oh goodie more events!

random conversationthose lovable Carleton CABS people are at it again. If you’re around Carleton tomorrow (Thursday), come on out to a singularly eco-logical talk, titled “The Environmental Crisis: Spiritual Problems, Spiritual Solutions”, by none other than my very own neighbour, Diana Cartwright, Baha’i delegate to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002), and policy advisor at Environment Canada. The talk will take place at 7:00 PM, Thursday, October 28th, at Room 208 of the Tory Building at Carleton (see map).

If you survive that and you’re still ready for more, then venture over to Saunders Farm on Friday evening, October 28th, for the Ottawa CABS Halloween Party. People will be meeting at 6:00 PM at Room 123 of Simard Hall, Ottawa U, to leave at 6:30 PM SHARP for the farm. Transportation will (of course) be provided from and back to the university. Regular admission to the farm is $17, and everybody is asked to bring an awesome costume – because the best one wins a prize!

And if you happen to survive that and STILL emerge unscathed, then an uber-Halloween Party on Saturday night should finish you off. Our (not) exclusive source says: “Slip on your scariest or most outrageous costume for an evening that promises to be full of fun and frightening times! Dance the night away while our DJ plays your favourite tracks. Admission of $6 will include pizza and soft drinks and there will be a prize for the best costume!” The party starts at 8:00 PM, Saturday, October 29, 2005 at Harmony Gardens, 1777 Montreal Road (see map).

And if you survive that, well, I’m just gonna have to come over and beat you unconscious with a fish.

dr. shapour javanmardi

I’m very saddened by this news… Dr. Javanmardi was a real inspiration to me and all the Baha’is of Quebec. His warmth, his all-embracing love, his passion and courage, and his capacity to encourage, inspire and rally the troops of the All-Beloved were unique and irreplaceable. He will truly be missed, and his memory will be cherished for a long time to come.

From: stanphillips
Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2005 12:57 AM
Subject: Shapoor Javanmardi

To all the friends of Shapoor Javanmardi,

The distinguished and beautiful soul of Shapoor Javanmardi, which has enriched our lives in Montreal and those of countless other Bahá’ís across Canada and elsewhere, whose home welcomed all for so many years with matchless hospitality, whose devotion to the Cause was a constant inspiration to greater action, and whose ceaseless encouragement has strengthened and uplifted so many of us in our paths of service to the Blessed Beauty, has concluded its work for the Faith in this life, and has taken its flight to the Abha Paradise yesterday morning.

While we grieve along with his family who enveloped him with love over the past weeks, we do so with hearts full of gratitude for knowing him, and having benefited so richly from his bright, restless and passionate spirit.

His funeral will be held at the Louis Bourgeois Centre on Saturday, October 29, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. You are all lovingly invited to come and honour a life that has meant so much to us all.

With sadness and tenderness,

THE SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE
BAHA’IS OF MONTREAL

Stan Phillips, secretary

denial of higher education to baha’is of iran

Here’s something I found quite disturbing. Below is an excerpt from the Baha’i International Community’s newly launched website, Closed Doors: Iran’s Campaign to Deny Higher Education to Bahá’ís. It sheds light on the denial of higher education to the Baha’is of Iran — a denial that contravenes the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.

Since 1979, the government of Iran has systematically sought to deprive its largest religious minority of the right to a full education. Specifically, the Islamic Republic of Iran has for more than 25 years blocked the 300,000-member Bahá’í community from higher education, refusing young Bahá’ís entry into university and college. The government has also sought to close down Bahá’í efforts to establish their own institutions of higher learning.

This action comes against a wider picture of persecution of the Iranian Bahá’í community that has included arbitrary executions, unjustified imprisonment, the confiscation of property, and severe restrictions on freedom of religious practice and worship. Since the Islamic government came to power, more than 200 Bahá’ís have been killed, hundreds have been imprisoned, and thousands have had property or businesses confiscated, been fired from jobs, and/or have had pensions terminated. Bahá’í holy sites have been destroyed, the community’s elected administrative structure has been dismantled, and Bahá’ís have been denied a host of other rights, ranging from freedom of movement to simple inheritance rights.

Against that backdrop, the efforts of the Iranian government to deny Bahá’ís the right to education can only be seen as a coordinated effort to eradicate the Bahá’í community as a viable group within Iranian society.

Read More at denial.bahai.org.

arrest and arbitrary detainment of baha’is in iran

Further to the information about the denial of higher education to Baha’is in Iran, the following is an excerpt from an article included in the April-June 2005 issue of One Country, the newsletter of the Baha’i International Community, about an upsurge in arrests and arbitrary detainment of Baha’is:

In a striking upsurge in persecution, some 37 Bahá’ís were arrested and taken into custody in Iran during the months of March, April, and May 2005. Most were arbitrarily detained without any charge being filed against them. […]

The wave of arrests in spring 2005 follows a number of other incidents earlier this year. In the city of Yazd, starting in late December and continuing through January, a number of Bahá’ís were arrested, detained, and interrogated. Several were beaten in their homes, at least one Bahá’í-owned business was set afire, and the Bahá’í graveyard there was desecrated.

For more on the situation of the human rights situation of the Bahá’í community of Iran, visit question.bahai.org.

cabs @ ottawa u this friday

hey – check out this Friday’s CABS seminar, at 7:30 PM, Room 123, Simard Hall, Ottawa U. The speaker is Livia VanderDussen, a Baha’i student at Carleton, and she’ll be talking about her experience at the North American Regional Consultations on the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children, hosted by UNICEF. Check out the Ottawa CABS Website for more information.

what’s going on (more or less)

so, the past week has been (mostly) good. Last Friday was Dr. Janet Khan’s talk at Carleton University on Bahíyyih Khánum – coinciding with the release of her new book, Prophet’s Daughter: The Life and Legacy of Bahíyyih Khánum, Outstanding Heroine of the Bahá’í Faith. She gave a well-researched portrait of Bahíyyih Khánum, describing her life and contributions to the Baha’i Faith and the worldwide Baha’i Community. Hearing about her role in the administration of the Baha’i World Community in the early days of Shoghi Effendi’s mandate as Guardian gave me a much better understanding of why he was always so grateful to her. I think you should read the book. Go for it.

Sam and I went out to Chelsea on Saturday night for a french-canadian music night organized by the Baha’is there. It was fun – we just sat around singing all night, punctuated by bouts of eating and drinking and making merry (for the most part, sans alcohol). There was even some dancing, and accordion-playing. omg.

Tazz and I spent a chilly Sunday afternoon hanging out in New Edinburgh, after which we went to the well-attended 19-day Feast in Sector 9 – where we scored phat Persian food. Oh yeah, not to mention that my family started the day by inviting me and zeta to join them for breakfast at Perkins on St. Laurent. Matante Rose (the poet) was down from Moncton for a conference – it was cool to see her. (I could do without the 9 AM wake-up call on a Sunday, but, well – you know. it’s family.)

Monday and Tuesday were crazy at work as we prepared to launch a majorly important special report and then watched our entire web server crash violently just as people were going on the radio to advertise it. It’s days like these when you really earn your pay. Not to mention that it’s more exciting than posting agendas and powerpoint presentations all day.

Tonight was a fun fun celebration of the Birth of The Báb, with a very nice program full of music and good food. There were lots of people there and everybody shook hands and said how do you do. I met new people and it was fun. And now I’m tired and I need to go to bed so peace.