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Community News Current
June 8, 2018

By Susan Ward

Shrine of the BábOn the evening of May 23rd, Bahá’ís around the world celebrated the Declaration of the Báb, the prophet-founder who ushered in a new era for humanity. Bahá’ís observe this holy day by gathering at homes and venues to commemorate this momentous event.

In my own neighbourhood in Ottawa's West End, the Bahá’í community held a pleasant celebration. We met at 9 pm at the home of our hosts Tony and Jane to mingle with kindness and share sweets and tea. The program for the evening was then launched with gentle piano music. The evening included a beautiful program that told the story about the night the Báb declared His mission to his first disciple, Mullá Husayn, on May 23, 1844, which included prayers and passages from the Báb’s writings.  We paused twice during the readings to sing and chant verses led by a mother and daughter duo.  At 10:11 pm, around the time that the Báb declared His mission to His guest, a special prayer known as the Tablet of Visitation was recited. We then ended our celebration in love and fellowship.

House of the BábThe story of the Báb is a fascinating one. Mullá Husayn belonged to a religious school called the Shaykhís that believed the bearer of a new divine revelation would shortly makes his appearance in the world and would prove His claim both by fulfilling certain physical characteristics and through His writings. To that end, Mullá Husayn and other Shaykhís were sent on a quest across Persia to find this new prophet.

During his travels, Mullá Husayn was drawn like a magnet to the city of Shiraz, Iran, and there he met a young man wearing a green turban Read more...

Community News Current
June 2, 2018

Public Screening of Light to the World

Light to the WorldA public screening of Light to the World, a 51-minute documentary film on the life and teachings of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh – which was produced to commemorate the bicentenary of Bahá’u’lláh’s birth in 2017 – took place free of charge at the CineStarz in Orleans on May 11, 2018 from 7 to 9 pm.

The film was attended by about 75 people, including 20 youth and young adults. The screening was followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session where a variety of topics were broached ranging from the history of the life of Bahá'u'lláh to the core activities (children's classes, junior youth empowerment, study circles, and devotional meetings), as well as on various Bahá'í principles and teachings such as consultation.

Light to the WorldIn the months leading up to the public screening on May 11th, many efforts were undertaken to publicize the event, which included distributing about 500 invitation cards to the screening in the Baha’i community by email, at feasts, at holy day events, through a Facebook group, as well as personal word-of-mouth invitations to colleagues, friends and family. The organizers – Samin Moradipour, Basim Moradipour and Elia Touesnard – worked very hard over a period of about four months to make the screening a reality and a success. More...

Community News Current
May 18, 2018


ALL ABOARD THE NIGHTINGALE EXPRESS!The Ridván period (April 21 to May 2 2018) saw many Baha'i families across the city celebrate this special time in a diversity of ways. The Talisman family which includes parents Brooke and Emad and their 2 children live in the Qualicum neighbourhood in Ottawa. The family created a magical and welcoming event where a small group of 13 friends celebrated the first day of Ridván. In Brooke's words, “it was such a lovely chance to deepen our friendships with the entire family of our children’s class participants, especially when the day was directly focused on the person of Baháu’lláh and His message of unity and peace!”

ALL ABOARD THE NIGHTINGALE EXPRESS!Brooke then explained: “We began the 1st day of Ridván Celebration by handing out tickets to “The Nightingale Express” – a train that takes you back in time to Baghdad in 1863. Our son acted as the conductor and he stamped our tickets for the first day. We then traveled on the train down the stairs and paddled across the Tigris river in our boat (a blue swath of material served as the river and a hole hoop with paddles for the boat). Our guests then entered the Garden of Ridván and experienced a room full of every plant in our home and a television playing a video of singing nightingales.  Our daughter welcomed our guests into the Tent of Bahá'u'lláh and anointed their hands with rosewater." Read more...

Community News Current
May 3, 2018

Baha'is Mark the Ridvan Festival

Baha'is Mark the Ridvan FestivalBaha'is across the City of Ottawa marked the Festival of Ridván during the period April 21 to May 2 this year. The Ridván Festival has particular significance for the Baha'i community as it is the time when Bahá’u’lláh, prophet-founder of the Faith, publicly declared His Mission to a few of his followers in the Garden of Najíbiyyih, on the banks of the Tigris river in Baghdad.  Baha'u'llah later named it the Garden of Ridván, meaning “Paradise”.
Across the ages, the coming of each Messenger of God leads to renewal and revitalization of society and civilizations. So it is that Baha'is believe that the declaration of Baha'u'llah as a Messenger of God released forces that are bringing about the spiritual transformation of humanity and the world that continues to this day and for a thousand years to come.
In one of His Tablets launching the Festival of Ridván, Bahá’u’lláh refers to the appellation "the Blissful" – a word that means the highest level of joy, of rapture and of perfect happiness. This title also characterizes the bliss with which the Ottawa Baha'i community celebrated the Ridván Festival with a diversity of celebrations across Canada's capital.
The 1st, 9th and 12th Days of the Ridván Festival period are marked as special days in which Baha'is suspend work and school - a time of celebration, reflection and service. Special commemorations were held in more than 10 locations across the city on the 1st Day of Ridvan - April 21.

Community News Current
March 28, 2018

Naw-Ruz celebrations held across Ottawa

Naw-Ruz celebrations held across OttawaMarch 21st ushered in the first day of spring, a time when Canadians begin to look forward to warmer weather. The date is significant in many countries, with different ethnic and cultural groups around the world celebrating their new year at the same time as the spring equinox. In addition, for the world-wide Baha'i community, March 21st this year also marked the beginning of a new year - the 175th year of the Badi calendar.  For Baha'is, the new year coincides with the completion of a 19-day period of fasting. This is a period in which Baha'is strive for spiritual renewal - a time for reflection, contemplation, mindfulness, prayer and a quest to improve our character. Just as the spring equinox heralds a time of renewal as the snow melts, and the landscape slowly but surely awakens from its winter hibernation, so also, the Baha'i new year represents a time of renewal of the spirit.

Naw-Ruz celebrations held across OttawaThis year, Baha'i families across the city of Ottawa welcomed the new year with much joy and happiness. In the east end community of Orleans, the Missaghian family celebrated Naw-Ruz with a small gathering of friends and neighbours on March 24. "This new year is a particularly special one as it is the first one following the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha'u'llah", said Nadim Missaghian, who works for Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Nadim, his wife Christina  and their two teenage daughters decided to do something special to celebrate Naw-Ruz. In addition to serving coffee, tea and delicious sweets and decorating the house with streamers and balloons, the family setup three conversation stations on the main floor - one in the living room, one in the dining room and one in the kitchen. Each station was marked by a different theme - elimination of all forms of prejudice, progressive revelation and unity in diversity. more...

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