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Iranian MP requests permit to let American scholar be buried in Iran

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Ali Motahari, a member of the Iranian Parliament's Cultural Commission, has called on the government to issue a permit to allow Richard Nelson Frye, the recently deceased American scholar and expert on Iranian and Central Asian Studies, to be buried in Isfahan.

Aptly referred to as “dean of the world’s Iranists” among scholars, Richard Nelson Frye of Harvard University has researched and taught the cultural history of Iran, Central Asia and the Near East for over six decades.

Ali Motahari addressed Parliament on April 10, calling on the administration of Hassan Rohani to facilitate the burial of Frye beside the Zayandeh River, as the Iranian-studies scholar requested in his will.

Some opposition has been expressed by Iranian officials, who have referred to Frye as a U.S. spy.

Ahmad Salek, the Isfahan representative and head of Parliament's Cultural Commission, has expressed opposition to Frye's burial in Isfahan, but Motahari said the Cultural Commission is by no means unanimous in this opposition.

Frye is credited with establishing the first Iranian studies program in the U.S. at Harvard University. He passed away on March 27, 2014 in Boston at 94.


Related Article by Tehran Times:

American scholar of Iranian studies Richard N. Frye dies at 94

Professor Richard Nelson Frye, an American scholar of Iranian and Central Asian studies, and professor emeritus of Iranian studies at Harvard University, died in Boston on March 27. He was 94.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif and the Director of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) Abuzar Ebrahimi Torkaman have offered their condolences over the death of Frye, Persian media have reported.

"I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Richard Frye's death. He was a true friend and a great scholar of Iranian studies," Zarif tweeted.

Zarif went on to say that Frye's legacy will remain intact forever.

"His death deeply saddened all those who were interested in Persian studies," Torkaman said.

His research works on Persian culture and civilization and the establishment of Persian studies at Harvard University have played a major role in promoting Persian studies across the world, he added.

In his will, Frye had expressed his wish to be buried next to the Zayandehrud River in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. This request was approved by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in September 2007. Two other American Iranologists, Arthur Pope and Phyllis Ackerman, are already buried there. However, no news of his burial in Isfahan has been reported by the media as yet.

Moreover, in 2007, Ahmadinejad donated a house in Isfahan to Frye. The house was to be converted into a museum after the death of the professor.

Appropriately referred to as "dean of the world's Iranologists" by other scholars, Frye has researched and taught the cultural history of Iran, Central Asia and the Near East for over six decades.

Frye's affection for Iran and the Iranian people grew with his scholarly interest in the region. He had traveled to Iran several times.

A prolific traveler, he resided long periods abroad, knew ancient languages, spoke Persian, Turkish, Russian, German, French and several other contemporary languages.

His books have been translated into many languages and continue to be reprinted. His library (25,000 items) is housed at Boston University.

Related Articles:

Professor Richard N. Frye dies at 94

Aga Khan Professor of Iranian Studies Emeritus founded Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies -Beth Giudicessi, Harvard Correspondent

Uniting Iran and America in life and death: a tribute to Professor Richard N. Frye

Many have tried to unite humanity through their life. Rare is the person who consciously seeks to bring unity through his/her death. Special is the human being who looks at death as yet another chance to bring humanity together. -Omid Safi, RNS


... Payvand News - 04/11/14 ... --

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