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Journalism: A Vehicle for Change

While I was serving at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, one of the youth asked a member of the Universal House of Justice his views on the best career choice. I remember he used the example of someone who decides to make a living as a street-sweeper, doing so in order to maintain a clean and pleasant environment for the community. He continued on to say that it wasn’t important what career path we chose to pursue, as long as we used our work to serve humanity. Abdu’l-Baha sheds light in this regard:

In the Baha’i Cause, arts, sciences and all crafts are counted as worship. The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise.

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Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 66: Michael O’Neal

Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.

In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.

In this episode, I’m joined by my dear Baha’i friend, Michael O’Neal, the founder of ‘Parent University’, a community collaborative that supports families and encourages parent involvement and participation in the education of a community’s children and youth. Michael tells us how he became a Baha’i, what it was like growing up in a poor family, why grassroots initiatives are important, and why perseverance is a must. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this conversation as much I did! Continue reading

Hate Crimes Start with Words: #StopHatePropaganda Against Baha’is in Iran

This video, created by the Baha’i International Community (BIC), can be used in support of a Twitter storm scheduled for 15 July, 2021 at 5pm-7pm GMT (7-9pm CET, 1pm-3pm EDT). The hashtag #StopHatePropaganda can be used.

This video outlines how Iran’s hate propaganda against Baha’is has reached new levels, increasing in both sophistication and scale. Continue reading

A Year of Blessings: A Book by Nasim About Her Year in the Holy Land

As the teachings of the Baha’i Faith encourage everyone to serve others, many Baha’is choose to dedicate a year or more of their lives to full-time volunteering, whether it be by assisting with community-building efforts in a specific neighbourhood or village, or helping at a school, Baha’i temple, or even at the Baha’i World Centre in the Holy Land. This period of time is often referred to as a “year of service”.

My dear friend Nasim, a young Baha’i in Australia, decided to take a year off and spend it serving at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, Israel. When she returned to her home in Sydney, she decided to put a book together about her experiences. The book is called A Year of Blessings, and I caught up with Nasim to find out more about it:

Baha’i Blog: Hi Nasim! Can you tell us a little bit about the book and what it’s about?

This book is about my reflections on the spiritual blessings and transformative lessons I experienced during my year of service in the Holy Land (Haifa, Israel) back in 2018-2019. It shares glimpses of the beautiful, sacrificial and rewarding experience of devoting a full year serving at the Baha’i World Centre, and how it strengthened my love, certitude, and devotion to our Beloved Cause. In the book, I share stories about how tests (a.k.a. blessings in disguise) helped me grow and strengthen many spiritual qualities such as patience, resilience, love, wisdom, and steadfastness, to name a few. The book features full-page photographs of Baha’i Holy Places that I had the chance to photograph in the cities of Haifa, Akka, and in Bahji, as well as a compilation of quotations from the Baha’i Writings that inspired me. I hope these will also inspire the readers and encourage them to ponder their meaning as they continue serving in their respective fields.

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“Fais de mon coeur un receptacle (Make My Heart to Be a Receptacle)” by Mathilde

Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Paris, France with Mathilde who sings “Fais de mon coeur un receptacle (Make My Heart to Be a Receptacle)” in French, from the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Continue reading

“Fais de mon coeur un receptacle (Make My Heart to Be a Receptacle)” by Mathilde [Audio Track]

Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we’re in Paris, France with Mathilde who sings “Fais de mon coeur un receptacle (Make My Heart to Be a Receptacle)” in French, from the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Continue reading

Creating a Space to Celebrate the Indigenous Peoples of Australia

The 2021 National NAIDOC logo ‘Care for Country’ was designed by Gubbi Gubbi artist Maggie-Jean Douglas.

This week across Australia, we celebrate what’s called NAIDOC Week, a week where every year in July, Australians from all walks of life celebrate and honor the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Now, I’m not an Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander myself. I moved to Australia about 12 years ago and decided to make it my home and apply for Australian citizenship. I recently sat my Australian citizenship test, which presented a few interesting questions relating to the Indigenous peoples of this land. The test really got me thinking about the First Nations peoples of Australia, and how, after living in Australia for over a decade, my knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures — I’m embarrassed to say — still remains extremely limited. Sure, I could say that I’ve watched movies like Rabbit Proof Fence, and that “I have some Aboriginal friends,” but honestly, other than a few facts here and there, I know absolutely nothing about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I guess with NAIDOC Week happening, and because of my Australian Citizenship test, it really hit me: I love this country and want to be a contributing member of its society, but how can I truly call Australia my home when I know so little about the original inhabitants of this land? Continue reading

NAIDOC Week: Baha’i Blog Interviews Marjorie Reid

In this Baha’i Blog interview in honour of NAIDOC Week, Naysan speaks with Marjorie Reid, an Aboriginal Australian of the Wulli Wulli people who come from the Auburn Hawkwood area of Queensland.

NAIDOC Week is a national week of celebrations held across Australia every year, in order to honour the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Continue reading

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