art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir #15, Special Issue on Iran
Winter 2022



“Their only crime...”

Holy Soil

Holy Soil: The Endurance of the Bahá’ís of Iran by Ighan
Hadigheh: A Bahá’í House of Worship in Tehran by Saba
The Blue Prayer Book by Hannan Hashemi
In Front of the School by Nava
The Roll-Away Pumpkin by Tanin Azadi
The Castle at Maku by Nogol Sadri

The Scent of Roses

The Scent of Roses by Nooshin Mavaddati
A Great Green Enignma by Mehrsa Mastoori
My Tiny Fruit Garden by Foad Bahrami
My Blessed Spot by Hannan Hashemi
Spring in My Grandmother’s Yard by Morvarid Ighani
The Garden of Memories by Sama Khalili

Candles in the Darkness

The Candle in My Family by Alhan
A Shower of Bullets by Daniel Sabet Rasekhi
From Thief to Benefactor by Foad Bahrami
The Green Handprint by Nava
The Kolahduz of Barfurush by Sama Khalili
An Immortal Man by Taranom
The Whisper by Andisheh Taslimi


From A Tale of Love by Mahvash Sabet
translated by Shahin Mowzoon and adapted by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

Personal Reflections on Bahá’í Texts

Calamity: The Path to Eternity by Hannan Hashemi
The Way Home by Daniel Sabet Rasekhi
The Light in the Darkness by Sama Khalili
From Your Inmost Being by Taraneh


A Small Light in a Dark Room by Andisheh Taslimi
Hope for the Future of Iran by Mehrsa Mastoori


Painting and Interview with Shahriar Cyrus by Mehrsa Mastoori
Resilience by Lynn Miller

← Previous       Next →

Ann Sheppard

Hope for the Future of Iran: A Letter to My Children


August 2022

My beloved children,

When I show you this letter you will be the same age I was when I wrote it: twenty. I write this letter so you know that even though I have not met you yet, I think of you often and can’t wait to see you.

I write, too, to tell you this: Iran used to be a very different place. There was a time when our country was enveloped in darkness. Innocent people were killed. Young people like you were imprisoned. Families endured unending grief, and happiness seemed like a mythic thing. Hope was the only thing that shone in those dark days, shedding just a dim light on us.

My dearests, I have lived long enough to know that hope is what enables people to go on living, and without it, they will become lifeless, like ghosts moving through the world. In those dark days in Iran, peoples’ hearts were filled with rage and they turned against one other. Only one thing could save Iran: unity.

After living in darkness for forty years, a new generation came with different ideas. These youth didn’t accept what was unjustly forced on them. They raised their voices, put anger aside, and spared nothing to rebuild what had been destroyed during those dark years. This new generation made the Iran you live in right now. They sacrificed their youth so that you would not have to experience what they did.

I want you to know: youth is your power. I know in my heart about the struggles you are going through right now; the changes you are experiencing, your worries about the future, the stress of doing and being enough. However, you must remember that you have a power inside of yourself that is greater than any difficulty. What I wish for you is to find that power and use it for the greater good.

When you draw on that power, changing lives, making a difference, and instilling happiness in hearts will not be just a dream. I leave you with these words by Bahá’u’lláh:

Blessed is he who in the prime of his youth and the heyday of his life will arise to serve the Cause of the Lord of the beginning and of the end, and adorn his heart with His love. The manifestation of such a grace is greater than the creation of the heavens and of the earth. Blessed are the steadfast and well is it with those who are firm.

It is my cherished hope that in the prime of your youth, you will be the hope for the future of Iran.