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settled in Gold Canyon in 1999 after a life of service on three continents. Born February 2, 1928, in Mashad, Iran, he studied medicine at Tehran University, while completing his military service. In 1960 with his wife and two daughters, Jazab left Iran teach the Baha'i Faith in Tunisia and offer medical services. In 1963 he moved to the US to become a general surgeon, studying at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado and St. Thomas Hospital and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. At that time, Jim Crow laws were prevalent in the South. In order for their daughters to grow up free of prejudice, the Jazabs were the first to integrate a black school in Nashville by voluntarily placing their daughters in Moses McKissack School in 1964.
Dr. Jazab served as chief medical officer of Florida's Avon Park Correctional Institution for two years, and in 1970, he moved with his family to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, to serve as a Baha'i pioneer. A pioneer is one who lives his faith by his work and deeds. There, Dr. Jazab worked at the 1000 bed hospital catering to the poor and helped staff the FOMECO hospital boat, offering surgery to isolated villagers. In addition, Jazab was asked to serve as personal physician to President Mobutu, requiring extensive travel. He continued to work tirelessly for the indigent population, juggling his various roles deftly. In addition to his fluency in French, Jazab learned Lingala to communicate with the locals. Due to the 1992 revolution in Zaire, Dr. Jazab and his wife were forced to leave their post, moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico and then Scottsdale, Arizona. In order to once again serve as pioneers, the Jazabs moved to Gold Canyon in 1999, to support the Baha'i community and establish its first Baha'i administrative body, a Spiritual Assembly. Although retired, Jazab continued to make trips to the Turks and Caicos Islands, Albania, and Malta, serving both in a medical capacity and encouraging those Baha'i communities. Regardless of the country, for the past 52 years the Jazab home has been a gathering place for people of diverse racial, religious, social, and ethnic backgrounds to break bread together, pray together, and learn from one another. These words from the Baha'i writings were his guiding light: "
ye must in this matter-that is, the serving of humankind-lay down your very lives, and as ye yield yourselves, rejoice."
Foremost a world citizen and a dedicated servant of humanity, most folks in Arizona may remember him for his homemade pineapple upside-down cakes, which he baked and delivered with love to everyone he knew. Dr. Jazab's sense of humor, love for service, and his work on behalf of his faith will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Neshat, daughters Elham and Aram, son-in-law Farsheed Ferdowsi, and grandchildren Kimia and Donesh. He will be laid to rest at Mountain View Cemetery in Mesa, on Tuesday, December 18. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, December 19, at the Scottsdale Baha'i Center, 6910 E. Shea Boulevard; the public is invited. Arrangements by Mountain View Funeral Home (480-832-2850).
Mountain View Memorial Gardens
7900 East Main Street
Mesa, AZ 85207-8948
Published in The Arizona Republic on Dec. 18, 2012