“The best I could be”. In
1958, I was born in Tehran, Capital city of
Iran and on 4th of November 1976 after graduation from
Kharazmi High School in Northern Tehran I started my journey to the
States of America, “The land of
1956 while my father Hashem
Fouladi son of Abbas and Touba was serving in the Iranian army for his
compulsory military duty his rank was Lutheran. In
Iran as soon as a male citizen turns 18 years old he was
subjected to compulsory military services. If you finished the ninth grade they
will rank you as a Sergeant and if you finished twelveth grade they will rank
you as a Lutheran. My father was the only person in his immediate family who
completed high school.
My father was the first boy
of three sons and one daughter of his parents. My grand father Abbas one of the
first boys in Iran who learned to drive a bus and he had a tiny body and
his weight never increased 50 kilograms. There was an article in a
Tehran daily newspaper “Etelat or Keyhan”one day while Reza
Shah was visiting the streets of Tehran with his entourage he saw a bus was running on the
street without the driver. He asked his Deputy to stop the bus before the bus
kills the civilians on the street. After they reached near the bus they saw my
grand father was driving the bus and they brought him to Reza Shah. Reza Shah
was very impressed that such a young Iranian boy driving a bus in early years
development of Iran. Reza Shah was so impressed by grand pa driving bus
that he asked him what he wishes as a gift for him. Grand pa Abbas was as smart
as he was asked Reza Shah to forgive his compulsory military. Reza Shah replied
“Okay, but every young Iranian boy must serve in the military”. But Reza Shah
reduced my grand father’s military duty for just six months. So he can drive
more and make money.
Grand pa Abbas was son of
Haji Mohammad Taghie son of Mohammad Taghie Fouladi who was residing in the city
of Ghazvin few hundred kilometers north of the capital city of
Iran and closer to the Russian border and
Sea. Mohammad Taghie was
wearing a turban with small flower design known as “Kola-shekari” the sugary
hat. Such turbans are mostly noticeable in the country of
Oman in the Persian golf. While I was visiting on a business
trip in Masqat capital city of Oman I noticed “Kola-Shekari” was a common use for business
people in Oman. Mohammad Taghie was apparently importing steel from
Russia to Iran that is why he under took the last name “Fouladi” in
Persian meaning is steel products.
As the Pahlavie dynasty was
helping the development of Iran along side with other Western nations Haji Mohammad
Taghie Fouladi decided to move to Tehran and he immediately realize the potential of the
transportation ability of moving passengers from cities to cities for business
or pleasure visit by the newly invented motor vehicle. So he established “Garage
Fouladi” Fouladi transportation center. He purchased his first American
Chevrolet bus and for the good blessing of his religious belief he transported
in his new bus full of passengers from Tehran to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage
and that’s how Fouladi’s family flourished with dealing with the American cars,
trucks, buses and also spare parts imported from
Grand pa Abbas used to
cruise on the street of Tehran with his brand new dark cherry color Study Backer in
his youth. In that period he was very popular and he used to be friended with
the most popular Iranian actresses and singers but he never abandoned his
entrepreneurial business spirit.
Grand pa Abbas noticed that
all the cars and trucks had six to eight pistons and each piston had multiple
rings arounded them that move the piston in the engine shafts. He only
specialized in those rings and he used to import them from the
USA and he was the one of the few business men in
Iran who had the knowledge what ring matches which piston
for which cars, trucks or buses. Those rings used to ware out by use, so this
critical part of the engine were high in demand specially the good quality made
in the USA.
Abbas Fouladi did not speak
a word of English but he had an English type writer. He knew the address of the
ring manufacturer in the USA and he had a typical English letter with blank spots.
Whenever he needed the rings he used to fill in the blanks and mailed the
requested letter with the US dollars bank drafts to the
USA and received the rings in the small packages. In a few
years he made a fortune, purchased a large property in the affluent northern
Tehran and established four homes for his four children in a
sixteen thousand square feet plot.
Now let’s talk about my
mother’s family. Her parents had four children, two boys and two girls. My
mother’s family was from small village south of the
Tehran. My grand father Taghie Rasouli married Zahrah. In his
youth he worked for the Italian contractor in a city called Zaboul of
impoverished providence of Zahedan in the border of
Pakistan and Iran. There he made some small fortune and moved with his
family from the small village to the downtown Tehran. Baba Taghie loved flowers and trees and plants. So he
got himself a job as a gardener in the city park called “Park Shar”.
Baba Taghie and Mother
Zahrah had a very modest and religious life and they bought a small house in the
southern Tehran. Their other daughter Effat married to a carrier
Iranian army officer Mr. Mahmood Enshayeian from the coastal city of
Pahlavie in the Caspian Sea, whom studied military sciences with American and
British officers in Iran and abroad. Amu (uncle) Mahmood an Iranian patriot,
intellectual and gentleman was the one who introduced a good military culture to
me is about.
Their youngest, twenty one
years old son, Hussein traveled with my mom and my brother Farmarz to visit my
mom’s sister Effat in the ancient city of Shiraz during the Persian New Year where Amu Mahmood was
stationed. On that tragically ending trip, on the way coming back our car got
involved in an accident and all of us were subjected to injury and my uncle
Hussain died. This tragic incident affects my mother’s and my grand parents’
life and my family for many years.
My grand parents from my
mother’s side had a very loving life. They visited
Mecca twice for the Hajj pilgrimage. When my grand mother had
Alzheimer and my grand father knew there was no cure for her and he saw his love
of life was disappearing day by day. Once, calmly he said good bye to every
body. He slept and past on in peace.
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