Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Covenant

On November 26th of every year, Baha'is celebrate the day of the Covenant.
" A Covenant in the religious sense is a binding agreement between God and man, whereby God requires of man certain behavior in return for which He guarantees certain blessings.." UHJ message 1988.
When God made our world He also made a promise. He promised that He would never leave us alone.
God would send Teachers to show us how to live and do what was right. These Teachers would live among us and talk to us in words we could understand. Those teachers would tell us how to know and love God.

Some of the Teachers are:
Moses; lived from 1300 BC to 1250 BC
Krishna; lived between 1200BC and 900 BC
Zoroaster; lived from 628 BC to 483 BC
Buddha; lived from ~563 BC to 483 BC
Christ; lived from 4 BC to 30 AD
Muhammad; lived from 570 AD to 632 AD
Bab; lived from 1819 AD to 1850 AD
Baha'u'llah; lived from 1817 AD to 1892 AD

Each Prophet, during His own time, said He was the One Way to God. Each one has said that another Prophet would come again in future to bring people closer to God. Baha'u'llah tells us that now is the time for the whole earth to come together as one family. Now we are ready to recognize the grand plan of God to educate His children. Taken from Brilliant Star 1992

"The light of the the educator of the minds, the spirits, the hearts and soul of men." Abdu'l-Baha

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

بماذا يدعو حضرة بهاء الله أتباعه

يدعو حضرة بهاء الله أتباعه إلى أن يعاشروا مع الأديان بالروح والريحان دون تمييز ولا تفريق ويحذرهم من التعصب والفتنة والكبر والغرور والجدال والنزاع. ويفرض عليهم الطهارة ظاهراً وباطناً ويوصيهم بالصدق المطلق والعفة الناصعة والأمانة الكاملة والكرم والأخلاص ولطف المعشر والتسامح والعدل والأنصاف. وينصحهم أن يكونوا كالأصابع فى اليد والأركان فى البدن."

".. Bahá'u'lláh exhorts His followers to consort, with amity and concord and without
discrimination, with the adherents of all religions; warns them to guard against fanaticism, sedition, pride, dispute and contention; inculcates upon them immaculate cleanliness, strict truthfulness, spotless chastity, trustworthiness, hospitality, fidelity, courtesy, forbearance, justice and fairness; counsels them to be "even as the fingers of one hand and the limbs of one body"(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Turkey and Nationa ID card for Baha'is

From Turkish Daily News Nov 17, 2007

"Technology has helped to promote the Baha'i religion; their culture is becoming increasingly well known and their voice is being heard both in Turkey and around the world. But they frequently face problems from the lack of information about the faith and inaccurate public images of the religion. In other words, they live with the problems and disadvantages of being a religious minority in Turkey. They want to be explored and understood correctly, and they welcome any kind of consultation, one of the fundamental doctrines of Baha'is, so that others may learn about the faith.

Between the 1960s and 1990s, Baha'is in Turkey could state the name of their religion in the religion section of their identity card via court decision. In 1990s the Interior Ministry introduced a new standard code system according to which all religions were encoded. However, since no specific code was given to Baha'i faith, Baha'is who tried to renew their registration were asked to identify themselves as other religions in the religion section. In the 2000s the code system changed again so that Baha'is had to register as empty.

This faith has existed for 100 years. We have no money, no power. We don't lobby or deal with politics. What make us strong are the principles that we all long for. We believe, apply the principles to our own lives and then spread them. This religion has all that humanity needs in practice,said Professor Cneyt Can, Director of the External Affairs Office of the Baha'i Community in Turkey......................

Friday, November 16, 2007


NEW YORK, 16 November 2007 (BWNS) -- Egypt should end discriminatory practices that prevent Baha'is and others from listing their true religious beliefs on government documents, said Human Rights Watch and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights in a major report released this week.
The 98-page report, titled "Prohibited Identities: State Interference with Religious Freedom," focused on the problems that have emerged because of Egypt's practice of requiring citizens to state their religious identity on government documents but then restricting the choice to Islam, Christianity, or Judaism.
"These policies and practices violate the right of many Egyptians to religious freedom," stated the report, which was released on 12 November 2007.
"Because having an ID card is essential in many areas of public life, the policies also effectively deny these citizens a wide range of civil and political as well as economic and social rights," the report said...........

"We want to thank Human Rights Watch and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights for calling the world's attention to the human rights situation in Egypt," said Bani Dugal, the Baha'i International Community's principal representative to the United Nations....

"Our hope is that Egyptian authorities will now be encouraged to end their discriminatory practices, which could be dissolved with the stroke of a pen without harming the majority religious communities in the least," said Ms. Dugal.

"Logically, it makes no sense for the government to say to citizens that they are free to believe what they like and then deem it unacceptable when citizens respond honestly when the government requires them to state what they believe."

Human Rights Watch is the largest human rights organization based in the United States, according to its Web site. Human Rights Watch researchers conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions of the world. It is based in New York.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights is an independent Egyptian human rights organization that was established in 2002 to promote and defend the personal rights and freedoms of individuals, according to its Web site. It is based in Cairo.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What is Freedom? ما هى الحرية؟

When my parents were arrested and imprisoned for 45 days, because of their religious believes, I was 10 years old at that time. Our aunt took care of my sister, brother and I during the 45 days. We had a choice at that time, either go to mosque and pray as a Muslim or stay home and pray as a Baha'i. I started praying and asking God for guidance and assistance on choosing my path of worship, either to be a Baha'i or be like the rest of the Muslim children at my school . My parents taught us that we have the freedom to investigate the truth and not to follow others blindly. At age 10, I had the freedom to choose my religion and I will never regret my choice.

"Freedom is an essential part of human being. It expresses itself in freedom of choice. Nobody can take freedom of choice away from a human..." Agnes Ghaznavi
Of course, freedom does not mean to do whatever we want when ever we want! Human freedom not like the freedom of animals. I remember what English people say: My freedom to swing my hands stops at my neighbour's nose.
Please educate your children on the difference between right and wrong, allow them to choose, to express opinion, to be creative and to build capacity.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

كلنا ليلى

ليلى هي بطلة رواية بعنوان " الباب المفتوح" للروائية لطيفة الزيات وقد تحولت تلك الرواية إلى عمل سينمائي يحمل نفس الاسم - قامت ببطولته فاتن حمامة . ليلى هي نموذج للفتاة المصرية التي تتعرض لمواقف حياتية مختلفة في مجتمع يعلى من شأن الرجل ويقلل من شأن المرأة، ولا يهتم لأحلامها أو أفكارها أو ما تريد أن تصنع في حياتها.ومع ذلك فقد استطاعت ليلى التي تعرضت منذ طفولتها لأشكال مختلفة من التمييز أن تحتفظ بفكرتها الأصيلة عن نفسها وتظل مؤمنة بدورها كإمراة لا تقل أهمية بأي حال من الأحوال عن الرجل سواء في البيت أو في العمل أو في الدراسة أو في العمل العام.

يتسببون فى نزف أول قطرات من دمها ليثقبوا أذناها عند ولادتها .. لأنها امرأة
يمنعونها من أن تلعب مع أولاد الجيران أو أن تذهب معهم إلى المدرسة .. لأنها امرأة
لا يمكنها الجلوس فى الحدائق و تسلق الجبال و البيات فى الصحراء وحدها .. لأنها امرأة
ينظرون لملبسها و حجم أنفها و لون عينيها بدلاً من عقلها وأفكارها واقتراحاتها .. لأنها امرأة
لا تستطيع أن تتمشى ليلاً لتستمتع ببعض الهواء، خوفاً من المضايقات والقيل والقال .. لأنها امرأة
تُلطخ وجهها بمساحيق و طبقات من الألوان لتبدو أجمل مثل فلانة وعلانة .. لأنها امرأة
تتَبع أنظمة غذائية قاسية لتتفادى بضعة جرامات لأنها يجب أن تكون فى نحافة عمود النور .. لأنها امرأة
تُغرق شعرها بالعسل و اللبن و الكيماويات الضارة وتذهب لمصففة الشعر المزعجة كل أسبوع .. لأنها امرأة
ينفر زوجها من الندبات التى تركتها السكاكين و المكواة على جلدها من الأعمال المنزلية، و من ترهل جسدها بعد الولادات المتكررة .. لأنها امرأةيكذب عليها و يضربها ويُخطئ و ويُخطئ ويُخطئ وتسامحه .. لأنها امرأةتُنسب تقاريرها الناجحة لمديرها فى العمل و تتعطل ترقيتها فى حالة أنه منصب إدارى .. لأنها امرأةمطلوب منها أن تقوم بعشرة أدوار بدايةً من طباخة و غسالة و مُدللة و نهايةً بمديرة وزوجة و أم و حبيبة .. لأنها امرأةكل ما ذُكر لا علاقة له بأنها خُلقت امرأة و لكن لأن المجتمع يقول أنها امرأة
ملحوظة: تم نشر هذه الكلمات من قبل.
ان العالم الأن يمر بتغييرات سريعة وجذرية فى مختلف نواحي الحياة . أساليب الحياة التي كانت سائدة في الماضي ليست مناسبة لهذا العصر الحاضر, عصر التقدم والأزدهار. اننا كأسرة بهائية نؤمن بالمساواة الكاملة بين الرجال والنساء في الحقوق والواجبات. يجب أتاحة كافة الفرص للمرأة لتتعلم وتحتل مكانة مساوية للرجال في جميع المجالات الأنسانية.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Loyalty in the Baha'i Faith - الولاء فى البهائية

Baha'is are loyal to God, the Baha'i writings, family / parents, country, and friends.
We believe that God is our creator and it is our duty to know God and worship God. " I bear witness, O my God, that thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee.." Baha'u'llah.
We follow the Teachings of God which are the driving force behind our deeds as Baha'is. Loyalty to God ensures our happiness and spiritual progress.
We are loyal and have respect to our parents and our family. Loyalty to our family promotes unity which is corner stone for world peace.

We are loyal to our government; "In every country where any of this community reside, they must behave towards that government with faithfulness, trustfulness, and truthfulness."
Baha'u'llah. But we do not engage in politics.

For us, Loyalty comes with commitment and actions.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Citizen Without Rights - waiting for Dec 26th

Just give us the right to leave the box for religious affiliation on our official documents blank. We are simply asking the authorities to not force us to state a religion that we are not members of,Shady Samir, Bahai told Daily News Egypt.

We can’t work, we can’t do anything. I don’t know how to live in my own country,” Hussein Hosni, the father of Abdel-Massih told Daily News Egypt.

Birth certificates and identity cards are mandatory and children cannot enroll in public schools without them........Egypt is a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, making “protection of citizens from religious discrimination” and “education without distinction on any basis, including religion or belief” legally binding.