In memory of Sharare Peacock
Prof. Alexander Fedotov
This text is given to the Persian Bridge of Friendship blog by Professor Alexander Fedotov’s widow – Snezhana Todorova-Fedotova. Alexander Fedotov was a Bulgarian Orientalist of Russian origin, who was a specialist in East Asia, but also in the Mongolian and Tibetan space. He also had mutual sympathy for Iranians, Indians and other Eastern nations.
Sharare Peacock – daughter of Hajjar Fiouzi, was an outstanding Iranian of many talents and achievements who died in 1999. More about her can be read here.
“You’ve stirred the marigold in my soul, you’ve turned the layers, brothers November, December, January. Wait for the snow to melt. Wait for the meat to melt. Wait, wait, wait, wait, cries my silent flesh. Smooth skin hidden in another skin, you seek me, but I am gone, locked in your pupil: gone, dissolved in air…”, so begins Shari Peacock’s novel, English as a Foreign Language. This was her first and… last published book, which managed to be praised in the English press (The Times, The Independent, Vogue) and translated into Bulgarian.
The daughter of Iranian immigrants, Shari Peacock was born in 1956 in Sofia, where she grew up, attended Russian school and studied architecture. She completed her studies in London. There she made a name for herself as an artist, taught at an art college and worked as an illustrator for several well-known magazines. She does it all with unusual ease, and her range of interests is constantly growing: languages, painting, art literature, ballet.
Shari Peacock literally blows our ideas of Iranian women out of the water: as an adult, she, the daughter of Muslims, voluntarily chooses Orthodoxy. Communicating with people, and with very different but increasingly interesting people, became for her the meaning of her whole life (I would only add that she was fluent in five languages – Bulgarian, Farsi, Russian, English and German). In order to dance in a ballet company in Hamburg, she deliberately changed her birthday by ten years. And she succeeded, because she really looked much younger than her actual age!
An Iranian living in the heart of Europe, travelling all over the world, she has never forgotten Bulgaria, the country she has rediscovered all over the world. Already settled in London, Shari Peacock has willingly and devotedly helped Bulgarians – artists, ballet dancers – who, like her, were looking for a chance. Her love for Bulgaria is astonishing, and she seems to have cherished it throughout her stay in far-off lands, only to have it emerge even more powerfully in her book.
The book in which Shari describes her life and her world – dynamic, challenging and endlessly interesting. A world that, since 1999, has taken on another dimension for her. Shari Peacock has meanwhile disappeared into it, dissolved into thin air.
Photo: Sharare Peacock (source: Hajar Fiouzi)
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