got Abdi and me an attendance card. We walked into a room where many were waiting. All were from national security organization and I didn’t know that. I sat down. A man came in and told us not to stand up as a gesture of respect when Mosadegh in brought in. I objected … when Mosadegh walked in it was like a theatre; it was amazing. Mosadegh discredited them with words and I enjoyed it …”

It was in the same court hearing that Qamar Aryan wrote an Arabic distich: “It’s not rare of God to fit a lettered in the body of a human”. She wanted to give the paper to colonel Jalil Bozorgmehr, Mosadegh’s attorney but due to dominant ambiance in the court he didn’t take it from her: “Lady! I can’t give him anything; they would take it from me.” Dr. Zarrinkub was well aware of the situation and grabbed the paper and tore it to avoid any problems but it seems it was too late: “Two officers approached and said that you are under arrest. I said that it’s only three months that I’m living with this man. His sister is waiting for us at home and …. They asked: what was that paper? I said: I said that it is a poem. It was written in Arabic and they wouldn’t understand it and they were passing the piece of paper to one another…”. Fortunately! They got out scout free and the same officer who had got them the attendance cards arranged an ostensible interview and asked about their relationship with Mosadegh. Aryan responded that she was a student of Mosadegh and believed that he was a strong supporter of the King and she was surprised that he was saying those things about the regime. The reaction of the officer was really interesting. He said: “She is our student. She is the supporter of the King! Let her go.”

This was the memory in the mind of Qamar Aryan after 60 years and that day when she wanted to recount a memory of her husband she remembered it. Two years after that interview, on a Wednesday in 2012 destiny decided the end of Qamar Aryan’s story and this became the last press interview with her. 

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