Category Archives Books

The Concept of Peace in the Baha’i Faith – A Book by Miguel Santesteban Gil

George Ronald, as part of its Baha’i Studies series, has released a book titled The Concept of Peace in the Baha’i Faith by Miguel Santesteban Gil. In this book, Miguel analyzes texts of Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and Soghi Effendi to understand a common element of unity, justice and peace. To quote the book’s blurb: “The study explores the logical, anthropological and ethical extensions of the key theme of peace as it moved from one stage to another in the development of a young religion heavily invested in the world.”

Miguel Santesteban Gil very kindly agreed to tell us about his latest publication. Here’s what he shared with us:

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

I was a born when the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War were sufficiently fresh to cast an ominous shadow in most of the family conversations we used to have at home, in Spain. I grew as a youth when the Cold War was at its peak. I well remember the articles my father used to read about the space race and the explanation he gave me once when I asked what it mean “not apt for irreconcilable ones,” a phrase I saw at the head of a magazine on the civil war. Living under a dictatorship schooled me in recognizing some of the evils of the twentieth century; but my inventory of ideas came to an abrupt widening when I first came across the Baha’i Faith at the age of 14. I became a Baha’i at 17, largely the result of many favourable circumstances, including the arrival in the intervening years of two Iranian Baha’i families that settled in Pamplona and acted as my spiritual family. I read widely, Baha’i texts as well as religious and cultural history books, and some philosophy of history. I met my wife, Elham Sami, at a Baha’i Youth School. She spoke Portuguese, which was enough to understand each other. We married in Melbourne and had three boys, two of them already married. We have a lovely grand-daughter, Alaia (happy in the Basque language), and another grandchild is on its way.

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Growing Up – A Children’s Book About Life’s Stages

A dynamic team made up of Catherine A. Honeyman (or Catie) and Bahiyyih Maani (Bahi) have created a resource for children called Growing Up: A Book About Life and Love, Inspired by the Baha’i Writings and we were excited to learn all about it! In this interview, Catie and Bahi tells us about their book, how it came together, and its purpose.

Here’s what Catie and Bahi shared:

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

I’m Catie, the author, and right now I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, in the United States. My husband Neil and I have three children who surprise and delight us with their unique personalities—Naim, Elena, and William. Our first two children were born in Rwanda, Neil’s home country, and we keep a lot of connections there. I work for an international nonprofit organization promoting youth training, employment, and entrepreneurship programs in many different countries. That means I think a lot about how to help young people transition into fulfilling adult roles in our society!

I’m Bahiyyih, the illustrator, and I live in Vila Velha, in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil, with my husband Diego, and our two daughters, Agatha and Jade. I’ve been a Baha’i since I was born as the daughter of Persian pioneers. I studied architecture and urbanism and served in the Holy Land twice: the first time as a gardener and the second time as an architect. The second time I stayed for three years and that period gave me the chance to learn how to paint with watercolours. Since 2015, I’ve been learning more and more about the techniques and have been illustrating books and doing personalized commissions. Continue reading

The Last Ten Minutes – A Baha’i-Inspired Novel by Vered Ehsani

Vered Ehsani has penned a new novel inspired by quotations from the Baha’i Writings on the theme of death. I was very curious to hear more about this unique novel and how it came to be. Vered generously agreed to tell us about and here’s what she said:

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

I’ve been a writer since I could hold pen to paper, which is a lot longer than I care to admit. Originally from South Africa, I grew up in Canada, and have lived in Kenya with my family for the past two decades. I began my Bahaʼi journey in my early 20s.

Baha’i Blog: Could you please tell us a little about your novel, The Last Ten Minutes?

Zain Fischer is experiencing a life review, although she doesn’t know it yet. She thinks she’s at the hospital for a routine medical check up. But there’s nothing routine about the waiting room which has a caged bird and a lot of closed doors. Each door leads to a specific memory. As she explores her past, she begins to see her behaviour and achievements from a different, otherworldly perspective. Her discoveries challenge her previous priorities and push her to reevaluate her beliefs about what makes life meaningful.

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What You Win – A Book of Stories for the Whole Family by Donna Price

Donna Rae Price has authored a book called What You Win: Stories for the Whole Family. The book features 16 short stories. From silly to serious, these hopeful tales are about walking your own path, finding friends, fighting everyday battles and the value of demonstrating good qualities and virtues. The stories are short, sweet and sure to capture the hearts of children who are contributing to the betterment of the world.

Donna generously agreed to tell us about herself, her book, and what she hopes you’ll take away with you once you’ve finished reading it:

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

I grew up in Northern California (USA), where I live with my family. My mom became a Baha’i when I was eight so I know what it’s like to go to school where no one has ever heard of your religion, or think it’s weird, or to fast during marching band in the heat, or to be quizzed by your friends’ parents. I can really relate to what many Baha’i children are facing.

I’ve been writing since childhood, but for the last 15 years I’ve been so fortunate to contribute to Brilliant Star Magazine. I get to work with a wildly talented and creative crew who are passionate about empowering children and youth. It’s a dream come true for me to have a job with so much camaraderie and hope for the future.

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Food, Farmer, and Community – A Compilation by Winnona Merritt

Winnona Merritt has put together a new compilation called Food, Farmer and Community: Agriculture and the Reconstruction of the World and it was recently released by the US Baha’i Publishing Trust. This comprehensive book gathers quotations from the sacred and authoritative texts of the Baha’i Faith as well as statements and documents from various Baha’i institutions and agencies in order to offer a wide-ranging contribution to the discourse on agriculture.

Agriculture and food production affects us all, every single one of us. I was very curious to hear from Winnona about her background, what inspired her to put together this compilation, and what she has learned along the way. Here’s what she shared with us: Continue reading

Family Matters: Filling Your Home with Purpose & Love – A Workbook by Monette Van Lith

Monette Van Lith has put together a workbook for assisting families called Family Matters: Filling Your Home with Purpose and Love. The workbook and its exercises are designed to help family members connect and bond, and to create an environment where everyone can thrive. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Monette very graciously agreed to tell us about her workbook and here’s what she shared with us:

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

Thank you for this opportunity to share a little bit about the Family Matters workbook and the work I do. I am a certified life coach and I work with parents who want to level-up their parenting and family life. Parents also come to me when they’re feeling overwhelmed or depleted. Using a very effective coaching model, my clients discover how to reconnect with their inner joy and purpose. I offer both one-on-one and group coaching. 

In my previous career I worked at various United Nations Programs in East and West Africa, and in New York at UNICEF and the World Health Organization. 

Going back to my origins, I was born in the Netherlands, grew up in Suriname, and returned to Europe to attend university. I’ve enjoyed living and working in different parts of the world and am currently based just outside of Boston, in the US.

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Spirit King: Return of the Crown – A Novel Infused with Baha’i Principles

Dashiel (Dash) Douglas has recently written a novel called Spirit King: Return of the Crown and you might recognize aspects of its narrative. This adventurous tale is infused with teachings and principles of the Baha’i Faith and, having featured Baha’i-inspired novels on Baha’i Blog before such as Consulting Detective and The Woman Who Read Too Much, we were curious to find out more.

Here’s what Dash shared with us: Continue reading

Registration Is Now Open for the Online 19-Day Storyful Family Challenge

A wonderful initiative has just launched! The Storyful Family Challenge is a 19-day learning experience for children and their grown-ups and it’s spearheaded by one of Baha’i Blog’s contributors, Preethi Vergis! The event (which runs from March 2-20) is completely free, is open to every one, and you can register now until March 1st!

Preethi gladly jumped on board to tell us all about it. Here’s what she shared with us: Continue reading

16 Books About the Baha’i Faith and the Religions of the World

Baha’i Blog published an interesting article entitled “14 Books About the Baha’i Faith and Christianity”. Living as I am in a multi-religious neighborhood with a church, a mosque and a Hindu temple within a block, I felt it appropriate to do a similar article for some of the other religions of the world. Forgive me if it is not quite as thorough as I’d like: the number of choices are limited. I have not read all of them but have reason to believe they are all worth reading and they all relate the teachings and prophecies of various religions with the Baha’i Faith.

So here we go: Continue reading