Samiheh Banani

Samiheh Banani

Birth
Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Death 8 May 1995 (aged 87)
Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Burial Richmond Hill, York Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Plot Section 8, Lot 1456
Memorial ID 175932504 · View Source
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Samieheh was the eldest child of devoted Baha'is Siyyid 'Abdu'l Husayn Ardistani and Atiyyih Khanum. Mamajan's early childhood was spent in Ardistan, her father's ancestral homeland. At the age of ten she was sent to Tihran to be educated. She resided with her cultivated maternal grandmother, who was known in the family as Bibijan. In addition to attending school during the terrible years of the First World War when Iran was gripped by famine, disease, and lawlessness, she had to care for her ailing mother and both of her maternal grandparents, who died within weeks of each other in the great Spanish flu pandemic of 1919. She taught for a short time at the Baha'i Tarbiyat School for Girls in Tihran.

Manlajan was a very intelligent woman, far in advance of her time. She had an open mind, a quick wit, and was always eager to learn. This quality remained as keen in her old age as it had been early in her life. Her sense of humor, her lightheartedness, and her boundless love, not only for her family but above all for Baha'u'lIah, His Covenant, and Shoghi Effendi, the point of guidance for the Cause, left a profound impression upon her children.

In December 1925 she married Musa Banani and they had 6 children. Musa was a wealthy businessman who had been living in Tehran. He was an Iraqi Jew by birth and had converted to the Baha'i Faith in 1912. Samiheh (universally known as Mama-jan among the Baha'is) was born in a "Muslim" family that had been Baha'i for 3 or 4 generations. Although he spoke no English and she very little, the couple pioneered to Uganda in December 1950. In April 1952, the Bananis, Nakhjavanis and Enoch Olinga were among the first members of the Spiritual Assembly of Kampala.

Wherever she lived, she was at the hub of Baha'i activities and found ways, despite growing infirmities, to raise large sums of money for the Fund through her cooking, which attracted many of her friends. Samiheh is buried in Toronto, Canada.


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  • Created by: Maysan
  • Added: 1 Feb 2017
  • Find a Grave Memorial 175932504
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Samiheh Banani (Dec 1907–8 May 1995), Find a Grave Memorial no. 175932504, citing Elgin Mills Cemetery and Crematorium, Richmond Hill, York Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada ; Maintained by Maysan (contributor 48409851) .