Lotfi Zadeh's son clarifies his father's will on his burial in Azerbaijan -INTERVIEW

  16 August 2017    Read: 17450
Lotfi Zadeh's son clarifies his father's will on his burial in Azerbaijan -INTERVIEW
Discussions emerged around world-renowned scientist Lotfi A.Zadeh's will for being buried in Azerbaijan. A number of views were said and misinformation was spread...
Finally, his son Norman Zadeh contacted with AzVision.az in order to clarify the issues.

- How is your father’s health condition currently?

- He has very good care now. They give him everything he needs. But unfortunately, as people get older, they have more difficulties moving around. My father spends more time in bed resting and eating. He does not move around that much. He still has physical therapist who comes to him several times in a month. He still gets around a little bit but he is getting older. He is 97 years old.

- Your father wanted to be buried in Baku, Azerbaijan. Please, share your opinions about it.

- I plan to go to the Azerbaijani Consulate in Los Angeles. I know that my father wanted to be buried in Baku. My understanding is that the president of Azerbaijan actually wanted him to be buried in Baku as well. I got an e-mail from the president of Azerbaijan. I am going to confirm it with the Consulate on Thursday that President wants my father buried in Baku as well. My father is still alive. He is not in a great shape but his mind is still very good. When that horrible day comes, then I will arrange if possible to send him to Baku. I believe that there is a professor whose first name is Shahnaz will help in this endeavor.

- Do you know professor Shahnaz Shahbazova?

- I have met her. I hope that she will help me to transform my father to Azerbaijan. I want to find out more about it when I meet with the Consulate General. It is possible that I will be dealing with Consulate not with Shahnaz. I know that Shahnaz is a friend of my father. She cares about him. I have only met her once or twice.

- Some people do not believe in your father’s decision because your mother was buried in the US.

- Originally they both wanted to be cremated which is not really burying. They wanted to be cremated which means that their ashes will be buried. I actually wanted them to be buried side by side in a ground in America. But my mother insisted on and I followed her preferences. At some point, after them initially wanting to be cremated, my father changed his mind and he wanted to be buried in Azerbaijan. I will simply be honoring their wishes. And I do not think that you should make too much of the fact that. My mother would not have a reason to be buried in Azerbaijan. It is logical. If towards the end of his life he felt that he was getting more love from Azerbaijanis than from other country, I do not think that his wish is unreasonable. He was born in Azerbaijan and he is from Azerbaijan. His will is a logical decision.

- Azerbaijanis think that you do not love Azerbaijan. Please, share your opinion on this views.

- He does love Azerbaijan. Obviously, if he is in the United States and wants to be buried in Azerbaijan, then he loves Azerbaijan. He has had time to think about his whole life. He has decided that he has very good feelings about Azerbaijanis. I am sure that he loves the United States but loves Azerbaijan more.

- Do you think that Azerbaijan is your homeland?

- I do not believe that Azerbaijan is my homeland. I was not born in Azerbaijan. And I have never been to Azerbaijan. But obviously if my father loves Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis, then I certainly feel good about Azerbaijanis. I have been getting a lot of love from Azerbaijanis. Azerbaijanis want to be my friend on Facebook. That gives me good feelings. Obviously, not everyone loves me in the United States and not everyone loves my father in the United States. I feel good about Azerbaijan right now. They certainly treat me and my father with a lot more respect. Then we have gone to the United States.

- Do you think of visiting Azerbaijan?

- I actually thought about it. I had a dream about it. The likelihood of me willing to visit Azerbaijan is not high because I do not like long flights. But I actually thought that it might be nice to visit Azerbaijan. Again people treat you well. That feels good. Because Azerbaijanis have been treating my father with respect. I am very attracted and contemplated the possibility of going but I do not like to travel that much. I do not think I will but I might. The likelihood of my living in Baku is not high. If I visit Baku and like it, it might be possible. It is hard to say that I would live there if I have not been there. I have a lot of friends in the United States. I am comfortable here. It is not likely but it is not impossible.

- Can you talk about your work there?

- I made most of my money as a money manager. You probably know that. I used to hedge funds in the US. Unfortunately, I had very bad situation. I had a magazine called “Perfect 10”. I had very unfortunate situation. The courts in the US took my magazine away from me for reasons that I think completely unfair. Basically, people took our pictures and used those pictures without permission. Judges here in the US are overwork. In my mind, they made mistakes and ended up taking my magazine away. What I am doing now I am going back and treating stocks, features and managing money that I used to do. Because that is the way I am making money. Fortunately, I am doing fairly well, at least for now. But you can never say if it will continue.

- Do you like playing poker?

- I always enjoyed poker. But I also realized my limitations. In other words, I did make money and I did support myself playing poker at some point. I was actually playing backgammon – shesh-besh. I was actually playing backgammon with Jennifer Tilly's boyfriend. I feel like he is a wonderful guy. I joked when I was invited to play with him. I said that I was so delighted to play backgammon with him. But he is a world-known poker player. He has been on television a lot. I think I can play poker. I think that I understand this game well mathematically. If you want to be a good poker player, you have to be bluff without any fear. You have to be able to be holding some horrible hands and bet ten thousand dollars with absolutely nothing. I cannot do that well. I am never going to be a great poker player because I cannot lie. It is kind of lying. You need to lie well with a straight face. You have to be able to just represent a great hand when you have nothing. I can never be a truly great poker player. I cannot bluff easily. My backgammon game is better than my poker. Because I do not have to bluff in this game. I have to figure out what might be the right move. Mathematically I probably understand poker better but that is not enough. You cannot just have a system in poker. You have to read people well and I am not good at it.

- Do you know your father’s friend, Rafig Aliyev from Azerbaijan?

- This name does not ring a bell. I probably have met him.

-Can you talk about your family?

- I do not have any children. I have never been married. My sister whose name was Stella passed away. She was a journalist and she passed away when she was 62.

- What can you say about your grandfather?

- My grandfather is Rahim. He was very nice man. He was a journalist. I am not sure if he was born in Turkey or Iran. But he was either Turkish or Iranian. He used to import caviar from the Caspian Sea. He was the nicest of my grandparents. He was Muslim.

- Do you live with your father?

- My father lives in northern California, Berkeley. I live in Los Angeles. I visited my father two weeks ago. I did see him fairly recently. I talk with caretakers at least twice a week. I take care of all bills. I am in constant contact with my father and caretakers.

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