Hossein Ziai: tribute


Hossein Ziai: tribute
by Tabarzin

On August 24 2011, a great intellectual light of the Iranian community passed away. Professor Hossein Ziai was professor of Islamic and Iranian Studies, Inaugural holder of the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies and the director of Iranian Studies at UCLA, where he had taught since 1988. He received his Ph.D. in Islamic Philosophy from Harvard University in 1976. Prior to his position at UCLA, Dr. Ziai taught at Tehran University, Sharif University, Harvard University, Brown University, and Oberlin College. Dr. Ziai published widely on topics that include: Islamic philosophy; the Iranian Illuminationist School of philosophy and the impact of philosophy on Persian literature, where “Persian Poetic Wisdom” is defined in relation to the epistemology of knowledge by presence. Dr. Ziai is survived by his wife Mahasti, his son Dadali, his daughter-in-law Stephanie and his granddaughters Malia and Acacia.

Hamid Dabashi made this tribute to Professor Ziai on his facebook a few hours ago: "Hossein Ziai was a world authority on the philosophy of Shahab ad-Din Yahya ibn Habash Suhrawardī and his Illuminationist School of Philosophy. He was one of the finest philosophical minds of our time, and deeply committed to the cause of democracy in his homeland. He was an ardent supporter of the Green Movement in Iran, and wrote some of the most moving pieces in Jaras in support of democratic uprising in Iran. His unwavering moral voice will be sorely missed."

From 2009

UCLA Panel on post Iranian Election 2009


more from Tabarzin

A man of conscience

by Tabarzin on

I vividly remember one of
the conversations Hossein and I had together in his office in 1996 about the immediate
post-revolutionary period in Iran and how some academics at Tehran
University were being harassed, some even arrested, one prominent one even
disappeared. When Professor Ali-Morad Davudi was arrested and then
disappeared, Hossein Ziai, at great personal risk to himself, organized
the faculty to formally protest the action. The actual fate of Davudi
was never fully ascertained but most probably he was executed and buried in a
mass grave. Hossein left Iran not too long after this when Khomeini
began his "cultural revolution" inside the universities.

He was a gentleman and a great scholar, and he will be sorely, sorely missed. 

Maryam Hojjat

Condolences to Iranians

by Maryam Hojjat on

We have lost a Great Iranian intellectual.  How sad for IRAN & Iranians.

Nazy Kaviani

A great loss...

by Nazy Kaviani on

I had the honor of meeting him at the International Society of Iranian Studies Conference in 2010. What a great loss for Iran and Iran lovers all around the world. I wish his family, his friends, and his students patience and serenity in dealing with the loss. So sad.


Terrible news

by Mammad on

Iran lost a great son.



 He was my professor at

by vildemose on

 He was my professor at UCLA when I took Persia Lit at UCLA. We studied  moosh v gorbeh by Obeid Zakani.. Rip dear professor.


"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

Azarin Sadegh

R.I.P. Professor Ziai...

by Azarin Sadegh on

This is such a sad news.

R.I.P Professor!

My deepest condolences to his family...Azarin



by Tabarzin on

If it's not too much trouble, could you please align and straighten the lines of my two paragraphs. I can't do it on this end for some reason. Thanks.