October 5, 2007

Layla was born in Haifa, Israel in 1985. As far as anyone could tell there were no major astrological events on the 25th of January (the night of the birth), a point that some would later bring up. However, it was around that time that Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote “We are the World” which is kind of relevant and did feature many stars.


Her father Graham came from Toronto, Canada and her mother Afsaneh from Kashan, Iran.


Her parents met and married at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa. Each was accepted for temporary positions as part of their ‘Youth Year of Service’ (YYOS). Graham was a gardener and Afsaneh a security guard.


Yes ‘year’. So they had to be pretty quick about it. For Baha’is to marry in Haifa isn’t uncommon. However, it is very uncommon for people on their YYOS to marry. So Layla’s parents were quite special.


Due to the birth of Layla, Afsaneh stayed a few months longer in Haifa before rejoining Graham who had set up base as a pioneer (Baha’i missionary) in Alice Springs, Australia.


Over the next 12 to 13 years Graham, Afsaneh, Layla then twins Alex and Shirin shifted to a number of Australian outposts before taking more permanent root in a rural Victorian town called Horsham.


Horsham is about 300km and 4 hours north-west of the fabulous city of Melbourne. It has a population of about 15,000. It’s a nice place. A very nice place and the centre of the Wimmera region. Allegedly, Mark Twain said it was very flat. Well Layla would change all that.


By the way, I’m from Horsham too.


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