Women’s Rights Activist Detained in Iran

I am concerned to learn that Mahboubeh Karami, a Women’s rights activist, has been imprisoned in Evin prison in Tehran since the 2nd of March. Amnesty International believes she has been detained solely because of her Human Rights work and that she is in danger of being tortured or otherwise maltreated.

Source: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/029/2010/en

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Naw-Rúz Prayer

Praised be Thou, O my God, that Thou hast ordained Naw-Rúz as a festival unto those who have observed the fast for love of Thee and abstained from all that is abhorrent unto Thee. Grant, O my Lord, that the fire of Thy love and the heat produced by the fast enjoined by Thee may inflame them in Thy Cause, and make them to be occupied with Thy praise and with remembrance of Thee. 

Since Thou hast adorned them, O my Lord, with the ornament of the fast prescribed by Thee, do Thou adorn them also with the ornament of Thine acceptance, through Thy grace and bountiful favor. For the doings of men are all dependent upon Thy good pleasure, and are conditioned by Thy behest. Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain. 

Thou art He through Whom the ensign “Praiseworthy art Thou in Thy works” hath been lifted up, and the standard “Obeyed art Thou in Thy behest” hath been unfurled. Make known this Thy station, O my God, unto Thy servants, that they may be made aware that the excellence of all things is dependent upon Thy bidding and Thy word, and the virtue of every act is conditioned by Thy leave and the good pleasure of Thy will, and may recognize that the reins of men’s doings are within the grasp of Thine acceptance and Thy commandment. Make this known unto them, that nothing whatsoever may shut them out from Thy Beauty, in these days whereon the Christ exclaimeth: “All dominion is Thine, O Thou the Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus)”; and Thy Friend (Muḥammad) crieth out: “Glory be to Thee, O Thou the Best-Beloved, for that Thou hast uncovered Thy Beauty, and written down for Thy chosen ones what will cause them to attain unto the seat of the revelation of Thy Most Great Name, through which all the peoples have lamented except such as have detached themselves from all else except Thee, and set themselves towards Him Who is the Revealer of Thyself and the Manifestation of Thine attributes.” 

He Who is Thy Branch and all Thy company, O my Lord, have broken this day their fast, after having observed it within the precincts of Thy court, and in their eagerness to please Thee. Do Thou ordain for Him, and for them, and for all such as have entered Thy presence in those days all the good Thou didst destine in Thy Book. Supply them, then, with that which will profit them, in both this life and in the life beyond. 

Thou, in truth, art the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. 

—Bahá’u’lláh

The ‘Haft Sin’ Or ‘Seven S’s’

The ‘Haft Sîn’ (Persian for the ‘Seven ‘S’s) is a traditional decoration displayed at Naw-Rúz. We usually make one in the Beech household at this time of year which is sacred for Baha’is in addition to being the Iranian New Year. Customarily the Haft Sîn display consists of seven symbolic  items which start with the letter S or ‘Sîn’ in the Persian Alphabet. In practice there are a variety of different items used but the ones we tend to use are

  1. ‘Serkeh’ vinegar – symbolising longevity and fortitude
  2. ‘Sonbol’ a potted hyacinth (traditional  spring flower)
  3. ‘Sekkeh’ coins prosperity
  4. ‘Sabzeh’ lentil shoots growing in a dish – a symbol of spring and rebirth
  5. ‘Senjed’  the dried fruit of the Oleaster or ‘Trebizond Date’ tree – a symbol of fertility and love
  6. ‘Sîr’  garlic – wellbeing
  7. ‘Sîb’  an apple – symbolising health and beauty

Baha’i Websites Blocked In Iran

On the morning of the 2nd of Esfand [21 Feb. 2010], five websites hosted by members of the Baha’i community of Iran, by the names of Viewpoint, Disturbance in the City, Recognition of Baha’u’llah, Messages from the Universal House of Justice, and Introduction to Baha’i sites, were simultaneously blocked.HRANA news service [in Persian] – Five Baha’i websites from inside Iran simultaneously blocked. As reported by Harana, the sites mentioned are: Viewpoint, Disturbance in the City, Recognition of Baha’u’llah, Messages from the Universal House of Justice and a site introducing other Baha’i sites. This action follows an earlier one on 19 Bahman [8 February] when 11 other Baha’i sites, including the Baha’i World News Service and Negah (Glance ) sites, were simultaneously blocked.

Translation by Iran Press Watch