Iranians meet in Cairo for the return of monarchy

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Quiet sobs echo through the atrium of the Al-Rifai Mosque in Cairo, where rows of seated mourners are surrounded by wreathes of white flowers. Women dab their heavily made-up eyes, while men stare solemnly ahead.

As the streets of Tehran demand freedom, a different group of Iranians gathered in Cairo last week to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the death of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Iranian monarch deposed by the 1979 Islamic revolution. The Shah was granted refuge in Egypt by President Anwar Sadat and died in Cairo soon after.

Approximately 65 members of the Iranian diaspora, dressed in various shades of designer-label black, have been coming to Cairo from all over the world, some for as many as 29 consecutive years, to pay their respects. They visit Sadat's tomb, the final resting place of the Shah in the Al-Rifai Mosque, and then hold a reception in his memory, led by Empress Farah Pahlavi, the late shah's third wife.

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