Well, birthdays are merely symbolic of how another year’s gone by and how little we’ve grown. No matter how desperate we are that someday a better self will emerge, with each flicker of the candles on the cake we know it’s not to be. That for the rest of our sad, wretched, pathetic lives, this is who we are to the bitter end. Inevitably, irrevocably. Happy birthday? No such thing.
The Azadi Tower (برج آزادی) sits at the west entrance to Tehran, Iran, and is the city’s most iconic structure. Composed of eight thousand blocks of white marble stone quarried in the Esfahan region, the tower’s construction was financed by a group of five hundred Iranian industrialists. Construction finished in 1971 to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire. Originally the structure was named Shahyad Tower (شهیاد آریامهر), meaning “Kings’ Memorial,” but was dubbed Azadi or “Freedom” (برج آزادی) after the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
The tower sits in the middle of Tehran’s famous Azadi Square, the site of many of the demonstrations leading up to the Iranian Revolution on 12 December 1979. With the rich history that surrounds it, the Azadi Tower is part of a greater cultural complex including a museum underneath the structure.