March 12, 2003 Farhang Mehr To Discuss the Politics of Religion in the Middle East
Farhang Mehr, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University, will discuss "The Impact of Religion on Politics in the Middle East" at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored jointly by the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division and the Forum for the Study of Comparative Religion (through the Library of Congress Professional Association). Tickets are not required.
A native of Iran's small religious community of Zoroastrians, Mehr triumphed over discrimination to rise to political eminence in a predominantly Islamic country. In spite of constitutional embargo against non-Muslims holding ministerial positions in Iran, he not only held such posts, but was appointed deputy prime minster by the Shah. He later served as chancellor of Pahlavi University where he contributed to the effort to revolutionize Iran's university education system.
In addition to his many official duties, Mehr found time to champion the cause of equal rights for his fellow Zoroastrians. He founded the World Zoroastrian Organization and led the effort to modernize his faith's concepts and practices in Iran.
Forced to leave his country during the Khomeni Revolution in 1979, Mehr immigrated to the United States where he taught international relations at Boston University for 20 years. He retired in 2000 and was appointed professor emeritus. He currently runs the Center for Ancient Iranian Studies in Boston.