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Eprime Eshaq at his office, Oxford Institute of Economics and Statistics

Biography: Eprime Eshag
6 November 1918 -- 24 November1998

ByEbrahim Golestan
December 21, 1998
The Iranian

Eprime was a few months old when his father took the family - wife and two sons - and escaped to Russia from Iran following the massacres of the Assyrians by the neighbouring Turks. They returned to their village in Iran in 1926 when the country was pacified and protected by the forceful new ruler, Reza Shah.

The boy Eprime had already learned Russian. He had his elementary education in Urmia and finished secondary school in Tehran, coming out first amongst the capital's students sitting for the baccalaureate exams. One of his teachers in Tehran, who had high and keen regards for him, was Dr Taghi Arani , who was soon to be arrested and later murdered in jail, for being a Marxist.

Eprime had was selected from amongst 600 students for a scholarship by the National Bank to study accounting in England. He arrived in London on December 1936. Parallel to accounting, he also enrolled at London University as an external student in Economics for which he got a B.Sc. with honours in 1942, and soon after he passed his final examination of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and was awarded the Walter Knox Scholarship and a Certificate of Merit.

But then due to restrictions during World War II, he was unable to return to Iran. He enrolled at the London School of Economics, which at the time had gone to Cambridge. When transportation became available after the war, he returned to Tehran. Four years later he came back to Cambridge and continued his research and studies, got his PhD on the Monetary Theory of the Cambridge School of Economics. Almost immediately he was offered the position of the Economics Affairs Officer at the United Nations in New York.

When he left the U.N. he came to Oxford and was chosen as Fellow and Tutor in Economics at Wadham. Throughout his Oxford years and until his death he continued with his travels, acting as visiting professor at Buenos Aires and Canberra, with field works in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Phillipines, and as Consultant to various banks in Iran, including The Bank of Industrial Development. He also was appointed as a Senior Consultant to the U.N. Director General early in the 1980's in preparation of the North/South Dialogue.

He retired from Wadham in 1986 but kept his connection with the work at the Institute in Oxford. His works include many articles and books, including "From Marshall to Keynes," an extended rewriting of his PhD thesis, "Present Systems of Trade and Payment Versus Full Employment" and "Fiscal and Monetary Policies," with their translations in various languages, including Chinese and Japanese. He has also composed some musical pieces to be sung in his own Assyrian languag

He was fluent in Persian, Turkish, Russian, English and Spanish with good command of Armenian and French.

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Photo provided by Linda Eshag.


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