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Memory of Fereydoun Hoveyda

The Last of The Mohicans,
Has Left Us!

Memory of Fereydoun Hoveyda
by Ahreeman X
November 7, 2006

Fereydoun Hoveyda, the Scholar with the Gentle Smile

It is 5 AM and still dark outside. I am sitting behind my computer and typing this article in my home-office. From time to time, I get distracted from my writings and go in deep thoughts! I look outside the window of my second floor home-office into the street. It has a good view; I stare into the dark and into the fading moon ….., I stare into the abyss, The Last of The Mohicans Has Left Us!

His departure puts an end to a generation, "The Generation of Statesmen with Backbones and Brains"! A generation has ended, "The Generation of Intellectual Technocrats who wanted to reform The Imperial Iran from the within". The generation whom unlike many of the so called "In-tell-egg-chew-alls of the left," had never revolted against the Imperial Regime, yet tried to reform the regime and reshape it to an acceptable, democratic, just, uncorrupt and practical form.

Fereydoun Hoveyda the Artist, with French Film Director Claude Chabrol

Let us be honest with each other, 28 years has passed and what has been done, is done. Alahazrat was a Nationalist and had done many goods for Iran. Alahazrat was also not a thief, yet his regime, his trustees and particularly his family were corrupt. The Pahlavi Family by majority were corrupt, or else they would have lived in a lousy apartment, driving a Paykan and having no cash in their bank accounts due to spending it on their friends, like the way Amir Abbas Hoveyda, Prime minister of Iran used to live!

Hoveyda (My GodFather) did not steal a dime and did not live in a palace! He was living amongst the people in a lousy apartment in Pahlavi Avenue, central Tehran. He could easily live a life of luxury, same as Pahlavis, yet he was a modest man with a mission, agenda and a goal much higher than collecting wealth and living in luxury! His mission and his generation's mission were to reform the regime from the within and to help progress the lifestyle of the working man!

Fereydoun Hoveyda, Afsar-ol Molouk (Mother) and Amir Abbas Hoveyda, Great Prime Minister of Iran

This generation was from the Blue-blooded ruling and elite families of Iran. They were highly educated in the west, they returned to Iran, only to build the nation and to serve the homeland. They raised themselves to very high levels and sensitive positions; however, they had lived a simple life. They did not expand their wealth, yet they had expanded their minds! They were the generation of technocrats who made a "Change" and left their marks on the history. They were the generation of intellectuals who made a difference and served Iran. They were not Pahlavi's Hand Kissers and Ass Kissers, nor had they betrayed Iran pre or post 1979 by collaborating with the Mullahs, the way that the intellectuals of the left such as Jebhe Meli or Hezbe Tudeh members had done! They were the builders and not the destroyers. They were the generation who built Iran, loved Iran and died for Iran!

Amir Abbas Hoveyda was from this generation. He stood his ground, he stayed in Iran to defend his good name in a just trial, while he could have easily fled like the Pahlavi Thieving Cowards had done! My mother is also from this generation and surely Fereydoun Hoveyda was from this generation of Super Nationalist technocrats.

Fereydoun Hoveyda with Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi

Let us quickly glance through Fereydoun Hoveyda's (FH) life, shall we?

Fereydoun Hoveyda's Life in a Nutshell

Father: Eyn-ol Molk, Ambassador of Persia to Saudi Arabia
Mother: Afsar-ol Molouk, the wise aristocrat
Brother: Amir Abbas Hoveyda, Unique Prime Minister of Iran
Spouse: Gisela
Daughters: Mandana and Roxana

1924 - Fereydoun Hoveyda (FH) was born in Damascus, Syria on September 21sth of this year (Diplomatic Family). He studied in Beirut, Lebanon and later he earned a Ph.D. in International Law and Economics from the Sorbonne University in Paris, France.

1947 - 1951 - After his studies, FH had joined the Iranian Foreign Service and eventually became Press Attaché of the Imperial Iranian Embassy in Paris, France.

1948 - FH participated in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1952 - 1966 - FH worked in Department of Mass Communication in UNESCO.

1965 - FH's brother, Amir Abbas Hoveyda, occupied the office of Prime Minister of Iran and devotedly served Iran for many years.

1965 - 1966 - FH took charge as Imperial Iran's deputy foreign minister in charge of International Organizations.

1971 - 1979 - FH served Iran as the Imperial Iranian Ambassador to United Nation.

1979 - Amir Abbas Hoveyda were savagely executed by Islamist Baboons and FH lost his spirit and went into a deep sorrow; however, he regained control and got a hold of himself to not withdraw from the society.

Later on in exile, FH became a Senior Consultant at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. He started painting, lecturing and writing books.

2006 - Fereydoun Hoveyda passed away at age 82.

Fereydoun Hoveyda The Painter!

Yes many do not know that he was a painter! As an artist FH conducted many Art Shows. FH had developed a different technique in painting via leaving a very narrow white space between papers. According to Andy Warhol, "FH combines his literary sensitivity, his cinematic instinct, and his international experience, to create images that are beautiful, perceptive, and funny."

Cinematic Instinct?!

Fereydoun Hoveyda The Cinematographer!

I bet many of you are not aware of Fereydoun Hoveyda's cinema career or shall we say hobby! For instance:

* FH was an Actor in "Le Signe du Lion" (1959), Directed by Eric Rohmer (Product of France)

* FH was a Screen Writer for "India: Matri Bhumi" (1959), Directed by Roberto Rossellini (Product of Italy and France)

* FH was also a founding contributor of "Cahiers du Cinema," the influential French film magazine.

Fereydoun Hoveyda The Author

Fereydoun Hoveyda has left us some valuable books:

1956 - "Histoire du roman policier" (History of the detective novel), was given a preface by Jean Cocteau.

Mystery and Sci Fi Articles - FH became a regular contributor to Mystery Magazine, the French counterpart of Ellery Queen's magazine Fiction, a science-fiction monthly.

1962 - "Les Quarantaines" (The Quarantines), the plot was of a French-educated Arab, living in France during the Algerian war, caught between his traditional Arab culture and his Western education. Using cinematic and psychoanalytic techniques, FH describes accurately and vividly the emotions of the growing group of multicultured Middle-Eastern people and their problems. The novel succumbed to polemics in the heat of the Algerian war, but was eventually honored as a "healer" between Western and Eastern cultures.

1965 - "The Airport", recounted the production of a script, in two weeks, by a Paris-born American film director. In the course of his writing, many questions concerning the coming of the age of image and the relationship between cinema, literature, and metaphysics were illuminated for the filmmaker.

1968 - "In a Strange Land", is the story of a child who feels cheated by his own parents. In this novel FH applied to literature, the techniques of comic books to underline the distance between the words of adults and children.

1969 - "Le Losange" (The Lozenge), a collection of science-fiction stories (once again FH escaped to Sci Fi).

1973 - "Les Neiges du Sinai" (The snows of the Sinai). This novel concerned a French-born American writer drifting towards alcoholism. It opens with the protagonist reading the Sunday edition of the New York Times. In this work FH used in many ways the techniques of the stream-of-consciousness.

Other Articles and Novels - FH also wrote a number of other French novels and articles.

1979 - 1980 - "The Fall of The Shah" (La chute du Chah), a personal account of the events that led to the tragic death of his brother, the long-time Prime Minister of Iran.

1983 - "The Feudal Nights", is basically an autobiographical piece.

1985 - "The Sword of Islam" is his first historical novel. In this book, FH discusses the rise of Islam in the 7th Century and its first sixty years.

1991 - "Que veulent les Arabes " (What Do The Arabs Want?), this hook is an essay on the Middle East.

1992 - "Les Miroirs du Mollah"

1993 - "L'Islam Bloque"

1994 - FH released a study in English on various subjects.

1999 - The Broken Crescent
The "Threat" of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism
This is a very important book. This book was originally published in English rather than French! In this book, Fereydoun Hoveyda explores and talks about the historical and contemporary causes of the current wave of militant Islamic fundamentalism. Despite their terrorist attacks in the West, he also shows why fundamentalists are even more dangerous for Muslim countries that are desperately trying to catch up with the incipient global economy and alleviate their accumulated social and economic problems.

2002 - Studies on Islamic Fundamentalism

2003 - "The Shah and the Ayatollah: Iranian Mythology and Islamic Revolution"

Allow me to quote from a friend:

"Fereydoun Hoveyda's Novels concentrate on characters pertaining to two or more cultures simultaneously. People whom have two completely separate cultures. FH in his work searches for the ultimate unity of all human cultures."

Fereydoun Hoveyda's Greatest Work

His greatest work in my opinion was to create and operate an informative website on Amir Abbas Hoveyda, to keep his memory alive.

Amir Abbas Hoveyda Website

I certainly hope that someone would continue operating this informative website and it will not end up fading away!

Great Quotes from Fereydoun Hoveyda

I can write a various number of pages on quotes from FH, yet allow me to stick with some good ones. Quotes from Fereydoun Hoveyda's famous Interview with Mark Dankof.

Mark Dankof

Fereydoun Hoveyda:

On Iran and Iranians
"I will repeat what has already been said by others about Iran. And that is that no one, not even Iranians themselves, understands Iran. . . . At one level, the 1979 Islamic Revolution was the outcome of a personal struggle between two men, Shah Mohamad Reza Pahlavi and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Shah won the first round in 1963 after riots provoked by the latter. He arrested Khomeini and later exiled him. Then, of course, 16 years later, Khomeini triumphed in the second round and returned to Iran after the flight of his enemy. Each of them partially represented one of the key, basic, contradictory trends that agitated the nation since the early years of the twentieth century-secularist modernization on the one hand, in juxtaposition with religious orthodoxy and traditionalism on the other."

On Khomeini
"Khomeini's 1979 revolution in Iran is both obscure and baffling. In November of 1978, it is noteworthy that Khomeini received an offer in Paris to return to Iran with international guarantees of freedom of speech and physical safety. He refused and followed this refusal with a demand for the departure of the Shah. One must remember that it was the Americans who put pressure on the Shah to leave Iran. But when Khomeini finally returned to Iran, he attempted to demand the Shah's return along with a trial by Islamic tribunal. In 1979, the world was stunned by the fact that the Shah's dictatorship was overthrown by Iranians, only to be followed by the Iranian people's acquiescence to the harsher dictatorship of Khomeini and the Islamic Republic."

On Fundamentalist Islam
"Many years ago, well before the Islamic Revolution in Iran, my studies brought to me a number of observations. When looking at Latin America, it occurred to me that these societies were stuck in the late 19th and very early 20th centuries. There were problems with both nationalism and internal in-fightings. In contrast to the Indo-European tradition, which kept the military out of internal political machinations and interventions, one sees the military constantly involved in domestic political meddlings in Latin America.
"However, when you look at Islamic societies, it occurs to me that they are far more troubled than even the Latin American groupings. Islamic nations are stuck in the 12th century. During my studies in Paris years ago, I would ask myself, 'Why is this, when during the Middle Ages, the Islamic nations were largely ahead of the Western ones in many scientific, technological, and commercial developments-and possessed a largely multicultural society and ethos?

…… But I believe I discovered the reason for the decline of intellectual achievement in the Islamic world after the Middle Ages, and the subsequent rise in influence in this arena on the part of the European West, during my studies 40 years ago. I discovered that it was around the 12th century that fundamentalist interpretations of the Islamic Quran won the upper hand. With the exception of astronomy, the caliphs, in their alliance with the fundamentalist interpreters of the Quran-and the military-began to extinguish the free, open-ended, inquiring scientific mindset that had previously existed in the Islamic world, much to the long term detriment of everyone. The only reason astronomy didn't get completely extinguished is that the fundamentalist scholars and caliphs needed it to determine the beginning of Ramadan. All the rest of science was rejected."

On Arafat
"Arafat is no statesman. He is incorrigible, an opportunist, a trouble-maker. He is a totally duplicitous man, a terrible person, and yes, a terrorist. ……, Arafat became the first foreign dignitary to visit and kiss the hand of the Ayatollah before joining forces with Saddam Hussein in the war against Iran! This is the caliber of man and human being we are talking about here, who brings misery and bloodbath to Palestinian, Lebanese, Iranian, American, and Israeli victims alike."

On Clash of Civilizations
"The notion of a clash of civilizations between the Islamic world on the one hand, and the Jewish and Christian worlds on the other, is completely absurd. The real clash should be understood as one between a dangerous medieval mindset, which expresses itself in the most aberrant fundamentalist religious expressions employing mythology in all of these religious traditions, and a modern, scientific, technological approach to the world and global civilization.'

On Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi
"Now, in terms of this man [the Shah], I remember my last conversation with my brother on the telephone after the Shah's departure. My brother was appalled that this man would run away from his historic responsibilities to defend the interests of his nation during a crisis, and to argue the merits of his own motives and legacy. A captain of a ship must be willing to go down with it, if he must. This is his responsibility. Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, in history, will always be tainted because he abdicated his responsibilities at a most crucial juncture in the history of the Iranian nation. He will never escape this historical evaluation-ever.

On His Excellency Amir Abbas Hoveyda
"Amir, like many of us of the same generation in Iran with Western educations, believed that the development of an economic infrastructure in Iran was the necessary ingredient and prelude to the development of a political superstructure that would sustain political reform and the development of a Constitutional model along the lines of the European ones, with special deference of course to Iranian culture and mythologies. Despite his, and our best efforts, the subsequent failures in this regard made me aware of what I had begun to see in the early 1960s-that ultimately Iran was a prisoner of its own mythologies. Now in terms of my brother's death, he understood that he must remain in Iran, to defend his record and to continue there as a positive presence for reform for the people of that country. He also believed, mistakenly, that there would be a fair trial in which he would demonstrate that he had nothing to hide, and plenty to testify about in terms of his role and motives in history. It is this legacy of remaining, and testifying, at the ultimate cost of his life, that will forever distinguish my brother from Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and the others in his Court who fled for themselves and gave up the Ship."

On Reza Pahlavi II
"He will suffer from two deficiencies. I think he is probably a nice man, but his father's legacy of avoiding responsibility and fleeing his own country will follow the Prince as well, even if that is ultimately unfair. This is the way it is. He has the legacy of the last name. Second, I must confess that I find this young fellow to be somewhat superficial in the things he says about Iran's future and his own role in it. Talking about democracy and economic reform are fine, but I can't say that I truly believe that this man has any constructive, deep ideas about how to achieve this, or how to spearhead such a movement through his personal leadership. These are ultimately fatal flaws in any analysis of Reza Pahlavi's chances of leading Iran into a new way, a new era. That is my verdict."

On Future Salvation of Iran
There must be a political and cultural alternative in Iran that is neither Achaemenid kingship nor Islamic theocracy, but the development of an honest Republic. If this change does not occur, Iran is doomed. The economic downturn and the well publicized brain drain from Iran to the West will be accelerated if there is not a third alternative to these elements of a failed, tragic past. But it must not be an attempted copy of European or American constitutional models, but a constitutional republican model that takes account of the unique role and influence of Iranian mythologies.

Fereydoun Hoveyda, The Scholar

"Many are schooled, yet only a few are truly educated," I always say that! Well, FH was surely one of the educated ones! Amir Abbas Hoveyda was my GodFather and my memories of him are sweet yet vague. I know Amir Abbas Hoveyda; however, I truly did not know Fereydoun Hoveyda, because during the 16 years which I lived in Iran, he was barely there! He was always the absent Hoveyda! He was in Iran when I was a child, and then Specifically from 1971 - 1978 when I was grown up (Early Teen Years), he was out of the picture and in UN. So I never got to know the man, yet I have known of him through third parties. From what I have known of him and heard of him, I can state that he was a great scholar and a gentleman. Like myself, he believed in a Republic as the final solution; however, he emphasized on the element of Nationalism.

Fereydoun Hoveyda, the Young Intellectual

In exile, we also did not get to visit each other. He was residing in East Coast (New York, Virginia, etc.) and I was residing in West Coast USA. I really did not know the man in person and never had the pleasure to get to know him.

Since 2000, when I found IPC, I started my contacts with Fereydoun Hoveyda. We traded E-mails and discussed various issues.

A Dialogue with Fereydoun Hoveyda

Fereydoun Hoveyda was a scholar and a gentleman; Fereydoun Hoveyda was an optimist. I have a digital memory and I clearly recall this particular dialogue:

X: I wish you health and happiness

FH: Thank you, same goes for you.

X: Fereydoun Khan, you are "The Last of The Mohicans"! You are the last of the Statesmen with backbones! The story is finished and you are it and then we are done!

FH: Come on, there are others to take charge.

X: Have you read my letter to Reza Phlavi where I stated, "Even though Hoveyda did not want to leave, your father could easily force him to leave or send a couple of guys to drag him out of jail, put him on the plane to leave Iran. Your father took his Doberman Pinchers, yet he left Hoveyda to rot in prison! Your father cared about his dogs more than he cared for his close comrades like Hoveyda! When they opened the prison doors (right before Mullahs took over), and everyone had left (statesmen and military-men), Hoveyda decided to stay and defend himself in an International Trial! In my opinion, Hoveyda was not in the right mind when he stubbornly chose to remain in prison and wait in Iran for a trial. This resulted in his death only after a show trial! The least Alahazrat could do was to force Hoveyda to leave, even if he had to kidnap him and drag him out of Iran! The reason Hoveyda was in the prison at the first place, was because Alahazrat put him there to save his own neck, so the least that he could do was to save him rather than saving his dogs!"

FH: Yes I read the whole letter.

X: Have you read the part where I asked Reza Pahlavi: "How do you expect us to be your comrades when your father done such with his comrades? Are you going to do the same with your comrades?"

FH: Yes I did

X: The Letter That Reza Pahlavi did not answer! What could he say? Nothing!

FH: Yes I recall. The problem with you is that like many Iranians you live in the past. You need to forgive and forget. You can't carry the burden forever.

X: It is not easy.

FH: I know very well that it is not, but we need to move on. What's done is done. That's the past. Let's look at the future.

X: What future? Do you know how hard and for how long I have tried to unite this opposition? And where did it take me?

FH: I know, I know …………

X: Let me be very frank with you, in the past, we had Great Statesmen with backbones, great scholars with large conscience and small egos. Today we have small men with large egos and barely any conscience! In the past we had "Legends" but now we have "Sewer Rats". The Sewer Rats in dreams of becoming Legends; yet, Sewer Rats are only rats and can never become Legends, because they do not have the means to become Legends!

FH: You are working yourself up, you are too hard on yourself. You need to relax and collect your thoughts.

X: In the past we had Bakhtiars, Hoveydas, and Aryamaneshes, but now we have Sewer Rats with large heads! We have useless bums like Reza Pahlavi and then we have hand kissers and illiterate baboons all around the political spectrum of Iran!

FH: You need to be positive, look forward and be an optimist.

X: Fereydoun Khan, show me a shred of hope, show me a gleam of light, show me a slight chance of unity, show me a group of devoted nationalists who are willing to put their money where their mouths are, and show me soldiers who are willing to lie down their lives for Iran; show me these factors and then I will have hope and become an optimist?!

FH: Something must give. I believe soon or late something must give. We cannot become disappointed and distracted.

X: Yes something gave but then he got killed! If Shafiq (Shahryar Shafiq) was alive, then it was a different story, but instead, Shafiq is dead (assassinated by Hezbollah) but useless Reza Pahlavi is alive! Mullahs surely know who to kill and who not to! They only kill those who are relevant to create a change! Why would they bother killing Reza Pahlavi, Kebrit-e Bi Khatar (The Safe Matchbox)?

FH: Captain Shafiq was a different story.

X: Isn't it ironic how a half-breed from an Arab father (Shafiq) could truly make a change, yet a pure Aryan (Reza Pahlavi) is a waste of oxygen?

FH: Forget what occurred and forget the past. Concentrate on the future and concentrate on yourself. Have optimism and look forward.

X: I try

FH: Be positive

X: I try. Best wishes to you Fereydoun Khan.

FH: Take care, do good and be positive, always positive ………..

We recommend these valuable books by Fereydoun Hoveyda and about Amir Abbas Hoveyda:


Final Days

Few days ago I E-mailed him and I never received a response! It is not like him to not get back right away! Right there I knew that something was wrong! Obviously Cancer had finally launched the last offensive!

Fereydoun Hoveyda was a down to Earth scholar and a gentleman. He made a change for the better. He was a true nationalist and he was a reformer from within the Imperial Regime. This is really ironic! When I was old enough to really get to know The GodFather (Amir Abbas Hoveyda), they kicked me out of Iran into Exile and next thing I heard was that they killed him! Now, as soon as I had a chance to really get to know Fereydoun Khan, he also passed away!

Tears are dropping down on my face, but I cannot be certain if these tears are for Fereydoun Khan, for myself or for Iran and Iranians!

Fereydoun Hoveyda, the Deep Look

…… It is now 9 AM and a beautiful sunshine lights-up the sky outside. I am still sitting behind my computer and typing this article in my home-office. From time to time, I get distracted from my writings and go in deep thoughts! I look outside the window of my second floor home-office into the street. It has a good view; I stare into the light and into the sun, but all I see is the dark and the fading moon ….., so I stare into the abyss, The Last of The Mohicans Has Left Us!

Fereydoun Khan, I promise to continue the struggle, I promise to stick with the cause, I promise to remain positive ………….. I promise to remain positive ……………… I promise ……………

Dr. X

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