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The Jew who Ruled Persia: The Story of Sa'ad ad-Dawla
Sa'ad ad-Dawla was a Persian Jew from the city of Abhar. Being a master in recovering delayed taxes, he was able to rise in the ranks of the Mongol Ilkhanate that ruled all of Persia and Iraq. He had personal interactions with Ilkhan Arğun, where he demonstrated a strong compunction against corruption, a facility with languages, knowledge about minute matters throughout the lands, and the ability to cure the Ilkhan of disease. The led to Arğun appointing him as the Grand Vizier of the Ilkhanate in 1289, the most powerful position in the country below the Ilkhan himself. Despite the offense that many Muslims took to having a Jew in such a position of power, the Buddhist Arğun defended him and gave him a long leash to improve the Ilkhanate.

About the Speaker:
Richard Sassoon is an Iraqi-American of Jewish heritage who graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Fordham University Law School with a J.D. with an LL.M. in European Business Law from Madrid’s Universidad Pontificia Comillas. He currently works at UnitedLex as a Contract Manager, but has previously held roles at Samsung Engineering, J.P. Morgan, and several law firms. Richard sits on the ASF Young Leaders Board as well as among the recipients of Broome & Allen Fellowship and Scholarship. Richard has a long-standing interest in diverse cultures and regions, having visited over fifty different countries, meeting various high-level diplomats with Jewish organizations, working on three continents, and handling legal documents in five languages.

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Feb 6, 2022 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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