Reflections on Contemporary Life
An Outsider’s Perspective
About the Book
It all started around sixty years ago when a young boy witnessed an earthquake that caused detrimental harm to an innocent community. The unfortunate event left a deep impression on him. He couldn’t forget that when he would ask about it, he would only be told that they must have done something bad to anger the god. Even though he was still young, he did not find the answer convincing. He then devoted almost all his waking moments to thinking about and making sense of what happened that day. He wondered what could have been done to prevent it, leaving him in a disarray of thoughts. This became a stimulant for his inquisitive mind and an incentive to strive to understand disaster-like events. In the case of earthquakes, his struggle resulted in two books and more than fifty research articles.
The present book reflects the boy’s (who is now an old man) life experiences and from looking at the world around him as an insider, outsider, majority, minority, winner, loser, believer, denier, single, married, student, teacher, son, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, and enemy. His quest for finding answers to his many questions led him to live and work in places such as Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, Iran, and the United States. In his pass/journey, he had to deal with a hard childhood, poverty, health issues (both physical and mental), revolution, war, shortage, pain and suffering around him, and the stress of learning different languages and adjusting to different cultures. Through these hardships, he learned a great deal about the dynamic aspects of life and the changes that take place accordingly. The book reflects all this together with his multicultural background and views on topics such as social values, living, faith, mathematics, sports, and health.
About the Author
The author was born to an Azari family in early 1946. He was the youngest of a clan of eleven children which due to lack of access to medical care died in early ages. His father was a police officer who struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism. His mother had no formal education as she was forced to marry at a very young age.
Although not easy, he managed to go through formal education and receive his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Mathematics from Tehran University, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Manchester University in England. He worked in several different universities in several different countries. He has also been a visitor in Harvard, Princeton, U-Penn, UCLA, University of Maryland, University of Kaiserslautern, and Catholic University of Leuven. His research interests include risk analysis of natural disasters and applications of mathematics and statistics in sports. He is a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt and a fellow or member of numerous professional organizations. He has published several scientific books and more than 100 research articles in more than ten different disciplines.
He has lived in the Middle East, Europe, and North America where he experienced a life of poverty and the hardship of revolution and war. In this book he shares the lessons he has learned about complex social issues and concepts in easily understandable language. To facilitate this, he has presented the articles in a form independent from each other whenever possible.
Today he enjoys comfort and security of life in a beautiful small rural college town in Pennsylvania.