Articles

Forward to the book “Foreigner” by Judge Dorothy Nelson

Forward to the book “Foreigner” by Judge Dorothy Nelson

This is a book that will move you to tears, then to laughter, then to reflection. It will motivate you to lead a life dedicated to bringing about a more peaceful world. Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chap- man have produced an enlightening, well-crafted, fascinating and thought-provoking book about the life of Hussein, a ‘foreigner’, and his transition from a child in the village of Nayriz, Iran, to an adult in New York City. It gives intriguing glimpses, often humor- ous, about what it was like to be a persecuted Bahá’í in the Shi‘a Muslim society of Iran, and then an immigrant in New York City. It also provides an intellectual and detailed history of what it was like to be a Bahá’í during the 19th and 20th centuries in Iran and the United States. The authors tell the intimate and personal story of Hussein Ahdieh, whose great-great-great-grandfather was described as the first martyr of Nayriz by the great Bahá’í teacher, Vaḥíd, after the persecutions of the Bábís began in Nayriz. Hussein’s great-great- grandfather was also martyred during violent reprisals against the Bábís, following the siege at Fort Khajih. These were the first seeds of the Bábí and Ba ...more
Review of Foreigner by Peter Murphy, poet and writer

Review of Foreigner by Peter Murphy, poet and writer

Hussein Ahdieh's remarkable journey from a rural village in Iran to become a Dean at a New York University is more than just another feel-good story of the American Dream at its best. It is the story of remarkable young man who not only improved his own lot in life, but dedicated himself to improving the lives of others. This is not just a history of the Baha'i Faith from the point of view of a family that helped make that history. It is also an intimate look at 20th Century American race relations from a Foreigner who helped make the American Dream achievable for "tired, poor, and huddled masses" of Americans neglected by the country of their birth. Hussein Ahdieh's remarkable journey from a small village in Iran where most people were illiterate to a Dean at a New York University is not just the extraordinary story of a hard working immigrant achieving the American dream. It is not just a history of the founding years of the Baha'i Faith told from the point of view of a family that helped make that history. Foreigner also tells the story of a young man who becomes part of America's 20th Century history as he but a history of the founding years of The Baha'i Faith by a ...more
Review of Foreigner  by Dr. Eric S. Mondschein, author

Review of Foreigner by Dr. Eric S. Mondschein, author

The Foreigner by Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman is a compelling story that will leave the reader in tears one moment and laughter the next. Ahdieh and Chapman present the engrossing story, a memoir, of the life of author Hussein Ahdieh who is the "foreigner." From his growing up in a small village in Iran to his life in the United States, he was always a "foreigner" - As a member of the Bahá'í Faith living in a Shia Muslim country, where members of that Faith have been despised and persecuted for over a century and a half, to moving to the United States and trying to build a life and make a home in a new nation, as just one of many immigrants from the Middle East. Reading the Foreigner is like sitting with Ahdieh as he tells you of his life and the experiences he has lived and endured. It is an easy read that is poignant and at times provocative, humorous, at other times sad, and yet always informative and filled with hope. It is a very satisfying read. So I encourage you to join Ahdieh and Chapman for a surprising and powerful journey in which laughter mingles with tears and sorrow turns to joy. Dr. Eric S. Mondschein Author, Life of 12 College Road ...more
Review of Foreigner  by Soli Shahvar -Professor of Iranian Studies, Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, the University of Haifa

Review of Foreigner  by Soli Shahvar -Professor of Iranian Studies, Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, the University of Haifa

Foreigner: From an Iranian village to New York City and the lights that led the way by Hussein Ahdieh, Hillary Chapman, George Ronald Publisher,London,2019 Reviewed by Soli Shahvar Professor of Iranian Studies, Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, the University of Haifa; Director, The Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, the University of Haifa. sshahvar@univ.haifa.ac.il; shahvar@research.haifa.ac.il Since the appearance of the Babi-Baha'i religion on world stage in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Babi-Baha'i believers have been undergoing varying levels of persecution and/or discrimination throughout the Islamic world, and especially in the land of its origin, namely Iran. This negative attitude towards the Baha'is – shared widely by both the Iranian authorities, clergy and many of their fellow non-Baha'i countrymen – caused many Baha'is to seek refuge out of Iran, in countries where they could practice their faith and propagate it more freely. Foreigner tells the story of one such individual, Hussein Ahdieh, born in the small Iranian town of Nayriz, located in the southern Iranian province of Fars, in the early 1940s, who some twenty ...more
Review of “Foreigner” by Kamran Hakim,scholar and writer

Review of “Foreigner” by Kamran Hakim,scholar and writer

In a language of storytelling, in his book “Foreigner,” Dr. Ahdieh touches upon the feeling of being an outsider at two different levels. Once he presents himself as a foreigner in the country of his birth. Then he goes on to speak about being a foreigner in New York City. Being considered an outsider has a wide range of implications. The most obvious being associated with one’s status as an alien and an immigrant, or being viewed as a stranger, an outlander, someone who doesn’t “fit in with the established norms”, etc… According to these definitions one can become a foreigner in visible and invisible ways. Persons with different traits living among a group of people with a particular set of attributes. Where the difference in characteristics could be in appearance, language, customs, social class, ethnicity, level of education, level of wealth, philosophical views, religious beliefs, etc… In the majority of the cases one does not need to travel thousands of miles to achieve the foreigner status according to the author. The notion of “foreigner” as a socio-psychological concept produces two very different outcomes: On one hand it generates a sense of defi ...more
Reflections from Homa S. Tavangar educator and author on reading “Foreigner”

Reflections from Homa S. Tavangar educator and author on reading “Foreigner”

Hussein Ahdieh’s masterfully woven life story, Foreigner, spans the 20th and 21st Centuries, east and west, poverty and privilege. History is made real through a personal lens of one immigrant whose life has traversed too many remarkable milestones to list here - almost like a sage version of Forrest Gump who has been a party to the unfoldment of the story of our times. I particularly appreciate Ahdieh and Chapman’s storytelling style, approachable for readers from middle school age and up, and for anyone interested in knowing how profoundly the Baha’i Faith can impact one person’s — and multiple generation’s — lives. As soon as I started reading Foreigner, I couldn’t put it down. Homa S. Tavangar educator, author and speaker ...more
Reflections on reading “Foreigner” by David Rutstein, MD and Baha’i Scholar

Reflections on reading “Foreigner” by David Rutstein, MD and Baha’i Scholar

Many circumstances motivate people to flee their homes and seek better lives in foreign lands. Poverty, political upheaval, and violent religious persecution are likely three of the most common motivations. Hussein Ahdieh’s decision to immigrate to the United States was motivated by all three. The autobiographical Foreigner by Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman describes Mr. Ahdieh’s life, the social and historical contexts that influenced him as he matured, the hardships he overcame and the accomplishments he achieved before, during and after, he fled Iran – the country of his birth – in the early 1960’s, to carve out a new life for himself in the United States. An adventurous spirit, academic prowess, an innate toughness, a willingness to work hard and a sense of humor no doubt all contributed to Mr. Ahdieh’s ultimate ability to escape a society steeped in ignorance and petty-minded religious fanaticism. But his greatest assets – assets which ensured his ultimate success in America – were his grounding in the Bahá’í Faith, its enlightened principles and its diverse community of fellow believers from which he drew strength and encouragement. Foreigner is ...more
Review of Foreigner by Babak Bahador,Babak Bahador,Professor at the School of Media and Public Affairs in George Washington University

Review of Foreigner by Babak Bahador,Babak Bahador,Professor at the School of Media and Public Affairs in George Washington University

Foreigner ​by Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman is a personal and intriguing story about the life of Hussein Ahdieh who grew up in the small Iranian town of Nayriz before eventually moving and settling in New York City. It is also a story many who have experienced being an “other” will relate to and find inspiring. This is particularly relevant today in a world where tens of millions are displaced from their native lands and categorized as immigrants, refugees and other terms of exclusion. ​Foreigner ​ humanizes the immigrant experience by showing the difficulties often faced in one’s homeland that compel people to take the risk and leave in search of a better future. Hussein Ahdieh’s life began in an environment of hostility and intimidation as a member of the despised Baha’i religious minority in a small conservative Shi’a Islamic town in Iran in the 1940s. The first chapter offers a rich description of life in Nayriz during this time and the central role of religion in society, highlighted by the daily calls to prayer over loudspeakers that reverberated throughout the town’s streets and alleys. This society was one in which women played a subser ...more
Review of Foreigner by Dr.Duane Troxel, writer

Review of Foreigner by Dr.Duane Troxel, writer

Some time back a noted journalist cited five reasons to read biography. They allow you to stand on the shoulders of giants. They remind you that history repeats itself. They promote self discovery. They allow you to see the world in new ways. They give you mentors at a distance. In the case of Hussein Ahdieh’s new book, Foreigner, knowledge flows liberally forth from each of the five cited reasons. Here is the autobiography of a man born and reared in the obscure Persian village of Nayriz in southwest province of Fars in the early 1940s. It was his birthright to be born into a family of Bahá’ís; a faith tradition fiercely hated by the Shi’i religious majority of Iran. A Shi’ite follower could insult, injure and even kill a Bahai without fear of reprisal by the government, the clergy or the victim’s family. Indeed, many fanatic and bigoted Shi’i Mullas promised the delights of Paradise to anyone who took the life of a Bahá’í. For those of us with familiar with Babi-Bahá’í history we are keenly aware of the persecution of Bahá’ís in Iran over the past nearly 200 years. [1] Now Hussein Ahdieh adds considerably to our knowledge of the p ...more
Review of “Foreigner” by Gordon Naylor,Educator and Writer

Review of “Foreigner” by Gordon Naylor,Educator and Writer

The great value of this book “Foreigner”, by Hussein Ahdieh,lies in the manner it’s author weaves the thread of the moral and spiritual victories of his ancestors into the strengthening of his own moral resolve in the present and throughout his life. Navigating one’s spiritual development and service in a world lost in constant rationalization and acceptance of “anything goes” is no easy task. With characteristic honesty, he writes of his struggles in childhood, youth and as a young man landed in New York from small town Nayriz, Persia. Despite great struggles and tragedies, Hussein stays true to his Faith, the Baha’i Faith. This is no small wonder given a world that minimizes the value of sacrifices to preserve one’s beliefs with integrity. The book creatively inspires commitment to a life of purpose and meaning. It leaves one commitment to searching for truth and wishing to contribute to a better world. Gordon Naylor, Educator and writer ...more
Reflections on reading “Foreigner” by Gwyn Magaditsch, Baha’i Scholar

Reflections on reading “Foreigner” by Gwyn Magaditsch, Baha’i Scholar

Here's a book that lets you figuratively walk, if not a mile, at least a couple of New York blocks in an immigrant's shoes. We wonder how this 19-year-old Iranian from a rural area of Iran where, although a member of the Bahá'í Faith and much more forward-thinking than the majority of folks in his home town were, will survive in New York City with only a few words of English and a limited amount of funds. He desperately needs to find work as well as go to school, and he lets us know how tough it was. He shares the stories, lets us in on the difficulties of making it day by day, and we can sense his anxiety and frustration. Ah, but he has tenacity, he has iron-willed determination, and he survives! As his story progresses we sense his growth and then observe the change that his marriage to his dear wife, Tahereh, brings. With their successful marriage we see further growth. He obtains his educational goals, and we learn about his eventual involvement as administrator at Harlem Prep, a marvelous, innovative school in Harlem where high school drop-outs are given a second chance at the educational process—a school with a remarkable record of success. He also shares stories of ac ...more
Review of the book “Foreigner” by Richard W. Thomas,Professor Emeritus of History at Michigan State University

Review of the book “Foreigner” by Richard W. Thomas,Professor Emeritus of History at Michigan State University

REVIEW FOREIGNER: From an Iranian village to New York City and the Lights that led the way. HUSSEIN AHDIEH Hillary Chapman This book by Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman on the journey of Hussein from a Baha’i child in the tiny Iranian village of Nayriz to an adult Baha’i and successful professional in New York, City, is a multilayered narrative of relentless religious persecution, immigrant struggles and personal resilience. It begins with “Life in Nayriz” and how the “Call to prayer” surrounded and permeated the entire social fabric of the village. The authors take the reader into the little understood cultural and social world of the Baha’is in the village and the intimate details of their households. We observe the daily harassments and brutal persecutions Baha’is endured at the hands of Muslim fanatics dating back to the days of the Bab and the heroic deeds and sacrifices of generations of Hussein’s family. We get a glimpse into the lives of the Baha’i women relatives who nurtured him yet were themselves restricted from learning about “the greater world” outside their household. The authors ...more
Review of “Foreigner by Jan Sadeghian ,educator and writer

Review of “Foreigner by Jan Sadeghian ,educator and writer

It is not unusual for a person to be acquainted with someone but have little knowledge of their past, of their joys, their struggles and sufferings. I was so fascinated to learn of your journey from Nayriz to the United States. I feel like I know the people and places you wrote about so lovingly and vividly. The introduction to Nayriz through the Muslim call to prayer, portraying every aspect of life in a place plagued by ignorance and poverty, yet raised up an extensive and extraordinary Baha'i community, home to many of the most prominent Baha'is of the era, many of whom you have had personal connection with as a young boy. What a bounty! As I read through the incredible history of your ancestors, I was humbled by the extraordinary sacrifices of each generation starting with the severe suffering of your great-great-great grandfather who survived the loss of his family in the most devastating of circumstances. Those of us who have come to the Faith in more recent years cannot imagine the consecration and dedication required of those precious souls who gave everything for a world whose future of love, social justice and peace, material and spiritual prosperity and harmony ...more
Review of “Foreigner” By Kenneth Bowers,secretary of the NSA of the Baha’is of U.S.A

Review of “Foreigner” By Kenneth Bowers,secretary of the NSA of the Baha’is of U.S.A

The “immigrant story” has extended from the Colonial era to the present day, and has long constituted an American literary archetype. The histories of the famous and of the obscure are a genre all their own, following a typical narrative arc: adversity in the country of origin, continued struggle upon entering the Promised Land, and finally – thanks to an alchemy of plucky determination and freedom of opportunity – successful entrance into the mainstream. For the new citizen, at last sitting in triumph beneath his proverbial vine and fig tree, America has truly become “home.” These universal elements are perhaps too satisfying for American readers, tempting us into an unquestioning sense of cultural superiority. But in the particulars, if we are fortunate enough to have an honest narrator, we can see ourselves as others see us. In this way we can better appreciate that the “idea” of America is a horizon towards which we are continually struggling, and that the struggle itself – towards true justice and equality – is our real story. And it is one we have in common with all of humanity. It is in this respect that Hussein Ahdieh has rendered a notable service. H ...more
“Foreigner” review by Robert Harris,speaker and writer

“Foreigner” review by Robert Harris,speaker and writer

In 500 years, the 20th Century will likely be viewed as a pivotal century in the history of Earth. A Century of Science: Driven by advances in energy sources, political havoc and global wars, hellish weapons were unleashed on mankind. This was followed by sporadic attempts to apply the new discoveries to peaceful purposes, generating the hope of potential prosperity for the world. The nuclear age was born and slowly, in fits and starts, began to mature. Concepts of a World Order: Two world wars, genocide, famine, economic collapse and bloody ideological battles gave birth to the possibility that the nations of the Earth might find a way to coordinate and order their affairs. The League of Nations, the United Nations, hundreds of treaties and non-governmental organizations made the notion of global governance conceivable. Colonialism faded away, new nations were born, and advancing communication networks connected a global community. The drive for a more just and peaceful world was picking up steam. Hundreds of Millions of People in Motion: In the 1900's, wave after wave of people fled the cities, countries and continents of their birth, and searched for a new home. Wha ...more
Review of Foreigner by Jesse Washington  Senior Writer, ESPN’s TheUndefeated.com

Review of Foreigner by Jesse Washington Senior Writer, ESPN’s TheUndefeated.com

Foreigner is a vivid and engaging autobiography. Hussein Adieh’s immigrant odyssey is an intergenerational story of suffering, heroism, and the determination to build not just a better life for oneself, but a better world for humanity ...more
Reflection on reading “Foreigner” from Mara Khavari, Founder of “Artists Building Capacity as World Citizens”

Reflection on reading “Foreigner” from Mara Khavari, Founder of “Artists Building Capacity as World Citizens”

by Dr. Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman From an Iranian village to New York City and the lights that led the way When you see an image of a young boy riding his donkey briskly along a dusty well-worn path in a faraway sun baked village in Iran, you never truly know where that boy’s path will lead or what and who will light his way.You may never know that he was just as much a foreigner in the village of his birth as he was later in life stepping off the ramp of the Queen Mary in New York Harbor. Foreign in both lands? How is that possible? There were many “lights” that inspired and led this restless young man from his hard scrabble Persian village of 1940-50’s Iran to the equally hard scrabble life awaiting in the American City of New York. Surviving largely with determination and grit in sometimes impossible circumstances he now tells part of the tale in uproariously funny ways. Mr. Ahdieh worked his way through many rough and steamy Manhattan restaurant kitchens starting out with next to no English and little, sometimes no, money. Pushing through over time, Dr. Ahdieh became an American educator with his doctorate degree during the civil rights era working alo ...more
BABISM iii. Babism in Neyriz for Encyclopædia Iranica

BABISM iii. Babism in Neyriz for Encyclopædia Iranica

Neyriz (Niriz) is a town in Fars south of Iran, located about 220 km southeast of Shiraz on the eastern side of Baḵtagān Lake. In the medieval period, the nesba “Neyrizi” is attested by Abu’l-ʿAbbās Fażl b. Ḥātem Neyrizi ...In 1850, Sayyed Yaḥyā Dārābi, who had been renamed Waḥid by the Bāb, arrived in the city. He was a cleric who had met the Bāb in Shiraz and converted to Babism after three personal encounters with him.  As Waḥīd approached Neyriz, many of the residents came to greet him (Fayżi, p. 52; Ruḥāni, I, p. 55) ...more
On Tahirih, The First Persian Feminist

On Tahirih, The First Persian Feminist

Tahirih has been inspiring writers, human rights activists and artists for generations. Now a new book about the Persian poet and champion of women’s rights examines her life and her links with suffragettes in the West, and pays tribute to her legacy.  Robert Harris reviews The Calling: Tahirih of Persia and her American Contemporaries by Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman To read the full text click here ...more
Iran’s Cradle-to-Grave Persecution-Iran Press Watch

Iran’s Cradle-to-Grave Persecution-Iran Press Watch

Originally published: op-ed Newsday, August 8, 2014 1:23 PM By HUSSEIN AHDIEH I lost a dear aunt many years ago. Today, her burial site is at risk of being callously destroyed — bulldozed together with more than 900 graves. Although I knew of attacks on Baha’i cemeteries in Iran, at least 43 since 2005, I was stunned to learn that in April, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards in Iran began excavating the Baha’i cemetery in Shiraz where five of my relatives are buried, including my aunt. To read the full text click here ...more
From Nayriz to New York: Hussein Ahdieh and the Story of Harlem Prep-Iran Press Watch

From Nayriz to New York: Hussein Ahdieh and the Story of Harlem Prep-Iran Press Watch

In 1961, a young immigrant by the name of Hussein Ahdieh arrived in New York Harbor aboard the RMS Queen Mary, an ocean liner carrying over 1,000 other passengers. He arrived in America after having left the small impoverished town of Nayriz in the south of Iran. He left his home country because his family was persecuted for being members of the Baha’i Faith, a religion that emphasizes the importance of education, the harmony between science and religion, and the equality of men and women. To read the full text click here ...more
Sacrificial Education: For the Good of Others

Sacrificial Education: For the Good of Others

Have you ever worked in an environment that made you want to sacrifice everything to do your absolute best? That feeling, according to the Baha’i writings, “emanates from the breaths of the Holy Spirit:”

Another unity is the spiritual unity which emanates from the breaths of the Holy Spirit. This is greater than the unity of mankind. Human unity or solidarity may be likened to the body whereas unity from the breaths of the Holy Spirit is the spirit animating the body. This is a perfect unity. It creates such a condition in mankind that each one will make sacrifices for the other and the utmost desire will be to forfeit life and all that pertains to it in behalf of another’s good. – Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 67.

  To read the full text click here ...more
The First 40 Years of the Bahá’í Faith in New York

The First 40 Years of the Bahá’í Faith in New York

Highlights of the First 40 Years of the Bahá’í Faith in New York, City of the Covenant, 1892-1932

The information compiled in this document was made available to Hussein Ahdieh by the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of New York City while working on the booklet honoring the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s trip to New York City. Other sources include materials from The Star of the West, Robert Stockman’s books, Mahmud and Juliet Thompson diaries.

Compiled by Hussein Ahdieh

To read the full text click here ...more
The Treasures That Education Can Reveal

The Treasures That Education Can Reveal

In 1967, the Harlem Preparatory School opened in an old armory with forty-nine students—over 200 had applied—and by the end of the year the enrollment topped seventy students. The efforts of that first year bore fruit when all 70 of Harlem Prep’s students were accepted to colleges: the State University of New York, Fordham University, Berkeley, New York University, Wesleyan University, Vassar College, Utica College, and Park College.To read the full text click here ...more
The Untold, Spiritual History of Harlem Prep

The Untold, Spiritual History of Harlem Prep

The education of each child is obligatory. If there are no parents, the community must look after the child. It is suggested that the childless educate a child.It is incumbent on every one to engage in some occupation, such as arts, trades, and the like. We have made this–your occupation–identical with the worship of God, the true one. – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 26.To read the full text click here

...more
Tahirih Becomes a Heroic Figure in Books and Plays

Tahirih Becomes a Heroic Figure in Books and Plays

As Tahirih’s powerful story spread, many authors began to depict her as a heroic figure in scholarly treatises, books and plays. Edward Granville Browne—one of the most important scholars to first bridge the distance between the Western and Persian worlds, and the only Westerner who met Baha’u’llah—wrote glowingly about Tahirih. To read the full text click here   ...more
Tahirih’s Magical Influence Over the Masses

Tahirih’s Magical Influence Over the Masses

Tahirih, with her learning, her poetry and her devotion to the Babi Faith—the precursor of the Baha’i Faith—had a tremendous influence in life as well as in death. The story of her conversion from Islam to the Babi Faith inspired many:
One night when it was getting along toward dawn [Tahirih] laid her head on her pillow, lost all awareness of this earthly life, and dreamed a dream; in her vision a youth, a Siyyid [a descendent of Muhammad], wearing a black cloak and a green turban, appeared to her in the heavens; he was standing in the air, reciting verses and praying with his hands upraised. At once, she memorized one of those verses, and wrote it down in her notebook when she awoke. After the Báb had declared His mission, and His first book, “The Best of Stories,” [The Ahsanu’l-Qisas, the Bab’s commentary on the Surih of Joseph] was circulated, Tahirih was reading a section of the text one day, and she came upon that same verse, which she had noted down from the dream. Instantly offering thanks, she fell to her knees and bowed her forehead to the ground, convinced that the Bab’s message wa ...more
Tahirih’s Role in Women’s Emancipation

Tahirih’s Role in Women’s Emancipation

In the early part of the 20th Century, Charlotte Despard, an important English women’s rights advocate who served the poor in Dublin, wrote several substantial pieces on Tahirih. Despard was the editor of a weekly newspaper in England, The Vote, which had as its mission statement: To secure for Women the Parliamentary vote as it is or may be granted to men; to use the power thus obtained to establish equality of rights and opportunities between the sexes, and to promote the social and industrial well-being of the community. – Charlotte Despard, “An Eastern Prophet’s Message,” The Vote, Volume VII, number 168 (January 10, 1913), p. 181. In three subsequent editions of The Vote during September and October of 1911, she wrote a serialized biographical account of Tahirih. In her account, entitled, “A Woman Apostle in Persia,” she re-imagined Tahirih as a rebel against the religious subjugation of women. Despard imagined Tahirih as saying: “I have always rebelled,” so her thoughts ran. “I have felt it was an ill thing to be a woman, and worse to rail against the decree of Allah in making woman subject. And I have fou ...more
The Revered Symbol of the Women’s Emancipation Movement

The Revered Symbol of the Women’s Emancipation Movement

As her fame spread throughout the world, Tahirih began to become a revered spiritual symbol of the growing women’s emancipation movement. Marie von Najmájer, an Austrian writer and activist for the advancement of women, wrote the first literary work or poem to use Tahirih as a heroic character, “Gurret-ül-Eyn. (A Picture from the Persian Modern Times in 6 Songs),” published in 1874. She used the work of Kazem-Bek and Gobineau for her basic information, and recounted the persecution Tahirih faced, as told here by Abdu’l-Baha: As Tahirih became celebrated throughout Karbila, and the Cause of His Supreme Holiness, the Bab, spread all over Persia, the latter-day ulamas arose to deny, to heap scorn upon, and to destroy it. They issued a fatva or judgment that called for a general massacre. Tahirih was one of those designated by the evil ulamas of the city as an unbeliever … – Abdu’l-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 182. Many decades later, Marianna Hainisch, mother of a President of Austria, heard of Tahirih from Martha Root, and professed: “I shall try to do for the women of Austria what Tahirih gave her life to do for the women of Persia.” – Marzi ...more
A Woman Sacrifices Her Life for Equality

A Woman Sacrifices Her Life for Equality

When the Persian government ordered the execution of the Babi poet, martyr and women’s rights advocate Tahirih, the news spread quickly. But the book which introduced the Bab and his revolutionary new Faith to a broad generation of European intellectuals was “Religions et philosophies dans l’Asie central” (Religions and Philosophies of Central Asia), by Joseph Arthur, Compte de Gobineau (1816-1882)—which wasn’t published until 1865, thirteen years after Tahirih’s death. Gobineau was a French writer and diplomat who had been posted in Persia during the time of the Bab. He wrote an account of his impressions and understanding of the religious beliefs of the people in that part of the world, which contained the first extensive account of the Babi religion and early history of the Bab’s Faith. Gobineau had come into possession of the only manuscript of a history of the Babi Faith, written by Haji Mirza Jani, a Babi who was killed during the bloody persecutions of 1852. Gobineau wrote descriptions of Tahirih which convey the degree of her talent and capacity and the high regard in which she was held: Not only did she have a rare command of Arabic, but she bec ...more
How the West Found Out about Tahirih

How the West Found Out about Tahirih

After the Babi poetess and women’s rights advocate Tahirih’s execution, her name and her fame travelled westward almost immediately. Sir Justin Sheil, a British general and diplomat who served as Queen Victoria’s representative to the court of the King of Persia, sent the first known mention of the execution of Tahirih in this dispatch dated August 22nd, 1852: Among those who have suffered death was a young woman, the daughter of a Teacher of the Law in Mazanderan of great celebrity who has been three years in confinement in Tehran. She was venerated as a prophetess by the Babees [Babis], and her designation among them was ‘Koorat ool ain’ – ‘Pupil of the eye.’ [Actually Qurrat’ul-Ayn, “Solace of the Eyes”] She has been strangled by the Shah’s order. The Sedr Azim has opposed some of these acts, but the Shah’s anger and vindictiveness have not allowed him to pay attention to advice. – Moojan Momen, The Babi and Baha’i Religions, 1844-1944, Some Contemporary Western Accounts, p. 135. The next day, Prince Dolgorukov, the Russian ambassador to Persia, sent this dispatch: … For a long time there has been imprisoned in Tihran under the surveil ...more

Interviews

Novin TV interview with Dr.Hussein and Tahereh Ahdieh on the book Awakening

نگاه - قسمت بیست و یکم در برنامه این هفته نگاه با دکتر حسین و طاهره عهدیه آشنا می‌شویم که در مورد کتاب صبح بیداری تألیف دکتر حسین عهدیه توضیح میدهند . در بخش موسیقی‌ برنامه ادامه سری کلیپ‌های تصویری با نام "خدمت به نوع بشر" را برای شما پخش خواهیم کرد. نام کلیپ این هفته از سری یاد شده " کمک به بهسازی اجتماع" می باشد

Dr.Ahdieh’s interview with GPB producer Nwandi Lawson

Awakening Interview with Hussein Ahdieh and Nwandi Lawson, GPB Producer

 

 

Abdu’l-Bahá in New York interview

Dr. Ahdieh is interviewed by Nwardi Lawson, award-winning journalist, Georgia Public Broadcasting Producer, and Bahá'í Auxiliary Board Member. The subject of the interview is 'Abdu'l-Bahá in New York.

Celebrating 100th Anniversary of Dizzy Gillespie’s Birth Day

Abdul-Baha’s sense of humor

Tahirih, the great persian poetess .December 11, 2017

Harlem prep interview

Tahirih story, interview with Hussein Ahdieh and Roya Shanks /short version

Length 14:30
Music: "Dance of Martyrdom" by Farzad Listen ad-free with YouTube Red