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Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a mother, a wife and a bookworm but professionally she is a museologist and a library technician. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.

A Dramatic Reading of E. G. Browne’s Meeting with Baha’u’llah

In honour of this year’s joyous celebration of the bicentenary anniversary of Baha’u’llah’s birth, Baha’i Blog is thrilled to share with you a downloadable audio reading of Edward Granville Browne’s account of meeting Baha’u’llah.

E. G. Browne, a professor from Cambridge University, met Baha’u’llah in the Mansion of Bahji in April 1890 on four separate occasions and recorded his thoughts and impressions of his first meeting for posterity. He was the only Westerner to meet Baha’u’llah and his account, although brief, is a treasure as it offers us a unique perspective of what it was like to attain Baha’u’llah’s presence. Continue reading

Among the Sanctuaries: An Album by Amy Stephen

Amy Stephen, a Canadian multi-instrumental musician, singer, composer and choir director, has released an album called Among the Sanctuaries. It features Celtic infused devotional songs inspired by the Baha’i Faith, Christianity and Islam. You’ll also hear the stirring chanting of Amir Haghighi. All proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). I was excited when Amy agreed to tell us more about her album and the inspiration behind it: Continue reading

Bobo & Kipi: A Fabulous Uplifting Children’s TV Show

Bobo & Kipi is a children’s television show unlike any other. Produced by Susan Sheper, a Baha’i pioneer to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this virtues-based puppet show was an instant hit with my children. They love the characters, the songs, the animated stories and as a parent, I love having a reference point for when we discuss specific virtues such as generosity and sharing, perseverance, and trustworthiness. Although originally produced in French and aired in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 9StarMedia recently released the first season of the show in English for purchase and download and if you’d like a taste, here’s the link to the show’s English trailer. I felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity when Susan agreed to tell me a bit more about the fabulous show!

Baha’i Blog: Hi Susan! Thank you for spending some time chatting with us! To begin could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work in television?

Continue reading

“Framework for Action” – New Collection of Letters from the Universal House of Justice

Palabra Publications has released a new collection of selected messages from the Universal House of Justice from 2006 to 2016. Having access to successive years of recent guidance in a single book is a great study and reference tool and we’re excited to share the news of this volume’s publication with you.

Palabra has summarized the contents of this collection with these words:

“In 2006, at the end of the first of a series of four Five Year Plans, only the first glimmerings of an intensive program of growth had emerged, and a new pattern of action was consolidated in but a few score clusters. The first elements of an evolving framework for action had just emerged, which, in the past decade, has been more fully understood, elaborated, and exploited. Among the many important concepts and practices that received attention over this period were the systematization of cycles of growth, the learning mode, the functioning of the Auxiliary Boards, the training institute as an educational process with three distinct stages, institutional capacity at the cluster and regional levels, the movement of youth, accompaniment, a coherent life of service, social action, involvement in the discourses of society, and universal participation. The movement of clusters along a developmental path marked by a series of milestones has now become well understood, such that some two hundred clusters have been able to create a pattern of community life that embraces a thousand or thousands, while some five thousand additional clusters follow in this well-defined pattern of action.” Continue reading

‘Anis: The Companion’ – A Movie by Juan Carlos Nieto

Juan Carlos Nieto produced a short film about Anis Zunuzi, whom we paid tribute to here on Baha’i Blog. The 30 minute movie is called Anis: The Companion and it’s available in English, Spanish or Persian. It dramatizes events from the life of this outstanding hero of Baha’i History.

Juan agreed to tell us more and give us a glimpse behind the production of this movie:

Baha’i Blog: Hi Juan! To begin, please tell us about yourself and your experience producing films.

My name is Juan Carlos Nieto. I was born in San Juan, but I decided to live in the city of Córdoba, Argentina where my two children were born. Because of my faith, I love saying that I am a citizen of the world. I got to know about the Baha’i Faith when I met my wife, who was born in Iran. We have a family with two children and two grandchildren.

I got to know about the Faith when I was an officer in the Air Force and I think God wanted me to quit the Air Force a few days before the beginning of the Falkland (Malvinas) War with the United Kingdom. I always had the idea that being a military pilot was incompatible with being a Baha’i.

When I retired as a pilot, my knowledge about the Cause of Baha’u’llah was more advanced. When I studied the books of the Ruhi Institute, I decided to become a Baha’i, and to start serving the Blessed Beauty, and I served in all of the positions in the institutions and committees, including the National Spiritual Assembly of my country. I often recorded home-made videos about the Faith. And I understood that it was necessary to make them better. That is why I decided to learn about cinematography. I graduated as a Director. Continue reading

A New Baha’i Board Game Called “Nunki”

How often do Baha’i board games become available? Hardly ever! Nunki is a newly created multi-category game available in English and German, and it’s the brainchild of a team of energetic and vibrant German youth. Laura, one of the team members, happily shared with Baha’i Blog some details about how the game came to be, how it’s played, and how it has been received so far. Continue reading