Sirus Naraqi: 30 Sept, 1942- Aug 18, 2004
Last night marked the 7th anniversary of the passing of my father, Sirus Naraqi.
Since his passing, I have been blessed to constantly meet so many people who knew him and loved him, and share with me how he touched their lives.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to look back on my parents’ lives and reflect on the experiences they had. It’s interesting how you start to see the human side of a parent as you get older, and realize that they too are ordinary people – much like you and your friends – with their own hopes and dreams, fears and regrets, trials and accomplishments.
My parents were born in Iran and they moved to the United States where they were married in 1969 in front of the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois. After my father finished specializing in medicine, my parents moved from the suburbs of Chicago to Papua New Guinea (PNG). I remember spending a lot of time with my dad going to the villages and doing both medical work and visiting the Baha’i’s there.
My parents ended up spending 20 years in PNG, and I remember an old colleague of my father from Chicago had written to him asking why he was still in PNG after so long, and what did PNG offer that the US didn’t offer. My dad’s reply was “It’s what PNG does not have that keeps us here.” Continue reading
Tahereh Etehad has a love for music and when the call came for Baha’is to help raise money for the Baha’i House of Worship in Chile, she stepped forward and decided to do her part by putting her vocal talents and musical abilities to good use by creating Heart to Heart, and contributing all the proceeds to the Chile Temple Fund.
I decided to catch up with Tahereh to find out more about her album and her thoughts on making music as a Baha’i.
Baha’i Blog: So tell us a little bit about yourself and your passion for music.
From a young age, I knew I was passionate about music. Celine Dion was my idol! When I was 10, I started to learn how to read music. I stopped going for lessons after a few years but continued to teach myself music. I have never been trained vocally but I feel that through my passion, I am able to express myself naturally through music.
When I was 16, I began writing music. When I finished high school, I completed a Bachelor of Popular Music. The Faith has transcended my passion for music to a whole new level. As Baha’u’llah says: “We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high…” Continue reading
Hey, hey, hey Baha’i Blog readers! Here at Baha’i Blog, we love quizzes, so we’ve decided to start having a regular quiz post to help you all gauge just how much you may know about certain topics relating to the Faith.
In our very first Baha’i Blog quiz, we dedicate it to the life of the Bab.
Go ahead – take the quiz and let us know if you enjoyed it in the ‘comments’ section below. Good luck!
Navid Bahmani (AKA Navid B) became a Bahá’í about two years ago, and he recently founded his own record label called Bluebottle Records. I’ve known Navid B for some time now and I’ve been fortunate enough to be on the sidelines of seeing his musical career unfold. Bluebottle has just released their debut album called A New Dawn, so I sat down with Navid B and got him to tell me a little bit about himself and what he’s trying to achieve through his record label:
Baha’i Blog: So tell us a little about yourself and how you got into making music?
I’m from Sydney, Australia and I’m actually a hairdresser by trade, but music has always been my passion. Even though I haven’t been musically trained, a few years back I finally decided to buy a keyboard and to just try and express myself musically, so I started playing around with different tunes and beats and I just started posting it up online. Before I knew it I was contacted by an independent record label in the US asking me to release an album through them. That really gave me the confidence to keep working on my music and I guess I’m still learning a lot and I just try to keep working at it.
Baha’i Blog: So tell us why you started Bluebottle Records and what you hope to achieve with it.
Bluebottle Records aims to create hip-hop, R’n’B and soul music with a conscious twist. I wanted to start a label which would give myself and my friends an avenue to release our music. I wanted to have complete creative control as well as contractual control so our dealings would be fair.
As a label we want to create a movement of consciousness! People of all walks of life today are sucked into materialism, and unfortunately a lot of music often reflects this, so we are trying to put the ‘soul’ back into music! Continue reading
Photo: Flitzy Phoebie (Flickr)
Ever so often, we’ll be putting up posts for our ‘Common Questions Series’. As the name suggests, these are questions about the Faith that we often get. You know those ones – where you kinda, sorta, maybe know the answer but aren’t sure if you know enough to give the asker a full response? Yeah, those ones. Baha’i Blog has decided to make a collection of those questions, which will hopefully be as helpful to you, our readers, as it is to us!
We’ve been getting a few questions recently about Naw-Ruz and its origins as a Baha’i Holy Day, so we’ll start with that!
Is Naw-Ruz an Iranian holiday or a Baha’i Holy Day?
Naw-Ruz (which in Persian literally means “New Day”) is a New Year holiday for both Iranians and Baha’is celebrated on the first day of spring but the significance and celebrations between the two are slightly different. Continue reading
Image by Mamchenkov (Flickr)
The Baha’i Fasthas just ended. I’ve been fasting for 20 years now and I’m embarrassed to say that I still find that I have to constantly remind myself that the Fast is not just about the food! Okay, so for those of you who don’t know me, you should know that ohhhh I love food! My family and I are renowned for talking about how much we like food and the different types of food we like, even while sitting around a table and having a meal together. In fact, there’s even a Tablet written by Baha’u’llah to my family some generations back, which relates to – you guessed it – FOOD!
Most of us identify the Baha’i fast with the act of not eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset. But as Shoghi Effendi explains, there’s much, much more to it than that:
It is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are, therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires.Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian
Baha’i actor Rainn Wilson, best known for his role as Dwight Schrute in the hit TV show The Office, talks about the Baha’i Faith with Oprah Winfrey.
You can also read Baha’i Blog’s interview with Rainn Wilson here.
Music video from the album ‘Arise’ by the Dawnbreaker Collective. The initiative was borne from the desire of a number of Baha’i musicians based in the Los Angeles area to create an eclectic collection of Baha’i inspired music which was both conscious and musically awesome.
Music video of the song ‘Armed’ by Devon Gundry. Video produced and directed by Justin Baldoni. Music Produced and Performed by Devon Gundry and Kelly Snook. Mixed and Engineered by Kelly Snook. Words by Baha’u’llah. In Loving Memory of Kathy Grammer. (devongundry.com)
Music video to the song “Backbiting” from MANA’s debut album ‘Reflections On The Life Of The Spirit’. MANA is a Baha’i-inspired music and cultural performance group from the Pacific Islands, based mostly in Australia. The word MANA means ‘the Almighty’ or ‘the Powerful’ and signifies strength of spirit in many languages of the Pacific. All lyrics in the albums are based on the Baha’i Writings and passages found in the sequence of courses developed by the Ruhi Institute.
You can read Baha’i Blog’s post about MANA here.