In 1842, Queen Victoria of England gave a camera to the 11-year-old heir to the Persian throne. The young heir fell in love with the magical gift. In the following decades he documented his life, revealing to the public eye, what it was never supposed to see.

From his early days Shah Qajar loved to take photos from his childhood. Photography became one of his many passions. When he came to power he decided to create the world’s first official photo studio at his court.

In the 1870s, another photographer from Russia Anton Sevryugin opened a workshop in Tehran. Sevryugin became an official photographer to the Persian court. He made a photographic record of Persia in which he could take pictures of the Shah himself, as well as his relatives, courtesans and servants.

Shah Qajar reserved for himself the right to photograph the harem, in which historians believe he had approximately 100 concubines. It is known that he developed the photos in a darkroom at the court and kept them in large albums in the Golestan palace, which is now a museum.

Naser al-Din Shah Qajar

Naser Al-Din Shah Qajar and the photographer Sevryugin before a photoshoot.

The main entrance to the palace of Gulistan.

What makes these photos extraordinary is that Shia custom of the time forbade taking photograph of peoples’ faces, especially the women. But only the most powerful man in the country could afford to break this custom.

The incomparable Anis al-Doleh was the Shah’s favourite wife. (On the right)

Plumpness was one of the main criteria of beauty.

Young concubine with a hookah.

These photographs of women contradict the conventional depiction of the life in a harem.
The Shah’s wives look quite up to date for their time, and they gaze calmly into the lens, without coquettishness or servility.

Anis al-Doleh, known as the Shah’s soulmate.

The incomparable Anis al-Doleh (sitting).

The harem at a picnic.

Naser al-Din Shah Qajar with some of his wives.

Naser al-Din Shah Qajar with some of his wives.

The inhabitants of the harem didn’t suffer from skinniness.

Historians claim that in the Golestan collection there are even nudes, but they have been well hidden.

Ladies from the harem in ‘shaliteh’ skirts.

In many photos the concubines are pictured in short, opulently decorated skirts called ‘shaliteh’, similar to ballet tutus.

In 1873 Naser al-Din travelled to Saint Petersburg on the invitation of Russian Tsar Alexander II. While there, he visited the ballet. According to rumor, he was so charmed by the Russian dancers, that he had his women dressed in similar skirts. Of course, the concubines could only remove their Muslim dress for the camera.

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Here are a bunch of famous, successful, or otherwise notable people and their weird sleeping habits.

Charles Dickens

He slept north to improve his creativity. He wrote facing north as well and believed that sleeping this way heightened his creativity. People that know about feng shui know NOT to sleep to the south, that the east is always the best way to face. And north? It’s the second best. And for Dicken’s, if sleeping facing north helped influence his creativity, than north it was. Especially because he supposedly suffered from insomnia.

Nikola Tesla

Two to three hours of sleep a night, that was it. Tesla says that he got more out of the day thanks to his limited sleep schedule. Tesla followed what is known as the Uberman sleep cycle in which you are to never sleep for more than two hours a day. It was once reported that he worked for 84 hours in a lab without any rest or sleep. “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success … Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything,” Tesla said.

Marissa Mayer

But can you catch up on sleep? Those who have studied it vary in their opinions. According to some, yes, you can catch up on sleep. Others say, “Nope,” once it’s gone. According to Yahoo’s CEO, she doesn’t sleep much. She is too busy working, sometimes clocking in as many as 130 hours into a work week. So when does she sleep? Well, she said she recharges every four months by taking week long vacations and sleeping. Well, we hope you get some sleep Mayer, you need it!

Leonardo da Vinci

Tesla isn’t the only one who tried out the Uberman sleep cycle, da Vinci subscribed to this style as well. Da Vinci preferred a more extreme version which was taking a 20-minute nap every four hours. Well this albeit weird sleep schedule may have given the artist/inventor/scientist more awake time during his days, it would have made it hard to work on and complete long-term projects.

Stephen King

According to King himself, “I brush my teeth, I wash my hands. Why would anybody wash their hands before they go to bed? I don’t know. And the pillows are supposed to be pointed a certain way. The open side of the pillowcase is supposed to be pointed in toward the other side of the bed. I don’t know why.” This is how he slept, what he liked, and how he liked it.


Weird, ghetto, and a little off, Eminem’s sleep style doesn’t really surprise me at all. Well others use dark shades on their windows to keep out the light, Eminem uses tin foil on his windows to get a better sleep. Conventional? No. But does it work? It would seem so. He is also a fan of white noise coming from the speakers and the telly (HA, has he suddenly become English now, too?) This routine helps him sleep better no matter which time zone he is in.

Matt Mullenweg

This American entrepreneur and web developer is also a follower of the Uberman sleeping method. Mullenweg made his fortune by creating the popular internet blogging platform, WordPress. He sleeps in 40 minute increments each, about six times per day.  That leaves just a short two and a half hours of awake time between each napping period. Other people swear by this but it would be hard to follow this way of sleeping, and hard to get anything done. Just saying.

Donald Trump

AKA our president. On a typical night it is said that Trump only sleeps three to four hours, and sometimes as little as 90 minutes. After waking up between 6:00 and 6:30 AM, Trump reads through a stack of newspaper clippings about himself. According to a source, most of the time Trump doesn’t even read through the pages, he just likes to look at his name in print. But anyhow, can we talk about his coloring? Something is weird, something is off, and the man just doesn’t look right, (or good.) Maybe he needs a new sleep schedule and a new morning routine.

Arianna Huffington

As an advocate for getting a good night’s sleep these days, Huffington turns her bedroom into a “slumber palace.” Before bed, she turns off her electronics, including her phone, and charges them outside of her bedroom. She takes a hot bath infused with Epsom Salt and lavender oil, to help calm her after the stress of the day. Huffington sleeps in only garments that are meant for sleeping in, in example, no worn out boxer shorts here. And to lull her to sleep, she reads poetry and philosophy

Winston Churchill

Churchill took a two hour nap everyday. The prime minister would have a weak wiskey and soda before his 5 PM nap time. According to him, he could get one and a half days worth of work done every 24 hours with this short siesta. He was known for working through the night and being a night owl. Because of his odd sleep schedule, he would hold War Cabinet meetings in his bath.

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Quite recently in Egypt, a second sphinx was discovered. When engineers and other crew were digging, they stumbled upon a lion’s body with a human head. It is believed that the solar deity Sekhmet was a lioness. This is why a lion was used as representation on the statue. The digging project, was originally intended to expand and fix a road…until an ancient Egyptian Sphinx was soon discovered.

Mohamed Abel Aziz, who is the the Director General of Antiquities, mentioned this structure has not yet been removed from the ground. The road project is on hold, until this large structure can be excavated from the soil properly.

The location has already been opened up to the public to visit, according to Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani. This area is well known for The Great Sphinx of Giza. It is one of the world’s biggest wonders ever. Giza is also believed to be an entryway to hidden labyrinth tunnels.

Who knows just how large this second sphinx will be, until it has been completely excavated. The Great Sphinx of Giza, is one of the world’s largest single-stone statues.made from limestone. It is impressive at almost every level.

From what is known, ancient Egyptians highly regarded the sphinx as a symbol of royalty. Typically, pharaohs would have their heads carved into stone that was later placed on top of their tombs.

The Luxor and Karnak temples are in the ancient city of Thebes. These temples are from 1400 BCE. Excavations of the Luxor temple began back in 1884, when archaeologists found many discoveries which were monumental. The excavation of the site, continued up until the year 1960.

A number of archaeologists believe that each sphinx, may well be sitting on top of a series of tunnels and secret passages. These very tunnels, might lead to an underground metropolis. It is also thought that this place is quite massive. One can only imagine, just how magnificent this place might be.

After this second sphinx location has been completely excavated, there are many wondering what might be found. Will this change history itself and where we originated from? Many things have been destroyed or hidden for ages. Why must mankind be left in the dark about what really happened? More answers to these questions remain. It will only be a matter of time before the truth of things comes out.

How long it will take them to dig this sphinx out is unknown. Hopefully things will not be destroyed in the process, as we search for answers.

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