Bahai News - A mountain transformed by faith


Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and Saturdays at 9 pm et/pt

A mountain transformed by faith

The Opening of the Baha'i Terraces  
Tuesday  May 22 & Wednesday May 23 at 9pm et/pt 
  2 Part Special Presentation  

On May 22, thousands of people from around the world will gather at the foot of Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel to witness the official opening of the Terraces of the Shrine of the Bab. Vision TV will broadcast highlights of this landmark in the history of the Bahá’í faith on Tuesday, May 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Further coverage will air the following evening at the same time.

The opening of the Terraces represents the culmination of a process that began more than a century ago, when Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’ífaith, revealed a tablet designating Mount Carmel as the spiritual and administrative centre for the new religion. The remains of the Bab, the herald and martyr of the faith, were interred there in 1909, and his shrine is now the second most sacred spot in the world for Bahá’ís.

The complex of buildings, gardens and holy places known as the Bahá’í World Centre developed gradually over several decades. In 1987, the Bahá’í community moved to complete the ambitious final phase, a series of terraced gardens on the face of Mount Carmel. Bahá’ís around the world contributed some US$250 million to this project.

The plan required moving thousands of cubic metres of rock to reshape the mountain. The 19 terraces, designed by Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba, extend a full kilometre up the slope and cover 200,000 square metres of land. The Mount Carmel project also involved the completion of two new administrative buildings designed by another Canadian architect, Hossein Amanat.

A highlight of the opening ceremony will be the performance of an oratorio and symphony composed in honour of the event. Featured vocal soloists will include Canadians mezzo-soprano Patricia Green, tenor Stuart Howe, and baritone Brett Polegato.

For Bahá’ís, completion of the Mount Carmel project fulfills a dream of creating a spiritual and administrative centre that will reflect their faith’s standards of beauty, peace and harmony, and fittingly represent its stature as an independent world religion.

©Copyright 2001, Vision TV (Canada)

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