Launching Bahá’í Chronicles


Three years ago, Neda  Najibi started a series on her Facebook page titled ‘Did You Know?’ portraying stories about Bahá’í Heroes and Heroines. She  did this because she noticed there wasn’t a single online location systematically attempting to capture the heroism, struggles, victories, sacrifices, and  the dedication of  past and present Bahá’ís.

The death of Neda’s father (Nassir Najibi 1925-2013) gave her the impetus to launch Bahá’í Chronicles, to honour the many heroes and heroines, past and present, of the Bahá’í Faith.

She undertook the project to honour the memory of her father and feels he has been her guiding light for the past two years of putting this site together. 

The team that have created the site are: Neda Nassir Najibi, Co-Founder and Editor; Vanda Marie Khadem, Co-Founder. Bahá’í Chronicles intentionally does not make mention of the creators’ collegiate years, career environment or achievements but rather seeks to share the collective Bahá’í goals which resulted in this website. 

What follows is a  short promo video and then a discussion of the project.

June: Neda can you tell us why you decided to create the Bahá’í chronicles web site?

Neda: The website was a culmination of a few things: Firstly for the past 3 years I’ve been posting ‘Did You Know about the Bahá’í faith?’ on my Facebook page and realized there wasn’t one site that had all the stories. Secondly my father died in 2013. He’d always encourage me to promote the Faith, and still is my guiding light, my hero, so this site is in honor of him.

June: What have been the most inspiring aspects of putting together Bahá’í Chronicles?

Neda: It’s been a true journey where each word, each story becomes relived and it’s a great feeling of nourishing memories and sharing such history with the world.

The website is a journey of discovery and inspiration empowering us to realize our rich global legacy through stories of Bahá’í from around the world.

We’re hoping for more contributors. Currently we have Sue Chehrenegar, Ceylan Isgor-Locke, Tara Jabbari, yourself, Joy Goldblatt, Brent Poirer. Also Jonah Winters, Don Calkins, Mary Firdawsi, Candace Hill and Richard Doering have been amazing contributors, doing lots of research and providing material for the site.

June: What have been some of the challenges? For instance how easy has it been to find video and audio?

Neda: This is a continuous project where as soon as videos and audios are found they will be placed on the site.

June: So if anyone out there has more footage they should send it to you?

Neda: Yes if they have the rights to do so we would love to include them.

June: Will the site be an ongoing project?

Neda: Absolutely ! The few hundred stories that will  be on the site hopefully will grow as more people are aware of its existence. We would welcome more contributors and stories from all around the world.

June: Thanks so much for your time and I wish you all the best for the launch this week and for the future of the site.

Anyone wishing to contribute a story of a Bahá’í Hero or Heroine, to Bahá’í Chronicles should contact Neda at

Bahai chronicles logo
Articles should be between 500-1000 words, well referenced, with photographs and interesting hyperlinks.  If you have any audio or film to accompany that would be greatly appreciated.  Neda will send you full guidelines if you have a story for consideration for the site. 
Email HERE  Facebook page HERE
Image at the top features (all of whom are on the site)
Top Row L-R: Mr. Abul Qasim Faizi, Queen Marie of Romania, Mona Mahmudinezhad, King of Western Samoa – Malietoa Tanumafili II, Louis Gregory, Ruhiyyih Khanum, Martha Root
Bottom Row L-R: Mary Maxwell (aka Ruhiyyih Khanum), Mr. Zikrullah Khadem, Robert Turner, Shoghi Effendi, Patricia Locke, Abdul’-Baha in Paris.

Playing Robin Hood

Playing Robin Hood – June Perkins

To play, to dream, to collaborate – the collage above involved all these three things, and was a result of my son’s brilliant idea to play Robin Hood and have me photograph him.

Today he is away on a camp for leaders, and no there is no archery set with him, but he is going to do some wall climbing and other team building exercises.  He will be away all week.

It is too quiet around here!

He is growing so quickly and I am proud of the young man he is becoming.

I remember days as a child when I would play act in the woods with my friends.  We were Robin Hood and his gang, hiding in Sherwood forest.  We were going to make the worlds a better place.  But it is not really as simple as robbing the rich to give to the poor.

Still Robin Hood’s mythical sense of justice , chivalry, and helping the down trodden is something that can be admired, even if his methods involved a lot of bow and arrow.

Seriously, what can we learn from Robin Hood ?

1- Legends can be reworked, reimagined until people find them real in their consequences

2-Robin Hood changes to fit the day and age, sometimes he is a philanthropist, sometimes national hero

3-Archery is cool!

4- We will never really know if there was a real Robin  Hood.

5- Nottingham gets to have a cool tourism attraction.

(c) June Perkins

Bolt of Talent: Lessons in the Making of a Champion

Taking Aim2
Aiming High: June Perkins

Today’s blog continues my interest in running.  This morning I was inspired by watching the fastest 100 metres final ever,  seven finalists ran under 10 seconds.

I don’t profess to be a professional sports writer, but there is something about Usain Bolt’s achievement that can inspire us all and something magical about today’s final that will inspire me with my daily journey back to being a runner.  In my childhood I wanted to be  a fast 400m or 800m runner, but I never quite got there.  I have always admired those who achieve their dreams as runners, and will never forget the feeling I had when I did my personal best in a race.

With a name like Usain Bolt it seems destiny called Mr Bolt into the field of running like a lightning bolt. Today Bolt ran into the realm of legend and some commentators said, he undid the saying, ’lightening never strikes twice,’ by doing just that.  He has now won two Olympic 100 metres back to back, something never done legally before except by Carl Lewis courtesy of Ben Johnson being caught for cheating.

So what makes someone want to be the fastest man in the world, and gives him the realisation that he has that capacity.

I don’t have an opportunity to interview Bolt, and right this minute I think he’d be a hard man to catch, just looking at the camera and media people lining up to have their super-fast chats.

But watching his feat this morning first thing when I woke up I wondered: what is the more in-depth story behind the man who has done so much for restoring people’s faith in athletics, a sport where some high profile people have cheated and people  start to doubt natural ability.  So like most people I web-surf.  Not always highly reliable, but let’s see what it shows us.

One interesting biography on line, traces Bolt’s career from childhood to today and reveals that Jamaican sprinter, particularly as a teenage was a practical joker and didn’t always take his running seriously.  It outlines in some detail how Bolt just didn’t initially have the focus that was going to make him a true champion.  His commitment to his sport, despite his obvious natural talent, was questioned by many commentators and athletes, and he was often in the paper for nightclubbing and eating fast food (a sin for a serious athlete).  Yet Jamaican athletics kept giving him those opportunities because of his obvious talent and tried to harness that talent.

This biography reveals that Bolt wanted to run the 100m in 2006, but was being groomed for the 400m and Usain made a deal with his coach, Mr Mills, said that if he could break the Jamaican 200 m record he would then let Bolt run the 100 m.  To his coaches surprise Bolt did just that, the year was 2007.

Bolt always loved sport and as a youth he excelled at cricket, perhaps he could have even chosen to be a cricketer, but it was athletics where his brilliance really shone through and he was the youngest junior world gold medallist for the 200 metres at just fifteen.  Can you imagine being that young and winning a medal at that level?

Bolt’s breakthrough year was 2007, and came after two years of injuries, a change of coach and pivotal moments like being given opportunities to prove himself.  It seems despite his early promise his full brilliance took a bit of time to come to fruition.  Now it is hard to imagine the sport without him.

Can’t wait to see how Bolt does in the 200m.

Snap shot memory of the 100m race before summary – the runners all doing their identity movements to the camera prior to the race – from beasts to eyeing the camera off and Bolt’s little set of movements that are recognisable as a mantra, the final over so fast with Bolt running FAST and the others fast but not fast enough, the elation of Bolt and the special and funny moment where the Mascot comes and gives him a gold mascot and poses for a photograph.

Five things Usain Bolt’s story teaches us:

1)      Creative thinking brings success (trying different sports or distances until one brings you amazing success)

2)      Teachers and coaches who persevere with talented people can be surprised and rewarded by their efforts

3)      Success breeds hunger for more success but you still need to work for it

4)      Natural ability needs opportunity to shine

5)      Set- backs can make a person rather than break them.

(c) June Perkins

Two biographies amongst many others you can read on the talented and inspiring Bolt.

Other interesting articles out today