Individuals and groups

Individuals and groups whose story doesn't fit into any other category.

15 minutes with...Parvin Lewis

Parvin Lewis
Family: husband, Raymond, two daughters
Position: Director of Heath Education at Clemson University
Religion: Bahai Faith

Born and raised in Persia, now Iran, Parvin Lewis was a pioneer in Africa for five years, married an American in Kenya, had her first child in the Congo, lived in New York and settled in Clemson 15 years ago. As a Bahai Faith, Ms. Lewis is part of one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Bahais believe in all religions of the past and prophet Baha’u’llah is the most recent messenger of God. In other words, Bahai Faith believes in progressive revelations, that God doesn’t forget mankind and every 1,000 years or so there will be a new manifestation of God to bring new teachings to people.

Q Did you grow up in Bahai Faith?
A I am the fourth-generation Bahai, and my children are the fifth generation. So my parents were born into the Bahai family and my grandparents were also born into the Bahai family. But my mother’s grandfather became Bahai when he was a young man in a village in the south part of Iran.

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Remembering Mana

Her picture is cast in candlelight in her family's living room: Mana Yazdanpanah, a passionate young woman remembered as a loving friend, daughter, sister and aunt who always put her family first.

She died early last week, at 18 years old, in a car accident on Route 115.

On Aug. 8, Yazdanpanah, a recent Windham graduate and Iranian immigrant, left her house on Running Brook Road at around 4:30 a.m. for work at her sister's restaurant in Biddeford.

Twenty minutes later, a passing motorist spotted the wreckage of her car off Route 115 near Brand Road.

Local police are still investigating the crash. Windham Police Sgt. Peter Fulton, who responded to the crash scene last Tuesday morning, speculates that Yazdanpanah lost control of her car and crossed the centerline before driving off the road, spinning around and hitting a large tree. The crash ejected her from the car and she was pronounced dead on the scene.

An extended family of brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces have come together to mourn the loss of their beloved friend and relative.

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Update: Memorial Service for Mana Yazdanpanah

Savannah Family Back from Haifa

The Zaers were in Haifa, Israel, when air raid sirens went off. (photo courtesy of the Zaer family)

The clash between the Israelis and the Palestinians hit very close to home for a Savannah family. The Zaers were making a religious pilgrimage to Israel when they found themselves right in the middle of it; however the family says their harrowing experience has actually brought them closer together.

The Zaers were in Haifa, Israel, when air raid sirens went off.

"Within about 10 to 15 seconds of the sirens going off, there were 8 to 10 explosions," explained Dr. Faridorz Zaer. "One was really close. One was really loud."

That's what the Zaers dealt with on their recent trip to Israel. They were part of a group of 171 people from 18 different countries coming to pray together. They traveled to Israel, knowing the dangers, but believing that their faith in the Bahai religion, and each other would protect them.

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Promoting Bank Transparency the Baha'i Way

Yevgeny Filonov / For MT
Having come to Moscow for a publishing job in 1982, Richard Hainsworth now heads bank rating agency RusRating.

In August 1982, Richard Hainsworth and his wife took a three-day train journey from Belgium to Moscow. Representatives of Mir Publishing met them at Belorussky Station and took them to a designated flat. They have been living in Moscow ever since.

During Russia's transition to capitalism, Hainsworth—the founder and general director of bank rating agency RusRating—has tried to promote his Baha'i faith while exploring the business opportunities that have opened up.

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