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Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for more than a decade and he’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. He has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the DawnBreaker Collective and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of MANA albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the Building Momentum and Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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Portraits in Faith – Video Interviews About Faith from Around the World

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I wanted to share with everyone a wonderful initiative a couple of my friends told me about. It’s called Portraits in Faith, and it’s a series of video interviews and portrait photographs aimed at taking a look into the lives of people of faith around the world.

Created by Daniel Epstein, a Marketing Director who was born and raised a Jew, Portraits in Faith was carried out as a sort of spiritual exercise where Daniel would keep his own faith alive by gaining from the experience of others – regardless of their religion or beliefs. By interviewing and documenting their spiritual experiences and the role of faith in their own personal lives and told in their own words, now, nine years, 27 countries and 400 spiritual journeys later, Portraits in Faith delivers a new Portrait each week.

I decided to get in touch with Daniel Epstein to ask him more about this wonderful initiative: Continue reading

Reach Out: A New Album by Karim Rushdy

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Best known for being one half of the Baha’i hip-hop and RnB duo Nabil & Karim, Canadian-based rapper and producer Karim Rushdy has released a new solo album containing 14 tracks that are sure to get you talking about positive change in the world!

Karim introduces his new album by saying:

It is inevitable that life will throw challenges our way. what’s important is how we chose to deal with our struggle – whatever that may be. I believe that we are all noble beings with infinite potential, we just get bogged down by so many distractions that it sometimes feels impossible to change. This album attempts to capture those trans-formative moments where hopelessness becomes courage, and a pebble becomes a pearl. My hope is that by listening to this, you will be reminded of what you struggle with, yet be inspired by the greatness that you inherently possess to rise above whatever situation you’re in and Reach Out to help someone else in need.

I decided to catch up with Karim and ask him a few more questions about his new album Reach Out: Continue reading

The Passing of Baha’u’llah and His Covenant

Baha'u'llah's bed in the Mansion of Bahji, located just outside of Akko, Israel. (Photo:  Bahai.us via Flickr)

Baha'u'llah's bed in the Mansion of Bahji, located just outside of Akko, Israel. (Photo: Bahai.us via Flickr)

In the early hours of 29 May 1892, Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, passed away in the Mansion of Bahji (located just outside of the prison city of Akko in present day Israel), where He had been a prisoner for nine years. Baha’is around the world commemorate the day of Baha’u’llah’s passing as one of the nine holy days where work should be suspended, and it is known to Baha’is as ‘The Ascension of Baha’u’llah’.

Just after sunset on the day He passed away, Baha’u’llah was buried in a simple room in a house next to the Mansion of Bahji, turning it into the holiest place on earth for Baha’is and making it the place where Baha’is the world over turn towards in prayer, and come from all corners of the earth to pay their respects as Pilgrims.

As I join fellow Baha’is around the world in commemorating the Ascension of Baha’u’llah, I am reminded of the fortune we as Baha’is have in knowing that Baha’u’llah’s successorship was made so explicit, and as a result, this has protected us from schisms. Compared to the passing of other Messengers of God, this is what has made the Baha’i Faith truly unique: The fact that for the first time in history, the founder of a world religion had made His successorship explicitly clear to His followers. Continue reading

#7Bahais7years – A Glimpse of the Global Campaign

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The seven day global campaign (14–21 May, 2015) called #7Bahais7years which set out to create awareness and a show of solidarity for the Baha’is being persecuted in Iran, has witnessed a wonderful show of support from the around the world.

The campaign focused on the seven former Baha’i leaders (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’ which means ‘friends’ in Persian) who, because of their belief in the Baha’i Faith, were arrested and have now been in prison for seven years. The global campaign was based on the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders”, and each of the seven days focused on a different member of the seven arrested Baha’i leaders, who’s names are: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.

During the campaign there were numerous news articles, TV reports, and most moving of all, was to see the large numbers of Baha’is and their friends from across the globe showing their support by holding prayer meetings and gatherings, and posting photos, videos and artwork on social media.

We thought it would be great to share some examples of this wonderful show of support below: Continue reading

Join the Global Campaign to Help Free Imprisoned Baha’is – #7Bahais7years

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Unfortunately the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran continues, and it has now been seven years that seven former Baha’i leaders (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’) have been wrongfully imprisoned in Iran. These seven Baha’is formed the entire membership of the now-disbanded ad hoc group tending to the spiritual and social needs of the Iranian Baha’i community (in the absence of formally elected Baha’i leadership which was banned in 1983), and they were arrested and imprisoned for nothing more than their belief in the Baha’i Faith. Now the Baha’i International Community has launched a global campaign to mark the seventh anniversary of their wrongful imprisonment and to call for their immediate release.

Running for seven days (14 – 21 May, 2015), the global campaign is based on the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders”, and each of these seven days will focus on a different member of the seven arrested Baha’i leaders.

Continue reading

Identity and the Spiritual Journey in the Badi Calendar – A Talk by Dr. Nader Saiedi

Identity and Spiritual Journey in the Badi Calendar

You know we love Baha’i talks here on Baha’i Blog, and now thanks to the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Santa Monica, California, we’re happy to share with everyone a great talk given by Professor Nader Saiedi called “Identity and the Spiritual Journey in the Badi Calendar”.

Last year, the Universal House of Justice sent a letter to the global Baha’i community implementing the worldwide adoption of the Baha’i calendar, known to Baha’is as the Badi calendar, and in this 99 minute talk, Professor Saiedi explains and reflects on various aspects of its nature and history. Continue reading

The Ridvan Message 2015 (172 B.E.)

Ridvan Message 2015

The Universal House of Justice has just addressed the Baha’is of the world with the latest Ridvan message.

Each year on the first day of Ridvan (21 April, or 13 Jalal using the Badi calendar), the Universal House of Justice addresses a letter to the worldwide Baha’i community, known as the Ridvan message. These letters touch on many subjects, including the growth and vibrancy of the Baha’i community, its efforts to contribute to the life of society, and the progress of specific projects and plans. Continue reading

Baha’i Blog’s Trivia Quiz: Ridvan (Part 2)

Ridvan Part 2

The 12 day festival of Ridvan, proclaimed by Baha’u’llah as the “King of Festivals” is here!

The period of Ridvan is special because it was during this the time that Baha’u’llah first proclaimed His mission, so it’s a time of celebration for Baha’is around the world.

We haven’t had a Baha’i Blog Trivia Quiz for a while, so we thought this was the perfect time for it! Continue reading

Music of the Heart: An Interview with Michelle Koay

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It always puts a smile on my face when I find out about individuals from different parts of the world who take the initiative to put the Sacred Writings of the Baha’i Faith to music, and share it with others.

So it gives me great pleasure to share Music of the Heart, the fourth and latest album by Singaporean Baha’i Michelle Koay. All of the ten songs on Michelle’s album consist of the Chinese translations of Baha’i prayers by The Bab, Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha put to music, and the album also includes the karaoke versions of the prayers too.

I decided to catch up with Michelle to find out more about her and this wonderful musical initiative: Continue reading