Archive for December, 2006

On Random Blog Mentions of "Baha’i": Mediating conflicts, nailing exam questions, and wondering when the neighbors put up the wreath

Random blog mentions of “Baha’i” that caught my eye. -gw

We can have the Baha’i’s mediate any conflicts over parking around mosque’s, churches and synagogues.

Chuck Terzilla, “Say buy buy to religion,” re-posted by Inked Aires on MySpace

Oops, I thought my religions exam was at 7:30 and it turns out it was 5:30 x.x Luckily Mush came back from hunting early and I got there in time. I know I nailed Islam and Baha’i cold, and I got a pretty good feeling on how did with Judaism, but Christianity is about the only thing that caught me up short… Ironic I know.

Angelique Daemon, “Things are looking up… a little…,” Incoherent Ramblings of an Accused Vampire: An Upclose Look at Insanity

…I took the elevator down to the lobby with my laundry so that I could put money on the laundry card. All’s well, right? Somehow I got off on the floor below mine. Put my laundry in the washer on the floor below mine. Walked back to the analogous apartment on the floor below mine. Wondered when all that plaster dust had gotten on the hall carpet outside the door. Wondered when the next-door neighboors, who are Baha’i as far as I know, had put up a wreath and ornament clings on the door. Tried the door, which wouldn’t fit my key, but that was okay, because it was unlocked. And then checked the number on the door. Thank heaven it was an empty apartment under construction.

On Doing, Living, and Loving the Ruhi Institute Process: Welcome Amanda

“welcome sister, welcome – Ashley just signed her card Saturday. Yayyyy!”
Uploaded on
February 6, 2006 by ryran on flickr

From Emma of Billy’s Box of Magic Tricks this good news. -gw

We are walking
walking as one
stamp upon the ground
O people of Baha
make your mark upon this earth
we are walking

Amanda has decided to become a Baha’i.

Emma, “We are dancing.” Billy’s Box of Magic Tricks


Emma has been deeply involved in the Ruhi Institute process, as is Amanda now. Here is an excerpt from Emma’s reflection on the process in a previous post. -gw

The sequence of institute courses does not stand alone. It is the breath that welcomes hearts into knowing the words of Baha’u’llah, into sharing the words of Baha’u’llah, and having a group of friends to share their experiences with. When I invited my friends to a book one six months ago, I had no idea that by now it would have turned into a teaching team, a junior youth program, devotional gathering, and so much more, with a growing community of interest flourishing from just a few simple practices. It doesn’t matter who has declared, or who hasn’t. They are all so supportive of each other’s teaching experiences and working together to build Baha’u’llah’s world. The longing for service within each of us just comes out like a brilliant star shining from our hearts. And so we do it. We live it. We love it.

Emma, “a talk I gave. fun stuff. I’m in love.” Billy’s Box of Magic Tricks

On Some Best Baha’i Bloggers: Sources of Inspiration

“Barney Leith (left) and Marco Oliveira (right) are both Baha’i bloggers. They met at the National Baha’i Centre in London,” uploaded on October 10, 2006 by John Barnabas on flickr

Below are just a few Baha’i bloggers of many who have been an inspiration to me, whose presence is highly visible in the blogosphere either by virtue of the quality of their blog(s), the extent to which they include Baha’i content on their blog, the length of time they have been blogging, the number of posts on their blog(s), their presence via comments on other blogs, and/or some other distinction. -gw

Marco Oliveira


Barney Leith

Dan Jones

On a Poor Wayfaring Stranger: What are you doing in Kurdistan?

I visited a synagogue in Cairo today. It was very depressing. If you look carefully at the two symbols on either side of the picture, you’ll see something you don’t see to often here–a star of David. I wanted to see if I could go in, but the entrance was gated and covered up, with sounds of construction equipment coming from inside. Also, if you look carefully, you can see the guards in each doorway. There were about four policemen total around the building, I imagine stationed there at all times. I was across the street, kind of looking up at it and staring, when some random guy came by and said “no, no, no” and kind of waved his hands around. “It’s a house of God,” I said softly and slowly turned and walked away. It tears me apart to see a house of worship under armed guard and shunned by the people around it.

How many of us wish that we could travel the world? Benjamin is living the dream of many of us. Benjamin, or IwSFutCMD, has a blog on Xanga entitled I’m just a poor, wayfaring stranger, travellin’ through this world alone. Here are a few excerpts providing background, his current traveling schedule, and a few paragraphs from an entry that describes a recent adventure that sounds rather harrowing. gw

Sunday, March 27, 2005: I’m an American student in Cairo, at the American University in Cairo. I’ll be here until May or June. I’m originally from California, grew up in South Lake Tahoe, live in San Diego, UCSD. I’m kind of a language geek. And I’ve turned into a travel geek fairly recently.

Sunday, October 08, 2006: I have a ticket to İstanbul for the 22 of November. I’ll be there for a few days, then I’ll be heading further into Türkiye, then, العراق (Iraq)! Well, كوردستان (Kurdistan). Yup, I’m gonna be one of the only independant travellers in العراق. I’m going to see هه‌ولێر (Arbil), سلێمانی (Sulaymaniyah), زاخو (Zakho), and whereever else is cool in كوردستان. I’d like to go to كركوك (Kirkuk), but it’ll depend on how it looks when I get there. Then, after كوردستان, I’m thinking of going back to Türkiye, maybe (big maybe, just thinking about it right now) heading out to България (Bulgaria) and România for a little bit (I’ve got a friend in Bucureşti and I want to buy a new, nice balalaika), then (this part is for sure) flying from İstanbul to भारत (India), where I’m going to bum around for a month or so with my friend Darshana then trying to find a job, preferebly in मुंबई (Mumbai). So, if anybody reading has any cool places to check out in any of those countries (pref. in كوردستان, hard to find guides for that area!) comment me up and give me some info.

Sunday, December 10, 2006: Next, I arrive at the police station….. They start to question me.

“What are you doing in Kurdistan?”


“Where are you from?”

“California, USA”

“Why are you really here in Kurdistan?”


“I don’t believe you are American.”

“No no no, I’m really American! I’m from San Francisco!”

“What’s your job?”

“I’m a student.”

“What’s your religion?”

“I’m Baha’i.”

“What is this?”

I proceed to explain what the Baha’i faith is.

He seems to take an interest when I mention that our prophet is from Iran. “Why do you have this song ‘Mawlay’ on your iPod?” Mawlay is an Arabic song. Apparently, it’s religious, but I just have it because I like the way it sounds.

This intense questioning goes on for about an hour…. Eventually, they lead me into another room, where the head of security is sitting. He then tells me that I’m a guest here, I’m not under suspicion, but the fact that I have a GPS made them nervous. Also, apparently the mosque I visited is soon to be full of pilgrims going to the Hajj. So they were just a bit nervous about a foreigner with a GPS taking pictures of a place where a bunch of people were soon to gather. After that, they let me go, even giving me a ride to my hotel.

{Re-posted with permission}

On Attachment Theory and a Baha’i View: The Wildfire Dance Theatre Visits Dr Phil

Dr. Phil offers hospitality and writes about it on his blog. -gw
It was a pleasure to have the company of the Wildfire Dance Theatre troup visiting Stratford. They came for Tuesday fireside and it was good fun, so I invited them to come back Wed eve for supper and we talked about Hope. With the topic we migrated to hope for our children (their children) and on to ‘raising children’, attachment theory and a Baha’i view.
{Re-posted with permission}
The Wildfire Dance Theatre is a social and economic development project that uses the arts to explore issues and circumstances relevant to our world.”

On Baha’i Websites: Globetrotting for National Communities

As a perusal of The Baha’is website quickly indicates, the Baha’i community is global. It is possible to hop with ease from website to website around the Baha’i world by clicking on any one of the numerous national Baha’i communities websites available starting here.

Take Poland, for example. Poland is one of 37 national Baha’i communities in Europe to have its own website. Here is something I learned going to the Polish Baha’i community website. -gw

The first known mentions of the Baha’i Faith in Poland were in the magazines “Bluszcz” (1871) and “Gazeta Polska” (1875) and were written by Aleksander Walerian Jabłonowski (1823-1913). From 19th-century sources it appears that at least two Jews of the Polish regiment, stationed in Ashkhabad, were registered by the authorities as Bahá’ís. Another Polish Bahá’í, working in Russia, was Izabela Grinevskaia (1864-1944), who wrote a play about the Báb.
Nabil, a Baha’i youth from Poland, at the Acuto (Italy) 2006 conference, uploaded on August 15, 2006 by sahbapasta on flickr

On The Baha’i Calendar: Thinking of Converting?

With thanks to the blog the (new) legal writer: A collection of resources for lawyers, who write, here is a link towhere you can access “a calendar converter for converting dates between the Gregorian, Julian, Mayan, Persian, Indian, Hebrew, Baha’i, Islamic, and French Republican calendars.” -gw

“The Bahá’í calendar is a solar calendar organised as a hierarchy of cycles, each of length 19, commemorating the 19 year period between the 1844 proclamation of the Báb in Shiraz and the revelation by Bahá’u’lláh in 1863.”

On Celebrating Christmas: Turning Heads and Joining Hearts

“Getting ready for Christmas?” he asked, and turned to face forward again. Some impulse made me decide to catch him by surprise.

“Actually, I don’t celebrate Christmas,” I responded. (I’m a Baha’i.) He jerked his head around to look at me abruptly.

Heather Brandon, “Spooky times in the ‘hood,” Urban Compass: Life in the City

Not celebrate Christmas? That statement may cause heads to turn in some neighborhoods.

Annie asks in a comment to a previous post why Baha’is don’t celebrate Christmas. One answer might be, for the same reason that Christians don’t celebrate the Jewish holidays. Sandy Mullins, the Baha’i editor at BellaOnline: The Voice of Women has a succinct article on “Baha’is and Christmas.” As she points out, as Baha’is recognize the essential validity of all religions, there sure would be a lot of holidays to celebrate if we celebrated them all, although that sounds quite fun.

Maybe my wife and I can go to Annie’s church again this year on Christmas. We sure enjoyed it when we went two years ago, and now the larger sanctuary is larger, so we might not end up taking away seats from the regular parishioners. I sure loved the songs and the spirit. Here is the website for Discovery Baptish Church. My dear daughter-in-law can be seen with my son Ruh’u’llah in one of the masthead pictures. -gw

On Martha Root’s Example: Unloose your tongues and proclaim unceasingly His Cause

These pictures aren’t from someone else’s blog I’m re-posting. They were e-mailed to me today by Barry, a member of my study circle here in WA Cluster 19. He kindly granted me permission to put them out into the blogosphere for others to appreciate. -gw

I sent my son, Josh, who is in the Coast Guard stationed at Barbers Point, Hawaii, on a mission to photograph Martha Root’s graveside, and here they are! – Barry

Many people’s minds are on Hawaii today, December 7th. It seems fitting to be remembering a person who was forever striving to bring about the Most Great Peace on a day that for has long been associated with the start of a terrible war. -gw

On Christmas in Ireland: Makes This Baha’i Feel Cosy

“christmas yarn,” uploaded on December 25, 2005 by pinprick on flickr
Some rights reserved

If it fits you, countdown to Christmas with the Knatty Knitter. -gw

So I am going to give this ‘blog a day til Christmas’ a try. Thanks for the idea Em, so much fun! 20 days of blogging and each blog must pertain to the number of days left. I can do that…hopefully :) I’m not a Christian and don’t really celebrate Christmas, well I do but it’s not strictly my holiday (does that make sense?). I’m a Baha’i and our Christmas-type holiday is in November and our New Year in March (Spring Equinox…oh yeah!) But my Ma’s family are all Catholic and I used to spend every Christmas with them, going to Midnight Mass and putting up the tree, so it’s part of my year and Christmas in Ireland is beautiful. It is truly a family time of year and DB celebrates it and I’m a big kid so I love the season and this festival of lights in the dark of winter. Makes me very happy and cosy feeling.

” 20 days ’til Crimbo,” Knatty Knitter