Our headlines are dominated these days by IRAN and other countries in the MIDDLE EAST – most of the news is about war, how to avoid it or accelerate it. But in one of Cairo’s Mosques, the Al-Rifa’i Mosque, built between 1869 AND 1912,
we find testimony of touching human story —— the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi is buried here, right next to King Farouk, the last King of Egypt.
When in 1979, after the revolution the Shah had to leave Iran, already a sick man suffering from gallstones, he traveled from country to country seeking temporary residence and medical help. In October of 1979 President Jimmy Carter reluctantly allowed the Shah into the United States to undergo surgical treatment.
He left the United States in December of 1979. In the Shah’s memoir “Answer to History” he claimed that he never received any kind of health care while in the United Sates, but was asked to leave the country. He went to Panama, where his presence caused riots, and fearing extradition to Tehran he accepted Anwar El-Sadat’s offer for permanent asylum. He died in Egypt on July 27, 1980 age 60.
As the former brother-in-law of Kind Farouk – the Shah’s first marriage was to Princess Fawzia, King Farouk’s sister – Anwar El-Sadat Sadat gave him a state funeral.
When we were standing in front of his tomb in the Al Rifa’i Mosque, very close to King Farouk’s tomb, my guide said:
“In Egypt we have always regarded the Shah of Iran as part of our history.”
More from Egypt soon