Equality: A Persian Hip-Hop Album by Pouya Ebrahimi

As someone who’s a huge fan of hip-hop and rap, and someone who listens to a lot of international hip-hop too, I was so excited to hear the beats and rhymes of Persian rapper Pouya Ebrahimi as he took the stage at the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference last year in Arizona, USA.

Pouya moved to the U.S. two years ago as a Baha’i refugee from Iran, and he recently released an album called Tasaviye Hoqooq which in Persian means ‘Equality.’ I decided to catch up with Pouya to find out more about him and his music, and because he was more comfortable speaking in Persian, I interviewed him in Persian and then translated it into English. Here’s the interview: Continue reading

Not Another Year – #‎ReleaseBahai7Now‬ – Glimpses of the Global Campaign

Baha’is around the world have joined the global “Not Another Year” campaign calling for the release of the seven Baha’i leaders imprisoned in Iran for nothing more than being a Baha’i.

We decided to share just a few examples of some of the many actions taken by Baha’is globally in an effort to bring awareness to their wrongful imprisonment.  Continue reading

Help Support Documentary about Afro-Iranian Musician Shanbezadeh

I am so excited to let everyone know about a new upcoming documentary being directed by Flavio Azm Rassekh, a Brazilian-Iranian Filmmaker. The documentary is about Afro-Iranian musician Saeid Shanbehzadeh, and through Shanbehzadeh’s experience as an Afro-Iranian, plus his friendship with Flavio, the film not only explores the connection between Afro-Iranian and Afro-Brazilian culture, but it also describes Shanbehzadeh’s first encounters with the Baha’i community, and demonstrates how over the years, like the population of Iran, his views on the Baha’is have changed. This story is a metaphor for the Iranian people’s re-discovery of the legacy and potential impact of the Baha’i Faith, and it deals with issues of prejudice and self-reflection. Continue reading

“Not Another Year!” – Help Release the 7 Baha’i Leaders Now

It is impossible for me to imagine what it would feel like to be wrongfully imprisoned for nine years. Nine years is such a long time. In that time period, all of my nephews and nieces have been born, friends and family members have passed away, and loved ones have achieved major milestones like completing their educations, winning artistic prizes, and changing careers. Nine years is a long time to miss out on a life that is rightfully yours. Nine years is a long time not to be able to hold a newly-born loved one in your arms, to offer a shoulder of strength during a time of grief, or to watch a child blow out their birthday cake candles.

It is with heavy hearts that on May 14, we mark the 9th anniversary of the wrongful arrest and imprisonment of the seven Baha’i leaders of Iran (known as the Yaran, which means “the Friends”). These seven Baha’is made up the entire membership of the now-disbanded ad hoc group tending to the spiritual and social needs of the Iranian Baha’i community (in the absence of formally elected Baha’i leadership which was banned in 1983), and they were arrested and have been imprisoned since 2008 for nothing more than being Baha’is. Currently, about 90 Baha’is are also imprisoned for their beliefs.

We all can lend a voice in helping to end this injustice and to bring attention to the plight of the Baha’is in Iran and those who suffer human rights violations. In observance of the ninth anniversary of the Baha’i leaders’ incarceration, the Baha’i International Community is launching a global campaign in which we can all participate.  Continue reading

‘Where I Stand’ by Tom Francis

In this acoustic video recording, Tom Francis sings “Where I Stand”, a song inspired by the poetry of Mahvash Sabet, a member of the Yaran imprisoned for her beliefs since 2008. A book of her works, called Prison Poems, is made of poems that were smuggled out of Evin Prison and then translated into French and English. Tom’s homage to her poetry in this song is especially poignant. While the video is simple, the song is richly textured and deeply moving.  Continue reading

Shadi Toloui-Wallace’s ‘Daughters of the Kingdom’

The incredible and delightfully talented Shadi Toloui-Wallace has released a new album of Baha’i-inspired music called Daughters of the Kingdom! You may already be familiar with her musical talents: some of her many accomplishments include Verdant Isle, This is Faith, Yaran and Leather Bound Book. We interviewed Shadi when Verdant Isle was released and we are excited to catch up and hear about Daughters of the Kingdom!

Baha’i Blog: Shadi! So good to interview you again on Baha’i Blog! Since our readers may already be familiar with you, let’s start with how have you changed or grown since we interviewed you last about Verdant Isle Continue reading

52 Musicians and Albums Featured on Baha’i Blog

52 musicians and albums have been featured on Baha’i Blog so far! We’re very excited to have showcased a variety of talent from a diversity of musicians. In order to celebrate, we thought we’d list all the musicians and albums that we’ve shared with you over the years, from our early days with Navid Bahmani, to our most recent interview with Matthew Levine, and all the melodies in between!  Continue reading

Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven Now

Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven Now is a new video by the Baha’i International Community which describes the current global campaign calling for the immediate release of the seven imprisoned Iranian Baha’i leaders (often collectively referred to as ‘the Yaran’), who have spent the last eight years in prison in Iran simply because they’re Baha’is.

We encourage you to share this video and to use the hashtag #‎ReleaseBahai7Now‬ for the campaign, and “Like” the campaign Facebook page here.

Continue reading

“Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven” – Support the New Global Campaign

It’s now been eight years that the seven Iranian Baha’i leaders (also known collectively as ‘the Yaran’) have been held in an Iranian prison and enough is enough!

In observance of the eighth anniversary of their arrest and incarceration, the Baha’i International Community is launching a global campaign calling for their immediate release and we urge you all to join!

Taking the theme “Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven,” the campaign will emphasize the fact that, under Iran’s own national penal code, the seven are now overdue for conditional release. Continue reading