Amid preparations throughout the world for the commemoration of the centenary of Abdu’l-Baha’s passing, several events held recently in Haifa and Akka have welcomed municipal officials and area residents to mark the occasion at historic sites associated with him.
In Haifa, the mayor of the city, Einat Kalisch-Rotem, and other municipal officials, members of diverse faith communities, and other residents of the city honored the centenary at a historic building near Abdu’l-Baha’s residence on Haparsim Street in a spirit of fellowship and unity reminiscent of the gatherings he Himself would hold with people of all backgrounds.
In Akka, a public reception at the House of Abdu’llah Pasha, where Abdu’l-Baha lived and received countless guests from 1896 to 1910, allowed people from around the country to learn about His life and His service to the inhabitants of Akka through an exhibition and a guided visit of the site.
A short distance away in Bahji, where Abdu’l-Baha had rented a residence for Baha’u’llah and his family in 1879, a special program brought together the mayor of Akka, Shimon Lankri, and other government officials, various community and religious leaders — Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze — academics, and civil society representatives to hear stories from the life of Abdu’l-Baha, where many of those gathered also shared their perspectives on His impact on the people of the region.
Sheikh Samir Assi, the Imam of the historic Al-Jazzar Mosque in Akka and an attendee at the gathering in Bahji, shared his reflections about Abdu’l-Baha: “What I witnessed in this elevating event deserves to last forever. This gathering highlighted the power of love and selfless service. May God bless the soul of Abbas Effendi whose message serves as a beacon for humanity.”A selection of images from these events may be viewed on news.bahai.org.
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