غلامعلی بسکی، از معروفترین فعالان محیط زیست ایران درگذشت. دکتر بسکی در چند دهه اخیر فعالیتهای گستردهای را در زمینه حفاظت از طبیعت و محیط زیست انجام داد و به پدر طبیعت ایران معروف بود. دکتر بسکی در چند دهه اخیر فعالیت های گسترده ای را در زمینه حفاظت از طبیعت و محیط زیست انجام داد و به پدر طبیعت ایران معروف بود. او همچنین بنیاد جهانی دکتر بسکی را با عنوان مکتب حرمت حیات با هدف حفظ محیط زیست راهاندازی کرد.
“Sadly, our grandfather, Dr Beski, passed away in Iran on Wednesday 14th August 2019. An exceptionally bright and driven individual, he was an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, a philanthropist, an environmentalist, a father, a brother, a grandfather, and a great grandfather. After qualifying as a doctor, he set up a hospital, a school with a boarding house -providing free education to gifted children – and later a hospice. I remember visiting this hospice, and the architect describing how my grandfather had designed it in an octagonal shape so that one person could manage eight patients simultaneously. When no one would run the hospice – because of the emotional and clinical pressures of working with people with leprosy and cancer – he laboured tirelessly in both the hospital and the hospice. Throughout these endeavours he was supported (and my sense is managed) by my grandmother Shafigeh – an equally astute, hardworking woman and midwife -who would run the Beski hospital whilst taking care of their four children. Before ‘wellness’ was even a concept, my grandfather recognised through curing his own medical problems, that food can be both a medicine and a poison. He became initially vegetarian, then vegan and then an advocate for a raw plant based diet. He recognised the carcinogens in meat, the toxins from animal products and the benefits of fasting, long before the academic literature. He was known for chasing us round the house encouraging/forcing us to drink carrot juice and green tea, and would speak relentlessly and exhaustively about the benefits of antioxidants and carcinogens in foods and our environment. Having dedicated his early career to the care of women and mothers, in his later life he became aligned to healing his ‘favourite mother’ – Mother Earth. He founded a charity for environmental sustainability, planting trees throughout Iran, and became a fearless campaigner, pushing Iranian people and their government to think about climate change and plastic pollution. His work and his TV shows made him a national celebrity, where he was known as ‘the father of natural world.’ Upon leaving the house, he would be surrounded by fans photographing and filming him, and he would use these opportunities to disseminate information – delivering spontaneous sermons whilst we waited for him. Alongside my grandmother, he raised four unique & driven women, never teaching them how to cook, but instead reinforcing the importance of education, all four of his girls becoming highly educated leaders in their own fields. His eldest daughter Soheila founded the award winning Memar Magazine, an Iranian bimonthly on architecture and urban design (she was known as the professor of architecture despite not having a formal degree). His second daughter, my aunt, Chahla is a writer, sociologist and a human rights activist, for which she has received Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in France. His youngest daughter Behnaz recently obtained her MBA, whilst running both the Beski hospital and the Shafigeh clinic. Having recognised a similar high energy and love for medicine in my mother, he allowed her to assist him in the operating theatre from the tender age of ten, laying foundations for the development of her remarkable surgical skills. The head of midwifery at The Royal London hospital once told me, “If someone’s bleeding on the table, I don’t care who’s operating – I want Shohreh in the room.” When the political situation in Iran became untenable in the 1980s, Dr Beski was instrumental in our safe passage to the UK, where my mother would fulfil his dream of completing medical school and becoming an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist. On his death, we have found a treasure trove of letters from his daughters that he had kept from their early lives studying in Tehran through to their adult lives. He not only kept their letters but also frequently photocopied his responses and stapled them together with the original letter he had received. This extraordinary and visionary act not only gives us unparalleled access to our past and our journey as refugees (which would have been otherwise unrecorded) but also an insight into his. In one of the exchanges, my teenager mother, who has been exiled to Mashad to study for her final high school exams (after too much fun in Tehran) laments about being lonely, studying all the time, and having no one to go out with. His response is to give details of his day – how the theatre blows up in flames as he is operating (the anaesthetic was flammable in those days), and that whilst everyone else fled the room, he rescued the patient and after the fire was put out, he went back and successfully continued the operation. A clever motivational strategy – showing that he truly understood my mother’s empathetic character – and a strategy my mother would later employ on us, and I even use unconsciously with my children where I detail my day in response to their minor grievances. As with all extreme and highly focused individuals, he was not always easy to get along with, and would frequently give lengthy unrequested sermons about protecting the environment, nutrition and wellness. Now reflecting back, I wish I had been more open minded, laughed less and listened more. During the mourning period, my aunt and uncle generously opened their home to hundreds of visitors, and we had the privilege of hearing countless funny and touching stories of my grandfather delivering children, advocating education for all (irrespective of gender and ethnicity) and healing the ‘un-healable’ by optimising nutrition. When his physical health declined unexpectedly, my aunt and uncle Iran encased him with love, caring for him 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week for 7 years. His survival post stroke was testament to their love and determination. His legacy lives on in my aunt Behnaz and my cousin Ali, who successfully continue to run The Dr Beski hospital; my sister who is the 3rd generation of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists; my uncle Khalil who continues as the head of his environmental campaign and charity; my cousin Morteza, a talented film director who is making a documentary about our grandfather’s life; my younger brother who is working with the Nigerian government trying to redress extreme poverty; in ALL his driven (great) grandchildren; and finally, in the newest member of the Beski brood – Lili Lamb, age 4 months, who has inherited his BIG brown eyes. May he rest in peace knowing he truly lived, loved and helped not only people but his favourite mother – Mother Earth. Que sueñes con los angelitos Agha Joon. When the sun is going down When the dark is out to stay I picture your smile, like it was yesterday Noname, Yesterday