Ali Reza Pahlavi, the second son of the former late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, committed suicide at his home in Boston early on Tuesday morning.
According to the Boston Police Department, Pahlavi was found dead of a "self-inflicted gunshot wound." He is survived by his mother Farah Diba, brother Reza, sister Farahnaz and half-sister Shahnaz. His younger sister Leila died of a drug overdose in 2001.
Pahlavi, 44, was a mere child on the brink of adolescence at the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. He since devoted much of his life to studying the country -- and culture -- he was unable to remain physically connected to by virtue of his birth.
He had a Ph.D. from Harvard University where he studied at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.
He could fill his head, but not his heart. Like many of his generation, including myself, he was left holding only a memory of home, with the added pain of never being able to return safely to his homeland.
According to Islam, suicide is considered a grievous sin, perhaps, in the end, he paid the steepest price... or was he a martyr, a sacrifice for a lost generation?
Below is the official statement posted on Reza Pahlavi's website:
With Immense Grief That We Would Like to Inform Our Compatriots of the Passing Away of Prince Alireza Pahlavi
RezaPahlavi.org | Jan 4
It is with immense grief that we would like to inform our compatriots of the passing away of Prince Alireza Pahlavi.
Like millions of young Iranians, he too was deeply disturbed by all the ills fallen upon his beloved homeland, as well as carrying the burden of losing a father and a sister in his young life.
Although he struggled for years to overcome his sorrow, he finally succumbed, and during the night of the 4th of January 2011, in his Boston residence, took his own life, plunging his family and friends into great sorrow.
Once again, we are joined with mothers, father and relatives of so many victims of these dark times for our country.
[Signed:] Reza Pahlavi, Farah Pahlavi, Farahnaz Pahlavi, Yasmine Pahlavi, Noor Pahlavi, Iman Pahlavi and Farah Pahlavi