— Madhaa'in Proverb
14 June 1998 - ?: Zuhr Fahimeh Bezhaad
? - 14 July 2001: Her Royal Highness Princess Zuhr Fahimeh bint Ghazi Al Shams
14 July 2001 - 17 August 2018: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Zuhr Fahimeh bint Ghazi Al Shams, Heiress Apparent
17 August 2018 - *present*: Her Majesty Emirah Zuhr Fahimeh bint Ghazi Al Shams, Ruler of the Emirate
17 August 2018 - *present*: Her Majesty Shaykhah Zuhr Fahimeh bint Ghazi Al Shams, Guide of the Al Subh
Collar of the Order of Independence
- حكومة المَدْحَاء | أميرة
GOVERNMENT OF AL MADHAA | THE EMIRAH °
Born in St Mary's Hospital, London, as the first and only child of the then Crown Prince of Al Madhaa,
The Emirah is considered to be the first verifiable ethnically Jewish monarch of the country, a result of the matrilineal descent rule in Judaism, as her mother, an Iranian Jew, converted to Islam after she was born.
1. Early Life
1.1 Father's Accession to the Throne
1.2 Heiress Apparent
2.1 Relationship with Rashid Al Fasih
3.1 Accession and Coronation
3.1.1 Kabul Bombing and Response
3.2 Riot in ?
4 Life in Eritei
3.2 World War 2
3.3 Cold War Era
3.4 21st Century
6 Public Image
7 Private Life
7.1 Personal Trivia
8 Politics and Religion
8.1 For & Against
9 Titles, Styles, Honours, and Arms
9.3 Honourary Military Positions
Zuhr bint Ghazi was born Zuhr Fahimeh Bezhaad on Tuesday, 14 July 1998, at St Mary's Hospital, London, as the only child of Ghazi bin Qadar Al Shams, then Crown Prince of Al Madhaa, and Reza Bezhaad, a mixed-race Iranian-Bahraini musician from Manama. At the time, Reza was living in England as a student at Oxford University, while Ghazi lived in London, England, assigned to the city as the Madhaa'in chargé d'affaires to the United Kingdom following the sudden death of the ambassador. Introduced by a mutual friend, the two dated on and off for about two years prior to her birth. Reza temporarily relocated to London in June of 1997, and began renting a flat there just outside of Belgravia, a move that prompted much speculation about the nature of their relationship. When the Emirate assigned a new ambassador to the embassy, Ghazi returned to Gu'la while Reza completed her studies in Oxford—however, Reza was already pregnant, and, in the fall of that same year, she informed the Crown Prince that she was expecting his child. A highly publicized scandal ensued, during which Reza's place of residence and modes of transportation were stalked by paparazzi, leading to false reports that she had decided to end the pregnancy and making it necessary to release a public statement refuting the claim. Blacklash was swift, considering the fact that the death of Princess Diana had only just occurred that August, and after Reza hinted at the possibility of a civil suit most paparazzi coverage ceased. The scandal, unfortunately, did not end there; audio from numerous phone calls were released, ultimately revealing that his father—the then Emir Qadar bin Hadan Al Shams—had counciled him to deny that he was the father of the child and even threatened to strip him of all titles if he did not remove himself from the relationship. Further details revealed that Qadar had begun to arrange a marriage for Ghazi about a year before the death of the ambassador, and that the two had had many arguments before concerning his choice of romantic partners.
Supporters of the Emir, many influential, insisted that he had only acted out of love for his son and regard for the Emirate's reputation, but the damage was done. Ghazi, infuriated, swore off all foreseeable contact and immediately flew back to England to stay with Reza, much to the chagrin of the royal family. Their daughter, Zuhr, was born several months later, after the couple had relocated once again to London.
When Qadar passed away six months after the child's birth, the royal family, including Mahnoor al Jahd and Faizal bin Qadar—Ghazi's mother and younger brother respectively—summoned the Majlis and declared an emergency meeting to discuss who would ascend to the throne. Since neither Ghazi nor Qadar had made any attempt to speak to each other before the latter's death, it was assumed that, for all intents and purposes, Ghazi had been stripped of his titles and the right to the Emirate had passed to his brother. This had not been confirmed, however, and so the meeting was convened with the goal of assigning an heir in the time period of three days or less. If no agreement could be met, the Majlis would jointly rule the Emirate until a decision was made, upon which it would step back and allow the heir complete control of the government.
During the second day of proceedings, it was discovered that though Qadar had spoken about disinheriting his son to several of his confidantes, after the birth of his granddaughter it seemed he had begun to reconsider his decision, and internal sources, including that of his wife, confirmed that he had not removed Ghazi's name from his will nor notified the Majlis of Faizal's expected assignment to the position of Crown Prince. After a vote was called, in which each member was asked to take into consideration the state of the relationship between the father and son as well as the most likely last wishes of the late Emir, the Crown Prince retained his position by a two-thirds majority, cementing his place in the annals of Madhaa'in history and paving the way for his coronation.
Ghazi ascended to the throne and became Emir of Al Madhaa, marrying Reza in a private ceremony the same day, a move that surprised all but those closest to the new ruler and therefore informed about his family life. Zuhr then became HRH Zuhr Fahimeh bint Ghazi Al Shams, as she was legitimized upon her parents' union. There was some discussion about whether the royal family would request that "Bezhaad" would cease to function as Zuhr's last name—officially, it was removed and replaced by her father's—but up until 2018 any documents that had to do with the Princess were signed as Zuhr Bezhaad, or, in less formal situations, simply as Zuhr.
On 14 July 2001, at the age of three, Zuhr was officially named the Crown Princess and heiress apparent to the throne. It represented a break from the tradition of agnatic primogeniture, as all heirs had previously been male descendents of the Emir—or, if there were no descendents, male relatives, such as a brother or cousin—and one that now placed her uncle below her in the line of succession, also assuring that any future children that the Emir would have would be above him as well. According to some, Faizal was not informed of the decision until the day of, with still others suggesting secession or, at best, a coup, would be a likely outcome once Zuhr was of age. Still, the royal family insisted that all parties knew what was required of them and that all had agreed to cooperate. Rumours persisted, however, and several members of the Majlis (particularly those that had voted against the now Emir) maintained that by pushing Faizal aside for his daughter, Ghazi was disregarding the precedent set before him in the Emirate's history and, by his doing so, threatening the safety of its citizens.
That fall, just before the academic year resumed and, in her first trip to Europe while acting in her official capacity, she traveled to the city-state of Monaco with her mother, Reza, the two meeting with Prince Albert II and his wife, Princess Charlene. While in Monaco, she is reported to have been able to speak a smattering of Italian to several foreign nationals, as well as converse fluently in French with the sovereign—a flurry of media activity occurred when she briefly crossed the border towards the end of the trip, stopping in the neighboring French town of Beausoleil before taking a train to attend mosque services in Nice. All further diplomatic trips by the Crown Princess, however, were postponed until late spring of 2017, when she graduated from Cambridge as a first-class honours student.
In June of that same year, Zuhr traveled to Seoul, South Korea, to study at Yonsei University as part of her postgraduate program that began in September. Before attending, she studied at the university's Korean Language Institute during the summer term, and in August met the president and then prime minister, Moon Jae-in and Lee Nak-yon, during a diplomatic visit to the Blue House acting as the Crown Princess. Though she was originally scheduled to complete her studies in late June of 2019, her ability to sit for first-year finals was threatened after the death of her father following a brain aneurysm in August of 2018. She was accommodated by Yonsei, however, and after completing her finals she returned home for the official state funeral, followed by a private ceremony at the royal mosque. The next year, while serving as the de jure, but yet uncrowned, Emirah of Al Madhaa, she was able to graduate in August with a Master of Arts specializing in Korean Literature and Language.
During the latter portion of her time at Cambridge, Zuhr briefly befriended Rashid Al Fasih, the son of a Saudi businessman who was studying Law, and it was thought by some that the two were about to begin a romantic, albeit private relationship with each other. The rumours were quickly quelled, however, as he was several years older than her—the Crown Princess had just turned eighteen when they met about a month prior—and both were uninterested in marriage at the time. The two kept in contact after he graduated, and stayed close friends up until his death in an accident in December of 2019, when his private helicopter crashed off of the southern coast of Greece. The incident received international coverage, and although the Hellenic Coast Guard were able to recover his body, as well as that of the pilot's, many questioned the time it took to locate and recover the wreckage along with the bodies. Perhaps partly fueled by the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi a little over a year prior (see section entitled Politics below), allegations included claims that, despite being founded on truth, pointed to the Coast Guard's failure to begin the search until the following morning—12 hours after the last distress call was reported to have been received—as evidence of gross negligence on the part of the Greek government. Officials cited less than ideal conditions and especially rough surf for the delay, but evidence was revealed during the preliminary investigation that further suggested the helicopter may have been sabotaged before takeoff by mechanics, who were supposed to be conducting a mandatory preflight inspection. Critics also used the somewhat cordial, if not close, friendship between Rashid and Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, as a possible motive for the mechanics' actions, despite the fact that said actions had not been proven.Rashid's father, Hadir Al Fasih, urged the public to wait until the results of the entire investigation, not just preliminaries, were released before coming to their own conclusions, describing his son's "love for peace and wish for unity among all of humanity" and suggesting that those ideals extended to include those whose "alleged negligence may have played a role in his death." The process continued to drag on, however, and it was not until March of 2021 that an official cause for the accident was established by the Hellenic Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board, or AAIASB: mechanical failure of both engines, with no mention of sabotage or expectation of charges against the mechanics being filed in the Greek court. Autopsies on both men were completed much sooner, however, allowing for the burial of each according to respective beliefs.
Hadir invited Zuhr to the funeral services, held in January of 2020, as an acknowledgement of her role and influence in his son's life; the two of them, it seems, would talk frequently, sometimes for several hours, and many in Rashid's family regarded her as his closest confidante. The Emirah was unable to attend, but sent her condolences. As a token of appreciation and reportedly according to the last wishes of his son, Hadir delivered Rashid's copy of the Qur'an to the Madhaa'in embassy in Riyadh, with the promise that during her as yet unscheduled pilgrimage to Mecca she would come to retrieve it.
On 17 August 2018, at 12:45 p.m., the Emir collapsed during a private meeting with several members of the Majlis. He was immediately taken to the Al Shafi Hospital emergency ward after initial attempts to revive him were unsuccessful—results from a spinal tap later revealed that an aneurysm in his brain had ruptured, causing a subarachnoid hemorrhage, and doctors determined that even if he had revived the brain damage caused by the extensive bleeding would have been irreversible. The Emir was declared dead at 1:47 p.m., approximately a little over an hour after first arriving, and the then Crown Princess was informed half an hour later via phone call.
The Emirah became the first female ruler of the country in its unified state since the colonial era, when Elizabeth II served as the head of the United Kingdom and the British Residency of the Persian Gulf by default.
A little over a month before the Emirah's coronation, in Kabul, Afghanistan on 17 August 2019—coincidentally exactly one year after the late Emir's passing—a suicide bomber detonated his vest during a wedding attended by a mixed group of Shi'ites and Sunnis, killing at least 92 people and injuring over 140. Though still in South Korea preparing for the graduation ceremony, her communications office, located in the Emirate, immediately put out a personal statement drafted by Zuhr. In it, she expressed her condolences for the victims and her belief that "such violence was unnecessary and uncalled for, especially when perpetrated against an Islamic minority, and must be condemned by the fullest extent of the law."
In late January of 2020, Zuhr traveled to Japan to meet with the Imperial Family, including Emperor Naruhito, and then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe—she was reported to have held a private meeting with the then Princess Mako, the Emperor's niece, and dined with Aiko, Princess Toshi, the Emperor's only child.
Many have described the Emirah as something of a multiculturalist—since the reign of her grandfather, effectively known as the Qadari era, ?
Unlike her predecessors, the Emirah is active on social media, with personally operated and verified accounts—her regular monthly Lives on the popular Instagram platform reach upwards of 100,000 viewers, with young Madhaa'ins taking the opportunity to question the leader of their country as to its future.
?, Zuhr has one tattoo, located just under her upper rib, as the word sabr, or patience, written in the Nastaliq script. In addition, she keeps a thin, gold bracelet with the word ya'aburnee—a traditional Arabic endearment that literally means "you bury me"—in her father's handwriting, and a ring purchased by Park In-tae during her time in Seoul, as well as a necklace that Rashid gave her several months before his death.
On her mother's side, Zuhr claims Persian and Bahrainian heritage, while on her father's she claims the old blood of Al Madhaa and heritage of the Subh and Najih tribes, the former tribe from which she inherited the title Shaykhah upon her ascent to the throne.
The Emirah is close friends with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, whom she met during her diplomatic visit as Crown Princess in 2014. The Emirah has referred to the Crown Prince over the years as her "elder brother and confidante," he being sixteen years her senior, and, since early 2020, the two have been described as having a bond "not unlike Her Majesty's previous with [the younger, Rashid] Al Fasih;" with Al Fasih being a mutual friend of the two and having passed in December of the previous year, they are thought to have become closer as a result of his loss. She congratulated the Crown Prince during a private phone call in May of 2021, when it was announced that he had welcomed twins, a son named Rashid and a daughter named Shaikha, with his wife and cousin, Sheikha Shaikha bint Saeed bin Thani Al Maktoum—many have speculated that his son was likely not only named after the Crown Prince's brother (Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum) and grandfather (Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum) but in memory of Al Fasih as well.
Much has been made about the Emirah's supposed lack of longterm, committed romantic relationships, despite her relatively young age—as aforementioned, she was briefly connected to Rashid Al Fasih, before being spotted with both an unamed party and South Korean actor, model, singer-songwriter and classical pianist Park In-tae during her postgraduate studies in Seoul. The latter crossed paths with her at a local restaurant in late February of 2018, and the two were further introduced to each other by Park's half-brother, South Korean architect Kim Sung-wook, who also happened to be a fellow Yonsei student. The couple, though mostly a private pair, created some controversy upon going public, with multiple sources reporting on the fact that Park was a practicing Christian while Zuhr was a devout Muslim. Her decision to continue the relationship until her departure—possibly leaving an opening for any further developments in the event of her return—also invited intense scrutiny; according to some, both the Emirah's mother and the late Emir himself were at first concerned about the status of her relationship, with similarities being drawn between Zuhr's choices and that of her father's, while Park's mother was rumored to have hesitated several times before eventually agreeing to meet her at a family gathering. Still, neither of them attempted to interfere, either physically or otherwise, a move that was seen on the Emirah's side as being in stark contrast to her grandfather's approach some twenty years or so earlier.
Upon the Emirah's return to the Emirate in 2019, Park enlisted in the Navy as part of South Korea's mandatory military service program and was assigned to the Jinhae, Changwon base for training; he remained stationed there throughout the remainder of his service. While there, however, Park's mother passed away after a four year struggle with breast cancer, which had then recurred and eventually metastasized to her bones. The event devastated Park, as he was closest to his mother out of both his parents, and he immediately petitioned for emergency leave to attend her funeral. His request was granted, and in early February of 2020 he traveled back to Seoul for the ceremony, only weeks before all South Korean military bases went into lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He returned to Jinhae on 13 February 2020, and was promptly tested for COVID-19; the base shut down eight days later. Despite this, Park was described as an "exemplary soldier" during the pandemic by the Military Manpower Association, ranking among the highest in his unit—the 1st Special Missions Battalion of the Republic of Korea Navy Special Warfare Flotilla—and was discharged from the Navy as a Byeongjang, or leading seaman (though the Korean Navy's equivalent would be that of a sargeant, rather than that of a corporal), in May of 2021. It was rumored that Park had become involved with Korean-American Sun Yun-mi, principal dancer at the Korea National Ballet, shortly after his return, but as of October 2021 no such relationship had been confirmed. On 18 November 2021, Zuhr returned to the country in November for her first diplomatic—albeit downscaled—dinner at the Blue House acting as Emirah of Al Madhaa, three days before the scheduled event. She was met at the airport by both the Madhaa'in ambassador to Korea, Rayyan Ayad, and Park, notably without Sun. (It was later revealed that he and Sun were mutual friends before his enlistment, and that he had introduced her to his older brother—the two had begun dating in July of 2021 as a result, several months prior to the Emirah's visit.)
Park was then seen escorting the Emirah to the hotel that evening, and during the dinner on 21 November 2021 was also reported to have attended as her guest. Heavy media coverage, therefore, was present outside of the venue, and searches for the relationship status of both parties spiked on Naver after a Dispatch reporter claimed to have overheard the actor refer to the Emirah as "So-hee," her Korean name given to her by a friend during her studies in the country, while speaking to another guest. Both names have to do with "light" or "radiance," and the hanja used (炤曦) were selected, in part, because of the meaning of her Arabic one. The rest of the industry quickly followed suit, and by the next morning newspapers were flooded with headlines, prompting both Park's agency and the Emirah's communications office to put out separate general statements in hopes of dampening public speculation around the couple—the statements notably, however, did not address the exact state of their apparently rekindled romance, instead indirectly leaving it to the two to release their own personal statements through various means.
The Emirah returned to the Emirate on the 30th, and upon her arrival Park seemed to acknowledge—in an interview with Esquire Korea that was nearly leaked to the press before its official publication date—that there was some truth to the rumors, although saying only that he and "[Zuhr, referred to here once again as So-hee] ... get along well with each other". He also addressed further rumors of him settling down sometime in the near future, explaining that it was partly the wish of his late mother, who had passed away during his military service. On the 12th of December, almost a week after the interview was published, the Emirah posted a picture on her personal Instagram account that her photographer had taken of the two of them attending the 21 November dinner—the post had no caption, but many took it as a corroboration of Park's account and noted that she had resumed wearing the ring he had given to her during her residence in Seoul.
Emirah of Al Madhaa
The Emirah's administration is currently described as the most diverse in Al Madhaa's history—as of 2021, over half of the Majlis is made up of women, including the Prime Minister & Speaker, Nahdi Saqqaf, and two-thirds of them self-identify as Muslim, Christian, or Jewish.
Unlike her father, who identified as Sunni, and her mother, a convert to Islam who was raised—as aforementioned—an Iranian Jew, the Emirah has avoided leaning to one side or the other when it comes to issues dealing with sects and schools of thought in Islam, choosing instead to identify as a non-denominational Muslim. As a result, many of her critics, including those from both of the main Islamic sects, have called her a Quranist, although there is no explicit evidence to support their claims.
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Golshifteh Farahani has no business being this beautiful
very rarely does the voice of a faceclaim line up with the voice of the OC in my head but this is one of those times and holy sh*t is it
just listen to her
*sobs in bisexual*
i am out here attacking myself with my choice of faceclaims and i could care less