Shab Bekheir, Baba Joon


Shab Bekheir, Baba Joon
by Kaveh Nouraee

On Monday, September 28th, 2009, at 1:30 PM EDT, Siamak Nouraee passed away after a 9 month battle against cancer.

He was 69 years old.

He is my Dad.

And if I may, I would like to share a few memories of him.

He was born in Arak, Iran, on July 24, 1940, (2nd of Mordad, 1319) and raised in Tehran, one of eight children, and the only son. Exactly one month before his 24th birthday, on June 24, 1964, he arrived in the United States for the first time, at what was then called National Airport in Washington, DC. And aside from a brief time in Blythe, CA, and in Frankfort, KY to attend school, the Washington area is where he remained and where he raised a family, along with my Mom, who has been with him through it all, thick and thin, up and down, to heaven and hell and back again, for 45 years.

Dad's not an "athlete" in the traditional sense of the word, but very much the outdoorsman. If you were to look for him at a football pitch, for example, you'll sooner find half of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted. But go to a nature trail, out in the woods, or on a mountain, and there you will find Dad, sometimes with his binoculars, or his camera, or both. Me, I was into cars and rock music. He would see a mountain range and gush, "Look at that, Kav! Isn't that beautiful?" I wasn't even 5. At that time, it looked like dirt, rocks and trees to me. I was still drooling over the cool cars I saw on the road on the way to these wonders of nature.

Sometimes I found myself sitting next to him in his college classes. On one such an occasion I sat in on his zoology class, on a day they were studying craniofacial features on the skeletons of mammals. I knew what a maxilla was before first grade by sitting in with him that day. There were times when Dad would be in the living room dissecting a frog or an eel. And what am I doing? Watching Bugs Bunny or The Flintstones going, "Mom!? What's for dinner?" Just thinking about it, I can smell the formaldehyde.

Dad's not the type to lose his cool, even when I gave him reason. He wouldn't raise a hand or anything like that. His idea of "punishing" me was taking one of his belts and wrapping it around my waist, leaving a few inches of slack in the back. He would then lift me up and "hang" me on the door knob. There I would be, feet flailing, looking like a dork. I think he did it more for his own amusement than for anything else.

The last time we were in Iran was the summer of 1971. I didn't know I was even going. My parents and I went to JFK, and I'm thinking he's going by himself. Next thing I know, I'm going on the plane with him, and my mom isn't. I cried myself to sleep on the plane and woke up in London the next morning. By the time we arrived in Tehran, it was nighttime again, and I'm getting hugged and kissed by every relative, wondering where am I. While were back home, Dad took this old bicycle that was in the house and we walked a couple of blocks to a shop to get it fixed so I could ride it. There was also a boy named Babak who lived down the street from us who, for reasons I forget, got on my nerves, and I popped him. If you ever happen to read this, Babak, I'm sorry. In 1973, when my mother was about to give birth to my brother, no one under 16 was allowed above the lobby floor at the hospital. No one except me, I guess, because I sat in the waiting room watching pre-season NFL football in the maternity lounge with a bunch of nervous expectant fathers pacing about, including my own. Dad wasn't about to leave me alone in the lobby for who knows how many hours. So into th eelevator and upstairs I went.

No one complained about me though, because I was quiet, partly because my Mom wouldn't let me watch a football game on TV, so I wasn't about to squander this rare opportunity. It was the Redskins vs. the Colts, when they were still the Baltimore Colts. My brother arrived before the end of the game, so I don't know who won.

Dad and I would go on hunting trips. Well, not really hunting trips. More like, "let's go to the woods with rifles and if anyone asks, we’ll say we're on a hunting trip". Although I do recall one time where he actually put his hunting license to its intended use, most of the shooting was of photos. A hunting rifle in one hand and a camera in the other. The camera usually saw more action, but we always still carefully cleaned and oiled the rifles as though we had just returned from some tremendously successful African safari. The last "hunting trip" was in 1981. We went to a friend's farm in rural Virginia, where the deer must have known Iranians were coming because the only thing we really caught was cold.

On May 25, 2000, Dad and I set out on one more excursion. I was moving to California, and he was coming with me to help me move, but more importantly, get in some more one on one time like we used to, before work got in his way and before I, well, got in my own way. There we were, Me, Dad, and my cat, sitting in between us in the rental truck. At stops for gas or refreshments, my animal-loving Dad would take the cat for a walk on a leash, as though she were a dog. You truly had to see it to believe it. A grown man, walking a house cat at a gas station in Indiana. And in Missouri. And in Oklahoma. You get the idea. On Memorial Day, 2000, we crossed the state line from Arizona into California. And throughout that trip, he was still marvelling at things we encountered. The trees, the mountains, the valleys, the overall scenery. "Look at that, Kav!" Just like before.

I'm trying to sort this all out in my head, as well as my heart. One is spinning, and the other is shattered. Even though we knew this was coming, I tried to pretend that it wouldn't, hoping against hope that this miserable evil cancer that tortured him for nine months would go away and leave my dad alone. But no, it didn't.

It took away my mom's husband and as she sometimes affectionately said, "roommate". It took away my brother's dad, close friend and best man at his wedding. I mention that because out of the many weddings I have attended, only my Dad epitomized the meaning of the term and the role. reciting Rumi's poetry in a way that brought everyone to tears. Most couldn't understand what he was saying as he was reciting it in Persian, but it was in the way he spoke that evoked those feelings. Out of people he hadn't even met yet, no less.

It took away my daughter's Baba Joon, who she was just starting to get to know. She is his little "pedarsookhteh".

It took away the only brother of Shahin, Parvin, Simin, Sousan, Soonia and Fariba. To their children, and the children of his sister Hermin, who predeceased him, it took away their "Daayi Siamak".

It took away a dear friend, and a respected colleague to countless people. Many of them, with genuine affection and respect, addressed him as "Mr. Mack".

It took away someone who is both a gentleman and a gentle man.

It took away someone whom I adore and treasure. My Dad.

I Love You, Baba. Shab Bekheir.


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Kaveh Nouraee

Thank You Everyone

by Kaveh Nouraee on

for all of your kind words and your support.


Kaveh jan,

by shifteh on

Your piece brought tears to my eyes; it was very touching and indeed extremely emotional.  I know it sounds quite cliche, but believe me; time is the only healer and there will be a day in the future that you'll remember your dad with a sense of peace and warmth, knowing that he is with you and your heart will not ache as much as it does today.

May he rest in peace...


Your Loss, My Gain, It's A Strange World...

by Minoo66 on

I want to be honest with you, Kaveh.

I read your tribute to your dad with kind of "so what"ness, sort of cynicism and near-pathological indifference; until I reached your last sentence:

"I Love You, Baba. Shab Bekheir."

Which moved me to tears. Then I read the whole piece allover again; only to claim my lost humanity back; I felt I needed to cry it loud:"FORGIVE ME, I DIDN'T MEAN IT". I'm sure he heard me.

Stay put Kaveh; you are a good son.




Tehran Irani

Daee Siamack is proud of you Kav!

by Tehran Irani on

You may not recognize my alias, but I knew your dad Kaveh - Your touching and beautiful tribute from the heart brought tears to my eyes (again). :-( 

He was every bit as kind, intelligent, generous and caring as you described him.  I had the honor of visiting him a couple of weeks before he passed away and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life.  I hope I get to meet him again (although I don't believe in any sort of after life), but times like this, it would be nice to be proven wrong.

Eventhough he had a hard time walking, he was still getting excited when a couple of deer or other local wild life passed through his back yard and would get up by the window to watch them.  And of course would call me to get the camera!  He will never be gone, because his memories will never be forgotten.  Yadesh Gerami baad.


khaleh mosheh

My condolences

by khaleh mosheh on

Very sorry for your sad loss.

Passing Through

Dear Kaveh

by Passing Through on

I was browsing through this site, early on Saturday morning, and I came across this very beautiful, and touching piece by you.

I really don't know you, but it really doesn't matter. Sometimes, the words and the emotions that are  expressed are so powerful, and indeed tangible, that  they  transcend such a thing as actually knowing someone. This is one of those times.

First, let me express to you and your family my deepest condolences regarding such a tragic loss. I do know that the grief is significant, yet you should know that there are many who have you and your family in their prayers.

I want to leave you with this thought: Whether one believes in the concept of a God or not, and similarly, whether one has  faith in an Afterlife or not,  the very depth and expression of Love that existed between you and your Dad, makes this whole life worthwhile. What you have expressed here regarding your Dad is a Perfect Example of a Life Well-Lived.

Thank you very much for this beautifully written piece. May God's Grace embrace you and your family in this time of mourning.



Omid Hast

My condolences

by Omid Hast on

In the grand scheme of things, Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Colts pre-season football game may not mean much, but you must have retained the memory of that day so well because on that day the interrelationship between the sense of the space, your mother giving birth to your brother, and your father taking you up that elevator to be with them must have given you the sense of a complete loving family.  You, and your beautiful tribute to him, are the manifestation of that love.

May his eternal love linger on,

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

My condolences.  Thank you for so beautifully sharing your emotions even though writing "grief" one word at a time is always hard. Death is huge.


Your dad sounds like great

by DM on

Your dad sounds like great man and a wonderful father, Kaveh. I am sorry for your loss.

Be well,



roohash shAd

by kharmagas on

Roohe abaviat shAd Kaveh.

Mola Nasredeen

What comes from heart..

by Mola Nasredeen on

Kaveh, my condolences to you and your family. May his soul rest is peace.


What a sweet, loving piece

by sima on

My deepest tasliyat, Kaveh jan. I guess nothing is more ordinary than death but each time it feels like it is happening for the first time. Reading your piece I felt your loss so much that I had to remind myself that I lost my dad not too long ago too.

The only revenge is to write well!


Beautiful tribute to your father

by Monda on

May he rest in your hearts always.

che khabar e

my deepest sympathies

by che khabar e on

to you and your family.  It's a loss you never quite get over but slowly the emptiness will be filled with the wonderful memories.  A loving and lovely tribute... your dad should be very proud.  Bless you.


Kaveh, my deepest sympathies

by desi on

Kaveh, my deepest sympathies to you and your family.  Your tribute was very moving and a reminder as to how precious life is.  May he rest in peace.




My condolences

by Cost-of-Progress on

It is never easy, no matter how old, to lose a parent. I lost my dad when I was 15.

Be strong.


Dear Friend

by capt_ayhab on

Dear Friend, Kaveh jan

Please accept me and my family's deepest condolences for your loss. May God bless his soul.

Last time I saw my father, 2 months before he left us, he recited this poem for me in Azari. Its called Ayrilihk = Jodaie.




Great Post written by you, Ali. P

by yolanda on

"Do not mourn his death. Celebrate his life."


Ali P.


by Ali P. on

Dear Kaveh:

Mr. Mack is not dead. He is here. He is finally libertated from the prison of his body, but his spirit continues to live through you, and through every life he has touched.

Do not mourn his death. Celebrate his life.

Adib Masumian

A most touching tribute

by Adib Masumian on

I enjoyed reading every word of it because it was so apparent to me that each one was written with love and care.

My condolences to you. May your father rest in peace.


Dear Kaveh

by Mehrban on

My deepest condolences for the loss of your dear father to you and your family.  You have written a beautiful tribute to him and I feel honored that in some way you saw me/us worthy to share this loss with.   I wish you calm and clarity at this time of sorrow and please remember as time passes the pain lessens and the good memories remain.

Darius Kadivar

Dear Kav Jaan

by Darius Kadivar on

My Sincere Condolences for your Loss ...

May he Rest in Peace knowing what a wonderful son and family he has left behind. Your Tribute is one of the most sensitive and beautiful pieces I have read on this site.




Setareh Cheshmakzan

Dear Kaveh

by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

What a moving remembrance of your father.  My sincere condolences for your loss. May he rest in peace.


Nazy Kaviani

Dear Kaveh

by Nazy Kaviani on

You wrote lovingly of your father. In remembering him and introducing him to us, you shared the most important gift your father ever gave you, the gift of love.

I, too, lost my father a few years ago, several years after I had lost my mother. I can't lie to you: you will never get used to your father's absence. You will miss him a lot for the rest of your life. But in your longing, you will also continually remember his love for you. That love to which we are treated since our moment of birth will not stop. You will feel him around you and you will feel reassured of his presence.

I don't know where people's souls really go after death, but the notion of a good and happy place, a heaven, really feels fitting and right for our parents. I think my parents and your baba joon will get along famously in heaven.

My thoughts are with you, your Mom, and your family. Peace Kaveh Jan.


A touching tribute!

by Princess on

My deepest sympathies to you and your family. May the sweet memories echo in your homes and your hearts for ever. May he rest in peace!


So sorry for your loss...

by alborz on

...and my condolences to you and your family.

May he rest in peace and may you have the strength to endure your loss.


Jahanshah Javid

So touching

by Jahanshah Javid on

A beautiful memorial. My deepest sympathies Kav.


Thank you

by yolanda on

Thank you for sharing this deeply personal and touching tribute with Iranian.comers. Your dad was amazing that he took you to his college class, Wow! It must be a very tender moment!........Sorry for your irreplaceable loss!

take care!


bajenaghe naghi

Kaveh Jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

I am very sorry for your loss. 

Please accept my deepest sympathies.


Dear Kaveh

by jamshid on

I am sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family.

I can only imagine the difficult times that you must be going through. I wish strength and patience for both you and your family.