Thursday, May 17th
6:30pm until 7:30pm
Should everyone have a chance to receive an education, or do those in power have the right to restrict it to people who agree with them?
This may sound like a hypothetical question, but it is a central issue for thousands of students in Iran. There, members of the Baha'i Faith, other religious minorities, and political dissidents are legally forbidden to pursue a higher education because of their beliefs. In order to give them a fighting chance at the twenty-first century job market, Baha'is have banded together to form an underground university known as the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). Since 1987 the BIHE has been the only university available to Iran's second largest religious community. However, starting in May 2011 a police crackdown has led to the destruction of educational materials and the imprisonment of faculty without any formal charges. The BIHE is in serious danger; now is the time for action.
You are invited to the screening of Education Under Fire, a thirty-minute documentary about the BIHE's struggle to provide educational opportunities in defiance of the government's will. Following the documentary will be a talk by Mona Mahmoudi, an Iranian Baha'i who survived waves of persecution to earn advanced degrees in mathematics and education, along with the perspectives of non-Baha'i professors Douglas G. Frank and Afsaneh Ardehali. Refreshments will be provided, and everyone is welcome to stay for a question and answer session.
Those who wish to help out are encouraged to read and endorse an open letter on the issue to the international academic community by Nobel Prize Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Jose Ramos-Horta. Also, like this Facebook group to be a part of further activities.
Find out more at