Prince Bahman Mirza Qajar (1810-1884)
- Unique Pearl of the Imperial Sea -
Prince Bahman Mirza Qajar.
Prince Bahman Mirza Qajar was the 4th son of Fath Ali Shah's crown prince Abbas Mirza "Nayeb os-Saltaneh" by the latter's first and chief wife Princess Assiyeh (Jahan) Khanom Davalu (the daughter of Amir Mirza Mohammad Khan Qajar-Davalu and sister of Hajji Allayar Khan "Asaf od-Dowleh", ruler of Khorassan and sometimes prime minister to Fath Ali Shah). Therefore he was the next younger full brother to Mohammad Shah Qajar. He was born on 11th of October 1810 in Golestan Palace at Tehran and died on 11th of February 1884 in exile in Shusha, in the Russian-occupied Qarabagh region. Bahman Mirza was educated privately at Tabriz with some of his brothers by the famous Qa'em Maqqam viziers father and son, Mirza Issa Farahani (Mirza Bozorg) and Mirza Abol Qassem "Qa'em Maqqam".
Prince Anushiravan Mirza Bahman "Zia od-Dowleh" (1833-1899)
Prince Anushiravan Mirza "Zia od-Dowleh".
Prince Anushiravan Mirza "Zia od-Dowleh" was the first born son to Prince Bahman Mirza by Malek Soltan Khanom. Born in 1833 when his father was governor of Ardabil, he was named after the famous Sassanian King Khusrow I (r. 531-579), who was called Anushiravan or "Immortal Soul". 1848 he followed his father to exile but returned to Iran and lived in Tabriz. After his younger brother Reza Qoli Mirza had arranged with Nasser od-Din Shah Anushiravan Mirza was installed in power: 1873 Anushiravan Mirza was appointed city governor (hakem) of Turshiz and then made provincial governor (beyglarbeygi) of the district of Borujord and the province of Lorestan. 1881-1882 he was given the post of governor of the city of Tabriz and the district of Damghan, 1884-1886 he was governor of the province of Semnan, of Damghan and Shahrud. 1888-1889 he was governor of Lorestan and Borujord a second time, in 1891 he had the vizierate of the province of Kermanshah on behalf of Governor Hassan Ali Khan Garrousi "Amir Nezam", and 1898-1899 he was again governor of Semnan and Damghan. Beeing the shah's next first cousin, he also got the title of "Zia od-Dowleh" (lit. "Splendour of the State"), which he inherited from his uncle Prince Mohammad Rahim Mirza "Zia od-Dowleh" (Abbas Mirza's 19th son) and finally was assigned with the military rank of Amir-e Tuman (lit. "Commander of 10,000", i.e. Major-General). H.H. Prince Anushiravan Mirza "Zia od-Dowleh" "Amir-e Tuman" died on 23rd of October 1899 in Shusha.
Anushiravan Mirza married firstly as his main wife Badie ol-Jamal Khanom I, daughter of Mohammad Hassan Khan "Sardar" Iravani by Princess Mahrokhsar Khanom "Fakhr od-Dowleh", daughter of Abbas Mirza and sister to Mohammad Shah and Bahman Mirza. Secondly he married a daughter of his maternal uncle Prince Amir Teymur Mirza. He had issued several children, among them his sons Prince Soltan Ahmad Mirza and Prince Soltan Majid Mirza, and the Princesses Malekzadeh Khanom and Malekeh-Afagh Khanom Bahman.
Princess Malekeh-Afagh Khanom Bahmani-Qajar (1864-1917)
Our own family's fate depended as well on the negotiations of Prince Reza Qoli Mirza with Nasser od-Din Shah and the position at court of Prince Anushiravan Mirza "Zia od-Dowleh" after his decision to return back to Iran.
Princess Malekeh-Afagh Khanom (lit. "Queen of the Universe") was born in 1864, died on the Ashura day of 10th Muharram 1336, the 26 October 1917 at Tehran and was buried at the Holy Shrine of Shah Abd ol-Azim near Tehran. She was the granddaughter of Bahman Mirza and daughter of Anushiravan Mirza "Zia od-Dowleh" by Badie ol-Jamal Khanom I.
The family lived partly on their property of land and partly on an amount of Russian money, part of her grandfather's immense apanage from Russia. After the agreement of her uncle Reza Qoli Mirza with their cousin Nasser od-Din Shah in 1873, the family again get access to the Qajar Imperial court and moved to the capital city of Tehran. Anyway, Malekeh-Afagh Khanom had a close connection to all those of her uncles and cousins in Russian Azerbaidjan, who visit Persia frequently or moved back, especially after the Russian Revolution. This was the case with her uncle Jalal od-Din Mirza and her cousins Kamran Mirza, Jamal Mirza, Darab Mirza and Qahreman Mirza, the sons of Prince Shahrokh Mirza. They settled down again in Iran in 1916 but most of them were blaimed for conspiration and killed by Reza Shah Pahlawi (r.1925-1942) in the late 1920's and early 1930's.
Malekeh-Afagh Khanom became the founder of the Bahman Family of the Qajar princely lines when her three sons and one daughter adopted in 1930 their grandfather's first name "Bahman" as their common family name.
Princess Malekeh-Afagh was married two times. As her first husband she married in 1880 Mirza Hossein Behnam, the third son of Hajji Mirza Ali Akbar Mostowfi Tafreshi from the Behnam family, a widespread dynasty of bureaucrats originally from Tafresh. Asadollah Behnam wrote about his elder brother "Mirza Hossein Behnam ba Shahzadeh Khanom Malekeh-Afagh keh az ouladha-ye Bahman Mirza Qajar budeh ast ezdevaj minemayad. Mirza Ali Akkbar bedin menasebt nam-e khanevadegi-ye madar-e khod Bahman ra ekhtiyar kardeh ast." And M. Pirouzan continues: "M. Hossein le père de M. Bahman avait marié une princesse de la famille royale Ghadjar nommé Malakeh Afagh qui était l'une des enfants d'un prince Ghadjar qui s'appelais Bahman Mirza. M. Bahman donc avait accepté le nome de sa famille maternelle tandis que les autres avait connué le nome de famille Behnam."
H.E. Mirza Ali Akbar Khan Bahman, born 1883 at Tehran, had several diplomatic posts in the late Qajar era and under the rule of Reza Shah Pahlavi, and became sometimes
Minister for Trade. In 1907 Hajji Mirza Yahya Dowlatabadi, one of Iran's leading left-winged constitutionalists of the 1906 Revolution and founder of the modern school system, sent Ali Akbar to
Baku/Azerbaijan to teach at an Iranian school (Sa'adat). After World War I on 26 August 1919 Ali Akbar was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Persia to Bucharest/Romania,
and then in 1921 became ambassador to Belgium. 1934 he was Iran's Imperial Ambassador in Afghanistan, and finally 1939-1943 in Egypt. In 1935 he firstly commissioned the "Arbitrary Arrangement"
between Iran and Afghanistan about some border region in Sistan, and later became Minister of Transport. He also was one of seven cabinet members who were responsible for the 1935 commemoration stamp
set. In Egypt, there he arranged the marriage of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (in those days Crown Prince of Iran) with Princess Fowziyeh, daughter of King Fouad I and sister of
King Farouk of Egypt on 16th of March 1939. After
establishing his new dynasty, Reza Shah needed as well the support of the old elite as that he wanted the international aristocracy to accept the Pahlavis as new rulers over Iran. Therefore, he
firstly took Qajar ladies as his wives (Turan Amirsoleymani and Esmat Dowlatshahi) and then looked for an Islamic princess as a match for his oldest son Mohammad Reza, the heir apparent. The new
Pahlavi Rule of Succession prohibited a Qajar mother of the ruling line, thus a foreigner must have been chosen as new wife of the crown prince. So the eye fell on Princess Fowziyeh of Egypt, King
Farouk's sister and in those days "the most beautiful woman of Egypt". In that time the Royal House of Egypt belonged to the most "Westernized" and progressive dynasties in the Middle East with a
luxurious life standard. Reza Shah thought, that this marital bond with another ruling house would legitimate his new dynasty in the eyes of other countries, allowed access to the international high
society, and saved the Pahlavi monarchy in Iran. But finally after a daughter, Shahnaz was born, this marriage was unhappy and at last divorced in 1945 and Mohammad
Reza Pahlavi remarried.
Ali Akbar Bahman himself had married Zoleikha Khanom Gadjieve, a twenty year younger girl from an Iranian-Russian family from the Caucasus. She with her parents in 1919 fled from the Red Army and her father was said to go to Iran and contact a certain Mr. Ali Akbar Bahman, who had good connections from his Baku years, family ties and will help them. They had one single daughter, Mehr-e Jahan (Mehri) Khanom Bahman. But actually the diffenrence in age was too much, the alliance was not a love match and finally divorced when Zoleikha spent vacation in the spa of Wiesbaden, Germany. There, Zoleikha remarried with a German Mr. Reinhardt and lived with her daughter in Winkel/Ruedesheim am Rhein, Germany. Thus, Mehri Bahman grew up in Germany, married firstly a German and after divortion then in Tehran Mr. Mohammad Ali Pirouzan.