Under the Staircase: A Martyr's Journey:

Under the Staircase: A Martyr's Journey:

Under the Staircase: A Martyr's Journey:

Under the Staircase: A Martyr's Journey:


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At its core, Under the Staircase is a biography of Fatollah Ferdowsi, a remarkable man who was executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran on the morning of January 4, 1982. His only crime was his belief. He was a member of the Baha'i Faith, a persecuted minority in Iran. The regime gave him a choice: "Recant your faith and go free, or you will die." Fatollah remained steadfast. He chose faith over life—the eternal over the ephemeral.

Under the Staircase is more than a story of the unjust killing of an innocent man. It is much more than that. It is the spiritual triumph of a man over the awesome power of the state. The Islamic Republic imprisoned and tortured Fatollah. They tried to force him to utter the words, "I reject the Baha'i Faith and agree to become a Muslim." His response was a knowing smile. The Islamic Republic seized his assets and belongings, and promised their return if Fatollah would simply recant his faith. His response was a nonchalant shrug. "My faith can't be bought." The Islamic Republic condemned him to death unless he signed a piece of paper that said, "I renounce my faith." Fatollah's response was "Never!" So, the Islamic Republic crushed Fatollah's body, but could not vanquish his soul.

Fatollah Ferdowsi's journey to martyrdom is meticulously narrated by his youngest son, Farsheed. His preparation for writing Under the Staircase started in the mid-1980s, a few years after his father's execution. Farsheed felt a burning desire to write a book about his father's life. He began to collect and read articles, letters, memoirs, and books about the persecution of the Baha'is in Iran in general, and the events related to his father's life in particular.

To comprehend the powerful force that drove Fatollah Ferdowsi throughout his eventful life, one needs to understand the Baha'i Faith. His life story is deeply intertwined with his religion. A number of chapters in Under the Staircase are devoted to the history, teachings, and administrative structure of the Baha'i Faith in order to provide the proper framework for Fatollah's story. Likewise, a basic history of Iran during the second half of the nineteenth century to the present, and the convulsion of the Islamic Revolution are presented for context.

Under the Staircase is, in a larger sense, the story of the entire community of Iran's Baha'is, who have endured more than a century and a half of severe persecution, and who have responded to their predicament with determination to do whatever they can, in the face of unrelenting indignities and injustice, to preserve their identity and to work for the good of their country. Under the Staircase is a story from Iran. Yet it is not merely an Iranian story. In it, there are lessons for both the oppressors and the oppressed across the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798985669718
Publisher: Jazab Press
Publication date: 06/11/2022
Pages: 462
Sales rank: 864,364
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Following a year of postgraduate studies at Vanderbilt University, Farsheed Ferdowsi founded Access Data, a business software development firm in 1979. This was followed by a string of other companies in the information technology and business services industry, including PayMaxx and Inova Payroll.

Farsheed was recognized by the Nashville Business Journal as the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002 and is an alumnus of Leadership Nashville. Throughout the years, he has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations in Middle Tennessee. These include the Red Cross, the Nashville Zoo, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Middle Tennessee YMCA, and the Rotary Club of Nashville.

He holds a master’s degree in structural engineering from U.C. Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University. He is a frequent speaker at Nashville area colleges and universities, as well as civic organizations and clubs. Farsheed is an Iranian native. He came to the USA at age 18 before the Islamic revolution of 1979. However, he has kept current with the sociopolitical developments of his native country. He is a member of the Baha’i Faith, the largest religious minority in Iran. Adhering to this faith, members of his extended family have suffered severe persecution at the hands of the Islamic Republic. His father, Fatollah Ferdowsi, a prominent Baha’i and a successful entrepreneur, was executed on January 4, 1982, solely for his religious beliefs, and all his assets were seized by the regime.

Farsheed Ferdowsi has authored a novel entitled Mushroom in the Sand (2009). Seven years in the making, the international thriller/ spy novel revolves around Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.

His latest book, Under the Staircase—A Martyr’s Journey (2022), is a nonfiction biography of his father, Fatollah Ferdowsi. For this project, he spent more than three decades researching his father’s story and its backdrop—the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the persecution of the Baha’is for the past 175 years. Farsheed and his wife, Aram live in Brentwood, Tennessee.
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