Ayyam-i-Ha is a Baha’i festival that is joyously celebrated in countries and territories all over the world. It is a time of hospitality, generosity, and caring for the needy. This year Ayyam-i-Ha runs from February 26-29.
Baha’is see the young as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. Yet, in order for this promise to be realised, children need to receive spiritual nourishment, such as can be found in the children’s classes happening all around the world.
“Stories of Baha’u’llah” is a series of short videos produced by Clark Donnelly and Mary Darling of Westwind Pictures. You may have already seen their work, such as The Baha’is, or Tablets of the Divine Plan.
In this sweet and sincere series of videos, each video consists of a child telling us a one particular story relating to Baha’u’llah.
I got in touch with Mary Darling to find out more about the initiative, and here’s what she had to say:
Baha’i Blog: What are these videos about and why was it important for you to make them?
These videos relate various incidents in the life of Baha’u’llah. They were inspired by our own children’s avid interest in the history of the Faith and their desire to do something special for the Bicentennial. We decided to give several children the opportunity to choose their favorite story of Baha’u’llah and to tell these stories on camera. These are offered by the children and our family as a gift to anyone celebrating or exploring the life of Baha’u’llah during this special year. Our hope is that the stories will be shared in homes and gatherings of all sorts.
Baha’i Blog: What sort of effect do you hope these have on the viewer and others?
We hope that these videos will inspire other individuals and families to investigate, celebrate and share stories of Baha’u’llah between themselves and with others. We also hope that the stories will help us all to draw closer to Baha’u’llah.
Baha’i Blog: Why did you choose children to tell the stories?
We wanted children to tell the stories because children often speak more clearly from the heart. We also feel that grounding children in these stories will cause them to grow with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the various events that took place in the life of the Blessed Beauty.
Baha’i Blog: How did you decide which stories to use, or where did you get the stories from?
We asked each child to do a bit of research and bring forward the story they most wanted to share. Our stories vary from times in Baha’u’llah’s life when He is suffering greatly, to others, which demonstrate His generosity, mercy and humor.
Baha’i Blog: I know you are still working on more stories as well? Where can these videos be found?
On FaceBook you’ll find a page called “Stories of Baha’u’llah” where we’ll be uploading more stories over the next few weeks. We hope people will go on and LIKE the FaceBook page and watch for more stories to be uploaded.
They’re also available on our Vimeo channel as well, and we’ve made them downloadable too, so people are welcome to share these short stories as much as they like, so they can use them in celebrations and however they wish.
Baha’i Blog: Well thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview Mary, and a very, very special thank you to you and Clark for providing this wonderful gift of videos!
Naysan is passionate about using the arts and media to explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. Back in 2011, Naysan started up the Baha’i Blog project, channeling his experiences in both media and technology companies to help create a hub for Baha’i-inspired content online.