Thursday, October 06, 2016

R.K. Ramazani died

Ruhi (as he was widely known, partly because he didn't want to use the same first name of Ayatullah Khumayni) Ramazani of the University of Virginia has died.  He is one the last surviving old-timers of Middle East studies.  His books were the early classics about the Middle East in American political science.  I got to know Ruhi rather well in 1999-91 when I spent a year at Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and I got to visit the campus of the University of Virginia at least once a week (partly for the library).  He invited me to events on campus and welcomed me into his beautiful home in Charlottesville.  Political and methodological differences aside, he was one of the nicest people in the field.  I was very impressed with his great support and mentoring of students.  He was always accessible and encouraged and pushed people into graduate degrees in Middle East studies.  When I was a young man just starting in the field, he was always kind and supportive to me.  I offer my sincere condolences to his wife and family.