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Nakhosteen poetry
Bitter-sweet impression of the West

Ali Parsa
August 13, 2004

We can be out of Iran and still have Iran within us. This is especially true of those of us who have spent our formative years in Iran. The reality is that Diaspora is nothing new. Leaving one's homeland for greener pasture probably had its beginning in nomadic life when the shepherds went, and are still going, after greener pasture. We, in today's world, leave our homelands for more reasons, among which are education, freedom, money, family reasons and the like.

Many, if not all of us, are not bothered by being away from home. This is especially true about those with universalist inclination that is least affected by geographic location. Iranians throughout history have served humanity in every continent just as they are doing now. Perhaps the greatest of these men is Rumi who left Iran, Persia of that time, for Turkey where the situation was more conducive to continuation of his productive life. He became so great that each of the two countries vie for his 'ownership'!

Several years ago I came across a great man of more recent times quite accidentally. My daughter in San Francisco, who knows I like history and Persian literature aside from my natural sciences field, found a book titled Kolliateh Mehdi Nakhosteen (Collected Works of Mehdi Nakhosteen) in pile of used books. See samples below

She paid fifty cents for the book, but for me it proved to be a priceless treasure of fine work in the areas of philosophy, education, poetry, humanities. I especially liked his treatment of cross cultural problems, his bitter-sweet impression of the West that I found so timeless and soothing as I go through the same cycle.

This great man was born in Iran in 1905. He went to grammar school in Iraq and Turkey and attended Alborz HIgh School-my almamater. He had his higher education at Wooster, Cornell, and Colombia universities and became a professor in University of Colorado where he taught for 36 years with honors and distinction before dying in 1980.

Nakhosteen has a total of 18 books both in English and Farsi in the area of education, religion and philosophy of education in the East and West . His works includes translation of Omar Khayyam Robaiiat into English a sample of which will appear here. I consider myself lucky to have been touched by the writings of this great man and I hope that you will feel the same.

I like to share with you some excerpts from his English and Farsi work.

[khayyam translation]

Ali A. Parsa, Ph.D. Colorado State University, former faculty member of College of Agriculture, University of Shiraz in Iran, and retired Soil Scientist from United States Depatment of the Interior. One of his publications, Rediscovery of Hakim Omar Khayyam is listed with He welcomes feedbacks at

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By Ali Parsa



Book of the day

Three volume box set of the Persian Book of Kings
Translated by Dick Davis

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