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I got to know Ali many years ago through a joint academic program, which is still ongoing today and the reason of my yearly visits to Victoria. Something caught my attention early on: It was the first time I experienced that everybody (!) talked enthusiastically and respectfully about their own dean. Over the years I quickly learned what this enthusiasm was based on:

Ali was the personification of what we call a good leader, making things happen for the good of all. He was able to get everybody on board –not an easy task in academia–, rowing in the same direction and he himself was rowing the hardest. He had an enormous level of energy and probably did not need a lot of sleep. (I sometimes got e-mails, which were sent off at 3 o’clock in the morning). He was passionate to create a collaborative climate in all the endeavors he initiated at his university and all over the world and to be considerate of the needs of all persons involved.

Getting to know Ali, also beyond academic cooperation, was a privilege. I will always remember the day when Ali and his wife Ann were at our apartment in Linz/Austria and Ali cooked a fantastic four course Iranian meal.

I will miss Ali; my thoughts are with his family.