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About Hussein Ahdieh
Dr. Ahdieh has had a distinguished career in education in New York. His proudest achievement is to contribute to the establishment of Harlem Preparatory School -a world renowned charter high school for disadvantaged students as its Assistant Headmaster . The school is credited with helping numerous people to rise from poverty to a better life. Dr. Ahdieh also served as Director of Educational Programs at Fordham University.
Hussein has been a resident of New York City for all of his adult life. He served as Treasurer of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the City of New York for many years and several times has represented his area at the U.S. Bahá'í National Convention.
In addition to "Awakening", which have been published in five languages ,Dr. Ahdieh is the author of
1. 'Abdu'l-Bahá in New York, a concise, informative history of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's activities during his visits to the area,
2." A Way Out of No Way,Harlem Prep: Transforming Dropouts into Scholars, 1967-1977" ," 3."The Calling ,Tahirih of Persia and her American contemporaries"
4. "Foreigner, From an Iranian Village to New York City"
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Awakening: A History of the Babi and Bahai Faiths in Nayriz is an inspiring account of the brutal religious persecutions that took place in 1850, 1853, and 1909 in the town of Nayriz, Iran, against its Babi and Bahai residents.
During this time, the town’s citizens, spurred on by a corrupt Muslim clergy and government, launched several waves of bloodshed against the Babis—and later Bahais—who lived there. This type of persecution continues today in present-day Iran toward the Bahai's—on a more subtle level—and the history of the Babi and Bahai Faiths in Nayriz serves as a reminder of what can happen when religious fanaticism and paranoia are allowed to replace rational thinking and tolerance.
The book gives accounts from survivors, attempts to explain the motives of the persecutors, and tries to provide a context—if any can be found—for the level of brutality that occurred. To any unbiased reader, the accounts of betrayals, tortures, and massacres will be shocking, yet sadly similar to other mass killings that have taken place around the globe.
... a compelling story that will leave the reader in tears one moment and laughter the next ... an easy read that is poignant and at times provocative, humorous, at other times sad, and yet always informative and filled with hope ... 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. Eric S. Mondschein
Hussein Ahdieh’s remarkable journey from a rural village in Iran to director of a university in New York is not just another feel-good story about the American Dream at its best. Told with humor, Ahdieh gives us an intimate history of the Bahá’í Faith in Iran from the point of view of a family that helped shape that history. He also shares his personal account of the turbulent 1960s as he helped educate some of the ‘tired, poor, and huddled masses’ of Americans forgotten in the country of their birth. Buy one copy of Foreigner for yourself, and a dozen more for family and friends who could use an uplifting story and a good laugh. Peter Murphy
To all peoples who have come from immigrant parents and grandparents ... to all those interested in resilience and what inspires that resilience ... to all children of immigrants who now wonder but never asked what their parents’ or grandparent’s life was really like ... to all struggling peoples still on their migration path who could use, now and then, a little laughter laced with hope to ease the way ... to all who find inspiration from the longsuffering and patient men and women who somehow pushed through their moment in history and made it better ... to all restless young adults and elder sages alike who honor those who have met violent oppression with courage, community building based on trustworthiness, skills and character ... this story is meant for you. For all of us. Mara Khavari
The National Urban League planned the school as a part of its educational mission, and the Mosler Foundation and the Ford Foundation provided much of its initial funding. Ann Carpenter, Ed Carpenter, and Hussein Ahdieh, who knew each other through their shared Bahá'í Faith, administered the new school along with Sister Ruth Dowd, who was a Catholic nun.
Amidst the idealism of the late 60s and early 70s, the free-school movement (now called the ‘alternative’ school movement’) fired the imagination of educators. Harlem Prep enrolled youths, from 17 to 21 years old and, even, some adults as old as 40, who had been failed by the public school system. With poor academic skills, a lack of direction as well as other social and personal problems, these youth had fallen outside the system with no clear future.
Harlem Prep was allowed independence in its operation, curriculum, and hiring because it was a private, non-sectarian school. The curriculum was needs-based and multi-disciplinary. Classes met at flexible times. The former supermarket in Harlem in which the school was housed made an open classroom arrangement possible. The State of New York allowed cross observation. Study materials were supplemented by field trips. Tutors and mentors assisted the students with their academic needs. Personal expression was encouraged. An atmosphere of mutual respect characterized the interactions between teachers and students and allowed for them to reverse roles at times. An individual graduated only when he or she had a college acceptance in hand. Many corporations and foundations supported the school financially such as the Mosler Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Coca-Cola, Exxon (Esso) and others.
With its motto "Moja Logo! Unity and Brotherhood," Harlem Prep blazed new trails in education with its unique process and structure which guided many students into 189 colleges in a time when there were no alternatives to a static, large, bureaucratic public system.
Harlem Prep attracted many notable supporters in education, arts and entertainment, politics, and business, including Sammy Davis Jr., Pete Seeger, and Congressman Charles Rangel.
"L’Éveil" raconte les combats héroïques des bábís en 1850 et 1853 contre les forces écrasantes de la monarchie despotique d’Iran et le traitement horrible des survivants, surtout des femmes, des enfants et des vieillards. Il couvre en profondeur l’histoire de Vaḥíd - chef aussi bien dans le domaine spirituel que sur le plan de l’action et annonciateur d’un nouveau mode de vie aux habitants de Nayríz. Il fournit aussi un récit détaillé des troubles de 1909, moins connus mais non moins dramatiques.
"L’Éveil" est destiné à un large public mais est riche en détails historiques. Il enregistre, pour la postérité, sous une forme lisible et attrayante, les sacrifices, les actes héroïques et les exploits des premiers croyants bábís et bahá’ís de Nayríz.
During this time, the town s citizens, spurred on by a corrupt Muslim clergy and government, launched several waves of bloodshed against the Babis and later Bahais who lived there. This type of persecution continues today in present-day Iran toward the Bahai's on a more subtle level and the history of the Babi and Bahai Faiths in Nayriz serves as a reminder of what can happen when religious fanaticism and paranoia are allowed to replace rational thinking and tolerance.
The book gives accounts from survivors, attempts to explain the motives of the persecutors, and tries to provide a context if any can be found for the level of brutality that occurred. To any unbiased reader, the accounts of betrayals, tortures, and massacres will be shocking, yet sadly similar to other mass killings that have taken place around the globe.