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Title: Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America


1
Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North
America
Incorporated in the State of Illinois1986
Serving the Zarathushti Community in U S A
CANADA
2
What is FEZANA?
  • FEZANA is an umbrella body created to represent
    incorporated Zarathushti Member Associations
    throughout the United States and Canada.
  • FEZANA works for the social and religious well
    being of its Member Associations and individual
    Zarathushtis in North America.
  • FEZANA publishes a quarterly publication, namely,
    the FEZANA Journal. The FEZANA Journal is
    circulated throughout North America and the
    Zarathushti World.
  • FEZANA is an accredited observing
    Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the United
    Nations.

3
What is FEZANAs Mission?
  • To preserve the religion of the Prophet Ashu
    Zarathushtra.
  • To be a strong Federation committed to putting
    the Zarathushti community firmly and clearly on
    the North American map, and ensuring the
    survival, unity, progress and prosperity of the
    Zoroastrian community on this continent, thereby
    preserving its religious and cultural identity.
  • To facilitate the efforts of its Member
    Associations, and through them their individual
    members, in the cultivation of a model
    Zarathushti environment in their homes and
    communities, where Zarathushti values are
    promoted and nurtured, and where the teachings of
    Zarathushtra are imparted, lived and practiced
    every day.
  • To work closely in cooperation with Zarathushti
    communities abroad, in deliberation for a common
    goal of a united world Zarathushti community.
  • To provide effective leadership in addressing
    the critical issues of our times with wisdom and
    righteousness.

4
How is FEZANA Organized?
5
MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS
  • CANADA
  • ALBERTA
  • Zoroastrian Association of Alberta
  • BRITISH COLUMBIA
  • Zoroastrian Society of British Columbia
  • ONTARIO
  • Zoroastrian Society of Ontario
  • Ontario Zoroastrian Community Foundation
  • QUEBEC
  • Zoroastrian Association of Quebec

6
Member Associations
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • GEORGIA
  • Atlanta Zarathushti Association
  • ILLINOIS
  • Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan
    Chicago
  • KANSAS
  • Zoroastrian Association of Kansas
  • MASSACHUSETTS
  • Zoroastrian Association of Greater Boston
  • CALIFORNIA
  • Persian Zoroastrian Organization
  • Zarthosti Anjuman of Northern California
  • California Zoroastrian Center, Los Angeles
  • Traditional Mazdayasni Zoroastrian Anjuman
  • Zoroastrian Association of California, Los
    Angeles
  • COLORADO
  • Zoroastrian Association of Rocky Mountain
  • FLORIDA
  • Zoroastrian Association of Florida, Miami

7
Member Associations
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • TEXAS
  • Zoroastrian Association of Houston
  • Zoroastrian Association of Northern Texas
  • WASHINGTON, D.C, MARYLAND, NORTH VIRGINIA
  • Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan
    Washington
  • WASHINGTON
  • Zoroastrian Association of Washington State
  • NEW YORK
  • Iranian Zoroastrian Association, New York
  • Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York
  • PENNSYLVANIA
  • Zoroastrian Association of Pennsylvania
  • PENNSYLVANIA, DELAWARE, NEW JERSEY
  • Zoroastrian Association of Pennsylvania New
    Jersey

8
Corresponding Members Small Groups
  • CALIFORNIA
  • San Diego Zoroastrian Community
  • FLORIDA
  • Zoroastrian Anjuman of Tampa Bay
  • Central Florida Community, Orlando
  • KENTUCKY/OHIO/INDIANA
  • Zoroastrian Community of Kentucky-Ohio-Indiana
  • LOUISIANA
  • Zoroastrian Community of New Orleans
  • MANITOBA
  • Zoroastrian Community of Manitoba
  • MICHIGAN
  • Zarathushtis of Michigan
  • MINNESOTA
  • Minnesota Zoroastrian Community
  • MISSOURI
  • St. Louis Zoroastrian Community
  • NEBRASKA
  • Nebraska Zoroastrian Interest Group
  • NOVA SCOTIA
  • Zoroastrian Association of Atlantic Canada
  • OHIOCleveland Zoroastrian Community
  • Cincinnati Zoroastrian Community
  • TEXAS
  • Zoroastrian Center of Austin

9
FEZANA Committees (2004-2005)
  • Ad- Hoc Committees
  • Heritage Preservation Historical Research
  • External Affairs Public Relations
  • Canadian Chapter
  • Constitution --- Articles of Inc/By-Laws
    Separation
  • North American Awards
  • Awards Committee
  • N A Congress T o R Review Committee for Future
    Congresses (Beyond 2004)
  • Financial Investment Advisory
  • UN/NGO Committee
  • Creative Performing Arts
  • Strategic Planning
  • ZYNA Youth Congress ToR Review
  • Standing Committees
  • Planning and Coordinating
  • Unity and Welfare
  • Information Receiving and Dissemination
  • Funds and Finance
  • Census and Survey
  • Youth (ZYNA)
  • Education, Conference Scholarship
  • North American Zoroastrian Congress
  • Small Groups of North American Zarathushtis
  • Zoroastrian Sports (ZSC)

10
Infrastructure
Member Associations (Voting Entity)
Corresponding Members (Non Voting Entity)
F E Z A NA E X E C U T I V E 5 Elected officers
Standing Committees
Ad Hoc Committees
11
FEZANA
  • STANDING COMMITTEES

12
Standing Committees
  • Education, Conference Scholarships
  • (Academic
  • Religion)
  • North American Zarathushti Congress
  • Small Groups of North American Zarathushtis
  • Planning Coordination
  • Unity Welfare
  • Information Receiving Dissemination
  • Funds Finance
  • Census Survey
  • Youth ( ZYNA)
  • Zarathushti Sports (ZSC)

13
PLANNING COORDINATION
  • Coordinating FEZANA events by preparing an event
    calendar for activities within North America and
    worldwide over next five years
  • Organizing events with associations and/or
    committees to facilitate communication of
    respective activities
  • Issue updated CALENDAR of EVENTS

14
UNITY AND WELFARE
  • To provide financial assistance to Zarathushti
    individuals/families
  • To provide support to Zarathushti individuals
    and/or families with help of community resources
  • Critical Assistance Program designed to provide
    assistance to individuals, families, and
    organizations facing temporary difficulties due
    to medical emergencies, natural disasters,
    violence or legal issue
  • Confidential, toll free phone number has been
    established in North America, for providing
    information on support agencies in various
    states.

15
INFORMATION RECEIVING AND DISSEMINATION
  • FEZANA Journal, a communication for North
    American occurrences tied together with
    Zoroastrian news world wide subscription fee and
    paid advertisements in Journal to increase
    revenue
  • Publishing religious books (Basic Text,Legacy
    etc.)
  • Distribution and sale of religious books to
    increase revenue
  • Developing to enhance the FEZANA website
  • To print new improved FEZANA brochures that
    include history, culture and traditions of
    Zarathushtis

16
FUNDS AND FINANCE
  • 1000 points of light program to increase FEZANA
    funds
  • To enhance program to 100,000 points of light
  • Continuous effort to make FEZANA financially
    secure in North America
  • Promote the various FEZANA funds and solicit
    support for endowments and bequeaths

17
CENSUS AND SURVEY
  • To conduct a series of survey analysis to study
    the changes in the Zarathushti population
  • To conduct a proper census in North America
  • Zarathushti directory available on
  • Website and CD

18
ZOROASTRIAN YOUTH (ZYNA)
  • Young adult involvement in FEZANA activities
    important for future growth of the community
  • Organizing North American Congresses every two
    and a half years to have youth and young adults
    discuss issues and have social interaction
  • Planning events (e.g ski trips, cruises, hikes)
    to facilitate interaction within the young
    generation

19
EDUCATION, CONFERENCE AND SCHOLARSHIP
  • Moobed Faridoon Zardoshty Religion Education
    Scholarship awarded annually for eligible
    Zarathushtis to pursue higher education in
    Zarathushti religion at an accredited institution
    anywhere in the world
  • Organize conference for teachers to share,
    discuss, and promote religious education
  • Future plans to establish an Institute of Higher
    Learning to provide a research facility for
    students interested in pursuing advanced
    Zarathushti religious education in North America

20
ACADEMIC EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP
  • FEZANA post-secondary scholarships are given out
    every year to individuals across the continent
    from various disciplines
  • A total amount of 10,000 per year was set aside
    for past 2 years of which 1000 is given as
    scholarship to 10 different individuals
  • In addition, each year a scholarship of 5000,
    Mehraban and Morvorid Kheradi Endowment Fund
    Scholarship for merit (plus involvement in
    community service) is awarded annually to one
    individual

21
NORTH AMERICAN ZOROASTRIAN CONGRESS
  • Sponsor a Zarathushti Congress with host Member
    in North America every two and a half years
  • Assist in organizing the event with the host
    Member
  • Review the Terms of Reference (ToR) undertaken by
    an Ad hoc committee

22
SMALL GROUPS OF NORTH AMERICA
  • Liaise with small group representatives appointed
    in each area with FEZANA
  • Establish relationship with FEZANA by encouraging
    participation at AGM, Congress, and Conferences
  • Work upon incentives for small groups
  • Increase their awareness to become
  • CORRESPONDING Members and support them to become
    FULL members of FEZANA

23
ZOROASTRIAN SPORTS (ZSC)
  • Organize Zarathushti games around North America
    9th Zarathushti games were held in Vancouver, B.C
    in 2004
  • Organize Unity Soccer games 3rd game was held in
    Terrance, CA in 2003
  • Venue for uniting Zarathushti youth through their
    love for sports

24
FEZANA
  • AD HOC COMMITTEES

25
Ad Hoc Committees
  • Heritage Preservation Historical Research
  • External Affairs
  • Public Relations
  • Canadian Chapter
  • Constitution
  • North American Awards
  • Financial Investment Advisory
  • UN/NGO
  • Creative Performing Arts
  • Strategic Planning

26
HERITAGE PRESERVATION AND HISTORICAL RESEARCH
  • To help in restoration of Zarathushti religious
    sites around the world (e.g Atash Behrams,
    Agiaries )
  • To help preserve historical books and documents
    that speak of Zarathushti religion and heritage
  • To financially assist authors who are interested
    in publishing books about Zarathushti culture and
    heritage, such as The Parsi Cultural Identity,
    Zarathushti Obsequies

27
EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
  • Interfaith Multicultural programs
  • Parliament of World Religions
  • National Council for Community and Justice (NCCJ)
  • North American Interfaith Network (NAIN)
  • Harvard Pluralism project
  • World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce

28
PUBLIC RELATIONS
  • To establish internal and external communication
    structures to enhance the image of FEZANA
  • To increase awareness of Zarathushti religion and
    culture throughout the community in North America
  • To develop press kits for media to publicize
    Zarathushti events
  • To provide Websites of Member Associations with
    FEZANA information

29
CANADIAN CHAPTER
  • Establish a chapter as a non-profit religious
    charity in Canada to facilitate fund-raising
    with Canadian donors

30
CONSTITUTION
  • Understand the need to explore the possibility to
    separate existing FEZANA constitution into
    Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws
  • Recommend solution after discussing with members
  • Issue ballot for the resolution and announce
    results to the Members

31
NORTH AMERICAN AWARDS
  • FEZANA Recognition awards are given at each North
    American Congress at a Luncheon hosted by FEZANA
  • Categories of Awards
  • Rohinton Rivetna Outstanding Zarathushti award
  • Excellence in Business or Profession award
  • Jamshed Pavri Humanitarian Service award
  • Excellence in Performing Arts, Painting or
  • Literature award
  • Outstanding Young Zarathushti award
  • Outstanding Young Zarathushti Student award
  • Special LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD- every 6 years

32
FINANCIAL INVESTMENT ADVISORY GROUP
  • A group of three Zarathushti individuals
    appointed by the President to assist FEZANA
    Treasurer in accordance with investment
    guidelines developed for FEZANA
  • Responsibilities to include information for the
    management of FEZANA funds and endowments to
    maximize gains without risking principal.

33
UN / NGO
  • To engage in activities that help FEZANA retain
    its NGO status
  • Actively participates in UN events involving
    volunteers from the community, especially
    encouraging young adults
  • Collaborate with other groups that are engaged in
    humanitarian work around the world
  • (Gram Seva trust is one such group)

34
CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS SCHOLARSHIP
  • The scholarship fund is earmarked for North
    American Zarathushti individuals seeking advanced
    training in creative and performing arts
  • 10,000 in funds allocated to be awarded for
    the same, in the future.
  • A 5,000 fund is set up for the support for
    promoting excellence in SPORTS.

35
STRATEGIC PLANNING
  • Strategic plan developed for 1997-2007.
  • Committee to review relevance of plan, revise if
    necessary and to move forward on action items.
  • Work in tandem with the FEZANA executive to
    modify the infrastructure necessary to speed
    progress

36
ACHIEVEMENTS
  • FEZANA has participated in many activities, such
    as
  • Book Publications
  • Study of Dari language Project was partly funded
    by FEZANA
  • Celebration of 3000th Anniversary of Zarathushti
    culture, a UNESCO event
  • Taking a lead role in World Body discussion with
    other leaders of the world, seeking a global
    alliance
  • NA Directory project an electronic
  • version available for distribution
  • NA Census

37
ACHIEVEMENTS
  • FEZANA has provided support to ZTFE for the
    restoration of Historical manuscripts at Meherji
    Rana Library, Navsari The
  • World Zarathushti Cultural Fndn India.
  • FEZANA participating in humanitarian work,
    raising funds to help those affected by
    earthquakes in Gujarat, India Bam, Iran,
  • Pakistan, the SEA Tsunami and Hurricanes
    Katrina Rita.
  • FEZANA Journal that continues to inform the North
    American world community
  • FEZANA critical assistance HOTLINE www.Fezana.org

38
Contact FEZANA
For further information about FEZANA,
visit, www.fezana.org FEZANA needs you Volunteer
your time and talent for the community via FEZANA
39
Zarathushti Doctrine
  • Ahura Mazda
  • Lord of Wisdom
  • Religion
  • A Way of Life
  • How do we live this life?
  • Good Thoughts, Good Words
  • and Good Deeds
  • What is the basis for determining Good?
  • The Amesha Spentas.

40
The Seven Amesha Spentas
  • The qualities of the Amesha Spentas exemplify
  • Wisdom, Spenta Mainyu,
  • the Good Mind, Vohu Manah,
  • Truth, Asha Vahishta,
  • Power, Khashtra Vairya,
  • Devotion, Spenta Armaiti,
  • Completeness, and Haurvatat, and
  • Immortality. Ameretat.
  • These seven Amesha Spentas contribute to every,
    single facet of a Zoroastrians life thereby
    guiding his/her thoughts, word and action.

41
The Zarathushti People
  • Zoroastrianism Religion of the people of the
    Iranian plateau from 6th Century BCE to 7th
    Century CE.
  • Past Luminary Cyrus the Great introduced the
    first Charter of Rights in History, and freed the
    Jewish people from captivity in Babylon.
  • Present Luminary Zubin Mehta the music
    conductor.
  • Arab conquest of Persia Many Zarathushtis were
    massacred, many were forced to convert to Islam,
    and some escaped to safe havens in Iran and some
    fled to other countries, ranging from China and
    India in the East to Central Europe in the West.
    This migration constituted the first diaspora.
  • Outcome of the first disapora Of all the
    descendents of Zarathushtis, two small pockets
    managed to survive. One remaining in central
    parts of present day Iran, and the other were the
    Zarathushti migrants to the West coast of India,
    known as Parsees.
  • Current situation Today fewer than 250,000 are
    scattered around the globe. The majority still
    live in India and Iran, however, Zarathushtis can
    be found as far a field as Australia, Hong Kong,
    Singapore, Pakistan, UEA, a few East Africans
    countries, and South Africa, U.K. and many of the
    European countries as well as Canada the United
    States.
  • North America A number of Zarathushti
    professionals immigrated from India and Pakistan
    to North America for higher education and stayed.
    A number of Zarathushtis from Iran emigrated to
    North America after the Iranian revolution. It
    is estimated that there are around 20,000
    Zarathushtis.

42
Zarathushti Language and Texts
  • Zarathushti scriptures are to be found in two
    main Iranian languages, Avestan and Pahlavi.
  • Avestan is the language of Zarathushtras
    revelations which were passed down orally, for
    nearly 2,000 years before the Avestan alphabet
    was invented by an unknown genius, and then
    transmitted through the written form during the
    5th century ACE.
  • Zarathushti prayers like the Yasna (which
    includes the Gathas), Yashts, Nyaishes, Visperad
    and Vendidad are in the original Avestan language
    which, is the language used for liturgical
    purposes.
  • Pahlavi, is a Middle Persian language, which
    developed from the Old Persian language. Old
    Persian was immortalized by the Achaemenian kings
    through their rock inscriptions in cuneiform
    script, between the 6th and the 4th centuries
    BCE. A number of scholastic texts like the
    Bundahishn, Arda Viraz Namaq, the Denkard,
    Epistles of Manuschir, Dadestan-I-Diniq and
    Shayast-ne-Shayast were all compiled in the
    Pahlavi language between the 6th and 9th
    centuries ACE. There are very few prayers in
    Pahlavi.
  • Today Zarathushtis from Iran speak Farsi (New
    Persian) and English and within the community
    they speak Dari, a special dialect spoken mainly
    by them. The Parsees are generally bilingual, as
    they speak Gujarati and English.

43
Zarathushti Festivals
  • NORUZ
  • The most important celebration in the
    Zarathushti calendar is Noruz New Day. This
    festival is linked to fire, the seventh creation
    of Ahura Mazda and heralds the beginning of
    spring. It represents the annual resurgence of
    life and is seen to be a day of renewal and joy.
    According to the texts, Rapithwan, the Lord of
    noon, is said to emerge from underneath the earth
    after the cold winter months. Rapithwan is
    believed to keep the seeds warm and the waters
    flowing in preparation for the emergence of life
    with the advent of spring, the beginning of which
    is marked by the spring Noruz festival. On this
    Noruz, a special table is laid out, by the
    Iranian Zarathushtis. The table is laden with
    food and other religious symbols and kept in
    their homes for several days.
  • GAHAMBARS
  • Every year, Zarathushtis celebrate the six
    gahambar festivals which are linked to the six
    creations with fire, the seventh creation being
    linked to Noruz the New Day. There are also
    gahambars (community dinners) which are
    institutionalized by the laity, in memory of the
    dead. Traditional food is served to both the
    rich and the poor, during the gahambar festivals,
    in order to imbibe the spirit of oneness within
    the community.

44
Zarathushti Fire Temples
  • Since ancient times, fire has been associated
    with Order and Truth. In the Zarathushti
    religion, fire, the seventh creation is praised
    and venerated as it represents truth, purity and
    goodness.
  • IRAN In early Iran, the Zarathushtis had no
    permanent fire temples but each home had its own
    hearth fire, which was tended and propitiated.
    During the reign of the Zarathushti King
    Artaxerxes II (404-359 BCE.), the fire temples
    were introduced in order to discourage the
    growing cult and worship of the water divinity,
    Ardevi sura Anahita. Ruins of these fire temples
    can still be seen in Iran today, at Nishapur and
    Takht-e-Suleiman.
  • The two oldest sacred fires in Iran are housed in
    the village of Sharifabad and in the city of
    Yazd. In Sharifabad, Adur Farnbag, one of the
    three great ceremonial fires, originally
    established on a hill in the province of Fars has
    been united with the sacred fire of Ishtakr,
    which was the Royal Sassanian fire. The other
    exalted fire is the Atash Behram fire housed in
    the city of Yazd, which is the ecclesiastical
    centre of Zarathushtis, in Iran.

45
Zarathushti Fire Temples contd.
  • INDIA
  • The largest community of Zarathushtis, known in
    India as the Parsees, built a number of fire
    temples with great rapidity, in direct proportion
    to the wealth they made. Today, there are eight
    cathedral fires (Atash Behrams) and over a
    hundred fire temples all over India.
  • The oldest cathedral fire in India, is in the
    village of Udwada in Gujarat, some 190 km north
    of Mumbai. This fire has been continuously
    burning for over 750 years. According to
    Zarathushti history, the Iranian priests from
    Khorasan (a province in the north-east of Iran),
    brought with them the implements and sacred ash
    which were used to build this great fire in order
    to maintain the ritual continuity and link with
    the great sacred fires of Iran.

46
Three Zarathushti Ceremonies
  • THE INITIATION CEREMONY- NAVJOTE
  • The navjote ceremony is the initiation of a
    Zarathushti child into the faith. During this
    ritual, a child is invested with a sacred
    under-vest (sudreh which is seen to be the good
    path) and a sacred cord (kushti which is seen to
    be the direction finder). The sudreh which is
    seen as the garment of the Good Mind is made of
    fine white muslin and is meant to remind the
    wearer of using the mind in ones daily endeavor
    to stay on the good path. The kushti is made of
    72 strands of lambs wool, which represents the
    Yasna liturgy and is woven into a hollow cord,
    which is symbolic of both the physical and
    spiritual worlds. A Zarathushti is required to
    wear the cord around the waist and over the
    sudreh. The kushti is meant to be tied and
    retied while reciting prayers, as the direction
    finder (kushti) redirects man onto the
    advantageous path. It is after the navjote
    ceremony that a child is considered to be
    responsible for ones own thoughts, words and
    actions.

47
Three Zarathushti Ceremonies contd.
  • THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY
  • Marriage, in Zarathushti religion is both a
    contract as well as a sacrament. The act of
    union is seen as righteous act, which makes the
    earth feel joyous and happy. Prior to the
    wedding ceremony, the bride and groom separately
    have to undergo a purification ceremony which
    includes a ritual bath, in order to receive the
    divine blessings of the Zarathushti tradition.
    The priest chants prayers for the purification of
    the souls of the couple, while the bath is being
    undertaken. During the marriage ceremony, the
    priests invoke the blessings of Ahura Mazda and
    the Amesha Spentas for a happy married life,
    with many children, lots of friends and good
    health.
  • THE JASHAN
  • The jashan is a Zarathushti thanksgiving
    ceremony, which re-enacts the moment of creation.
    It is usually performed on festival days and on
    auspicious occasions, like birthdays,
    anniversaries or when moving into a new home. In
    this ceremony, all the seven Bounteous Immortals
    are invoked in a prescribed format aimed at
    recreating the harmony at the time of creation.
    The laity attending this ceremony is meant to
    experience an inexplicable harmony of joy and
    wellbeing in both physical and spiritual worlds.

48
Community Halls and Places of Worship (Darbe
Mehrs) In North America
1977 New Rochelle 2003 Pomona
1985 Vancouver (Arbab Rustom Guiv Darbe Mehr).
1986 - San Jose (Arbab Rustom Guiv Darbe Mehr).
2004 Washington DC in progress
49
The FEZANA Executive 2004-2005
  • President
  • Firdosh Mehtaltfdjmehta_at_yahoo.cagt
  • Vice President
  • Bomi Patelltbomip_at_yahoo.comgt
  • Treasurer
  • Rashid Mehinltrmehin_at_yahoo.comgt
  • Secretary
  • Rita Engineerltritaenginner_at_yahoo.comgt
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Farrokh Mistree
  • ltfarrokh.mistree_at_lycos.comgt

50
FEZANA Links - http//www.fezana.org/links.htm
Visit the FEZANA Website
http//www.FEZANA.org Visit FEZANA Links
http//www.fezana.org/links.htm for information
on ZARATHUSHTI (ZOROASTRIAN) RELIGION
ZARATHUSHTI ORGANIZATIONS WORLDWIDE ZARATHUSHTI
CULTURE HISTORY ZARATHUSHTI BUSINESS
COMMERCE
51
Acknowledgments
  • Slides 35 through 43 FEZANA Publicity Packet
    1998. Compiled by Dr.Dolly Dastoor, then
    PRESIDENT of FEZANA, Montreal, CANADA.
  • Slides 38 through 43 Contributed by Khojeste
    Mistree and Firoza Punthakey-Mistree, Zoroastrian
    Studies, Mumbai, India
  • Slides 7 through 34 updated FEZANA PR CD
    prepared by Mahrukh Motafram,
  • Overall compilation of slides by Farrokh Mistree
    and Firdosh Mehta.
  • Updated on Nov. 9, 2005.
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