Ali Reza Pahlavi, the youngest son of the great Shah of Iran, committed suicide early this morning, around 2:00 am (Tuesday, January 4, 2011). His older brother, Reza Pahlavi, the eldest son of the Shah, reported the tragedy.
Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran, reports the death of his younger brother, Ali Reza, Tuesday, January 4, 2011.
“With immense grief that we would like to inform our compatriots of the passing away of Prince Alireza Pahlavi,” Reza announced on his website.
Like millions of young Iranians, he too was deeply disturbed by all the ills fallen upon his beloved homeland, as well as carrying the burden of losing a father and a sister in his young life.
Although he struggled for years to overcome his sorrow, he finally succumbed, and during the night of the 4th of January 2011, in his Boston residence, took his own life, plunging his family and friends into great sorrow.
Once again, we are joined with mothers, father and relatives of so many victims of these dark times for our country.
Police said they found the victim of an apparently self-inflicted gun shot wound in his Boston appartment. Alireza was 44 years old, and had studied music as an undergraduate at Princeton University (1984) and ancient Iranian studies as a graduate student at Columbia University (1992). He never married, and was undertaking a postgraduate degree at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in philology and ancient Iranian studies.
This is the second of the four Pahlavi children to take his own life. The younger daughter, Leila, took her own life in June of 2001 (at the age of 31). The sorrow does not cease. (Indeed, it was the beauty of Farah Diba Pahlavi’s life that won my heart in the first place.)
Farah Diba Pahlavi and her daughter Leila.
Surely, there are many Iranians in the diaspora, those living outside their home country, who bear burdens in the same key. They all are heartbroken over their country. That such a glorious and ancient nation should evolve into the cruelty and perversion of such a tyranny as reigns there today is more than any patriot could bear without the gravest gloom. Most Iranians, in America, certainly, have found a positive approach to life. They are naturally energetic, hopeful, and possessed of a great love of beauty and refinement, whatever their profession happens to be. It just so happens that the “cream of the crop” does happen to live in America (in my personal, proud opinion). American Iranians are the most successful “minority” group in the country, numbering a little over two million. However, they were never given any kind of minority status. They’re just white people, from another country, and they work harder than most, and they have great deal of talent.
But sorrow attends the royal family, despite the talent, the beauty, the lofty visions.
Beauty itself is the sister of sorrow, really. Sorrow is beautiful. It is not the Persian way to flee from sorrow, or beauty. It is a brave people, with an abiding love.
BadEagle.com shall write further on this. The news of Alireza’s death just came to me this afternoon–by way of a phone call from my dearest Iranian friend here in Oklahoma. Of all the hundreds of Iranians he knows, I was the first human being he called to share the news. This is a brother, indeed.
To my other brother, Reza, the Prince, to his beloved mother–whom I have adored since 1981, to his remaining sister, to his wife, and to his dear children, I offer my most profound sympathies and tears. I pray that the Almighty stay the hand of death further.
Reza is a glorious man. Full of love, life, and joy. I am sure the family leans deeply upon him. I wish only that I could be with them all at this time. In spirit, I wish peace upon them. And peace upon their brother, Alireza.