le pouvoir de la parole

[English below the first video.] Voilà une perle rare! Il s’agit d’un film documentaire archi passionnant qui montre le premier essai d’un projet collectif d’enseignement centré sur les pré-jeunes—c’est à dire les jeunes ayant de 11 à 14 ans—dans un groupement près de Paris, en France. Passionnant parce qu’il s’agit de l’apprentissage en temps réel—la première fois que les Baha’is de cette région ont tenté de prendre leur élan de façon tellement systématique. Passionnant aussi parce qu’il s’agit d’un projet très semblable aux projets collectifs lancés à Ottawa l’été passé—et en plus de ça, certaines personnes qu’on voit dans le vidéo avaient aussi participé dans les projets à Ottawa! Ils chantent même des chansons écrites durant le projet “Fire and Snow” à Toronto! Le monde est petit non? Allez voir les vidéos sur Youtube: Parties 1 et 2.

Now here’s a special treat: an amazing documentary about the first attempt at a collective teaching project centred around junior youth—youth from 11 to 14 years old—in an area near Paris, France. Amazing because it documents real-time learning—the first time the Baha’is of this region took on such a systematic project. Amazing also because the project is very similar to the projects launched in Ottawa last summer—and not only that; some of the folks seen in the video actually participated in the Ottawa projects! They even sing songs that were written for the Fire and Snow project in Toronto! Small world huh? Go check out the videos on Youtube: Parts 1 and 2.

welcome to 2008

santa's in the hoodthe Gregorian calendar year came and went without much of a fuss this year—much like last year, when I was holed up in Winnipeg watching movies, I spent the fateful moment with friends (Tassnim, Basim and Rhetta) watching DVDs and eating pie and ice cream.

After a short visit with brother Gabriel and his family to bring them soup and good cheer, my parents dropped me off at Catherine’s place to feed her cat while she’s away in Vancouver. No sooner had I broken out the kibble than the windows began to rattle, resounding with the clatter of an early-evening fireworks show. I dashed downstairs, across a church courtyard and into the streets of downtown, following the noise and the lights into the back lot of the Supreme Court building, which offers a most beautiful view of the Ottawa River and was the perfect place to see the entire display of fire and light. It was a very impressive display, put together to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Ottawa’s designation as the capital city of Canada back in 1857. Several people remarked—to my agreement—that the fireworks display was more impressive than most Canada Day fireworks, what with the entire span of the Alexandra Bridge outfitted with fireworks shooting left, right and centre, reminiscent of the millennial fireworks in Sydney, Australia I remember seeing on television back on New Year’s Eve 1999.

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maxwell international school: forced to close, or ready for rebirth?

most of you will have already heard the news about the planned closure of the Bahá’í-inspired Maxwell International School, which was quick to spread when it broke back in mid-November. you may not have heard, though, of the recent grassroots efforts by students, parents and local community members to gather enough support to allow the school to stay open under a different administrative and financial structure. Victoria, B.C.’s A-Channel recently reported on the situation.

Learn more on the Maxwell International School‘s website, or on the Save Maxwell International School Facebook group (if you’re into that sort of thing!)

anna’s presentation: a systematic way of teaching

As I’ve already blogged here before, “Anna’s presentation” is a nickname referring to several sections of Book 6 of the Ruhi curriculum, “Teaching the Cause”, in which participants explore how to effectively share with receptive souls a general overview (or presentation) of the Baha’i Faith that is detailed enough to be considered complete.

When people talk about using “Anna’s presentation” they are generally referring to using notes they have distilled from these sections in order to present an accurate and complete overview of the Baha’i Faith. More and more, people are using these notes as a guide on how to present the Baha’i Faith in a clear, transparent and direct fashion—which is resulting in an increased number of enrollments in the Baha’i community across the world.

spiritual traditions: an introduction to the baha’i faith

Robert Henderson is a lifelong Baha’i and member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States. He and his wife, Paula, recently gave an eloquent and beautiful interview for a programme on a public access cable show in Chicago; there’s a short clip on YouTube. This brief excerpt from an hour-long interview gives a quick overview of the Baha’i Faith and its spiritual teachings—good for forwarding on to those spiritual seekers who are looking for a new answer to humanity’s age-old problems.

Update: There’s yet more… check out the newly-posted part 2 on Youtube.