Promoting vitality within the Zoroastrian community and awareness in the wider world
At the Vakhshoori Foundation, we believe that each Zoroastrian can and should help shape our future. The smaller the community, the greater the responsibility and potential impact of each of its members. As Zoroastrians, we measure our achievement as a community by our positive contributions to humanity at large. We are motivated by our respect for all living things, and we seek to follow Zarathustra’s example in the Gathas:
All my actions I dedicate to Truth. May the Wisdom of the Good Mind guide me.
This is the source of our sense of identity and pride. The Vakhshoori Foundation aims to encourage such good thoughts and actions.
A word about our community: Zoroastrianism was the religion of ancient Persia, an empire encompassing modern-day Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Known by its practitioners as the “good religion,” it is based on the principals of “good thoughts,” “good words,” and “good deeds”. It is believed to be the first monotheistic religion, and it teaches that human behavior has clear consequences in the hereafter. The Arab conquest of Persia in the seventh century AD meant that Islam became the official religion of the land. Many Zoroastrians converted, some fled to India, and some fled to the countryside where they could continue to practice their faith. The number of Zoroastrians has dwindled considerably over time, and they are now scattered across the globe. Despite this Zoroastrians have thrived, and they have sought out higher education in disproportionately high numbers.
In 2007 the Vakhshoori Foundation created the Vakhshoori Scholarship (formerly Ahura scholarship) with an eye toward fostering the next generation of community leaders. Each spring the Ahura Scholarship is awarded to promising Zoroastrian students at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the U.S. and abroad. A vital part of Zoroastrianism is the belief in free will, the idea that each individual shapes her or his own life. By funding young people’s education, the Vakhshoori Foundation helps them acquire the know-how necessary to act on their choices and make their dreams come true.