Category Archives Art & Creative Works

The Poetry of Tahirih

The heroic life of Tahirih—Fatimih Umm-Salamih (1817- 1852)—has long been celebrated by playwrights, historians and Persian social reformers, especially those advocating women’s rights in present-day Iran. Though a 19th century poet of superb eloquence and variety, she is better known as a woman of dauntless faith, courage and resilience, whether by the Persian community in general or by the followers of the Baha’i religion, for whom she looms as one of the most memorable figures of the Heroic Age of the Baha’i Faith (1844-1921). Continue reading

The Gate: An Album by Navid Lancaster for the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab

Navid Lancaster has produced an orchestral album in honor of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith. The official website for the bicentenary celebrations around the world, www.bicentenary.bahai.org, gives us glimpses of the diversity of artistic expressions that have flourished from all corners of the planet. We’re also really honoured when people reach out to us and tell us what they’ve been working on such as Navid and his album, The Gate. Here’s what he shared with us: Continue reading

Baha’i Blog Presents 11 Songs from The European Baha’i Choral Festival 2019

The 2019 European Baha’i Choral Festival was held from May 29 – June 2 at the Baha’i House of Worship in Langenhain, Germany. At this, the second European Baha’i Choral Festival to date, over a hundred participants came together to sing, share music with others and to strengthen the bonds of fellowship and harmony amongst Baha’is and their friends across Europe. Continue reading

A is for Allah-u-Abha: A Children’s Alphabet Book by Andrea Hope

Andrea Hope is no stranger to the Baha’i Blog team! In the past, we interviewed her about her spoken word (you can read all about it here). Now she has taken her skills with words to create a book for young children called A is for Allah-u-Abha. Illustrated by Winda Mulyasari, this bright and bold book will help little ones learn spiritual qualities, Baha’i concepts and history such as equality, the Fast, and the station of Abdu’l-Baha as our exemplar.

Andrea lovingly shared how her picture book of poetry came together, the process involved, and what she’s working on now. Here’s our conversation:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I publish under the name Andrea Hope, which is my first and middle name. “Hope” comes from my great-grandmother, Virginia Hope Jones, who was the first Baha’i in our family and my spiritual guide. Growing up, I was always quite empathetic toward the plight of humanity. At age 11, I found my first solace in writing poetry with lines like, “If the world were full of blind men what a beautiful sight it would be … we’d be forced to feel, not see.” I remember wondering as a junior youth, “Why would God put me on this earth if there was nothing I could do about suffering?” The Baha’i Faith both relieved and empowered me. I have been working for some time to combine my passion for the arts and children’s education with the needs of the Faith. This has included developing children’s programs for holy days, organizing a theatre performance of the children’s book Rooth Sees a Trooth, creating Baha’i Holy Day memory cards, writing a poetry activity book called I Am & I Can, and now, publishing the picture book A is for Allah-u-Abha. Continue reading

Bicentenary Website Showcases Artistic Expression from Around the World

At Baha’i Blog, we’re huge fans of artistic expressions so we wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the wonderful section on the official bicentenary website dedicated to artistic expressions from around the world in honour of the 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith.

From Bolivia to Iraq, and from Singapore to the Netherlands, this website showcases various artistic initiatives and activities created by individuals and communities, and the page is constantly being updated too! Continue reading

5 Panels for the Bicentenary Created by the Baha’is of the UK

The Baha’is of the United Kingdom have created five beautiful exhibition panels designed for use during activities commemorating the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-Herald of the Baha’i Faith.

The panels offer a historical overview of the Bab’s Revelation, share quotations about His Station, describe His teachings, and offer from excerpts from His Writings. Eye-catching photographs are also included. Continue reading

7 Great Sites for Creating Invitation Cards for Your Community Events

Let’s brainstorm! What if we named some things we might need to do when organizing an event, such as a neighborhood holy day celebration for the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab?

Perhaps, like me, you thought about the people to invite, the programme, the food, possible music to be played (such as Bahai Blog’s Studio Sessions), the location, and then what about making invitations?!

The idea of making invitations has made me panic a little in the past, but as I’ve found, there are a lot of great online resources out there now, and so, to help us all out, I’ve created a list of seven websites to help you create your invitations. Some are free and easy-to-use, some have packaged or priced options, and two of them are for those who are more comfortable with design and programs like Photoshop.

I hope this helps and you find this list useful: Continue reading

Digital Materials for Baha’i Storytelling Performances

Ravi Purushotma has created a unique artistic resource for communities producing dramas or plays about Baha’i history — particularly in the days and weeks leading up to, during and after celebrations for the bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of the Bab, Prophet-Herald of the Baha’i Faith. It’s unlike any other creative project I’ve heard of, so I was excited to hear from Ravi about what it is, how it works, and how others can use it. Here’s our conversation: Continue reading

The Race Unity Speech Awards: A Platform for Students to Express Ideas on Improving Race Relations

I wanted to share an awesome initiative spearheaded by the Baha’i Community of New Zealand called The Race Unity Speech Awards. Having started back in 2001, the event is an annual public speaking competition for senior high school students in New Zealand, and although the topic varies from year to year, the theme is always around race. Students are given one or two quotes and several bullet points relating to the particular topic, and asked to consider them when preparing their speeches. Regional heats are held in 14 locations around the country and around 25 of the regional participants gather in Auckland each year for the national semi-finals and finals. The speech awards provide a nationwide platform for students to express their ideas on how we can improve race relations, and the theme for 2019 was “Speaking for Justice, Working for Unity”. In conjunction with the speech awards are also gatherings called Race Unity Hui. These gatherings are also organized to give young people an opportunity to be heard when it comes to race relations issues, and they provide a space for young people to advance the conversation about race relations in New Zealand.

This year’s finals of The Race Unity Speech Awards just took place last month, and Robbie White of New Plymouth Boys’ High School won the competition; he cited examples of past and present New Zealand leaders who have helped to forge unity in New Zealand, and confidently wove the Maori language into his speech (which you can watch here). Nina Gelashvilli, a Year 12 student at Kuranui College in the Wairarapa, was the national runner-up and Michael Echague, a Year 12 student from St John’s College in Hamilton, was a national finalist. I was excited to hear from these three participants about their experience with this incredible event, and here’s what they shared with me:  Continue reading

Baha’i Blog Shop Closing – Last Chance to Get Your Baha’i-Inspired T-Shirts!

After much reflection, the Baha’i Blog team has decided to close down the Baha’i Blog Shop in about 30 days, so it’s your last chance to get your limited edition Baha’i-inspired t-shirts, and help support Baha’i Blog!

Since Baha’i Blog’s inception eight years ago, we’ve been exploring how the Baha’i Faith translates into various avenues of media, whether it be through our written articles, our Studio Sessions musical series, our podcast series called the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson, or our many other forms of Baha’i-inspired content. As a part of this exploration, a few years ago we decided to experiment with Baha’i-inspired content on worn apparel, with a focus on t-shirts. We asked ourselves questions like: “Do we print a t-shirt with a direct quotation from the Baha’i Writings on it, or should the words on the shirt be inspired by a quotation from the Baha’i Writings?”; “Do we print on the front of the shirt, or do we print on the back of the shirt?”, and also, “What sort of impact do these shirts have on those wearing them, and those around them?”. Continue reading