Bahai News - Greek and Turkish Cypriots join in Baha'i celebrations
Greek and Turkish Cypriots join in Baha'i celebrations
GREEK and Turkish Cypriots stood side by side at the opening ceremony of
terraced gardens landscaped by the Baha'i International Community on Mount
Carmel in Israel, last night, as an expression of their commitment to world
The terraces and nearby administrative centre of the Baha'i Faith took 10
years to build and cost $250 million, raised from voluntary contributions
from the five million members of the faith worldwide.
Some 4,000 people attended the opening ceremony from 170 countries. There
were 19 representatives in the Cyprus delegation including four Greek
Cypriots, 11 Turkish Cypriots and four non-Cypriot nationals.
The Baha'i community has around 200 followers in Cyprus, with slightly
more Turkish Cypriot than Greek Cypriot members. The delegation from the
north travelled separately and met up with the representatives from the
south in Haifa.
The ceremony began at 6pm and included world premieres of specially written
music by composers from Norway and Tajikistan. The ceremonies continue today
as celebrants, dressed in national dress, walk along the terraces which
surround the Shrine of Bab, one of the most important Baha'i holy places,
for the first time.
A public opening at the end of the week will allow visitors of all faiths to
enjoy the gardens free of charge every day. The terraces are expected to
triple tourism in Haifa each year and Israel has released a special stamp
to mark their completion.
Baha'is believe in one god and one human race. They have consultative status
at the United Nations and work at a grass-roots level in peacemaking, human
rights, health and sustainable development.
©Copyright 2001, Cyprus Mail
Page last updated/revised 052701
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