The Jamshidi School in Jafarabad village of Ashkezar city is being renovated with the good intentions of Gohar Namiranian, named after her late sister, Manizheh Namiranian, to give life and strength to this national cultural heritage, a remembrance of ancestors and predecessors.
Through time, Zoroastrians have been taught to build, maintain and develop their village, town and country. Despite all the hardships that they had to go through they have generously endeavored to build schools for the benefit of all Iranians. One of these historical buildings in our holy land is Jafarabad School in Jafarabad village near Majumard in Ashkezar city, at the corner of Mehr Izad alley next to the big and old cypress of this village. It was built with the generous contribution of Jamshid Bahram Jamshidi, on a 900 m lot. It was inaugurated on October 1, 1941. It was named Jafarabad primary school and was functioning for 23 years, until 1964. The principal and teacher at this school was Avesta Keykhosrow Shirmardi; the school admitted both Zoroastrian and Muslim children. As the students of those days have described, the school had one large classroom for summer and two small classrooms for winter, and a room between the two classrooms for the principal and teacher. From the first to the fourth grade of the primary school, all students studied in the same room. In this educational environment, everything, including stationery and milk was provided free for the students.
In an interview with Amordad, the benevolent Gohar Namiranian, who has undertaken renovation of this cultural heritage, told the history of this school. It is known that the inhabitants of this village moved to the cities due to drought, and thus the village became deserted. In 1343, no students were in Jafarabad, and the school was closed. Over time, the school fell into disrepair. Its door, window, and brick floor were stolen and destroyed.
Namiranian said that Jafarabad School has been registered in the list of national monuments of Iran and added: “nearly four years ago, the cultural heritage organization tried to rebuild the hall’s roof, which was damaged, and did not do anything else. Until Khordad 1401, when my sister Manizheh Namiranian came to Jafarabad from Canada and was a guest for three days, and on 10 Khurdad 1401, she had a stroke and died. With the help of relatives, the third day prayers were held in Jafarabad School, which was in ruins. In the ceremony I announced that in memory of my sister, I am going to restore and revive this building, to be used by all fellow Zoroastrians, because Jafarabad fire temple is small, and it will be better to hold ceremonies and celebrations in Jafarabad School.”
She thanked Kourosh Azargoshasbi, deputy chair of Tehran Zoroastrian Anjuman, and Sassan Niknam, head of the endowments commission of Tehran Anjuman, who visited the reconstruction process of the school, last week, and further gave a report of the work that has been done and whatever is remaining to be done: “Roughly, the brick paving of the yard And around the building, water piping, kitchen, toilet, and bathroom (only the walls and ceiling have been built), wiring has been done, but other works such as plastering and thatching, and piping are unfinished. She said that the budget allocated for reconstruction have been exhausted. However, she will go on trying and hopes that with the help of benevolent Zoroastrians, rebuilding the school will be completed.
This interview took place in the last days of the year, before Nowrooz, in which she recalled memories of Nowrooz in the 40s and 50s, when on the first day of Nowrooz the students of the school would each bring for their teacher, Avesta Keykhosrow, a pomegranate with a coin stuck in it, as New Year gift, and the teacher would entertain the kids and also give them pencils and notebooks (with the multiplication table printed on the cover). Mrs Keykhosrow would give each of the kids a packet of nuts.
Such a cultural heritage undoubtedly needs funds to restore it. As our forefathers always thought about the flourishing and growth of our society, with their good deeds, we should also honor their good deeds by taking the next steps on this path. We should remember that such places belong to all of us plus future generations. (Dear Goli, I’m sorry that I cannot edit this part of Mirza Sorush. He had very generous funds given on regular basis by donors from India, and if he wanted to spend all of it, he could have done much more. The children in the boarding school of Marker were half starving always).
The last four photos are images of the Jafarabad fire temple, which was recently restored by the efforts of the Yazd Zoroastrian Association and the help of donors. The fire of the fire temple is always burning with the help of a priest who comes to the village from Yazd.