Personal profile

Research overview


Symbolic and biographical similarities exist in plenty between the benevolent Jamshid and the malevolent Zahhak, the first mythical kings of the world in Iranian mythology, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (r. 1941–79), the last actual shah of Iran, and Ruhollah Khomeini (r. 1979–1989), his turbaned successor. Inspired by the metaphorical interchangeability of the above personages, Vahid’s research explores the historical impact of the myth of Jamshid-Zahhak, a king and his alter ego, on the collective hopes and fears of Iranians.

The theoretical framework of this study makes use of theories that highlight the mythical qualities of historical reconstructions, narrations, and interpretations. The study delves into various linguistic, aesthetic, psychological, theological, and political aspects of the double-natured king in its many reformulations across different literary genres. It searches a wide range of sacred and profane texts from the Avesta and the Shahnameh to modern literary works to delineate the anatomy of the Iranian double-natured king-priest whose evolution into priest-king was consummated in the 1979 Revolution. Ultimately, Vahid draws on all the finds in his exegesis of ancient, mediaeval, and modern texts to explain in depth what it means when Iranians liken Mohammad Reza Shah and Ayatollah Khomeini to both Jamshid and Zahhak.

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Research, Ahd-e Nassim; A Critical Triptych, UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL

25 Sept 20175 Sept 2019

Award Date: 3 Dec 2019