An Interview with the Greatest Medical Publisher in the Field of Radiology
Dr. Jalal Shokuhi was born on October 27, 1950, in Miyandoab of West Azarbayijan province of Iran. He is a clinical radiologist, an intervention radiologist, a radiologist with the specialty of head and neck and a radiologist of archeology and artistic human handy- craŌs in museums. He was the secretary of the Radiology Council of Iran for several times, the manager director of Iran’s Radiologists Cooperation, Mahak hospital assistance and advisor, the head of the radiology department of Azad Medical University, the secretary of the first and second Middle East congress about spinal cord, author of many scientific and social articles in scientific and medical engineering magazines. He also worked as UNESCO honorary professor and in ITIC of Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Kish Island, forensic advisor of medical commissions. Besides having such glorious past in the field of medicine, Shokuhi was active in collectin manuscripts and old texts. He owns one of the biggest libraries in the field of radiology with more than 50 thousand book related to that field. He is also a collector of medical stamps, matches, pictured glasses, Monalisa’s pictures, championship cups and medals in the fields of football, chess and track and field. Before graduation from medical school, he was following painting seriously and he made the model of ‘the salty man’ for Zanjan museum. This is an interview with this selected publisher in the field of scientific and radiology books.
When did you start your activity in the publishing industry? I wrote my first book in 1984 and it was about Sonography that was not published. At that time I was studying at Shahid Beheshti University. That book was a compilation of thirteen books in the field of Sonography. I was drawing the pictures of that book myself that were poly copied. It was supposed to be used by medical residents. I gave it to a publishing shop to publish that but the handwritings that were in a bag that got lost.
What about the first book you published?
It was a book titled ‘Pathology of Radiology’ that was published by Jahad Daneshgahi publishing. It could be considered as a dictionary of medical terms. I had written some explanations for each term. The second volume of this three- volume series was about radiological types of equipment. Then, I published other books for introducing Radiology techniques to patients and medicos. As I was one of the members of the editorial board of the magazine of ‘Scientific Information’ and a magazine of medical engineering, I wrote some articles about Radiology techniques . Since then, my books were about both medical radiology and other fields. For example, recently, I wrote a book about the traﬃc culture and another one about visual illusions in radiology pictures.
You also have some books about the common people’s culture and manuscripts.
Yes, and for the very reason, I floated Shokuhi foundation. This foundation takes the responsibility of maintaining and publishing of manuscripts and old texts in Farsi and Turkish. Since one of my ancestors was a poet and his child a freedom- seeker, I am active in this field. I also held two congresses on the occasion of ‘Constitutionalism’ in the ex-place of Islamic Consultative parliament (Majlis) and in Tabriz. These activities were due to my interest in Farsi literature and current society issues that I followed them besides my medical job.
One of your honors is being the secretary of a foreign scientific congress. Give us some explanation, please.
Yes, I am the only person that while living in Iran, takes the responsibility of being a secretary of a foreign scientific congress. This congress under the title of ‘Norospine’ was held in Abu Dhabi. We also held the second round of that in Kish Island with a relatively political purpose.
We introduced Kish as the pearl of the Persian Gulf and it had good outputs.
Are your collections also in scientific and medical fields?
No, they’re not. I collected many collections of stamps and I even explained in some conferences about the publishing of medical stamps and the level of their functionalities. I have a collection of these stamps defining the history of medicine while they have values science-wise. For example, repeatedly many stamps are designed and published worldwide for malaria as during the history the most humans had been killed by this disease while in Iran this number belongs to the death toll of tuberculosis and no stamp was published in Iran about this disease.
Explain about other collections of yours, please.
A collection of matches.
Have do a specific goal for collecting matches?
No, I just considered their aesthetic aspects. A tennis ball is another collection of mine that is not limited to tennis balls and it consists of everything similar to a tennis ball. I also brought old tennis rackets from India and I keep them.
Do you yourself play tennis too?
Yes, but many years ago I was the champion of sprint and football captain of the Fredowsi University of Mashhad. I gained some championships in chess. It is just about 12 years that I play tennis but not professionally of course.
Why did you abandon your exercises?
I abandoned the first two fields due to my age and I quit chess because of my job preoccupations. About my other collections, I have to say that I collect pictured paper glasses. I also have a collection of pictures and things having pictures of Monaliza. I have a collection of about one hundred and sixty cups and medals I got in football, track and field and chess.
It is amazing that your oﬃce does not imply the atmosphere belonging to a medic.
Yes, that’s right. Late Kiarostami before his last trip came here for some of his treatments and once he said that when he would come back from his trip, he would come to my oﬃce with a camera.
Do you keep your collections here? How many items do each collections involved?
The glass collection includes eight hundred glasses and they are in our garden. I keep other collections at home. During past thirty-four years, I also collected two hundred and fifty thousand scientific slides that can be considered a collection. I put twenty-five thousands of them on the site of http:// medimage.ir for free and accessible to the public.
Are these articles published and are they made available to the public?
Yes, some of them are published in four internal newspapers, two of these newspapers are published in Radiology Council and the other two are published by a private sector. I am also a member of editing board of the head and neck department of Radiology Scientific Council of Tehran University that is published in English. My library consists of more than fifty thousand books of Radiology related books.
Is Iran prominent in publishing scientific writings in the
field of radiology compared to other countries?
What about manuscripts?
No, Turkey, in comparison with other countries, enjoys valuable works.
Could you explain more about collecting old texts and manuscripts?
In Shokuhi Foundation we have collected seven volumes that are an inclusive resource for all published books of Turkey throughout the world. We also gained a version of Quran by Walters available in New York.
In the field of scientific publication, what is the level of Iran’s potentialities in comparison with other countries?
At the present time, Iran’s publishing industry enjoys high qualities, but it is not economically for us to publish books and on the other hand during the time needed to be spent on a scientific book to be published in Iran, foreign publishers export a new book in that very field to Iran and usually these are foreign publications that are welcomed and are taken into attention as resources.
What about writings in the field of radiology? Could we provide our internal needs in this field in Iran satisfactorily? Yes, it is the only field in that we could provide our internal needs satisfactorily. Even if we update our publishing industry constantly, we can be very successful as today; the Indian entered the competition market of publishing industry besides
the American and the European. Whatisyourideaaboutthepotentialitiesandopportunities that Iran’s publishing industry might provide for foreign publishers?
In my idea, it is necessary for us to let our works be available to foreign publishers. They could concentrate on Avicenna’s medicine and thoughts of scholars like Zakaria Razi and Biruni. But this does not mean that today science of medicine has to be put aside. We could draw foreigners’ attentions to Iran’s scientific publications with the frequent editing of our own scientific books.
The collection of Monalisa’s pictures has to be added to the list of your collections. What was your purpose of gathering this collection?
I saw the picture of Monalisa for the first time in a pizza shop in Malaysia. It was a picture of Monalisa that held a piece of pizza in her hand. That restaurant used it for advertising. It was very amazing for its customers.
Do you engage with art?
Yes, before my graduation in the field of medicine, I was painting and I have two professionally painted pictures of Mosaddegh and Beethoven. Years ago, I also was painting on tiles.
Had you ever held any exhibitions?
Not in painting but once, I had an exhibition of three dimensions C.T. scan pictures in Medical Exhibitions and another time I had another exhibition in a radiology congress titled ‘Body Zoo’.
What about cinema and theater? Do you follow them?
Yes, I like these fields.
Explain us about your most recent activities, please.
Now, I am mostly active in the field of Radiology and this is the second time that I am the head of Radiology Council. This is the only Council that has a cooperation body that distributes goods and we presented its goods in diﬀerent stages of time.