Mehraeen Mavaddat-Mottahedin’s heartbreaking account of her husband’s suffering of unspeakable persecution, imprisonment and death is now being shared in English from its original in Persian, after 34 years. Flame of Tests: The Story of Farhang Mavaddat is a love story. With courage and tenderness, Mehraeen’s memoir tells the story of her husband, a fifth-generation Baha’i and a chemical engineer respected for his intelligence and upright character, who was arrested, tortured, unjustly tried, and executed simply for his love of Baha’u’llah.
It was my honour to speak with Mehraeen about her book and to learn more about her book. Continue reading
What Good Will Come is a new children’s book written by Jana Hannigan and illustrated by Henry Warren. It shares a heartwarming story about problem solving and relying on God during times of tests and difficulties.
What Good Will Come tells the story of Pasha Dev and his beloved cat, Mustafa, who live in Delhi, India. One night Mustafa goes missing, and Pasha ends up sleeping next to his window in the hope that Mustafa will return. When Pasha wakes the following morning, he finds that he has come down with a cold and that Mustafa has not returned. Despite feeling unwell, Pasha must travel to the Baha’i House of Worship, where he will serve as the keeper of people’s shoes—a responsibility he takes very seriously. During his service, Pasha learns to put his faith in prayer and God, and comes to realize that tests and challenges can lead to some exciting, life-changing opportunities.
Jana Hannigan is the wordsmith behind this children’s book and she graciously agreed to tell us how the story came together: Continue reading
Interviewing Earl Redman about his two volume series Shoghi Effendi: Through the Pilgrim’s Eye was highly memorable. Have you read the interview? You can tell he’s a master story teller because he introduced himself with these words “In 1977, I fell off a mountain.” I was immediately riveted! His books are similarly captivating. I cherished every page of Abdu’l-Baha in Their Midst and I was really excited when I learned he has published a new book called The Knights of Baha’u’llah.
If you’d like to know more about who the Knights of Baha’u’llah are and their role in the development of the Faith, I wrote a short article about them which you can read here. In this book, Earl tells fascinating stories about the sacrifices, the dedication and the devotion of these selfless souls. Here’s my conversation with Earl about his newest book, I hope you enjoy it!
Baha’i Blog: What was the inspiration for putting this book together?
The book is actually the conclusion to the two volumes of Shoghi Effendi: Through the Pilgrim’s Eye. Volume 2 is all about the Ten-Year Crusade. After initially attempting to include a few illustrative stories about of the Knights in that volume, it became obvious that there were too many good stories and that a separate book would be much better. That began a 4-year search for stories of the Knights. At first, it was just going to be a book of the most interesting stories, but that idea kept expanding until we were trying to find the stories of all 255 Knights. That became a huge challenge, because there were a large number of Knights for whom there were no published accounts; no books, internet stories or anything else that I could find. Continue reading
Badi Shams has combined his love of economics and his ardor for the Baha’i Teachings in his book Economics of the Future Begins Today. This book explores some possible ideas for how we can implement Baha’i principles in our daily economic dealings. He gave us a little teaser in his article Practical Economic Suggestions for Everyday Use and my interest was piqued. Badi lovingly agreed to tell us more about his book.
Baha’i Blog: To begin, could you please tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in economics?
I was born in Iran and became a Baha’i at the age of 15 but I didn’t realize the importance of the Faith till at 19 I had a serious accident that almost blinded my eye but opened my spiritual eye. At the time, 1974, there was a plea for pioneering which I obeyed and went to India. There I studied, learned English and tried to serve in various capacities that I could. I made a change of direction in my education from engineering to economics because I dreamt of doing my Ph.D in Baha’i economics and that was my idea of service to the Faith. In order to do that I had first to do my Bachelors and Masters degrees. After completing those I wrote to the beloved House of Justice to request the Baha’i Writings on economics. It informed me that the Research Department did not have a compilation on economics and that maybe I should collect the Writings. It also reminded me that there is no Baha’i economic system so the best title for my research would be “Study of the Baha’i Writings on Economics.” This was the 1970’s and there was no computer or internet so I spent a few years collecting and cataloguing the Writings related to economics which was published by the Baha’i Publishing Trust of India as a compilation in 1989 called “Economics of the Future”. I couldn’t finish my academic research because I had to leave the country and so I came to Canada in 1988 after the dedication of the Baha’i Temple in India. Continue reading
Don Brown has written a memoir of Gale and Jameson (or Jamie, as he was fondly called) Bond, two Knights of Baha’u’llah who pioneered to the Canadian north. It’s called Sole Desire Serve Cause and it’s a new George Ronald publication (you can purchase it here).
The incredible stories of the Baha’is who sacrificially arose to spread the teachings and principles of the Baha’i Faith in remote and desolate places never cease to uplift and inspire and I am really excited that Gale and Jamie’s story is now in print. I love to get an insider’s story on new Baha’i-inspired publications and Don graciously agreed to tell me about his new book. Here’s what he shared:
Baha’i Blog: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Don. To start things off, could you please tell us a little about yourself and your work as a writer?
Professionally I worked as a management consultant throughout my career providing organization systems and strategic planning services to public and private sector businesses in Canada and in Jamaica where we pioneered for five years from 1982 to 1987. My wife, Christine and I served at the Baha’i World Centre from 1991 to 1996. Throughout my career I did extensive report writing. In 2001/2002 I wrote and self-published a book To Build Anew: Creating Baha’i Inspired Enterprises.
George Ronald has recently released the first in a fascinating historical two-volume set by Amin Egea. It’s called The Apostle of Peace: A Survey of References to Abdu’l-Baha in the Western Press, 1871-1921 and it offers a comprehensive look at the news headlines and press articles featuring Abdu’l-Baha. The first volume, which has been printed and is now available for purchase here on Amazon, covers the years 1871-1912 and ends with Abdu’l-Baha’s return to Europe after His travels in North America.
It is difficult to imagine what it would have been like to see Abdu’l-Baha’s name appearing in all the major Western papers but thankfully Amin Egea dove into that time period in order to put together these books for us. Here is a little bit of the story behind how The Apostle of Peace came to be: Continue reading
Amidst the outpouring of creativity inspired by the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah is a new book for children by Melissa Charepoo all about the life of Baha’u’llah. You may remember her from her colourful children’s books for Ayyam-i-Ha, the Fast and Naw-Ruz. In this new 72-page book filled with elegant drawings, Melissa chronologically outlines the events of Baha’u’llah’s life from His Birth to His Ascension through short stories and explanations of Baha’i concepts. The book also includes a family tree, a timeline, maps, and a glossary. It’s a fantastic and beautiful resource! Continue reading
There are so many great initiatives and resources coming to life as a result of all the excitement and efforts of thousands of Baha’is across the globe as they prepare to celebrate this very special time which marks the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith.
One of those initiatives that recently grabbed my attention is the “Light of Unity” Dinner Party Booklet, which Baha’is can use in 2017 and 2019 to host dinner parties in celebration of the bicentenary anniversaries of the Births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah.
Joyce Litoff, a member of the US Baha’i Office of Communications and editor of the “Light of Unity” booklet agreed to answer some questions about the booklet and this project: Continue reading
To help Baha’is with their personal bicentennial goals and to help share the story of the Bab and Baha’u’llah, award-winning playwright Tom Lysaght has just published a new short book called Twin Witnesses. Just 35 pages, and only $5, Twin Witnesses is a concise and inexpensive dramatic narrative which looks at the history of the Founders of the Baha’i Faith, the Bab and Baha’u’llah, and it is ideal for sharing with others.
Professor Nader Saiedi wrote that Twin Witnesses is “A captivating account of a dramatic summer that questioned traditionalism and patriarchy, and celebrated the resurrection of the human spirit,” and actor Rainn Wilson wrote, “Twin Witnesses is an expertly written look into the parallel histories of the founders of the Baha’i Faith, the Bab and Baha’u’llah. It evokes the spiritual passion and political complexity of mid-nineteenth century Persia in beautiful prose. Makes a GREAT gift for friends of the Faith. I can’t recommend it more highly.”
As soon as I received my copy, I decided to catch up with Tom Lysaght to find out more about the book and why he decided to write it: Continue reading
Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman have just released an insightful and exciting new book titled The Calling: Tahirih of Persia and Her American Contemporaries. This dynamic duo was behind Awakening: A History of the Babi and Baha’i Faiths in Nayriz and have most recently worked together to produce a captivating history of women’s suffrage and the women’s rights movement in both Iran and the United States in the 1840’s. Dr. Dorothy Marcic of Columbia University has praised the book with these words:
Moving back and forth between the two struggles in such distant lands, the authors skillfully illustrate the common themes of what might otherwise seem as disparate social phenomenon. The book reads smoothly, and the reader wants to keep turning the page to find out what happens. How unusual is such writing in a work as thoroughly researched and referenced as The Calling. Writing such as this is not easy, and yet the authors make it appear as effortless as an autumn leaf blowing in a chilly wind.
Hussein graciously agreed to tell us more about his new book and the history it uncovers. Continue reading