Baha'i News -- Joyful Welcome! - Returning Baha'i representatives give report on Israel trip
Joyful Welcome! - Returning Baha'i representatives give report on Israel trip
Some of the Baha'i representatives show their Jamaican Bandanna in
Israel. - Contributed
BAHA'IS CONVERGED on the Norman Manley International Airport last week Sunday evening to
give a jubilant, hand-clapping welcome to 12 fellow Baha'is returning from a historic visit to Mount Carmel, Israel. Undaunted
by a bomb scare in Tel Aviv airport, they all arrived safely back in Jamaica.
Over 3,000 members of the Baha'i Faith
gathered in the Holy Land recently to participate in a dramatic and moving celebration of the inauguration of a series of
majestic terraces and gardens surrounding the Shrine of the Bab (Prophet-Herald of the Baha'i Faith).
As thousands streamed
up the terraces, hearts throbbed with deep emotions and minds were sparked by this unique experience. Here are some
impressions of the Jamaican celebrants in their own words:
An educator/linguist... "The week was eventful without being
stressful... so many people herded around from early in the morning until late at night, yet everyone was smiling and happy...
peace, harmony, order and punctuality prevailed... many languages were spoken, and a multiplicity of cultures blended with
amazing smoothness... being in Haifa was like going to Heaven without having to die!"
A farmer from Ginger Ground, St.
Elizabeth... "For me, it was a good experience... first time I was seeing so many people from so many different cultures, with
so much harmony and unity.. there was order... it was good to see so many young people present.. a sign of hope for the next
A young scientist/lecturer... "I am greatly amazed by the enormity of the task of building on such a steep
and rocky mountain... the engineer and architect shared their ideas.. one could see the humility and gratitude they felt...
something else that struck me was the level of humility and hospitality shown by all the Baha'i staff... it was hard to tell
who was the supervisor and who were the subordinates...."
A young lawyer " .. we were treated to a video presentation on the
decade long construction project. Baha'is, Jews, Muslims, and Christians involved in the project were interviewed. Notable....
was the recurring theme of the impossibility of the project... and the belief that its realisation could only have been
possible by virtue of divine assistance."
Indeed, for Baha'is the event was not only a celebration of US$250m majestic
terraces and sacred gardens, but was a perfect setting to demonstrate the beauty of the oneness of the world of humanity, and
the Baha'i commitment to the unity of all races -- a commitment which must in time be translated into the transformation of
the fortunes of the masses of mankind. The younger generation were the focus of the Baha'i Faith's international governing
council, who noted in an address to the youth that the great majority of humanity remains engulfed in heartbreaking "suffering
"Humanity's crying need will not be met by a struggle among competing ambitions or by protest against one
or another of the countless wrongs afflicting a desperate age," said the message. "It calls, rather, for a fundamental change
of consciousness, for a wholehearted embrace of Baha'u'llah's teaching that the time has come when each human being on earth
must learn to accept responsibility for the welfare of the entire human family".
"Commitment to this revolutionising
principle will increasingly empower individual believers and Baha'i institutions alike in awakening others to the Day of God
and to the latent spiritual and moral capacities that can change this world into another world," the statement said. "We
demonstrate this commitment... by our rectitude of conduct towards others, by the discipline of our own natures, and by our
complete freedom from the prejudices that cripple collective action in the society around us and frustrate positive impulses
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