About Ms. Inayat Unissa Bergum
I was born in France during the Second World War. It was not an easy time and it was a dangerous time, but if it were not by the grace of God, my family could possibly have not survived. While growing up, I received my education in France, Holland and England. Among the many people who were supportive as well as inspiring me during my youth, in particular, were three members of my family that planted a seed deep within my heart in seeking a calling to make a difference in the world : my grandfather Hazrat Inayat Khan for his message of tolerance, expressed in Love, Harmony and Beauty, my aunt, Noor Unissa Inayat Khan, who was the first radio operator to infiltrate into occupied France and my beloved father, Hidayat Inayat Khan, the brother of Noor, a symphony composer, who made music as his mission in life to bridge East and West together for the common cause of harmony and beauty.
My calling began shortly after obtaining a superb Montessori training in Paris, France in 1962, and it was to unite children from all aspects of life in the United States, Canada, as well as Mexico through the Montessori way of education. All of my educational training has led me to understand that I inherited my passion for children by way of my aunt, Noor Unissa. In 1962, I took part in assisting Tom Laughlin (an actor and director in the movie, Billy Jack) to start the first Montessori in Southern California. It was named the Sophia Montessori of Santa Monica. In 1964, I opened the first Montessori in Costa Mesa, California, known as the Montessori Centre.
Throughout the years, I have trained numerous teachers using Montessori methodologies and have opened many Montessori's throughout the Orange County area in Southern California. In 1982, I launched the International Christian Montessori Academies for the expressed purpose of celebrating among children to have them learn to appreciate and to understand the importance of having tolerance of different religions united with an attitude of Love, Harmony and Beauty.