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Iran President praises endeavors, personality of American Iranologist Richard Nelson Frye


President Mohammad Khatami in a message on Friday praised the American Iranologist, Professor Richard Nelson Frye, for his hard endeavors and works in Iran studies, IRNA reported from New York.

The message, delivered by Iran's permanent Representative to the UN Mohammad-Javad Zarif at a seminar held in honor of Professor Frye at Columbia University, praised Professor Frye for his role in promotion of Iranian culture and civilization and in linking Iranian studies to a better understanding of Central Asia and Islamic world.

"Iran is geographically and historically located at a particular juncture that one cannot afford to ignore it; human knowledge about science, philosophy, art and religion in ancient times and more recent eras as well as understanding about a large part of Central Asia and the world of Islam would be impossible without proper attention to Iran and Iranian studies," read the message.

Khatami said the field of Iranian studies is not merely confined to archaeology, philology, or inquiries into Iranian religions, history, civilization or culture.

The message said whoever nurtures an interest in the historical developments of religions, scientific and philosophical ideas cannot afford to ignore Iranian culture and Iranian learning.

The message went on to say that wherever one can find a trace of Mitraism, Manichaeism, or the teachings of Zoroaster over the globe and wherever one can find a beautifully designed garden that resembles the paradise, from the heart of central Europe to the outreaches of Asia, one should be reminded of Iran, its paradise-like gardens, and its infinite bounties.

President Khatami further described Professor Frye as "among the greatest" scholars in the field of Iranian studies, adding, "He masters several Iranian languages, and has acquired enormous knowledge about ancient Iranian culture, history and archaeology."

"Over the years he has trained numerous students and enlightened vast audiences. As an accomplished linguist, at home with several European as well as Asian languages, he can well appreciate the meaning of Rumi's adage that two Turks may speak past each other whereas a Hindu and a Turk may communicate perfectly: indeed, being of the same heart is more conducive to meaningful communication than simply speaking the same language," the message read.

Concluding his message, President Khatami said that for Frye, like other great scholars of Iranian studies, Iran is a second country to which they belong.

Professor Frye and dozens of Iranian and American Iranologists were present at the seminar.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 10, 1920, Professor Frye received his BA degree in Philosophy from University of Illinois in 1939, and his MA and Ph.D in Oriental History from Harvard University in 1946.

In the meantime, he studied Persian, Arabic and Turkish at Princeton University from 1938 and 1941.

Professor Frye was a lecturer at Shiraz University in 1970-1975.

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