Farzam Arbab

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Farzam Arbab (born October 27, 1941) is an educator and physicist who has served in various positions within the hierarchy of the Bahá’í Administrative Order.

Background

Born in Tehran, Iran in 1941, Farzam Arbab would go on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College in 1964 and a Doctor of Philosophy in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968. Shortly after earning his doctorate, Arbab moved to Colombia where he quickly established himself in the leadership in the Bahá’í community of that country and by 1970 was Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly. While in Colombia he helped found Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences (FUNDAEC).

Religious career

Initially elected in 1993 to the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing body of the Bahá’í Faith, Arbab retired from that body in 2013.[1] Before his election to the Universal House of Justice, in 1988, he was appointed to the International Teaching Center. The International Teaching Centre, whose seat is at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, is composed of nine Counsellors appointed by the Universal House of Justice and tasked with duties to stimulate and coordinate the Continental Board of Counselors and assist the Universal House of Justice in matters relating to the teaching and protection of the faith.[2] All of the current members of the Universal House of Justice previously served as members of the International Teaching Centre. In 1980 he was appointed to the Continental Board of Counsellors for the Protection and Propagation of the Faith in the Americas, on which he served for eight years. From 1970 until 1980 he served as the Chairman for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'í Faith in Colombia.

Family

Farzam Arbab's son, Paul Arbab, is administrator at the Luxembourg-based Unity Foundation, which works with Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and "a network of local development agencies assisting them in their efforts to build capacity amongst populations to take charge of their own social and economic development."[3] Farzam Arbab's sister, Haleh Arbab, is currently director of the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity, a non-profit educational and research organization "dedicated to building capacity in individuals, groups and institutions to contribute to prevalent discourses concerned with the betterment of society" through "working in collaboration with the Bahá'í International Community."[4] Born in Iran and educated in the United States, Haleh Arbab previously lived in Colombia from 1982 to 2005 where she worked with the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences (FUNDAEC) and served as Rector of Centro Universitario de Bienestar Rural, a Colombian Bahá'í-inspired institute she helped found in 1988.[5] Farzam Arbab's brother-in-law, Haleh Arbab's husband, is Gustavo Correa who himself has been a member of the Universal House of Justice since 2008.[6][7] Farzam Arab's niece, Bita Correa, serves as program director of FUNDAEC and participated as a member of the Bahá'í International Community’s delegation to the 55th United Nations Commission for Social Development.[8][9]

FUNDAEC

Farzam Arbab was one of the founders of FUNDAEC (Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences). Her served as its Director from 1974 through 1988 and continues to serve on its board. FUNDAEC was established in 1974 by a group of professors at the University of Valle in Colombia who were looking for new strategies to develop the capacities of people and to generate knowledge in isolated regions of the country.[10] In 2002, the Club of Budapest recognized FUNDAEC's new rural education model.[11] The model, known as SAT (for "Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial, Spanish for "System for Tutorial Learning") started in 1980 and centers on the use of interactive workbooks facilitated by a tutor. In Colombia, these tutors are trained at the Center for Rural Education.[12][13][14][15][16]

Ruhi Institute

The SAT techniques Arbab helped develop at FUNDAEC have been applied to the Bahá'í community in the form of the Ruhi Institute, which was named after Arbab's father.[17][18][19] Centered on Bahá'í study circles, the goal of the Ruhi Institute courses is to "evoke a transformative learning experience through a learner-centered, experiential, and collaborative approach facilitated by a tutor rather than an instructor, a teacher, or an expert."[20] Among the principles of the Ruhi curriculum is the utilization of service projects to implement learning into tangible action.[17]

The Universal House of Justice has encouraged the emulation of the Ruhi model throughout the global Bahá'í community.[21] According to one researcher, the Ruhi Institute's method has resulted in "nonhierarchical, self-initiated, self-organized small groups engaged in study, teaching, and action"[22]:pp81–2 and is "becoming the core of Bahá’í community life worldwide as the outcome of a process that has sought to nurture the spiritual life of individuals and families and to establish social foundations for the vision and practice of religious world citizenship."[22]:p94 Paul Lample, another member of the Universal Hose of Justice, has stated "Doubtless the institute and its curriculum will continue to evolve, both in content and form, to a level of greater complexity in regions and nations within the framework of the administrative order throughout the various stages of the Divine Plan in the second century of the Formative Age."[23]

Death

Dr. Farzam Arbab passed away on September 26, 2020 in San Diego. He was 78 years old.[4]

Writings

References

  1. ^ "Two members of Universal House of Justice leaving after years of service". Bahá’í World News Service. April 23, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  2. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). A Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford, UK: Oneworld PublicationsISBN 1-85168-184-1.
  3. ^ "Unity Foundation, meet the board of directors". Unity Foundation. Retrieved June 4,2017.
  4. ^ "Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity". Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "Reseña historica"Centro Universitario de Bienestar Rural. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  6. ^ Scribner, Herb (September 16, 2014). "10 religious leaders you may not know about"Deseret News. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  7. ^ "Baha'is elect Universal House of Justice". Bahá’í World News Service. April 30, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "Seeing the capacity for meaningful contribution in all populations and people"Bahá'í International Community News. United Nations. February 9, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  9. ^ "Seeing capacity for meaningful contribution in all populations"Bahá'í News Service. New York. February 12, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  10. ^ Arbab, Farzam; Correa, Gustavo; de Valcarcel, Francia (1988). "FUNDAEC: Its Principles and its Activities". CELATER, Cali, Colombia. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  11. ^ "Baha'i-inspired educational system for the poor of the world honored by the Club of Budapest". Bahá’í World News Service. December 22, 2002. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  12. ^ "Historical Overview"Official Website of FUNDAEC. FUNDAEC. Retrieved June 4,2017.
  13. ^ "Rural Community-based System for University-level Education". International Development Research Centre. 13 March 1998. Archived from the original on May 19, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2017. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status=suggested) (help)
  14. ^ CRECE: Centro de Estudios Regionales, Cafeteros y Empresariales (August 2001). "Successful Alternatives for Rural Education: Tutorial Learning System (TLS) and New School Methodology Rural Post-Primary"Regional Policy Dialogue on Education and Human Resources Training Network, Second Meeting: Secondary Education. Manizales, Colombia: Inter-American Development Bank. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  15. ^ Roldan, Luz Alba Villegas (March 31, 2000). "Educación y Pobreza: Incluyendo a los Excluidos" (PDF)Conference of the World Bank, LCSHD. Madrid, Spain: World Bank. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  16. ^ "In Colombia, a microcredit project aims to re-awaken community solidarity"One Country. La Arrobleda, Cauca, Colombia: Bahá'í International Community. 1996 (April–June). 1996. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  17. Jump up to:a b Rosemary Blosson; Sylvia B Kaye (March 14, 2012). "Learning by Doing: Preparation of Baha'i Nonformal Tutors"New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education2012 (133): 45–57. doi:10.1002/ace.20006. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  18. ^ Ruhi Institute (1991). Learning about Growth - The Story of the Ruhi Institute and Large-scale Expansion of the Bahá'í Faith in Colombia. Cali, Colombia: Palabra Publications. p. 55.(registration required)
  19. ^ Molineaux, P. (1996). Projects of FUNDAEC. Cali, Colombia.
  20. ^ Stephan Z. Mortensen (May 2008). PhD - The Ruhi Institute curriculum: A qualitative study (Thesis). Capella University. ISBN 9780549615446. Retrieved June 4, 2017.(registration required)
  21. ^ Universal House of Justice; Department of the Secretariat (December 1998). "Extracts From Messages Written By The Universal House Of Justice On The Four Year Plan Related To Training Institutes". The Bahá'í Community of Guelph: 1. Retrieved June 4,2017.
  22. Jump up to:a b David A. Palmer (2013). "From "Congregations" to "Small Group Community Building"; Localizing the Bahá'í Faith in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China". Chinese Sociological Review45 (2): 78–98. doi:10.2753/CSA2162-0555450205ISSN 2162-0563.
  23. ^ Paul Lample (Dec 2013). "Some Insights from the First Century of the Formative Age" (PDF)Journal of Baha'i Studies23 (4): 31–78, 126. Retrieved June 4, 2017.

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