27 October  1941 – 25 September  2020

This brief article about Dr. Farzam Arbab is based on my personal connection, encounters, and recollections. Dr. Arbab whom I would address as Farzam is a cousin of mine through his mother.  This is a tribute to his devoted and distinguished services to the Cause of God. He does not need an introduction as he is a familiar personality that served the Faith vigilantly and devotedly at all levels of Bahá’í institutions, from Spiritual Assemblies to the Board of Counsellors, the International Teaching Centre, and finally the Universal House of Justice, the Supreme Body of the Bahá’í Faith. Many eloquent tributes have already been written in his honor and this is my tribute to a man whom I adored and from whom I had benefited learning many things. I write this article from my perspective for the sake of preservation of those precious memories for posterity. I wish to preserve some of the untold stories that I have personally heard or experienced.  I decided to write this article however inadequate it may be.

Farzam, was one who was destined to make amazing strides in attracting and leading a great number of people to the vision of Bahá’u’lláh. Farzam was born into a Bahá’í family in Iran.  Farzam’s father Ruhi Arbab served on the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tehran and later as the Secretary  of the National Spiritual Assembly. When my parents decided to go as homefront pioneering to a remote town, he commended their decision and gave all the encouragement.

My initial memory of Farzam goes back to our early childhood when we played, prayed, and argued at the age of about seven. He was ahead of me in everything we did.  Simply said, he had a rare God-given gift.  He is my second cousin and my junior by about a month. In 1953, when the beloved Guardian launched the Global Ten-Year Crusade and encouraged the Persian believers to get out of big cities and pioneer to towns and villages across the country, my family moved from Tehran to a designated homefront pioneering goal. At the suggestion of the National Pioneering Committee, our family settled in Qasr-i-Shirin, a small Kurdish town at the border of Iran and Iraq whose population was mostly engaged in the business of opium and hard drugs, smuggling and trafficking on both sides of the Iran and Iraq border. The kind of life and the relations with people that we had to make as Bahá’ís were unimaginably hard and challenging.

Whenever I visited Farzam and his little sister Halleh in their home in Tehran, I could see Farzam’s shelves and table were full of all kinds of books that his parents provided.  Often, Farzam, couldn’t put down a book till he finished reading it.  He was a fast reader and his written and spoken English ability was far better than most of his peers.  His father was the senior manager of a firm and his mother was a literary figure, a poet and a skilled writer.  She has written numerous articles and a book on the contemporary history of the development of the Faith in Iran.  One of her poems is a description of the shining glare of the eyes of Shoghi Effendi that pierced the hearts of his audience.  Farzam’s great grandfather Mirza Reihan together with four other believers in Kashan were blessed to have the honor of receiving a tablet from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá which encouraged them to teach the Faith.  My father used to tell us that his older brother Mirza Shaban, Farzam’s grandfather, who could only read and write basic Farsi, when he went on pilgrimage, he asked the beloved Guardian to bless his children to have good education and the Guardian assured him of his prayer and advised him to continue teaching the Faith in order to attract the divine assistance and that was what he did.

I had known Dr. Farzam Arbab as a very brilliant student. His father Ruhi Arbab and his mother Frough exerted a great influence on his spiritual and academic education. And while still a student, he was actively involved in Bahá’í activities and acquired a good spiritual insight of the Bahá’í Writings while simultaneously serving the Faith first in Iran and later in the United States of America. As I can recall Farzam was actively engaged in serving the Faith both within the Bahá’í community and in the community at large from the young age.  Later on, I was amazed and gratified to know of his distinguished achievements as a teacher, trainer, writer, presenter, and physicist. I never aspired to become like him because I knew I had to the best of who I am.  Nevertheless, I had a strong desire to learn from him and the way of his thinking.

Dr. Arbab has an excellent academic record, not surprising given his brilliant mind. He completed his high school education at the Alborz School in Tehran. After his graduation, he went to the United States to further his education. By the time he went to the United States I was already pioneering in Laos to work with tribal populations at the grassroots level.  That was how Farzam and I lost direct contact and did not meet for three decades. But whenever I did have the bounty of being with Farzam in the same room during his travels and listening to his words, I felt he was like a mighty river that nurtured millions of trees and I was a drop that could merge and disappear in the river that flowed into the sea of the Cause of God.

In the United States he  studied at Amherst College in Massachusetts where he graduated with an  honors degree in the field of physics in 1964. While living in Berkley he married Laurie Elmlund on 25 June, 1966, and served on the Local Spiritual Assembly of Berkeley as its Chairman.  At the University of California, he gained his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in elementary particle physics in 1968.  The Amherst College in Massachusetts awarded an honorary doctorate in science  in 1989.

Dr. Arbab pioneered to Colombia in 1970 and that was a new phase in his career and as a servant of Bahá’u’lláh.  He first arrived as a visiting professor to the Universidad del Valle in Columbia in 1970. While serving in the Development Program of the Rockefeller Foundation, Farzam was instrumental in strengthening its Physics Department.  In 1970, he was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of Colombia. In 1972, he spoke at the Dedication of the Panama Temple.  In 1974, Arbab assisted in founding the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences (FUNDAEC), and served as its inaugural president from 1974 to 1988.  This foundation is a Bahá’í inspired non-profit, non-governmental organization that focused on training and development in the rural areas of Colombia and other countries in Latin America.

His pioneering to Colombia in 1970 was probably the best thing where he was instrumental in initiating and developing the Ruhi Institute courses and finally to work at the Bahá’í World Centre where he worked tirelessly and did not rest until his last breath.

In 1975, he was serving on the National Teaching Committee of Colombia apart from serving on the National Spiritual Assembly. In 1976, he  was involved in the development of the Ruhi Institute, which was founded in the same year. The Ruhi Institute was highly instrumental in consolidating the teaching work in Colombia.

In 1980, the Universal House of Justice appointed Dr. Farzam Arbab on the Continental Board for the Americas as a Counsellor for a five year term. He also served as a Trustee of the Continental Fund. He was appointed for a second term as Counsellor in 1985. While serving his second term he was appointed to the International Teaching Centre in 1988. He then  moved to Haifa, Israel, to serve on that August institution for a five-year term. While serving on the International Teaching Centre, he represented the Faith at several meetings across the globe. In 1993, Arbab was elected to the Universal House of Justice and he was subsequently re-elected in 1998, 2003, and 2008. In 2000, his beloved wife Laurie passed away. He remarried in 2002 to Sona Farid.

In November 2012, Farzam announced his desire to retire from the Universal House of Justice at the end of his term the following year. Upon completing his services in the Supreme Body in  2013, he and Sona settled in San Diego in the United States. Yet he kept travelling places making several trips to Colombia.

I had known Farzam as a great speaker delivering talks at several international forums. He had a vast and wide knowledge on the Faith and had the great ability to move the hearts of the listeners. Many of his soul-stirring talks have been recorded and preserved.

The breadth of his numerous articles and presentations on many subjects of human endeavor, the details of which are beyond the limited space of this short article, is phenomenal. Reading his articles and listening to his presentations on spiritual, social and educational topics such as the understanding of the conceptual framework of action made me think deeper. By bringing to focus the practical application of principles fundamental to social existence such as the oneness of humanity, the equality of men and women, the imperative of justice, the harmonious interaction of science and religion, I have learned and appreciated the systematic application of these principles with joy and gratitude.  In addition, his analysis and articulation of such topics as the educational requirements that must characterize knowledge and understanding, the essential development of attitudes, qualities, skills, capabilities, and praiseworthy habits that are essential to the spiritual empowerment of junior youth, and the training of their animators have become my guiding tool of action.


Dr Arbab and his wife, accompanied by some members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Vietnam at a High School in Hanoi in 2000. (Photo courtesy: Thanh Binh)

Farzam had an incredible degree of reliance on the power of divine assistance — that God was omnipotent and that the impossible was possible when we turn to God sincerely meditate and tap into the wellsprings of His teachings and guidance. To give an example, while having a lunch break during a regional conference of the Counsellors and Auxiliary Board members in Taiwan in the 1980s where he represented the International Teaching Centre, he related his personal story of how God with His omnipotent Will modifies our plans and changes the course of our lives. He said that he had been pleased with the Bahá’í services he was engaged in and was happy and satisfied with his job and activities as a physicist in the United States when the Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Rahmatu’lláh Muhájir suggested going pioneering to Colombia, a country with a reputation for a high crime rate, corruption, and narcotics traffic. Realizing the power of contrasting conditions that enable the beautiful lotus to grow from the stagnant and muddy water, he thought there must be a good reason for pioneering to Colombia. Since he had great respect for the Hand of the Cause and knew that he was inspired, decided to give a year of service, took a sabbatical leave, and went to Colombia.  This move totally changed the course of his life and his commitment to serving the Cause.  By the end of the year, he had become so involved in the education and training of youth and in the process of community building that he saw no good reason for returning to the United States.  He said that this is how he learned to submit his affairs to the Will of God.  Thus, guided by divine assistance, Colombia became a center of learning for the training of the first tutors and promoters of the Ruhi Institute from all around the world.

In a meeting of Farzam with pioneers-tutors in the late 1990’s in Beijing someone asked about why and how the idea of the Ruhi Institute courses emerged since there were already numerous classes of learning the Bahá’í Writings tutored by knowledgeable believers in operation and were well attended?

Farzam responded to the question saying that:  “A need was felt for the sustainable and systematic method of development of the Faith that was primarily attainable through the process of the new culture of learning and the spiritual empowerment of both; the individual and the community, the two of the three protagonists of change.  The process of learning and spiritual empowerment was essential for the creation of thousands of tutors to learn to become the protagonists of their own development and development of others.  This achievement was integral to address the urgent demands of spiritual nurturing of millions and their community development through the systematic learning and application of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. And Colombia had the environment of a collaborative team for the development of the Ruhi courses and some other Bahá’í inspired materials which eventually evolved to a teaching institute. The sequences of courses were designed to direct the minds to capacity building of the individual, community life and to realizing the essential coherence of spiritual and material education, and the community building in which the individual, family, and society can work together for progress.  This explanation was enlightening. I realized the logic and value of the Ruhi courses that appear simple in the outset but profound in its objectives especially when the idea of “Outward Looking” to the society at large had become the reality for the Bahá’í community to pursue.”

In another meeting the question about the functions of the Office of Social and Economic Development (OSED) and ways that individuals could support its programs. I remember each time that Farzam came to China he had a plan of action that sometimes he shared it with us.  When he visited Beijing, he usually stayed with his other second cousin Shidvash and her husband Counsellor Bijan Farid.  My wife Giti and I, lived in Jilin Changchun, an extreme northern city, close to Mongolia, and tried hard not to miss the opportunity of meeting Farzam when he came.  When we did meet, he often related to us relevant and fascinating stories of the progress in community building and in the transformation of friends that was miraculously taking place in parts of the world.

In China. L-R: Dr. Arbab, Dr. Firaydun, and Mrs. Giti Mithaq

Farzam once told a humorous story about a Ruhi learner’s attitude towards praying and devotional gatherings that he had encountered. He related what a learner had said in the following words:  “At first I did not feel comfortable with hearing and using the word ‘God’ because I didn’t believe in God, but I liked the praying atmosphere and the contents of prayers.  I liked to pray but prayed by deleting the word ‘God’ from the prayers.  And when I deleted God from the prayer it did not make sense because of the missing pronoun. And since I could not find any other pronoun to replace ‘God’ in the sentence, I decided to replace it with ‘Nothing’ and pray.  This didn’t work either. In fact, my version of prayer looked funny when it read ‘O my nothing, O my nothing’ instead of reading O my God, O my God.’  Therefore, when I realized that no other word could replace God, it must be the ‘God’ itself.  And I realized that saying the prayer in its original form was quite alright and I accepted that the concept of God is beyond human comprehension.”

Farzam was very keen on the progress of the Faith and followed it in detail. He said that: “Every small step of progress was a platform for greater commitment and achievement.  For instance, on each visit to a particular country, he met with individuals and groups of pioneers and sought the details of their work with the learners in the Institute process. Farzam was very meticulous and examined every detail for its possibility to lead to a clearer understanding of the process, of its application or its benefit. Talking about the power of the Words of God; Farzam mentioned that the sequences of courses were designed to produce a deep understanding of the revelation of Bahá’u’lláh and the realization of the essential coherence of the spiritual and material life of the individual and society.   He emphasized that it was the process of understanding the Words of God would ultimately leads to one’s spiritual transformation and the ownership of the Faith.”

When meeting with a group of us in Beijing in the year 2000, he asked each one of us if there were exciting instances or challenges to share from our experience with study circles. Each person related important points of progress and issues that they were encountering with learners in their study circles. I enjoyed the discussion about learning. Then my turn came to speak. Honestly, I hadn’t prepared anything and didn’t know what to say. Farzam saw my silence, turned to me, and asked how were our (Giti’s and my) study circles proceeding. The question gave me the courage to simply say what we were doing.  I recounted that we started each session with some prayers for divine assistance.  Then we would go around and each person would give a brief account of what they had experienced during the week since the last session of the study circle and usually, they would come up with incredible stories.  This was because, from the beginning, we had encouraged the participants to talk about their learnings with their friends, and even with their colleagues and relatives. We gradually found that this practice had several benefits.

As I paused to search for words to continue, Farzam came to my rescue and began analyzing and explaining the benefits of this approach and said that this way was conducive to 1) helping the learners better remember the items of their learning by reviewing and talking about them with others; 2) attracting others to come and join the study circles; 3) helping the learners gain more confidence in teaching and to the point where they could form and tutor their own groups after completing the study of Ruhi Books 1-4.  In this way new generations of learners could be tutored by local friends in their own language.

This was naturally preferable because it helped the learners to take ownership of their learning. When we had finished sharing the stories of our study circles, Farzam responded with a smile of approval for the approach that Giti and I had used.

In 2003, I visited Iran for one month with the direction and permission of the Universal House of Justice.  It was my first visit in twenty-six and half years due to the restriction factors.  My last visit to Iran was in 1977. The visit with the Grace of God was quite exciting and rewarding because in addition to pilgrimage to a number of holy places that included: House of Bahá’u’lláh in Tehran (from outside), the site of the Siyáh-Chal, the Sabz-i-Maidan in Bazar-i-Tehran where the followers of the Báb were martyred, the mosque of Zaid in Bazar-i-Tehran where the remains of the Báb was kept, the house of the Kalantar where Tahirih was confined, the house of Bahá’u’lláh in Takor-Mazandaran, the garden of Badast where Bahá’u’lláh held the Conference of Badasht, the site of the House of the Báb in Shiraz, the ruins of the House of Tahirih Quratu’l-Ayn in Qazvin, the Fort of Tabarsi in Mazandaran where Mullah Husayn was buried, the mosque in Amol where Bahá’u’lláh was bastinadoed, the house of Vahid in Saari, Sabze Maidan, the site of the martyrdom of Qudus and the massacre of the believers of the Bab in Babolsar, the ruin of the mosque where several companions of Mullá Husayn were shot down from the minaret and killed till they finished the public prayer, Maidan Zanjan the site of the martyrdom of Jinabi Hujat in Zanjan. In addition I had the bounty meeting many believers in various communities in small and large gatherings including the amazing 19 Day Feasts of the new believers. Personally taken pictures of most of the above events are available in case is required.

After Iran I went to Istanbul where my wife Giti joined me, coming from her family visit in England and we proceeded to Holy Land for short pilgrimage and had the bounty of meeting some members of the Universal House of Justice and related the account of my visit to Iran in writing and verbally.  Farzam sent a message to our hotel and came with his wife Sona and picked us up for lunch in a restaurant where we had a good two and half hours of eating and chatting on many relevant topics and future activities that included the importance of not just being content and suffice with the progress we make in deepening and working with students and adults in our neighborhoods important as they are but to strengthening and maintain cordial relationship with the local authorities and the prominent people in the clusters we were developing. I think this indicates that Farzam had a clear vision of how communities must progress in balance in all dimensions. He particularly emphasized on sharing the Bahá’í perspectives on the practical applications of the harmony of science and religion and was pleased with some pioneers’ enrolments in a university in Beijing in establishing the circle of The Academy of Science and Ethics that was proceeding with regular meetings and activates.

I wish to share a story that is a bit humorous. Once Farzam visited us in Beijing, I think it was some time in 2003, where he was the guest at Shidvash and Counsellor Bijan Farid’s. Shidvash invited us to a family dinner in their apartment where she cooked nice Persian dishes. I am not going to mention all the funny and joyful jokes and chats that we shared with laughter that night but just to relate an instance of how much humorous Farzam was. When all the delicious dishes were set on the table before us we did not start until the Persian rice known as ‘plow’ with its caramelized Tahdig merged with crispy potato slices was brought in and placed on the middle of the table. Shidvash asked Farzam to say a few words. Farzam said; well, look at that that exotic caramelized mouth-watering Tahdig. “It covers the rice with meaning”. We all burst to laugh because it rhymed with; “The kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of man … it clotheth the words with meaning …” We realized that the tasks in the World Centre are quite serious and busy, there might seldom be a chance for humor and laughter but it could come to surface in rear occasions such as in family gatherings and traveling.

Farzam was not satisfied with just the progress of study circles alone.   He mentioned that the teaching committee in Macau has prepared the needed materials for the training of youth animators to engage in releasing the spiritual and physical energies of the junior youth in their contributions of building a better world. 

I had the opportunity of meeting Farzam several times in Haifa where the development of the Faith were discussed and one of those was the bounty of accompanying the friends from a country that did not have much freedom to undertake pilgrimage. The Universal House of Justice had created a separate special program in which believers from that country could visit the Holy Land for seven days pilgrimage. In this program, the friends, who had finished studying the Ruhi courses up to book seven and were engaged in at least one of the core activities, were invited to come for seven days of pilgrimage accompanied by their tutors. My wife Giti and I had the bounty of accompanying four groups of ten to fifteen members each time for pilgrimages to Haifa.  We carried out this task in four separate years between 2008 and 2016.  Each pilgrimage was a unique and unforgettable spiritual journey, especially for those friends who for the first time were witnessing the very scenes of many historical stories that they had studied in Ruhi Book 4.  The degree of reverence, humility, devotion and homage that was shown in prostration at the Holy Shrines and the Great Prison of Bahá’u’lláh in Akka was beyond description. It was also a great pleasure and privilege to meet the members of the Universal House of Justice, the International Teaching Centre and some of the staff members on every pilgrimage.  During these specially arranged pilgrimages, on each visit, five different members of the House of Justice would officially meet with us on separate occasions except Farzam that met with us on a separate time and place.  On the first day of each visit a House member would meet with us in the pilgrim-house and then accompany us to the Shrine of the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to recite the Tablets of Visitation. We were again accompanied by a House member on the last farewell day to visit the Holy Shrines. On two other days in Haifa and Akka a House member would meet with us for about two hours in the pilgrim-house in Akka. We also enjoyed a dinner night at the home of one of the House members on every pilgrimage. For one of these dinners, we were at the home of Mr. Steven Hall. Farzam decided to join us in that dinner as well to honor those pilgrims despite his busy schedule. It was a great joy for me to seeing him giving time and attention to those friends in the sacred environs of the World Centre and listen to his views. After the dinner, he spoke for about an hour relating important and interesting stories regarding the devoted contributions made and exemplary services rendered by the friends in that underprivileged country for the progress of the Faith in that vast and magical land, contributions and services that had brought much joy to the heart of the Universal House of Justice.  Following his talk, the questions those friends asked Farzam and on the subsequent discussions reflected a much deeper understanding of the purpose and the significance of the 19-Day Spiritual Gatherings.

My recollections of Farzam would not be complete if I do not mention of the unique qualities I observed in him. Farazam had a unique talent for getting a deep understanding of the Holy Writings. He would go word by word in explaining the Holy Writings, apart from explaining the background and context in which those Holy Writings were revealed. The listener too would be able to understand the Holy Writings in the right context. Perhaps that could be the reason he was able to translate what he had read into practical actions. It was this conceiving of the  Holy Writings in the right context that, to my opinion had enabled Farzam to serve the Cause effectively and the way the Faith has to be served.  The one area that I did not understand well and which he enlightened me so well the principle of the harmony of science and religion. In talking about the balance between science and religion Farzam even warned me so many years ago about the acute danger playing with nature that would ultimately harm the and end up in global warming.

Farzam always wanted to do something for the Cause. He was not a believer in resting upon laurels or taking break from service to the Cause. Each moment was important for him and he was on the lookout for serving and would create some areas of service. His love and compassion for fellow humans was sincere and genuine.  He had a rare talent in giving strength to the downtrodden believers, and empowering others, especially the youths in arising to serve the Cause. He used the wealth of knowledge on the Faith and the Holy writings to awaken the minds of the believers. His words were soft as milk, and yet had penetrating influence.

It was a great loss that Farzam took his departure sooner than expected and deprived us of the joy of his loving accompaniment, uniqueness, and teaching support.  The passing of this devoted and intelligent servant of the Cause was the greatest loss of my life.  I still wonder when the vacuum of his absence will be filled. May God bless his radiant soul roaming in the heights of the Abhá Kingdom. To better know who Farzam Arbab really was, let it suffice to reflect on a small segment of the tribute of the Universal House of Justice, written at his passing. He passed away on 25 September 2020, in San Diego and was buried at Greenwood Memorial Park, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA.

On 26 September 2020 the Supreme Body sent out this message:

“With grief-stricken hearts we mourn the sudden passing of our former colleague, our dearly loved brother Farzam Arbab, news of which has brought us fresh sorrow. His brilliant mind, loving heart, and vibrant spirit were ever turned towards the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, seeking to draw from it insights that, through the process of education, could build spiritual and intellectual capacity within entire populations. Born in Iran, he studied in the United States before settling in Colombia as a pioneer. His outstanding gifts fitted him, it seemed, for a distinguished career in the physical sciences—but Providence had determined otherwise. His rigorous scientific training was instead applied to the work of the Faith. He recognized that the verities contained in the Bahá’í writings concerning spiritual and social transformation and the entry into the Faith of the masses of humanity demanded persistent effort to learn how to bring them about; the investment of his whole being in this great enterprise was complete and constant. Throughout his time as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Colombia, as a Continental Counsellor, as a member of the International Teaching Centre, and finally as a member of the Universal House of Justice for two decades from 1993, at age 71 to 2013, his unshakeable belief in the capacity of all of God’s children, especially of young people, was the hallmark of his service to the Cause. Always insightful, always discerning, always attuned to spiritual reality, this man of exceptional vision lived a life shaped by the harmony between scientific truth and true religion.

To Sona, his beloved wife, and to Paul, his cherished son, as well as to other family members, we extend our heartfelt condolences at this unexpected loss. We supplicate in the Sacred Shrines for the progress of his illumined soul as it commences its journey into the eternal realms of God. May it be lovingly welcomed to its heavenly home. All Bahá’í communities are urged to arrange memorials, as circumstances permit, including in all Houses of Worship, to mark the passing of much-loved, illustrious Farzam Arbab.”

-The Universal House of Justice


Dr. Firaydun Mithaq



The author Dr. Firaydun Mithaq (Mithaqiyan)is a Bahá’í pioneer to Laos South East Asia since 1962. Residing in Thailand today, Dr. Firaydun Mithaq was 20 years old when he pioneered to Laos in 1962, thus catching up with the last year of the Ten Year Crusade Plan. Coming from the fifth generation of Bahá’ís on his father’s side and the fourth generation from his mother’s side, he was raised in an illustrious Bahá’í  family. From the age of two to fifteen, he grew up in home-front pioneering locations among the Kurd populations with his four siblings. He spent the first seven years of pioneering among the tribal masses of spirit worshipers in the hills, mountains, and urban and rural Buddhist communities in Laos. Firaydun witnessed mass teaching in these areas in 1963, from a single village of forty-five tribal people to about one hundred thousand believers in 1973. In 1973, he was appointed to serve on the Continental Board of Counsellors in South East Asia. From 1975 to 2017 he and his family pioneered in Hong Kong, South Korea, China, and Thailand. From 1987 to 1992 he lived in the aboriginal communities in Northwest Australia such as Carnarvon, Onslow, Karratha, Roburn, Port headland, Brume, and Derby, and engaged in travel teaching and community building activities. He currently lives with his wife Giti in Thailand. His pioneering life was highly inspired by the direct love and guidance of the Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Rahmatu’lláh Muhájir.

28 February 2023

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  1. Dear Dr. Firaydun,
    I read the full article about this great soul and servant of the Blessed Beauty. Honestly I am in no position to add any comments on the life such an august figure of the Bahai world. His life is so inspiring and his service incomparable. The writer has portrayed the essence of Dr. Arbab’ s life and work .

    It is important that the Bahai’s especially the younger generation read this article and draw great inspiration and emulate to some extent the work he did for the Faith. His work in Colombia is impeccable and awe inspiring . Obviously his services in the World Center is beyond description.

    Professor Dr. Ananthan Krishnan

  2. Dear Dr. Firaydun
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading through such a befitting recollection on Dr Farzam Arbab. I have been deeply inspired by some of the communications and guidance directed from the ITC between 1988-1990 regarding the organic development of the Institute processes while I was serving as an Admin Assistant at the Baha’i National Office of Malaysia.
    Dr. Farzam Arbab had been instrumentally spearheading and initiating for a couples of decades in the Columbian communities the Ruhi institutes which have also been followed by several other countries. I remember how much I had gained a deeper understanding of the Faith through these books.
    I had met Dr Arbab briefly during his visit to Malaysia and did not get to know him. The story by Dr Firaydun and the accolades placed upon him on his passing by the Supreme Body have given me a proper understanding of this outstanding believer

    Koh Kuang Wang
    Port Dickson
    Negeri Sembilan

  3. Dr. Firaydun Mithaq,

    Your elucidation and narration in detail of a spiritual giant is fabulous. The manner in which you narrate his accomplishments tells that words with its limitation fails to describe Dr. Arbab. Though I have met him once in Malaysia while he was visiting as a member of the International Teaching Center, his magnetic personality galvanized everybody and his eloquent talk, told the depth of Dr. Arbab in the Revelation of Baha’u’llah.
    His saintly and magnetizing personality with his power of utterances was an elixir to all who met him.

    A befitting book should be written about Dr. Arbab so that our younger generation and generations yet to be born will be able to emulate him as an emblem.
    I am failing in my words to write of a person who was in all dimension materially and spiritually far far far superior, whose contribution is unfathomable.

    Negeri Sembilan

  4. Dr. Mithaq,

    I send my warmest thanks for your article remembering the life of Farzam Arbab. I was a youth of 21 years when he convinced me to leave Maryland and travel to Cali, Colombia, to pioneer and assist with the printing shop he was creating to furnish Baha’i materials. These days were the earliest beginning of the Ruhi Institute. For several months, I lived and worked in Farzam’s home, and I had the priceless privilege of observing his unceasing and selfless efforts for the Cause. In addition, it was my pleasure to enjoy days of personal companionship, travels together, meals, and conversations on every topic from science to movies. Thanks to his mentorship, I later pioneered and taught in other Latin American countries. Though we had only a few occasions to meet again over the years, I treasure the memories. On a pilgrimage to the World Center, he invited my family to his office and encouraged my daughters’ studies. He will always be an unforgettable figure in my spiritual life. May God bless his spirit and confirm his world-embracing work!

    Greg Shaw
    West Virginia,

  5. Dear Firaydun:

    Congratulations on another inspiring article that is so well-written and uplifting. It is impossible to comprehend the impact that Dr. Arbab has and will have on the spiritual evolution of humanity. Thank you for capturing such an important part of history from your unique experiences with him. What you have contributed will no doubt be quoted in books for centuries to come.

    Best regards,
    Tim Schaffter
    Chiang Mai, Thailand.

  6. Dear Dr. Firaydun Mithaq,

    Thank you for this wonderful tribute to dear Dr. Farzam Arbab, a humble and devoted servant of the Blessed Beauty. He was able to use with utmost excellence, the gifts the Almighty had bestowed upon him and offer this capability for the betterment of the life of those in the communities where he lived and served around the world.

    The Ruhi training institute made the life-changing sacred Writings available and accessible to the masses, who are now as individuals taking ownership of their own spiritual growth and transformation. We are forever grateful for his manifold services to mankind, and the loving care and nurturing love he always offered to friends wherever he went around the world, including when I had the privilege of meeting him in Bucharest, Romania, at the inauguration of the National Baha’i Centre as the representative of the Universal House of Justice, along with his precious wife Laurie Arbab, during my pioneering years, and later again several times at the Baha’i World Centre, in my period of service at the heart of the world. His kind smile and gentle nature are engraved in my memory.

    Firaydun jan, I also enjoyed reading your personal experiences with dear Dr. Farzam Arbab, who is certainly infinitely blessed in all the worlds of Almighty.

    Farzaneh Rouhani Rahmatian,

  7. I was serving at the Baha’i World Centre in the Finance Department located in the base of the International Teaching Centre building during some years when Dr. Farzam Arbab was one of the 9 members of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel. Although I had very little contact and association with him, I did attend many of his talks at the World Centre. He spoke softly, always with a radiant smile, and addressed his audience with a deep sense of connection through his topics. One could feel his deep sincerity in whatever topic he was presenting.

    On another occasion, during one of the many Ruhi study classes I attended in the evenings with other volunteers serving at the Baha’i World Centre, always a mixed class of older Baha’is and youth group, I recall during a particular memorization exercise, one of the youth making a comment that when he met Dr. Farzam in the hallway of the building in which he served, Dr. Arbab, when greeted, would say to him in a serious but soft manner, are you memorizing the Writings? Memorization is a very important aspect of understanding and sharing the Faith. Make effort to memorize. I am paraphrasing as my memory from 15 years ago is fading on exact wording of conversations. The point is that I gleaned from this occasion, how important memorization is to Dr. Farzam Arbab, and it stays with me that I should make more effort to memorize more prayers, more Hidden Words, more specific Writings found in each Ruhi Book, especially Books 1-7.

    E. Kiyoko Nanni

  8. Dear Dr Firaydun

    I read your article on Dr Farzam Arbab and was happy to learn more about this devoted servant of the Baha’i Faith. It is truly a testimony to the power of the Faith that one of such a brilliant mind and spiritual susceptibilities would give of himself so fully and selflessly in the service of the Faith. Hand of the Cause of God Dr Rahmatullah Muhajir in a talk he gave in Malaysia spoke of the spiritual heritage of Dr Arbab, see page 286 of the book “Dr Muhajir Hand of the Cause of God Knight of Baha’u’llah” by Iran Furutan Muhajir.

    I met Dr Arbab twice, the first time was when he came to Malaysia (I believe during the mid 1990s) during the period of Project 1000 mass teaching campaign and my recollection of his message to the friends gathered to hear him was that the purpose teaching – and he paraphrased the words of Baha’u’llah – was to unlock the cities of men’s hearts with the key of your utterance. He added with a warm smile, that at least you must put the key into the lock! My understanding of his message was that while mass teaching was important, there must be some basics that the new Baha’i must be aware of when he accepts the Faith. It was to be years later when I understood more what the Ruhi Institute was about that I made the connection between what he said that day in Malaysia and a systematic Baha’i training programme.

    The second time I met him was when I was on pilgrimage and I had the bounty of meeting him up close. What struck my wife and myself too after she mentioned it to me was the intensity of his gaze when he looked at you. I looked up my notes from his talk to the pilgrims and here are some of the key points he made:

    What does it mean that I am a member of the Bahá’í community? What it doesn’t mean is:

    It certainly is not the same as being in a social club, God forbid that our community should look like a social club.

    Churches and congregations – one goes to services, one is uplifted, music, activities of children, charitable works, maintains missionaries.

    Is it a respected, prestigious minority that government and leaders of thought know what we stand for, and that we are a gentle, peace loving people. It is a good thing, we have come a long way from before, this is quite an achievement. Is that who we are? No.

    The answer should be these people are in the process of building an entirely new world, a global civilisation that is materially and spiritually prosperous, they are revolutionaries standing for something totally new, who believe that the existing order is about to be rolled out, they really believe it and their action and speech show that they believe it. They don’t belong to the old order, they don’t defend it and try to repair it, or are comfortable with it. They are incessantly building a new world. Because they are doing it their numbers are growing, their organisation getting more secure, effective.

    What should we do that an observer would say we are these agents of change? The answer to this question is simplicity, getting rid of a lot of complications that we have created. Simplicity in the Faith does not mean a lack of depth but lack of unnecessary complications.

    Systematically studying the writings with discipline is sorely lacking, but we need to do it to confirm who we are. Getting together in small or large groups, study these teachings and figure out how to apply them in a new world – this should be the most common activity but this is what we do least. We have deepening committees, our ideas include what we know from outside. The Universal House of Justice has asked the Counsellors, administrators to create training institutes so that we will do this, that it will become the main activity of Bahá’í communities around the world.

    There must be a synergy between action and learning. Learning to apply is to translate into reality what God has already ordained.

    Thank you for your article on Dr Farzam Arbab.

    Soheil Chinniah
    Perth, Australia

  9. Dear Dr. Firaydun
    Your article about Dr. Arbab pays a wonderful tribute to one who helped shape the framework the Baha’is are using around the world. The article makes one wonder how one person could do so much. Although Dr. Arbab is not with us physically, his spirit lives on inspiring millions around the world. It is a humbling experience reading and commenting on the article about Dr. Arbab. |

    Mike Wallace

  10. Dear Firaydun,
    Thank you for that wonderful article about such a wonderful believer.

    One of my deprivations in life is that I never had the opportunity of meeting Dr. Farzam Arbab in person. His thoughts and insights moved the Baha’i community to take fresh and huge strides. Fazam Arbab’s contributions to the Baha’i community the Ruhi Institute which has been great. Unfortunately, the Baha’i world was deprived of such a precious, humble and devoted person.

    I hope Dr. Farzam’s radiant soul will inspire the friends from the Abha Kingdom.

    Ruh’u’llah Taefi

  11. Dear Firaydun,
    Your article on Dr. Farzam Arbab pointed to many attributes, qualities and heavenly character that he possessed. Among them, the most impressive is what you wrote :“ Farzam had an incredible degree of reliance on the Power of Assistance – that God is Omnipotent and that the impossible is possible when we turn to God sincerely meditate and tap into the wellspring of Hos teachings and guidance..”.

    Thank you very much for sharing your sweet and wonderful memories of such a unique personage, renowned as Dr. Farzam Arbab.


  12. Dear Firaydun
    I enjoyed the article. I think you have captured part of the history of our beloved faith. Congratulations for that.

    The article shows your own contribution as well. It reflected an exemplary figure of a devoted servant of the Faith for generations to learn from and emulate. The fact that Farzam Arbab was instrumental in the creation and development of the Ruhi courses that gradually developed to a teaching institute of deepening and mobilizing thousands to the field of action and service alone is highly commendable. The article was very nicely written. You must have a very organized mind to write it so beautifully.

    Rouhulah Ferdowsian

  13. Dear Dr. Firaydun
    Thank you for the detailed write up on Dr Farzam Arbab. Through your story I got a deeper information on the services of this servant of Bahaullah.

    We were blessed to have met him here in Kampala some 15 years ago, where he conducted a seminar on discourses that were then handled by Baha’i External Affairs Department. He was accompanied by his younger sister Haleh.
    They still remain unforgettable souls!

    Gamal and Somaya Hassan

  14. Dear Dr. Firaydun,

    What a beautiful account of the life of Mr. Dr Farzam Arbab. Truly touched by the extent of the service he rendered to our beloved cause. I am speechless. I had no idea of the extent of his service and his absolute reliance on God.

    Thank you for this sharing Dr. Firaydun its absolutely precious.

    With Loving Greetings
    Parames McNeill
    Subang Jaya

  15. Dear Dr. Firaydun,
    I found the article on dear and wonderful Dr. Farzam Arbab thorough. You have narrated the story of a spiritual giant of our time. How he dedicated his entire life to the Cause of God through his love for the Blessed Beauty!. How with the introduction of Ruhi books he uplifted and still uplifting millions of souls around the world. He has left for posterity an educational system.

    My special gratitude to you for beautifully penning down Dr. Arbab’s accomplishments.

    Daryoush Yazdani

  16. Dearest Firaydun,
    I wish to thank you very sincerely for the article so eloquently written about the life of Dr. Farzam Arbab, who is a shining example of a true servant of Baha’u’llah. I have never had close contact with Dr. Arbab except meeting him as a member of the Universal House of Justice during our pilgrimage.

    You have a wealth of knowledge and experience in your life long pioneering in various countries of South East Asia. I had a bounty of accompanying you when we joined a month long teaching campaign in the honour of Dr. Massih Farhangi in 1988 in the Aboriginal towns and villages of the north west of Western Australia.
    Recording of the various accounts of the valiant figures of the Faith will be always so valuable and remain inspiring for future generations.
    Well done dear Firaydun for recording the lifetime story of service and dedication of Dr. Farzam Arbab. His great contributions to the development of the Ruhi institute is unforgettable.

    He will always be remembered as an example of service to the Cause.

    Heshmat Beyzaie

  17. As I recall, my first and last meeting with Dr. Farzam Arbab was in Malaysia during the Auxiliary Board Members conference, in 1992. What I remember is how he elaborated on ideas with eloquence and clarity. It was an informative and inspiring meeting. It clarified how the ABMs, their Assistants, and friends could encourage their contacts and the friends to engage in the action of the four core activities, support their learning process and become the agents of their spiritual development by unlocking their hearts through the key of the words of God and enable them to apply those in the reality of their life.

    Ariel Vicmudo

  18. Dr. Arbab was a Counsellor with the International Teaching Centre when he came to Macau in 1990 or 1991. As a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Macau then, the 9 of us met Dr. Arbab over dinner. I can’t remember much what was spoken but ever since that I have been reading his articles. Truly, we are living in a blessed day where we can witness every Promise of the Blessed Beauty being fulfilled.

    At this juncture I wish to recall the following statement from Abdul Baha:

    “Bahá’u’lláh……hath, during His last days on earth, given the most emphatic promise that, through the outpourings of the grace of God and the aid and assistance vouchsafed from His Kingdom on high, souls will arise and holy beings appear who, as stars, would adorn the firmament of divine guidance; illumine the dayspring of loving-kindness and bounty; manifest the signs of the unity of God; shine with the light of sanctity and purity; receive their full measure of divine inspiration; raise high the sacred torch of faith; stand firm as the rock and immoveable as the mountain; and grow to become luminaries in the heavens of His Revelation, mighty channels of His grace, means for the bestowal of God’s bountiful care, heralds calling forth the name of the One true God, and establishers of the world’s supreme foundation.”

    Reading our beloved friend Dr. Firaydun Mithaq’s recollections about Dr. Farzam Arbab’s life of dedication and devotion to the Cause of God is a proof of the above promise being fulfilled.

    Kuala Terengganu

  19. Dear Mani
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful story on Dr. Farzam Arbab that was well written by his cousin Dr. Firaydun Mithaq.

    Dr. Farzam Arbab is one of the Bahais I truly admire.

    Sathia Narayan
    Subbing Jaya

  20. Upon reading your article on Dr. Farzam Arbab, I was amazed to learn about the kind of person he was. It is an honor to be part of the same line of the family, although I never had the opportunity to meet him. It is amazing to see that as he fulheartedly listened to the advice of the Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Muhajir and went pioneering in Colombia, God inspired and guided him to accomplish such astonishing works for the unfolding and progress of the Goals of the Divine Plan and how his impact on translating knowledge to action is widely felt throughout the world. Thank you for sharing this detailed story of your recollections of Farzam Arbab.

    Sarve Mithaqiyan

  21. Dear Firaydun,
    Thank you for writing your personal remembrances of Dr. Arbab. It was a delightful experience to read and to remember his illustrious spirit. I had not known until reading your essay that it was Dr. Muhajir who had encouraged Dr. Arbab to pioneer to Columbia. I have always felt that the two esteemed doctors were God’s chosen instruments for their respective times in history — the Doctor of Mass Teaching and the Doctor of the Training Institute. It seems appropriate that they had such an important personal relationship. Thank you for calling to remembrance their lives.

    Tarrant Mahony

  22. Many thanks to Dr. Firaydun Mithaq for sharing his recollections of Dr. Arbab, which add new shades of meaning and understanding of this admittedly gifted, yet extraordinarily humble man who made the simple human choice to allow himself to serve God’s higher purpose.

    Lea Gentile
    Chieng Mai

  23. Dear Doctor Firaydun,

    The write up about Dr. FarzamArbab is highly inspiring and an informative masterpiece on his brief biography. He had served in many Institutions and finally as a member of the Universal House of Justice. He was destined and a chosen one of God to do many things for the Cause.

    The pioneer and initiator of Ruhi programmes initially embarked in Columbia had then received a great impact and was highly a commending undertaking through out the Bahai World.

    Before that, many National Spiritual Assemblies and State Councils had already developed a programme of their own in the establishment of Training Institutes as per direction of the World Centre in 1984 . Ultimately, in 1996 Ruhi process took inception worldwide replacing all other Institutes through the direction and guidance of the Universal House of justice.

    I had aquaintance with Dr. Arbab when he first came to Kolkatta, India in 1989 , while still a member of International Teaching Centre. It was a memorable gathering for me and my wife as our engagement and wedding date were announced in that conference in his presence by Mr. Afshin. Dr. Arbab spoke on the growth process. The question he posed at us, asking how many actual workers, key believers we had in the whole State, and the ones involved in the movement of activities. We said about 100. He said that is your bench mark and you teach and start from there, train new ones and then multiply.

    Then again in 1991 he came to Delhi, saying he was just arriving from Malaysia. He wanted a report of all the State Bahai Councils, to be presented on the stage, and an evaluation of the growth in the respective states. It was an awe-inspiring a session. He spearheaded our understanding and instilled greater spiritual insights on the vision of Baha’u’llah in the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

    The three components of activity- individual, community and institution was more emphasised. And how coherence will be brought about and accomplished, that which will ignite and lead to healthy organic growth of the Cause of God in a community

    Thank you very much for such a highly uplifting presentation. God bless you!

    Pitamboro K.N.
    Puncak Alam

    1. Dear Pitamboro K.N.,
      I am glad to read your comprehensive comment on Dr. Arbab recognizing his distinguished services and accomplishments. It is particularly encouraging to see the statement you made: “…many National Spiritual Assemblies and State Councils had already developed a program of their own in the establishment of Training Institutes as per direction of the World Centre in 1984. Ultimately, in 1996 Ruhi process took inception worldwide replacing all other Institutes through the direction and guidance of the Universal House of justice.”

      If you kindly allow me humbly to add that; it is true that the national spiritual assemblies and communities have endeavored in making numerous kinds of profound teaching and deepening materials. However, as you know well those productions have served their objectives and have produced marvelous outcomes, especially on national levels. We too, and thousands of others have received educated and been nurtured by the compilations that exhorted the holy Writings. I think it may not be wrong to infer that a vacuum for the creation of a new and more effective institute material was felt to address the growing demand of the ever-advancing community to create an atmosphere of a culture of learning on a universal scale. This notion may be true since the phenomena of Outward-Looking had become the new trend of development. The method of learning and the content of the institute materials had to take a new shape; to become structured with sequences of courses and to be systematic in its operation for the pursuit of learning and the application of knowledge to action. The Ruhi Institute has evolved to provide a curriculum that could be sustainable, and self-reliant to produce a host of teachers with devotion and skill to teach, deepen and train thousands of tutors, animators, and teachers for children, junior youth, and adult spiritual and social education.

      Kind regards,
      Dr. Firaydun
      Chieng Mai

  24. Dear Firaydun,

    Was delighted for the opportunity to read your article.

    Dr Farzam Arbab was a brilliant educator and a wonderful mentor that through his educative processes inspired by Baha’u’lla’s revelation reflected the reality of time-space quantunium that links the mind and the heart of individuals formalizing a new understanding and insight into expansion and consolidation of the Cause of Baha’u’lla.

    Professor Kamran Eshraghian

  25. Dear Firaydun,

    I heard about your article about Dr. Arbab published in the bahairecollections blog. Thank you Firaydun for penning this inspiring article. I did not plan to write this comment mainly because of my rusted memory and recovering health conditions at eighty-four. However, with the encouraging help of a friend I managed to transcribe some of my unforgettable memory of Dr. Arbab.

    Once, when Dr. Arbab was still a member of the International Teaching Centre he visited Thailand and met the communities and friends in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Omkoi. It was before I served as an Auxiliary Board member or it was during this service that Dr. Arbab asked me if I could accompany him to Bangladesh for a week’s trip, and I accepted. I thought what a learning opportunity it would be to spend a week with the Counsellor from the World Centre. He got my tickets and we flew to Dhaka. It was a fantastic trip although I had no role other than being an accompanied observer when he met with the friends, community, and the institutions. I remember that he always had a sweet smile that brightened his face and a warm tone of voice that captured the attention and touched hearts. He listened attentively and patiently to what the others tried to communicate. He usually had a logical explanation for the problems and issues, and when he did not have a reasonable answer he said “we don’t know but we can learn from the experience that was the outcome of learning, consultation, action, and reflection”. He said that we have to seek divine assistance, make practical plans, and get on to work. We have to learn the skill of applying the principle of universal participation, and encourage inclusion because the achievement of goals and plans requires the participation of not only the Baha’is but also the inclusion of the community at large. Baha’u’llah’s message addressed the whole of mankind to arise and work together for the betterment of the world.

    These were among some of his qualities that could translate knowledge into action. Above all Dr. Arbab was a humble and down-to-earth person. He slept less and worked longer hours. His room was next to mine and I could see from the window the reflection of his room light which usually was on well past midnight. His diet was simple, a piece of fruit and a glass of juice for breakfast, a snack for lunch, and a light dinner at night. I also noticed that he was on medication too. What an extraordinary person he was. God bless his soul.

    Faridian Abhasakhun

  26. The late Mr. Houshmand Fatheazam used to say that memoirs and recollections are the spice of history [خاطرات چاشنی‌ی تاریخ است]. He used to say that what history remembers of the deeds of the people and of the performance of the institutions, are the good things they initiated and established for the communities, and the contributions they made for advancing the civilization.

    Praise be to the Lord of the Kingdom that our contemporary spiritual warrior, Farzam Arbab, left this ephemeral world, and spent the days of his life, in the service of the Lord of the Covenant. The testimonies of the Universal House of Justice remind our generation of the endless bounties of God on His servants who dedicate their all for the propagation of His Cause.

    The recollections of Dr. Mithaq, and of the other friends, bring the reader that much closer to the gem of a soul that was Farzam Arbab.
    God bless his him.

    Bijan Bayzayee

  27. God bless his radiant soul. Although I met Dr.Arbab only a few times each time only a few minutes his love and radiance were always overwhelming! I learned a lot of new things by reading this article and to know Dr. Arbab better. His life of service was exemplary. Thank the bahairecollections that published the article and Dr. Mithaq that wrote it.

    Kurosh Vahdad

  28. I have not met Dr. Farzam Arbab in person since he did not visit Iran in four decades but I have known him through his distinguished services and unique personality. However I knew his father Mr. Ruhi Arbab, the secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran since he has appeared on numerous occasions at large and small gatherings and had addressed the friends mostly about the progress of the Cause. Mr. Ruhi Arbab was always cheerful, confident, well- informed, encouraging and assertive and had other praiseworthy qualities that we see reflected in his son Dr. Farzam Arbab.

    It is amazing to see what a blessed family are the Arbabs whose history of the devoted ancestors goes back to the heroic age of the Bah’i Faith. God bless with infinite light the radiant soul of Dr. Arbab whose Ruhi Institute Courses could become become the curriculum of the new culture of learning and spiritual insight for many people of the world.

    Dr. Freidoun Imani

  29. Dear Dr. Firaydun,

    I wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude for the outstanding write-up you composed about Dr. Farzam Arbab. His contributions to the Bahá’í community are truly unparalleled, and his impact on the lives of those who had the privilege of knowing him cannot be overstated.

    I had the distinct honor of meeting Dr. Arbab during my visit to the Holy Land back in 1997, and it was an experience that has stayed with me ever since. Along with a group of Bahá’í pioneers and Cambodian believers, we had the incredible opportunity to visit the “heaven on earth” and were astounded when we received an invitation to meet Dr. Arbab at his home on our first evening.

    As we made our way up to his floor, I couldn’t help but wonder how he would greet us. Would it be a simple Bahá’í greeting, or something more? Much to my amazement, when we arrived, Dr. Arbab was standing outside his door with his arms wide open and a beaming smile on his face, greeting each of us with a warm embrace. He took the time to ask us about our Bahá’í activities in Cambodia, and even pointed out areas where he believed we could improve our teaching and consolidation efforts.

    During our conversation, he also casually mentioned that we could stay one more day in the Holy Land, something that we had requested in writing but had not yet received confirmation for. We were overjoyed by his kindness and generosity, and it is a memory that I will cherish forever.

    I was fortunate enough to have another opportunity to meet Dr. Arbab during his formal visit to Cambodia in 2001. He even took the time to drive around the capital with me and the then Counsellor Lee Lee Loh Ludher. His passion for the growth and development of the Bahá’í community was truly inspiring, and his impact on the lives of those around him was immeasurable.

    Dr. Arbab’s tenure as a member of the Universal House of Justice from 1993 to 2013 was marked by his involvement in numerous projects aimed at establishing new Bahá’í communities in Africa and Asia, as well as his service as a member of the International Teaching Centre, which provided training and support to Bahá’í teachers and administrators worldwide.

    Once again, I wanted to express my gratitude for your thoughtful tribute to Dr. Arbab. He was a truly remarkable individual whose legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.

    With Loving Bahá’í greetings,
    Vela Gopal
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  30. Dr. Farzam Arbab was a truly a distinguished educator. Although I am a close relative of Dr. Farzam Arbab I have never had the chance of meeting him because he spent most of his life in America and the Holy Land. He did not visit Iran due to unfavourable circumstances. Therefore I knew Dr. Farzam Arbab from distance through his devoted services to the Faith at the international level. He is indeed the pride of our family particularly that my children and grandchildren received their spiritual education through the Ruhi study courses and children classes. This has had a great impact on their education and spiritual enrichment and development. And for this we are blessed and grateful.

    May the pure soul of Dr. Farzam Arbab rest in eternal peace and tranquillity.

    Farzaneh Farzad

  31. In the eighties in Harbin, Heilongjiang-China where I was a pioneer and taught in university we were much involved in studying and tutoring the institute courses where students participated with zeal and interest, Dr. Arbab who had contributed to developing many educational materials was a familiar personality with much respect. He was a serious but a cheerful person that we occasionally saw when he came to China. In one of his talks when he spoke about the Intellectual Life of the Society he captured the attention of his audience and made us rethinking about the application of science and etics in the contemporary society and in contributing to the progress and betterment of society. Sadly, he left us to early. We pray that his soul will rest in everlasting peace.

    Afshin Khazra
    Los Angeles


    Thank you firaydun and wishing you and giti are all well
    Reading this long article about Farzam. It was a great pleasure.
    During the years that I was in Haifa serving on the water installation project of terraces on Mont Carmel unfortunately I was not close to him at the world center as he and I were both very busy. Usually, I went to work at dawn on the terraces and returned quite late and that was how most of the staff worked. Only on some occasions, we met. He too worked long hours as he had numerous undertakings and responsibilities. However, I was delightfully aware of his distinguished services at the World Center and on an international scale. We all needed prayers and more time to do our tasks. God bless his soul.

    Samandar Milani

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