Thursday, May 13, 2010

On Baha'i Development in Rural Areas As Advocated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha: Self-sufficiency and self-reliance

"Jordan" Uploaded on March 22, 2010 by Fadi Alsabbagh on flickr

This paper comprises of a systematic study of the work of Baha'i farmers, food growers and sharecroppers who, for over half a century (1906–60), toiled on the lands in ‘Adasiyyah, a village in the north-west of Jordan. The history of this community has been reconstructed from written and oral sources. The author presents the early history of this community from the time that ‘Abdu’l-Baha purchased the land for it. The earliest settlers were Baha'is of Zoroastrian background who moved there from Yazd in Iran. The author describes the gradual growth of this community, some of the problems that they encountered and the guidance that ‘Abdu’l-Baha gave them. In particular, the author concentrates on the agricultural development of the community's lands and the innovations that they introduced, some of which were subsequently taken up by other farmers in the area. Some conclusions are drawn about the features of Baha'i development in rural areas as advocated by ‘Abdu’l-Baha: the importance of agriculture to rural development; fairness and moderation in the landlord–tenant relationship; the importance of prayer and consultation in community decision-making and resolution of conflict; and the importance of developing self-sufficiency and self-reliance in rural populations.,id=9368/

Volume 16 of the Baha'i Studies Review is out. The article above, included in the volume, addresses what appears to be, if this abstract is any indication, a fascinating combination of subjects. Iraj Poostchi is the author of the article. The Editorial & Advisory Boards for BSR include the following members. -gw

Editors and Board Members
Edited by Steve Cooney, New Zealand and
Ismael Velasco, England

Book Review Editor: Daniel Grolin

Assistant Editors:
Oliver Christopherson
Zhamac Lee
Judith Oppenheimer
Duncan Thomas
Saleem Vaillancourt
Sathia Varqa

Editorial Board:
William Collins (Library of Congress)
Arthur Dahl (United Nations Environment Programme)
Nazila Ghanea (University of Oxford
Will van den Hoonaard (University of New Brunswick)
Stephen Lambden (Ohio University)
Todd Lawson (University of Toronto)
Ulf Petresson (University of Goteborg)
Sholeh Quinn (Ohio University)
Peter Smith (Mahidol University)

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