I’m sure I’m not the only one who is fascinated by tiny things. When I heard about Susan Engle’s work, I was delighted. Her first project was a book called The Baha’i Faith: A Tiny Introduction, and tiny is exactly what it is! It fits in the palm of your hand. Recently, A Tiny Book of Prayers also became available and it is equally enchanting. Susan was happy to tell us more about her little books and I’m so glad she did! Continue reading
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?
As you may have noticed from things like Baha’i Blog’s Studio Sessions series or all of the music-related interviews we’ve done, you’ve hopefully come to realize that here at Baha’i Blog we’re passionate about the use of the arts and music. That’s why I was thrilled when I found out about a wonderful initiative called The Baha’i Song Project, a unique and exciting website that was originally launched in 2011 to foster and encourage the incorporation of music and singing in community life. Created by Dayyan Smith and Nadine Reyhani, the The Baha’i Song Project includes videos of songs from the Baha’i Writings, in a multiplicity of languages, and downloadable lyrics and chords so anyone can learn the melody and the words. The site is easy-to-use and brimming with resources like their YouTube Channel, so I got in touch with Nadine and Dayyan who were happy to share more about this wonderful initiative: Continue reading
Perhaps you’ve already heard Sarah Perceval’s enchanting voice. She has recorded several story-telling audio collections such as Ancient Beauty: Stories from the Life of Baha’u’llah, The Bag of Jewels: A Sparkling Collection of Wisdom Stories Celebrating the Virtues, The Master: Stories of Abdu’l-Baha for Children, and Illumined Youth: Stories of Spiritual Transformation. Her latest project is an album of stories called Women Who Changed the World: Biographical Stories of Inspiring Women. Interwoven with music by Kelly Snook, these audio stories share glimpses of the lives of 10 women from various corners of the world who changed our world for the better — they include Tahirih, Florence Nightingale, and Rosa Parks.
I often get to ask musicians about their albums and their creative processes, but this is my first time interviewing a storyteller. Here’s what Sarah shared with me: Continue reading
Jim Dennis is passionate about pioneering new soundscapes when it comes to Baha’i-inspired music and his latest album, The Daystar of Baha, does just that. Jim has six albums available for download on Bandcamp and his latest is his second album with a deep connection to the Writings of the Baha’i Faith (his first is called Spreading Rays of Light and was inspired by his desire to better memorize the quotations found in the Ruhi books). Jim graciously agreed to tell us more about his music, his creative process, and how it all comes together in his studio: Continue reading
When Melissa Charepoo couldn’t find resources to explain Ayyam-i-Ha, the Fast and Naw-Ruz to her children, she went out and made them herself! I admire her gumption and devotion tremendously! She wrote and illustrated two books: Celebrating Ayyam-i-Ha Around the World and Observing the Fast and Celebrating Naw-Ruz Around the World. I am excited about Melissa’s accomplishments and wanted to hear more about the process of putting these books together.
Baha’i Blog: Hi Melissa! Thank you so much for joining us! To begin, could you please tell us a little about yourself and your work writing children’s books?
I’m so excited about featuring Yosi Mesbah’s album, Cellar and Sky, on Baha’i Blog. It’s a hauntingly honest, uplifting and moving album where her folksy and jazzy timbered voice beautifully sings about dealing with life’s tests and difficulties in a lyrical but down-to-earth way. I can’t help but feel moved when I hear her album, and I had the pleasure of meeting Yosi at the recent Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference in Arizona a couple of months ago. As you know I love asking artists about their creative process and was glad when Yosi agreed to tell us more about her album and her experiences in putting it together. Continue reading
I love giving and receiving cards for Baha’i Holy Days. With Ayyam-i-Ha around the corner, I thought I’d share some of the Baha’i-inspired greeting cards I’ve stumbled upon. If you know of any others, please feel free to add them in the comments section at the bottom! Continue reading
“One body, two souls!” a friend exclaimed when he saw me during my pregnancy. Shoghi Effendi explains that the soul or spirit of a human being is associated with the body at the moment of conception. The soul is a mystery, an intangible, untouchable and yet essential part of who we are. Abdu’l-Baha explains,
The essence of the human soul is clarified from material substances and purified from the embodiment of physical things. It is exclusively luminous; it has no body; it is a dazzling pencil of light; it is a celestial orb of brightness.
I was in a coffee shop when I found out I was pregnant and began reflecting on the transformation that was taking place, as well as this notion of the soul. Describing this discovery, I wrote: Continue reading
Before finding out I was pregnant, I had been speaking with friends a lot about the idea of transformation. Baha’u’llah writes:
…is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions?
Pregnancy, the most literal human example of transformation I could experience, inspired a kind of search. By engaging meaningfully with the ever-changing circumstances of our lives, we give ourselves the opportunity to transform. As I clocked the seemingly endless google searches of pregnancy and thought of my own rite of passage into motherhood, I yearned to read about the spiritual dynamics of this transformation. The following drawings and musings are my reflections about my spiritual transformation. Continue reading