My son, stand up clean your desk, find out where you are and plan ahead. I know this would have been his message for me. Abbas Amiribesheli was an engineer whose passion was to make people’s life easier. I cannot claim we hold identical views on everything. He had a strong faith in God and humanity. On one of our last very long video calls, he told me, son, for all of your claims of agnosticism you sure behave like a believer. Baffled, I asked “how so?” he said you put serving people ahead of your gain and this is what I consider believing in God. We laughed.
After his graduation from Tehran’s polytechnic in the 70s, he chose a path that was at best financially questionable. Receiving his power engineering degree from the top university of the country, he chose to teach and work almost pro-bono taking electric-power to the most deprived places in Iran. To him, this was his calling not sitting in an office, not to use his charm and vast knowledge to be a c-suit, not even working on projects that could make him much more wealthy. Whenever I teased him on this, he would have said, remember the time we went to the salt desert and worked on building power infrastructure for those rural people who could not pay us. Their smile and satisfaction is the currency that I pay to sleep sound at nights. Money is a non-issue, it will find you. Whenever you see yourself working for money just come back home, son.
Whenever your mind is cluttered just take a book and go for a walk, see the sunrise, be optimistic if you are genuinely working to solve peoples’ problem you are winning, the outcome is decided not by the outcome if you know what I mean. He lived through a revolution, he saw a war, his only measure of a land’s success was people’s trust. He did not care if the prices are high if the country is in forever turmoil and recession, his only concern was people’s lack of ability to trust each other. “Do not lose people’s trust in you”
While he was a deeply technical man, he had no passion for technological tools. Whenever I was explaining my projects to him. He had one simple question. “How can this help people?” my PhD was around the smart home for dementia care, he loved it he wanted to know every one of its boring details (the sensors, the algorithm, …). The idea of making people’s life easier always made him excited. Recently, I told him about 5G and its potentials, he told me, son, this requires a lot of antennas, sure we could do this ages ago, how can you justify the cost. I laughed and said man, have you nonchalantly figured out massive MIMO.
The surgery is risky you know, I said anxiously. He smiled and said life is very risky don’t panic what should happen will happen.
Dad, I will give whatever I have to hear your voice again. I will forever miss your calmness, your braveness, your faith and your clean conscious. When I lost mom, you were there for me, now, I feel the loneliness in my bones.
You have gone too soon, my friend. Forgive me for not kissing you goodbye.
Goodbye, my friend, my advisor, and the light of my life. I will clean my desk, I will see the sunrise. I will never disappoint you and mom.