Jalal and Mohammad Farzaneh were recipients of the Oklahoma Center for Community Justice’s 2013 Humanitarian Award.
The owners of Home Creations accepted the award Nov. 20. The Moore business owners have worked tirelessly to help promote understanding among peoples of various cultures, while building over 500 homes in Oklahoma this year, including aiding with tornado rebuilds.
Jalal and Mohammad Farzaneh were recognized for their leadership in creating Oklahoma City University's Endowed Chair in Islamic Studies and their efforts in bringing Iranian music and culture to the Oklahoma City metro area through concerts, films and other community programs.
“Jalal and Mohammed are great Oklahomans and great Americans who are working passionately and relentlessly for greater understanding, cooperation, peace, and justice among persons of all faiths,” said Dr. Mark Davies, dean, Petree College of Arts and Sciences. “I am so thankful for their deepening connection to Oklahoma City University and for all of the opportunities they make possible for our students and the community.”
The Farzaneh family and Home Creations have provided funding for educational speakers and events at universities and civic gatherings. Their generosity also has included building homes for Habitat for Humanity, and giving to organizations such as United Way, The American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen, among others. They encourage their employees’ involvement in charitable organizations as well.
“We were born and raised in Iran, and growing up in Iran, we had limited exposure to people of different faiths. In 1978, we first came to Oklahoma as college students, and the experience of life in Oklahoma has changed us profoundly as human beings,” Jalal said in his acceptance speech. “We strongly believe that all faiths have something to say to each other, and that those conversations between faiths are some of the most important we as citizens can have. For this reason, we have supported numerous events promoting interfaith dialogue.”
Mohammad added, “We are so fortunate to live in a state like Oklahoma and a country like the United States where freedom is guaranteed to all citizens, regardless of their race, religion, or ethnic origin.”
The Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice is dedicated to achieving respect and understanding for all people through education, advocacy and dialogue.
Other recipients of the Oklahoma City Humanitarian Awards were: Mindy Harris Silk, Dr. Robert Long, Dr. J. David Macey, Jr. and the Oklahoman Women’s Coalition.