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Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a mother, a wife and a bookworm but professionally she is a museologist and a library technician. 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.

19 Animated Videos by the Baha’is of Ireland for the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab

The Irish Baha’i Community is creating a series of 19 short animated videos in honor of the bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith. These charming and succinct videos share warmly-told stories about the early days of the Baha’i Faith and about some qualities of the Bab. I was delighted when Trisha from the Irish Office of Public Affairs graciously agreed to tell us a little bit about them. I hope you enjoy our conversation:

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The Primal Point: A New Book of Tributes to the Bab and His Followers

The Primal Point is a significant and timely paperback volume recently published by George Ronald that contains testimonials and tributes to the Bab and some of His early followers. The anthology was put together in honor of the bicentennial anniversary of the Birth of the Bab and rather than capture a comprehensive chronological account of His life, it focuses on the importance of His station and the impact of His Revelation. In its preface, the book’s compiler, Rob Weinberg, writes that it is particularly hoped that the book will inspire Baha’i youth, “who follow so conscientiously with such ardour in the footsteps of their God-intoxicated spiritual forebears.”

The book begins with excerpts from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi about the Station of the Bab and His Revelation. You’ll also find extracts from Babi and Baha’i authors that discuss some of the events of His life and their significance. Many of the writers quoted may be familiar to Baha’is; authors such as Hasan Balyuzi, Horace Holley, Nabil, and Lady Blomfield are included. These writers and their works are priceless in their own right but it’s valuable to see selections of pieces that pertain to the Bab collected all in one place.  Continue reading

Cloud9: Nathan Alan Davis’ Unifying Vision for the Stage – and the World

Cloud9 is a podcast produced by Baha’i Teachings. Its aim is to feature interviews with artists and discuss what inspires them to make a positive contribution to the world. In this episode, Baha’i Teachings’ arts editor Shadi Toloui-Wallace interviews Nathan Alan Davis, a playwright based in New York City who provides an honest, powerful, brave and beautiful insight into the black narrative in America. Filled with humanity, humor, and compassion, Nathan’s scripts offer an authentic voice that centers love and hope.  Continue reading

Lichtblicke: A Hip Hop Album by Projekt Leuchtfeuer That Shines a Ray of Hope

Album cover by Afshin Nosrat Jogan. His Instagram handle is: https://www.instagram.com/nosart19/.

Projekt Leuchtfeuer is a German musical group and they’ve released an album called Lightblicke. Made up of Armin Naimi, Shahnam Izadpanah, Esra Lilian, and Djamschid Solouk, this 19 track album will have your head bopping and your toes tapping. The songs tackle social issues and deal with questions about the refinement of our character and the improvement of society. In German and English, these songs are the fruits of a close collaboration and I was excited to find out more:

Baha’i Blog: Could you please introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about Projekt Leuchtfeuer?

Project Leuchtfeuer is a music collective – consisting of four main members – that strives to inspire and encourage contemplation on ethical-moral issues, the pressing issues of the time and spiritual-metaphysical concepts. The group’s creativity stems from the principles of the Baha’i Faith and its comprehensive Writings, which claim to open the way for the world to unite the whole of humanity. Our identity is based on the idea of a transnational cosmopolitanism and a positive image of mankind – an identity that is fundamentally animated by the deep belief that the earth is only one country and all human beings are its citizens.  Continue reading

“I Paint the Spiritual World”: The Art of Ania Telfer

Baha’i Blog aims to celebrate creative and artistic expressions that are inspired by the Baha’i Revelation. Sometimes we hear about these artistic expressions from friends, from the artists who’ve made them, or sometimes they pop up on our social media feeds. Every now and then I follow a trail that leads me to an artist I’ve never heard of and artwork that takes my breath away.

Ania Telfer is one such artist, the creative mind behind such work. And I am absolutely thrilled to share with you a small gallery of her work, and a few of her words about her creative process.

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The Journey West Podcast – Episode 9: No True Happiness and Progress Without Spirituality

The Journey West podcast celebrates the centenary of Abdu’l-Baha’s travels to Egypt, Europe and North America in 1911-1913. Each episode features a reading of one of Abdu’l-Baha’s talks, as well as dramatized stories and historical accounts. Each episode concludes with a discussion of the talk that was featured.  Continue reading

Cloud9: Juliet Crossley – Portraying Black Nobility

Cloud9 is a podcast produced by Baha’i Teachings. Its aim is to feature interviews with artists and discuss what inspires them to make a positive contribution to the world. In this episode, Baha’i Teachings’ arts editor Shadi Toloui-Wallace interviews Juliet Crossley, a Nashville-based portrait artist driven by an “intense desire to change the imagery of black people.” Through the application of marker on paper, Juliet uses her voice and creative gifts to promote justice, equality and the elimination of racial prejudice.  Continue reading

BWNS: Exploring How Houses of Worship Are Connecting with Their Societies

This podcast episode produced by the Baha’i World News Service is the second episode about Baha’i Houses of Worship (you can listen to part one here). In this episode we hear from Felipe Duhart and Eduardo Rioseco of Chile, Santos Odhiambo of Uganda, and M. A. Ghanbari of India who explore the impact that Temples are having on visitors and on surrounding populations. Creating a sacred space open to all has given rise to greater consciousness of and action for the betterment of society. Continue reading