a few interesting statistics

I was curious about some of the web stats I’ve had over the past year. In decreasing order of hits, these are the top 20 countries sending visitors to doberman pizza, a baha’i blog: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, India, Germany, Philippines, Malaysia, Israel, the Netherlands, Ireland, Romania, Portugal, China, New Zealand, Iran, Italy, Spain, and Vietnam.

How about the top 10 content? Apart from the home page, the most popular page on the site is the photos page. after that comes the about page (understandable). next comes Raelee Pierce’s article on Baha’i marriage culture (aha!). further down, there’s the yearly list of Baha’i fasting times, then the videos page. after that comes the always-hilarious Ottawa Baha’i youth slang glossary, and then the list of interesting search terms that people have used to find the site. afterwards comes the “quotes” blog category—people searching for Baha’i quotes—and, finally, one of my photo albums comes in at #10, a small album capturing a refresher on Anna’s presentation.

la la la

hey – still fasting. extremely busy at work right now, and pretty fatigued; as such I haven’t had much energy to put into creative endeavours (videos, etc) like I usually do. been reading Baha’i Views a lot, and ooh’ing and ahh’ing at all the marvelous content popping up on it. also discovered a wonderful blog called nineteen days, written by two Baha’i bloggers across the world from each other blogging their experience of the Fast.
going to Catherine’s place tonight to break the Fast around 7ish. I wonder if she’ll have more satanseitan pie 😉 finding the Fast hard this year, due to the fatigue and health problems that have started accumulating (had a short kidney stone attack last week, and began the Fast with the remnants of a nasty cold/flu/whatever). more later…

teaching the cause

uh ohIt’s been an eventful couple of weeks. since Marty‘s been away, I’ve had to hold down the fort at work, which has been a challenge and a half. I’m looking forward to seeing his friendly, focused face across my cubicle wall tomorrow morning.

A group of brave champions has been gathering at my place lately to study Book 6 of the Ruhi Curriculum, entitled Teaching the Cause. This “study circle” has been intense so far, with some pretty good discussion. It’s the first time in a while I’ve facilitated this book from beginning to end—a welcome addition to my life, as studying the Ruhi curriculum is always a joy, whether as a tutor or facilitator or as a participant—no matter how you take part in a study circle, you’ll always learn from it. The challenge for us this time around will be to integrate practice components into the group’s study, as it’s the practice of teaching, more than just talking about teaching, that really brings the benefits. Something about it being the source of all courage and all. One of our number is currently on pilgrimage—such a bounty!—which should increase the overall emblazedness of the group several times over once she returns. I’m hoping it will, especially since Ottawa’s next reflection meeting is coming up in two weeks—July 27th!—and this will most probably tie into the aforementioned practice component of our study circle.

Ottawa’s Baha’i community commemorated the Martyrdom of the Báb on the 9th of July; fellow Baha’i blogger Philippe of Baha’i Thought wrote up an excellent post distilling key concepts in the life of The Báb—and in the lives of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—which brought me to a new understanding of the meaning of the Báb’s Martyrdom within the context of humanity’s path towards maturity.

Aaaaaaaand lots of birthdays too. Apart from Catherine‘s birthday on the 5th and my brother Gabriel (freshly back from India) who celebrates his birthday on the 18th, lots of other friends have either had their birthdays this month or will have them soon: Sahba T and Sahba S (no relation), Sarah HT, Dru, Andrea, Shamim from Sherbrooke, and so on and so on… HAPPY COLLECTIVE BIRTHDAY

baha’is of egypt denied their identity

Want a snapshot of the situation of the Bahá’í community over in the Middle East? Baha’i Blog has been faithfully watching not only the situation of the Baha’is of Iran [1] [2], but also that of the Baha’is of Egypt [1] [2]. The Baha’i Faith not being recognized as a religion in Egypt, Egyptian believers are asked to choose either “Muslim” or “Christian” for printing on official government documents. Of course, most (if not all) refuse, which means Baha’is living in Egypt can’t be issued identification such as birth certificates – which means they can’t legally marry, obtain passports, collect pensions, benefit from public health care, and so on. A group of Baha’is initiated a lawsuit to attempt to correct this injustice, in the hopes of gaining some official recognition of the Faith.

At last glance, the situation was this: Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court suspended a ruling by a lower court that would have allowed Baha’is to identify themselves as such on their official documents. This isn’t entirely surprising, seeing as rampant rumours, misinformation and outright lies have led many in Egypt (and elsewhere in the Middle East, including Iran) to believe that the Bahá’í Faith is either: (a) a Zionist political group or (b) spies for colonial and/or imperialist powers or (c) a danger to Islam or (d) all of the above. Sad.

Once you’re done scanning through Baha’i Blog, visit Marco Oliveira’s response to an Egyptian blogger who posted a fair bit about the Egyptian Supreme Court ruling. A subsequent set of emails from an anonymous Egyptian Baha’i hints at the seriousness of the clamour currently surrounding the Baha’is in Egypt.

Read more about the persecution of Baha’is in Egypt, or about the persecution of the Baha’is of Iran.

children’s classes blog

hey. I’ve started up a little experimental blog called baha’i children’s class ideas. reason is: I co-teach a neighbourhood children’s class, having had little prior experience in the field except Ruhi Book 3. I need a place to write down lesson plan ideas so that I can plan them out in advance, try them out, and then go back and reflect on how the ideas worked when put into practice. check it out, leave comments and ideas, whatever. it’s a very informal project (that will probably get updated far less often than this blog), but it’s worth a try.