By Hooshang Amirahmadi
The news of the passing of Iranian sociologist Ehsan Naraghi saddens me deeply, as a great mind and character for Iran was lost. I wish to take this moment not only to express my sorrow but also to convey my condolences to his family, friends, relatives, and the intellectual community.
I was personally fortunate to have known and worked with the late Naraghi in Iran, France, and elsewhere. In 1998, he participated in a UNESCO meeting I helped organize in Paris in which we brought together a former American captive in Tehran and his Iranian captor during the hostage crisis. We also worked together on creating dialogue between cultures including a conference on political Islam and the West held in Cyprus.
Aside from our organized interactions, I had a friendly relationship with Dr. Naraghi, and would visit him on most of my trips to Tehran to learn from his wisdom. His realism and practical approach to Iran were not only shared by me but have also been conceptualized in many of our writings. His life, books, and speeches always demonstrated a man firm in his realistic approach, one who welcomed criticism without wavering from his core beliefs. Now that he is no longer among us, it is our responsibility to keep his views alive and propagate his realism and pragmatism.
I had on many occasions discussed my intentions and objectives with him, and always found him supportive and encouraging. I was hoping to enlist his support for my Presidential campaign in June 2013, which is very much in line with his principles. I am saddened that it is no longer possible. Finally, I hope to pay tribute to this humble man with a deep sense of humanity and love for Iran, particularly its youth, by following and implementing his sage advice.