I hold in my heart two memories that moved me deeply from my visit to the International Archives Building during my Pilgrimage in the Holy Land. The first was the handful of pebbles that was found in the pocket of the Purest Branch, Mirza Mihdi, after his tragic and fatal fall from the skylight of a rooftop in the prison-city of Akka; and the second was the exquisite, hand-stitched clothing of His Holiness the Bab. The latter captured my attention and imagination because of its delicate beauty and ornate craftsmanship, the elaborate attention given to detail and the painstakingly fine stitching. In my mind I could only imagine how each single stitch must have been sewn with such love and precious care for the Owner of the attire.
The Bab was born on October 20, 1819 in Shiraz, Iran, and whilst we know very little of the early days of the Person of the Bab, Shoghi Effendi describes Him as:
…infinite in His tenderness, irresistible in His charm, unsurpassed in His heroism, [and] matchless in the dramatic circumstances of His short yet eventful life.
In a town called Ranson in West Virginia of the United States, the Baha’i community has teamed up with Jefferson County Community Ministries and the City to create a community garden in order to make healthy food affordable for those on limited budgets, and to also strengthen the social fabric of the community.
Baha’i Blog interviewed Bill Gregg, one of the main participants in this initiative and who is featured in the video. You can read his interview here: The Power of a Community Garden
Reza Mostmand has been practicing and developing the art of Persian Calligraphy since he was a young student in Shiraz, Iran.
Years later while volunteering at the Baha’i World Centre in Israel as a Digital Imaging Restoration Specialist, he had the unique opportunity of being exposed to marvellous works of early masters of Persian calligraphy. This exposure to those historic pieces along with the teachings of the Baha’i Faith are his continuous source of inspiration and motivation.
Now based in Toronto, Canada, Reza works as a senior designer at 19gale, a design, web and multi-media agency which he co-founded over 3 years ago. But that hasn’t stopped Reza from putting ink to paper and continuing the tradition of Persian calligraphy while adding his own unique spin to the art form. His work has been featured in local exhibitions and conferences, and he offers calligraphy workshops for youth and adults where they explore the history of calligraphy through drama, and are taught the basic rules followed by hands-on practice.
I’ve been following Reza’s artwork for quite some time now, and I was finally able to corner him and ask him some questions about his wonderful art: Continue reading
‘Canarias Avanza’ is a video documentary in Spanish and was produced by the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the Canary Islands.
The 47 minute video looks at the process of community development offered to society through different activities, while highlighting some of the components that are helping in this process such as the youth movement, love and unity, and accompaniment.
As most of you know, bahai.org is the official website of the worldwide Baha’i community, and whenever someone asks me what website they should use to find out more about the Baha’i Faith, I always give them the bahai.org address.
bahai.org has just gone through a beautiful redesign with new menu options and catagories to choose from. It’s still in its final stages of testing and development, and you can choose to revert to the old design as well, but the new design is refreshing and straightforward, helping you and your friends easily find out What Baha’is Believe, What Baha’is Do and making the Baha’i Reference Library easily accessible.
Have a look at the new bahai.org site by clicking here.
The Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, Israel is home to vast terraced gardens, sloped magnificently down the side of Mount Carmel. Centred in these iconic gardens is the Shrine of the Bab, one of the twin manifestations of God that Baha’is follow. The shrine’s dome is covered in gold, and lights up at night to create a beautiful beacon on the mountainside. In the surrounding gardens and terraces are buildings of the Baha’i World Centre, including the seat of the Universal House of Justice, the supreme body of the worldwide Baha’i community.
Every year Baha’is from around the world visit the Shrine and other Baha’i holy places on pilgrimage, often taking photographs to remember their experiences. Thanks to the photographers of 500px, we’ve pulled together some of the most stunning photographs from these magical gardens and buildings. Here they are:
Gardens of Bahá'í by nitzan gur on 500px
These songs are more powerful when sung in a group, but this is Emily’s way of making art out of art 🙂
(Note: “Tumela” should be “tumelo,” meaning “faith”)
It recently struck me that becoming more spiritual requires both effort and volition, that it isn’t something that will just happen unless I do my part for it. This realisation came while I was reflecting on the following quote from Baha’u’llah:
Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee.
I realised that I needed to focus more on the first part of the quote, “Love Me…”, which I had previously almost overlooked. Many of us know that at times this command requires effort, and at other times it can seem like the most natural thing in the world. However, at least for me, loving God is not always something that comes easily, and I have to consciously remind myself of it ever so often, so here are four ways.
‘Do I really matter?’ is a short video about our ability to make a difference, and was made by some of the youth in Belmopan, Belize, who are involved in Baha’i community building activities.
The story is of Sara and Michael who are finding out whether we can really make a difference with the seemingly small choices we make.
A classroom in Battambang, Cambodia (Photo: Baha’i World Centre)
Education is a fundamental right to which every child is entitled. An education is fundamental to the development of individuals and their continued wellbeing. It allows individuals to realize their full human capacities and to live rich and meaningful lives. Beyond that, however, education also has the potential to shape entire communities. Continue reading