Portrait of Dowlatshah by Princess Mahin Dowlatshahi-Firouz
|Born||1 January 1789
|Died||22 November 1821
Mada'in, Ottoman Iraq (now Iraq)
|Father||Fath-Ali Shah Qajar|
|Mother||Ziba Chehr Khanoum|
Mohammad Ali Mirza Dowlatshah (4 January 1789 – 22 November 1821, Al-Mada'in, Ottoman Iraq) was a famous Persian Prince of the Qajar Dynasty. He is also the progenitor of the Dowlatshahi Family of Persia. He was born at Nava, in Mazandaran, a Caspian province in the north of Iran. He was the first son of Fath-Ali Shah, the second Qajar king of Persia, and Ziba Chehr Khanoum, a Georgian slave girl of the Tsikarashvili family. He was also the elder brother (by seven months) of Abbas Mirza. Dowlatshah was the governor of Fars at age 9, Qazvin and Gilan at age 11, Khuzestan and Lorestan at age 16, and Kermanshah at age 19.
In the battles with Russia and Persia's arch rival, the Ottoman Empire, he defeated the Ottomans in Baghdad and Basra, and crushed the Russians in Yerevan and Tbilisi. Dowlatshah developed and improved the city of Kermanshah and established the city of Dowlat-Abad which was renamed to Malayer.
Dowlatshah had 10 sons. His descendants live in different countries in the world and carry the last names دولتشاهی (Persian spelling), Dowlatshahi (English spelling), Dolatshahi (Latin spelling) and Doulatshahi (French spelling).
Though older than his brother Abbas Mirza, Mohammad Ali Mirza Dowlatash was never heir to the Persian throne, because his mother was not of the royal dynasty. However, his father Fath-Ali Shah appointed Dowlatshah to rule and protect the boundaries of the two Iraqs (a name given to western states of Iran) and also adjoined Khuzestan province to his territories. In fact, during Dowlatshah's time, Kermanshah had become a citadel against the Ottomans.
Dowlatshah carried the last, and initially very successful, attack on the Ottoman Iraq in 1821. Persia was resentful of the inability of the Ottoman government to protect the Shia population of Iraq against the Saudi-Wahhabi attacks that had begun in 1801. Many of the Shias killed in the raids were Iranians, some of whom closely related to the ruling Qajar dynasty of Persia. His forces quickly occupied Shahrazur and Kirkuk, and laid siege to Baghdad.
His skills and ambitions mirrored those of his younger brother. He was a great military leader and a patron of the arts, poetry and philosophy. The origin of the family names "Dowlatshah," "Dowlatshahi," and close variations such as "Dolatshahi" are from this ancestor's title.
Dowlatshah has been greatly respected among the people of Kermanshah (Persian People, Kurds, Lors and Laks), mainly because of his contributions such as Dowlatshah mosque (مسجد دولتشاه) His mosque is located in the Javanshir Square of Kermanshah and was built in the years 1820–1822 AD. In recent years this mosque has been repaired. It consists of separate nocturnal areas along with a courtyard.
Governor of Kermanshah
The city of Kermanshah is located in the center of the province and has a temperate climate. It is one of the ancient cities of Iran and it is said that Tahmores Divband, a mythical ruler of the Pishdadian, had constructed it. Some attribute its constructions to Bahram Sassanid. During the reign of Qobad I and Anushirvan Sassanid, Kermanshah was at the peak of its glory. But in the Arab attack suffered great damage. Concurrent with the Afghan attack and the fall of Esfahan, Kermanshah was destroyed due to the Ottoman invasion. But from the beginning of the 11th century AH it began to flourish.
In order to prevent a probable aggression of the Zangeneh tribe and due to its proximity with the Ottoman Empire, the Safavid ruler paid great attention to this city. But in the Zandieh period upheavals increased, whereas during the Qajar era, Ottoman attacks reduced. Mohammad Ali Mirza in 1221 AH was seated in Kermanshah in order to prevent Ottoman aggression, and Khuzestan also came under his realm. An epigraph of Mohammad Ali Mirza in Taq-e-Bostan has been remained as a relic.
Turkish-Persian War (1820–1823)
The regime of Crown Prince Abbas Mirza launched an attack on Ottoman Turkey under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Mirza Dowlatshah. The war was sparked by Turkish aid to Azerbaijani rebels in Persia. The rebels had fled from Persia and were given refuge by the Ottomans. The war opened with a Persian invasion of Turkey in the Lake Van region, and a counter-invasion by the Ottoman Pasha of Baghdad (Iraq belonged to the Ottoman Empire), who invaded western Persia. This invasion force was driven back across the border, but Dowlatshah's newly modernized army of 30,000 troops defeated 50,000 Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Erzurum near Lake Van in 1821. A peace treaty in 1823 ended the war with no changes to their mutual border.
Mohammad Ali Mirza Dowlatshah had 12 daughters and 10 sons.
- Prince Mohammad Hossein Mirza (1808–1835), governor of Kermanshah from 1821 to 1834
- Prince Tahmasp Mirza (1809–1877), governor of Kermanshah from 1877 to 1877
- Prince Nasrollah Mirza Vali
- Prince Assadollah Mirza
- Prince Fathollah Mirza
- Prince Emam Qoli Mirza (1814–1875), governor of Kermanshah from 1834 to 1875.
- Prince Nour-ol-Dahr Mirza
- Prince Jahangir Mirza
- Prince Mohammad Rahim Mirza
- Prince Abol Hossein Mirza
- Princess Jasmine Dowlatshahi
Government positions held
- Governor of Fars 1797–1799
- Governor of Gilan and Qazvin 1799–1804
- Governor of Khuzestan and Lorestan 1804–1807
- Governor of Kermanshah 1807–1821