Monday, October 26, 2009

On the Qu'ran - Baha'i Children's Class With Hajji Hossain: Baha'i friends in Tacoma join with their neighbors for the spiritual education of their children

The light was low at the combined Qu'ran-Baha'i children's class with Hajji Hossain and his children, nephews and nieces. I have never figured out how to use a flash on the camera my son passed down to me. The low-light conditions meant I had a lot of photos that I euphemistically call "artful," images that were discernable but distorted, images convenying an experience that was too memorable not to keep.

Our visit to the home where we had the class was our third. I encountered this extended Muslim family from Kenya, along with my teammate Michael from the visiting Black Men's Gathering, on the first day of our cluster's 17th Baha'i Intensive Program of Growth, our fourth focused on Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood. The approach we were taking in the campaign this time was to focus on inviting residents to partake of the Baha'i core activities as a way of building a spiritual community of people of all backgrounds on the Hilltop.

Hajji Hossain taught how to do the Muslim obligatory prayer, complete with prostrations and ablutions, and the Baha'i teachers, Tahirih and Helen, shared Baha'i songs about unity and engaged the children in coloring activities. There were eight children in the home, which were joined by four Baha'i children, Tahirih and Helen's combined brood, and five Baha'i adults. One of the friends, Shadi, spoke Arabic, much to Hajji Hossain's comfort, having learned it going to Arab school in Haifa, Israel.

Hossain kindly offered us hot sweet tea with milk, served from two thermos. He shared about his life and recent difficulties. He expressed great interest in children's classes in our cluster. We look forward to returning to the home. Hossain's 14 year-old son may be interested in participating in junior youth activities as well. -gw

Hajji Hossain and the children

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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