It’s a wonderful, wild, world-wide web out there and nowhere is this more the case than with the social video site YouTube. It was here that – to my delight – I stumbled upon the work of two talented Canadian youth hidden amongst talking cats, dramatic hamsters and a baby monkey riding on a pig. Using YouTube, rap and a music video, these two youth from Ontario, Blair Cameron and Nadim Merrikh, have managed to come up with a quirky and wonderfully catchy way of telling the world about John Esslemont, one of the Baha’i Faith’s most respected scholars.
They decided to put the video together for a Ruhi study circle, but after posting it on YouTube the video has already racked up over six hundred views and counting. I caught up with Nadim to find out more about this bizarrely awesome project that he and Blair have put together. But before we get to the Q&A, here’s their YouTube video. Hit play and find out a little more about Baha’i Hand of the Cause, John Esslemont.
Baha’i Blog talks to Nadim Merrikh
Baha’i Blog: What inspired the project? What was the goal?
Nadim: The project emerged from Blair’s participation in a group studying Book 8 of the Ruhi Institute series, examining the Covenant of Baha’u’llah. One of the activities of the book was to research a Hand of the Cause of the Baha’i Faith and share the findings with the group. Blair, who is interested in health and medicine, chose Dr. John E. Esslemont, a prominent British physician. My family was hosting the study circle, and Blair had seen me working on video editing, so he proposed that we make a rap and music video. It’s been pretty overwhelming for us as this was just meant to be shown to a group of seven people in the study circle. Now, only a week and a half after posting it, over 500 people from around the world have seen it on YouTube!
Baha’i Blog: Where do you guys live, and how do you know each other?
Nadim: We are both currently living in Guelph, Ontario. The first time we met was a few years ago when Blair was my Junior Youth Group animator. Since then, I have started a Junior Youth Group in my own neighbourhood while Blair continues to animate other JY Groups in downtown Guelph.
Baha’i Blog: Do you have any plans for more videos/music?
Nadim: This was our first major project together and we have been receiving support and encouragement from peers, the Guelph community and friends around the world. So we’re beginning to plan for our next song and music video! We are also taking requests for the topic of our new song!
Baha’i Blog: Do you guys ever perform live?
Nadim: Although at the moment we have not performed live together, I have performed a rap by Canadian R&B artists Nabil and Karim. Blair performs with his wife and the Guelph Baha’i Community choir “The Daystar Singers”. We’re hoping to eventually do a live performance.
Baha’i Blog: Thanks Nadim!
Be sure to watch the video, and stay tuned for an upcoming video about William Sears!