Green union

Photo essay: Retreat for Bahai children

by faryarm
This is a truly special place; a kind of spiritual retreat. Every summer since 1998 our family has been gathering at historic, Green Acre, Maine. It is a joyous peaceful time when we revisit friends and family from all over the world and recharge our spiritual batteries; a time when our children who are scattered throughout the US and the world become acquainted with each other and understand the meaning of unity, family and fellowship. I pray that one day these Bahai children can experience the same freedom and fellowship in Iran and be able to visit the cradle of their Faith and the Holy land of their Persian ancestors.

more from faryarm

What is a cult?!

by BB (not verified) on

1) If Bahai is a cult, then what is Shia Islam? Isn’t that more cult like?! What distinguishes between a cult and a religion? The number of followers?!
What is Islam in that matter?! What does distinguish Islam or any other religion from a cult? Do you guys have proof on the truth of your belief and faith?


Al hagh, For President

by Kourosh S. (not verified) on

Easy there Mr. Hagh. Coming out a tad too strong there,aren't we? I mean, What do we have to do to be able to get our opinions posted here, without facing the risk of getting our behinds chewed by you, Haghi?
I assume you are gonna be standing there with a rope in your precious, truth-worshipping hands to pull me and all the other names you mentioned, out of our miseries? ha? will you?
Oh, please, dear god, please let al hagh be the one.


Mr Theology Student, do you even know the meaning of a Cult?

by faryarm on

Mr Theology Student, Please choose your words carefully...

The Bahai faith has been called a lot of things by its enemies,but a carefull examination proves their every point baseless. 

Here are the main distingusihing marks of a Cult:

1. The Leader 

2. The Use of "Controlling" Techniques

3. Social and Physical Isolation

5.) Secrecy and Deception

The Bahai Faith has none of the above and is an open book for all to examine.. 

Please see for full text.



dear Faryam

by Souri on

No need to apologize dear. Misunderstanding happens all the time. If I may dare to say something about all that happened this time to your beautiful post, it is the fact that:

it is not suggested to post an article/blog in a rush or when we don't have enough time to support the idea heartedly and fully.

In the past, you were always present %100 to answer all the question and inquiries. This time it was always silence and other friends tried to reply to the questions. So they had tried their bests :-) but each one had their own
point of view .

Let cheer up now.

Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures, I really enjoyed .


Har ke hagh goft chon Mansur nasibash daar aast. En Al Hagh

by Enal Hagh (not verified) on

We need to learn how to learn.

Untill then shah hussain / courosh / houshang and others who know our weaknesses rule us by force and by deciet, from the very pulpit of public deceit we let them climb.

readers digest


Dear Religious Scholar

by A theology student (not verified) on

Thank you for your rather Exhaustive and Complete explanation of the similarities between the MORMON Faith and the BAHAIs.

However, I believe that you forgot to mention that in their respective countries, in the case of Mormons, in America; and in the case of Bahais, in Iran, they are both considered as Cults.

I know that you used the term "Sacrilege" to define the unacceptability of the faiths in the eyes of main stream Christians and Shia Muslims. But to be honest with you, I believe that you were rather diplomatic in using your words :) :)

But thank you anyway for educating us on this!!


Do these innocent girls know

by earth (not verified) on

Do these innocent girls know that unlike the boys, they'll never be able to attain the top leadership positions at the Universal House of Justice?

Saman Ahmadi

The Color Human

by Saman Ahmadi on

I know Faryar and his very extended family - I was roommates with one of his cousins for a few years.  Even though it looks like they did not make it to the reunion, at least one of Faryar's cousins is married to an African-American and I have seen their beautiful daughter.


My sister is married an Anglo-American and she has four children  - three blondes and a brunette.


It is not unusual for Baha'is to marry outside their "race" - the primary message of Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, was that there is one God, one religion - that is progressively revealed - and that there is one human race.  His son, Abdul-Baha (1844-1922), explicitly encouraged marriage between the "races".


The world is catching up to what Baha'u'llah wrote about, beginning in 1863 (btw, a significant date in the history of the US) - the theme of the Olympics was "One World, One Dream".


Oneness is a Natural Law and its power is more seductive every day.


Too Much of a religion!!??

by kourosh s. (not verified) on

DEar Faryarm and all Bahais.

With all due respect, after reading some of the comments in here, i was a bit taken aback by what you said in that last posting, claiming that you were somehow upset that you had exposed your family to such sad level of commentaries, stemming from lack of knowledge or hasrh prejudgements!!
I really think you making a big deal out of this sir. It is wonderful that your faith has such a tremendous regard for all people from all races and creeds. Not to compare bahaism with Mormonism and Their church,But I think the followers of both sects/ideologies are engaged in some exterimist tactics here.

If as you and Miss mona 19 have suggested, open-mindedness and promotion of moral and spiritual eduation is of outmost importance to you, Then why do we get upset about some supposedly harsh comments that I DO NOT EVEN SEE SLIGHTEST EVIDENCE OF, in any of the 29 that were here!

What is the problem with a little bit scrutinizing and showing some curiosity and wanting to know more?

It is great that your teenagers and young adults, are educated enough to take on tough issues and questions and come up with great answers. Maybe you should Let your pride go a little and Think that, hey there is still a lot more out there you could teach about your faith, and not being offended by questions or comments!!

That is just my opinion.


Bahais were pesecuted a lot during the Pahlavi dictatorship

by John Carpenter III (not verified) on

We can not forget the Bahais that were persecuted during the Pahlavi dictatorship. The Bahais of that time are gone but not forgotton. The Pahlavis on the other hand are gone and forgotton.



by faryarm on

 I must say, judging  by the tone of some comments I deeply regret having exposed my family and these beautiful children to the sad level of commentary that can only be from some people's ingrained suspicion, lack of knowledge and brutal pre judgement of anything related to Bahai.

FYI, the original and suggested title of the photo essay was new these children are all from one or two Persian parents, expecially the light skinned , blue eyed ones...that happen to be mine and my father's family (my wife and i are both 150% Persian :) . For whatever reason Jahanshah decided to change the title to Green Union..

To the person about "forcing religion..." He / she must understand that as parents our first obligation is the education of our children. Bahai education has everything to do with preparing the children's mind to thirst for knowledge...about character buiding, honesty, trustworthiness, humilty and as much as they can digest about God and His uropose fo us on ths earth; this does NOT empty ritual or dogma; My children are taught to not blindly accept anything to question, and Question, they DO !!!..

I try to to expose them to the kind of moral and spiritual education long absent in many a family and these days in most schools. 

My Ten year old has already developed a sense of who he is ; he knows where his roots are from, he proudly announces that he is Iranian, ( even though he is US born)  He insists on the correct pronunciation of his persian name; at the same time he can explain to you in the best way a ten year old can  why the world is in a mess..his understanding of religion and its importance is simple;to bring happiness and unity to the people of the world, as we are all one human race..i guess he sees some small example of that in our own family.


Children are like sponges; they soak up everything around them...and in the cesspool of the society we live in , where just about everything has to do with instant gratification and crass commercial, materialism, with TV and its thoughtless programming having replaced parental supervision; its as if we are swimming against the current in an ocean of Effluent 

What my children experience in those few days leaves such a powerful and positive effect on their behavior  that my wife and i wish we could have that kind of education back home all year round. The questions that even days after are generated by something the teacher said is astounding and heartening...

 I believe it is more important to bring up good human beings before Scholars with no humanity. 

I wish you could see the tears on the last days as these 7 to 14 year olds were saying their goodbyes....and here i am talking only about the children...


To Souri, First and foremost, my apologies for the seemingly short answer...I am actually travelling abroad and find it difficult to respond to posts with my phone browser...and lack of KB. 






Mona 19

No one is forceing their views on the children,...

by Mona 19 on

As a Bahai comunity we place great emphasis on the Moral and Spiritual education of the children and the youth.

Every week I take my daughter to childrens class ( darse akhlagh) to our center to learn about virtues, the history, pricciples, and centeral figures of the faith, and also the lives and teachings of the founders of the great major world religions, and the importance of prayers in her daily life.

As my dear father did the same thing with me, a practicing moslem he was the first one told me about the Bahais, he shared with me the basic knowlege he had.

I believe as a parent it's up to our children to decide for themselves... I'm always reminding my daughter that she needs to investigate for herself , and She shouldn't become a Bahai just because her parents are.



Mona ;)

“Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.”


Dear Tahirih

by Souri on

I don't know who you think Sialashgar (Shah Hossein) is, but reading his comment, I am sure he is an Afghan friend. Knowing what is now happening in his country especially for the children, I can say I understand his point . Please be more indulgent, I'd be very grateful to you honey jan. Thanks.


Sialashgar look inside for hidden biases!

by Tahirih on

 Please read your posts again , how many times your implying that Faryar have used white children to show beauty!!! Now lets examine , to see who has the bias , thinking only whites are beautiful!!!!!

Is it you or me?

Dear , I can recognize you with any name you pick !the beauty of bahai faith is acceptance of all races as equal, so please try to use another thing to criticise it!

All races are beautiful and mix children are wonderful does not matter black ,yellow, red or white.

Peace on earth,


Mona 19

All Children Are Beautiful ,...

by Mona 19 on

... they are the adornment of our life.They’re the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.

"Children are...

* Amazing, acknowledge them.
* Believable, trust them.
* Childlike, allow them.
* Divine, honor them.
* Energetic, nourish them.
* Fallible, embrace them.
* Gifts, treasure them.
* Here Now, be with them.
* Innocent, delight with them.
* Joyful, appreciate them.
* Kindhearted, learn from them.
* Lovable, cherish them.
* Magical, fly with them.
* Noble, esteem them.
* Open-minded, respect them.
* Precious, value them.
* Questioners, encourage them.
* Resourceful, support them.
* Spontaneous, enjoy them.
* Talented, believe in them.
* Unique, affirm them.
* Vulnerable, protect them.
* Whole, recognize them.
* Xtraspecial, celebrate them.
* Yearning, notice them.
* Zany, laugh with them."~ Meiji Stewart


Dear Faryar, Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures.


Mona ;)


Ebi Jon thank you again.

by Sialashgar on

A very good history lesson thank you.And I had to go back to your previous coment and read it again.I laughed a lot this time regardless of the fact I was very scared. Maa Chakare Shomaim

Shah Hossein

ebi amirhosseini

Re: Sialashgar Jaan

by ebi amirhosseini on

Jesting aside,it refers to a dark period of Iran's history,that the last Safavid king,i.e Shah Soltan Hossein,by his own hands gave the "Taaj-e-Paadeshaahi" to Afghans in Murche khort-Esphehan.

"Vays Khan governed Kandahar until his death in 1715. In 1716 the Abdalis (Durrani) of Herat, encouraged by his example, took up arms against the Persians and under their leader, Asad Allah Khan, succeeded in liberating their province. Mahmud, Mir Vays's young son and successor, was not content with holding Kandahar, and in 1722 he led some 20,000 men against Esfahan; the Safavid government surrendered after a six-month siege.

Mahmud died in 1725 and was succeeded by Ashraf, who had to contend with Russian pressure from the north and Ottoman Turk advances from the west.".



Dear Tahirih ,you too are very nice

by Sialashgar on

First of all I like to congradulate you for having the blue print for perfection.

Second most of the children being from mixed races do you by that mean mixed with caucasian? And is that part of the formula(blue print)for perfection? Because if so looking at this picturs I think you're getting very close.Love Shah Hossein



Religious scholar

by Souri on

Thanks for the intensive information. I appreciated.


Dear Souri (Re: Your Inquiry)

by Religious Scholar (US) (not verified) on

I read your initial inquiry, and the two (2) religions that are somewhat similar are 'Bahaism' (The Bahai Faith) and 'Moromonism' (The Mormon faith). Not the 'Jehovah's Witness'.

Both Bahaism and Mormonism came about in the early part of 19th century. For Mormonism, its founder was Joseph Smith. The Mormon Faith is also called the 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints'. Or for short, the 'LDS Church'.

You have to understand one thing: With 'Mormonism', Joseph Smith, its founder, claimed that he had a new revelation from God regarding the Christian Church. With Bahaism, Mirza Hossein-Ali Nouri (who later called himself 'Bahaullah') said that he was the fulfillment of a new revelation from God as described by 'Bab'. Bab, who was the initiator of 'Babism' in Iran, claimed that he was the re-appearnce of the twelfth Imam of Shia Islam. He proclaimed that a Greater Prophet would come after him (Bab). Later on, Mirza Hossein-Ali Nouri claimed himself to be that Prophet, and changed his name to 'Bahullah'.

I know that it can get confusing, but just remember one thing: There are many people, especially in the West, who believe that Bahaism and Mormonism have had both 'direct' and 'indirect' influence on one another. They both came about the same time. Both Joseph Smith and Mirza Hossein-Ali Nouri claimed that they had a new revelation from God. And finally, they are both off-shoots of already established religions: in the case of Mormonism, Christianity; in the case of Bahaism, Islam (through what Bab claimed). Bahasim does not exist but through its link to Islam through 'Bab' (Again, who claimed that he was the re-appearance of the twelfth Imam of the Shia Tradition) - That's the foundation of Bahaism's credibilty

There is one other thing that you have to understand: Both Bahaism and Mormonism have a form of Missionary Program that is somewhat similar. With Mormonism, every male that reaches the age of 19, has to go on a Missionary Trip for two (2) years. There is, as I understand, a program of Missionary work also for The Bahais.

I hope that has clarified things for you

P.S. One last point: both Mormonism and Bahaism are considered sacrilege by Christianity and Islam, respectively. That is the primary root of the persection of both faiths


Dear Sialashgar, you are too nice!!

by Tahirih on

Most of the children looked liked being from mixed races, and mixed race kids are beautiful. What is wrong with that? may be Faryar took pictures of his kids and his wife is Caucasian?I am just speculating. There was for sure couple of pure Persian kids too, what can I say Persians are beautiful too.

 Honestly, have you ever seen an ugly kid? I have never seen one in my life. All children are beautiful, it is the innocence in them that makes them beautiful.So why are you so surprised that kids in his pictures are beautiful!!

We are not perfect, no one is. But we hope to strive towards it and think that we have the blue print for it( which is the bahai principles), you may argue with that, but that is your opinion and you are entitled to it dear.

By the way , one of the things that we believe is unity in diversity, which is celebrating our differences, just go to any bahai function , and you will see how diverse we are.If you look around you see lots of ugly ones too!!, but with whose standards,since beauty is in the eye of beholder.

most certainly not ugly:))



Ebi Jon

by Sialashgar on

Thany you,I am having lots of fun but don't know who Ashraf-e-Afghan is !

Shah Hossein


Thank you Faryarm

by samsam1111 on

for sharing!

God bless!!


Great memories

by JK (not verified) on

Thanks for posting these pictures. I remember going to Green Acre Baha'i Summer School ( as a child and I have some of my best memories there, especially being pushed in the tire swing.

There are some that have asked questions about Green Acre. It actually has played an important part in US history. Many African American writers during the time of the Harlem Renaissance (1920s and 1930s) spoke there and it also served as an important place for national leaders of thought to discuss issues of racial reconciliation, gender equality, and peace.

As a child, fascinated by Helen Keller, I remember seeing a letter that she had sent to Sarah Farmer (early American Baha'i that started Green Acre) commenting on the braille version of Baha'u'llah's Hidden Words that she received.

Green Acre is a wonderful place and will always hold fond memories.

ebi amirhosseini

Dear Sialashgar

by ebi amirhosseini on

Since I'm not a Bahai,I rest my case!.

Have fun Shah hossein,since Ashraf-e-Afghan is on his way!!!



Re: Ebi Perfect People

by Sialashgar on

Thank you for the links I enjoyed them a lot.

But I still thing the pictures posted by faryarm 

have a complete diferent message then the linkes 

posted by you.Perfect people at a perfect place with their perfect religion Bahai.

I am just having fun !!!!!!! I love everybody Peace.  Shah Hossein

ebi amirhosseini

Re: Sialashgar

by ebi amirhosseini on

It takes all sorts of poeple to make a world.

I have Ethiopian Bahai colleques.

since you want them mix,check the links dear:





Best Wishes


Too Perfect ! Are Bahais the chosen ones too now?

by Sialashgar on

Are all Bahai people white and beautiful ?

I don't like perfect people.I like mixed nuts,blacks, whites,chines,philipina..........I like them a little ugly

and imperfect like me and my self.Defect is good.

The kids and the place is too perfect. Hossein 


Tahirih jan

by Souri on

Thanks again. I had already apologized in my first post, to remove any ambiguity about that question. Indeed, getting offended by this simple question, is not very intelligent neither, because it's like Bahais take themselves much higher than all others. It is a sing of disrespect for other faiths which exist anyway. Comparing apples and orange, might be stupid but is not offensive as much as i know.

Seeing those pictures of children in a garden, reminded me of the similar pictures I had seen with the " Jehava's witness" in US. They had brought to me some books and pictures, i haven't read them fully.

Just seeing those pictures, made me so hopeful and happy and also they reminded me of my old question. Anyway, let get over this subject.

Doesn't matter.



Thank you Faryar ;

by Tahirih on

Beautiful place , beautiful children. Funny , just last week I was talking to my husband about it. I am planing to go there with the family next summer. How is it for teenagers, that's what we have:))