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Here at Baha’i Blog we’re passionate about Baha’i history, and so we’re super excited to share with everyone a wonderful new site called Baha’i Chronicles, which aims to document the stories of the heroes and heroines of the Baha’i Faith, both past and present.
Baha’i Chronicles (BahaiChronicles.org) is the brainchild of Neda Nassir Najibi and Vanda Marie Khadem. Three years ago, Neda Najibi had started a series on her Facebook page titled “Did You Know”, which portrayed stories about Baha’i heroes and heroines, and while researching these individuals, she realized that there wasn’t a single website which captured the heroism, struggles, victories, sacrifices, and dedication of all of the Baha’is, both past and present. The stories of Baha’i heroes and heroines had also been a constant source of strength and inspiration in Vanda’s life, and it was her dream that future generations of children have access to the Baha’i Faith’s precious global heritage. So after several phone conversations, texts, emails, brainstorming sessions, and with the unfortunate passing of Neda’s father Nassir Najibi, who was an enormous influence on her, the two of them came up with idea and launched Baha’i Chronicles in his honor.
Neda is an old friend of mine, and so I decided to catch up with her to find out more about Baha’i Chronicles:
Baha’i Blog: Hi Neda! So to start off, can you tell me and our readers, what is Baha’i Chronicles?
Many years ago, there was a man with no money to spend or tongue to speak but this he accepted as his reality. Eventually he added 13 fluent languages to his speech and what money he had he gave to the less fortunate. Still in his veins the passion to pursue his dream was eating at him. He began to take a step towards his dream. He knew that across the ocean, there would be a place of possibilities. He believed in all his heart he could make a difference. He did. He became a Baha’i.
Baha’i Chronicles is a site filled with possibilities. A place where we all come to share about our beliefs and the journey of our Baha’i heroes and heroines. Most importantly to learn, to strive, to grow and to provide a resource for the learned. Personally, in three words Baha’i Chronicles is a bounty, a responsibility and a privilege.
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us why you started it?
Have you heard of the saying, “To know and not to do is not to know”?
Today it is incumbent upon all of us to use the many tools that are at our disposal and use this technology to promote the Cause of God. We purposefully created a template consistent for all the stories of the heroes and heroines where you immediately learn about their date of birth, date of death, birthplace and where they are buried. This resource allows people from all over the world to immediately learn of this information, and especially if traveling, to hopefully visit these burial places.
In a quotation from Abdu’l-Baha in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, He says:
“Now the believers of God and the maidservants of the Merciful must irrigate these fields and with the utmost power engage themselves in the cultivation of these heavenly plantations so that the seeds may grow and develop, prosperity and blessing be realized and many rich and great harvests be gathered in.”
Baha’i Blog: You’ve really been pumping out the posts! What have been some of the challenges in making this happen and how have you overcome them?
One of our challenges has been writers and researchers. We need researchers who can help us review the many books and ensure that the information listed on the site is accurate.
Since we are fairly new, we’re hoping with time and additional readership we will gain contributors.
Baha’i Blog: How do you determine who to write about?
We want to capture ALL stories of ALL Baha’is past and present. If there is a story, we believe it should be shared. We all have a story. These experiences can inspire, motivate, etc. I remember when I opened for Poet Maya Angelou in 1999 and during our meet she said something very profound: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Baha’i Blog: What do you hope people who come to your site walk away with?
Not to sound like we’re giving a Miss America pageant speech, but ‘To promote world peace!’
Each interaction is different; obviously. Ultimately we hope the people who come to our site will be inspired, motivated, and walk away learning one more thing (if not more) about the Baha’i Faith. This quote from Abdul-Baha in the Promulgation of Universal Peace on page 7 states:
“Therefore, let your faces be more radiant with hope and heavenly determination to serve the Cause of God, to spread the pure fragrances of the divine rose garden of unity, to awaken spiritual susceptibilities in the hearts of mankind, to kindle anew the spirit of humanity with divine fires and to reflect the glory of heaven to this gloomy world of materialism. When you possess these divine susceptibilities, you will be able to awaken and develop them in others. We cannot give of our wealth to the poor unless we possess it. How can the poor give to the poor? How can the soul that is deprived of the heavenly bounties develop in other souls capacity to receive those bounties? Array yourselves in the perfection of divine virtues. I hope you may be quickened and vivified by the breaths of the Holy Spirit. Then shall ye indeed become the angels of heaven whom Christ promised would appear in this Day to gather the harvest of divine planting. This is my hope. This is my prayer for you.”
Hopefully the reader becomes the educator.
Baha’i Blog: How can others help?
Pray. Contribute. We are always looking for writers and researchers. Here is one more place that we’ve created so that we can concentrate on our common focus, and that is to draw out our purpose and remind us of our faith and how these heroes and heroines were the strongest in times of weakness, they achieved much more with much less.
We hope to include more videos, audio clips, personal experiences, and photos. And soon, we will be adding quizzes for youth, contests, prizes and scholarships.
Thank you for this opportunity!
Baha’i Blog: Thanks Neda for taking the time to do this interview, and congratulations and thank you to you and Vanda and all of those involved for creating this site and making this wonderful contribution!
Be sure to check out Baha’i Chronicles here.
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