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Baha’i tools and resources

Can You Solve This?

Everyone has the right to education”, says article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Unfortunately, the reality is very different: many young people in Iran today are being denied this right. They might have gotten the grades to pursue higher education – they might even be among the top students in the country. Yet, when they submit their application forms, they are told that their files are incomplete, that they do not fulfil the necessary entry requirements; in short: that they cannot attend higher education.

The reason why they are denied this basic human right, in spite of their academic ability, is that they are members of political opposition groups, human rights or women’s rights activists or members of religious minorities, such as the Bahá’ís. In the case of the Bahá’ís, even the community’s attempt to educate their youth by setting up the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) has been criminalised, and many of the educators supporting the project have been imprisoned.

The world, however, is not going to simply watch as many young people’s dreams of serving society are being destroyed, with the mere education of many young people being declared a crime in Iran. Continue reading

Baha’is on Reddit: Share and Vote on Baha’i Stories

The more time you spend online, the more you realize just how much content is out there. Social news sites like Reddit let users share and vote on links to help surface interesting content in a democratic manner.

If you’ve never been to Reddit before, it’s a bit of a nerdy blend of social news and community forums where you can go to different subreddits, which are sort of like channels, to find content you are interested in. Subreddits range from the mainstream to quirky and niche. Continue reading

8 Creative Ideas for Your Next Devotional Gathering

Devotional Gathering by John Marmaras

Getting together to share prayers and writings from the Baha’i faith, other scriptures and enlightened souls, is a staple of Baha’i life. These devotional gatherings are one of our core activities and all Baha’is are encouraged to not only attend, but to host them.

There is no set format or formula for running a devotional, and they run the gamut from organized public events through to informal sharing of prayers and readings around a coffee table. And since there is no particular way that a devotional should be held, it’s open for creativity and inventiveness! Continue reading

Baha’i On Air: An Interview with Ken Zemke

What Baha’i TV show has been running for over 12 years now and boasts over 200 episodes? “Baha’i On Air”, that’s what!

Since 1998, “Baha’i On Air” has been broadcasting every week in Auckland, on New Zealand’s community TV station. The show not only reaches Auckland’s population of one million people, but also broadcasts to the nation’s four million, and to other countries in the Pacific such as The Cook Islands, The Solomon Islands, and American Samoa.

Baha’i On Air is headed up by award winning Hollywood filmmaker Ken Zemke, who’s someone I’ve known and admired for a long time now and whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with on a couple of video projects over the years.

Ken has to be one of the hardest working people I know. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without a camera in his hand, working on a project for the Faith.

I finally managed to catch up with Ken and asked him to talk to us about Baha’i On Air. Continue reading

3 Clever Ways to Use Google Apps in Your Baha’i Community

Photo by Halilgokdal

Over the years, I’ve lived in a lot of different Baha’i communities and every one is different. My current community is especially interesting to me because it’s quite tech-savvy. In particular, we use Google’s Apps services to organize a variety of administration and activity. So I thought I would share some ideas on how to do this for your own community.

 

As you may know, Google offers a ton of different free services beyond its core search engine product. There’s a whole suite of products which are useful to Baha’i community administration and organization. In particular Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Sites. Here’s how you can use them: Continue reading

Where to Find Free Baha’i eBooks Online

"Kindle Birdies" photo by Sarowen

Thanks to the Kindle and iPad, paperless reading is becoming more and more common. Even without these devices it’s sometimes handy having an ebook on your laptop or PC. Thanks to Baha’i eBooks Publications you can get more than 70 Baha’i eBooks completely free in both ePub (iPad, iPhone, Android suitable) and Mobi (Kindle suitable) formats.

The project, which was started in late 2009 by a couple of Australians and an American, was created “to make the Bahá’í Writings more readily available to a world that is becoming ever more technologically advanced, by publishing them in formats that can be read on all electronic devices.”

Books available range from the Kitab-i-Aqdas to a compilation of the Ridvan messages from 1950 to 2011. There are even books in Spanish, German, French and Chinese – though the selections are much more limited at the moment.

New books and publications are being added all the time and you can get notified by following the site via Facebook, Email Updates, Twitter or RSS.

Visit Bahai eBooks Publications to Download Free Baha’i eBooks. And don’t forget also that if you are after a PDF or Word Doc of many of the Baha’i writings you can find them in the Baha’i Reference Library.

9 Service Project Ideas for You and Your Community

Baha'is of Wahiawa Adopt a Highway

While on holiday to Hawaii, I was driving down a highway on the island of Oahu and passed a sign for the “Adopt a Highway” program. The program is for local organizations and communities to keep their roads and areas clean and free of litter. I was really pleasantly surprised to see that this particular highway stretch had been adopted by the Baha’is of Wahiawa!

Rendering service to humanity is an important part of being not just a Baha’i, but a member of any religion and in fact pretty much any good moral code. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Well here are nine simple ideas to get you thinking. I’d love to hear more ideas in the comments! Continue reading

The Resource Directory is Now Live!

Ba-bada-baaaa! Drum roll please!

Baha’i Blog is happy to announce the launch of our very own Resource Directory!

We want to build Baha’i Blog’s Resource Directory to be THE place you can find pretty much anything and everything Bahá’í related that exists online. Whether you’re looking for websites, videos, music, books, talks, apparel, organizations (and the list goes on) we  hope that the Directory will be the place where you can find what you need.

We’re always looking for more great Baha’i resources to share with our audience, so if you know of any we don’t yet have, then please let us know.

Happy resource hunting!

An Interview with Oneworld Publications

Co-founders of Oneworld Publications husband and wife team Novin Doostar and Juliet Mabey.

Oneworld is an independent publisher focusing on non-fiction and was founded in 1986 by husband and wife team Juliet Mabey and Novin Doostdar. Oneworld now publishes around sixty books a year and works with authors, literary agents and publishing partners around the world.

I decided to catch up with Oneworld co-founder Juliet Mabey to find out more about the work they’re doing to bring quality, consciousness-raising books to as many people around the world as possible.

Continue reading

Designing the Faith: Print

There’s a small army of creative Baha’is who labour hard to communicate the message of the Faith on screen and paper. The Designing the Faith series showcases some of their ingenious work in film, fashion, the internet, architecture and more.

When you’re inviting your neighbour’s kid to a children’s class, Comic Sans on coloured paper won’t instill a sense of trust in their mum. Your charming smile may, but a well-designed invitation will give you an extra edge to communicate confidence, experience, and maybe even joy and creativity.

In the fourth part of our Designing the Faith series, we look at outstanding examples of color on paper.


Continue reading