17 Majestic Photos of the Baha’i Gardens in Israel

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:

Photograph Gardens of Bahá'í by nitzan gur on 500px

Gardens of Bahá'í by nitzan gur on 500px

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4 Things to Help You Develop Your Relationship with God

4 Things to help you Develop Your Relationship with GodIt 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.
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The Importance of Education in the Baha’i Faith

A classroom in Battambang, Cambodia (Photo: Baha’i World Centre)

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

‘Towards a Better Society’ – A New Video about Junior Youth

Towards a Better Society is a new 53 minute documentary from the Baha’i Community of the United Kingdom which follows the movement of youth; before, during and after the London Youth Conference in 2013.

The London Youth Conference was one of 114 Youth Conferences announced by the Universal House of Justice across the globe, and the documentary captures the personal stories of young people from Camberwell (London), Sheffield and Ennis (Republic of Ireland) as they strive to work towards building a better society.

Hopefully this film will serve as an inspiring resource and tool for furthering the community building efforts at the grassroots.

Happy viewing everyone!

Two Series of Talks Now Available from Dr. Amin Banani and Dr. Nader Saiedi

Professor Amin Banani on the left and Professor Nader Saiedi is on the right.

Pictured above on the left is Dr. Amin Banani, and on the right is Dr. Nader Saiedi.

We’re always trying to get our hands on Baha’i talks here at Baha’i Blog (taking copyright seriously of course), and in fact one of the requests from our recent Baha’i Blog Survey was to make more Baha’i Talks available.

And now, thanks to the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Santa Monica, California we’re happy to share with everyone two sets of talks held at the Santa Monica Baha’i Centre.

The first is a series of three talks given by Professor Amin Banani in 2003 on the “World Order of Baha’u’llah”.

The second is a series of 12 talks given by Professor Nader Saiedi called “Text and Context in the Baha’i Heroic Age” held in 2014.

Both were held at the Santa Monica Baha’i Centre, and we are so grateful to the Santa Monica Baha’i Community for not only organizing these talks, but for taking the initiative to record them! Continue reading

Design for Local House of Worship in Colombia has been Unveiled

Pictured above is the design of the local Baha'i House of Worship to be built in the Norte del Cauca region of Colombia. (Image: Baha'i World News Service)

Pictured above is the design for the local Baha’i House of Worship to be built in the Norte del Cauca region of Colombia. (Image: Baha’i World News Service)

The design for the local Baha’i House of Worship to be built in the Norte del Cauca region of Colombia was unveiled on Sunday 14 September to an audience of 500 people from the region and other visitors.

The Baha’i World News Service explained that a small team from the Colombian architectural firm, CUNA, presented the approved plans, and Eduard Lopez, one of the architects working on the project, described the process by which the team developed the design for the Temple:

“Mr. Lopez explained that its members spent many hours, over the course of months, visiting different communities and groups in Norte del Cauca, listening to their ideas and thoughts about the House of Worship, coming to understand their aspirations, and participating in their community-building activities.”

Read the full article about the unveiling of the design of the House of Worship in Colombia from the Baha’i World News Service website: news.bahai.org/story/1020
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EBBF: Ethical Business Building the Future – An Interview with Daniel Truran

Daniel Truran 2014 864x520

In 1990 a group of Baha’is active in business and management met up in Chamonix, France, to discuss their concerns about the decline of ethics and values in the business world. The result of this meeting was the creation of the ‘European Baha’i Business Forum’ [EBBF], a non-profit association aimed at promoting the moral and spiritual wisdom and principles found in the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and the great religious traditions of the world, such as the principles of justice, respect, trustworthiness, integrity and unity.

From its beginning, EBBF members have attached importance to sharing their broad experience, and now 25 years on, it has evolved into a global learning community of mindful people with members in over 50 countries, and now ‘EBBF’ stands for ‘Ethical Business Building the Future’. The organization continues to accompany individuals by connecting them to new ideas, tools and other individuals around the world who are exploring and learning, through action, how to contribute to a more prosperous, just and sustainable civilization through their daily work.

This year I’m super excited about the fact that I’ll be attending the annual EBBF conference being held between the 2nd and 5th of October in Barcelona, Spain, and so I decided to catch up with EBBF Director General Daniel Truran to find out more about this wonderful initiative: Continue reading

28 Baha’i Musicians and Albums featured on Baha’i Blog

Baha'i Albums on Bahai BlogA few weeks ago the team here at Baha’i Blog conducted a short five minute survey to find out how we could improve the site and to learn more about what our readers wanted to see more (or less) of, and how the site was being used. We’ll get to more of those survey results in some follow-up posts, but to start off, some of the responses related to people wanting more about Baha’i-related music, musicians, albums and resources. The good news is that we’re passionate about music, and we already have dozens of articles relating to music, Baha’i musicians and the Baha’i-inspired music and albums they’ve produced and this is something we’re going to keep covering, so although we only publish two articles per week (which means we can’t have every article be about music) we still do our best to showcase as much music-related material as possible.

As a result of the feedback from the survey, I thought it would be a good idea to do a round-up of the musicians and albums we’ve featured here on Baha’i Blog, as many of you may have missed them. So ladies and gentleman, here are 28 Baha’i-inspired albums and musicians featured on Baha’i Blog you may have missed, starting from our earliest to our most recent posts: Continue reading

The Power of a Community Garden

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.

The short video above explains this wonderful grassroots initiative, and I recently had the pleasure of meeting Bill Gregg while I was visiting the United States. Bill is one of the main participants in this initiative and he’s featured in the video – so I asked Bill a few questions about the community garden and the effects it’s been having: Continue reading

The Apostle of Peace and the Great War

Abdu'l-Baha in Paris near the Eiffel Tower in 1913. (Photo: Baha'i Media Bank)

Abdu’l-Baha in Paris near the Eiffel Tower in 1913. (Photo: Baha’i Media Bank)

As the world commemorates the centenary of World War I, it is timely to recount the story of one who predicted with sublime accuracy the outbreak of that conflict and who also explained and developed a peace plan highly relevant to humanity today.

Abdu’l-Baha (1844-1921) spoke often about the plan which came from His father, Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), the prophetic figure Who founded the Baha’i Faith and laid out the path to peace in His letters to the kings and rulers of the world.

For example, during His journey throughout North America in 1912, Abdu’l-Baha emphasised the need for international peace, calling it “the most momentous question of the day.”

Newspapers gave Him such labels as the “Persian Peace Apostle” and “the Prophet of Peace”, and their journalists reported how He linked the concept of peace to the need for a world tribunal and collective security. Surprisingly for audiences at that time, He also connected peace to topics like the education and advancement of women. War will cease, He said, when women have full equality because “they will be the obstacle and hindrance to it.” Continue reading