All posts by Sonjel Vreeland. Browse Other Authors

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.

The Extraordinary Life of Abdu’l-Baha: A New Online Initiative

Nestled within a greater initiative called The Utterance Project, Violetta Zein has produced an informative, visually-rich online project titled “The Extraordinary Life of Abdu’l-Baha” in honor of the centenary of His Passing. It’s an interactive and illustrated nine-part chronology of the Life of Abdu’l-Baha and you may find it useful and inspiring, particularly in this special year as we strive to reflect profoundly on His Life.

I am so grateful to Violetta for sharing with us all about this initiative. Here’s what she shared with the Baha’i Blog team: Continue reading

The Utterance Project: A Personal Initiative That Shares Readings of Baha’i Writings in Their Original Languages

Translating anything from one language to another is a complex and intricate exercise. For example, in her Baha’i Blog article “Why Do the English Translations of the Baha’i Writings Use Elevated Language?” Layli explores some aspects of how the Baha’i Writings are translated into English.

Violetta Zein and Adib Masumian are personally interested in the sounds and musicality of the Baha’i Writings in their original languages of Arabic and Persian so they have created an online project that allows non-Arabic and non-Persian speakers to experience this first-hand.

We know that the transformative power of the Baha’i Writings can be felt no matter what language they are accessed in and that the teachings of the Baha’i Faith are for everyone on this whole linguistically diverse planet. Violetta and Adib’s project offers us a unique and thoughtful way of encountering the Baha’i Writings that delights the ear, as well as the heart.

Violetta and Adib were keen to share more about the Utterance Project. Here’s what they told the Baha’i Blog team: Continue reading

Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith from Around the World – Collection 21

“Personal Reflections on the Baha’i Faith from Around the World” is a Baha’i Blog initiative in honor of the bicentenary anniversaries of the Births of Baha’u’llah and the Bab, the two Prophet-founders of the Baha’i Faith.

In this initiative, we share portraits of Baha’is and their friends from different countries and territories all over the world, along with a few of their words about what the Baha’i Faith means to them or how it has touched their lives. Continue reading

The Beauty of Abdu’l-Baha

Portrait of Abdu’l-Baha in Paris, France, October 1911. Photo courtesy of the Baha'i International Community.

Ever since I was little I have been interested in historical clothes and I have often wondered what Abdu’l-Baha looked like. What did He wear? And how were His clothes and His physical appearance a manifestation of qualities such as cleanliness, purity, grace and a deep abiding love for everyone?

In this article, I’ve gathered a small collection of historical accounts on the beauty of Abdu’l-Baha and stories that describe what He looked like. I am so grateful for these historical recollections, even though they only offer us a glimpse of Him.

The first story relates to cleanliness and it’s found in Vignettes from the Life of Abdu’l-Baha:

The Master considered cleanliness of vital importance. He was indeed ‘the essence of cleanliness’ even as Baha’u’llah had taught His followers. Florence Khanum bore witness to this, for she found Him ‘dazzlingly, spotlessly shining, from snowy turban-cloth, to white, snowy hair falling upon his shoulders, to white snowy beard and long snowy garment. Although it was high noon, in summer His attire was crisp and fresh-looking, as though He had not been visiting the sick, and in prison, and toiling for mankind since early morning. Often a deliciously fresh rose was tucked in His belt.’

Continue reading

Make Me to Grow – An Album by Victoria Jane Leith

Victoria Jane Leith’s album, Make Me to Grow, is subtitled “an immersive experience of melodies, nature and prayers” and that’s exactly what it is. Listening to it transported me to a devotional gathering in a tranquil garden.

You may recognize Victoria from our Studio Sessions “Lion Roar”“Tiny Seed” and “I Loved Thy Creation”, renditions of which are also included on her sweet album.

I am glad Victoria wanted to share with us about her album. Here’s what she said:

Continue reading