Two members of Universal House of Justice leave after 40 years service

29 April 2003

Two members of the Universal House of Justice are leaving the Baha'i Faith's international governing council after 40 years service.

Mr. Ali Nakhjavani, 83, and Mr. Hushmand Fatheazam, 79, have served in that capacity since the Universal House of Justice was first elected in 1963.

Re-elected successively to five-year terms since then, Messrs. Nakhjavani and Fatheazam requested the Universal House of Justice, in November 2002, for permission to resign their office.

This was granted but they were requested to continue to serve until the election due this month. This was announced to the Baha'is around the world.

Both men had extensive experience in the Faith's activities before their election to the nine-member council, which has its Seat on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel.

Mr. Nakhjavani was born into a Baha'i family in 1919 and raised in Haifa. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from the American University of Beirut, he moved to Iran, his ancestral home.

He was a member of the national governing council of the Baha'is of Iran, the National Spiritual Assembly, in 1950 and 1951. Mr. Nakhjavani and his family then moved to Uganda in order to assist the development of the Baha'i community there. He worked as a teacher and lecturer.

From 1954 to 1961, he was an Auxiliary Board member, an adviser to the Baha'i communities on their development and growth. He also served as the chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Central and East Africa from 1956 to 1961. Mr. Nakhjavani moved to Haifa in 1961 after he was elected to the International Baha'i Council, the forerunner to the Universal House of Justice.

Mr. Nakhjavani has written numerous articles on aspects of the Baha'i Faith and delivered many talks on its history and teachings. He is married to Mrs. Violette Nakhjavani (nee Banani), and they have two children.

Mr. Fatheazam was born into a Baha'i family in Tehran, Iran, in 1924. He obtained Masters degrees in arts from Tehran University and Wiswa Bharati University in India.

Mr. Fatheazam worked as a curator at the library of the Faculty of Arts at Tehran University.

Following his move to India to assist Baha'i development work there, he held the post of lecturer in Persian literature at Punjab University. He was staff artist at All-India Radio from 1955 to 1963. During that period, he was secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India and was managing director of the Baha'i Publishing Trust, New Delhi.

A poet, author and playwright, he wrote an introduction to the Baha'i Faith, The New Garden, which has been translated into some 109 languages. He has presented numerous lectures on the Baha'i Faith. He is married to Mrs. Shafiqih Fatheazam (nee Farzar-Asdagh) and they have three children, one deceased.

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