In this significant year commemorating the one hundred years anniversary of the ascension of Abdul Baha we are reminded again of His suffering in exile and prison as well as thousands of Baha’is who were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in other countries.
Throughout the 1960s and since, thousands of Baha’is left Iran to escape persecution. This presentation is the story of one such Baha’i. I spend my childhood and adolescence in the sleepy, jumbled Nayrizi streets, it revolved around being a member of a persecuted, but highly resilient religious minority amidst timeless routines organized around the daily calls to prayer by the Muslim majority population.Two decades later, I found myself working amongst like-minded colleagues at the Harlem Prep School in New York City, guiding hundreds of young African-Americans away from the streets and into college.
The presentation is a vivid re-telling of a Baha’i sometimes painful, always hopeful, experiences as a foreigner. It will consider what it means to be a foreigner in one’s country of birth, as well as in one’s adopted new home, finding peace and meaningful life in the Baha’i faith with realization that Home is not a place outside in the world, but inside of us, the cradle of the soul.
The presentation is based on the recently published book by George Ronald Publisher – “Foreigner: From an Iranian Village to New York City and the lights that led the way”.