From the To Light a Candle trailer

From the To Light a Candle film trailer

Human rights activist Maziar Bahari became quite famous in America after appearing on The Daily Show when the crew visited Iran.

He later was imprisoned in Iran, and his story was the subject of Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s 2014 movie Rosewater. Most recently Bahari, a journalist and memoirist, directed a documentary called To Light a Candle about Iran’s persecution of people practicing Bahá’ís, a religion that is at odds with the country’s Islamic traditions, and an underground university called the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education or BIHE.

This Friday, the Bahá’ís Center in Lake Highlands hosts a screening of To Light a Candle, followed by a panel discussion. Event organizers aim to raise awareness about the plight of Bahá’ís people in Iran.

White Rock area resident Amanda Sevak is a Bahá’ís whose husband Milan Sevak, a professor and director of the new Educational Leadership doctoral program at Southern Methodist University, will be on the panel.

Sevak says they are trying to get the word out, to raise awareness of the issue of Bahá’ís persecution, human rights violations and, specifically, the denial of an education in Iran.

“There are many Iranian/Persian immigrants in the Dallas Baha’i community who have personal experience either attending the underground university BIHE or know someone who is involved or in prison for being involved,” she says.

The event is free and, for those who have to rush through dinner to make it, refreshments will be provided. It begins at 7:30 p.m. at Dallas Bahá’ís Center, 9400 Plano. Learn more about the movement, known as Education is Not a Crime, at