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Shoghi Effendi through the Eyes of Laura Clifford Barney

Sep 18, 2022
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Mona Khademi will discuss Laura Clifford Dreyfus-Barney’s accounts of Shoghi Effendi. Laura Barney first encountered Shoghi Effendi in the early 1900s when he was five or six years of age and then throughout his teenage years and early adulthood, including in Paris in 1920. Laura Barney also met and corresponded with Shoghi Effendi after the passing of his beloved grandfather, Abdu’l-Baha, when he was appointed as the Guardian of the Faith, until his passing in 1957. She visited the Holy Land at least nine times, each time staying from a few days to several months. Laura Barney had watched Shoghi Effendi move through the different stages of life, and she always had special admiration for him.

The admiration of Shoghi Effendi for Laura Barney whom he addressed as ‘Laura Khanom,’ was mutual. The speaker will discuss Shoghi Effendi’s appreciation for Laura Barney for all her accomplishments, especially her greatest achievement, the compilation Some Answered Questions. When Shoghi Effendi recorded the names of those persons who had been instrumental in the West for the rise of the Faith, he called Laura Barney’s work imperishable service because her book, entitled “Some Answered Questions,” gave Abdu’l-Baha’s priceless explanations covering a wide variety of subjects.

After the passing of Shoghi Effendi, Laura Barney stayed in touch with his wife. He had married Mary Maxwell, the daughter of Laura’s spiritual mother May Bolles Maxwell, in 1937. She was given the title of Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum by Shoghi Effendi. Laura Barney continued her correspondence with Ruhiyyih Khanum until the end of her life in 1974.

You can purchase The Life of Laura Barney by Mona Khademi online at the Bahá’í Bookstore.



Mona Khademi

Mona Khademi was born in Tehran, Iran. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pahlavi University (today’s Shiraz University), Masters degree from American University in Washington, D.C., and has worked towards a PhD degree at Imperial College, London. As an independent researcher, Mona Khademi has presented papers and talks in Persian and English at Bahá’í and other international conferences in Europe and the United States. Several of her papers are published as articles and chapters of books. Since the year 2000, Mona Khademi has researched about the life of Laura Clifford Dreyfus-Barney and has presented papers about her findings at Bahá’í, Iranian and Middle Eastern studies conferences as well as the Embassy of Latvia in Washington DC and the Library of Congress. She has published several papers based on years of research and the biography that she has written titled ‘The Life of Laura Barney’ was published recently by George Ronald Publisher. Mona Khademi works as an arts management consultant in Washington DC.  

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