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Photographer's Note

Eastern gate of Dar al-Funun (or Daarolfonoon as pronunced in Persian), Naser Khosrow Ave, Tehran.
Dar al-Funun (Polythechnic school), established in 1851 was the first modern institution of higher learning in Persian empire. Founded by Amir Kabir, then the royal chancellor to Nasereddin Shah, the king of Iran, Dar al-Funun originally was conceived as a polytechnic to train upper-class Persian youth in Medicine, Engineering, Military Science, and Geology. It was similar in scope and purpose to American land grant colleges like Purdue University and Texas A&M. Like them, it developed and expanded its mission over the next hundred years, eventually becoming the University of Tehran. The institute was planned by the British educated Mirza Reza Mohandes, and built by the architect Muhammad Taghi-khan-e Memar-Bashi under the supervision of the Qajarian prince, Bahram Mirza. Facilities such as an assembly hall, a theatre, library, cafe, and a publishing house were built for the institute.
Many parts of the institute were later integrated to the newly establishing Tehran University at the Reza Shah Pahlavi era. The "Faculty of Medicine" for example, was particularly the successor to the Dar al-Funun Department of Medicine, established in 1851, which had become the School of Medicine in 1919.
The elite school was training 287 students by 1889, and had graduated 1100 students by 1891. During this time, the faculty consisted of 16 Iranian, and 26 European professors.
The school worked worked until the revolution of 1979 and then it was closed for a while. The reopening was not a good news at all as it was not a high school any more and it was changed into a college to train teachers. This continued until 1996 and then the place was closed for ever. The government is claiming to change this nostalgic place into a museum for mora than 10 yeasr but it has not happened yet. So many famous iranian politicians and VIPs had studied in this place; some of them are as follows:
Ali Amini, former Prime Minister of Mohammad Reza shah Pahlavi.
Ali-Akbar Dāvar, former Minister of Justice and holder of other Cabinet posts.
Ebrahim Hakimi, former Deputy, Cabinet Minister and Prime Minister.
Fereydoon Moshiri, poet.
Jalal Al-e Ahmad, author and social critic.
Manouchehr Eqbal, former Prime Minister.
Mohammad-Ali Foroughi Zoka-ol-Molk, former Prime Minister and Ambassador.
Sadeq Hedayat, writer.

ورودي دارالفنون، خيابان ناصر خسرو، تهران

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