The Women of Persia

Symbols of beauty and resistance

The famous Persian heroine, Apranik,

Under the patriarchy that evolved over the past 6000 years, women around the world have been sidelined from public office and disempowered. Yet without women, men could not survive or even thrive.

Under patriarchy, men have tried to own women and control their lives, yet they have not learned that women cannot be understood, they can only be loved and when they are loved, their joy is transformative and uniting.

Women are related to the Earth, and givers of life. Within Vedanta that inspired Persian life before Islam, men and women stood together, yet under the yoke of Islam, women remain women and carry  the spirit of life from which male intellect develops.

Men are in denial of this and without women's wisdom they are destroying life. The spirit of women is a key component of Hinduism (Vedanta) because without them we cannot exist and gods are not gods without their female counterparts or wives.  The spirit of women is also delightfully revealed in the movie "La Source des femmes" a 2011 French film set in North Africa.

Persian women are known for their grace, great courage, intelligence and special strength. History is replete with stories of great wise and fearless women renowned for  bravery and inner spiritual strength, especially in pre islamic times when women were respect and had equal place beside men in society. Yet even today a great number of scientists in Iran are women just like India.

Since the 1979 coup d'etat, the Islamic regime has been brutal and harsh to all Persians who are now called Iranians but lives of Persian women are no longer free. The promoters of islam keep singing their false song that women are respected in Islam - but this wrong,  Islam is a psychological process where minds are bent by a persistent sense of fear, guilt and insecurity, and ultimately the trapped "believer" has nothing else but to submit to the black blanket of Islam. It will never be humane, never lead to any science, advancement into future, spiritual inquiry or human growth in general. This is what all Muslim women are up against

A Heroine of Persia

Apranik, the Sassanid Commander, daughter of Piran, General of Yazdgird III.

Commander Apranik was indeed beautiful and brave. In the year 632 when the Arabs were murdering Persians and plundering their cities in the name if Islam. Apranik fought fearlessly against Arab oppressors slowing their advance then later harassing them making her a female symbol of Persian Resistance.

As a child Apranik loved military and became her Father's Right hand developing strong nationalistic feelings during her teenage years. Like her father Apranik decided to become a professional soldier and she progresed through the ranks by her own merit from soldier to petty officer and a full commander of the Persian Army. Apranik became a great inspiration for her troops in defence of their nation against outside aggressors.

The Arab bandits attacked Persia's south borders after the continuous centuries of war with the Roman Empire that had taken a heavy toll weakening the nation and costing many lives. Like the leaders of other nations in the region, the last Sassanid king Yazdegard paid little heed to the spread of Islam and the invading barbaric Arabs in the south at that time.

It was only after the full-scale invasion and occupation by Arab armies that Apranik took full command of a major battalion and led them against the Arab oppressors as the Sassanid Dynasty crumbled. She quickly wizened up as organized warfare with the Arabs who's numbers continued to grow repeatedly failed. Their tactic was to  invade and hide, and then reinforce and invade again so she used their tactics against them in what we could call a guerilla style of warfare.

After the Arabs had taken control of the country, destroying and enslaving, Apranik maintained a hit and run rebellious campaign until death. Apranik's warfare style was legendary and relentless, her white horse has since been a famous symbol of freedom and still is till this day. The name “Apranik” means 'daughter of elder'.

Even today when Persian women  show extraordinary bravery and resistance to injustice and oppression, those who know may call her “Apranik”. Apranik of Piran's will always have a place in the Persian Resistance hall of fame for this is what the Persian women were made of!

May her great spirit continue to inspire as it does for many women from Afghanistan to Syria who have taken up arms to defend against Daesh, Taliban and other Muslims who work only to destroy life .



9 comments to The Women of Persia

  • Carmel

    One of the reasons that Ancient Persians held women in high regard might have been their religion. Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion, and its ideology stressed that men and women were equals. Naturally, this would shape the worldview of Ancient Persians, and we can say that overall women were seen as important figures in society.

  • pappy

    They need some more political women there to keep the balance

  • Persia was once part of greater India and throughout India’s long and diverse history, there have appeared countless women who have reached the pinnacle of heroism with their selfless, intelligent and courageous actions and they should be remembered by the present and future generations.

  • Ona

    Now in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini severely curtailed rights that women who’d become accustomed to a normal life under the shah. Within months of the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the 1967 family Protection Laws were repealed; female government workers were forced to observe Islamic dress code; women were barred from becoming judges; beaches and sports were sex-segregated; the legal age of marriage for girls was reduced to 9 but later raised to 13; and married women were barred from attending regular schools.

  • Mindi Torr

    Hi, it should be noted that the Iranian cinema is one of the most exciting, interesting and original cinemas in the world. A lot of beautiful Iranian actresses who enchant with their professionalism and charm, thus proving that Iranian women are considered to be among the most attractive in the world nationalities. In the Top 22 most beautiful Iranian (Persians) women includes well-known national actress, model and singer, winner of beauty contests, live outside Iran, but with Iranian (Persian) descents.

  • Amestris Shahbanu was the beautiful daughter of a Persian nobleman Otanes, know as a defender of the idea of democracy mentioned in the Histories of Herodotus . She was Queen of Persia, the early wife of Emperor Xerxes (prior to Esther) and mother of King Artaxerxes. She was also an Achaemenid military Commander and had the reputation to be more bloodthirsty than any Persian king.

  • Alexis

    Lovely to read in my deepest sympathy for the woman forced to fight for peace and justice. Made a woman of Persia remain warm and strong

  • Jan

    Hello, I enjoyed reading “Symbols of resistance” and I’ll be back to read more.

  • Jalal

    Hi, You make a good points and if it wasn’t for some of those woman and Iraq and Syria, daesh may have taken over much more land

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