My IFLAC Experience – By Pejman MasrouriPosted: 2016/07/30
My IFLAC Experience
By Pejman Masrouri
My time here in Haifa has flown by but I feel emboldened by the experience and the atmosphere I have been working in. The time I have spent in the company of professor Ada Aharoni with the IFLAC organization has especially been rewarding. As an individual student who is early in his academic work I previously felt quite powerless to affect change in the world but I now know that, as professor Aharoni states, we can have an impact “with all the power of our pens, our computers, our smartphones and our creative works.”
As a Baha’i I share IFLAC’s vision of peace in the world and being physically in the city of Haifa, the center of the Baha’i faith, has put me at the heart of this vision. In my free time I have made it a point to visit the Baha’i Gardens as much as possible and talk to the volunteers and pilgrims present. This has added to my experience and my resolve to be a peace-maker in my future career. The idea that people from all over the globe arrive in Haifa with the same belief in their hearts—that we are all citizens of one earth, “flowers of one garden,”—is very inspiring.
My love of history has also been reinforced with the information I have gained from Dr. Aharoni’s treatises on the Second Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. This chapter in history has been gravely understudied, even by most Israelis, despite the fact that more than half the Jewish population in Israel can trace their family heritage back to the Second Exodus. It furthermore was a huge event in Middle Eastern history and I feel that it carries an important message and the prospect of future reconciliation, that Arab and Jew were quite capable of living in peace and that it can happen again. It has been a true pleasure to assist IFLAC in promoting our mutual goal of peace, and especially working with professor Aharoni, who has become something of a mentor for me in these past several weeks. I have assisted her in writing numerous pieces, including several reviews of many peace books as well as writing articles which promote the culture of peace. I have furthermore assisted professor Aharoni with her responsibilities as the president of IFLAC in further promoting peace in our world.
Working alongside professor Aharoni has taught me much and has been of great benefit in honing my own academic skills. Besides the professional side of my internship, I greatly enjoyed the personal company of professor Aharoni. Together she and I had a great many conversations on a variety of topics, mostly pertaining to history, current events, and culture. I especially enjoyed our discussions about Iran, where much of my family still lives. I was greatly impressed by her vast knowledge of the history and culture of Iran, as well as hearing her own stories and experiences living in Iran in the 1970’s. Very few people I come across in my travels understand many of the complexities of Iranian culture, let alone had directly experienced living in the nation prior to Islamic Revolution of 1979, and I must admit I am quite jealous of her in that regard, as I have always dreamed of living in the Iran prior to the revolution instead of the unfortunate one our world is stuck with now. Overall my experience interning with IFLAC has been a tremendous moment in my life as it was another opportunity for me to spread the vision of a world at peace which I share with my IFLAC comrades across the world, and believe that our work is the first step to accomplishing this dream.