Simin Behbahani (1927-2014)

“In the fight for sovereignty and justice, Simin Behbahani was a mountain lioness and the soul of deprived and unloved. Certainly her spirit runs through the blood of political prisoners in Iran and freedom warriors in the globe.”

— Akbar Montaser

“Iran’s most famous poethas died at age of 87. Simin Behbahani was loved by many ordinary Iranians, but drew the disapproval of the authorities, whom she challenged throughout her life.”

— Golnoosh Golshani, BBC Persian

Simin was born into a socially conscious and educated family. Most likely her motivation for love of motherland “Iran”, and poor and deprived underclass and her fight for freedom and justice for all Iranian and Humanity as a whole, was rooted from a permanent intellectual imprint in her early childhood by her mother.

She was a member of Iran’s Writers Association — a group always viewed with suspicion by the authority and some of whose prominent members became victims in the 1990’s.

Simin wrote her first poem at age of 14, and her fearless fight continued for seven decades, and only physically stopped, ten days before her final destination.

She fought all her life for her beliefs and left our earth without fear or a prize from the peace committee of the Nobel foundation. I never stop crying while reading her poems and always felt her in my body and mind, giving me the strength in my legs while it was ready to crumble, in my heart when it wanted to stop beating and in my mind by breaking the mental cage.

It is worth to share with you my brief encounter with her, in one of her trips to the United States, while being a guest of the PCHA (Persian Cultural and Humanitarian Association).  In that meeting, besides sharing her pain and sickness, her sparkling positivity from her beautiful eyes made the entire audience stronger and more determined.

Simin paved the way for us to stand up and walk any distance for lasting peace, justice and freedom with education and analytical thinking before any responsible decision.  Yadash be khair.

— Zia Ghavami

First published on PCHA web site (

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *