Gillian Malakooti | UK Baha’i Histories

Soroush and Gillian Malakooti

My journey

Where to Begin..

I have learnt that life is a series of journeys, short, long, simple or complicated which bring us growth and illumination.

My story starts in a bad place, sad but true, nothing hidden. I had spent 23 years in a marriage which had descended into domestic violence to myself – Physical, mental, emotional, and financial.  One day I fell to my knees, looked up, and begged for help. The next day a colleague at work quietly told me that her father-in-law had a flat I could move to.  I went to see the flat, loved it, cried because I didn’t have the deposit and was then aware that he was giving me the key and smiling, telling me to start moving in and not to worry about anything. I remember walking away and looking up to the sky, laughing and saying over and over again…. “Thank you, thank you, thank you……”

Move forward by 6 months and I felt almost alive again… almost. My other sorrow was that I had lost my Faith in Christianity. Not GOD, oh no, I knew GOD was there…. but where? I have always had an enquiring mind and was always asking questions (which had got me into trouble as a child in Sunday school) and could never understand the phrase ‘everyone else is wrong’, as I had grown up with the internal knowledge that everything and everyone was connected. I only had to look at the world around me to know how complex and beautiful it was, and at my worse times this was my solace.

So here I was, 48 years of age starting again on my own and having no rudder for my belief in GOD. Was I downhearted? – no I was not. I went on a quest to find God, somewhere, somehow. I visited soooo many churches, looked at Paganism, Wikken (Wicca) and many spiritual groups but didn’t seem to fit.  It was frustrating to say the least.

One day, a good friend decided to take me to learn Salsa dancing (I love to dance) and we duly arrived for the lesson. We were three girls and as we entered, I noticed a man standing alone. I have NO IDEA what made me walk over to this person, but I did, asked if he had a dance partner and when he replied NO, informed him that I was free. He laughed and said he would be happy to dance with me and we laughed our way through the lesson, each working out where our left feet were. Afterwards we went for a drink, and I noticed that my new friend had a soft drink, so I had the same. We started talking, he an Iranian and me a Brit and somehow, we got on to Spirituality and he said he was a Bahá’í. I remember that I felt puzzled, what was a Bahá’í, I needed to know more. The floodgates opened and the questions started pouring out. Every question was answered, what a joy, this was wonderful. We walked back to our cars and kept talking until 3 am in the morning!! We then arranged to meet again and again.

What a joy I felt, what beautiful thoughts and words. What connection to nature and to the universe.  I fell in love with the Faith and became a Bahá’í

I also fell in love with my Bahá’í friend, we married and became a partnership.

Hours were spent immersing ourselves in the Bahá’í writings, holding firesides for 10 years and talking to anyone and everyone about our driving force, Teaching. We served as Assistants, ATC members and sang in choirs. We arranged Ayyam-i-ha parties, had children’s classes, exhibited at venues and as we got older made the decision to pioneer when retired.

So here we are now, in Cyprus and as busy as ever.

My journey in the Faith has always been a journey of two people, my husband Soroosh and myself. I could write a book on how we have grown and expanded our vision, but it could never be finished as growth is continuous and ongoing. Meeting new friends, learning to teach under all circumstances, embracing new friends and a new culture. Serving on an LSA and becoming a trustee for Huqúqu’lláh (please, everyone, learn more about this beautiful Right of GOD, it is stunning).

What else can I say except Thank You.

The Gratitude I feel to be where I am, being a Bahá’í is truly amazing.

I stood in awe at this Faith when I first started my quest……… I still do.

Much Love my Bahá’í friends


Gillian Malakooti  

Cyprus, April 2022


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