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Michel Mazzaoui

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Michel Mazzaoui Obituary
1926 ~ 2013
Michel M. Mazzaoui (b. 1926) died peacefully during the night of December 5, 2013, at the home of his sister Rose in Miami, FL. His friends at the University of Utah, where he taught from 1976 until his retirement in 2009, remember him with deep affection as a loving and loyal friend and as a leading scholar on Safavid Persian history. He came to the University of Utah from the University of Freiburg, Germany, where friends had given him refuge after the outbreak of the civil war in Lebanon. A few years earlier, in 1972, Michel had published a path breaking book on the origins of the Safavids. In this book, which grew out of his Ph.D. dissertation at Princeton University. Michel was one of the first scholars to undertake a reconstruction of the early history of the Safavids. This history had been manipulated at the command of Shah Tahmasp (r. 1524-1576) in order to give it a Shi i bias. It was thanks to Michel's patient philological and historiographic sleuthing that we now have an accurate idea of the prehistory of the Safavids and the expansion of their influence in Iran. Michel's gentle manners, endless generosity, and unwavering kindness will be sorely missed by his many friends. Sincerely, Professor Peter Von Sivers.
Goodbye Uncle Michel, you graced us with your presence day and night. Your wisdom, intellect and love shone upon us like a bright light. From the hills of Nazareth to the mountains of Utah you rode like a knight. Your passion to teach, guided us in the darkness, like a candle light. Forever with love, till we meet again. The Mabjeesh and Mazzawi families of Miami.
A memorial tribune for our wonderful and loving friend and colleague, Professor Emeritus Michel Mazzaoui, will be held on Friday, January 24 on the campus of the University of Utah 3:00-6:00 pm, LNCO Lounge #2110, Language and Communication Building.
Published in Deseret News on Jan. 19, 2014
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