As part of ongoing work for the project, Educational Cinematography, Empire and Internationalism, last summer I researched in the Bahai’i Temple at Willmette in the USA in order to explore Laura Dreyfus-Barney’s Bahai’i faith. Laura was a prominent Bahai’i who donated to many causes but did not wish her donations to be noted. Education was one of her early interests. She supported the Bahai’i’s Persian-American Educational Society and was particularly interested in the Tarbiyat Girls’ School in Tehran In Forgotten Schools: The Baha’is and Modern Education in Iran, 1899-1934, Soli Shahvar notes the importance that the Bahai’i faith attached to both women’s rights and women’s education and that the Bahai’i Girls’ School, Madrasih-hi Tarbiyat-i Banat, which opened in 1911, was the third girls’ school opened by an Iranian in Iran (p.57). Bahai’i’s were a persecuted group and the book provides very useful background information to Bahai’i education to complement the archival information I gleaned at Willmette.
Soli Shahvar, Forgotten Schools: The Baha’is and Modern Education in Iran, 1899-1934. London: I.B.Tauris, 2009.