Opening of Baha'i terraces on Mount Carmel to be available live around the world by satellite

April 15, 2001

HAIFA, Israel — Coverage of ceremonies inaugurating a series of majestic terrace gardens extending nearly one kilometer up the side of Mount Carmel will be available live by satellite around the world on 22 and 23 May 2001.

More than 3,000 Baha'is from some 170 countries are expected to attend the outdoor event on the evening of 22 May, which will feature an original oratorio, performed by a symphony orchestra and choir assembled at the base of the terraces. At the height of the ceremony, the kilometer-long terraces will be dramatically illuminated. They extend from the base to the crest of a mountain that has been considered holy throughout recorded history.

The ceremonies will mark the end of a 10-year, US$250 million project to complete key elements of the spiritual and administrative center of the Baha'i Faith. Two major administrative buildings have also been completed on Mount Carmel during the project.

On 23 May, following concert and inauguration, indigenous performers will lead a devotional program, and the thousands of celebrants, many in colorful national dress, will ascend the terraces for the first time. This event will also be carried live by satellite.

"Given the universal character of the Faith and its vision for global unity and peace, it makes sense that coverage of these events is available worldwide, " said Douglas Samimi-Moore, director of the Office of Public Information at the Baha'i World Centre. "This celebration tells a story of sacrifice, of transformation from deprivation and darkness into beauty and light. That such a diverse and widespread community could complete these tasks and share them with the people of the world should give us all confidence for the future."

The celebration of the opening of the gardens will last through the week. The festivities precede the opening of the gardens to the public in June, when visitors and tourists of all backgrounds and beliefs will be able to enjoy the gardens, everyday, free of charge.

Satlink Communications Ltd will be transmitting the events from 13.30 – 17.30 GMT on 22 May, and from 05.30 – 08.30 GMT on 23 May. Inside Israel, the events can be seen on the EUTELSAT W1 and on television channel 9. Outside Israel, coverage will be on EUTELSAT-W1 (Israel, Europe and the Middle East), INTELSAT 604- (Africa Coverage), ASIASAT 2 (Asia Coverage), TELSTAR 6 (North America), NSS 806 (South America), and NSS 803 (USA).

The Israel Broadcasting Authority is also preparing a full-length live radio broadcast of the May 22 event on its flagship music station, Kol Israel (Voice of Israel), with narration. The IBA will also act as the sponsoring station to carry the program to the European Broadcast Union and thereby to national radio outlets in many member countries.

More information about the satellite up-link of the opening of the Terraces is available at