Archive for August, 2014

Sheffield To Deliver Jungalwala Lecture at the Congress

Dan Sheffield PICDaniel Sheffield will deliver The Khorshed F. Jungalwala Memorial Lecture at the Congress.  Entitled Living the Good Religion among Others: Cosmopolitan Zoroastrian Thought from the Middle Ages to Modernity, Professor Sheffield will take us on an insightful journey of the endurance of our religion.

Zoroastrians have never been isolated from the world around them.  As Iranians in antiquity left their homes for commerce and conquest, they came into contact with a variety of religious traditions spanning the Asian continent. The Zoroastrian priestly communities of Iran and India remained highly literate, interpreting and reinterpreting their religious traditions according to their changing circumstances.

“In this talk, I delve into the universe of medieval Zoroastrian thought written in Persian (Farsi), Sanskrit, and Gujarati to discover the intellectual spaces that Zoroastrians shared with their Muslim, Hindu, and Jain neighbors. I examine the emergence of ideas of religious pluralism among Zoroastrian thinkers in the 17th and 18th centuries”, says Dr. Sheffield. “I also consider the impact of European education on Zoroastrian communities, meditating upon how language and education affect how we interpret our faith, our view of the world, the place of our communities within it, and the role of other communities around us.”

Daniel Sheffield holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, where he specialized in Iranian and Persian Studies.  He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Cosmopolitan Zarathustras: Religion, Translation, and Prophethood in Iran and South Asia, which tells the story of the Zoroastrian communities of Iran and South Asia by tracing how the embrace of a cosmopolitan theological vocabulary and the reception of the canon of Classical Persian literature affects these communities. He is also preparing a critical edition and translation of an unpublished Zoroastrian Middle Persian text, The Book of Religious Judgments (Wizirgerd ī Dēnīg), for publication.

In 2012, he co-organized with Dinyar Patel a conference in Navsari, Gujarat, entitled Celebrating a Treasure: 140 Years at the First Dastoor Meherjirana Library. He is affiliated with the UNESCO Parsi Zoroastrian Project (Parzor), and is currently editing for publication the collected scholarly writings of Dasturji Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal.  At Princeton, Dr. Sheffield offers courses on Zoroastrianism and related subjects, including the application of translation theory to religious studies, and he reads Avestan, Pahlavi, and Classical Persian texts with interested graduate students.

The Khorshed F. Jungalwala Memorial Lecture Series was set up by FEZANA to honor Mrs. Khorshed Jungalwala, for her work and dedication to FEZANA.  The Series is administered by the Education, Scholarship and Conference Committee of FEZANA.

Don’t miss this dynamic and popular speaker!  Register now, while Early Bird Discounts are in effect!

Vevaina Returns to the NAZC!

Vevaina CroppedYuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina will return to the Congress to deliver a talk entitled Wisdom from the Ancients in the Age of the Moderns, which will undoubtedly make clear how relevant our ancient faith remains in modern times.

Dr. Vevaina is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University. He received his M.A. in 2003 and his Ph.D. in 2007 from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University where he served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Undergraduate Core Curriculum and as the Lecturer on Old Iranian from 2007-2009. He was a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities from the National Council for the Humanities in 2010. He teaches a number of courses related to ancient and late antique Iran and Zoroastrianism, such as “Beyond Good and Evil: A Thematic Introduction to Zoroastrianism” and “Sugar in the Milk: Modern Zoroastrianism as Race, Religion, and Ethnicity.” He is currently working on a book project on Zoroastrian scriptural interpretation in Late Antiquity. He is a co-editor of the forthcoming, The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism, to be published by Wiley-Blackwell of Oxford, U.K. in 2015.

Don’t miss this insightful presentation!  Register Now, while Early Bird Discounts are still in effect!

CNN’s Parisa Khosravi to Deliver Keynote Address at the Congress

CNN Digital Rebranding 2013 Parisa KhosraviWe are honored to announce that Parisa Khosravi will deliver the Keynote Address at the Congress.

Ms. Khosravi is currently the Senior Vice President of Global Relations for CNN Worldwide and its first ever Ambassador.  In her role as CNN Ambassador, she is responsible for leading CNN’s key international editorial relationships, coverage and securing access for CNN journalists around the world.

During an exciting career at CNN that has spanned almost three decades, Ms. Khosravi has played a vital role in the network’s award winning reporting on some of the most significant international stories of our time.  These include coverage of the first Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid in South Africa and the hotel terror attack in Mumbai, to name a few.

Ms. Khosravi’s passion and strong editorial instinct has earned her widespread recognition for her individual and collaborative efforts.  She is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, recognizing her as a distinguished American and the 2005 Peabody Award for CNN’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

We invite you to hear this award winning and distinguished member of our community at the Congress.  Register now, while Early Bird Discounts are still in place.

In Concert with Mima Goodarz at the Congress!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 1.12.11 PMConnect with Persian culture on Persian Night at the Congress! 

Mima Goodarz will perform, accompanied by musicians Samandar Dehghani, Sina Dehghani,  Farin and Naser.  Persian dancers will beautifully interpret the soul-stirring show.

These performers share a love for Persian music and dance nurtured in Iran before their migration to the United States.  “All I want to be able to do is to touch or inspire another soul with the soulful music of my homeland; just as others did for me,” says Naser.

Persian Night will also feature an inspiring production of Women of Persia performed by the youth of the California Zoroastrian Center.

Allow them to inspire you at NAZC 2014!  Register now!

The Z Band Rocks On at the Congress!

live music

Navaz Kayani, Ziba Colah, Farrokh Firozgary and Ashdin Medhora share between them a quarter century’s worth of experience creating fantastic music! The Z Band from Houstonpromises to get all Congress delegates out on the dance floor on the second evening of NAZC 2014!

If you wish to hire the band to perform at your event, please contact Farrokh at (281) 685-7245 or Z Band has performed at a variety of events, including other Congresses, and we look forward to dancing the night away with them in Los Angeles.

Plan to get out on the floor at NAZC 2014!  Register Now!

Natural, Integrative and Functional Medicine at the Congress

Parmis Khatibi“Let’s have a healthy and robust conversation about the science and art of whole-person healing!” says Dr. Parmis Khatibi, moderator of the Congress’ panel on Holistic Health.  “You probably have a sense of what Natural medicine is – herbs, supplements, stress reduction.  Integrative comes into play because most sick people are on one or more conventional drugs so we “integrate” care.  We also “integrate” your body, mind, and spirit when addressing your health conditions.  Functional Medicine is looking at health and disease as one big system, not individual parts.  All systems affect each other (digestion, thyroid, immune, neurological, etc.).  Come engage with our panelists and attain education, information and support that you need to begin maximizing your health and well-being!”

This session is designed to be an interactive informative experience that is helpful to our delegates.

Dr. Khatibi’s panel includes: Dr. Farhad Contractor on Breast Cancer; Dr. Nikan Khatibi on 5 Habits that Will Change Your Life; Dr. Ali Makki on Migranes and Pain Prevention; Dr. Cyrus Mody on neurological issues like Alzheimer’s; Dr. Freny Mody on cardiology; and Dr. Namiranian on dental health.

Come hear these informative and relevant sessions at the Congress!  Register now, while Early Bird Discounts are still in effect!

Dr. May to Address Healthy Diets at the Congress

ArmaitiBuddy_516x300Dr. Armaiti May will speak on Healthy Vegetarian Living at the Congress.  “In our Zoroastrian teachings, kindness to animals is embodied by a recognition that during the month of Bahman, Zoroastrians are called upon to abstain from flesh foods. In my talk I will discuss why Vegetarianism and Zoroastrianism go hand in hand during all months of the year, including the human health and environmental effects of our dietary choices,” says Dr. May.

Armaiti May was born and raised in Santa Monica where she had her navjote following a pilgrimage to India with her mother, grandmother and brother to visit Zoroastrian sacred sites including the fire temples. She graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005 and has been a practicing house call veterinarian in the Los Angeles area since 2007, providing a wide range of veterinary care services including acupuncture to dogs and cats. She is also an animal advocate, member
of Vegan Toastmasters and organizer of an animal rights meetup group, United Animal Advocates of LA ( She has also volunteered on several veterinary service trips providing spay/neuter
and deworming services to low income communities in the US and abroad.

Since October 2012 she has hosted an internet radio show entitled Animal Issues with Dr. Armaiti May which has podcasts archived at

Don’t miss your chance to hear this presentation!  Register now, while Early Bird Discounts are still in effect!

Sorooshian to bring Discussion on Green Economy to the Congress

PIC 2 - Soroosh Sorooshian headshotWhat world will our children inherit?  What impact could Zoroastrian philosophy have on the Green Economy?  Dr. Soroosh Sorooshian will explore these and other questions in a session entitled Zoroaster’s Vision of Environmental Preservation and its Relevance Today: Earth, Water, Fire and Wind.

An internationally known hydrometeorologist, Dr. Soroosh Sorooshian is a Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth System Science Departments and Director of the Center for Hydrometeorology & Remote Sensing (CHRS) at University of California, Irvine. His area of expertise includes the interface of the global hydrologic cycle and the climate system. He has supervised over 50 PhD students who hold prominent positions in academia, government and private sector, both in the U.S. and abroad.  He is a member of the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE); the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA); and the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

Among his other honors, Dr. Sorooshian was recently called to the 2014 Einstein Professorship by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).  He is the recipient of: the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Robert E. Horton Medal in 2013, the 2010 4th Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water Resources Management & Protection; the 2005 NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal; the 2012 Eagleson lectureship, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI).  He is the Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University, China 2010; the Walter Orr Roberts Lecturer at the American Meteorological Society (AMS), 2009; the recipient of AMS Robert E. Horton Memorial Lectureship, 2006; and the William Nordberg Memorial Lecture at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2004.

He has served on numerous advisory committees, including those of NASA, NOAA, DOE, USDA, NSF, EPA, and UNESCO and has testified to both U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Committees on issues related to water, climate and satellite programs.

Don’t miss your chance to hear this presentation!  Register now, while Early Bird Discounts are still in effect!

Vehishta Kaikobad to Lead Children’s Education Program at Congress

program_sneak_peak_children Vehishta Kaekobad PictureThe Congress Committee is excited to announce that Vehishta Kaikobad of Houston will provide religious education classes for our young delegates aged 5 to 12 years.

Ms. Kaikobad has envisioned a program that allows children to engage with their religion and community is an interactive manner. Ms. Kaikobad will cover religious subjects such as the Amesha Spentas, the Jashan Ceremony, and more!  She will explore Zarathushti history in various ways, including a video presentation entitled Re-living our Persian Heritage: A Virtual Journey through the Achemenid, Parthian and Sassanian Period, an introduction to the Shahnameh, and an interactive session called Kisseh-e-Sanjan: A Dramatic Encounter.  Finally, the program will also highlight the contributions of various Zoroastrians throughout history.  Ms. Kaikobad aims to make her program thoroughly enjoyable by implementing stories, role-playing, games, Parsi and Persian food and arts and crafts to engage the children.

Ms. Kaikobad graduated from the University of Karachi with a Bachelor of Arts degree, having studied Philosophy, Psychology and Political Science. She obtained her Montessori Diploma in 1985 from St. Nicholas College, England.  Ms. Kaikobad has dedicated herself to the cause of Early Childhood Education for the past 25 years, holding many educational workshops.  She currently serves as School Curriculum Coordinator and a Master Teacher for the Houston Montessori Center.   Ms. Kaikobad has served her community in the capacity of a Sunday School Teacher since the 1980s, conducting Sunday School workshops at the national and international level with innovative teaching aids.  She spearheaded the first Children’s Program at the XV North American Zarathushti Congress 2010 held in Houston.   In 2000, Ms. Kaikobad was awarded the Teacher of the Year award by the Children’s Museum, Houston.   She served the community at large in the capacity of a Senior Docent and Teaching Artist at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston where she was awarded the prestigious Mary Benedict Docent of the Year Award in 2008.

For children aged 4 and under, the Congress offers babysitting services.

Bring your kids with you to the Congress!  There is plenty to engage you and them at NAZC 2014!  Register Now!

Babysitting Offered for Young Children at the Congress

poohThe Congress Committee is pleased to offer babysitting for young children aged 0-4 years during the Congress.  Babysitting services will be provided by volunteers from the community, who are experienced child caregivers, during all sessions of the Congress, except Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and during meals.   Children may accompany their parents during these times.

Our volunteers will engage your children with toys, games, stories and activities.  A nap area will be provided for our youngest guests, and their moms may nurse them in the privacy of our enchanted playroom.

A religious education program is offered for children aged 5-12.

Don’t stay away from the Congress just because you have kids!  There is plenty to engage you and them at NAZC 2014!  Register Now!