Programs of Interest for Young Children

Teen Track at the Congress!

ShiRrin Kumana Wadia 02The XVII North American Zoroastrian Congress is pleased to present an exclusive track for our delegates aged 13 to 18 years. Over the course of three days, our teen delegates will engage in a series of workshops, discussions, and activities which will provide an opportunity for them to get to know their peers and meet other young and dynamic Zoroastrian role models.

The Teen Track will kick off with a workshop led by Shirrin Kumaana-Wadia, who has just been awarded the Outstanding Young Zarathushti Professional of the Year 2014 by the World Zoroastrian Chamber of Commerce. Entitled Zoroastrian Connection and Creativity, this workshop allows our teen delegates to interact with other Zoroastrians at the Congress using photography and social media. Delegates will engage with community members, young and old, to capture the spirit of our community.

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A second workshop entitled Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds, will expose the teens to individuals who have contributed in various ways to the Zoroastrian community. The workshop will be led by a group of panelists including Autusa Behroozi, co-founder of Raise 4 A Cause; Dinsha Mistree, co-founder of Zoroastrian Return to Roots and Agiary Connect; Afshin Sepehri, co-producer of the audio book, Stories of the Shahnameh; and Arzan Sam Wadia, founder of Parsi Khabar.  At the workshop, the delegates will brainstorm on how they can make a contribution to their community.

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In addition to the workshops, there will be two panel discussions that hone in on issues that affect teenagers today. In a panel discussion entitled Growing Up Zoro…!, our teen delegates will have the opportunity to interact with young adults who have grown up in North America, yet maintained a connection to their Zoroastrian roots. The speakers are Ervad Zerkxis Bhandara, Farhad Choksy, Shahyan Dalal, Deanyar Jahanian, Kaizeen Mody and Meher Pavri. All panel participants have distinguished themselves in their community through their active involvement and contributions. The panel of speakers will s hare their stories about building bonds within our community while navigating various cultures in middle school, high school and college.

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The second panel – Making It Happen! –  focuses on career choices and showcases successful young Zoroastrians who have pursued careers that involve doing what they love. An opportunity for a candid Q&A with panelists is presented after the session. The panel includes attorney Shehnaz Bhujwala, entrepreneur Zubin D. Mehta, filmmaker Yaz Rabadi, musician Mahfrin Santoke and systems engineer Anahita Sidhwa.

Additionally, as part of the program, our teen delegates will attend the opening and closing ceremonies of the Congress, sessions on the main Congress tracks that may be of interest to them, receive a private tour of the Shahnameh Exhibition, including a private reading of the Shahnameh by Afshin Sephari and his 10 year old daughter Nusha Sephari. Opportunities for social interaction are plentiful at the Congress and we are pleased to provide a Game Room to our teens as well, so that they may hang out with friends in a casual setting.

For many teenagers, this may be their first Congress experience.  We hope our young delegates will leave the Congress with a passion to learn more about our religion, a commitment to follow the righteous path of Zoroastrianism, and an enthusiasm to remain active and involved in our community.

Poster Session Deadline Extended to November 4, 2014!

Poster Session ImageDid you miss the deadline to register for the Poster Session?!  No worries!  We’ve got good news:  The deadline to submit your name and the subject of your poster to reserve your spot in the Poster Session has been extended to November 4, 2014!

This is a great opportunity to channel your creativity and create a poster related to our Zoroastrian community!  
Our requirements are simple: there’s no age limit, you can work with your friends as a team, you can create anything related to Zoroastrianism on a poster that’s 22 x 28 inches or larger!
All you have to do before the deadline is email Trity Pourbahrami at with your contact information and tell her what your poster will be about!  Then bring your poster with you to the Congress!  We will display it and give you the chance to show off your creativity! 
Don’t delay!  Email with your information today!

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!


NAZC 2014 Call for Posters!

Poster Session ImageIn an effort to engage young Zoroastrians attending the Congress, NAZC 2014 invites you to participate in the  Congress’ Poster Session.  The session will allow young Zoroastrians to engage with their heritage in an environment that showcases and celebrates their creativity.

A few requirements are set forth below, but we encourage you to follow your bliss in the creation of your poster and presentation!  Prizes are in the offing and we wish all our participants the best of luck with their artistic endeavors!

For additional information, please contact Trity Pourbahrami, at

Poster Session Requirements:

  • Age of Participants: No limit, but we encourage student participation.
  • Subject Matter: Anything related to Zoroastrianism.
  • Poster Size:22 x 28 inches or larger.
  • Registration Deadline: November 4, 2014 (extended)
  • To register, please email a short description of your poster and your contact information to
  • Team efforts are welcome.

Register now and participate in this fun session at the Congress!