When Homework Is a Matter of Life and Death


The first hint of sunlight glows off the horizon as I rush toward Stanford Hospital from the parking garage, white coat in hand, stethoscope bouncing against my chest. Every few steps, the diaphragm of my stethoscope ricochets off the silver pendant my mother gave me—a nine-pointed star etched with a symbol of my Bahá’í faith. My mother escaped Iran at age 17 as the country was on the cusp of revolution—a revolution that would create a society where, to this day, Bahá’ís like myself are barred from obtaining a university education. But here, in the United States, I’ve spent more than a third of my life on a university campus.

The Bahá’í faith was founded in 19th-century Persia, and is now the largest non-Islamic minority religion in Iran. Persecution of our religion has helped it expand around the world—my own family’s escape to the United States in 1979…

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