For 25 years, Nader Khalili's specialty as an architect was skyscrapers. Then at thirty-eight, his turning point in life, he "... bought a motorcycle and went to the desert for five years in Iran to see what the solution was for sheltering the poor in the world and to learn from what already existed. There [he] got to know five personalities: earth, water, air, fire and Rumi, the 800 year old Persian mystic poet..." Rumi taught him the unity of these universal elements, forming his "Archemy" architecture and alchemy. Water is fire, earth is water, and there is a unity in all elements.
His translations of Rumi are included in the Everyman's Library edition of Rumi Poems, published by Knopf, alongside Coleman Barks, who is the best known translator.