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Flowers of the Past – Seeds for the Future

Yesterday at work I got an e-mail from my previous superior that an old Iranian collegue of mine had just died. I had been working for seven years with him, while I was head of an inter-cultural psycho-social counseling centre for migrants and refugees. It has been closed some years ago due to financial reasons.
While writing a note to some of the old team members, in my thoughts the image of my Iranian collegue came up again. He was a very fine “gentleman”, with a stupendous knowledge about Islam and Iran. He was an archeologist by profession and had done field work during his youth in Afghanistan and later married a Swiss. At the end of the 80ies he had renounced his job at the Historical Museum of Berne in order to help Iranian refugees. We had been publishing together a series of information texts on Islamic culture and problems of refugees. He was doing crisis interventions with social workers in divorce, violence and generational conflicts. He gave me a deep understanding of the cultural and individual backgrounds of the cases and of the great Iranian past. We had been struggling together with running farsi on the PC or with his overcoming of his barriers towards the electronic communication.
In the 90ies, when Iran opened up again he had been travelling there each year for some weeks and also was engaged in help work during earthquake rescue. The world where he was coming from was deeply strange and at the same time familiar to me. All these concepts of honour and purity, of religious politics and extended tribal family systems were irritating and opened new vistas of understanding.
We spoke a lot about the origins of our cultures and their influence onto present living, especially adaptation problems of people coming from one world into another. He was a border-crosser between the worlds. He has chosen a good time for his soul’s way to the other world – in the Iranian New Year, Now Ruz, beginning with Aries, in the ascending part of the year and of the moon.
Though this was not his belief system, but: May the flowers of this life carry for him precious seeds for the future.

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