The Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Washington, Inc. (ZAMWI) is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Organized in 1978, ZAMWI serves the religious and cultural needs of Zoroastrians who live in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. It is one of 25 member associations of the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA).
ZAMWI serves the diverse needs of Zoroastrians who have arrived in the capital area of the United States from Iran, India and other regions of the world. Imbued with the concept of leading a righteous life, Zoroastrians are outstanding citizens many of whom are highly educated professionals and are leaders in their fields of competence and in the communities in which they reside. ZAMWI is a member of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, and encourages its members to take part in charitable, civic and community activities in order to practice the teachings of Zarathushtra and follow the path of Asha.
ZAMWI organizes religious and cultural events on a regular basis. Some of the important functions include Nowruz, the Persian New Year on the day of the Spring Equinox (March 21) which marks the beginning of Spring; Mehregan, the time of harvest celebrated in early October; Yalda, the longest night of the year and the Winter Solstice (December 21); Shahenshahi New Year, celebrated in August by Zoroastrians from India, known as the Parsees; Sadeh, 50 days and nights before Nowruz; and, most importantly, the birthday of our Prophet Zarathushtra on March 26.
ZAMWI also sponsors religious classes for the youth and conducts prayer services. Our Mobeds (Priests) perform special ceremonies at weddings, for Sudreh Pooshi or Navjote (intiation into the faith), funerals and on other religious occasions. Prayers in memory of the deceased are also recited each year during a holy period.
In September 2014, ZAMWI inaugurated the Kamran Dar-e Mehr located in Boyds, Maryland. Until the construction of this facility, the Zoroastrians of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., area had no set place to congregate. ZAMWI is extremely grateful to the Kamran family for their munificence and vision in constructing this Dar-e Mehr, as well as to the over 200 individuals and families and 5 associations for their generous contributions.
ZAMWI is managed by a Board of Trustees which is elected by its members for a two year term. The Board of Trustees has delegated the day-to-day operations of the Kamran Dar-e Mehr, including its maintenance, upkeep and rental for private events to members and non-members, to a committee of ZAMWI members called the Dar-e Mehr Operations Committee (DOC). For a list of the current Board of Trustees and DOC members, click here.