• Friday, September 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FEZANA Call for Participants for the 68th Annual Commission on the Status of Women Conference ~ March 11-22, 2024

    The FEZANA UN-NGO Committee is looking for participants to attend the 68th Commission on the Status of Women Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York from March 11-22, 2024.

    This year's main focus will be on accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.

    For more information on the CSW68 check the website:

    Individuals interested in attending the conference, are requested to:

    1. Fill in the form:
    2. Two minute video recording of yourself on how you see yourself fitting into the UN.
    3. Send your video, resume and letter of intent for attending the CSW68 by September 1, 2024 to both individuals:

    FEZANA, as an NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Department of Global Communications (DGC), will facilitate registration to the CSW Conference. The conference will be in a hybrid format (partially in-person and partially online).

    The selected participants are expected to make their own financial arrangements regarding visas, tickets, accommodation, food, and transportation in the city.

    Details about the vision, mission and activities of the United Nations can be accessed at


    Co-Chairs, FEZANA UN-NGO Committee

  • Monday, August 28, 2023 4:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Iraqi First Lady, Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmad, wife of the Iraqi President, held a special ceremony at ASHTI Zoroastrian Temple, in Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan to award a number of prominent personalities who have played a role in spreading the culture of peaceful coexistence and mutual acceptance among all religious and ethnic communities in the Kurdistan Region.

    This ceremony that was held on Saturday 05.AUG.2023, at the ASHTI Zoroastrian Temple, in Sulaymaniyah city, was organized and prepared by Awat Hesamuddin (Darya), official representative of Kurdish Zoroastrians in K.R.G.

    Representatives of eight different religions, including Islam, Sunni and Shiite, Christians, Zoroastrians, Jews, Saba'i Mandai, Baha'i ,and Kakai Yarsani, several national personalities and several organizational managers were honored at the ceremony.

    At the ceremony, the First Lady of Iraq, Ms. Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed, was presented with an honorary award for her important role in supporting freedom of religion and belief, to support the culture of coexistence, between all religions and nationalities and to protect their rights.

    The award of Queen Shabad, one of the most famous figures of Sumerian civilization, which means Queen of Beauty, was presented to the Iraq First Lady, Ms. Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed.  Also she was presented with the Ashavan Zoroastrian Foundation Award for Music and Culture by Awat Darya, the official Zoroastrian representative.

    Attached are some photos and a video.

    The link is the video of the visit by the first lady of Iraq, the wife of the President of the Republic of Iraq, Dr. Latif Rashid, at ASHTI Zoroastrian Temple in Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan, on the occasion of honoring a group of Iraqi Kurdish personalities, which was officially published by Ms. Shahnaz Ibrahim Ahmad, in her social media account.

    Watch Video

    The Iraq First Lady, Ms. Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmad, the wife of the President of the Republic of Iraq, at the ASHTI Zoroastrian Temple in the city of Sulaymaniyah, receives the award of thanks and appreciation.

    Judge Weria Kanimarani, who holds the position of a judge in the Court of Juveniles and Minors, in the city of Sulaymaniyah, receives an award of thanks and appreciation for his prominent role in serving justice and peaceful coexistence in society.

    Judge Qasim Izdi, who is the first judge of the Yazidi religion to hold the position of judge of the criminal court in the city of Sulaymaniyah. He receives the award of thanks and appreciation.

    Part of the presence of the dignitaries who were honored and mediated by the first lady of Iraq.

    One of the Shiite clerics who was honored for his role in spreading the culture of peace.

    Part of the presence of the dignitaries who were honored and mediated by the first lady of Iraq.

  • Monday, August 28, 2023 3:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SOAS PhD Surveys on 'Zoroastrians-by-choice' and their interactions with Zoroastrians born to at least one Zoroastrian parent

    Some of you may recall an anonymous survey by Ruzbeh Hodiwala, a PhD Candidate at SOAS, on Zoroastrians-by-choice and their interactions with Zoroastrians born to at least one Zoroastrian parent. Ruzbeh had also presented his preliminary findings at the 12th World Zoroastrian Congress in New York and recently at the 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress in London along with screening of a film titled 'Becoming Zoroastrian' that he has co-produced with a filmmaker Leah Rustomjee. Many of you have already completed the survey!

    However, since the Gen Z survey was underway, Ruzbeh had discontinued the surveys in order to minimize confusion and survey fatigue among members of the community. As a result, he was unable to reach out to the maximum number of Zoroastrians. Ruzbeh is now planning to close the survey for good and is reaching out to the members of the Zoroastrian community one last time to spare some time to take the survey if you haven't already done it before! 

    Please feel free to share it widely among your family,friends, and community members around the world (excluding Iran).

    Survey for 'Zoroastrians-by-choice'/those born to both non-Zoroastrian parents:

    Survey I: (In English) For Zoroastrians born to both non-Zoroastrian parents.

    English - Non-Zoroastrian Parents

    Survey I: (In Persian) For Zoroastrians born to both non-Zoroastrian parents.

    Persian - Non-Zoroastrian Parents

    Survey for Zoroastrians born to at least one Zoroastrian parent:

    Survey II: (In English) For Zoroastrians born to at least one Zoroastrian parent.

    English - At Least One Zoroastrian Parent

    Survey II: (In Persian) For Zoroastrians born to at least one Zoroastrian parent.

    Persian - At Least One Zoroastrian Parent

    You can reach out to Ruzbeh Hodiwala at: or

  • Monday, July 17, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Attention high school graduates, the application process for the Annual ZSO Academic and Community Service Excellence Award for High School Students Scholarship is now open for 2023. 

    The deadline for receiving completed applications this year is Monday, July 17, 2023. All pertinent details are in the application form.

    Good luck to all the applicants.

    2023 ZSO Scholarship Application

  • Friday, July 14, 2023 11:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earlier this week we shared an appeal from the World Zoroastrian Organization (WZO), U.S. Region Ltd. Seeking support and donations for a premature baby girl born in Secunderabad, India.

    The young couple (Shiraz Pitcher and Urvaksh Fitter) were married in December 2022 and were expecting twins. Due to some medical issues, the babies (boy and girl) were delivered pre-mature at 28 weeks on July 6, 2023. Unfortunately, the baby boy didn’t survive and passed away.

    The premature baby girl survived weighing only 1Kg and is currently in NICU on a ventilator and will require to stay there for a minimum of six weeks or till she is strong enough to survive outside.

    We all know medical expenses and hospital stays are extremely expensive and this family needs our support. We’re requesting the community to join hands together and help this young family in need and most importantly for the baby girl to receive adequate care to fully recover from her current condition and live a happy and healthy life with her parents.

    Please donate generously by visiting our ZSO donation page ( ) to support this cause by Aug 31st, 2023. Tax receipts will be issued instantly to your email address on file. 

    We thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

  • Friday, June 09, 2023 7:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The research project  "Gen Z and Beyond: A Survey for Every Generation" conducted between 1 July 2021 to 19 April 2023  affiliated with the University of London and privately sponsored, aimed to gather data on Zoroastrian communities globally. It utilized an online survey that allowed participants from any location to answer. The project was conducted by a small team led by Dr. Sarah Stewart, with support from Dr. Nazneen Engineer and Joe Turtle.

    The survey sought to understand how individuals in different regions identify as Zoroastrians, their beliefs, religious practices, and devotional life. It also explored social habits, community engagement, knowledge dissemination through familial and communal channels, and interactions with non-Zoroastrian communities in social and workplace settings. With the global Zoroastrian population estimated at around 100,000 individuals, the survey aimed to identify challenges facing the community and provide valuable insights for community leaders to address them. Moreover, it aimed to create a comprehensive dataset for scholars and students studying the Zoroastrian religion, its history, and its people.

    “Among young people aged 18-25 who never married, finding a Zoroastrian partner was the preferred option”

    The first theme discusses the significance of marriage, intermarriage, raising children, and domestic life in relation to the declining number of Zoroastrians worldwide. Factors such as low fertility rates and delayed or non-existent marriages contribute to this decline. Traditional family patterns have been disrupted by migration and the decline of extended families. Among young people aged 18-25 who had never married, finding a Zoroastrian partner was the preferred option. However, for those who view ethnicity as integral to Zoroastrian identity, the fact that nearly half (49.5%) of respondents in this age group were in a relationship with or married to a non-Zoroastrian raises concerns about the decline of two-parent Zoroastrian households. A small percentage (6.8%) of respondents mentioned that their non-Zoroastrian spouses played a significant role in raising their children as Zoroastrians. Acceptance of intermarried spouses and offspring varied across different communities, with more resistance observed in traditional communities toward women who had married out compared to men. Attitudes toward gender are relevant to the discussion on intermarriage and population decline.

    The second theme discussed is the perception of cultural heritage and its connection to literary heritage. The survey included questions about two significant texts: the Shahnameh (Book of Kings) and the Qisseh-ye Sanjan (Story of Sanjan). The Shahnameh, which dates back to pre-Islamic times and incorporates ancient Zoroastrian hymns, holds great significance for Iranian Zoroastrians, Iranians in general, and many Parsis in India and the diaspora. The Qisseh-ye Sanjan narrates the legendary journey of Zoroastrians from Iran to India following the Islamic conquest in the 10th century. Younger respondents (18-25-year-olds) were more likely to be unfamiliar with the Qisseh-ye Sanjan (22.1%) or the Shahnameh (44.2%) compared to older respondents. Surprisingly, immigrants that came from Iran to India were more likely to consider the Shahnameh unimportant (44.7% vs. 33.3%) despite the expectation that they would attach greater importance to cultural stories to maintain their traditions.

    Migration is another significant theme discussed in the survey.
    The location where individuals settle and their sentiments toward the place they left, whether it is their birthplace or not, has implications for their sense of identity and belonging. As a marginalized and often persecuted minority in Iran, Zoroastrians have a history of leaving their homes and resettling elsewhere. Migration occurred within Iran, such as during the Safavid period when many Zoroastrians were forced to leave Esfahan and relocate to Yazd.

    Subsequently, migrations to India and other countries in Europe, Africa, the United States, and Britain shaped the modern Zoroastrian diaspora. It is common to find individuals who have migrated multiple times in their lives, often for educational or professional opportunities. The survey revealed that Zoroastrians adapt well to new circumstances and host communities, with 76.3% of respondents who had migrated considering their current place of residence as "home," where they feel they belong.

    The primary obstacle encountered in completing the project within the designated time frame was the surveys uptake. Despite efforts to engage with numerous Zoroastrian Associations in North America and establish a network of ambassadors to promote the project, the response was slow, indicating a prevalent "survey fatigue" syndrome that hindered the anticipated enthusiastic participation. In India, the challenge took a different form, as the team was not permitted to enter the Zoroastrian baugs to distribute leaflets as initially planned. Furthermore, some community leaders in India and other regions did not accept the eligibility criteria, resulting in limited publicity and negative coverage in the Parsi press. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic further complicated matters by making face-to-face communication impractical, leading some to question the appropriateness of conducting such a project and seeking funds during such a challenging time. Lastly, political unrest in Iran prevented any visits or promotions of the survey in that region.

    Overall, this project aimed to provide valuable insights into the global Zoroastrian community, its demographics, religious practices, and the challenges it faces. The survey was conducted on a large scale, allowing for global comparisons and contributing to the existing understanding of Zoroastrianism

    Written By: Nasha Makujina

    Extracted from the GEN Z AND BEYOND: A SURVEY FOR EVERY GENERATION report. You can download the full report on:

  • Friday, June 09, 2023 7:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Xenia Byramji (bottom in black) and her womenswear collection The Being. Exploring the connection of the earth and spiritual world, the journey of finding the higher self within.

    Xenia Byramji is a driven Fashion Designer, Visual Artist, and Stylist who is committed to incorporating natural and sustainable elements in her work. From a young age, she has demonstrated a keen interest in Fashion by experimenting with her mother's clothing, trying on different combinations of outfits, borrowing her mother's heels, purses, and testing makeup looks. Since childhood, Xenia was always the "Girly Girl", in contrast to her sister, Zoish, who was a “Tomboy”, and would style pieces for her sister despite her sister’s wishes, which encouraged Xenia to create innovative and unique designs.

    Xenia's first inspiration for Visual Art came from her grandfather, Kersi Banaji, who used graphite and charcoal to create beautiful portraits of his wife, Shenaz Banaji. Years of watching this artistic process helped reinforce Xenia's passion for the Arts.
    Xenia's Fashion Career began during her younger years when she became interested in designing fashion illustrations on her croquis. In 2017, she sought to gain professional experience in Fashion Design by building her portfolio at the Haute Couture Academy of Fashion, Fine Arts & Design.
    Going against her parents' vision to pursue a career in Business, Xenia continued to fight for Fashion Design and applied to her first choice, Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) School of Fashion (formerly Ryerson University) which is the oldest fashion program in Canada. According to Forbes, an American business magazine,  “It is one of the few art institutions with decolonization as a primary guiding principle along with inclusion and sustainability.” Through her perseverance, she got accepted in the Fashion Design program at TMU in 2018, which has a low acceptance rate of sixteen percent.

    However, during her path to success, she had to conquer many barriers. During her first two years of university, Xenia faced design restrictions and non-fashion-related courses that made her studies challenging. To overcome these challenges, she had to learn new skills such as Graphic Design, with the help of her friend, Cameron Pinto.

    Xenia came out of her comfort zone after her second year and began working on her Menswear Collection titled, Khaos, which allowed her to explore her own design aesthetic and found her voice. As she progressed to her fourth year, she gained a better understanding of her creative direction. While her current collection titled, The Being, is womenswear, she plans to continue working on womenswear, unisex and menswear garments for her future collections.

    Xenia is an adventurous women who enjoys taking walks in nature as well as practicing yoga and meditation on a daily basis to strengthen her spiritual awareness. Her daily routine gives her the space to experience new aspects of nature on a spiritual level which reflects on her work.

    Designer Xenia Byramji wanted something that would both intimidate and aid her journey of personal growth. Through her hard work and strong self-belief, Ahura Mazda answered Xenia’s prayers. The iconic Mass Exodus Runway Show was held on April 15, 2023. Xenia created and curated her third collection “The Being”, featuring 5 womenswear dresses inspired by the religion of Zoroastrianism, the monotheistic religion of ancient Persia emphasizing humankind’s relationship with nature. This capstone collection explores the connection of the earth and spiritual world, the journey of finding the higher self within. From look to look, the story unfolds by using the opacity of fabric to translate the idea and concept from spirit to human.

    White is the main color choice in this collection and is associated with light and goodness. In Zoroastrianism, the color white holds significant symbolic meaning as it is associated with purity and righteousness. Fabrics used in the collection are cotton voile, 100% cotton, and 100% silk to incorporate eco-friendly practices.

    Seeing her dreams turn into reality, Xenia's heart filled with gratitude. She expresses her deepest appreciation to Professor Danielle Martin for all her help and support during this entire process. Xenia wants to further express her heartfelt gratitude to her parents, sister and best friend Ammar, for their unwavering support in her fashion pursuits. Her family and friends are the core of Xenia’s heart and support system.

    For aspiring Zoroastrian creatives, Xenia strongly recommends they follow their passion and do everything in life with love.

    Interviewed and Written by Ardeshir Jamtorki
    Editor in Chiefs Zarah Irani and Zubin Irani
    Assisted by Shenaz Banaji and Huferesh Vania
    Reviewed by Xenia Byramji

  • Thursday, June 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • Wednesday, May 31, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There is a financial incentive from ZSO, to ZSO youth members that are attending this year's 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress (8WZYC).

    ZSO has approved and allocated a budget for 2023 to those attending the 8WZYC.

    ZSO is committed to encourage youth and young adults to participate at this event.


    • Must be the age of 35 years or younger
    • Must be registered for 8WZYC (proof of registration is mandatory)
    • Must be a current resident of Canada
    • Must have an active ZSO youth/adult membership in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024


    Eligible candidates must complete the short essay questions provided below before the due date of May 31, 2023.

    • Who has been a role model for you from the Zoroastrian community and explain why and how has it influenced your life? (250-300 words)
    • How can the Zoroastrian Society of Ontario help to better support the youth? How will you continue to contribute to your community after the Congress? (250-300 words)


    To submit your application please create an email with the following information listed below:


    Subject: Financial Incentive for 8WZYC

    Email Body:

    First Name

    Last Name

    Phone Number

    Email Attachments:

    • Short essay attached must be formatted in Word (.doc, .docx) or PDF (.pdf) or Rich Text format (.rtf)
    • Attach your 8WZYC event ticket PDF file or forward your 8WZYC registration confirmation email to

    The ZSO board will be reviewing applications, we thank everyone for their submission.


    ZSO will be equally distributing the funds and the final amounts will depend on how many successful applications are received by the deadline.


    April 13, 2023 - Email announcement

    May 31, 2023 - Application closes
    June 10, 2023 - Successful applicants will be informed by email
    June 12, 2023 - Funds disbursed

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