By Sohrab Ahmari

Unable to restore a shrine with a prominent Star of David in Iran, a U.S. organization and an Iranian-American architect are reviving the site online.

There is quite possibly only one Star of David on Earth visible from space. Coordinates: 34.797924 N, 48.512927 E. Location: Hamadan, Iran.

Until just over a year ago, the Islamic Republic had hosted a second star: Israeli engineers commissioned by the shah in the 1970s to construct Iran Air headquarters in Tehran put an unmistakable Magen David on the roof of the airport building. But the discovery of the symbol by a Google Earth user in November 2010 scandalized the mullahs. An Iranian news site reproached Tehran’s municipal authorities for failing to remove “this Zionist star symbol, 32 years after the success of the revolution.”

More recent Google Earth images show that the airport star is now covered by black concrete. But the other Star of David—the one remaining in the western Iranian city of Hamadan—attests to millennia of shared Persian-Jewish history.

The problem is that the shrine that houses the prominent star has fallen into disrepair at the hands of the local government, and last year anti-Jewish mobs rallied at the shrine, calling for its demolition. In the absence of a Jewish community capable of defending it, a U.S. organization called Diarna (Judeo-Arabic for “Our Homes”) has decided the only option is to restore the site—virtually.


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