Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 49: Mahnaz Aflatooni Javid

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: Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 44: A Coronavirus (COVID-19) Special with Dr. Robert Kim-Farley

To find out more about some of the things we covered in this episode, check out the following links:

  • The Mona Foundation website:
  • We mention the Importance of Service in the Baha’i Faith.
  • Mahnaz talks about the Arc on Mt. Carmel, and serving at the ‘Baha’i World Centre’, and you may find this Baha’i Blog article interesting as well: Why is the Baha’i World Centre in Israel?
  • Mahnaz mentions the 1978 Islamic/Iranian revolution and the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran. You can find out more from this article: Some Background to the Persecution of the Baha’is in Iran
  • Mahnaz mentions the Universal House of Justice, and the first letter from Universal House Justice establishing the Office of Social and Economic Development [OSED], which you can read here: Letter from the Universal House of Justice, 20 October, 1983.
  • Find out more about the Baha’i contribution to social and economic development here.
  • Mahnaz mentions Shoghi Effendi and Hands of the Cause of God.
  • Mahnaz mentions and talks about Mr. Furutan, and Mr. Fatheazam, Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, Mr.Faizi, Dr. Muhajir, Dr. Khadem, Paul Haney, Mr. Nakhjavani, and Dr. Arbab.
  • Mahnaz talks about the book called ‘Olya’s Story‘ by Olya Roohizadegan, which recounts the story of Mona Mahmudnizhad (which the Mona Foundation is named after), whom together with nine other women, were killed in Iran for being Baha’is.
  • Watch the music video for the pop hit song by Doug Cameron called Mona With The Children, and watch Tom Francis sing it on Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions here: “Mona With the Children” by Tom Francis
  • You can find all of our episodes here on the Baha’i Blogcast page, and be sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Baha’i Blogcast for more upcoming episodes on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Soundcloud.

    Thanks for listening!

    -Rainn Wilson

    About the Author

    Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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