By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
Dr Seyed Jafar Shahidi
Dr Seyed Jafar Shahidi, the prominent Islamic historian and Persian language and literature expert who passed away in Tehran on 13th January will be remembered in London at a ceremony to be held at the Brunei Gallery, Room B111 (1st floor), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), 10 Thornhaugh St, Russell Square on Tuesday 5th February at 7.00 pm. All are welcome.
Earlier this month, in Tehran, among many lovers of literature, scholars and specialists in the Farsi language, as well as lovers of art and poetry we gathered to say our goodbyes.
Dr Shahidi was highly acclaimed and very well respected. One could tell this from the media interest and all those who gathered to pay their respects on the day of his funeral. At the three events on Wednesday 16th January, there were many journalists, photographers and film crews and at all the ceremonies, at the Dehkhoda Institute in Vali-asr Avenue, at Tehran University and the burial ground in Shahabdoulazim in Shahr-e-Rey in the south of Tehran, there were large numbers of mourners, who all felt the loss of this distinguished and hard working scholar.
Mourners at Tehran university accompanying the body
On the freeways around the city there were large posters with Dr Shahidi's portrait on them, these posters are normally reserved for very important and well known public figures. Dr Shahidi was one of the few non-government individuals to be honored this way.
After the ceremony at the Dehkhoda Institute, which started at about 9 and at which several people made speeches including the late Dr Shahidi's friend and colleague, Dr Dabir-Seyaghi, ex-president Khatami and Dr Shoukufeh Shahidi, his daughter, a convoy of ten coaches containing mourners followed the ambulance, which had a police escort.
Dr. Shoufofeh Shahidi at Dehkhoda
Dr Dabir-Seyaghi at Dehkhoda
Former President Khatami at Dehkhoda
Dr Iraj Afshar at Dehkhoda at Dehkhoda
Although some of the intersections were cleared by police, inevitably on the way down to the University there was very heavy traffic. At the University there was a short ceremony in the mosque and another one in the hall of the Literature Department. There were large portraits and banners everywhere.
It was nearly 1 p.m. by the time all the coaches left the University on the way to Shahr-e-Rey, where a message from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was read out over the loss of this great scholar.
Again there were ceremonies by the graveside, and the prayers were led by Asheikh Abdoulah Nourani. This site was chosen at his request as he wanted to be buried next to his beloved wife Mrs Alieh Saiedi-Shahidi. At the end, his eldest son Dr Hussein Shahidi, accompanied by his sister Dr Shoukufeh Shahidi and his brothers Dr Hassan Shahidi and Mohandes Mohsen Shahidi, gave a speech and thanked all those people who had attended as well as those who helped to arrange the ceremony.
On the following day there was a memorial combined with his khatm at the Hosseinieh Ershad in Shariati Ave. There were many speeches about his life and works, in particular the words of his colleague and former student Dr Sajadi who spoke of the late Dr Shahidi, his work
and his beliefs with great passion and clarity. A poem was read out
by Mr Badkoubeie which was written for the occasion. Many high ranking officials, among them Dr Moein and ex-President Khatami, Mr Haddad-Adel, the Majlis speaker, and several ministers and former ministers attended.
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