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How a simple Soviet girl won the heart of an Iranian millionaire, and then escaped from the harem: Klavdia Rybina
How a simple Soviet girl won the heart of an Iranian millionaire, and then escaped from the harem: Klavdia Rybina

It seems that she herself did not fully understand why she succumbed to momentary feelings and agreed to go to Iran along with a person whom she had known for only a few hours. Surely, it seemed to Claudia Rybina that a magical oriental fairy tale was coming to life in her life. But the reality was not fabulous at all. And soon the girl had to flee from the harem, risking to pay with her own life for disobeying her master.

Accidental acquaintance

A still from the film "Holidays in a Harem"

In 1928, in Nizhny Novgorod, a company was sitting at the Volga restaurant: two girls and two boys, when two men of eastern appearance entered. One was clearly behaving like a boss. They were seated at the best table, offered a menu, and he, having made an order, began to look around. Claudia immediately caught his attention. The young, beautiful girl laughed fervently and was incredibly good-looking.

Miruzhan decided to invite the beauty to dance, and after that he offered to take a walk around the city. Young people slowly walked along the embankment, and Miruzhan was able to deftly get Claudia to talk, who did not even begin to hide that she lives alone, behind her was already an unsuccessful experience of family life and a tragic love story, and the guys with whom she was in the restaurant - it's just friends.

Then Miruzhan decided to invite Claudia to go with him to Iran as his bride. And he said: At seven o'clock in the evening of the next day, his ship will leave the pier. Claudia did not sleep all night. She suddenly realized that nothing keeps her in Nizhny Novgorod, and her new acquaintance is so handsome and rich … In the morning she climbed the ladder of a ship sailing to Iran.

Broken dreams

A still from the film "Holidays in a Harem"

Miruzhan was waiting for her: the ship was sparkling with cleanliness, flowers were fragrant in vases, and in the cabin where Claudia was supposed to live with her new acquaintance, a stack of books was waiting for her, so that she would not get bored on the way. At that moment, life seemed to her absolutely wonderful. Miruzhan was caring and attentive, already in the first days he began to give her jewelry of stunning beauty, and the team members fulfilled all her desires. Including Omar, the manager, who was with Miruzhan at the restaurant that fateful evening. True, Omar looked at Claudia in a strange way, but she did not even think about it.

Only a day before arriving in Iran, Miruzhan decided to have a serious conversation with Claudia. He told the girl that he already had wives, children and a harem of forty concubines. Claudia was in an unpleasant shock. She had nowhere to run, and Miruzhan prudently took the documents.

A still from the film "Holidays in a Harem"

Claudia was smart and sensible. She decided, without arousing suspicion, to immediately begin to prepare for the escape. She was not deceived by the words of her “husband” that she would be his beloved woman. Miruzhan told her, first of all, to make friends with his mother, Leyla-khanum, who is in charge of his house.

Claudia coped with this task perfectly. She behaved with restraint and naturalness, demonstrated obedience and good manners. The girl was determined to continue to maintain the favor of her master until she had the opportunity to escape from her golden cage.

The escape

A still from the film "Holidays in a Harem"

Soon, from the girl who served her, Klavdia learned the story of the former "beloved woman", whom Miruzhan suspected of falling in love with a musician who played in the palace.The girl was severely beaten, breaking her legs, and then taken away from the palace and, according to rumors, returned to her parents' house. Claudia was shocked and realized that it was better not to annoy the gentleman.

She tried her best. As Miruzhan told her, she did not try to weave intrigues, did not arrange scenes of jealousy for him and was always friendly and disposed towards her husband. True, the “beloved woman” firmly decided not to allow pregnancy, and therefore used lemon juice as a contraceptive.

A still from the film "Holidays in a Harem"

Miruzhan wanted her to give birth to him a child, and therefore more than once expressed claims to Claudia because of all the pregnancy that did not come. Once the girl could not stand it and still answered him: why does Miruzhan still have children, of whom he already has too many ?!

From that day on, she began to carefully prepare for her escape. She set aside the money allocated to her for books, studied the map of the city and even began to feed the dog that guarded the gate. When, on Miruzhan's birthday, the palace was full of guests, and he himself bragged to his friends about his new wife, this time brought from Greece, Claudia slipped out through the gate in the backyard, through which food was usually delivered to the palace.

Miraculous salvation

A still from the film "Holidays in a Harem"

Claudia knew that salvation must be sought in a hotel where foreigners usually stay. True, she had no idea how she could move in without documents, but she was lucky. At the hotel she met a couple of Englishmen with a small daughter and was able to explain her situation to them. The British put the girl in a room under the guise of their baby's nanny and under the name Mary Smith. And Iranian newspapers were already full of announcements about the escape of the girl, for whose capture they promised a very solid reward.

Claudia was able to get to the Russian embassy, ​​where she was received and promised to be sent home, only six months later, so that the scandal had settled by that time. For six months she was to work as an assistant in a hospital.

Dzhaarbekov Ashot Nikolaevich at the USSR Embassy in Tehran, 1930s (at his car, with the daughter of an embassy employee)

In the hospital, she met Ashot. He was originally from Armenia and brought food for the sick in his car. Young people fell in love with each other and soon decided to register their marriage. They stayed to work in Tehran for some time.

By the way, two years later, Miruzhan still found out where his fugitive was and even gave her a note in which he said that he would not take revenge on her and wished him happiness with her new chosen one. And the boy who handed over the note said that two years after the escape of Klavdia Miruzhan had changed, returned to the house the girl he had once ordered to be beaten, and even made her his third wife.

Claudia Rybina (right) and her sister Lydia

Claudia was happy with Ashot. When the son and daughter were already growing up in the family, the Great Patriotic War began. Ashot went to the front, from where he never returned. He died on April 30, 1945 near Dresden. Later, Claudia Rybina remarried and once again became a mother. She died of lung cancer in 1991.

Harem, derived from the Arabic word "haram" meaning "sacred" or "forbidden", was part of the legendary patriarchy, who firmly believed that a woman was created for pleasure and that she can and should be used exclusively to satisfy her own needs.

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