Category Archives Interviews

Bursting Into Bloom – A New Board Book of Prayers by Abdu’l-Baha

In recent years we have been blessed with a number of new authorized translations of prayers by Abdu’l-Baha (you can find them all here on the Baha’i Reference Library).

Ahva Afnani Aflatooni, a young mother, has illustrated and designed a beautiful board book to adorn many of those prayers and it’s titled Bursting Into Bloom. Board books, thus named for their thick cardboard pages, are perfect for little ones to hold. It’s wonderful to see another resource made available for really young kids.

Ahva generously agreed to tell us about the prayer book she designed. Here’s what she shared with us: Continue reading

Abdu’l-Baha: The Perfect Exemplar – A New Book by Dariush Lamy

Abdu’l-Baha: The Perfect Exemplar is a new scholarly work by Dariush Lamy. Among its 350 pages, you’ll find an overview of the Life of Abdu’l-Baha. The books also provides us with a glimpse into the profundity and scope of Abdu’l-Baha’s Writings. As this year is a time for profound reflection on Abdu’l-Baha, I’m sure Dariush’s book will be valuable to those who read and study it.

Dariush graciously agreed to tell us about his book and this is what he shared:

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

Of course! I was raised in a Baha’i family and was fortunate from an early age to be in close proximity with the great scholars of the Faith in Iran. I started reading and researching Baha’i literature and published many articles in different Persian Baha’i and non-Baha’i magazines. I have studied architecture and then continued my graduate studies in Islamic studies at UCLA to help with my research in the Baha’i Writings. Continue reading

Mighty: A Children’s Resource About Abdu’l-Baha by First Valley Books

The dynamic team at First Valley Books that created the vibrant and engaging children’s book Little Champions of Justice have a new project in honor of Abdu’l-Baha as we commemorate the centenary of His Passing.

Mighty: 7 Stories About Abdu’l-Baha for Children Who Want to Serve the World is their latest creation and it’s really a gift to the children of the world: it’s been translated into five languages, it’s available as a free download and you can purchase physical copies of the book on, you can listen to all the stories here on our Soundcloud page, and you can see simple videos of the stories on our YouTube channel.

We’re beyond beyond grateful that the team at First Valley Books gave us permission to share this wonderful resource on Baha’i Blog. We wanted to share with you a little bit more about the book so we asked the team a few questions, and here is what they told us:

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Two New Books to Nurture Love for Abdu’l-Baha in Children’s Hearts

Celeste Finn has created two children’s books about Abdu’l-Baha. While they would be valuable resources any year, they are particularly precious this year as we reflect profoundly on the Life of Abdu’l-Baha and as we share stories about Him with the children in our lives in honor of the centenary anniversary of His Passing.

Celeste kindheartedly agreed to tell us about her two books, and to provide a little sneak peak of one of them. We hope you enjoy our conversation and that the sample story at the bottom whets your appetite to read more! Continue reading

ABDU’L-BAHA – Servant of Glory: A New Baha’i Blog Video

As this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Passing of Abdu’l-Baha, we wanted to let you know about our special video made in His honor called ABDU’L-BAHA – Servant of Glory.

We typically interview artists and creators about their work and ask them what inspired them, what challenges they faced, and what words of encouragement they might offer others. I realized it would be really wonderful to pull back the veils and tell you a little bit about what goes into some of our own projects so in this interview I asked Naysan Naraqi, who produced ABDU’L-BAHA – Servant of Glory, to tell us more about the film. Continue reading

The Prisoner – A Film by Jayce Bartok

Inspired by the early history of the Baha’i Faith, The Prisoner is a new short film by writer and director Jayce Bartok. Set in the 1800s, the film imagines a conversation between two bickering prison guards at the fortress of Chihriq in north-western Iran where the prophet known as the Bab was imprisoned, and where He revealed some of His most notable Writings. The Bab’s message caused a revolution throughout Persia and the two prison guards, each harboring a difficult secret, connect with one another while keeping watch over the Bab. Ultimately this short film is about finding faith in unexpected moments.

I caught up with Jayce Bartok to find out more about The Prisoner and the inspiration behind it. Continue reading

Convergence: Cities, Spirituality and the Future of Civilization – A New Book by M. L. Perry

Mark Perry has authored a new book published by George Ronald titled Convergence: Cities, Spirituality and the Future of Civilization. The book asks the question: What makes a great place to live?

In this book, Mark draws on the experience, knowledge, information, wisdom and vision of people of diverse fields working with and concerned about human habitats. Using as guiding principles some writings of Baha’u’llah, Mark looks at how spirituality and the developing science of sustainability might converge to produce communities that are moderate, local but interconnected globally, technologically and spiritually-based, progressive and sustainable, and great places to live.

Mark graciously agreed to tell us more about his book and how it came together:

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

I grew up in Swarthmore, a suburb of Philadelphia. My first career goal was to be a musician and I majored in music in college. But racism was constantly on my mind, and I couldn’t focus on music while dealing with persistent questions of inequality and segregation buzzing around like mosquitos and hornets. I was fascinated by my first sociology course, which provided a way to discuss social problems and their solutions. I pursued graduate studies in sociology, cultural anthropology and history, and have been teaching in those fields since 1987. From 2014 I have been teaching at BNU-HKBU United International College in Zhuhai, China.

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Health in Iran: The Untold Story – A New Animation by Flavio Azm Rassekh

Health in Iran: The Untold Story is the latest animation by filmmaker Flavio Azm Rassekh and inspired by Abdu’l-Baha.

In this collaboration with PersianBMS and Ganje Penhan, Flavio tells the story about the Syyhat Hospital and its adjacent educational facilities in Iran, which were built under the instructions of Abdu’l-Baha and run by American doctors who brought women’s health care and Western medicine to Iran.

In spite of all the great medical achievements in the West at the turn of the 20th century, Iran was still deeply immersed in a fog of superstition and fanaticism, and modern medicine was still looked at with distrust as almost 98% of the population was illiterate. While researching about the first Western-style hospitals in Iran, filmmaker Flavio Azm Rassekh found out that an important part of Iran’s history had been erased from the 20th century – namely, the Syyhat Hospital and its adjacent educational facilities, so he decided to bring this history back through this short animation.

As a follow-up to Flavio’s two previous animations called Breaking the Chains: The Story of the Girls Schools in Iran, and Through Their Eyes – Meeting Abdu’l-Baha, this film is the third animation created which is also inspired by the contributions made to society in Iran by Abdu’l-Baha.

I caught up with my dear friend Flavio, to find out more about his new animation: Continue reading

Signs of God’s Love – A New Children’s Book by Tahirih Lemon

Tahirih Lemon has penned a new book for children called Signs of God’s Love and, to judge a book by its cover, it looks delightful! Illustrated by Lusya Stetskovych, this book introduces the concept of God, the loving Creator, and what makes humans special.

It was lovely to interview Tahirih Lemon about her book series for junior youth called The Independent Investigator (you can find that interview here on Baha’i Blog) and I was thrilled to hear from her about this new publication:

Baha’i Blog: Could you please tell us a little about your book Signs of God’s Love?

Signs of God’s Love is a story about a boy named Aidan, who learns about the signs of God’s love throughout creation, while hiking with his father. As Aidan wonders and ponders, his father teaches him about the unique power each form of creation possesses. It is a beautifully illustrated book introducing the concept of God, the loving Creator, and what makes humans special.

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When the Moon Set Over Haifa – A New Book About the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha

Angelina Diliberto Allen has penned a new historical book called When the Moon Set Over Haifa. This book shares the stories of six Westerners who were in Haifa at the time of the Passing of Abdu’l-Baha on November 28, 1921. There were five pilgrims: John Bosch and Louise Stapfer Bosch, Dr. Florian Krug and Grace Krug, and Fraulein Johanna Hauff. The only other Western believer present was Curtis Kelsey from New York, who was there to install electrical power plants to light the Shrines of the Bab and Baha’u’llah.

This book tells the story of these six Baha’is and explores how their experiences at the time of the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha shaped their lives. Angelina’s book is such a gift, especially in this special commemorative year when we reflect on the Life of Abdu’l-Baha. You can hear Angelina talk about her book, and many other fascinating topics, in this episode of the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson but in this interview, we hear specifically about When the Moon Set Over Haifa. Here’s what Angelina graciously shared with us:

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