Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Fariborz Sahba, famed Architect, to speak in Los Angeles

Hey Pasadena, here’s a rare opportunity to hear one of the most brilliant architects of our time. Fariborz Sahba, architect of the famed “Lotus Temple” Baha’i House of Worship in India will be speaking at the Los Angeles Baha’i Center on July 11th.  If you have heard him speak, you know how inspiring and thought provoking he can be as he presents his work and shows you how he interweaves his spirituality with his brilliant gift for magnificent architecture.

Bahá’í   House of Worship, New Delhi, India.

A quick bio on Mr. Sahba from the Canadian Baha’i News Service:

Mr. Sahba was born in Iran in 1948. He received a Master’s degree in architecture in 1972 from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Tehran University.

In Iran, Mr. Sahba was involved in the design of a wide range of prestigious buildings.Bahá’í House of Worship, New Delhi, India.

In 1976, the international governing body of the Bahá’í community selected Mr. Sahba to design the Bahá’í House of Worship for the Indian subcontinent in New Delhi, India. The project, on which he worked for 10 years as the architect and project manager, was described by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson as “one of the most remarkable achievements of our time, proving that the drive and vision of spirit can achieve miracles.” With over 3.5 million visitors a year, the building, commonly referred to as the “Lotus of Bahapur,” is the most visited building in the world, according to a CNN report.

In 1987, the Bahá’í World Centre assigned Mr. Sahba the task of designing 18 terraces, to serve as a majestic approach to the Shrine of the Báb, one of the most holy places in the Bahá’í world. He was also appointed project manager of the Bahá’í World Centre building projects on Mount Carmel. The Terraces of the Shrine of the Báb received the 1998 Ephraim Lifshitz Award from the Municipality of Haifa and the 1999 Magshim Award from the Council for a Beautiful Israel.

Mr. Sahba has received many international awards, among them the First Honor Award in 1987 for “Excellence in Architecture” from the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture, an affiliate of the American Institute of Architects. Articles about his work have been published in almost 400 magazines and newspapers throughout the world.

View his online portfolio here: www.sahbaarchitect.com

What:

AN EVENING WITH THE ARCHITECT OF THE THE LOTUS TEMPLE,BAHA’I HOUSE OF WORSHIP NEW- DELHI ,INDIA

When:

SUNDAY JULY 11TH
6.30 PM.

Where:

LOS ANGELES BAHA’I CENTER
5755 RODEO ROAD,
Los Angeles, California, 90016

Hope to see you there!

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Speaking up for the Baha’is at Sinai Temple, Los Angeles

Thanks to a reader in Israel, I found out that Roger Cohen, author of the article “Iran, the Jews, and Germany” mentioned in a previous blog posting, would be in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 12th at Sinai Temple for “…a crucial dialogue with the Iranian Jewish community.” The Temple was about 1/3 full, with probably about 200 people there, eagerly awaiting to hear what Cohen had to say.

Mr. Cohen started the evening with an opening statement touching upon the article, “What Iran’s Jews Say” and expressed his desire to defend our right to disagree with him. In the opening statement, he also shared his story of becoming an naturalized American citizen and the first written sentence of the naturalization test was: “I want to be good American.”

I believe that Cohen’s intention is good–to foster greater understanding and unity between Iran and the US. This is desperately needed right now. He also mentioned that is far too easy to demonize a country on tragic misunderstanding and error. That is true as well. The Iranian people have been unfairly portrayed in the US media. He actuallly went to Iran to meet the people and the government–so his reporting was based on first-hand experience of what’s going on in Iran today.

The only issue I have with his columns on Iran is that they miss out on one of the biggest (unreported) stories in Iran: the persecution of the Baha’is. The Baha’is are the largest religious minority in Iran, 300,000 strong. The Baha’is of Iran cannot practice their Faith publicly, nor attend university unless they renounce their Faith, have seen their cemeteries razed, their property confiscated, and have been killed with impunity since the inception of the Faith in the 19th century. None of these details were mentioned in the articles. Mr. Cohen did acknowledge that in his trip to Iran, he did not meet or speak with any Baha’i.

Dr. Mahmoudi speaks in support of the Baha'is of Iran

Dr. Mahmoudi speaks in support of the Baha'is of Iran

After Mr. Cohen spoke, Rabbi Wolpe asked him several hard-hitting, but generally fair questions. Rabbi Wolpe then opened it up to the audience to ask Mr. Cohen his questions. There was actually another Baha’i in the audience, Dr. Mahmoudi from LA, who made a comment about the suffering of the Baha’is in Iran before my question. I did not know her before that evening. It took a while to be able to ask my question. My arm felt like it was going to fall off waiting to be called! Finally, at the last minute, Mr. Cohen was asked to pick the final questions of the night:

I asked him about the Baha’is, acknowledging him for mentioning the Baha’is, even if in passing in his article, and also pointing out that the ad-hoc leaders of the Faith are currently in prison (see previous articles in this blog), awaiting trial, with no access to their lawyer, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, with the possibility of the death penalty. I asked him in the spirit of fairness, in his stated goal to show a more complete image of Iran in the US, “could you please write an article about the situation of the Baha’is in Iran?”

The crowd clapped at this suggestion and several people called out to him to see if he would answer my question. He said that hasn’t written about the Baha’is in Iran and was unsure if he would write about them in the future. Several members of the crowd approached me afterwards thanking me for asking Cohen the question.

Thank goodness the Jewish Journal recorded the entire program, inclusive of all questions. Click here to watch it. Running time is about 1 hr 30 minutes. I ask my question at 1 hr 22 minutes. I am not seen, only a disembodied voice.

I also left a comment on the Jewish Journal page, thanking all participants for having this dialogue. I feel bad because I misspelled Rabbi Wolpe’s name. Sorry, Rabbi!

Before the program started, I was interviewed by a Jewish TV Channel, which unfortunately, I didn’t get the name of or the possible air date. If anyone out there can reply with that info, that would be greatly appreciated.

Your Correspondent,
Al Cadena