Khosrow Shakeri Zand (1938-2015)
It is with a great deal of heartbreak that I announce the passing of Khosrow Shakeri, a tremendously gifted scholar, historian and author, and my very good friend. He died from complications from a stroke in a hospital in Paris on June 28th after being ill for a long time.
Mr. Shakeri founded Mazdak Publishing in 1960, which he used to publish many books on the contemporary history of Iran, particularly on the history and the movement of the left. Over time, he published a series of historical documents on Iran’s 20th century, 23 volumes in Persian and 10 in European languages.
He utilized his historical expertise to teach courses at a number of very distinguished academic institutions, including Harvard, De Paul (Chicago), UCLA, and the Sorbonne, where he garnered his doctorate degree in history in February 1980. Along with his scholarly work, he was also a dedicated activist for human rights.
In May of 2014, he was among the many distinguished Iranian guests at a Paris screening of my documentary Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist. While I highly valued the reaction of all who attended, I was particularly eager to hear his opinion. I will never forget the passion and vast knowledge he exhibited in the detailed discussions we had at various meetings in Boston, New York, and, more recently, in Paris. On every trip to Paris, I eagerly spent most of my time with him in different cafés and restaurants. Many of our recent conversations were centered on his illness, and the way it ate into his time, affecting his unfinished books. He also spent a lot of time encouraging me to finish my film The Life and Legacy of Mohammad Mossadegh. He was working with me as a writer/consultant on this project, which is currently in post-production, and the accompanying book, a collection of official documents and speeches by Mossadegh related to his time as Prime Minister of Iran. Both are scheduled to be released in the near future. Khosrow’s contribution to this long-gestating project was invaluable, as was his friendship. He will be sorely missed by all, particularly his fellow Iranians in our native land and around the world engaged in the struggle for the recognition of human rights. My condolences to all who loved him, his family, and particularly to his brother Ail Shakeri Zand.
New York, July first, 2015