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Shah (Persian: شاه) is a Persian word which means the king or ruler of a country. This word is used in different countries in the world, including Iran, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Presently the term "Shah" is used as a surname commonly by many people in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan who are Hindu, Moslem and Jain. Many Indian names which have Shah in them; the most famous of them is Shah Jahan, who as the Emperor of India ordered the creation of Taj Mahal. One possible etymology of the chess term checkmate is the Persian shah mat, meaning "the king cannot escape"[1]

The term "Shah" is also widely known to mean the male monarch (or king) of Iran, during the long-lasting Iranian monarchy. The Iranian monarchy was overthrown in 1951, and a country headed by a Prime Minister with a parliamentary legislative body, the Majlis, was established. Mohammad Mossadeq was the Prime Minister. However, in 1953, the US launched a coup, replacing Mossadeq with the Shah, who was in Rome.[2]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Definition and origins of Checkmate
  2. Kinzer, Stephen. "Iran's Rage". Smithsonian Magazine. Published October 2008, Volume 39, Number 7.