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Steve Etter

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Steve Etter

Steve Etter

From 7th - 14th February ASHA hosted a Young Leaders Training Course with trainers Luca Frongia (Italy) and Ananda Harrison (UK) together with our in-house team. Participants came from Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Cyprus, Italy, UK, Hungary, Slovenia. One of the UK participants from Wolverhampton wrote:

"First of all this is a message for ASHA in general, as I would like to thank you for the fantastic experience that I had the pleasure of being part of the previous week.  All your staff were loving, kind, and gave fresh hope and meaning to almost every single person who attended the course.  Your message washed away all barriers that could have erected difficulties and enabled me to truly embrace all cultures in a way that made me feel more happy than I have done in years.  Thank you especially to Adrian and Sandy who were a constant presence of comfort and fun! Final mention must go to Khalid who became a real figure of admiration to me, and who put a huge amount of effort into improving our experiences in all ways that he could."

Alex Scott







Thought of the day

The real catastrophe out there is poverty – spiritual poverty and poverty of the imagination and thus focused, determined, enlightened public opinion, especially that of women, is the most potent force in the world today

I wish u all ENORMOUS success in all yr endeavours   2012 is going to be an amazing year for all of us who are courageous and optimistic   We are SOOOO blessed to be alive at this important, turbulent time, in this glorious world of ours  The goal of human evolution is to live in right relationship with all of life, thru love and WISDOM   I feel strongly that, in 2012, we will make huge steps in this direction ... but it is not a time for the faint hearted to be alive !

Lady Fiona Montagu of Beaulieu, born in Zimbabwe, is a Director of Beaulieu Enterprises Ltd and a Trustee of the Countryside Education Trust.   She was appointed as first Global Ambassador to the Club of Budapest.  She is an International Advisor to Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams's World Centres of Compassion for Children.  She is Chairman of the recently created World Servers Foundation.   Fiona also acts as an advisor to Theo Cosmora's People's Foundation.

Fiona Montagu is a philanthropist, dedicated to the future of humankind and is patron of many charities including The Hunger Project.   Her metaphysical teachers are Gillian R Wright and Alan Oken.   She is also currently serving as Alan Oken's creative muse.



Thought of the day

"Its up to the women”  Eleanor Roosevelt


Celinda Lake is a prominent pollster and political strategist for Democrats and progressives. She currently serves as President of Lake Research Partners.

Lake’s polling and strategic advice helped candidates such as Jon Tester, Tim Walz , and Gov Bob Wise defeat incumbent Republicans and her expertise guided Senator Mark Begich to victory, making him the first Senate candidate in Alaska to oust the incumbent in 50 years.

She has focused on women candidates and women's concerns, having worked for Speaker Pelosi, Governor Janet Napolitano, and Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Celinda worked for the largest independent expenditure to take back the House and has been a key player in campaigns launched by progressive groups such as the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, HRC, EMILY'S List and more. Additionally, she recently helped elect Annise Parker as the first openly gay mayor of major US city. Lake co-authored the book What Women Really Want with Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway which examines the way women are changing the political landscape in America, and she also served as pollster for Senator Joe Biden's presidential bid.

Thought of the day

We cannot all play a winning game
Some one is bound to lose
Yet we can play, so that our name
No one may dare accuse.
That when the Master Referee
Scores against our name,
It won’t be whether we won or lost
But how we have played the game.   From the poem by J.B. Downe

At present:

Editor of Hamazor since 2002, World Zoroastrian Organisation’s quarterly publication

Board member of WZO

Representative of WZO in Pakistan since 1994

On the advisory board for Citizens Archive of Pakistan since the past 2.5 years


Been involved in many fund raisers for the community both for Pakistan & internationally, and generally for areas in major disasters.

Active crusader for raising funds after the 2005 earthquake in Northern Pakistan, culminating successfully with on going projects. The last project was completed in April 2009.

Farmers of Gujarat, Medical Benevolent Fund, Tsunami, Bam earthquake, Afghan Refugees, Earthquake in NW Pakistan, CHAAL, Flood in Pakistan (all these were under the auspicious of WZO)

Did an in depth report for the APWA President in 2007. [All Pakistan Womens Association]

Committee member of Friends of APWA.

Vice President of WZO:  January 2010 – December 2011

Elected first lady president of Karachi Parsi Institute in its then 110-year history for 2004 – 2006 (inclusive). KPI founded in 1893.

Elected president of Karach Zarthosti Banu Mandal (end) 1994 – 2001 (end), bringing it successfully into the 21st century.

Continued to work on the Education committee and as Secretary of the Programme sub committee since 1992 till end 2009.

Joined KZBM as a subcommittee member in 1968.

Secretary from end 1982 – 1994 (end)

Child Welfare Chairman (mid) 1973 – (end) 1978,

(41 years service to KZBM)

International representative for Pakistan for 9th World Zoroastrian Congress held at Dubai in 2009.

International representative for Pakistan & UAE for the 7th World Zoroastrian Congress held at Houston in 2000, bringing Karachiites to the forefront during this event.


During 70s & early 80s worked as :

Secretary for the International Women’s Club (3 year tenure)

Secretary of Domestic Science Accomplishment Classes of Mama School (3 year tenure)

Headed the International Doll making group making toys from scraps and sale proceeds going to local charities (must be about 10 years)

In the team for welfare in the British Women’s Association (3 year tenure)

And many other smaller involvements.


Manna of the Angels – Cookery book for KZBM, a coffee table book, the first of its kind. Edited & compiled the recipes. Third edition has just been reprinted in March 2011. A copy is with Her Majesty the Queen and the Library of Congress asked for 6 copies, one in each library in the US.

Whats On – KZBMs newsletter launched and edited/written monthly by me for 10 years.

Many publications for KZBM. The two most used :

A & T directory for Zarathushtis in Pakistan – first one in 1996. Now on the 7th edition

Blood donors directory for Zarathushtis in Karachi.

Compiled the 100-year history of KPI in 1993 as part of its centenary celebrations, as a booklet.

Howszaat! Monthly newsletter of KPI 2005-2006. Only time its ever been done.

Compiled and edited the centenary book for BVS School’s principal – Maneck Pithawalla

Daughters of Mashyani – compiled and edited the book for the 7th WZCongress 2000. This full mega programme was headed by me.

7th WZCongress 2000: - Edited & compiled the complete proceedings of this congress in November 2004 as per request of the two Chairs. A first to be done ever.

Personal info:

Was born in 1939 at Karachi in our own family home.

Schooled at Karachi Grammar School commencing from Kindergarten from 1944 – 1951

Went to Roedean in UK from 1951 – 1956 leaving after completion of GCE O Levels.

St James’ Secretarial College, London, for the whole of 1957.

Worked for my father and his associates in London as their private secretary, in a shipping company from 1958 – 1961.

Married in 1962 to my cousin Cyrus at Karachi and lived there since.

Have two children, Cyra & Nader who are both married and live in Karachi.

Have four grandchildren, Sohrab who goes to University in UK, Nina who has just completed her A Levels from Bay View High, Cyrus  who studies at the International School, Myra who is at Bay View Academy, all at Karachi.

A citizen of Karachi, born in the Cowasjee family whose 6th generation is still here.

Personally, the most gratified feeling I have are the years I was Chairman of child welfare and President of KZBM: the 4 years work leading up to the World Congress at Houston: and the earthquake relief.


I love to seek to help humanity.

Thrity is a college dropout, serial pioneer, searcher and lover of the extraordinary, the exquisite and the exceptional. She studied Psychoanalysis for eight years in her twenties and walked away from it. Qualified as India’s first woman gemmologist in her thirties, dabbled in antiques and property, but discovered her life work only after cataclysmic life events in her forties.

She is the founder of 3S (subtle-sacred-scientific), the author of  Supercoherence - The 7th Sense (Hay HOuse 1998)  and the creator of The Supercoherence Program. She has worked with the extraordinary real life “Star Trek” technology of Superconsciousness called the Luminator since 1995. Born and raised in Mumbai she lives and works in London.

Find out more about this book at www.SuperCoherenceReturnToLove.com

Thought of the day
"I am large. I contain multitudes." Emily Dickenson

Transforming the face of psychiatry, Judith Orloff, MD is an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and author of the New York Times and international bestseller Emotional Freedom upon which a public television special is based. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality to achieve physical and emotional healing. She passionately asserts that we have the power to transform negative emotions and achieve inner peace.  She offers practical strategies to overcome frustration, stress, and worry and teaches people how to quiet overactive minds that won’t shut off.

Dr. Orloff, who comes from a family of 25 physicians, advocates "a democracy of healing," wherein every aspect of ourselves is granted a vote in the search for total health. She has been celebrated for her unique approach to mental well-being by proving that the links between physical, emotional, and spiritual health can’t be ignored.

Dr. Orloff is accomplishing for psychiatry what physicians like Dean Ornish and Mehmet Oz have done for mainstream medicine." Dr. Orloff has spoken at medical schools, hospitals, universities, the American Psychiatric Association, Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, and alternative and traditional health forums—venues where she presents tools to doctors, patients, and everyday people. She graduated USC School of Medicine, completed a four year psychiatric residency program at UCLA, and currently mentors UCLA medical students and psychiatry-residents-in-training. She is on Natural Health Magazine's Advisory Board and Body and Soul Magazine had called Dr. Orloff "one of our nation's top doctors."

As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Orloff blends her traditional medical skills with intuition to enhance patient care. A new edition of her book "Second Sight" (Three Rivers Press, 2010) chronicles her challenges and triumphs embracing her own intuition and integrating it into medicine.  Emotional Freedom (Three Rivers Press, 2011) helps readers liberate themselves from negative emotions and develop hope, compassion, and courage. It is a roadmap for those who are stressed, discouraged, or overwhelmed--and for those who are in a good emotional place but want to feel better. As Dr. Orloff shows, each day presents opportunities for us to be heroes in our own lives: to turn away from negativity, react constructively, and seize command of any situation. Her other bestsellers include Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing, and Second Sight, a trilogy of books exploring new breakthroughs in intuition, energy, and how to combat an epidemic of exhaustion overtaking our world. Positive Energy is a national and Los Angeles Times bestseller which has been translated into 24 languages.

Dr. Orloff served as a consultant and dream expert for the companion documentary to the feature film, "Inception" which explored the nature of dreams.

Dr. Orloff is also a Huffington Post and Psychology Today blogger.

For more information on Dr. Orloff visit http://www.drjudithorloff.com


Dr Rashna Writer is the author of Contemporary Zoroastrians: An Unstructured Nation and co-author, with Shahrokh Shahrokh of The Memoirs of Keikhosrow Shahrokh. She has lectured on ancient Iranian history at Birkbeck College (London) and Richmond College (London); was a Research Assistant at Manchester University where she undertook work on the Zoroastrian community in the United Kingdom. Since 2008, Dr Writer is Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Study of Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University, where she lectures on Zoroastrianism in Ancient and Modern Worlds. She has participated at international conferences and lectured in the UK, USA and the Indian sub-continent on Iranian history.

Dr Writer has pursued a parallel career as a political analyst. Among the posts held in this capacity, she was Head of Global Risks for a leading strategic risk consultancy in the UK, where she specialised in advising insurance underwriters and multi-national corporations on war and terrorism risks; senior advisor to some major Austrian and German companies. She was a frequent contributor on CNBC, Bloomberg and Reuters television on strategic risk issues.

Among her several awards were a Commonwealth Scholarship (1973), and a Fellowship of the British Institute of Persian Studies (1988). She was a member of the National Employment Panel: 2006-2007, commissioned by Britain’s then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, before his elevation to the office of Prime Minister.

Dr Writer holds a doctorate from the London School of Economics in International Relations.

Between December 6-13, the Asha Centre will host “Protection of minorities – bridging theory and practice in youth work”, a training course on minority issues organised within Action 4.3 of the Youth in Action Programme. The course will bring together youth workers, youth leaders and volunteers from NGOs from Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Netherlands, Italy and Germany for a six-day programme of non-formal learning. Issues such as legal frameworks for minority protection, local realities of minority communities in participating countries, as well as support mechanisms for minority youth projects will be discussed.

Additionally, participants will have an opportunity to visit the Hidden Lives project in Gloucester



'Wow, what a day we had! The weather was fantastic for November. We had brilliant sunshine for the entire meeting and were able to use the barn with all the doors wide open. We made our winter wreaths outside, went in to make cards and snowflakes and outside again to make the bird cakes for the children to take away and hang from their trees. The most fun was cooking the dough on sticks by the fire. It was fairly windy and the smoke kept moving round. We all looked like we'd been crying a lot and smelt kippered. One of our parents bought homemade crumpets which we toasted on twig forks, only a couple were dropped, but rescued under the 10 second rule which I hadn't heard of until one of our helpers came out with it. We had homemade jam to spread on them, mmmmmm. We were all so full after the meeting, that we all had energy for tidying up, needless to say I was happy with that!

Thanks ASHA, what a great first meeting!!!'

The Watch Group

Ms Rianne C. ten Veen was born in The Netherlands in 1973 and grew up in several different countries. She now is a humanitarian aid worker for an international faith-based aid agency, an Associate Lecturer tutoring on interdisciplinary environment/ ethics and development issues plus active in faith & environment initiatives (e.g. member of the management team of Islamic Foundation for Ecology & Environment Sciences, IFEES, and on Committee of Birmingham Council of Faiths). In 2009, she self-published a 'save cash& planet' style book from Islamic perspective: '199 ways to please God, how to (re-)align your daily life with your duty of care to Creation' (ISBN: 978-1844266296) and set up Green Creation, providing training and research on faith and environment issues in particular. She has an LLM from Leiden University (The Netherlands), an MA in International Politics from CERIS (Belgium)/ Paris XI (France) and a PGDip in Environmental Policy from the Open University (UK). Finances permitting, she would love to spend more time on a PhD on Islam & Environment: comparing the humanitarian aid principle of 'do no harm' with the Islamic principle of 'la darar' (do no harm) with regards to sustainable development.

Trustee for Tree Aid from July 2012Present Bristol, United Kingdom
Selected in March 2012, formally appointed in July 2012. TreeAid helps villagers living in the drylands of Africa (in particular W-Africa and Ethiopia) unlock the potential of trees to reduce poverty and protect the environment. At TREE AID, we believe that tackling poverty and environmental protection are inseparable. We help create self-reliance for poor communities building not only their chances of survival but also their dignity and respect. At the same time, we help poor people invest in their environment, building its richness and health not just for today but for generations to come. It’s what we call a “two for one” solution that breaks the cycle of poverty and environmental decline and offers a sustainable way forward for people across the Sahel.

For more information:



Meher Moos is known as India's intrepid travller. She joined Air India in 1965 as an air hostess and retired in December 2002 as a Senior Executive Officer. She is presently serving as an International Travel Consultant to Thomas Cook.

A deep interest in anthropology and her abiding love for meeting people and seeing places, has found ample fulfillment during her extensive travels to over 150 countries of the world. Crossing the Arctic Circle in 1972, she visited the 3 Laplands of Scandinavia and in 1976 participated in an exciting expedition right up to the Antarctic Continent on board the famous liner “Lindblad Explorer” sailing from Cape Town to Cape Horn – visiting isolated Antarctic scientific & meteorological bases in an ocean packed with ice shelves and glacial mountains.

Other adventurous jaunts took her from the deep jungles of the Amazon to the heart of the Andes – to Macchu-Picchu in Peru, which was the Lost Land of the Inca Kings, onto Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, later covering the length and breadth of South America. She has also back packed exhaustively, all over the seven Central American Republics and visited many Carribean Islands. In 1975, she traversed right across Central Asia following the ancient Silk Route of Marco Polo, through Samarkhand and Bokhara into Siberia, Mongolia and even the vast Gobi desert : and, in 1978 again sailed from Yokohama to Shanghai, touring China extensively. Her travels through the Orient and Far East, continued well beyond familiar cities into the remotest islands of Indonesia, Melanesia and Polynesia scattered all over the South Pacific – crossing the International Dateline in Tonga, right up to the shores of Easter Island with her strange huge stone gods. Her travels have taken her to all of the Gulf Countries and most of the Middle East as well.

In 1981 she embarked on a 5 month solitary exploration of over 35 countries in Africa – bent on discovering forbidden and inaccessible interiors – marching across the Sahara to fabled Timboctou – home of the Tuaregs – then learning to live with the Pygmies in the dense Equatorial forests and finally hitting the Livingstone Trail. It was a veritable odyssey demanding exceptional endurance and her success story has been amply splashed by the media and television worldwide.

Her early schooling was done in St. Joseph’s Convent, Panchgani and later she appeared for her B.A. (Hons.) from Sophia College, Bombay and for her LL.B. from the Government Law College. She has been a regular speaker on All India Radio and has given many press and TV interviews. Her travel feats have won her many laurels and medals – and as a recognition of “her tremendous courage and exemplary initiative”, the Indian Jaycees selected her for the meritorious award – ‘The most outstanding person of India’, in 1980.

However, her most significant and lasting contribution has been her vivid travelogues in leading journals and her educative and informative audio-visual shows.


I am an artist from Mumbai, educated at the J J School of Art and at the London College of Printing, now living in North London.  Since 2001, I have been painting full time. Before that, I was a designer on magazines and an illustrator of children’s books, two of which I both wrote and illustrated. I was then involved in the building trade, first as a maintenance builder and then as a contractor.

My primary medium in painting is using watercolour and acrylics, lino-cuts and I have developed a number of techniques myself. Whilst I have undertaken design work, children's illustrations and portraits, my main subject for the past five years that I have portrayed in my paintings has been on ‘violence against women and children’.

To this end I have held a number of exhibitions over the past years with Amnesty International, Women’s Groups, the Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard and the Home Office, at the Nehru Centre and at various other galleries, where I have drawn considerable interest and critical acclaim with articles appearing on BBC Online, The Telegraph (India), Asian Woman magazine and various other Indian and European magazines and newspapers.

I got to know Mrs Zerbanoo Gifford in 2005 when she was writing a book titled – ‘Confessions to a serial womaniser: Secrets of the World’s Inspirational Women’. For the cover of this book, she commissioned me to do over 200 portraits, which were displayed at the National Portrait Gallery for the launch of the book.

In 2007-2008, I had done ‘Art’ with young 8-9 year old Iranian and Kurdish children, organized by IKWRO, a woman’s group. When Zerbanoo had set up the ASHA Centre, where groups from various conflicting countries were invited over at the Centre to participate together in various activities, she asked me to do an ‘art’ class with them. At these sessions, I asked them to express their feelings through painting and drawing on paper, their thoughts on what they had gained through various seminars they attended at the cente, their hopes and frustrations. The result was very rewarding to them and me, as one girl, who is a dancer, felt she could utilise this same technique in her future dance themes. To me, painting out one’s inner conflicting feelings is the same as writing one’s own diary, as it clears one’s mind.

I feel very privileged to be able to contribute (however small), to the amazing work which Zerbanoo and her team at the ASHA Centre are doing for young people worldwide, to bring about understanding and good feelings towards each other and not to let politics divide them.

Though my work has been on ‘violence done’, I see that the ASHA Centre believes in ‘prevention is better than cure’ and they work tirelessly at achieving this goal.


Elaine Mitchell Attias is a prize-winning documentary film writer-producer, syndicated international journalist and life-long political activist for human rights and social justice.
Elaine was born on 8th June, 1928 in Canada, but grew up in Los Angeles. She studied Economics at the University of Chicago, and undertook graduate work in Theatre Arts at both University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.

She has written and produced film documentaries under the aegis of “Tantalus”, her production company, winner of 17 international Film Festival awards.

As a journalist , Elaine is particularly interested in the creative initiatives required in our rapidly changing world. Her feature articles, dealing with innovative social and political movements world wide have appeared in major newspapers in the USA, Canada and Europe. She is currently working on a book, “It’s the creativity, stupid”

She is vice president of the National Communications Foundation, based in Los Angeles, and President of the Attias Family Foundation. She is a board member of the Pen-USA West Society, Human Rights Watch (West), American Friends of Peace Now and a Foundation Member of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
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