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EBBF Podcast Episode 9: Personal Paths and Tools to Meaningful Work and Workplaces

The Ethical Business Building the Future organization, otherwise known as EBBF, is a not-for-profit that aims to promote and moral and spiritual wisdom and principles found in the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and the great religious traditions of the world, such as the principles of justice, respect, trustworthiness, integrity and unity.

#discoveringhow is EBBF’s podcast series where you can hear personal experiences and insights from EBBF members — each episode offers you stepping stones, fresh ideas, and the personal learnings of people who believe that ethical business can and should build the future.

On today’s program we learn more about practical strategies some EBBF members use to find meaningful work or make their current work meaningful.
Alex Cabon explains how difficulties have prepared him to find meaningful work. Payam Zamani offers concrete examples of putting his company’s values into action. Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes talks about action labs, a methodology to interact explore and experiment with the application of meaningful ideas.  Continue reading

Normalizing Menstruation Promotes Equality. Period.

When I was eleven, my period leaked for the first time in my sixth-grade class. It was my second period ever, and while age and experience has now confirmed what my mother said to me the day it happened (“Every single woman in the world has leaked”) I was mortified to the point of being momentarily traumatized; boys bullied me for weeks about it, and I exerted all my efforts into avoiding the memory of it. From then on, when I had my period, nothing was more important to me than making sure I didn’t leak. All my thoughts, anxieties, and concerns through the day on those dreaded moments of a month revolved around how many pads or tampons I had in my bag, and how many opportunities I would have to go to the bathroom.

It wasn’t long before I realized this was a concern all my girlfriends shared, and we spent our days in middle and high school clandestinely passing each other pads and tampons in brown bags, so no one would see, and through the sleeves of each other’s shirts like we were exchanging contraband instead of products crucial to our health and well-being. We didn’t talk about our periods above whispers and used euphemisms like “our friend from down South” if we had to talk publicly or loudly. Characters in TV shows didn’t have or refer to their periods; no one in movies seemed affected. Pop stars and models were beautiful all the time and never caved over in cramps, migraines, or nausea, so we put smiles on our faces, saved the complaining for each other when we were home in our pajamas and watching TV, accepting the silence and secrecy as givens and normalcy for menstruating women.

I’d always been passionate about my faith and spirituality, I often talked about the Baha’i Faith’s advocacy for women’s rights, but I never saw how my humiliation or secrecy regarding my period had anything to do with the principle of gender equality. Sometime in my teenage years, I was reading my own copy of the Kitab-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book) that my Baha’i school teacher had given me. I came across the passage:  Continue reading

“O Dieu, Mon Dieu (O God my God)” by Mona, Dibo & Nachidah

Baha’i Blog’s “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 Helsinki, Finland with Mona Frooghi, Dibo Akale and Nachidah Frooghi who sing “O Dieu, mon Dieu (O God my God)” in French, from the Writings of the Bab and Baha’u’llah. Continue reading

“O Dieu, Mon Dieu (O God my God)” by Mona, Dibo & Nachidah [Audio Track]

Baha’i Blog’s “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 Helsinki, Finland with Mona Frooghi, Dibo Akale and Nachidah Frooghi who sing “O Dieu, mon Dieu (O God my God)” in French, from the Writings of the Bab and Baha’u’llah. 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

Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 35: Michael Karlberg

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 sitting in a cabin in the woods with Michael Karlberg, as we take part in a Baha’i-inspired retreat for youth in White Salmon, Washington called Windstock. Michael is a professor of Communication Studies at Western Washington University, and he’s the author of ‘Beyond a Culture of Contest’, a book I often reference in my podcast. He tells me how he used to make acoustic guitars and how he became a Baha’i, and we talk about the power of media and how we need to rethink some of the fundamental assumptions we have about the world and how it’s moving forward. We discuss nonviolent social change through constructive and peaceful resilience, and the challenges of taking collective action. Michael shares how the Baha’i Faith is a radical movement which addresses change on both the individual and social level, and he explains the ways in which the Baha’is are working towards this. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did! Continue reading

Remembrance Suite: A Sonnet of Sonnets by Shirin Sabri

While reading Remembrance Suite by the poet Shirin Sabri, I found myself getting caught up in emotion.

Thinking about my tearful reaction to these stunning poems, I traced them back to an unusual mixture of feelings of outrage and inspiration.

The poet tells of the wrongs done to some of the women in history but gowns the exposure with descriptions of their achievements, and their eternal glory. The vocabulary is rich, the images suffused with colour and beauty, the message as clear as a bell.

Most of the subjects of the poems are women unknown to most people in the world but they clearly made significant contributions to the great ongoing spiritual journey of humanity. We learn of Hajar and Hatshepsut, of Zenobia and Hypatia. For Baha’is we are treated to new perspectives on Khadijih Bagum, on Navaab, and on Ruhiyyih Khanum. Other subjects are Aseyeh, Maria the Jewess, The Magdalene, Tahirih and Bahiyyih Khanum.

In her poem “Grandmothers”, Shirin Sabri lives up to her own injunction in the final verse:

So, tell their stories, breathe upon history’s blood red ember

and light their lovely faces with that flame. We will remember.

I relished the opportunity to ask the poet some questions.  Continue reading

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