Hoveyda, Fereydoun 1924-2006

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Hoveyda, Fereydoun 1924-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born September 21, 1924, in Damascus, Syria; died of cancer, November 3, 2006, in Clifton, VA. Diplomat and author. Hoveyda was best remembered as the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations during the reign of that country's last shah, but he was also a novelist and social critic. Growing up in 1930s Damascus, he was exposed to Arabic, Persian, and French cultures, which helped evolve his more open-minded views about religion and politics. Graduating from Paris's Sorbonne in 1944, he was a foreign service attaché for Iran. After brief service in this post, he was invited to travel to San Francisco, where the United Nations was established. As part of this work, he drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Hoveyda then returned to the Sorbonne and completed a doctorate in international law and economics. Remaining in Paris, he pursued fiction writing, was an early contributor to the film journal Cahiers du Cinéma, and worked for UNESCO's department of mass communications. During this time, he wrote the screenplay for the 1959 film India, and published the novels Les Quarantaines (1962) and L'Aerogare (1965). In 1966, Hoveyda returned to his native country to work for the government; five years later he was named ambassador to the United Nations for Iran. During his time in the U.N., he chaired committees on international terrorism and disarmament. Hoveyda served as an ambassador until Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown by Islamic fundamentalists led by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979. While Hoveyda was an open critic of the flaws of the shah's government, he was even more vocal in his disdain for Khomeini and his followers. Hoveyda disliked religious zealotry in all its forms, whether it was in Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, considering it a force of hatred and war. He wrote about the revolution in Iran in his The Fall of the Shah (1980), and about Islamists in The Broken Crescent: The "Threat" of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism (1998). After leaving diplomatic service, Hoveyda was an advisor to the Foreign Friends of New York and served as senior fellow of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. Among Hoveyda's other books are the novel Les Neiges du Sinai (1973), the short-story collection Les Miroirs du Mollah (1985), and the nonfiction title The Hidden Meaning of Mass Communications: Cinema, Books, and Television in the Age of Computers (2000).



Los Angeles Times, November 7, 2006, p. B11.

New York Times, November 7, 2006, p. C19.

Times (London, England), November 14, 2006, p. 55.

Washington Post, November 8, 2006, p. B5.

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Hoveyda, Fereydoun 1924-2006

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