Celebration of Cyrus the Great’s Contribution to Humanity


co-sponsored by
Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Chicago,
Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
at the
Zoroastrian Center of Chicago,
8615 Meadowbrook Drive, Burr Ridge, IL 60527
Sunday August 4, 2013
In 559 BCE, the Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great, a charismatic, military genius overthrew the Medes, conquered the Lydians and the Babylonians and went on to build the greatest empire known up to that time – the first Great Persian Empire, the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched across central Asia, west towards Rome and Greece and east into India. Unlike his contemporaries, Cyrus showed respect for the nations he conquered, and allowed them to govern themselves and follow their own religious beliefs – a tolerance very much in accordance with his Zoroastrian faith. The Old Testament hails Cyrus as a Messiah for freeing the Jews from captivity in Babylon and allowing them to rebuild their temples. These generous acts are recorded in cuneiform on the Edict of Cyrus, a clay cylinder discovered in 1879, which is acknowledged as the world’s first declaration of human rights.
The original cylinder, which is housed at the British Museum, with a replica at the United Nations, is currently on a tour of five US cities. Although Chicago is not one of the cities, the Zoroastrian Association of Chicago, FEZANA and the Oriental Institute are collaborating to celebrate this gift to humanity, symbolizing multi-culturalism and respect for each other the world over.
Zoroastrian community members, members of the Oriental Institute and all interested persons are invited. A special invitation is extended to the Chicago interfaith community, members of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC) and associates of the Council for a Parliament of World’s Religions (CPWR.)
Sunday August 4, 2013, 11 am – 5 pm
Emcee Mehrab Deboo.
11:00 Registration and refreshments
11:30 Welcome by ZAC President, Dinaz Weber
Unveiling of the replica of the Cyrus cylinderand poster 
by ZAC, Children’s Religious Education Class
Presentation of replica of the Cyrus cylinder to the Oriental Institute
by Afreed Mistry, FEZANA UN – NGO Committee,
on behalf of FEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America
Opening remarks and acceptance of the Cyrus Cylinder 
by Matthew A.Stolper, John A. Wilson Professor of Oriental Studies,
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Presentation of the special issue of FEZANA Journal on Cyrus the Great
by Dolly Dastoor, Editor in Chief, FEZANA Journal
12:30 Vision of an Ecumenical World order
by Margaret Cool Root, University of Michigan
1:30 Lunch
Legacy of the Achaemenids to the world
by ZAC Children’s Religious Education Class
2:30 Jewish Connection with Cyrus the Great.
by Rabbi Herman Schaalman, Chicago Board of Rabbis
3:00 The Time Period of Cyrus the Great, an introduction to Xenophon’s “Cyropedia,”
and summary of the talk “What the US Founding Fathers Learned from
Cyrus the Great
” by Professor Caroline Winterer, Stanford University.

by Jehan Bell
3:30 Papers on Cyrus the Great written by Dastur Dr. Kersey Antia
To be read in abstentia (TBD)
4:00 Musical renditions on the theme of Cyrus the Great
by Tina Siganporia
4:30 Tea
Cost $7, children free. RSVP no later than July 29, to Jehan Bell at:
jrivetna@yahoo.com or 1-559-274-5627.

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