Last night, I attended an event honoring the seven Baha’is, who have been imprisoned without due process for over a year. Some 1,000+ people including many dignitaries were in attendance at the historic Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, where the United Nations Charter was signed on June 26, 1945.
The attendance was overwhelming! The program started at 8pm sharp with a welcome and opening remarks by Amy Purchase Reid, an opening prayer, and then Classical Persian music and peom by Rumi and Hisami, “Day and Night” – performed by Fares Hedayati and Kaveh Hedayati. Fr. Setphen A. Privett S.J., President of University of San Francisco read the Prayer for Solidarity. Mayor of Brisbane, Sepi Richardson and San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi were also amongst the audience, and came up and shared their thoughts about the situation of Bahai’s in Iran. (Unfortunately I had a bit of technical difficulty with the camera during Mayor Richardson’s speech). Dr. Abbas Milani – Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University spoke of Human Rights in Iran. Spoken word artist, poet, vocalist and teacher, Ijeoma Thomas, shared a beautiful poetry “consolidation Part II – In the Garden of Victory” with the audience.
A letter which was written to President Obama by the Children of the Palo Alto Baha’I community (Luc, Katherine and Nura) was read. Dr. Farhad Sabetan, spokesperson for the Baha’I International Community, who is a Lecturer of Economics at California State University, talked about the situation of the Baha’is in Iran. There was also a dramatic presentation, ‘We are Not Spies’ by Mansour Taeed. And the amazing evening was closed with Prayers for Unity.
The evening ended with a nice reception . The energy in that lobby was incredible.