A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Politics of Interment: Iran Debates Richard Frye's Request to Be Buried There

When the great Harvard scholar of Iranian history and culture Richard N. Frye died recently at the age of 94, many obituaries noted his often-expressed desire to be buried in Iran, in Isfahan. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had reportedly supported the idea, but now as if honoring Frye's will has hit a snag: hardliners are opposing it, with Kayhan allegedly calling him as "CIA Agent."

Scholars are urging the will be honored, but Dushanbe in Tajikistan has already reportedly offered to bury Frye there if Iran refuses.

Richard N. Frye probably did more than any other person, through his own books and teaching and those of the generations of scholars he trained, to instil a love of Iranian culture in the West. Iran has an opportunity to return the favor.


Marjan Soroosh said...

What bullshit! What gives Frye a right to ask for a Mausoleum in the historic city of Isfahan!! Would any renaissance scholar or Italian history aficionado be allowed to build a mausoleum for himself in the city of Florence??? If Frye was so keen on being close to Iran after his death, if there is any meaning in that, he could have asked for his ashes to be scattered in any corner of it!!! I am sure no one would object to that, even Iranian hardliners! The man clearly was a self-centred pompous ---, like most academicians!

Michael Collins Dunn said...

I disagree, for one thing, Ahmadinejad agreed and told him he was welcome.lot of people have been buried in countries they loved.