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Bio of the creator of Windows to the Past study series.

Darius K. Shahrokh:

by Grace Shahrokh

published in American Baha'i

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Darius K. Shahrokh loved the history of the Faith. The popularity of historical deepenings he offered in California in the early 1990s led to production of the 25-tape audio deepening series Windows to the Past, which has been distributed internationally and broadcast on Internet-based radioNUR.

Darius, a retired physician residing in Buncombe County, North Carolina­ -- and formerly a stalwart among the Wisconsin friends -- passed away March 20, 2005, during a visit to family in Austin, Texas.

Born in 1931 and educated in Tehran, Iran, Darius came to the United States in 1956 to train for a medical specialty in ear, nose and throat at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He served on Rochester’s first Spiritual Assembly.

At the request of an isolated, recently enrolled Bahá’í family in Marshfield, Wisconsin, Darius, Grace and their infant daughter moved there in 1960. He helped build that Bahá’í community through his historical deepenings and teaching activities.

His mother, Katayoon, whose pioneer services covered several decades, introduced Persian cooking to the central Wisconsin town on her visits.

Later the family moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He helped form the first Spiritual Assembly there and served on it for 24 years. He was also instrumental in the 1980 launch of Wisconsin’s summer Bahá’í school.

On retirement, the couple moved near Sacramento, California. Darius served at various times on two suburban Spiritual Assemblies and the District Teaching Committee. He helped organize regular children’s classes that continue to this day.

His lively retelling of historical events led to a popular series of deepenings in the Sacramento area. With encouragement and recording equipment supplied by friends, he embarked on the five-year project to record the Windows to the Past tapes.

Later, Darius relocated to Cedar Park, Texas, and Buncombe County, also serving on their Assemblies. He spoke at events and Bahá’í schools in Wisconsin, California, Oregon and Texas and also made teaching trips to Caribbean islands and to some Southern states.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Grace; daughters, Roya and Lorraine Nura; son Ross; four grandchildren, one brother and three sisters.

About Windows to the Past

In 1992, Dr. Darius Shahrokh, a retired physician-surgeon, recorded some deepening talks upon the insistence of friends in his Bahá’í Community. These were first intended for local use. Then it became apparent that Bahá’í deepening and stories on audiotape met the needs of people in various circumstances, such as those with vision or reading problems, audio learners, isolated Bahá’ís, those with long commutes who want to listen to talks while driving, immigrants who find reading English difficult but are comfortable with spoken English. Also the tapes are useful for new Bahá’ís and Bahá’í youth who want to become rapidly well-informed about the Faith without having to purchase a lot of books.

In view of these needs, Dr. Shahrokh expanded the extent of material, which at this time has been obtained by approximately twenty-five National Spiritual Assemblies for aiding their teaching and deepening programs, with plans to translate into various languages.

Each program is the result of months of study of resources in both English and Persian. Most cassettes include a map, photos, and/or list of references. Dr. Shahrokh and his wife, Grace, who assisted with research and editing, have done their best to make the information as accurate as possible.

Some reference is made to Windows to the Past as stories, but it should be remembered that the stories are not intended to be entertainment, but to inform, elucidate, and inspire the listener. The essay tapes have relevant stories purposefully placed to lighten the concentration or emphasize a point.

Windows to the Past has been praised by listeners who state that the series is packed with information and inspiration and presented in a style that holds attention.

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