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It is not surprising to see such a wealth of wonderful tributes here, for Ali was one of life's anomalies: search as hard as you can to find a flaw, and your vision comes back weary and empty-handed. If he had negatives, they were either well-hidden or so insignificant that they hardly registered; since he was a man of consummate honesty and integrity, I know for a fact that it has to be the latter. Ali accepted me into the extended family - I am married to a cousin of his - immediately, with absolutely no reservation, and from the very outset made me feel welcome and at home. For a short time he stayed with us in our tiny student flat in Durham, where he had found a job with the university. Later he rented a house - just metres away from where we still live - and lived there for a while with his wife, Ann. Unfortunately their stay in Durham was short, for Ali had bigger fish to fry. He and Ann went to Canada, where they made a life for themselves, their family being augmented in time by two wonderful children, of whom Ali was immensely proud. In the almost forty years since Ali has been in Canada, I have had the misfortune not to see him as often as I would have liked, for he was a frequent visitor to the UK, using the opportunity without fail to visit my mother-in-law - his aunt - near London. Although we did not meet often, we kept up with each other's news and, as the years rolled by, kept abreast of each other's trajectories via news from relatives and, without fail, from Ali and Ann themselves, every Iranian New Year. It is difficult to conceive that forty years have passed since Ali and Ann were here in Durham: a picture of them with our first child is one that we cherish dearly. But forty years is only time. Granted, it is a long time, but no time can erase the impressions left by a truly human soul with truly sublime human characteristics. Ali was a man with a fierce intellect, but with the softest, gentlest and most solicitous demeanour of any man that I've ever met. When you were with Ali, *you* were all that seemed to matter: he gave you his undivided attention, and when you spoke, you knew that he was really listening, and not just preparing what to say next. He was patient, encouraging, very quick off the mark and extremely humorous. His humour, however, was always warm and never brittle or unkind. He was gregarious and could be the life and soul of the get-together, but in a way that never placed him at the centre of attention. As someone said in one of these fulsome tributes to him, he 'led from behind'. His presence was unobtrusive, but it made its mark, and when he gave advice, it was advice you would never forget. Knowing how Ali was - and it is clear that these past forty years did not change him - makes it hard to accept that he is no longer with us. And it makes it impossible to know how hard his passing must be for dear Ann and the children. Despite not having seen him for such a long time, I sense today that the world is a far poorer place for his passing. Human souls like his don't appear that often, and if anyone doubts my words, or believes it to be hyperbole or the over-exaggeration of the grief-stricken, all they have to do is scroll up and down and read these tributes. I knew Ali was loved and respected - mainly because I loved and respected him myself, which means that the bar is high from the start! - but reading these wonderful tributes brings home exactly how much he was loved, and the extent to which he was respected. I pray that Ann, Kia, Nikisa and their families will have the patience and fortitude to bear the grief of these days, and the loss through the weeks and months to come. But his memory is safe in their hearts, and in ours, and he will clearly never, ever be forgotten.