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Archive for the ‘Baha’i’ Category

Update on Korea adoption case

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude for all the messages and support we have received since announcing the challenges as Baha’is we’ve been facing in adopting a baby.

Your prayers and positive energy have been effective though!

2 Baha’is on the National Spiritual Assembly of Korea visited the agency we’re dealing with there soon after hearing about our case without an appointment.

The person who is in charge of our case was not in the office because of her business travel overseas for the two weeks.
Instead they met staff and asked the reason why they decided to deny our adoption based on our beliefs.
As we expected the main reason was incorrect information they had obtained from the internet and their friends.

The Baha’is explained them about the Faith and emphasized that it was quite different than what they are thinking of, and they politely requested that they reconsider the decision again.

She said that she would read the materials about the Faith in Korean they brought, and take the proper measure once the person handling our case returns.

They will be following up soon, So keep those prayers and positive energy coming!

It’s impressive and moving how quickly and sincerely Baha’is come together to assist others when needed.

Note: Please do not post any information about this elsewhere for the next few weeks, we don’t want to jeapordize this delicate situation until it is resolved. Thank you for understanding.

Facing discrimination because I’m a Baha’i

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Recently, after 4 years of trying internationally, we were ecstatic to receive a proposal to adopt a baby boy from Korea in April.
We were shocked to hear yesterday that the government adoption agency in Korea, Social Welfare Society, has suddenly refused our adoption based on our membership to the Baha’i faith. The adoption would have completed sometime in August.

I never thought we would have to deal with discrimination based on our beliefs, which is unacceptable for many reasons, one being that in the long list of requirements to adopt from Korea, there was no mention of any religious restrictions. In addition, if there were concerns, these could have been brought up early in the process after Korea received our initial information rather than now, near the completion, after we have received detailed information on the baby and made significant time, financial, and emotional investment.
Add to this the fact that Baha’is are not only one of the most gentle and agreeable and nonthreatening people on the planet, but also have a deep respect and high regard for children and their education and upbringing.

Our agency says this is the most shocking thing they’ve encountered in their many years pioneering international adoption.

We are already in touch with the highest Baha’i administration in Korea. Rest assured, we will be taking steps to see justice is done.

Great quote regarding evolution of humanity

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

“If long cherished ideals and time honoured institutions, if certain social assumptions and religious formulae have ceased to promote the welfare of the generality of mankind, if they no longer minister to the needs of a continually evolving humanity, let them be swept away and relegated to the limbo of obsolecent and forgotten doctrines.”

– from www.bahai.org

Playing For Change: Song Around the World “One Love” Video

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Playing For Change: Song Around the World “One Love”:

“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens. So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
— Bahá’u’lláh

Happy Naw Ruz! Obama’s message

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Today I am celebrating Nawruz – which is not only the Persian, but the Baha’i New Year. It concludes 19 days of fasting during daylight and I look forward to this next year and am very excited about what it will bring.

Today is also my 9 year official anniversary as a Baha’i. Although many who know me may not realize it, The Baha’i faith has profoundly changed my life and brought endless blessings, rewards, knowledge and awareness in all things. It has also united me with a worldwide community in over 220 countries and territories, greatly expanding my awareness and insight into the people we share this planet with.

This marks my third new years celebration this year, Gregorian, Chinese, and now Baha’i!

Here’s Hoping you have a Happy Nawruz and fantastic year ahead, as well as a lovely spring time!


President Obama’s excellent message to those celebrating Naw Ruz:

Videos about persecution of Baha’is in Iran

Monday, March 16th, 2009

As a follow up to my previous post about a song Elika released, ‘Persecution’ about oppression of the Baha’is in Iran, I wanted to post some videos about the issues that more clearly expose Iran’s practices:

Other great videos exist that I wanted to share but they have been removed from Youtube.

Rainn Wilson

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Here is also a commentary on CNN.com by actor from ‘The Office’ Rainn Wilson:

cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/02/17/wilson.faith/?iref=mpstoryview

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New song Persecution for Baha’is in Iran

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Artist Elika Mahony has made a special release of a song we worked on called ‘Persecution’ dedicated to Baha’is in Iran who have been persecuted for their Faith despite posing zero threat to the government, or showing any signs of aggression in any way towards anyone.

You can find out more about it, and listen/download it on Elika’s blog post about it here.

It was a rushed production, so not as refined or elaborate as usual, but Elika wanted to get it out without delay to help spread awareness… The amazing thing about this kind of web release though is that within 24 hours of mixing the song, we were getting feedback from hundreds of people who had listened to it and downloaded the song! It was also impressive to see the web activity of people sharing the song online. Immediate feedback, rather than months later was very exciting.

Head of Baha\'i administration in Iran recently arrestedLeaders of the Baha’i Faith in Iran, recently arrested for their beliefs

The plight of the Baha’is in Iran is a truly sad one, many have been martyred, including Elika’s own great uncle, and the current head of the Baha’i administration in Iran were recently arrested soley for their beliefs, although the Iranian government makes up all kinds of other reasons for detaining them. Information from a friend who knows a relative of one of the prisoners who was finally able to talk to them said they use psychological torture on the prisoners, such as keeping them in a white room, in white clothes, with white food for weeks on end without beds or chairs. This is apparently so there are no signs of physical torture. The ultimate objective is to get them to recant their beliefs, as the fundamentalist clergy in Iran feel the Baha’is are a threat to Islam.

The bizarre thing is that Iran feels that by disrupting and eradicating the Baha’i Faith there, they will somehow affect the Faith in a concrete way, despite the fact that there are Baha’is in over 220 other countries and territories around the world! But perhaps the most interesting thing is the backlash that is happening in Iran and worldwide as a result of these recent arrests. Many Iranians who know Baha’is personally know this is an unjust and cruel act on the part of the government, and is causing an uprising against the government giving them more trouble than they could have every imagined.

Music Production For Worthy Charity

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

I am very selective about doing charitable work because of the amount of free time I have, but I have done my share philanthropy through various productions for organizations helping those in need primarily through education, more recently for a CD in Mandarin to help children of all backgrounds throughout Asia learn spiritual attributes and virtues.

My latest such production is with talented musician and writer, Alicia Cundall who wrote a theme song for the charity organization Red House called ‘One Story’ Which I did backing tracks for, recorded, produced and mixed.

RED House is a non-profit, non-governmental organization in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania that provides educational programs for disadvantaged and orphan children, ages 3 to 18.
Here is a video to give you a more of a sense of Red House:


Here is the website for Red House with the full length song:

http://redhousetanzania.org

It was great to help such a worthy cause that is helping youth through education. If your in Washington DC, attend the fundraiser and you can see Alicia peform this song along with a number of other talented performers.

My latest production, ‘Fire And Gold’ by Elika Mahony

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Over the last 3 years I have been producing an album that is quite different than what I usually do by the very talented composer, pianist, and singer, Elika Mahony.
I have blogged last year about some of the challenges of producing an album like this, and about how intense a project like this can become.
With it’s combination of electronic elements with piano, live cello, guitar, and flute and other exotic live instruments such as Persian santur, nay flute, and Chinese erhu, I have to say that this album, called ‘Fire And Gold’ is not only the most diverse and elaborate production I have worked on, but one of the most expensive. But it has done extremely well, selling over a thousand copies shortly after release thanks to Elika’s innovative music promotion techniques worldwide. You can listen here.

For those who are familiar with the musical styles I usually produce, the classical and new age overtones of this spiritually inspired Baha’i album on the theme of tests and difficulties of life may not be your thing. But you will most likely still be able to appreciate Elika’s sweet voice and elegant melodies.

Elika is also using some of the latest online music promotion techniques such as selling electronic versions of her songs online by donation, and offering discounts for multiple CD orders. One of her fan’s have even created a music video for one of the songs, This Is Faith.

Fun facts about war and poverty

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

It’s a good day to start renouncing nationalism, America!

“… selfish souls, for the promotion of their own interests, have assigned boundaries and outlets and have, day by day, attached more importance to these, until this led to intense enmity, bloodshed and rapacity in subsequent centuries. In the same way this will continue indefinitely, and if this conception of patriotism remains limited within a certain circle, it will be the primary cause of the world’s destruction” Abdu’l-Baha