Abdul-Baha in America Centenary Celebrations

The international Baha’i community has been preparing for the centenary celebration of Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to the West for more than two years. Every single community, large or small, will in some way observe the historic visit.

abdulbaha lincoln park chicago 1912

Not surprisingly, the largest celebrations are happening in the US. Below is a list of some of these:

The US Baha’i community has created a beautiful new website to aggregate and organize information on these events: Abdu’l-Baha in America 1912-2012

From there you can follow the city by city travels of the Master, read press clippings and see photos of the people and places. Here’s a gallery of photos of Abdu’l-Baha. They also have a list of events commemorating the centenary in major cities (Chicago, Washington, New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia).

239 Days in AmericaThere are also several multi-media and social media initiatives. One of the most intriguing is called “239 Days in America” which will chronicle Abdu’l-Baha’s itinerary on an hour by hour basis through twitter (@239Days) and using facebook‘s new timeline feature. Their website will also feature more in depth feature article.

239 Days in Ameica is the collaborative effort of Rob Sockett, Jonathan Menon and Caitlin Shayda Jones. Follow the Master along 100 years in the past using either twitter, facebook or their own website.

Kathleen Holmlund has created another website to document Abdu’l-Baha’s travel to the West. It too will feature daily reports of the activities of the Master and His travels. You can view the entries based on the country: US, UK, France, and other countries.

journey west abdulbaha

The Journey West” is another group initiative with the same purpose as the other projects mentioned already. As well as stories and pictures of Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to the West, it also features a podcast reading of the many talks Abdu’l-Baha gave in churches, halls and people’s homes.

The blog “Abdu’l-Baha’s Journey in America” may be stylistically simpler and more humble than the previous online projects but it makes up for that by the sheer volume and quality of its content. Anne Perry has been writing consistently since April 2011 and has done a fantastic job describing the visit on a daily basis as well as showcasing the many individuals that Abdu’l-Baha came in contact with.

To complement the online travel journal, along with her husband Tim Perry and Bahram Jalalizadeh, Anne has also been working on a film documentary titled Luminous Journey. It has yet to be released but you can watch a short trailer at the previous link.

luminous journey documentary

Another great resource to learn more about Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to the West (it involved much more than just the US!) is from wikipedia. Rainn Wilson has also published an interesting article: The Titanic’s Forgotten Survivor.

Finally, to finish off the list, I wanted to share with you an article written by Sen McGlinn which addresses the often misunderstood and therefore controversial quote of Abdu’l-Baha from one of His talks in America: Abdu’l-Baha and the African tribe.

And don’t forget, Kalimat Press is celebrating the event by providing their customers with a special gift on Baha’i books.

  • Barbruthw

    Thank you so much for this post, Baquia, and especially for the reference to Anne Perry’s blog, which I was not aware of and am happy to find.  And thanks, too, for the reminder about Kalimat – on my list of things to do but temporarily put aside.

  • Baquia

    You’re welcome. Since there is so much going on I’m sure I’ve missed one or two events or projects that celebrate the centenary. If that is the case, I’m sure my readers will let me know and I’ll happily add it to the list.

  • Thanks for the mention! I am in the process of putting together a resource page of all the other great initiatives going, so your post is very helpful for me. Many thanks.

  • Baquia

    Thanks for dropping by Kathleen. Let me know once you have the page up and I’ll link to it as well.

  • Anne Perry

    I was so touched to read your description of my blog. Yes, day after day, night after night, I have been steeped in the journey of Abdu’l-Baha to America–often not sleeping much. We’ve gone to many of the locations where He went, have collected props and stories, and have met many people who are also passionate about this journey. I can hardly believe the journey (100 years ago) approaches its end–and yet, as He says, ?I am always
    a traveller to America.? Thus, we can always tune in to this journey of light!