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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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Praise His Name – Walter Heath

The soulful sound and melodies of this beautiful album by singer and songwriter Walter Heath is inspired by the Sacred Writings and Teachings of the Baha’i Faith.

Having been raised as the son of a preacher, Walter’s musical journey in church choirs, do wop groups and bands in clubs, eventually led Walter to Los Angeles where he became a Baha’i, and where he learned to play the guitar, eventually touring the US with several groups including Seals & Crofts.

This definitely one of those albums not to be missed.

You can also purchase physical copies of this CD or a digital version of the album here on 9 Star Media.

The Passing of Baha’u’llah and His Covenant

Baha'u'llah's bed in the Mansion of Bahji, located just outside of Akko, Israel. (Photo: Bahai.us via Flickr)

In the early hours of 29 May 1892, Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, passed away in the Mansion of Bahji (located just outside of the prison city of Akko in present day Israel), where He had been a prisoner for nine years. Baha’is around the world commemorate the day of Baha’u’llah’s passing as one of the nine holy days where work should be suspended, and it is known to Baha’is as ‘The Ascension of Baha’u’llah’.

Just after sunset on the day He passed away, Baha’u’llah was buried in a simple room in a house next to the Mansion of Bahji, turning it into the holiest place on earth for Baha’is and making it the place where Baha’is the world over turn towards in prayer, and come from all corners of the earth to pay their respects as Pilgrims.

As I join fellow Baha’is around the world in commemorating the Ascension of Baha’u’llah, I am reminded of the fortune we as Baha’is have in knowing that Baha’u’llah’s successorship was made so explicit, and as a result, this has protected us from schisms. Compared to the passing of other Messengers of God, this is what has made the Baha’i Faith truly unique: The fact that for the first time in history, the founder of a world religion had made His successorship explicitly clear to His followers. Continue reading

Baha’i Temple of South America – Newsreel 8 – May 2015 (English version)

Newsreel #8 (May 2015) of the progress of the construction work and community development related to the Baha’i Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile.

You can watch more Newsreels and find out more about the Baha’i Temple of South America from the Temple’s official website.

Here are a couple of other Baha’i Blog articles about Baha’i Temples (also known as Houses of Worship) below:

1) What Kind of Temple Is This?

2) Baha’i Houses of Worship: A Personal Reflection on the Work Ahead

Oh Yaran (7 Years) – Colby Jeffers Feat. Emphavoice

This song “Oh Yaran (7 Years)” was inspired by the #7Bahais7years campaign. The song was written by Phoenix Hip-Hop artist Colby Jeffers, and features Russian singer Emphavoice.

#7Bahais7years was a global campaign which took place from 14–21 May, 2015, and set out to create awareness and a show of solidarity for the Baha’is being persecuted in Iran.

The campaign focused on the seven former Baha’i leaders (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’ which means ‘friends’ in Persian) who, because of their belief in the Baha’i Faith, were arrested and have now been in prison for seven years. The global campaign was based on the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders”, and each of the seven days focused on a different member of the seven arrested Baha’i leaders, who’s names are: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.

You can read about the campaign here: Join the Global Campaign to Help Free Imprisoned Baha’is – #7Bahais7years

And also see some examples of the global show of support here: #7Bahais7years – A Glimpse of the Global Campaign

#7Bahais7Years – by Laura Mostmand

Laura Mostmand dedicates this video to the seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders in Iran. The video includes parts of a letter by Vahid Tizfahm, who wrote from prison explaining why he has held to his beliefs in the face of persecution, especially the relentless questions of his interrogators.

The video was part of a global campaign called #7Bahais7years, which took place from 14–21 May, 2015, and set out to create awareness and a show of solidarity for the Baha’is being persecuted in Iran.

The campaign focused on the seven former Baha’i leaders (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’ which means ‘friends’ in Persian) who, because of their belief in the Baha’i Faith, were arrested and have now been in prison for seven years. The global campaign was based on the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders”, and each of the seven days focused on a different member of the seven arrested Baha’i leaders, who’s names are: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.

You can read about the campaign here: Join the Global Campaign to Help Free Imprisoned Baha’is – #7Bahais7years

And also see some examples of the global show of support here: #7Bahais7years – A Glimpse of the Global Campaign

#7Bahais7years – A Glimpse of the Global Campaign

The seven day global campaign (14–21 May, 2015) called #7Bahais7years which set out to create awareness and a show of solidarity for the Baha’is being persecuted in Iran, has witnessed a wonderful show of support from the around the world.

The campaign focused on the seven former Baha’i leaders (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’ which means ‘friends’ in Persian) who, because of their belief in the Baha’i Faith, were arrested and have now been in prison for seven years. The global campaign was based on the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders”, and each of the seven days focused on a different member of the seven arrested Baha’i leaders, who’s names are: Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.

During the campaign there were numerous news articles, TV reports, and most moving of all, was to see the large numbers of Baha’is and their friends from across the globe showing their support by holding prayer meetings and gatherings, and posting photos, videos and artwork on social media.

We thought it would be great to share some examples of this wonderful show of support below: Continue reading

This Love – Nabil & Karim ft. Chelsea Lyne

‘This Love’ is a song by Nabil & Karim and Chelsea Lyne dedicated to the Baha’is in Iran and to the seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders – also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’, which means the friends in Persian.

Baha’is and human-rights activists around the world are calling for the release of imprisoned Baha’is in Iran.

‘This Love’ Lyrics:

They can take my life away, but this love will never change
They can take my rights away but I’ll grow stronger every day.

It’s my right to live a life that’s free, it’s my right to simply be
A citizen who believes in world equality
We shouldn’t have to hide or feel the need to cower
Our belief shape who we are they give us inner power
With our heads held high we shall walk on
With utmost love in our hearts we remain strong
They ask the question we refuse
Because it is our right to choose.

They can take my life away, but this love will never change
They can take my rights away but I’ll grow stronger every day.

In the silence of this courtroom I closed my eyes and saw the future
About the time that we heard from the prosecutors
And your honour I think you’ve already made your choice
So to the jury please excuse me if I rejoice
Cause it was years ago back when I decided
To save a place inside my heart where Baha’u’llah’s resided
And my family all around the world will watch and pray
So I am not alone, will I surrender? Not today!

They can take my life away, but this love will never change
They can take my rights away but I’ll grow stronger every day.

It’s my right to an education, my right to the living I’m making
And yet they keep taking away from me
My material possessions have been ruined and put to pieces
My spirit remains a whole my attachment thus decreases
Still in this day though times have changed they haven’t changed enough
The friends must had obeyed, prayed to avoid themselves handcuffed
Battles change but sacrifice remains the same
This is my devotion that ignites my inner flame.

They can take my life away, but this love will never change
They can take my rights away but I’ll grow stronger every day.

——-
Words by Chelsea, Nabil & Karim
Music Production by Nabil M.
Nkindle Productions Copyright 2010.

You can also watch Baha’i Blog’s interview with Nabil & Karim here: Baha’i Blog Interviews Nabil & Karim

#7Bahais7Years – A Tribute by Laura Mostmand

Laura Mostmand dedicates this video the the Baha’is in Iran, commemorating the seventh anniversary of the imprisonment of seven Baha’i leaders in Iran (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’) who formed the entire membership of the now-disbanded ad hoc group tending to the spiritual and social needs of the Iranian Baha’i community (in the absence of formally elected Baha’i leadership which was banned in 1983).

Baha’is around the world have launched a seven day campaign (14-21 May, 2015) based on the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders”, and each of these seven days will focus on a different member of the seven arrested Baha’i leaders.

These Facebook event pages in both English and Persian have been set up as rallying points for activity and awareness, and the hashtag #7Bahais7years has been designated.

The seven arrested Baha’is and the corresponding days they will be honored are as follows:

May 14: Mahvash Sabet (Bio)
May 15: Fariba Kamalabadi (Bio)
May 16: Jamaloddin Khanjani (Bio)
May 17: Afif Naeimi (Bio)
May 18: Saeid Rezaie (Bio)
May 19: Behrouz Tavakkoli (Bio)
May 20: Vahid Tizfahm (Bio)
May 21: The campaign will be summarized and concluded.

You can read more about this campaign here.

Join the Global Campaign to Help Free Imprisoned Baha’is – #7Bahais7years

Unfortunately the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran continues, and it has now been seven years that seven former Baha’i leaders (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’) have been wrongfully imprisoned in Iran. These seven Baha’is formed the entire membership of the now-disbanded ad hoc group tending to the spiritual and social needs of the Iranian Baha’i community (in the absence of formally elected Baha’i leadership which was banned in 1983), and they were arrested and imprisoned for nothing more than their belief in the Baha’i Faith. Now the Baha’i International Community has launched a global campaign to mark the seventh anniversary of their wrongful imprisonment and to call for their immediate release.

Running for seven days (14 – 21 May, 2015), the global campaign is based on the theme “Seven Days in Remembrance of Seven Years for the Seven Baha’i Leaders”, and each of these seven days will focus on a different member of the seven arrested Baha’i leaders.

Continue reading