In 1995, five years prior to the creation of the Foundation, several personalities offered their patronage to the commemoration of the centennial of Ostad Elahi’s birth by accepting to be part of the Organizing Committee: Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Maurice Béjart, the Academician Jacques Couëlle, Abbé Pierre and Physics Nobel laureate Abdu Salam.
On the occasion of this centennial commemoration a number of key figures, including Abbé Pierre, recorded filmed messages on the theme of the symposium titled “Spirituality: Plurality and Unity.” These messages were broadcast during the opening ceremony in the big amphitheater in the Sorbonne on 9 September 1995.
At this occasion, Abbé Pierre had written: “Ostad Elahi’s line of thought, at the heart of our century, is of considerable importance and I rejoice to see a project such as this come to light.”
André Chouraqui, Essayist and translator of the Bible and Koran:
“Tearing man from the darkness of daily life to lift him to divine light, this is essentially what Ostad Elahi has given the world […]. May his message spread throughout the world and give us all, in France and elsewhere throughout the world, the courage to fulfil the utopia of love, […] the love that regenerates man.”
Professor Peter Chelkowski, New York University:
“Ostad Elahi is a citizen of the world par excellence, he is one of the architects of the global village who may be considered as the bridge between the twentieth andthe twenty-first centuries.”
Jorge Wertheim, Director of UNESCO, New York:
“ ‘Culture of peace’ could sum up the works of Ostad Elahi, just as it could well sum up the vision that Ostad Elahi and UNESCO share of a better world. Together, through this cause that we have in common and our common efforts, through our spiritual unity, we can transform this vision into reality.”
Michèle Gendreau-Massaloux, Rector of the Academy of Paris, former Chancellor of Universities in Paris:
“The finest tribute to Ostad Elahi’s though… is it not to conceive a project true to his inspiration? Spirituality could henceforth be the object of interdisciplinary research […].”
Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Violinist:
“This marvelous musician was able to maintain a tension and a concentration that I could never have imagined possible from the limited interval of a fourth and a fifth. To be able to give such importance within the scope of such a limited interval was most extraordinary to me. I had never heard anything like it. I had never been struck in this manner before […]. It was such sensitive, intense music, but also very precise and very pure; I could hardly believe my ears […], it was so powerful and refined, comparable to a kind of laser.”
Maurice Béjart, Choreographer and academician:
“Master Elahi was an extraordinary musician. He played his music and I cannot describe with words what I experienced and felt. It produced a great change in my life, in my existence, in the way I think…He was the greatest musician I have ever heard in my life.”
Pierre Drai, former President of the Cour de Cassation (the highest court in France): “From a modest Justice of Peace to the highest office as Chief Justice of the National Court of Appeals, […] Ostad Elahi tested his ethics in the face of the trials and tribulations of life in society, and what’s more in a profession which he himself has said is one of the noblest but most perilous. Were Ostad Elahi among us today, he would find that his reflections on the profession of a jurist are truer than ever.”