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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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#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

Townshend International School – A Baha’i-inspired School for Everyone

Townshend International School

“Imagine a school where your teachers are your friends and mentors, looking for the best within you, and helping you see strengths within yourself that you may not have known were there…where helping you develop your character is as important as helping you develop your mind…where helping you be the best person you can be is as important to helping you be the smartest person you can be…a school that sees you essentially as a spiritual being, and nurtures the life of the spirit…”

That school exists, and it’s called Townshend International School.

Townshend International is a Baha’i-inspired school located in a town called Hluboka nad Vltavou in the south of the Czech Republic. It’s about a two hour train ride from the nation’s capital, Prague, and its students come from all over the world to attend. I’ve visited the school and I know many people who have studied there, and I have to say that everyone I know who’s attended Townshend International School can’t say enough good things about it, and how the school had a profound effect on both their spiritual and academic growth.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Vivek Williams, the School Director of Townshend, and I thought it would be great to ask him a few questions to find out more about this wonderful Baha’i-school and to share it with everyone: Continue reading

Top 10 Baha’i Videos of the Year, And More!

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This Naw-Ruz marked our fourth birthday here at Baha’i Blog!

We’re thrilled that after four years online, we’re reaching more readers in more countries than ever before. In fact this year we’re reaching up to a thousand visitors a day from almost every country in the world.

One of the big changes this year was the launch of our new gallery of Baha’i-inspired videos. It’s proven to be enormously popular and is a beautiful way to showcase and highlight some of the amazing media work from around the Baha’i community. That’s why we’ve dedicated this year’s birthday post to a celebration of the top ten videos from the year. Continue reading

Sea of Mystery: An Interview with Sonbol

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There are some people whom, when you cross their path, you can immediately tell that they’re passionate about everything they do. Whether it be their work, their faith, their service, their family or their art, they pursue it to their utmost, and Sonbol is one of those people.

Sonbol is a New Zealand based singer and songwriter, and in fact her husband played a big role in my family’s life, as it was him who told my parents about the needs in Papua New Guinea, which then resulted in my family moving to Papua New Guinea and living there for 20 years, so I’ve always been profoundly grateful to them for this.

I first heard Sonbol perform about 20 years ago while I was studying in New Zealand, and our paths have continued to cross in different parts of the world over the years. She’s produced several albums, and the last time I saw her, we were both passing through the US about a year ago, when she was on her way to Prague with Tom Price to record her new album with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

Sonbol has now finished that album titled Sea of Mystery, and so I decided it was time to catch up with Sonbol to find out more about her, her music, and her new album. Continue reading