Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Khalil Hojjat, a Beacon of Friendship and Humanitarian Service



Sayyed Mohammad Khalil Hojat MD (known as saied among his close family members) was born January 18, 1938 (28 دیماه 1316) in Bandar-e-Bushehr, the son of Ayatollah Haj Sayyed Mohammad Ibrahim Hojat and Bibi Sakineh Namazi. Dr Hojat was the second of seven children. Sayyed Mohammad Ibrahim Hojat, son of Ayatollah Haj Sayyed Mohammad Taghi Hojat, was the scion of a long line of clergyman and was a prominent cleric of Bushehr. He was born in Samara and educated at the theology school of Najaf. His family originated from the city of Kazeroon. Bibi Sakineh was born in the Dashti region near the Persian Gulf, as her family had originated from this area. She was one of the first educated women of the city of Bushehr. Given her education, she was prevailed upon to teach in a school for girls. Bibi Sakineh suffered difficult trials during the time when women were not permitted to wear hijab in the streets. As such for nearly ten years she remained in seclusion; however through a series of passages in private courtyards, she was able to continue to go to the school to teach. Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Taghi Hojat was the highest ranking clergyman in Bushehr. He founded a masjid called masjid Peerzan, named for a wealthy widow who was a benefactor. He died ~1967 and was buried in Khajehrabi’, a sactuary near Mashhad. His son Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Ibrahim Hojat continued to lead the faithful of Bushehr at the masjid Dehdashti. He was much beloved in this capacity, and was famous for his personal austerity and devotion to the people. He died ~1993 and was buried at the shrine of Imamzadeh Ibrahim in Shiraz.
Dr. Hojat spent his childhood in Bushehr where he was an excellent student, and he attended Alborz High School in Tehran during his final year of secondary school. He then attended the medical college of the University of Tabriz. This was a difficult period in which he found himself alone amid a new culture far away from his birthplace. Once he completed his education, he served his two year military duty. He worked in the capacity of an army doctor and completed his duty at the rank of second lieutenant. After this, he worked at the National Iranian Oil Company hospital in Masjid-i-Soleiman for six years. During this time, he treated all manner of patients and illnesses and was indispensable to the operation of the hospital. Searching for new learning opportunities, in 1969 he accepted a position that had been offered to him to train as a resident physician in the United States. He did his internship at Barberton, Ohio followed by his radiology residency at MCP Hahnemann in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also completed fellowships in angiography and neuroradiology at New York Medical College in New York City. He became board certified in radiology, as well as radiation therapy, by the American Board of Radiology. Dr. Hojat worked in New York City at such institutions as Bird S. Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island, as well as in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and ultimately in Gallipolis, Ohio at Holzer Medical Center and Holzer Clinic (a 150-physician multi-specialty practice with facilities in eight counties) where he was chair of the radiology department for almost thirty years. He served in this capacity with distinction turning the department into one of the finest in the medical center. He headed nine radiologists, continuously brought all the newest technologies and state of the art expertise to the region, and was a beloved, fatherly figure to all the employees and members of the community.
In 1978, he married Jaleh Etessami-Sadri in Tehran, Iran. Her family hailed from Isfahan and Tehran, the granddaughter of a land baron/khan and the daughter of General Hussein Etessami-Sadri. Having completed a master’s degree in computer science and mathematics, she taught at computer programming and mathematics at small colleges. Their intention was to return to Iran given that it was their homeland and they had left the country simply seeking more knowledge; however, family circumstances made this difficult and they remained abroad. They had two children Rod Ali Hojat, MD who became a specialist in obstetrics & gynecology, and Leila Susan Hojat who attended medical school at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Hojat is a tremendously charitable person having aided his extended family greatly over the years and supporting numerous charitable organizations such as Ahl-ul-Bayt society, the Unity Center/Jaffari Union of northeast Ohio, World Vision and Habitat for Humanity. He has instilled these principles in his children as well with his son being a devout believer with an ardent love for his fatherland of Iran and great value for his family, and his daughter a social activist and medical scholar. Dr. Hojat has shown deep sympathy for all people and is a man filled with love and compassion. He treats all with respect and values the dignity that was inherent in hard work. He never cut corners or was untruthful. He is a man of peace, even caring for animals; he would not even kill insects, but rather would take pains to safely deliver them to their normal environs. Living a life of remarkable decency all his days, seeking little in life for himself, he gave everything he had to his family, community, and work. Buy his untiring and selfless services to many people in Iran and the United States and his uninterrupted passion and dedication for learning, Dr. Hojat has provided a role model for many members of his immediate and remote families as well as for many Iranian and American young aspirants.
It is very unfortunate that he is presently struggling with a serious cancer. But it is heartening to see that as a moral example, the great pain he is enduring has not changed his patient character. May peace be upon him and may his great legacy continue through his great family.
Amen...

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