Idols

Shari’ati praised a number of his ‘Western’ teachers in a controversial article entitled My Idols. His idols taught him that the human spirit could develop to the extent that may fill the gap between the earth and the sky. The ideas and works of five individuals impacted Shari’ati to such a degree where he exaggeratedly identified them as his idols:

·  Louis Massignon, French Catholic scholar of Islam;
·  Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and political activist;
·  Jacques Berque, French Islamologist;
·  George Gurvitch, Russian Jewish professor of sociology at the Sorbonne; and
·  Frantz Fanon, Martinican psychiatrist, revolutionary, and writer.

The locations in this section highlight where Shari’ati interacted with his some of his idols.

Restaurant Musulman

Address: 115 Boulevard Saint-Michel Paris 75005

The dining hall of the Foyer Musulman (Muslim dormitory) served halal meals, which is why it was referred to as Restaurant Musulman. It was considered one of the many inexpensive dining halls in Paris. This is the location where Shari’ati claims to have seen and heard Jean-Paul Sartre lecture on Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth” in 1962. Shari’ati also discussed the socio-political conditions of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and the Congo with fellow students at this dining hall.

References:
Collective Work, Vol. 4, p.136
Rahnema, Ali, An Islamic Utopian: A Political Biography of Ali Shariati, I.B. Tauris & Co., 2014, p. 119.

Note: In November 2013, Naser Pakdaman explained to Rahnema why the restaurant at the Muslim dormitory at this location was commonly known as Restaurant Musulman.

 

Sorbonne Courtyard

Address: 17 Rue de la Sorbonne Paris 75005

In 1961, Shari’ati reported a student demonstration in support of his sociology Professor, George Gurvitch, at the Sorbonne. The faculty and students demonstrated against the death threats Professor Gurvitch received from the French Organization of the Secret Army who were fighting against the independence of Algeria. The demonstration took place in the famous courtyard of the Sorbonne.

Reference:
Collective Work, Vol.4, p. 250.

Louis Massignon's Apartment

Address: 21 Rue Monsieur Paris 75007

Between 1960 and 1962 Shari’ati visited Louis Massignon at his apartment. Daniel, Louis Massignon’s son, vaguely remembers his father’s meetings with Shari’ati and their discussion on Salmāneh Fārsī. Massignon’s record of daily appointments refers to Shari’ati as Monsieur Shrat.

Reference:
Rahnema, Ali, An Islamic Utopian: A Political Biography of Ali Shariati, I.B. Tauris & Co., 2014, p. 121.

Note: Bérengère, Louis Massignon’s daughter, provided Maryam with the building number in 2015.

College de France

Address: 11 Place Marcelin Berthelot Paris 75231

Jacques Berque held weekly meetings at his office for two groups of students: those who were working on their theses under his supervision and those interested in studying with him. At the first meeting of the academic year in the early 1960s, Shari’ati, a student from the latter group, expressed that he was eager to present on Rashid Rida at one of the seminars. 

Reference:
Rahnema, Ali, An Islamic Utopian: A Political Biography of Ali Shariati, I.B. Tauris & Co., 2014, p. 125.

Note: Naser Pakdaman informed Maryam in January 2018 about Shari’ati's presence at that meeting and his topic of interest.

Café le Select

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Address: 99 Boulevard du Montparnasse Paris 75006

Shari’ati went to this cafe to listen to French luminaries of the time, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simon de Beauvoir, speak.

Refrence:
Rahnema, Ali, An Islamic Utopian: A Political Biography of Ali Shariati, I.B. Tauris & Co., 2014, p. 119.

Café La Coupole

Address: 102 Boulevard du Montparnasse Paris 75014

Shari’ati went to this cafe to listen to French luminaries of the time, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simon de Beauvoir, speak.

Reference:
Rahnema, Ali, An Islamic Utopian: A Political Biography of Ali Shariati, I.B. Tauris & Co., 2014, p. 119.