Kinsman of open horizons
Professor Stepan Alexian
By Mohammad Sadri
September 16, 2003
Call to me,
Your voice is
Your voice is the green essence of
that strange plant
in the depth of the sincerity of
A few months ago one of my most beloved professors
died. Dr. Stepan Alexanian, professor of oral embryology, histology
and pathology, was my professor at Shahid Beheshti (Melli) University's
of Dentistry in the late 80's. Besides being a phenomenal teacher
of science, Dr. Alexanian taught us to be kind and honest; to demand
rather than command; to be humble as well as polite.
(and numerous other cohorts) knew him, by his mild and disciplined
demeanor in class. He would open every session
by these words: "Well, dear children, in
("Khob bache-haaye aziz, beh naame-e khodaa...")
We were amused
he would greet us before uttering
the name of God. His lectures were extremely well organized.
With those words of introduction we would loose consciousness of
and other concerns of our lives and sail through his lectures.
Alexanian would end most lectures with these words: "Well
dear children, it's time for me to take my morning tea..." But
before, during, and after his morning tea, and long after we graduated
he would listen to our questions and problems and guide us.
Those who knew him, could not help loving him. In this way
he was like Jesus, whom he loved and emulated. The death of
Dr. Alexanian made me very sad. For consolation
I sought refuge in a poem by Sohrab Sepehri -- that my brother
Ahmad Sadri translated into English in remembrance of one of his
Joseph Yea, 1970-2001.
He was great
And a native of these days
And a kinsman of all open horizons.
And the undertones of water
and earth, he understood these well.
Was shaped like the scattered sadness of reality.
Underlined the pulse of the elements.
Leafed through the clear air of generosity
And sent a swarm of kindness swimming
He was shaped like his own solitude
And he made mirrors understand
All the lovely curves of his loneliest moments.
He was full of the
freshness of repetition
Just like rain.
He opened up in the sanctuary of light
Just like a tree.
He always beckoned the boyhood of the wind.
He always fastened the string of conversation
To a latch of water…
… But it was not to be
That he continue to sit facing
The lucidity of the doves.
He went and laid down
Behind the patience of the lights
And he did not think
How lonely he left us
To bite into an apple
In the confusion of naming so many doors.
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