About a hundred years ago, under the presidency of Prince Nosrat-Saltaneh, uncle of Soltan Ahmad Shah, and Prince Yamin-ed-Dowleh, son of Nasser-ed-Din Shah Qajar, an association was formed in Tehran under the name “Kanoun-e Khanevadegui-e Ghajar.” Its first meeting place was on Shah Reza avenue in Tehran. It was dissolved two years after its founding for political and other reasons, only to be restored later and reinvigorated by the support of many of the members of the larger Qajar family. The new presidency of the association was, at that time, in the presence of over one hundred representatives of the major princely families, formally transferred by Prince Yamin-ed-Dowleh to Prince Abolfazl Azod “Azod-al-Soltan,” son of Mozaffar-ed-Din Shah. Four years later, in 1950 (1330 solar), the first plenary assembly was called and a board of directors was chosen at that occasion. The association continued to be active for many years after that, reputedly also under the direction of Mass’oud Mirza Salour, but then ceased to function in Iran, again for political and other reasons.
In the 1990s several members of the larger Qajar family got together and decided to revive the “Kanoun”. Some of these attempts were made in tandem but independent of each other and without knowledge of concurrent efforts by fellow family members. In 1999-2000, the founding members of this association, the Qajar Family Association (QFA) met and decided to pursue the matter in earnest. Under the honorary presidency of Prince Soltan Ali Mirza Kadjar, grand-son of Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar and Head of the Imperial Qajar House, this reconstituted association came to life. It held its first formal meeting in 2001 in Leiden, Holland, with about fifty members of the larger Qajar family present, presided over by its honorary president Soltan Ali Mirza Kadjar. (See pictures of this first Family Gathering by clicking here.)
In the spring of 2002, a document was forwarded to Manoutchehr Mirza Eskandari-Qajar, by Soltan Ali Mirza Kadjar, published by our cousin Prince Reza Djahansouz, member of the board of directors of the original “Kanoun”, which detailed not only the above history of that association but also clarified many points on the origins of the Qajars, both in the ruling line and of the larger tribe. The original emblem of the “Kanoun” was a house formed by the Persian letters “Ghajar,” from which rose a plume of smoke. (To see this emblem, please click here.) In a conversation with our cousin, Kamran Amirghahari (Kamrani-Qajar), a comment was made about the original emblem of the Kanoun. As an original participant in the Kanoun in Tehran, he had asked Prince Yamin-ed-Dowleh the meaning of this emblem. The answer was “az kondeh-ash hanouz doud boland mishavad” (“Its fire has not died down, there is still smoke coming from its hearth.”)
In view of the existence of this document and the precedence of the renewed formation of the Qajar Family Association (QFA), it was decided to rename the Qajar Family Association (QFA), in Persian, from “Anjoman-e Khanevadegui-e Ghajar” to “Kanoun-e Khanevadegui-e Ghajar,” to indicate the continuity of the old Kanoun with the new reconstituted one.
In the Summer of 2002, at the second international meeting of the Qajar Family Association, a meeting was held for the members of the family present to express their common hopes for this reconstituted Qajar Family Association and to clarify certain issues for all its members, the entire Qajar family. In his remarks to the members of the family present, Soltan Ali Mirza Kadjar, the Honorary President of the Association, at the request of its revival founder, Manoutchehr Mirza Eskandari-Qajar (Kadjar), made the following remarks, for which we wish to express our immense gratitude:
“To our cousins and members of the family present, and to those who are not here today with us, let me say that we now have again a Family Association, which is reconstituted to bring the members of our family together, in order that we may renew our ties and celebrate with each other. Though there may be many gatherings of Qajars around the world, and even some that may call themselves gatherings of a Qajar Association of one kind or another, let us understand that there is only one official Association called the Qajar Family Association, and that this present Association is that association and no other. Wherever Qajars gather around the globe, let those gatherings be considered kindred gatherings of branches or satellites of this Association and let us all support the valuable work that this Association has done so far, and continues to do, in our name and for all of us.”
Hoping that this indeed be the spirit of the reconstituted Kanoun, may the flame that warms the hearth of this Family never extinguish.