Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.
In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.
In this episode, I'm joined by my dear friend Mahnaz Aflatooni Javid, CEO of the Mona Foundation, and one of its founding members. Mahnaz tells me the inspiration behind the Mona Foundation, and how a childhood car ride with her mom changed her life forever. She tells me about coming to the US as a teenager in the 1960s, and being one of only 15 youth volunteers at the Baha'i World Centre. We talk about education, attitudes around development work, the importance of grassroots service, and adopting a humble posture of learning in all that we do. I hope you enjoy our conversation!
* Please note that this episode was recorded before the pandemic, so it may sound a little strange that there's no mention of it. If you haven't heard our episode with Dr. Robert Kim Farley about the pandemic when it first hit, I think you'll find interesting: https://bit.ly/2TUFCTK
To find out more about some of the things we covered in this episode, check out the following links:
* Mona Foundation website: https://www.monafoundation.org/
* We mention the importance of service in the Baha'i Faith: https://bit.ly/2XMxyFW
* Mahnaz talks about the Arc on Mt. Carmel (https://bahaipedia.org/The_Arc) and serving at the Baha’i World Centre (http://www.bwc.org/). You may also find this Baha’i Blog article interesting: https://bit.ly/2ySs3Nj
* Mahnaz mentions the 1978 Islamic/Iranian revolution and the persecution of the Baha'is in Iran. You can find out more from this article: https://bit.ly/2MjWKyg
* Mahnaz mentions the Universal House of Justice (https://universalhouseofjustice.bahai.org/), and the 1983 letter from Universal House Justice establishing the Office of Social and Economic Development [OSED], which you can read here: https://bit.ly/2BnJUN9
* Find out more about the Baha’i contribution to social and economic development here: https://bit.ly/2XkhsnG
* Mahnaz mentions Shoghi Effendi (https://www.bahai.org/shoghi-effendi/) and Hands of the Cause of God (https://www.bahaiblog.net/2014/06/hands-cause/).
* Mahnaz mentions the following individuals:
- Mr. Furutan: https://news.bahai.org/story/261/
- Mr. Fatheazam: https://news.bahai.org/story/964/
- Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum: https://bit.ly/36NQ4BI
- Mr.Faizi: https://bahaipedia.org/Abu%27l-Q%C3%A1sim_Faizi
- Dr. Muhajir: https://bahaipedia.org/Ra%E1%B8%A5matu%E2%80%99ll%C3%A1h_Muh%C3%A1jir
- Dr. Khadem: https://bahaipedia.org/Zikrullah_Khadem
- Paul Haney: https://bahaipedia.org/Paul_Haney
- Mr. Nakhjavani: https://www.bahaiblog.net/2019/11/a-tribute-to-mr-ali-nakhjavani/
- Dr. Arbab: https://bahaipedia.org/Farzam_Arbab
* Mahnaz talks about the book called 'Olya's Story' by Olya Roohizadegan (https://amzn.to/3gydI9N), Mona Mahmudnizhad (which the Mona Foundation is named after), whom together with nine other women, were killed in Iran for being Baha'is. Find out more about Mona Mahmudnizhad here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mona_Mahmudnizhad
* Watch the music video for the pop hit song by Doug Cameron called 'Mona With The Children': https://bit.ly/2ZRPlOy
* You may also enjoy this version of 'Mona With The Children' by Tom Francis on Baha'i Blog's Studio Sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzAbMDmvMLQ
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Thanks for listening!