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TITLEBaha'is Mark Centenary of Visit to America by Religious Leader
AUTHOR 1Jerome Socolovsky
DATE_THIS2012-05-22
ABSTRACTShort TV report on the Bahá'í Faith, Abdu'l-Baha's visit, and Persian believers.
NOTES Transcript prepared by Doug Couper from video online at youtube.com/watch?v=JZUGOFMN1Rg.
TAGS`Abdu'l-Bahá, Travels of (documents); Alan Coupe; United States (documents)
 
CONTENT

1. Transcript (see video below)

Baha'is Mark Centenary of Visit to America by Religious Leader
youtube.com/watch?v=JZUGOFMN1Rg
uploaded by Voice of America
2012 May 22
3:26 minutes
Video description: Baha'is are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of a visit to the United States by Abdu'l Baha, the son of their founding prophet. The Baha'i faith was founded in Iran, but its adherents believe America has a special spiritual destiny. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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Rosita Najmi prepares readings for a Baha'i devotional gathering. She's invited friends and neighbours to her home in Washington, including non-Baha'is. Over tea, she distributes the chosen writings, and then she describes the ritual of reading inspired texts. "Kent will have kind of an opening prayer and then we can kind of work around the room, but don't feel limited or structured by that." ...[Music]... The prayer was written by the nineteenth-century founder of the Baha'i Faith, Baha'u'llah. The words of his son, Abdu'l-Baha, are also read, as are writings of non-Baha'is Rosita Najmi says the more than five million Baha'is worldwide, seek to uplift the communities they live in through rituals like these. "The devotional gathering is one way in which Baha'is can interact with people of any or no religious background, as a way to kind of have an exchange of an elevated conversation."

Baha'is believe that Baha'u'llah was God's latest Manifestation to humanity, so the fact that His son Abdu'l-Baha walked these streets in 1912 is of enormous significance for American Baha'is. (An anonymous man says): That glass is the same glass that Abdu'l-Baha had. You can still see it. It survived all these years." These Baha'is are on a tour of places Abdu'l-Baha visited in Washington. ...[Music]... It's just one of many events this year commemorating the visit. Baha'i spokeswoman Layli Miller says Abdu'l-Baha was the first leader of a faith born in the east to come to this country. "He was on the front page of various newspapers, he met with diplomats, Alexander Graham Bell, Theodore Roosevelt and his presence was important because he was known for being a great man of this new religion, and it was widely known that he had been imprisoned for over fifty years."

Abdu'l-Baha travelled across the United States and declared it had the potential to lead all nations spiritually. Rosita Najmi says she's grateful the United States allowed her family to come as religious refugees from Iran where Baha'is are still persecuted. "If I were in Iran, I would not have been able to go to college or university, I would have had very limited employment opportunities and not because I was a woman, but because I was a Baha'i." Here she studied at Harvard, one of America's most prestigious universities. "I experienced great guilt and great sadness for my Baha'i brothers and sisters who really just don't have a choice."

And here her Persian-born mother can chant Abdul-Baha's words in the company of her Baha'i and non-Baha'i friends.

    — Jerome Socolovsky, VOA News, Washington

2. Video

VIEWS105 views since 2024-06-02 (last edit 2024-06-21 05:07 UTC)
PERMISSIONfair use
LANG THISEnglish
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