Never Too Late to Learn

Never Too Late to LearnNever Too Late to Learn

The oldest master’s degree student in Iran, an octogenarian, presented his dissertation at the Islamic Azad University of Ajabshir in East Azarbaijan Province, on Sunday.

Mir Qanbar Heydari Shishvan, 86, successfully defended his MA thesis in the field of Educational Research.

Heydari had previously received his bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Tabriz Azad University.

“I seek to fulfill the preaching of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who asked Muslims to be active in their quest for knowledge,” says Heydari, reported.

Prophet Muhammad’s famous quote “Seek knowledge from cradle to grave,” is often echoed on various cultural products and urban billboards.

Heydari lost his parents in 1938 when he was only 8 years old. Due to pressures of life and having to earn a living, he kept postponing studies but was encouraged by his uncle to finish high school.

He received his diploma in 1976 at the age of 38, and managed to finish graduate studies in 2012. During the years of study he worked as a bank teller, a teacher, and an office clerk.

Heydari’s life story was adapted in a documentary by Mohammad Shirvani in 2005. The film follows Mir Qanbar as he campaigns in the country’s presidential elections.

The film won the Award of Excellence at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in 2005 and in 2007 won the Audience Favorite award at the Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles. It was also screened at Festival del film Locarno in Switzerland and the Yokohama Film Festival in Japan.

Heydari has authored a book titled “Ups and Downs of My Life,” which got the permit for publishing in 2005 after pursuing the matter for five years.

He is aiming now for a doctoral degree, and is also interested to run for the presidential elections in Iran slated for June 2017.

 Age Is Just a Number

A 96-year-old Japanese man is recognized as the world’s oldest university graduate with his degree in ceramic arts.

Sprightly senior Shigemi Hirata received his Guinness World Records certificate on June 3 after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kyoto University of Art and Design earlier this year, local media reported Saturday.

Born on a Hiroshima farm in 1919, Hirata - who took 11 years to complete his ceramic arts course after taking up pottery as a senior - insisted he was not done setting records.

“My goal is to live until I’m 100,” he said. “If I’m fit enough it might be rather fun to go to graduate school. At my age it’s fun to be able to learn new things,” added Hirata, who served in the navy during World War II and has four great-grandchildren.

Japan’s perky seniors regularly set eye-popping records as the silver-haired generation enjoys longer and healthier lives.

Many elderly Japanese remain physically active long after other people have given up the ghost.

There were nearly 59,000 centenarians in Japan in 2015, according to government figures, which means 46 out of every 100,000 people is 100 or over.