By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
Payvand.com - Mimi is a dear lady whom I have known and respected mostly from afar for many years. She is a true Iranian lady and even more of a Tehrani girl than me. So I was surprised when I got her call during one of those deadly traffic jams in Tehran, asking for a meeting. We met at the Bayan Salis language school, where she told me the story of a most wonderful philanthropist and educator.
I had been to Bayan Salis before when its bookshop first opened a couple of years ago and I did an article about it. I was most upset to learn that Dr Hamid Reza Talakoub, the founder of Bayan Salis had passed away some months ago and the reason that I was invited there was to learn about what he had done with his many years as a true educator and his extensive and hopefully everlasting hope for education in foreign languages which without a doubt opens the doors of knowledge and the world in the mind of the students and thus enhances their lives and the lives of their communities and the country at large.
The late Dr Hamid Reza Talakoub
After the passing of some months, all the staff still were saddened and had tears in their eyes when they spoke of him and his devotion to his work, his simple life and long and the hard working hours that he kept. He set high standards that they truly try to maintain in honor of his memory and achievements.
Dr Talakoub was a Harvard graduate and came from a distinguished family. His love for his beloved mother had him come back to Tehran and stay with her until his death in March. He started Bayan Salis 25 years ago and his utmost ambition was to make it the best place to learn a foreign language, in particular English, in Iran and when we ask many of the school's past or present students they are all agreed that it is hard work being there but it is worth it! At the same time he was scrupulous with regard to the standard of teaching he set for the educators there and he was famous for being tough and uncompromising when it came to teaching standards. At the same time he made sure that the teaching staff were all well looked after. Most of the staff are women and from what I have seen and heard they all admired and respected him exceptionally.
He learned that he was ill less than five years ago and despite the treatment that he received here and in Europe he did not overcome the disease and eventually the tumor took him before he could fight it off completely. However one thing he did in his last months of his stay among us was to donate his entire fortune to the well being of students at public universities, under the trusteeship of the Khajeh Nasir Toosi Technical University. The endowment which is a very substantial amount, running into hundreds of thousand of dollars annually will first enable the university to build a girls dormitory so that girls who pass the concours (university entrance exam) and get into any good public university to study science will be well sheltered and looked after and can devote their attentions to their studies. The beneficiary students will be chosen by the board of the each of the universities.
If this isn't love for one's country I do not know what is, and I although I did not meet him before he left this earth for a higher place up in the skies, I feel that I know him too well as a true humanitarian and a wonderful philanthropist who was in love with his country.
Khajeh Nasir Toosi University was established in 1929 and has six faculties of sciences and engineering. Like many other technical experts in Iran, Dr Talakoub realized that what we need here in Iran today are technical and scientific skills and he devoted his life towards this much needed goal. I have no doubt many of our children will benefit from his will and aspirations for many years to come. May his soul be in peace and blessed up in the heavens.
The Bayan Salis Language School and International Bookstore
No. 4 Salar Street. Mahmoodieh, and Valiasr Avenue.
Tel. 22665986 & 22666209
... Payvand News - 01/04/10 ... --