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Citizen Diplomacy Series with Dr. Assad Meymandi

IMG 4970On Tuesday, September 27th, International Focus was honored to receive Dr. Assad Meymandi as our guest speaker for its monthly Citizen Diplomacy Series. In addition to Dr. Meymandi, we were joined by foreign exchange visitors from the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). This delegation consisted of Russian educators learning about the use of digital resources in the classroom. Although the focus of the night was not on technology and the classroom per se, it was an enlightening and inspiring evening for all.

Dr. Meymandi, longtime resident of Raleigh and renowned psychiatrist, humanist, and philanthropist, spoke on the topic of “Reflections on Ontology”. The talk, which spanned from the abstract question of ontology—of existence—to the deeply personal, dwelt on the insights  Dr. Meymandi had extracted from the areas of science, theology, and philosophy and addressed not only what is to be human but to be better, more altruistic humans. Citing such classical scholarship as Galen, Augustine of Hippo, Maimonides, and Ibn Khaldoun as well as Freudian and developmental psychology, he walked the audience through the psychological development and expression of altruistic behavior and thought and gave advice on how to exercise this in our daily lives to promote goodness and love, agape, in our personal lives.

Before his talk Dr. Meymandi was introduced by International Focus Board President Ms. Nazi Kite with a long list of his accomplishments and impact on our community and a presentation of a certificate of appreciation from IF. At the end of his talk, Dr. Meymandi was given an emblematic IVLP pin from Ms. Leila Bekri in honor of his inspiring life achievements, as well as, his friendship and support to international exchange programs and International Focus, Inc.. That talk concluded with the doctor taking questions from the audience on both the particulars of his talk and advice on modern life and health. The answers the doctor gave were insightful, candid, and simple solutions and if practiced seem promising to improve not only the lives of those who follow them but for society as a whole.

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