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community services Council on Persian Culture

The California Zoroastrian Center announces the formation of a new entity. This entity formed as a council is a cultural branch of the California Zoroastrian Center. The Council has neither political affiliations nor any special interests and is an organization focusing solely on issues related to world cultures, inter-cultures, and specifically the Persian culture. The following is an overview of this new entity and describes its main points.

Name:

Council on Persian Culture

Belief:

The Council believes that first and foremost we are all human with many common roots and interests.
We all happen to share a journey through time called "Life". And as a singular human race, the journey of our lives is spent as members of one collective global community of Humanity on our tiny planet. The Council believes we have to make the best of this journey for every single one of our fellow humans in order to refresh the world and have a better life.

The Council believes that there is no one culture that is superior to other cultures. It is our life long duty to first understand and then appreciate the beauties of our world’s cultures through respect and tolerance. The Council on Persian Culture believes that it is only through understanding and mutual respect that we can have a better world.

The Council believes that politics, politicians, and their policies will come and go. What remains is the deep rooted cultural beliefs in the hearts and minds of the people of the world which passes from generations to generations.

In Persian cultures with close to 4000 years of documented and 7000 years of living history, we see that many dynasties and empires came to power, had their impacts and then history saw their decline; but the cultural and traditional events of celebrating new year, Norooz, and festivals of Sadeh, Mehrgan, Tirgan, Chahar-Shanbeh Soory and others are enduring and ever-fresh after millennia. They may have the dust of time, but they are alive and well in the hearts and minds of new generations of young Persians as has been so in the hearts and minds of their parents and their ancestors.

The Council believes that, as humans, we must celebrate every single joyful event of the world’s cultures and must have an utmost respect for the good aspects of each other's cultures.

Objectives:

To better understand world cultures and their interactions in order to facilitate global peace and harmony.
To preserve Persian culture, customs, traditions, and to educate people in order to avoid any misinformation or misunderstanding.

Principles:

Anyone who agrees with the belief system above and is interested in the objectives stated can be a member of the Council. There are no requirements as for ethnicity, religion, nationality, etc.

Members may be active participants or passive silent who attend the conferences or provide background support.
Minimum age for members is set at 16.
There is no maximum age, since we believe the mission of CPC is a life-long quest.
Council Organizational model is based on a non-hierarchical and flat model as explained in more details below.
Meetings are conducted based on a need and are setup by representative individuals.
Meetings may be in person or through video conferencing on the Net.
The focus of the Council is primarily of Persian culture, since it is set up originally by Persians. Hence primary publications are directed towards ancient Persian culture and the interwoven fabric of its societies, with special emphasis on the messages of Zarathushtra for public understanding.
The Council is also active in interaction of Persian culture with other cultures based on respect and understanding.
This is a living document and depending on the dynamics of the world affairs, it may be adjusted to reflect the reality of the current cultural issues and fundamentals.

Background:

The Board of Trustees at the California Zoroastrian Center has recognized and acknowledged the need for a progressive, proactive, and involved cultural entity to implement and execute conceptual ideas that the Board members have been considering for some time. These activities include but are not limited to:

  • Clearing up misunderstandings, miscommunication, or incorrect information disseminated about Persian culture worldwide. The Board has witnessed several intentional or unintentional misinformation locally in Southern California, in mass media, group discussions, the general public and even among professors in Academic institutions. The Board has decided that this misinformation and in many cases false data will be propagated to students, educators, and general public and will do unjust to the basic principles of our culture.

  • Providing correct information to the general public through various mass media, including: newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and Center’s own publications and periodicals.

  • Preserving our customs and traditions through active planning and involvement of our people in historical and national events as well as seasonal festivals.

  • Helping people to prosper economically and psychologically by identifying the individuals who are in need and providing support.

  • Planning and encouraging cultural affairs.

  • Focusing on our Youth and getting them involved with various programs.

  • Providing proper education and creating a much needed awareness among those who are misinformed or simply don’t know much about us in colleges and universities.

  • Conducting seminars and conferences.

    The Board feels that the time has come to implement these ever-increasing demands and thus has planned and organized the Council on Persian Culture.

Organization:

The Council is created on a flat organizational model with no hierarchy and is run by various committees. Each committee is focused on one specific task, however each and every committee can and will rely on the cooperation of other committees and leverage on the collective resources of the Center. Committees are responsible to the Board of Trustees of the California Zoroastrian Center. And as mentioned earlier, this council works under the bylaws of California Zoroastrian Center.

Following are the responsible individuals for each committee in alphabetical order:

Massiah Foundation Educational Scholarships:

  • Dr. Fariborz Maseeh, a world pioneer in Nano technology and MEMS industries, founder of “Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies” at UCI and the recipient of 2006 Ellis Island Medal of Honor initiated a generous gift of US $10,000.00 for 2007 through his Massiah Foundation to 2 qualified Zoroastrian students in the US, based on their academic merits. It was matched with another US $10,000.00 by Erach and Roshan Sadri Foundation (ERSF) of UK through the good offices of World Zoroastrian Organization (WZO) in London for another 2 qualified Zoroastrian students in US for a total of US $20,000.00 which was awarded to 4 Zoroastrian students.
  • The Massiah foundation increased its gift to $20,000.00 for 2008 which was matched by California Zoroastrian Center for a total of $40,000.00. Eight qualified Zoroastrian students received a scholarship of $5000.00 each and were named "Maseeh Scholars"
  • For application and more information please click here...

Publications:

Following is a preliminary list of the initial publications by cZc-cPc:

cPc Academic Advisory Committee:

  • Dr. John Curtis; Keeper, Department of the Ancient Near East - British Museum
  • Professor Richard Frye; Harvard University
  • Professor Stanley Insler; Yale University
  • Professor Keikhosrow Irani; New York University
  • Professor Farhang Mehr; Boston University
  • Professor Jennifer Rose; Stanford University
  • Professor Hanns-Peter Schmidth; University of California, Los Angeles
  • Professor Martin Schwartz; University of California, Berkeley
  • Professor Oktor Skjaervo, Harvard University

cPc Executive Committee:

  • Mr. Shahriar Afshari
  • Mr. Fereidoon Goshtasbi
  • Mr. Bahram Kasravi
  • Mr. Farhad Khosravi
  • Dr. Sohrab Salamatipour
  • Mrs. Sima Shidfar
  • Mobed Dr. Rostam Vahidi
  • Khosro E. Mehrfa


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