Godmanchester Cambridgeshire Community Association Online

Naghmeh Majidi-Maguire

IT IS OFTEN SAID that adversity brings forth inner strength, and such was the case for Naghmeh Majidi-Maguire. 

Analogies relating to the importance of tests in refining a person’s character are apparent throughout the Baha’i Writings. “When the winds of tests blow, the frail trees are uprooted while the blessed trees are made firm and immovable,” Abdu’l-Baha said. 

She was one of those trees - unyielding, right until the very end. 

Naghmeh was born in 1958 into a loving Baha’i family in Kerman, Iran.  Her father Ehsan was a doctor, and her mother, Mehrnoush, a teacher.  Naghmeh has two sisters, Taraneh and Elham, and a little brother Ahang, who tragically died when he was only nine months old. 

From her earliest days, Naghmeh became aware of a growing religious intolerance against her beloved faith, one that emphasises essential unity of all humankind.  She showed signs of courage and conviction in primary school, standing up in front of her class to defy a teacher who mocked her faith. 

These qualities only grew after Naghmeh developed a passion for design.  In 1978, Naghmeh followed her sister Taraneh to England to study interior design without speaking a word of English.  It was during this period that she was again faced with another challenge.  The Islamic Revolution heightened its resistance towards the Baha’is and her family were forced to move.  They lost everything, from valuable possessions to long-standing friendships.  Naghmeh’s funding for her study was cut off, forcing her to work three days a week.  The whole family re-located to England where, after a period, were granted refugee status.  Naghmeh however passed with distinction, before going to the Chelsea School of Art in London, where she obtained her degree.

After settling in with her family in Chiltern, Buckinghamshire, Naghmeh first met Peter, a graphic designer in 1979.  However, their destinies would not align until 1987 when Peter was on a visit to Naghmeh’s parents house to talk about The Bahá’í Faith and the Arts.  The pair’s friendship blossomed into love and they got married in Marlow in July 1987. Their children Samar and Donya were born in 1991 and 1993. 

Soon after, Naghmeh’s career as an interior designer took off.  She worked at EAA International for 10 years, travelling around the globe on major projects, before eventually leaving to start her own company with her husband Peter called DESI9NERS in 2006. 

The pair worked on a number of creative projects, but also felt a strong desire to serve the Baha’i community whenever it was needed.  When describing her work, Naghmeh wrote previously: “The most humbling and fulfilling experiences have been those that come from the heart.”  Her notable projects included designing the Baha’i centre in Rutland Gate, London, and the Baha’i centre in Edinburgh. 

Though to many, Naghmeh was known as a wife, a professional, and a friend, Naghmeh also battled with HER2 cancer, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer with limited forms of treatment.  And there were so many battles.  For 20 years she fought the disease.  Unlike many people who are stripped to angry estrangement, Naghmeh emerged sweeter and more vibrant, with not a bitter or dark streak anywhere. 

Naghmeh responded to the cancer treatment, but it was only a temporary fix.  She developed heart failure as a result.  Her 60 years of life were filled with love, and in her final days, she was surrounded by family and friends, who laughed, cried, shared memories, sang songs, and prayed before she left us in Peter’s arms on September 8, 2018. 

The end is when the most beautiful thing happens.  Cancer loses its strength and grace appears.  We need to see it.  We accept it and go with it.  Grace and love win, not cancer. 

She is survived by husband Peter, children Samar and Donya.



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