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Culture

A Glimpse of World Unity

Sama Shodjai | Oct 29, 2012

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

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Sama Shodjai | Oct 29, 2012

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

The following thoughts occurred to me while sitting on one of the marble benches facing the fountain in the entrance plaza, below the lower terraces of the Baha’i Gardens:

Terraces of the Shrine of the Bab

Terraces on Mount Carmel

I hear people talk about this idealistic “one human family” — sounds so perfect, but what does it mean? What does it feel like to have a united community?

Here at the Baha’i World Centre I have experienced for the first time what it feels like to live in a community where everyone is part of one human family. Hundreds of volunteers from countless backgrounds come to serve every year at the Baha’i World Centre located in Haifa, Israel. When I first arrived, I considered most of these individuals to be strangers; oh how I was completely proven wrong to consider them as such! The spirit of fellowship which is felt everywhere at the Baha’i World Centre made me realize this is exactly the kind of community we are aiming to build around the globe: a community where not knowing each other is no reason for acting like strangers with one another; a community where there is no trace of prejudice; a community where friends have meaningful and elevated conversations on a daily basis; a community where peoples’ bonds of friendship are strengthened because of their mutual love for God.

View of the Mediterranean Sea, Haifa, Israel

View of the Mediterranean Sea

Here in Haifa I am at last starting to understand what it means to have one human family, and I hope to take as much of this experience as I can with me, and share it with my community back home.

“Ye are all the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.” — Baha’u’llah

“So intense must be the spirit of love and loving-kindness, that the stranger may find himself a friend, the enemy a true brother, no difference whatsoever existing between them.” — Abdu’l-Baha

Note about the Baha’i World Centre, Haifa, Israel: The Baha’i World Centre is the spiritual and administrative epicenter of the Baha’i global community. The operations of the World Centre are administered by a community of Baha’i volunteers that serve for a term of service on a voluntary basis. Volunteers represent hundreds of ethnicities and backgrounds and offer service in a spectrum of roles based on their individual skills and the needs of the Baha’i World Centre. It is common for young Baha’is to undertake a year, up to a few years, of service after they have completed either their high school or undergraduate education. At any given time there are approximately 700 Baha’is volunteering at the Baha’i World Centre.

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