Bahai News -- Bahá’í terraces in Haifa subject of Internet celebration

Bahá’í terraces in Haifa subject of Internet celebration

by CV Report

Photo: An international group of Bahá’í pilgrims included Carpinterians Jaine Tothe (in the front row) and Sandie Rocco (directly behind her).

Members of the Carpinteria Bahá’í Community look forward to viewing part of the grand opening ceremonies of the recently completed terraces at the Bahá’í World Centre. These will be broadcast live, via satellite, from Israel. The terraces, fountains and formal gardens extend almost one kilometer from the Mediterranean port of Haifa to the summit of Mount Carmel.

Carpinterians Alex and Sandie Rocco, and Don and Jaine Toth, shared their period of pilgrimage to the Bahá’í Holy Places in Israel in 1974. Jaine Toth, public information representative for the Bahá’ís of Carpinteria, said, “The Bahá’í gardens even back then were a source of peace and tranquillity to the people of Israel and a favorite destination for tourists.”

A stone stairway traverses the nineteen new terraces, flanked by two streams of running water. These form a man-made brook that gently cascades down the mountainside, pausing in shallow pools at each level. The mayor of Haifa declared the finished gardens, “The eighth wonder of the world,” and the Israeli government issued a commemorative stamp to celebrate their completion.

Toth said, “Especially significant, will be the arrival of thousands of Bahá’í representatives from nearly every ethnic group and nationality, to consecrate this holy ground in the midst of, and in sharp contrast to, the divisiveness and violence that engulfs the area surrounding it.”

She continued, “The Bahá’í Faith stands as a beacon of light and an ensign of unity in that beleaguered region. In the words of Baha’u’llah, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, ‘So powerful is the light of unity that it can envelop the whole Earth.’

To mark the opening of the terraces, an oratorio and a symphony have been composed, respectively, by Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen and Tajik composer Tolib Shahidi. The Israel Northern Symphony, Haifa, under the direction of Stanley Sperber, will accompany acclaimed instrumental and vocal soloists. The original orchestral works will climax with the spectacular inaugural lighting of the terraces.

Locally, members of the Bahá’í Faith will watch this program via a live satellite broadcast via the Internet from 8-10 am (PST) on May 22. Following their own celebrations that evening, to commemorate a Baha’i Holy Day. Bahá’ís from Goleta to Malibu will gather together from 12-1 am (PST) to view, via satellite downlink, a devotional program in Haifa and the following procession of friends gathered from around the world, most of whom will wear their cultural attire.

The public is welcome to join the Bahá’í gatherings to watch from their own home computers.

©Copyright 2002, Coastal View (Carpinteria Valley, CA, USA)


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