‘Healing Simurgh’ Logo Adopted as Symbol of Persian Medicine
The ‘healing simurgh’ currently serves as the symbol of medicine in Iran. Designed by graphic designer Touraj Saberivand, the logo was approved by the supreme board of the Islamic Republic of Iran Medical Council (IRIMC) in November 2013 as the official emblem of the Physicians Guild of Iran, replacing the caduceus.
The name is inspired by the simurgh, a mythical flying creature from Persian folklore to which healing capacities have been attributed in the Shahnameh (the Persian “Book of Kings”), the national epic of Iran written by the famous 11th-century poet, Ferdowsi.
The design was initially introduced in the summer of 2013 by the IRIMC’s vice president, Mahmoud Fazel. It was subsequently developed and debated upon by a group made up of key figures from Iran’s cultural and scientific community, including literary scholar Jalal al-Din Kazzazi; author and director of the Society for the Appreciation of Cultural works and Dignitaries, Mehdi Mohaghegh; President of Iran’s Medical Council, Alireza Zali; biologist and member of UNESCO’s Scientific Board of the International Basic Sciences Programme, Professor Nasrin Moazzemi; and sustainable development activist and the CEO of Iran’s Sustainable Development Strategy Group, Ali Javadi Pouya.
“The previous sign was considered to be primarily focused on physical health. However, in the works of the prominent Iranian scholar and one of the precursors of medicine in the world, Avicenna, there is a more comprehensive understanding of health. He claims that health is the ‘disposition of human body with respect to its temperament and structure such that all of [its] actions [or functions] proceed from it in a sound and unimpaired way.’ Thus the board argued that the healing simurgh can better represent the Iranian historical concept of health,” explains Saberivand.
The logo was also issued as a postage stamp by the Islamic Republic of Iran Post Company.