All posts by Naysan Naraqi. Browse Other Authors

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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Loving Thee – Nabilinho (AKA Nabil)

Music video for the song ‘Loving Thee’ by Nabilinho (AKA Nabil) and taken from his album Nabilinho Vol. III.

The lyrics of the song are taken from a prayer by Baha’u’llah:

“…Fill up for me the cup of detachment from all things, and in the assembly of Thy splendors and bestowals, rejoice me with the wine of loving Thee. Free me from the assaults of passion and desire, break off from me the shackles of this nether world, draw me with rapture unto Thy supernal realm, and refresh me amongst the handmaids with the breathings of Thy holiness…” ~ Baha’u’llah (Read the entire prayer here.)

You can purchase the album Nabilinho Vol.III here: Nabilinho Vol. III, follow Nabilinho on his Facebook page for updates on his music, and check out his other albums here on Nkindle Productions.

Also, check out Baha’i Blog’s interview with Nabil here: Nabilinho Vol.III – An Interview with Nabil.

Watch Baha’i Blog’s interview with Nabil & Karim here: Baha’i Blog Interviews Nabil & Karim

Re-Telling Reconciliation – A Talk by Roshan Danesh

Roshan Danesh presents a talk entitled “Re-Telling Reconciliation” at the 2014 Association for Baha’i Studies North America Conference in Toronto, Canada.

In this talk Roshan Danesh looks at the tragic way in which colonizing peoples treated the indigenous inhabitants of the lands they settled, such as Canada, and reflects on our responsibility as Baha’is. He starts by recounting the story of Ali Nakhjavani’s visit to Canada in 2007, where he held a special meeting with First Nations representatives in Vancouver, speaking on the importance of the First Nations peoples, and he asked them to “help us”, rather than “let us help you”.

Abdu’l-Baha attached great importance to the indigenous peoples of America who will become so radiant that they will illuminate the world. We should focus on affirmation and recognition, since reconciliation must come from the inside out, reshaping our own thinking and feeling. People in Canada do not realize why we need reconciliation, but it is a necessary requirement for the Baha’i community. We need to align our means and ends, and how we converse, talk and speak are our means. Ali Nakhjavani, before his meeting, sought out knowledge on how to be respectful, and how to communicate meaningfully, with an understanding of history. Roshan Danesh closed his talk by inviting Louise Profeit-Leblanc to demonstrate her reconciliation blanket (which you can view here), which symbolized the removal of children and the outlawing of language of culture, giving way to the beginning of reconciliation and the first First Nations representatives on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada and the ultimate coming together of nations.

The Role of Religion in Today’s Society – Tom Price

Tom Price delivers a talk titled ‘The Role of Religion in Today’s Society’ at the Hornsby Baha’i Centre of Learning in Sydney, Australia.

Tom Price’s talks have been extremely popular on Baha’i Blog, and a lot of our readers have been requesting that we post more Baha’i-related talks on the site, so we hope you enjoy this one too!

A very special thanks to Loretta Safajou for organizing the talk, and to Qi-Jie of Nonagon Productions for helping Baha’i Blog capture the talk, and to Bobby Aazami of Fiona+Bobby Photography for the photo.

Happy listening!

Brilliant Star – A Baha’i-Inspired Magazine and Website for Children

Pictured above is the Brilliant Star team and key contributors at their 2013 Annual Meeting. From left to right is Annie Reneau, Susan Engle, Lisa Blecker, C. Aaron Kreader, Amethel Parel-Sewell, Amy Renshaw, Donna Price, and Foad Ghorbani.

In the Baha’i Faith we know that “Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and guarantee of the future”, so there’s no doubt that coming up with creative and meaningful ways to support our children is important, and that’s why I couldn’t wait to do a post about Brilliant Star!

Brilliant Star is an award-winning Baha’i-inspired children’s magazine and website aimed at children of all faiths, and invites them to explore concepts based on principles central to the teachings of the Baha’i Faith, like encouraging their development as world citizens, their appreciation for cultural and racial diversity, peace among all religions and nations, the equality of women and men, and the elimination of prejudices.

The magazine really had a profound effect on me when I was a child, and I remember how I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it whenever a new issue came out. Now, some 45 years on (yep, Brilliant Star first started in 1969 as Child’s Way and then became Brilliant Star in 1983), Brilliant Star continues to publish six times per year with subscribers in over 40 countries, coming from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and faiths.

I decided to touch base with Brilliant Star’s Editor and Creative Director Amethel Parel-Sewell, to find out more about this wonderful resource: Continue reading

Create In Me A Pure Heart – Fariba Laliberte

In this music video, Fariba Laliberte sings ‘Create In Me A Pure Heart’, a song from her album Surrender, and based on a prayer by Baha’u’llah:

“Create in me a pure heart, O my God, and renew a tranquil conscience within me, O my Hope! Through the spirit of power confirm Thou me in Thy Cause, O my Best-Beloved, and by the light of Thy glory reveal unto me Thy path, O Thou the Goal of my desire! Through the power of Thy transcendent might lift me up unto the heaven of Thy holiness, O Source of my being, and by the breezes of Thine eternity gladden me, O Thou Who art my God! Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquility on me, O my Companion, and let the riches of Thine ancient countenance deliver me from all except Thee, O my Master, and let the tidings of the revelation of Thine incorruptible Essence bring me joy, O Thou Who art the most manifest of the manifest and the most hidden of the hidden!” ~ Baha’u’llah

From Chinese, to Persian, English and Swahili, Fariba Laliberte’s music explores rhythms of the world. Inspired by the Baha’i Holy Scriptures, it celebrates diversity and the spiritual journey of the human heart.

Listen to and purchase Fariba Laliberte’s album here.

Mona With the Children – Doug Cameron (Cover by Neena)

In this video, Neena sings a cover of the 1985 hit “Mona With the Children” by Doug Cameron. This version was produced by Nabil Moghaddam of the popular duo Nabil & Karim.

The song is a protest song based on the true story of a Persian 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.

You can watch the music video to the original song by Doug Cameron here.

To find out some background about the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran, you can read this Baha’i Blog article: Some Background to the Persecution of the Baha’is in Iran

Unfortunately the persecution still continues, and you can find out the current state of persecution and find out how you can help through the Baha’i International Community’s website.

The 5 Year Plan – Tom Price

Baha’i music composer Tom Price recently gave a series of three talks about the Five Year Plan at the Tennessee Baha’i School. With his permission, Baha’i Blog is pleased to share with you the talks to stream from our site or to download – and best of all, it’s completely free!

The study of the 5 Year Plan is something we’ve all been encouraged to do, and we hope these talks will help you with this. We know that anyone who has ever heard Tom Price speak will be frantically clicking away at the download buttons, and for those of you who have yet to tune in to one of Tom’s talks, you’re in for a treat!

We hope you enjoy the talks and please let us know what you think in the comments section and feel free to share this post with your friends.

Happy Listening!

PLEASE NOTE: During these talks Tom Price mentions that these are a part of a series of talks he has prepared. The rest of these talks have not been recorded yet, but Tom will be providing them to Baha’i Blog once they are presented. If you’d like to be notified of our new posts (like these talks), please sign up to our email list.

Recreating Ourselves in the Image of the Master – Tom Price

Baha’i music composer Tom Price recently delivered six great new talks at the 2012 Tennessee Baha’i School, called “Recreating Ourselves in the Image of the Master”.

For those of you who have yet to hear one of Tom’s talks, you’re in for a treat! Last year we posted Tom Price’s talks on The Five Year Plan and it’s still one of our most popular posts ever!

In these wonderful talks Tom Price shares six of Abdu’l-Baha’s attributes and looks at how we can learn from them and adopt them into our own lives.

Abdu’l-Baha, (also referred to as the Master) was Baha’u’llah’s eldest son and appointed successor, and He is considered the perfect example of how to live according to the Baha’i teachings. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to North America, and Baha’i communities across the US and Canada have been celebrating His visit.

You can listen to these talks by either streaming them or by downloading them – and best of all, it’s completely free!

We hope you enjoy these talks as much as we do, and please let us know what you think in the comments section and feel free to share this post with your friends.

Happy Listening, and a BIG THANK YOU to Tom Price for this wonderful service!

Una Decisión – Latin American Music Initiative 2012 (Album 1)

I always love hearing about different Baha’i-inspired initiatives happening around the world, and a couple of friends recently told me about a wonderful musical initiative which took place in Ecuador, and so with the help of Eduardo Rioseco, one of the initiative’s participants, I thought it would be great to share this exciting experience and the music (which can be downloaded for free at the bottom of this post) with everyone! Continue reading

Talks by Mr. Grossmann from the New Zealand North Island Baha’i Summer School 2013

Mr. Hartmut and Mrs. Ursula Grossmann were the keynote speakers at the recent North Island Baha’i Summer School in New Zealand at the end of December 2013, and the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of New Zealand have given Baha’i Blog four of Mr. Grossmann’s audio talks for you to listen to.

Currently residing in Finland, the Grossmann’s are originally from Germany and Mr. Grossmann is a former member of both the International Teaching Centre and the Universal House of Justice, until he retired in 2008.

We’ve been asked to remind everyone that Mr. Grossmann gave these talks as an individual Baha’i, and not as a representative of the Universal House of Justice.

You can listen to these talks by either streaming them live from our site or by downloading them.

Also, if anyone is interested in the DVD of these talks (which will also include Mrs. Grossmann’s presentations), you can order it by contacting: [email protected]

We hope you enjoy these talks as much as we do, and we’d like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Grossmann and the organizers of the summer school and the National Spiritual Assembly of New Zealand for making these talks available to us all!

Happy listening!