The actor and comedian Omid Djalili sat down to discuss his faith and upbringing with with Joan Bakewell, the host of BBC Radio 3′s program “Belief”. The radio program features “artists, scientists and thinkers and asks them about what they believe and why”.
Omid beings by saying that instead of being proud to be Iranian, as a Baha’i, “he glories in this that he loves his kind”.
Although Djalili is a 5th generation Baha’i, his parents did not teach him about the Baha’i Faith at all. In fact because of how they earned their livelihood, they would dissimulate being Baha’is! As a result, he didn’t declare when he was 15, his mother unbeknownst to him signed his declaration card on his behalf!
As an adult he re-discovered the Baha’i Faith and he credits Udo Schaefer’s The Imperishable Dominion as a major influence. Djalili’s independent ‘rediscovery’ of the Faith is strikingly similar to the experience of US comedian, Rainn Wilson. I’m sure there is a lesson in there somewhere for Baha’i parents.
Currently Djalili plays “Habib” a quirky character written for him in the new US television series “The Paul Reiser Show”.