Farmanfarmayan is an
Iranian family name. Prince
Iranian prince of
Dynasty was the second son of Prince
Abdolhossein Mirza Farmanfarma and of Princess
Ezzatoddoleh, the daughter of
Mozaffaroddin Shah. He was named after his ancestor, Abbas
When in 1899, due to the intrigues of the
Shah's entourage his father was exiled to
Mesopotamia, he sent his three elder sons to
Beirut, to the College of Saint Joseph, A school administered by Jesuit fathers. At that time, Firooz was twelve years old, Abbas ten, and Mohammad Vali nine years old.
Abdolhossein Mirza Farmanfarma had progressive ideas and believed that to lead
Persia into the modern world; his children ought to study in European schools and universities as opposed to receiving a classical education. In 1903 Firooz left Beirut for the Lycee Janson de Sailly in
Paris. A year later the two young princes still in
Lebanon, set out for Europe, accompanied by a
French tutor, monsieur Andre Montadon. At a stop in
Constantinople, Mohammad Hossein, the fourth son of Farmanfarma, and a young cousin, Hossein
Gholi, joined them for the journey.
Abbas Mirza was a sensitive young man who appreciated nature and the human environment. He liked literature, the arts, photography, Italian operas, and history, though ultimately, he was destined for a military and political career. He was also fluent in English, French, and
The young princes toured a number of European countries before finally settling down. Abbas Mirza was sent to Harrow School, before training as an officer at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst,
England. He also studied at the Universite de Liege. Finally, he spent a year with the French Alpine troops (Chasseurs Alpines), before returning to Persia. On his return he wrote a book in
Persian entitled One year in the French Army (Published 1910) which was dedicated to the young king
Ahmad Shah Qajar and his war minister, Azam.
In 1911, Abbas Mirza married Zahra Soltan (
Ezzatossaltaneh), daughter of
Nezamossaltaneh. She was a young lady very much interested in the arts and a fluent French speaker. In the same year, Abbas Mirza became a member of the Persian delegation that was sent to
London for the coronation of King George the Fifth. While in London, he found a book on the diplomatic relations between Persia and
Napoleon which he then translated. The book was published in
Tehran with the title: The relationship of Napoleon and Iran.
Before the First World War, Abbas Mirza, who had been given the honorary title of Salar Lashgar (Army Chief), served as a member of the army General Headquarters in Tehran. He was the commanding officer of two battalions, the
Nahavand and the Farahan. He also held the post of governor for the
During the First World War, he was appointed Secretary of War, as part of the National Government led by his father in law, Nezamossaltaneh. The Provisional Government was allied to the Germans and the Ottomans and fought the
Russian invasion of the western areas of Persia. After
Germany's defeat, Nezamossaltaneh was exiled to Constantinople with his family, but in the post war turmoil Abbas Mirza returned to Tehran to assist his brother Firooz Mirza (Nosratoddoleh), the
Minister of Foreign Affairs, and his father Abdolhossein Mirza Farmanfarma, the then governor of the
After the war, Abbas Mirza was governor of
Kermanshah, Hamadan, and
Lorestan. For a short period as well he was the Minister of Social Affairs. He was also in the
Ministry of War, as part of a committee to reform and modernize the Persian military institutions. In the years leading to the fall of the Qajar dynasty, and after its fall, he was twice elected into the
Throughout his life, which involved war, public service, and raising a family (four daughters and two sons), Abbas Mirza maintained an active interest in photography and left a large collection of work behind. He also wrote a history of the war in Mesopotamia (1914–1918), which has been published by Siamak Books, Tehran (1386). He was struck by cancer at the age of forty five and died in
Berlin in 1935.