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Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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“Mona With the Children” by Tom Francis

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we do something a little different, where Tom Francis sings a cover of the song “Mona With the Children”, originally by Doug Cameron.

The song is a protest song based on the true story of an Iranian Baha’i girl named Mona Mahmudnizhad, who, in 1983, at the age of 16, together with nine other Baha’i women, was sentenced to death and hanged in Shiraz, Iran, because she was a Baha’i. Continue reading

Section 209: A short film based on a true story (WARNING: Graphic Content)

** WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT **

Section 209 is a short film based on a true story about a sweeping fight for survival set against revolutionary Iran in the mid-1990s. Section 209 was produced to inspire awareness and support for releasing all Baha’is imprisoned in Iran.

Centred on the life of Ali, it tells the story of a man imprisoned and tortured, in a bid for him to recant his beliefs. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is illegal to run Bahá’í activities and any person convicted will be immediately placed in prison. Ali is arrested held captive in Koohsangi Political Prison in Mashad. Two interrogators enter, Short Interrogator and Tall Interrogator, and systematically interview Ali. They attempt various negotiation methods to convince Ali to either write that he has converted to Islam, or to face execution.

You can learn more about the persecution of Baha’is in Iran by reading our Baha’i Blog article about it here : Some Background to the Persecution of the Baha’is in Iran. 

The Life & Legacy of Bahiyyih Khanum – A Talk by Dr. Janet Khan

Here at Baha’i Blog, we love listening to Baha’i-inspired talks, so we were so excited when we heard that the LSA of the Gold Coast had invited Dr. Janet Khan to give a talk at the Gold Coast Baha’i Centre in Australia.

In this talk, Dr. Janet Khan gives a talk on the extraordinary life and legacy of Bahiyyih Khanum, the daughter of Baha’u’llah. Bahiyyih Khanum, given the title the Greatest Holy Leaf, contributed significantly in the early years of the Faith. Her steadfastness during a critical period in the history of the Faith and during her appointment as the head of the Baha’i Faith testifies to the greatness of her character. Continue reading

Eleven – A New Book by Paul Hanley

A friend of mine in Australia told me how he had read a book which had such a profound impact on him, and in fact he felt was so important for everyone to read, that he bought dozens of copies of it to give to all of his staff. That book was Eleven, by Paul Hanley.

Critically acclaimed as “the read of our times”, the author of Life of Pi Yann Martel said “Every concerned citizen of this planet needs to read this book.”.

Paul Hanley’s Eleven “…is an inspired map of the road ahead, drawn in lines of truth we turn our gaze away from every day. More than that, though, this sweeping book makes an audacious but coherent and thoroughly-researched case for the possibility that, by awakening to the reality of what we are doing to the earth and our own souls, we may already be getting ready to walk the road with our ‘better angels of our nature’ fully in charge.

I had the fortune of meeting Paul Hanley at the recent 2015 Association for Baha’i Studies Conference in Orange County, California, where he was the recipient of the 2015 Award for Distinguished Scholarship in the Book Category.

Paul Hanley agreed to do an interview with Baha’i Blog: Continue reading

Together – SHIMAMA

From the Congo and the bright heart of Africa comes the infectious sound of SHIMAMA, and this is the video from their first single from their Children’s CD entitled ‘ARISE’. It’s a cute and colourful piece of Congolese-pop which features four of the youngest members of the group.

For enquiries or to order CDs, contact Pembe at [email protected]

You can also read Baha’i Blog’s article about the initiative here: Shimama: Empowering Music from Kids in Congo

A Nightingale’s Cry: A New Album by Mea

A couple of years ago, Baha’i Blog featured a great Baha’i-inspired musical initiative out of Finland called Refuge, and now one of the participants of that initiative, Mea Karvonen, has just released her very own debut album entitled A Nightingale’s Cry.

A Nightingale’s Cry is an instrumental album of piano pieces inspired by the Baha’i Faith, and the tracks comprise of both original pieces composed by Mea, and also ones inspired by songs composed by other Baha’i musicians such as Tom Price, Jean Rebstock Murday and others which have touched her in one way or another, like the piece called Grace & Favor, based on an Iranian Baha’i song she’s been singing since she was a child. Additionally, Mea has also included a download of the sheet music to these songs as well, which is always great!

I recently caught up with Mea to find out more about her music and her debut album: Continue reading

How losing everything is the perfect opportunity to win anything | Arash Aazami | TEDxLancasterU

In his talk Arash shares about his personal journey and how losing everything can give the opportunity to win anything.

Arash Aazami founded the world’s first energy interdependence company: BAS – Benefit to All Stakeholders, which quickly grew into a serious alternative to conventional energy companies and became one of The Netherlands fastest growing companies and whose business model, the Path to Zero, won two categories at 2014 MIT Climate CoLab Challenge. He recently resigned from the board of his company to dedicate his time to empower people and organisations to find and utilise their full potential.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx