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.
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).
There 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.
“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.
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.