Tag Archives: Pasadena

Speaking up for the Baha’is of Iran: April 12th, 2010

This blog has been following the situation of the unjustly imprisoned Baha’is in Iran for the past year.   Latest news from Iranian government is that the trial of the 7 Baha’i leaders will be on Monday, April 12th, 2010.  The Iranian government has postponed the trial date so many times, it’s hard to say that if there will be any trial come Monday.  In any event, these Baha’is remain imprisoned under no good reason, other than being a Baha’i.  The seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders, sometimes called the Yaran, are:  Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm.

Remember them

To remember the Baha’i 7, we’re posting below the video of the event to support the Baha’is  held last August 12th, 2009 at the Western Justice Center.  Over 150 were in attendance.  It is in 8 parts, with a musical performance at the end.

Video 1:

9th Court of Appeals Judge Dorothy Nelson opens this special program to raise awareness of the plight of the Baha’is in Iran on August 12, 2009 at the Western Justice Center in Pasadena, California. Over 150 concerned citizens in attendance. As of April 7th, 2010, the 7 Baha’i friends (5 men, 2 women) mentioned in this series of videos have still not been released by the Iranian government, despite international pleas. Standing up for the Baha’is are US Congressman Adam Schiff, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, and Fire Chief (now in the Obama administration) Bernard Melekian. Sylvian Castel de Oro reads the opening prayer at the end.

Video 2:

Brief YouTube movie gives an overview of the situation of the Bahai’s in Iran. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard speaks afterwards.

Video 3:

Judge Dorothy Nelson introduces Congressman Adam Schiff, of California’s 29th district, overseeing Pasadena. Congressman Schiff speaks knowledgeably about the situation in Iran.

Video 4:

Congressman Adam Schiff talks about the situation of the Baha’is in Iran and Iran in general. US Congress House Resolution 175 has passed condemning the Iranian government false imprisonment of the Baha’i leaders in Iran. Congressman Schiff also discusses Iran’s recent election, nuclear proliferation, and more.

Video 5:

Police Chief Bernard Melekian (now in the Obama administration) speaks about his support for the Baha’is. Judge Dorothy Nelson invites audience to ask questions. Congressman Adam Schiff is recipient of all questions.

Video 6:

Congressman Adam Schiff answers more questions from the public about the repression of the Baha’is in Iran and other questions.

Video 7:

Iraj Kamalabadi, brother of falsely imprisoned Baha’i in Iran, Fariba Kamalabadi, speaks up on behalf of the Baha’is at the Western Justice Center in Pasadena, California. 9th Court of Appeals Senior Judge Dorothy Nelson concludes the program.

Video 8:

Grammy nominated musical artist Tierney Sutton and Jamie Findlay perform “Skylark” at the conclusion of an event to support the Baha’is of Iran. Held at the Western Justice Center in Pasadena, California. 9th Court of Appeals Senior Judge Dorothy Nelson offers final remarks.

Supporters

Event Participants:   Senior Circuit Judge Dorothy W. Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, US Congressman Adam Schiff representing California’s 29th District,  Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Pasadena Fire Chief Bernard Melikian (now appointed to a position in the US Department of Justice in the Obama administration), brother of one of the Baha’i’s in Iran — Iraj Kamalabadi, Grammy nominated jazz artist Tierney Sutton, guitarist Jamie Findlay, and Local Spiritual Assembly member and Faculty member at Cal Poly Pomona, Sylvian Castel de Oro.

Many other officials, religious groups, and non-profit organizations were present, including District 7 Pasadena Councilmember Terry Tornek, former Executive Director of the Western Justice CenterNajeeba Syeed-Miller, Assistant Director of Interreligious & Intergroup Relations for the American Jewish Committee Randy Brown, Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles, IDF Executive Director and Pasadena community activist Dorothea Bradley, and more.

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A Day of Service: Saturday, February 20, 2010

This past Saturday a number of members of the Pasadena Baha’i community and their friends came out in the rain to serve the community at the 28th Annual Black History Parade and the Pasadena Marathon Health & Fitness Expo.

Black History Parade & Fair

Each year, Pasadena Baha’is support the Annual Black History and Parade with volunteers.  Marching in the Parade were students from Pasadena City College Ujima Program, headed up by PCC counselor and community member Chiara Thomas

Also supporting at the Fair, held at Jackie Robinson Park, was community member Scott Phelps, VP of the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education.  He was promoting the passing of the parcel tax to increase financial support for Pasadena Public Schools in the wake of an impending budget gap facing school districts statewide.

Also representing at the Fair was the City of Pasadena’s Neighborhood Connections department, whose booth was staffed by this blog’s dear friend and community dynamo, Tania Flores.  She was passing out information and promoting the Pasadena Neighborhood Leadership Institute, of which two of the Pasadena Baha’i community members are graduates, Dorothea Bradley in 2007, and Al Cadena in 2009. 

Tania Flores, from the City of Pasadena's Neighborhood Connections

Scott Phelps, VP of the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education

 The Baha’is were also there at the Fair.  Despite the rain, many people came up to our table, asking profound questions and wanting to know the Baha’is relationship with Jesus (he is the Son of God), where the Faith was founded (Iran), where is its world center (Haifa, Israel), key principles like the equality of women and men, abolition of all forms of prejudice, and the unique role and contributions that African Americans have made to the Baha’i Faith over the years.

Seen at the Pasadena Baha’i booth were Bill DeTally and Esther Bradley-DeTally, stalwart volunteers in the community in regards to Race Unity, America’s most vital and challenging issue.   Both have volunteered extensively with the San Gabriel Valley Interfaith Council and the YWCA’s Racial Justice Committee.  Esther teaches a writing workshop, “Courage to Write,” at La Pintoresca library, located in Northwest Pasadena, and whose workshop will be featured at the All Saints Women’s Community’s Lunch of Compassion, on Sunday, March 7th, 2010. 

Renee Dixon and Mattie McCrae at the Baha'i booth

Also representing at the booth were Renee Dixon, longtime volunteer for the Black History Parade and member of the Altadena Interfaith Group, and Mattie McCrae, newest member of our community.

Pasadena Marathon | Health and Fitness Expo

Later that afternoon at the Pasadena Convention Center, the Pasadena Neighborhood Leadership Institute (PNLI) Class had a booth to promote their class project: how to improve the community perception of Pasadena Public Schools, especially in light of all the recent improvement in test scores and other statistics.

PNLI have created an advertising campaign, “Yes!  Pasadena Public Schools” which was prominently featured at the booth.  Visitors to the booth were given business-card sized calendars with a fact about Pasadena Public Schools on the reverse.  Quite a number of people came up and chatted with us. Al Cadena, Baha’i and PNLI Class of 2009 remarked:  “People want to hear good things about the school district and are surprised and informed when they learn about the facts that we’re sharing with them.”

Michaun Irby, PNLI Class of 2009 grad at booth

Pasadena supports the release of the Baha’i prisoners in Iran on January 12, 2010

The Pasadena Baha’i Community is sponsoring a prayer gathering on Monday, January 11th at 7:30pm to pray for the release of the seven Baha’i prisoners facing trial in Iran.  Location will be at a private home:  3330 San Pasqual, Pasadena, 91107.  For more info please contact  John 626-298-1603.

The trial of the seven leaders of the Baha’i Faith in Iran is currently scheduled for Tuesday, January 12th in Tehran.   To summarize, these individuals have been held in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran for well over a year without access to their lawyer, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi.  The Iranian government’s charges against them are trumped up:  “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities, and propaganda against the Islamic republic” and “spreading corruption thoughout the earth.”  This is patently ridiculous and part of the insiduous pattern of persecution that have followed the Bahai’s in Iran since the Faith’s inception in the 19th century.

We have been very fortunate to be supported by our national government, but also our two Calfornia Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer who supported Senate Resolution 71 condemning this persecution, Congressman Adam Schiff who actively supported House Resolution 175 here in Pasadena along with Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard on August 12th, 2009.

We also have been fortunate to have received support from the media, both national in Time Magazine, and local, in the Pasadena Star-News.

Dear Pasadena: please support the Baha’is of Iran on Wednesday, August, 12th 2009

ALL ARE WELCOME

ALL ARE WELCOME

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We’re writing you because seven of our dearly loved Baha’i brothers and sisters in Iran are in grave danger, and possibly face execution. They have been held in Tehran’s Evin prison for over a year with no access to their lawyer, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi. Their crime: being Baha’is.

7 Baha'i Leaders imprisoned in Iran

7 Baha'i Leaders imprisoned in Iran

The US State Department, the UK Foreign Office Minister, Amnesty International and others have roundly condemned the imprisonment and trial of the Baha’is: http://iran.bahai.us.

Support from our Congresspersons

On February 13th, 2009, a bill was introduced in Congress, H. Res. 175, “Condemning the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Bahá’í minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.” Our Congressman, Adam Schiff, supports it. S. Res. 71, a concurrent resolution to H. Res. 175 regarding the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran, was introduced into the U.S. Senate on March 9, 2009, receiving support from our Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.

Why should you care?

The Baha’i Faith is a peaceful religion that seeks to promote the unity of mankind. Our principles are in alignment with American values: http://www.bahai.org.

We may be small in number (about 6MM worldwide), but we are spread out across almost every country in the world and are trying to be of service to humanity. Baha’is have been in Pasadena since the early 20th century.

We need your help

You were probably unaware our situation until now, but we need advocates beyond the Baha’i Community:

  • Please let your friends, neighbors, and coworkers know about our situation.  Share this video with them:  http://vimeo.com/5548864
  • Come meet us on Wednesday, August 12th at the Western Justice Center (55 S. Grand Ave., Pasadena 91105).  Attending and/or speaking will be US Congressman Adam Schiff, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Police Chief Bernard Melikian, and the Hon. Dorothy Nelson, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Your friends and neighbors,

The Baha’is of Pasadena, California

Pasadena celebrates the Declaration of the Bab this Friday, May 23rd


On May 23, the Bahá’ís of Pasadena will join Bahá’ís throughout the world in observing the anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb, the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith.

The Pasadena Bahá’í community’s celebration of the Declaration of the Báb will be held at a private home starting at 8pm on Friday. The event is open to the general public. Please contact this blog for the address.

Shrine of the Bab, Haifa, Israel

Shrine of the Bab, Haifa, Israel

The program commemorates the night of May 23, 1844 when a young man named Mirza ‘Alí-Muhammad declared, in Shiraz, Persia, that he was a prophet of God. He stated that his mission was to prepare the world for the appearance of the Lord of the Age-“Him Whom God shall make manifest.” He took the title, “The Báb,” which means, “The Gate,” and proclaimed that he was the herald of a new cycle in human history, the forerunner of another prophet who would soon usher in an age of world unity and peace. The first disciple of the Báb later wrote of the night when the Báb first declared his mission, “I sat spellbound by His utterance, oblivious of time and of those who awaited me. All the delights, all the ineffable glories, which the almighty has recounted in His Book as the priceless possessions of the people of Paradise-these I seemed to be experiencing.”

Pasadena Young Adult Devotional Gathering

dev-3What is a devotional gathering? Simply put, it’s a prayer meeting. Friends gathering at another friend’s home. The young adults (in their 20’s & 30’s) of Pasadena get together to say prayers on a Sunday night, to start their week all right.

The power of prayer is amazing. It’s what renews you when you have no energy or strength. It also allows you to accomplish great things when you put your affairs in God’s hands.

dev-1

Here is an example of a Baha’i prayer, revealed by Abdu’l-Baha:

“Make firm our steps, O Lord, in Thy path and strengthen Thou our hearts in Thine obedience. Turn our faces toward the beauty of Thy oneness, and gladden our bosoms with the signs of Thy divine unity. Adorn our bodies with the robe of Thy bounty, and remove from our eyes the veil of sinfulness, and give us the chalice of Thy grace; that the essence of all beings may sing Thy praise before the vision of Thy grandeur. Reveal then Thyself, O Lord, by Thy merciful utterance and the mystery of Thy divine being, that the holy ecstasy of prayer may fill our souls—a prayer that shall rise above words and letters and transcend the murmur of syllables and sounds—that all things may be merged into nothingness before the revelation of Thy splendor.

Lord! These are servants that have remained fast and firm in Thy Covenant and Thy Testament, that have held fast unto the cord of constancy in Thy Cause and clung unto the hem of the robe of Thy grandeur. Assist them, O Lord, with Thy grace, confirm them with Thy power and strengthen their loins in obedience to Thee.

Thou art the Pardoner, the Gracious.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Pasadena Baha’i honored for her Community Service

Dorothea 01

On March 22nd, Pasadena Baha’i Dorothea Bradley (holding flowers in photo) was honored by the City of Pasadena for “her unwavering commitment and unselfish dedication to her neighbors and greater community. Her efforts have helped build stronger neighborhoods which are the very foundation of our great City and the support system for our families.” Indeed.

Having worked with Dorothea on her annual Posada, National Night Out, and other projects, she is a dedicated community organizer, visionary, and true friend.
Dorothea 02