IBNA- Manouchehr Sotoudeh (PhD), Iranologist and geographer died on April 8 at Taleqani Hospital in Chalous, north of Iran.
Speaking to IBNA, Hamid Reza Afsari, Cultural Consultant of Professor Mahmoud Afshar Yazdi Endowments Foundation announced the news and expressed condolences to Iranian cultural and literary community over the sad demise.
The funeral ceremony of Professor Sotoudeh took place today, April 10, 2016, starting from Taleqani Hospital toward Tazehabad cemetery in Salman Shahr and he was buried next to his friend and colleague, Sadeq Kia (PhD).
Manouchehr Sotoudeh’s memorial service will also be held on Wednesday, April 14, 2016, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Center of the Persian Language.
Sotoudeh was born in Tehran on July 19, 1913. His father, Khalil, lived in Sarcheshmeh Bazar, Sadiq al-Dowleh alley of the old neighbourhoods of Tehran. His family were originally from Mazandaran, north of Iran.
His grandfather, Aqa Sheikh Musa, was from Yasel, Nour, which is a mountainous region, and came to Tehran with his cousins. Sotoudeh’s mother was from Tafresh. When his father was 25, his grandfather died and his father took charge of the family affairs. He first got a job at a confectionery store to make a living and after the establishment of the American primary school in Tehran, he became the Head Master of that school.
Sotoudeh lived in Sarcheshmeh neighborhood until he was 34. He attended the American primary school at the age of 7 and spent the six years of schooling there. While studying at Alborz High School, he also became the librarian there, and in 1934 he entered the Higher Education Institution and studied under professors like Mohammad Meshkat and Ali Akbar Shahabi. He wrote his first article in 1936 on historical and Geographic studies made on the journey to Alamut Castle.
He received his B. A. degree in Persian Language in 1938 and at the same time started teaching at the Department of Culture of Gilan, and Sharaf High School, in Tehran. In 1945, he married to Fattemeh Shamshirgaran (Shokouh Aqdas). In 1950, he worked on his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Badiozzaman Forouzanfar, titled ‘Ismaili Castles in Alborz Mountan Range’.
By the invitation of Fulbright Association, he travelled to the U. S. in 1951, and joined the National Geographic Society of America in 1952. In the year that followed, he became a member of the Iranian Studies Association, headed by Ebrahim Pourdavoud. Later on, he started learning the Pahlavi Language under Dr. Ebrahimian and published his first book titled ‘Gilaki Dictionary’ from the series of Iranian Studies publications in 1953.
In the years that followed, he made a few research trips abroad and became and instructor at Tehran University and later an assistant professor and continued his work at the College of Literature of Tehran University and became a member of the History department and finally became a professor in the year 1975. During the same period, Sotoudeh participated in important conferences on Iranology like the International Congress on Iranian History, Art and Archaeology at Oxford University and Abureihan International Congress in Pakistan. Travelling to China and Central Asia were among his other activities in early 1980’s.
Sotoudeh lived in ‘Kouye Narenj’ (Sisara), in Salman Shahr. He spent the summers in a village named ‘Koushkak Lora’ on Chalous road and the winters in another house. His house was very simple and in his bungalow he had nothing but a simple carpet and a bedding. He wasn’t interested in radio and television.