Youth engaged in Bahá’í community-building activities spearhead a community garden project, nurturing community ties and improving their local environment.

United Arab Emirates: Youth cultivate community spirit in new garden

May 9, 2024

AJMAN, United Arab Emirates — A transformative neighborhood initiative is taking root in Ajman. A group of youth, inspired by their participation in Bahá’í moral education programs, have turned a once underutilized plot of land into a flourishing community garden.

“This project is more than an effort to beautify our environment—it’s a vibrant expression of community service and spiritual growth,” said Sana Reyhani, the facilitator of the group.

Motivated by a desire to apply the Bahá’í teachings on social transformation to the progress of their neighborhood, these youth are enhancing their physical surroundings while fostering a profound sense of community spirit and collaboration among residents of diverse backgrounds.

Residents working together in the community garden project. Slideshow
3 images

Residents working together in the community garden project.

The youth launched the project by cultivating a variety of fruits and vegetables, recognizing that success would depend on fostering collective consciousness and commitment. To raise awareness and encourage participation, they used online platforms to share messages about environmental stewardship and the benefits of the garden, inviting all neighborhood residents to join the initiative.

The response was enthusiastic. Many neighbors, moved by the youth’s dedication to service, offered their support. One experienced farmer among them expressed his eagerness to contribute: “My wish is to support and teach them effective farming practices so that our neighborhood can flourish.”

Ayman Rohanian, the group’s facilitator, reflected on the project’s broader impacts: “This initiative has revitalized aspects of our local environment and has also inspired a sense of responsibility among community members to collaborate and extend their care beyond their own families.”

The youth involved in the project discovered how new patterns of interaction can emerge from modest efforts. “I’ve learned that even our small efforts can foster unity and a spirit of service within the community,” noted one young person. Another added, “Taking care of the environment by planting flowers brings me immense joy, and it plants happiness in our neighborhood as well.”

The youth-led community garden project features a variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Slideshow
3 images

The youth-led community garden project features a variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

Sana Reyhani, reflecting on the initiative’s deeper significance, stated: “This endeavor beautifully demonstrates how the growth of the individual is closely linked with that of the community, showing that each one of us has a role in contributing to our society’s welfare.”

The garden has evolved into a social space that fosters peaceful interaction among neighbors, who come together to care for and enjoy the greenery they have nurtured together.

Recognizing the broader impact of their work, one youth remarked, “I feel like I am a young farmer contributing not just to my neighborhood but to my country.”