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The Universal Search for Freedom and Human Rights with Dr. Hussein Ahdieh
September 29, 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT
This online presentation will educate participants about the immigrant experience through the story of one individual and provide an opportunity for meaningful interaction and conversation.
For as long as small boats could sail beyond a horizon, human beings have journeyed past the confines of their native land in search of something new and something better. While material factors such as money and resources have surely been at play, at the most fundamental level, there is a common longing and universal search for dignity, for freedom and for human rights. Migrants and refugees have assumed great risks and made great sacrifices to act on the innate human hope and thirst for tranquility and peace, for safe shelter and economic opportunities, and for the progress of future generations who would – it is hoped – be free of daily oppression.
For Baha’is, including Dr Ahdieh, a primary reason for leaving Iran over the past fifty years has been the search for freedom from religious persecution. This longing for freedom has been coupled with a core belief in the oneness of humanity and the corollary that one could make a home anywhere on the planet.
As a Baha’i child and adolescent growing up in a dusty corner of Iran, Dr Ahdieh’s family was reviled by religious leaders and the citizens who followed their lead. They were outsiders. A desire for a better life and for a good education brought them to America, but here too he was told that while he had a few more privileges than he’d had in his native land, he had no inherent and safeguarded rights as an immigrant.
His experiences both in Iran and as an immigrant struggling hard to survive the hot and crowded kitchens in New York City gave Dr Ahdieh a consciousness that was open to appreciate the struggle of African Americans against racism and the Jim Crow state. In this session you’ll hear how he channeled his own childhood and immigrant past into efforts to address the needs of African American youth, turning painful personal experiences into service to others.
Thursday, September 29, 2022 starting:
8:00 PM Eastern _ 7:00 PM Central _ 6:00 PM Mountain _ 5:00 PM Pacific Time
This 90 minute online session is ADMISSION BY DONATION. A donation today helps DRBI continue to offer exceptional content to you. Thank you in advance. Please donate here. And note, donors still need to register for the course.
Presenter biography: Dr. Ahdieh was born and raised in Nayriz, Iran. He is a sixth generation Bahá’í, his ancestors figuring among the first in Nayriz to accept the Bábi and later the Bahá’í Faith. Hussein immigrated to the United States as a young man of 17. Hussein worked and attended college in the New York area; completing a master’s degree in European Intellectual History and a doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts.
In addition to ‘Awakening’ – a comprehensive study about the life of Tahirih and her American contemporaries which has been translated into 6 languages, Dr. Ahdieh has co-authored with Hillary Chapman the following books: ‘Abdul-Bahá in New York’ (translated into three languages), a concise, informative history of Abdul-Bahá’s activities during his visits to the area; ‘A Way out of No Way: Harlem Prep – Transforming Dropouts into Scholars-1967-1977’, a Baha’i inspired institute. His latest book: ‘Foreigner: From an Iranian village to New York City’ tells the story of an Iranian Baha’i immigrant to the United States in a series of moving and humorous episodes set against the backdrop of a changing Iran, the plight of Baha’is there, the tumult of the ’60s and ’70s in the U.S.
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