Bicentenary Celebration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

“The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.”  – Bahá’u’lláh

You are warmly invited to be our guest at a celebration marking the Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. We will celebrate at Cambridge University with a keynote speech by Sean Hinton, music and refreshments, 7:30–8:30pm on Wednesday 22nd November, William Mong Hall, Sidney Sussex College.

Sean Hinton is CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund and a graduate of Cambridge University and MIT. He has served as Mongolia’s first honorary consul-general in Australia, having worked extensively in China and Mongolia. Sean has lectured around the world, most recently at Oxford University and at Stanford University for the Global Speaker Series. He is also on the international advisory board of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland.

The great vision of Bahá’u’lláh is captured in the quotation: “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens”.  Seeking to implement the principle of the oneness of humanity envisioned by Bahá’u’lláh, we are striving to overcome prejudice and promote unity at all levels.

We hope that you will be able to join us in the celebrations. Should you require any further information, please contact us at bahai [at] cusu.cam.ac.uk.

Festival of Ideas talks 2017

Curiouser and Curiouser: A Quest for Truth

Psychologist Dulamdary Enkhtor explores the idea of truth through the lenses of neuroscience, spirituality, physics, mathematics, arts, mysticism and the Baha’i Writings.

Dr. Dulamdary Enkhtor has worked in her native Mongolia, as well as the UK, USA, Sweden, Czech Republic, Vietnam, India, Israel, Namibia, Indonesia and Serbia for a range of organisations including the World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, and Emory University. Currently she is global organisational effectiveness consultant at Roche, Switzerland. She holds a PhD in Psychology and an MSc in Development Studies, and carried out her undergraduate studies in Social & Political Sciences and Modern & Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge.

Organised by Sidney Inspirations Society and the Cambridge University Baha’i Society

Can Truthfulness and Integrity Be Taught and Nurtured?

Truthfulness and honesty are the foundations of a cohesive and progressive society. But can these virtues be taught and nurtured in the classroom? A talk by Geoff Smith and Nita Forouhi.

Talk and discussion, 6-7 pm. Followed by live music on virtues-based themes for those who wish to stay.

Organised by Sidney Inspirations Society and the Cambridge University Baha’i Society

About the speakers:

Geoff Smith is a Head Teacher who has introduced innovative character development programmes in UK schools. He is on the executive team of the Association for Character Education and was part of the advisory group for the ‘Framework for Character Education’, a resource for schools produced by the University of Birmingham.

Professor Nita Gandhi Forouhi from the University of Cambridge draws on the example of the largest school in the world, in Lucknow, India, inspired by Gandhi and the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. The only school in the world to have been awarded the UNESCO prize for peace education, the City Montessori School aims to impart values based education.

Festival of Ideas talks 2016

From Conflict to Compassion: The Transformation of Human Society

Movement from a world of turmoil and conflict to one of compassion and justice necessitates transformation of both society and individuals. Editor and publisher Dr May Hofman discusses how we might achieve this.

May Hofman is director of George Ronald Publishing, having worked previously for the United Nations in the Bureau of Publications of the International Labour Office. She was a founding member of the Oxford University Bahá’í Society in the 1960s, where she gained an undergraduate degree in music and a doctorate in musicology.

Jointly organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society and Sidney Inspirations Society, Sidney Sussex College

The Movement of Populations: Challenging Our Assumptions

The movement of populations presents an opportunity to revisit our assumptions about human nature and the operation of society. Rachel Bayani challenges our actions and reactions to this phenomenon.

Rachel Bayani is Representative to the European Union of the Bahá’í International Community. Rachel has served as a justice and home affairs counselor to the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the EU, dealing mainly with asylum and migration issues, and has worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina both with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and with the peacekeeping mission. She has a law degree from the University of Sorbonne in Paris and an LLM in international law from Cambridge University.

Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society

To Light a Candle

“TO LIGHT A CANDLE”, A DOCUMENTARY FILM BY MAZIAR BAHARI

To Light a Candle

27th February at 7:00pm
Lecture Room, Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge, CB2 8PE

Film duration: 55 minutes
Trailer:

Iran stops Bahá’ís from teaching and studying at university. But they do teach. And they do study.

“To Light a Candle” chronicles the lives of Bahá’ís in Iran, who have triumphed against unbelievable hardships and persecution. The Bahá’ís are a religious minority that are systematically imprisoned, tortured and killed by the Iranian government.

The Islamic regime bans the Bahá’ís to study or teach in Iranian universities. Since 1987 the Bahá’ís started the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), an underground university with hundreds of students in Iran, and dozens of teachers in Iran and around the world. Through powerful interviews, exclusive secret footage shot by citizen journalists, rare archival material and letters written by a Bahá’í prisoner currently in jail in Iran, “To Light a Candle” shows how a small minority has defied the brutal systematic religious persecution through non-violent resistance and educating their youth.

Summary of Festival of Ideas events this year

Below is a summary of the Festival of Ideas events organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society this year. Please click the links for more information.

  1. The gathering sound: Weaving a tapestry of sacred text, invocations, and poetry from the world’s spiritual traditions, this musical odyssey celebrates humanity’s inter-connectedness.
  2. Young people: What is our identity? How can we discover our true potential, inner capacities, and unique talents and use them to create the kind of world we really want?
  3. From the selfish me to the selfless selfInsights from science and mysticism on the paradox of identity.
  4. Nahal Mavaddat and Jacqueline Lam-McArthur read poems by Bahá’í women imprisoned in Iran because of their beliefs and how the poetry speaks of their resilience in the face of hardship.
  5. Faiths for climate action: multi-faith walkJoin a movement of people from all different faiths in Cambridge, to take a walk celebrating unity between religious identities in the face of climate change challenges.

Women of the World: Poems by Bahá’í Women

Nahal Mavaddat and Jacqueline Lam-McArthur read poems by Bahá’í women imprisoned in Iran because of their beliefs and how the poetry speaks of their resilience in the face of hardship.

12 noon – 1pm, Sunday 26 October
Cambridge Junction (Foyer area), Clifton Way, Cambridge CB1 7GX

This is the only event organised by the Bahá’í Society that requires payment but gives you access to other Women of the World (WoW) Festival events. Tickets can be purchased here.

Festival of Ideas: From the Selfish Me to the Selfless Self

From the selfish me to the selfless self: Insights from science and mysticism on the paradox of identity.

A talk by Ismael Velasco.

3pm – 4pm, Sunday 2 November
Latimer Room, Clare College. Trinity Lane, Cambridge CB2 1TL

Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society as part of the Multifaith Series.  Free and open to all. Tickets can be booked here.

Festival_of_Ideas_2014_Paradox_Identity

Festival of Ideas: Young people: What is our identity?

Young people: What is our identity? How can we discover our true potential, inner capacities, and unique talents and use them to create the kind of world we really want?

Talk and lively discussion with members of the Bahá’í Society, alongside Ismael Velasco.

3pm – 4pm, Saturday 1 November
Little Hall Lecture Theatre, Sidgwick Site

Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society as part of the Multifaith Series.  Free and open to all. Tickets can be booked here.

Festival_of_Ideas_2014_Young_People_Identity

“Excluded but not Defeated” talk on 7th May

Excluded but not Defeated: The Constructive Resilience of Bahá’ís in Iran in Light of Education Denial

Wednesday, 7th May, from 7:30-9:30pm, in the Latimer Room (Old Court) of Clare College on Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TL

In this presentation, Dr. Ghanea will explore the themes of exclusion, constructive resilience, and education access as they apply to the current political situation in Iran, where Bahá’ís and other minority groups are systemically denied human rights. She will discuss these issues in light of both historical and legal aspects, applying Bahá’í principles derived from the Faith’s scriptural texts. Her talk will be accompanied by portions of the 30-minute documentary Education Under Fire. This film addresses the denial of higher education to Bahá’ís in Iran and the need for schools to consider offering academic credit to Iranian students through distance learning programmes.
Biography
Nazila Ghanea, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford and a member of the OSCE Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief.  She serves on the board of governors of the United Rights Group and was part of a research team investigating Religion and Belief, Discrimination and Equality in England and Wales until early 2013.  Nazila has acted as a human rights consultant for a number of governments, the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the EU.  Her publications include 9 books, a number of UN publications, and numerous journal articles and reports, including Are religious minorities really minorities?; Does God Believe in Human Rights?; and Human Rights, the UN, and Bahá’ís in Iran.  Additionally, she has published an analysis of Iran’s proposed human rights charter in EJIL Talk, the blog of the European Journal of International Law, on December 10, 2013.

 

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