Centenary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing: Remembering His life in the Holy Land
BAHÁ’Í WORLD CENTRE — Amid preparations throughout the world for the commemoration of the centenary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing, several events held recently in Haifa and ‘Akká 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-Bahá’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 ‘Akká, a public reception at the House of ‘Abdu’lláh Páshá, where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 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 ‘Akká through an exhibition and a guided visit of the site.
A short distance away in Bahjí, where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had rented a residence for Bahá’u’lláh and His family in 1879, a special program brought together the mayor of ‘Akká, 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-Bahá, 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-Jazzár Mosque in ‘Akká and an attendee at the gathering in Bahjí, shared his reflections about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “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 ‘Abbás Effendi whose message serves as a beacon for humanity.”
Below is a selection of images from these events.
The mayor of Haifa (left), Einat Kalisch-Rotem, spoke at the reception at 10 Haparsim Street. The building at this location was constructed under the direction of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to function as a pilgrim house.
The reception also included members of diverse faith communities and area residents, where all gathered in a spirit of fellowship and harmony.
The program included stories from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life, musical performances, and remarks by a number of speakers.
Visitors at the House of ‘Abdu’lláh Páshá viewed an exhibit about the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the construction of His Shrine in ‘Akká.
During the time He lived in the House of ‘Abdu’lláh Páshá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá regularly received visitors from all segments of society and from all faiths and backgrounds. Pictured on the left is the tent of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá pitched in the courtyard of the House of ‘Abdu’lláh Páshá, c. 1907.
At the gathering in Bahjí, the mayor of ‘Akká, Shimon Lankri, addressed the diverse group of guests, saying that although Bahá’u’lláh and His family arrived in ‘Akká as exiles and prisoners, their contributions to the well-being of the city continue to be felt.
A diverse group of attendees were welcomed by representatives of the Bahá’í International Community at the reception honoring the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His lasting impact on the region.
A panel exhibit about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the construction of His Shrine was displayed at the event. Attendees also had the opportunity to visit the surrounding gardens at Bahjí.