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Arya Laghaie Indigenous Peoples' Right Scholarship




This educational scholarship is established in memory of Arya Laghaie by his family and friends, as well as alumni and faculty of St. Thomas University Law School. An alumn of the Master of Laws Program in Intercultural Human Rights, Arya Laghaie was a young man who tragically lost his life in a hit and run accident, in the town where he was volunteering to assist indigenous peoples. The purpose of this scholarship is to carry on Arya's work in providing services to indigenous communities and his aspiration for indigenous peoples' rights. It is awarded annually to a graduate student currently enrolled in the LL.M. Program in Intercultural Human Rights at St. Thomas University School of Law, who demonstrates outstanding knowledge of and commitment to the cause of indigenous peoples' rights, or who has already provided substantial support to indigenous communities.

Scholarship Amount:
The Arya Laghaie Indigenous Peoples' Rights Scholarship, is an annual scholarship of $3,000 and may be awarded to one student or split among two students at the sponsor's discretion. The award amount will be credited directly to the winners' St. Thomas University student account.

Type of Scholarship:
The Arya Laghaie Indigenous Peoples' Rights Scholarship will be awarded annually on the basis of a competitive essay, as described below, or proof of service to indigenous communities. Deadlines for filing will be established by the St. Thomas University School of Law LL.M. IHR Program.

Scholarship Committee:
The Scholarship Committee will consist of four members: (1) Mr. Robert Laghaie; (2) Dr. Roya Laghaie; (3) Professor Siegfried Wiessner, Professor of Law and Director, LL.M.//J.S.D. Program in Intercultural Human Rights, St. Thomas University School of Law ; and (4) Professor Roza Pati, Executive Director, LL.M./J.S.D. Program in Intercultural Human Rights, St. Thomas University School of Law. The committee shall select the student(s) most worthy of receiving the scholarship. The decision of the committee will be final.

Eligible Applicants:
Eligible applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

(1). Be a student currently enrolled in the Intercultural Human Rights LL.M. Program at St. Thomas University School of Law;

(2). Be in good academic standing at the time of application for the Arya Laghaie Indigenous Peoples' Rights Scholarship;

(3). Complete a formal application for the Arya Laghaie Indigenous Peoples' Rights Scholarship which includes (i) the applicant's resume (ii) a statement evidencing the applicant's past service to indigenous communities or (iii) an essay of no more than 1,000 words on general or specific aspect of law or policy regarding the rights of indigenous peoples.

About Arya Laghaie:

Arya Laghaie was born on 10 March 1982, in Muncie Indiana, to Roya Farzaneh- Laghaie and Robert Hossain Laghaie. He departed from this world on 3 January 2008, in Gallup New Mexico, at the young age of 25 years and 9 months. In 1985 Arya and his family moved from Muncie to Carmel Indiana, where Arya started his elementary education. Arya loved sports and music. He was involved with the Carmel Dad's Club's basketball team, the YMCA soccer team and played piano from a young age. In 1989 Arya and his family moved to Indianapolis Indiana. Arya started 11th grade at North Central High School, where he met his future wife Elizabeth Custer. While in high school Arya volunteered at the Roudebush Veteran Affair Hospital in Indianapolis, during his Summer recess. Arya graduated from North Central High School in May of 2000. Arya obtained his undergraduate degree from Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, majoring in Communication and Legal Studies. It was during this time that he developed a keen interest in the field of Law and Human Rights. Arya volunteered in Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis Indian prior to initiating his graduate studies. On 15 October 2005, Arya married Elizabeth Custer. Shortly after their wedding, Arya devoted six months of his life serving at the Native American Baha'i Institute (NABI) in Arizona. His service in the Native American Baha'i Institute included preparing and serving dinner for the Native Americans, opening the gate of the School early in the morning for the Natives to get water from the well, chopping wood for families to warm up their homes, tutoring children and youth with their school work, playing basketball and recreational activities with the youth, assisting with the office work, editing the news letter for the School and many other activities. More importantly Arya brought joy and hope with him to the Native Americans hearts, as one of the Native youth said: " Arya was the best thing that ever happened to us".

In May of 2007, Arya completed his graduate studies at the St. Thomas University, School of Law in Miami Florida, majoring in Intercultural Human Rights. While a student at St. Thomas University Arya was a member of the Intercultural Human Right Law Review and a participant in the Susan J. Ferrel Moot Cout Competition. Arya truly enjoyed his involvement with the St. Thomas University and the Intercultural Human Rights program which was preparing him for his future career. On 19 December 2007 Arya, in keeping a promise returned to NABI to serve at the Winter Youth Academy. Upon completing his service his life was tragically shortened in a hit and run accident while returning home. He was interred in the Baha'i Cemetery in the Navajo-Hopi Land, amongst the people whom he loved to serve. Arya's love for his faith was shown by the dedicated service he gave to it. He loved his family, his friends and the world. He relished his life and lived it fully. He leaves to hold him in loving memory his wife, parents, grandparents, his sisters Mahta Reid and Mona Free, his brother in-laws Vytas Reid and Nathan Free, his nephew Shaheen Reid and his niece Anisa Reid and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins. He will be missed and loved forever.

"Blessed is he who in the prime of his youth and the heyday of his life will arise to serve the Cause of the Lord of the beginning and of the end, and adorn his heart with His love. The Manifestation of such a grace is greater than the creation of the Heavens and the Earth. Blessed are the steadfast and well is it with those who are firm. "

*That's not the beginning of the end, That's the return to yourself, The return to innocence*

... Payvand News - 09/08/09 ... --

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