Wednesday, February 28, 2007

On Ayyam-i-Ha Rushing to Conclusion: Fast Approaches

Ayyam-i-Ha is rushing to a conclusion again this year, and the fast is nigh upon us. -gw

Happy Ayyam-i-ha, all you crazy Baha'is. I've stopped calling this holiday the Baha'i Christmas and am now calling it the Baha'i Mardi Gras, minus the beads...
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Happy Ayyam-i-Ha! The party went well. ... Afterwards we had a short interfaith pray service. Allen read from the Koran (he's not Muslim). Bennet and I read from Baha'i writings, Upendo read from Baha'i writings in Kiswahili (she's not Baha'i) and Amber and Emmanuel read from the Bible.
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Well, the first day of Ayyam-i-Ha is concluded. This is nearly my favorite time of year--especially when there are such wonderful events as are going on this week. Tonight, I left work early and went to have dinner with my parents and several Baha'i friends--we spent most of the time just laughing hysterically, and those are the best kind of evenings anyway.
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But it was last night that was beautiful. After a few months of intense planning, the Baha'is of Albany, having teamed up with the Jewish community of Temple Israel, pulled off a tremendous victory: a multicultural benefit concert that raised more than $1,500 to benefit the Food Pantries for the Capital District. The best part was the extraordinary teamwork between people of both faiths--there we were, in a conservative Jewish synagogue, and the Baha'is were working as greeters, welcoming people in. In the lobby, both "Shalom" and "Allah'u'abha" rang out in greeting. Initially a little shy around one another, by evening's end there was a shared pleasure and sense of being part of something much bigger than one evening's fundraiser.
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Klezmer, reggae, gospel music sung by two members of a Baptist choir from across town, steel drums, and African dance. And complete openness and trust from both communities.
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Of course, it didn't hurt my feelings at all to have a very tired Lila and a very happy Rhea (who is about 5, and enjoys playing big sister to Lila as much as I enjoy playing auntie) come join me in the front row while I ran the video camera for a while. What a great start to Ayyam-i-Ha: great music, great friendships-in-the-making, watching my friend Barry see one of his dearest wishes come true, and hanging out with two of my favorite wee girls. I'm grinning.
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{Re-posted with permission}

1 comment:

Marco said...

Dear George,
I think you will like to watch this video.