Highlights


THE 2017 CBC MASSEY LECTURES - BROADCAST ON CBC IDEAS

The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures are an essential analysis of the major human rights struggles of our times by internationally renowned human rights lawyer and former UN prosecutor Payam Akhavan. The Five Lecture Series is being broadcast on the CBC Ideas Website and are available for listening online or by podcast.



A work of memoir, history, and a call to action, In Search of a Better World, the 2017 CBC Massey Lectures, are a powerful and essential work on the major human rights struggles of our times. In February of 2017, Amnesty International released their Annual Report for 2016 to 2017, concluding that the “us versus them” rhetoric increasingly employed by politicians is endangering human rights the world over. Renowned UN prosecutor and human rights scholar Payam Akhavan has encountered the grim realities of contemporary genocide throughout his life and career. He argues that deceptive utopias, political cynicism, and public apathy have given rise to major human rights abuses: from the religious persecution of Iranian Bahá’ís that shaped his personal life, to the horrors of ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, the genocide in Rwanda, and the rise of contemporary phenomena such as the Islamic State. But he also reflects on the inspiring resilience of the human spirit and the reality of our inextricable interdependence to liberate us, whether from hateful ideologies that deny the humanity of others or an empty consumerist culture that worships greed and self-indulgence. A timely, essential, and passionate work of memoir and history, In Search of a Better World is a tour de force by an internationally renowned human rights lawyer.


 

PAYAM AKHAVAN is a Professor of International Law at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, a Member of the International Court of Arbitration, and a former UN prosecutor at The Hague. He has served with the UN in conflict zones around the world, including Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, and Timor Leste, and as legal counsel in landmark cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Supreme Courts of Canada and the United States. Born in Tehran, Iran, Payam Akhavan migrated to Canada with his family in his childhood.

 

5 Cities Massey Lectures Tour

Lecture one: The Knowledge of Suffering 
Lecture two: The Pursuit of Global Justice
Lecture three: The Will to Intervene
Lecture four: The Oneness of Humankind
Lecture five: The Spirit of Human Rights




Halifax Public Events Saturday and Sunday (Oct 21st, Oct 22nd) - All Are Welcome, Free Admission
The main event celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah is Sunday afternoon at 2pm at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on University Avenue, Halifax.  See further details under 2017-A Special Year Tab.




Best wishes from the First Nations National Chief
We are delighted to share with you a moving message from the Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, on the occasion of the bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.



“Light to the World”: Film about Baha’u’llah released online


BAHA'I WORLD CENTRE — “Light to the World,” a film about the life and teachings of Baha’u’llah commissioned by the Universal House of Justice was released today on the official website for the bicentenary commemoration.
The film tells the story of Baha’u’llah’s remarkable life and the impact of His teachings on communities around the world.
“Light to the World” is available in all the languages of the Bicentenary site: English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Hindi, Persian, Arabic and Swahili.

The 51-minute film can be viewed here.

Synopsis:

"There is a story unfolding. It is a story of humanity’s progress through history, propelled by the teachings of Messengers of God Who have guided humanity through its stages of development, and now to the dawn of its maturity.
"Two hundred years ago, such a prophetic Figure appeared: Bahá’u’lláh. He brought teachings for this age that represent an end to division and otherness, through which––at long last––the oneness of humankind can be realized.
"Discover more through accounts of people from diverse nations whose lives have been transformed by the light that Bahá’u’lláh brought to the world."


The Universal House of Justice Releases Letter to "All Who Celebrate the Glory of God."

2017 Oct 01.  The Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing body of the Baha'i Faith, today released a letter focused on the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah, the Founder of the Baha'i Faith.  Its closing paragraph has this thought-provoking question:

"On this two hundredth anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh’s appearance, the many who are part of this enterprise are reaching out to those around them with a simple invitation: seize this opportunity to find out who He was and what He represents. Put to the test the remedy He has prescribed. His coming offers sure proof that the human race, threatened by numerous perils, has not been forgotten. When so many people of goodwill throughout the world have for so long beseeched God for an answer to the problems that beset them in their common homeland, is it so surprising that He should have answered their prayer?"

See the full letter HERE


Decade of unjust imprisonment ends for Mahvash Sabet








Baha'i International Community, NEW YORK — After enduring ten years of unjust imprisonment and harsh treatment, Mahvash Sabet's sentence has come to an end. She is one of the seven members of the former leadership group of the Baha'is in Iran known as the Yaran, who were jailed on false and baseless charges.
See full story HERE.









Third Talk in the Series - Sept 22nd  - All are Welcome





Invitation to a public presentation by Dr. Iain MacNeil
SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION IN THE WORLD TODAY
BRIDGING THE BOUNDARIES OF SCIENCE, HISTORY, CULTURE AND RACE

Date: Friday, September 22, 6:30 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm)
Location: Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
Room 1011 (Main Floor)
6100 University Avenue, Halifax
All are welcome. No Admission Fee. Light refreshments.
 
In our search for life’s meaning and ultimate purpose, those on a spiritual journey or the pursuit of an understanding of reality and truth will appreciate Dr. MacNeil’s exploration of religion and spirituality in its truest sense highlighting the unity, beauty and harmony in all things.  This event provides highlights of Dr. MacNeil’s interest in science, spirituality, interfaith dialogue and reconciliation as presented in his 60-hour course on “Spirituality and Religion in the World Today”.  Dr. MacNeil is a graduate of Dalhousie Medical School and has been practicing family medicine for the past 28 years.  He has been a member of the Baha’i Faith for 19 years.  His talk and slide show will be following by a question and answer period and light refreshments. 












Halifax Rumi Ensemble Concert
Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance
Friday, Sept 1st, 7pm.    Tickets:  $25









Second Talk in the Series - August 24th  - All are Welcome



TOWARDS TRUE PROSPERITY

THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN PROMOTING THE MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING OF HUMANKIND

The word “prosperity” generally conjures up visions of material well-being. But is that really all there is to it? Surely, a truly prosperous civilization is based on principles of unity, justice and equality. And surely, in a truly prosperous civilization, access to knowledge is a universally enjoyed human right that enables the world to benefit from the full cultivation of human potential.

Acting on convictions such as these, the worldwide Bahá’í community has been striving systematically to learn about building capacity in peoples from every corner of the earth, every ethnic background and all strata of society to equip them to contribute to the building of a better world.

Join us for this thought-provoking talk by Dr. Ann Boyles, followed by a Q&A session and refreshments. 






All are welcome to attend a public talk by Dr. Ann Boyles, Doctorate of English Literature and member of the Bahá’í community of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. 

When: Thursday, August 24, 6:30 pm (doors open at 6:15 pm)
Location: Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, Room 301
(Free parking outside behind the library after 6:00 pm)





New Book on Tahirih




The Calling by Hussein Ahdieh and Hillary Chapman describes Tahirih (Qurrat al-‘Ayn), the trailblazing female nineteenth century Iranian poet, theologian and religious-revolutionary leader in a fresh, new manner, juxtaposing and interweaving her life and work with that of her American contemporaries--Mother Ann Lee, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Olympia Brown, Ellen White and Mary Baker Eddy--women whose existence she was probably not aware of, but who shared with her a spiritual bond and vision of progress and justice. In 1852 she was executed by a state fearful of her message. Her last words were “You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women.”

More information:   http://www.tahirihthepureone.com/

 









Association for Baha'i Studies

The Association for Baha’i Studies—North America is holding its 41st annual conference in Anaheim, California, from August 10-13, 2017.

A number of themes will be explored at the conference this year, including race unity and the challenge of inequality. The conference is also being held during the year of the bicentenary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, an occasion for celebration and reflection on the implications of his teachings for many fields of human endeavour.

 

 


The Association for Bahá’í Studies was founded in Canada, in 1975, to promote the advanced study of the Bahá’í Faith and its application to the needs of humanity. Soon afterward, the Association expanded to serve North America.

The Association for Bahá’í Studies–North America now engages participants across Canada and the United States. It holds an annual conference and sponsors seminars and symposia. It publishes a peer-reviewed journal, The Journal of Bahá’í Studies, occasional books and monographs, as well as other publications. It is also engaged in a number of initiatives to advance Bahá’í studies among students and young adults and to stimulate broader interest in Bahá’í studies.   Info:  http://bahai-studies.ca/



INVITATION FROM INDIGENOUS ELDERS AND KNOWLEDGE KEEPERS

As Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, we have always relied on the Spirit to guide us toward a peaceful, harmonious life, and a close and sacred relationship with the land.

With the myriad of challenges facing humanity - climate change, violence and war, mental health and addiction crises, the ongoing marginalization and poverty among First Peoples - we need more than our sharpest minds to solve the problems before us. We need the Spirit.

As First Peoples of this land, Indigenous Elders invite citizens of all religious and spiritual traditions to come together for a National Day of Prayer and Mindfulness and to pray together in solidarity and unity.

The Day of Prayer begins on August 6th at 9 am at the East Coast of Canada and follows the path of the sun traveling from East to West. Please join us with your moment of prayer, ceremony or mindfulness at 9 am local time in your region.

Stand with us and pray with us!

Public Talks Halifax - All are Invited


All are warmly invited to a series of Monthly Talks on societal issues.  They will take place in Halifax at the Central Library and other locations.

July 27th       - Towards Social Transformation, Video "The Baha'is" and Q&A, 6:30pm, Halifax Central Library , Room 301
Aug. 24th      - True Prosperity (speaker Dr. Ann Boyles),  6:30pm, Halifax Central Library, Room 301, Spring Garden Road, Halifax
Sept. 21st     - Details to be announced
October        - Details to be announced