Ottawa Baha'i Bahai Youth - Martin Braithwaite
 


October 4th. My move in date!

Oct. 12-14th, 11th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum in Ottawa

Oct. 27th, Reflection Meeting in Ottawa

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    Welcome to MartinsQuest.com. This is the personal, professional, and philosophical website of Martin Braithwaite. It contains humourous pictures and captions from his Baha'i life as a youth in Ottawa coupled with psychological insights and piercing perspectives.

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      October 17th. Updates.

  • Apartment. I've moved and my new place is really nice! Stay tuned to be invited over for the grand opening devotional gathering. Even though my place was in shambles I still hosted 17 family members for a thanksgiving meal which was so yum good.
  • Automobile. I purchased a car as well. A white 1998 Honda Civic in pretty good shape. My new insurance salesman is the man, driving to my work so I could conveniently sign the papers and coming in at HALF the cost that my family member's insurance company quoted. Arthur Peterson, 613, 728-8222. Needless to say, based on these last two items, this dream will no longer become a reality.
  • Children's classes. We had so many kids at the last class it was great! A number of different age groups each helping the younger ones learn the Baha'i quotations and songs. Heartening.
  • Basketball. Today Payam and Anis came to my work to play basketball with us as we do each Wednesday. It worked out really well, despite my trepidations, and they may become permanent fixtures.
  • Forgive and forget. One of my friends said that this expression was in the Bible but I have yet to find it. In the Bahai Writings the only reference is to forgive and forget. Ideas?
  • Internet. I went with the cheapest DSL company in Ottawa and have not had internet at home for the past 2 weeks. Sometimes Justice comes quick.
  • Black Friday. Can't Wait!
  • Teaching Projects. Ottawa is embarking on an ambitious teaching project from Nov 2-11th that is focused on receptive neighbourhoods in the context of full, intense days. Bold.

    September 23rd. More updates!!

  • Living room furnitureI'M MOVING!!!!! Yea, that's right. The days of living in my mom's basement with every available comfort and enjoying unlimited personal accommodations are over! On Oct 4th at 3pm I will be moving in to a two-bedroom apartment in Blackburn. I have yet to see the inside of the place but I know the neighbourhood so well that it is of little importance—so many friends I've made since a few friends and I began children's classes and junior youth groups there.
          I'm glad to be living in an area where I can engage in uplifting and spiritual discussions with people around me and collectively and freely discuss ways to improve ourselves and the neighbourhood around us.
  • Giveaway Day. How would you like to get free furniture, books, and appliances?! Well on October 13th there will be another give away day, so people from all over will leave unwanted items outside in the morning to be picked up by others. Wahoo!
  • Bronze statue holding torch2008 Olympic Torchbearer. My friend,  Luis Hong-Sanchez, is applying to be one of 8 expatriates to carry the Olympic torch. China Daily, China's national English-language news-paper, is having a vote online, and the top 100 people will be sent on to the Beijing Olympic Committee for consideration.
         He is in the 8th grade, currently living in Beijing. Vote now for this positive, constructive, and considerate youth who is endowed with a contagious enthusiasm.
  • Hand in front of cityUpcoming Event: The 11th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum will be October 12-14th in Ottawa and is entitled: "Responding to Climate Change: Scientific Realities, Spiritual Imperatives". Check it out as it should be really good if you are into this or want to learn more.
  • Website updates. It seems like putting updates up every few days (weeks) is more sustainable than daily. I'll do my best though as I know that there are those of you out there that like my site :)
  • Work. I enjoy my job amazingly.
  • CGC stuff. I am still adjusting to working with Pej M. and Justin K (our cluster development facilitator) 1998 Honda Civicto get things done for the growth committee in Ottawa but things look exceedingly promising. Welcome back Pej!
  • Car. I missed getting a car by about 20 mins when someone snuck in before me and made an offer. Argh!

     August 21st. Some much needed updates:

  • I'm back!! Yes, it has been almost 6 weeks since I have updated my site. Wow. It has been a good break but now it is time to get back into the swing of things.
  • Travel Deal. Fly from Toronto to Tel Aviv for only $499 each way on this Air Canada sale! Fares are valid for departures from Oct 1-Dec 13, 2007 and from Dec 30-Mar 14, 2008. You must book by August 22nd!
  • Shoutbox. My host upgraded something and it has never worked since. I'm trying to revive it now.
  • Fire and Snow. This two week training session and foray into intense, neighbourhood collective direct teaching was fantastic.
  • ABS conference collage of facesABS Conference. I was planning on going to this until the very last minute when, at the advice of team members, decided to stay the course for Ottawa's expansion phase. Oh well, I can always find someone next year...
  • Work. I have some new responsibilities now at work that are at once challenging and rewarding.
  • Core Activities logoBlackburn. A number of us are initiating core activities in Blackburn which basically consist of reflecting on writings of Baha'u'llah in different settings and applying them in our personal lives and to establish unity and justice in the area. JY from BlackburnIt is really for those who do not see prescribe to this kind of formula for life. If you would like to take part, and everyone is welcome to, just send me an email.
  • New Friends. Linked with the above, Dan, myself, and others have made great new friends in Blackburn—good times!
  • Gordon in town. Yes, he's here—drop by to see him. :)

Fire and Snow     July 2nd-14th. Announcement. For the next two weeks I will be at Fire and Snow training in Toronto learning how to more effectively offer services to communities for various populations.

      I have decided that for this time it would be best if I went 'off the grid.' So I will not be checking email or be in phone contact during this time, the only guaranteed way to reach me is to send my cell phone a text message which I will strive to check once a day at night.


    June 30th. Pictures. A few of us hung out the other day and here are the photos.


     June 26th. Some updates. Hopefully these will compensate for the brief paucity of new posts.

  • Picnic. Although I don't have any pictures to substantiate this, the fundraising picnic was great!
  •  Group Picture of Summer SchoolSummer School. This year everyone is invited to another Baha'i Summer School where the theme will be 'Character, Mission and the Power of Divine Assistance.' It is over the August 3rd weekend and the weekend away is a great chance to meet others, attend interesting workshops, and relax. I've gone 2 of the last 4 years. Here is the registration info plus pictures from 2003 and 2006.
  • Cryptic. One more under banner in Ottawa.
  • Kids playing soccerBIFA. My good friend Aaron began BIFA (Baha'i International Football Association) a while back and this initiative has been building momentum recently. If you want to participate in the soccer or catch the group during their occasional prayers visit their site for more information.
  • Random: I can't wait to see N & F's new apartment!
  •  Justin BraithwaiteThe Eagle has landed! My dreadlocked brother Justin and his platonic consort Jing are in town for the next week so be sure to invite them to things. You can reach the J man at our house.
     
  • Random: I'm more amazed each day by the power of the institute to unlock potential.
  • PSA. What happens when you stop smoking—very encouraging for those of you out there trying to kick the habit.

     June 15th. Article. A Brief History of Economic Time. Shares very interesting economic trends over time. And just as a reminder, when I post articles like this it is not because I unconditionally support the content, but that it is thought provoking.

 

Coins     Modern humans first emerged about 100,000 years ago. For the next 99,800 years or so, nothing happened. Well, not quite nothing. There were wars, political intrigue, the invention of agriculture — but none of that stuff had much effect on the quality of people's lives. Almost everyone lived on the modern equivalent of $400 to $600 a year, just above the subsistence level. True, there were always tiny aristocracies who lived far better, but numerically they were quite insignificant.

   Then — just a couple of hundred years ago, maybe 10 generations — people started getting richer. And richer and richer still. Per capita income, at least in the West, began to grow at the unprecedented rate of about three quarters of a percent per year. A couple of decades later, the same thing was happening around the world.

  Against a backdrop like that, the temporary ups and downs of the business cycle seem fantastically minor. In the 1930s, we had a Great Depression, when income levels fell back to where they had been 20 years earlier. For a few years, people had to live the way their parents had always lived, and they found it almost intolerable. The underlying expectation — that the present is supposed to be better than the past — is a new phenomenon in history. No 18th-century politician would have asked "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" because it never would have occurred to anyone that they ought to be better off than they were four years ago.

    Rising income is only part of the story. One hundred years ago the average American workweek was over 60 hours; today it's under 35. One hundred years ago 6% of manufacturing workers took vacations; today it's over 90%. One hundred years ago the average housekeeper spent 12 hours a day on laundry, cooking, cleaning and sewing; today it's about three hours.

    As far as the quality of the goods we buy, try picking up an electronics catalogue from, oh, say, 2001 and ask yourself whether there's anything there you'd want to buy. That was the year my friend Ben spent $600 for a 1.3-megapixel digital camera that weighed a pound and a half.

    The moral is that increases in measured income — even the phenomenal increases of the past two centuries — grossly understate the real improvements in our economic condition. The average middle-class American might have a smaller measured income than the European monarchs of the Middle Ages, but I suspect that Tudor King Henry VIII would have traded half his kingdom for modern plumbing, a lifetime supply of antibiotics and access to the Internet.

    The source of this wealth — the engine of prosperity — is technological progress. And the engine of technological progress is ideas — not just the ideas from engineering laboratories, but also ideas like new methods of crop rotation, or just-in-time inventory management. You can fly from New York to Tokyo partly because someone figured out how to build an airplane and partly because someone figured out how to insure it. I'm writing this on a personal computer instead of an electric typewriter partly because someone said, "Hey! I wonder if we can make computer chips out of silicon!" and partly because someone said "Hey! I wonder if we can finance startups with junk bonds!"

    Some good ideas even come from economists. Julian Simon came up with the idea of bribing airline passengers to give up their seats on overbooked flights — and gone were the days when you relied on the luck of the draw to make it to your daughter's wedding. Economists first suggested creating property rights in African elephants, a policy that has given villagers an incentive to harvest at a sustainable rate and drive the poachers away. The result? Villagers have prospered and the elephant population has soared.

    Engineers figure out how to harness the power of technology; economists figure out how to harness the power of incentives.


Mr. Landsburg (The Free Press, 2007). The Unconven-tional Wisdom of Economics (source)

 


Carl and Garth      June 14th.  A Day in the life. Yesterday Jennie, Carl and Garth came over for spaghetti dinner. We had a blast and the day even saw a 30-minute wrestling match in the back yard pitted my pythons and tree trunks against their hapless flagellations.  I didn't object to the easy of victory.

       Afterwards we looked at movie trailers on my 37", peeked at baby pics,  mastered the mega flick, got blinded by my 10 mcp torch, prayed for a while, played "Who wants to be...", and heard unfiltered stories about school pubescence classes. :)


Nadia and Ryan     June 11th. Announcement! Rounding out four in the last week, but none the less exciting, Nadia Mehrassa and Ryan McStravick have announced their engagement. Knowing Nadia for a number of years I am sure that her and Ryan will be very happy together. All the best with them as they prepare for their August wedding.


Crash testJune 11th. Video. This video site from Consumer Reports shows how various cars fare in front and side impact tests at 30 mph. I must say that this has really encouraged me to be even more prudent when driving—ok, to begin to be prudent—those videos are brutal!!


Negar and Fuad     June 11th. Announcement! With great gladness I am thrilled to announce the engagement of a longtime, suspected love interest Negar Alibabaiy and Fuad Tanha! Congrats to both of them and here is a gallery of pictures of Negar and I to stir any lingering suspicions. :)


    

    June 8th. A Day in the Life. While I am very happy with my current workplace, there are a few occupational areas that I would like to further explore along the lines of web and business development. While many possibilities still remain on both sides, pending some unforeseen act, I will be seeking other employment (not necessarily employer!) in the coming three months.


Groovy's Roti Hut      June 8th. Recommendation. Recently, I went to Groovy's Roti Hut with a friend and WOW, the food was fantastic. I am notoriously hesitant to try new cuisine so I was especially glad when this panned out. The outside and inside decor are admittedly shady, but the food, my goodness, the food!, wow.


Mehry and Justin       June 7th. Announcement. Congrats to Mehry and Justin who will be getting married later this year! I know both of them very well; Mehry from her indefatigable work strengthening the junior youth program here, and Justin from the indomitable Toronto trio. I can only hope that Justin will take favour to Lees, a nice quaint, friendly, safe, kind, neighbourhood near downtown. ;)


Accent racing      June 7th. A Day in the Life. I made a firm offer on a gem of a car—a thoroughly banged-up 2002 Hyundai Accent SE for apporx. 3k with 150k km. This weekend will determine what happens.

    Update: Look like my car plans just got in an accident!

Dear Martin, I am afraid I have some bad news. I cannot sell the car to you, or to anyone else. I'm not sure if I told you, but I am getting a new car; unbeknownst to me was the condition that I bring my car in as a trade. I am really sorry about having inconvenienced you. I wish you the best in your search in in your affairs. Please accept, again, my deepest apologies. Sincerely, Greg


Kids drinking water     June 7th. Article. For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid! Very informing article about the effects of aid to countries in Africa. To add some Baha'i perspectives:

 

"...we must not allow ourselves to forget the continuing, appalling burden of suffering under which millions of human beings are always groaning—a burden which they have borne for century upon century...
 

The principal cause of this suffering, which one can witness wherever one turns, is the corruption of human morals and the prevalence of prejudice, suspicion, hatred, untrustworthiness, selfishness and tyranny among men. It is not merely material well- being that people need. What they desperately need is to know how to live their lives—they need to know who they are, to what purpose they exist, and how they should act towards one another; and, once they know the answers to these questions they need to be helped to gradually apply these answers to everyday behaviour.
 

...we know that the working of the material world is merely a reflection of spiritual conditions and until the spiritual conditions can be changed there can be no lasting change for the better in material affairs."
 

(The Universal House of Justice to the NSA of Italy, 'Comments on the Bahá’í Attitude Toward Material Suffering,' 19 November 1974)

 


      June 5th. Article. What the world eats. Take a look into the dinner table of 15 families from around the world. Very cool!


Jeremy and Tahirih       June 5th. Announcement. So, I was surfing the web today and stumbled across this website.  I am very happy for both Tahirih and Jeremy!

 

At the tender ages of 18 and 17, Tahirih and Jeremy met for the first time in Albania. Tahirih, a dancer in the Diversity Dance Theatre, met Jeremy when his family hosted her group and he was enlisted as a guide/interpreter (Who knew he could speak Albanian? He definitely didn’t.) Perhaps the riots and civil unrest distracted them because it wasn’t until ten years later that they reconnected in New York City. Unbeknownst to them, life lead them back to each other.

 

Their first date spent chatting over sea bass and live jazz, they both felt an immediate connection. Soon afterwards, Jeremy called his brother and sister and said, “Mark my words! I have a special feeling that she’s the one, but if it doesn’t work out, don’t tell anyone.” Similarly, Tahirih called her mother raving about all they had in common and how much she loved spending time with him.

 

The rest, as they say, is history…


Salad and burger     June 1st. Article. The Myth Of Salads. I was shocked, shocked to read how my humble double cheeseburger was healthier than many fast food salads! Maybe this explains my weight maintenance over the years. If anyone can add commentary to this please do so in the shoutbox. Until then, viva los burger!


Einstein     May 31st. Article. "100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know," even though it could be called the 100 most useless words. :) There is an over-fascination in our culture on knowledge and not on its application for the material and spiritual advancement of others. Oh well, I guess I am contributing to this with the post. In looking over the list briefly I suspect that I can use 66 of these correctly in a sentence.


    May 30th. Video. This video aptly captures the importance of Children's education which treats them as gems to be polished not merely empty containers to be filled. If you are a parent strongly consider demanding that these classes be offered in your neighborhood, until you can go through the training to offer it yourself!


 Fire and Snow Junior Youth Camp       May 29th. Upcoming Event. Many of you know about the incredible success of Pebbles and Pearls last year in Toronto. Now, in addition to the training, there will be a spiritual junior youth camp (age 12-15) from  August 18-24 or August 26 to September 2. The deadline to apply has passed (May 30) so kudos to you who took advantage to register your children!


      May 29th. Video. Today is a the Ascension of Baha'u'llah holy day comemoration. Read more below or view a nice slideshow.

"The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read one's very soul; power and authority sat on that ample brow.... No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!"
 

Bahá'u'lláh was thus described by the well-known Cambridge University Orientalist Edward Granville Browne in 1890. Bahá'u'lláh had, at that time, been a prisoner and an exile for almost 40 years and His teachings were shrouded in obscurity; today He is recognized by millions of followers around the world as the Manifestation of God or Divine Teacher for this age. According to Bahá'í belief, Manifestations of God, including Moses, Abraham, Christ, Muhammad, Krishna, and Buddha, have appeared at intervals throughout history to found the world's great religious systems. They have been sent by a loving Creator to enable us to know and to worship Him and to bring human civilization to ever higher levels of achievement. (read more)


     May 24th. A Day in the Life. This weekend I'm driving with 6 friends to Toronto to go to a regional inter-institutional conference to discuss ways to materially and spiritually advance neigbourhoods toward ultimately bringing about the realization of the principle of the oneness of mankind and the efflorescence of civilization. Practically? Finding ways to initiate core activities that effectively fuel such a movement.


Man praying     May 24th. News. I was very excited to join a youth in Kanata as he went around and invited his neighbours to an outward-looking devotional which then took place tonight.


Green slide of gate to Shiraz     May 23rd. Pictures. Happy Declaration of the Bab! Here is a video made by the creative minds in the New York Baha'i community. Also, I had a chance to post my pictures on my smugmug site, although Louis Brunet's pictures always seem to out do mine :)


      May 19th. A Day in the Life. This weekend a few friends from Toronto are coming, and there will be copious tennis and outreach. I also played tennis with my friend Rana on Friday for 20 mins where it was apparent that I hadn't lost my stuff! Here are pictures of tennis with the boys exactly 3 years ago.

    Update: In dramatic fashion, owing largely to a savage and unrelenting assault on his defenseless backhand and gored by a kicking and bucking serve my courageous friend was slain in straight sets.

      Update #2: Picture of a few of 'da boyz from the weekend!


    May 17th. Trivia. A team of scientists at a University in Sweden printed out a number a googol characters long (a googol= 1 with 100 zeros after it) in a 1-point sized font. Conceivably true or patently false? Answer in the shoutbox.

    Update: Jing was right with his comment in the shoutbox. A number with a googol characters is impossible. In fact, there are not even that many particles in the universe! Read more...


Misagh Ziaei     May 16th. Announcement. There are a few types of posts to my website that give me overwhelming joy to report on. I'm very proud to say that our dear friend Misagh Ziaei has been accepted into Medical School! For those of you know the tortuous road this has been and can ably anticipate what an incredible physician Mees will be, this announcement will be even more meaningful. He was accepted to both McMaster and the University of Alberta so far and will likely be attending the later. Wahoo!


      May 14th. Some updates. Lots of exciting things going on in Martin-land.

  • Anna Marie BraithwaiteMother's Day. I recently took my mom out to Kelsey's for Mother's Day and we had a great time—we talked a lot and it helped me realise that I need to spend more time with those I really care about—instead of offering my time to the alter of oversleep and pseudo-important things on my computer(s). :) 
  • Ruhi Book 2. This has become the joy of my week and visiting some of the youth between sessions a further bounty. They are amazing! With the birth pangs of shoulder-to-shoulder accompaniment beginning to take shape, the even immediate results show unrivaled promise.
  • Naw Ruz Pictures. Yes, I got back my camera from Vafa and these are finally up! Enjoy.
  • Friends, Friends, Friends. I had some great times with friends this weekend, in person and on the phone. There are a number of people that I really enjoy talking to that I have and haven't had the chance to—alas. But for the ones we did, we looked at furniture, talked about piscine miscellany, organized a tennis match next week, delved into the emerging realities of teaching, and discussed a poignant purpose-of-life quotation (see below)

    When I mentioned this to Morrie, he nodded. “It’s what everyone worries about, isn’t it? What if today were my last day on earth?”…

    “Mitch,” he said, “the culture doesn’t encourage you to think about such things until you’re about to i.e. We’re so wrapped up with egotistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks—we’re involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all that I want? Is something missing?”

    “We’ve got a form of brainwashing going on in our country,” Morrie sighed. “Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it—and have it repeated to us—over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.

    “Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. ‘Guess what I got? Guess what I got?’

    You know how I always interpreted that? These people were so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing materials things and expecting some sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.

    “Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I’m sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you’re looking for, no matter how much of them you have.”

 

(“Tuesdays with Morrie: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson.” by Mitch Albom)


Shorts!     May 7th. Pictures. Not convinced that you missed out on a great reflection meeting this weekend? See Louis' pictures which paint the spirit of the event—where we all looked at what we have done in the past few months and explored ways to improve. Goals were set, spirits raised, and vision expanded.

     Oh, and I wore shorts. :) I can't wait to do typical summery things: picnics at Lac Philippe, outdoor basketball and tennis, and outreach into neighborhoods to offer children's classes and jr. youth courses! 


Visual display    May 6th. Software. Do you use iTunes to listen to music? Tired of their built-in visualizer? Download the most incredible visual display evar!


    May 6th. Stuff the vote. A good nursing friend of mine has in turn a friend who is trying to get his home brewed Superbowl ad propelled to win a contest and be featured at the real Superbowl. the more people that begin viewing his video the better for him. He's doing all of this on behalf of people with disabilities.

     This reminds me of a quote we used to say at the end of our skits routine when I was part of the Florida Baha'i Dance Youth Workshop: "To be blind is unfortunate, but worse it is to have sight and yet not see," the implication being that with the tremendous capacity with which we are endowed we should realize it and put it to good use.


     May 5th. Picture. The Cultivating the Roots conference this weekend in California brings together Baha'is interested in using the web to promote justice, peace, and community development. Representing Ottawa in this is Dan Jones, aka Danger, aka Danimal—see if you can find him in this picture. :)


Luxious conversion    May 4th. A Day in the life. So getting older and becoming more mature usually involves large capital expenditures in say a car or  house to demonstrate certain financial and personal capacities.

     A few years ago my dream was to have a replica Lamborghini or an ultra luxurious RV to move me in this direction. While bumming a ride and living with a very maternal roommate has since proved my fate, my imaginations were re-awakened when I stumbled on—get this—modified dump truck! And it is clear from the pictures that securing companionship is still possible as well!


Fire and Snow      April 30th. Announcement. Today is the last day to apply for the Fire and Snow training program in Toronto this summer. Here youth and adults will learn how to initiate community building activities in any neighbourhood. Building off of the learning from last year's Pebbles to Pearls training, from everything that I have heard, it will be truly transformative.

      There are three 13-day sessions available in July and August and it is open to anyone who has done the first four Ruhi Books. Accommodations are provided for all. If you can attend, I would give the strongest recommendation that you consider doing so—preferably one of the first two sessions and the first if you want to see me there!


    April 30th. A day in the life. I just came back from Toronto and had a great time. I got to witness in a tie in the elections between Don Rogers and Borna Noureddin that was prayerfully resolved; I went to 'the shrine' (Burger Shack) with some tight buddies of mine, and got to visit my family in Pickering, with Gordon and my mom, on the way home. It was fantastic.

     This week I have a bday party, going-away dinner, coffee with friend, home visit, Devotional, Ridvan holy day observance, tutor collaboration session, reflection meeting, and teleconferenc. Yet, of course, I still have unlimited time for things that may still come up which are of a higher priority (since conceptually there is no such thing as being 'busy').


Ottawa Baha'i Centre sign    April 25th. Pictures. Yesterday was the grand opening of the Ottawa Baha'i Centre. Present was the Mayor and Faith Leaders from other communities. Here is the article that appeared in the Citizen this morning, plus pictures that Louis Brunet took of this auspicious event. Many of you will remember or indeed took part in the renovation and may enjoy these construction photographs courtesy of Brian.


     April 24th. Job. If you have experience in web design, ASP, FrontPage, etc., and live in Ottawa with a desire for full time employment, strongly consider letting me know.


     April 23rd. Article. Spiritual elections’ not an oxymoron for Baha’is, is a well-written article describing the Baha'i electoral process. "At a time when trust in government is eroding everywhere in the world, and when the electoral process in many nations has become discredited because of endemic corruption, this new model of governance serves as an antidote to apathy, alienation and despair...There's no campaigning, no nominations, no electioneering and no issue platforms."

Baha'i Elections     This weekend I'm traveling to Toronto to observe the Bahai National Convention, where elected delegates from around the Canada will gather to pray, consult, and vote for the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada.


     April 23rd. Video. Here is a farcical video with audio dubbing that describes the Ruhi spiritual training courses offered around the world. I suspect that it will be more greatly appreciated by those that have done Ruhi Book 7.
 


     April 20th. Upcoming Events. There are 9 holy days throughout the year that Bahá'ís celebrate and take off of work. Up next is Ridvan this Saturday. Here are the dates for the upcoming holy days so that they can be requested off of work or school.

April 21 - Saturday - The first day of Ridvan
April 29 - Sunday - The ninth day of Ridvan
May 2 - Wednesday - The twelfth day of Ridvan
May 23 - Wednesday - Declaration of the Báb
May 29 - Tuesday - Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh
July 9 - Monday - Martyrdom of the Báb


 

Sparky - the best pet in the world. Sparky
1995-2007

 

With great sadness I announce our family's loss of precious Sparky who has been with us for over 12 years. He has brought us tremendous joy and unforgettable memories and will be dearly, dearly missed. At 6:47pm today, surrounded by his loved ones, he was gently put to sleep after succumbing to acute liver failure. From all of us, Sparky, we love you! 


Aletha    April 17th. Event. This Saturday, from 1:45pm - 3:45pm, is the First Day of Ridvan Celebration to commemorate the beginning of 12 days when Baha'u'llah revealed his station (see flyer). As usual, this event is open to everyone so I hope I'll see you there!

   See pictures from last year


     April 17th. Updates.

  • My good friend Kiya Sabet as a proud father!
  • My grand parents recently lost their blue spruce with the big storm that hit. Picture 1 | Picture 2
  • I am really happy because I just filed my 2005 and 2006 Canadian Income Tax forms!
  • Sparky is really not doing well.
  • Optical Illusion. Look at the image of the faces and then step back 8 feet and see them swap positions!

      April 16th. A day in the life. Last Friday I played basketball with some folks in Kanata (Vaf, Shidan, Devon, Nays, Sana, Rama, Payam, Seena, and more) and based on my new found confidence from playing weekly ball at work I decided to play more aggressively. Besides tons of fun, I sustained these injuries:

  • hyper-extended right knee (from Devon's post up)
  • over-extended elbow (from Vaf)
  • swollen upper and lower lip (from Rama's elbow)
  • contusion on top of head (from Payam's elbow)
  • bruised left pinky (from fall while covering Devon)
  • abrasion on right forearm (from Payam's nose)
  • sore coccyx (tailbone) (from a fall)
  • underfoot blisters (from Seena's ill-fitting shoes)

   And the best part is that if it weren't for the local Bahá'í elections this Friday I would be back out there again!


Jessica      April 10th. Event. Jessica will be back in town today and having dinner with her friends (and hopefully you!) tonight at the Persian Cuisine Express restaurant at 7pm. Stop by and say hi and possibly join us (potentially) afterward for even more festivities.

     Update: We had lots of fun and afterwards kicked it to Pej's for some wolf game—something that Jess can't quite get in Pickering. :)


ideal way to stand on a bus to reduce movement     April 5th. Philosophical. Recently I've been in a very philosophical mood. Usually when this happens I just sit there until it passes but now I am quickly recording these thoughts and sharing them with you.

     If you have ever stood on a bus only to be knocked around by the driver's erratic maneuvers? Well no more, as with some theoretical calculations and empirical observations  I proudly propose the ideal way to stand on a bus to reduce movement.


    April 4th. Philosophical. In reflecting with one of my friends, we concluded that the following statements, as written, are in logical contradiction:

  • "I do not believe in God."
  • "Among the peoples of the world there are various conceptions of God."

     Read more on my philosophical page. (UPDATE: now with cool graphic) You may also be interested in this article about a prominant scientist who believes in God (like 40% of his peers). Ok, ok, while I'm dishing out random links Dan-style, here is a wikipedia article on Science and Religion. Enjoy.


     April 4th. Cool feature. My smart phone allows me to run MSN and have text conversations. Some people may be content with my shoutbox, but for those more adventurous, you may wish to use my new chat feature. I always keep my phone near and responses will be very quick. Try it!


meat cake     April 3rdA day in the life. I am far from getting married but recently I have gotten one step closer. The bride remains a mystery but my wedding cake is not—here are instructions on how to make my dream meat wedding cake—replete with meat loaf and mash potato icing! 


Traffic cam in Ottawa     April 3rd. News. Ever wonder what the traffic is like before you head out? If you live in a big city in the States then Google has a new traffic feature that allows you to visually see where the hangups are.

      In Ottawa, we have webcams all around the city that anyone can freely view! Even though about half don't work, it is really neat to see what is going on.

    Update: Toronto has an even more amazing web cam traffic network.


     April 1st. Event. As I had unabashedly prognosticated for weeks now, the Florida Gators have made it to the NCAA Basketball finals. All are welcome to join me and a few friends at my house at 8:30pm on Monday (April 2) to watch them beat Ohio to win the national championships on HDTV—just me know you're coming. As always, you are encouraged to bring others.
 

     UPDATE: We Won!!!!!! Go Gators Go!!!


Google Maps: Manchester to Ottawa    March 29th. News. Amid all of the hoopla I wanted to formally welcome back Anisa Smith from her one year stint in Manchester. Not only did she do great things there but now her Facebook friend's list almost triples my own!

     The only thing I can say is that on her trip back to Canada she could have significantly cut down on transportation costs by using directions from Google maps—especially step 37! Maybe next time...


Ariella     March 28th. Announcement. I am not convinced that my site can go wrong with too many cute pictures of babies. :) Recently my good friend, from Florida, Jennifer Warner (who some of you may remember from my family page) got married and had beautiful Ariella.

     All of this recent activity makes me long for similar fortunes although this may not see immediate, though desired realization. In the mean time, I may have to content myself with other delights.


       March 28th.  Upcoming Event. On Thursday Dan Scott will be speaking here about the development of Ottawa plus how other areas are developing promising community development projects utilizing four core activities of children's virtues classes, junior youth empowerment courses, prayer gatherings, and adult training course. If you get a chance you will probably want to attend!

    See pictures from his last talk with the youth.


Emma Grace Sabet     March 26thAnnouncement. Congratulations to my Florida friends Evie and Kiya Sabet who recently welcomed a new member into their family. Emma Grace Sabet is the new pride and joy for these proud parents and I can't help but feel happy that their life is so rewardingly moving forward! Good luck guys!

> Picture 1 | Picture 2 | Picture 3


     March 23rd. A Day in the Life. This weekend I'm heading to Ontario's Ridesharecapital for a meeting—but what makes this trip special is the way in which I am getting there. Bus? Train? Airplane? Nope.      I put an ad in Craigslist for a ride share and I am going with a 'stranger,' who will pick me up from my door step and deliver me to a friend's apartment in Toronto for just $45.

     Can I recommend this to anyone? Because of the unmitigatable safety concerns, not really, but there is promise to the approach! It should be a good trip filled with elevated conversation and new experiences.

   Update on Monday: So everything went very well. Alley picked me up and we talked the whole way over.

     At some point curiously I asked her how she could possibly ensure her safety since she was essentially picking up a hitchhiker. She said that her plan was to quickly size me up as I approached and if she got a bad feeling she would have just sped off (leaving me consequently without a way to Toronto!) I laughed really hard at first and then replied, "What, you don't think I'm intimidating?! Burn!" :)


Dan Jones - Article on blogging    March 23rd. Announcement. Today us Ottawa folks were featured in a very well-written and informed article about blogging on the National Baha'i website. It was fun being interviewed and I love how in the final product they weaved together various funny story lines. Definitely worth the read and I can assure you it is not like the other media attention this site has received in very early April.


 

Dancing at Naw Ruz     March 22nd. Pictures. Happy Naw Ruz! This year was incredible, punctuated beforehand by a delectable Persian Buffet, suffused with a diverse musical  program, and consummated with terpsichorean revelry! Watch a nice video and see pictures of the New year' night


All you can eat Kebab - one time opportunity!     March 20th.  If you are planning on coming to the All-You-Can-Eat Persian Buffet today, please let me know so that we can make sure that enough food is on hand and you get a seat! (see Details) RSVP's (29): Bahman, Pierre, Guest, Jennie, Carl, Garth, Jessie, Julia, Jasmine, Vafa, Dan, Me, Sarah, Shameem, Payam, Bagha, Seena, Tamara, Albert, Diane, Anise, Terrie*, Bob*, Kamran, Guest, Guest, Livia, Sahba, Sukhpreet, Natasha,


    March 13th. Cool. I added a button at the very bottom of the page, called Geovisitors, which lets you see where in the world visitors to this site are coming from. It's not perfect but it is a cool gauge to track the path to worldwide influence.


    March 13th. Pictures. At Vafa's recent housewarming party I stayed until 5am playing the wolf game. It was great. Unlike my Sunday which suffered accordingly. :) Courtesy of Dan's site, here are some pics that I liked. Oh, and congrats Vaf on the phat new place!


Arising to Serve - Ruhi Book 2    March 13th. A day in the life.  I'm taking tomorrow off of work to doing an intensive Ruhi Book 2 session with Jaleh and a number of the youth in Kanata. I'm ecstatic as it's truly a joy to work alongside this population

    Also, there was a productive and friendly inter-institutional meeting yesterday with Todd Smith at the Baha'i Centre. We broke the fast with juicy joojeh kebab and mouth watering koobedeh, although what really punctuated the evening was a random Vanier local poking his head into the downstairs room and asking for matches (he has just wandered in and drifted downstairs!)


Martin Fasting     March 2nd. A day in the life. Today is the first day of 19 for Baha'is around the world to abstain from food and drink during the day. I have added information about the Fast where the calendar used to be in the upper left hand corner. (also read international fasting article on BWNS)

       Usually during this spiritually uplifting period I add a challenge to myself that normally I am not able to do. This year I will try to forgo TV and learn the long obligatory prayer by heart (I've been saying it for a year so most of it is very familiar). We'll see how it goes, and good luck everyone!


    February 28th. Personal updates.

  • I am really excited about the new version of MartinsQuest.com that I am working on. The look will remain similar but the functionality will be vastly improved. One word: AJAX!Dan Jones' website - Doberman Pizza
  • On another note, Dan Jones recently updated his blog.
  • My mom recently got a gig looking after twin babies on the midnight shift. She likes it but I have to have the car home by 11:30pm :(
  • My passport form is 70% complete. (It has taken me over 3 years to get this far.)
  • My friend Brian Lema eyed this photo and praise of the US. Baha'i House of Worship on MSNBC.
  • Promoted! I sent this email to a few co-workers today, allegedly from my divisional head. If it wasn't for a poor choice in one word they might have believed it:

    "We will soon be creating a new position, Director of Direct Marketing and Business Development, and your boss suggested your name and your business background. He mentioned many positive things but I won't embarrass you by listing all of the effusive praise here. Please let me know by the end of the day if this is something that you would be interested in.

    Also, while this is under consideration please do not discuss it with anyone else in the division since many others were looked over when we decided to go with your awesomeness
    ."

Rama and Jessica     February 25th. Pictures. Just a few hours after the wedding I am happy to be able to display a sample of the pictures from Jessica and Rama's wedding . Louis Brunet and others much better photographers will be revealing their work shortly!


     February 25th. Website. If you haven't already, check out Dan's website which just underwent a big design change.  'nuf respect Dan!

Sarah Hansen-Trip     February 21st. Video. I am very proud to present to the world the video from the reception at Shameem and Sarah's recent wedding. Payam had a large role its creation and it turned out great. I think my favourite part was the animation of Sham dunking or Captain Jack shrieking!


     February 19th. Multiple updates.

  • Music and Lyrics - the movieI watched the romantic comedy Music and Lyrics recently, and although it was cheesy, I liked it because of its feel good nature and of course 80's style music!
  • Some of my buddies from Toronto may be coming to visit soon and I am really excited about this prospect!
  • ALinchpin while back I mentioned that I was firming up a new theory that contextualized my outlook on the world, my purpose, etc. I realized that I go through periods of a few months that alternate between intense reflection and diligent application of these insights. So while I work on this, I've come up with some other ideas around time management, tentatively called the 'linchpin theory.'
  • There is an audio tape (mp3) from Paul Lample that I would really like transcribed (typed up). It is about an hour long and if you are interested please let me know, as the content is truly visionary.
  • Haifa IsrealShameem and Sarah recently shared with me some of their experiences on Baha'i Pilgrimage last month, and wow, powerful, powerful stuff. (see general pics of pilgrimage—which obviously don't do justice.)
  • Payam's uncle, Bahnam, is staying at my place for a few months and he is a truly great guy—he's already got me thinking about my professional career and is encouraging our family to hold a devotional!
  • I'll be 26 on Feb 25th, and although I won't be having a mega party, the occasion still gives me pause to think about what I've accomplished so far, reflect on the variance between my life objectives and actions, and ponder other relevancies tied to the punctuated advancements in age. I was reminiscing about the type of party I had 2 years ago (watch cool video), not something that I will be doing again this year!
  • Sorry to those using Firefox to view my site. I did some optimization which messed up the layout. Oh well :)

    February 14th. Owing to it being Valentine's day, MartinsQuest will help the love process along and reveal secret crushes in the community. Check back throughout the day as I'll progressively reveal more and more crushes!
 

(Back by popular demand from last year - Enjoy!)


    February 6th. Event. I invited a few people over to watch The game and my prolific friend Jay wrote all about it on his blog. For those that like reading, it's a great site.  Even better than MartinsQuest.com, perhaps?  We'll see...


    February 5th. Announcement! There are some announcements that give me the greatest joy to post—and wedding one are among them. I want to give a big congrats to Melanie Smith and Faran Vafaie on their recent engagement. Just from the website that Faran put together you can tell the joy and happiness this radiant couple will release! All the best guys!
 

Melanie and Faran - Click to watch video


      February 5th. Article. Here is a chart that attempts to correlate IQ with various factors in life suggesting the almost immutability of IQ in the process. Yet, I have heard the quote, "It's not your aptitude, but your attitude, that determines your altitude." Personally, I am a believer in the transformative power of certain spiritual texts to uplift the conduct, skills, and abilities of mankind.


Workstation setup - Jan 2007      February 1stPicture. I admit that I like technology and have the dream of configuring my workstation like that aboard an intergalactic starship. Consequently, I have been tweaking my home setup, beefing up my sound system with the Logitech Z5500's and placing a 37" Westinghouse at the centre (with the nice resolution of 1920x1080p), although what runs through my mind is the admonition, "thinketh thyself rich  in its possession..."
     See Nighttime and Daytime pictures. 


     January 31st. Special Day.  Today is Rhona and Paul Scoffield's 25th wedding anniversary! With so many weddings that are starting it is nice to see them go the distance. Here is their gift:

      For those of you who have difficult names you are only too familiar with he annoyances of constant mispronunciations. Rhona has the same challenge, but her name is simple! So I'm going to provide everyone with the more correct way to say it.

  • Wrong. Roe -- nah
  • Right: Raw-nah

Vegans have low IQs.     January 29th. Partial Vindication.  Steven Shapin reviews the history of vegetarianism: "Recent epidemiological studies suggest that adult vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, lower rates of obesity, and, more controversially, higher childhood I.Q.s—though vegans tend to have lower I.Q.s than their carnivorous peers, and the nature of the links between vegetarianism, health, and I.Q. is unclear." (source)


    January 25th. News. With many of the seemingly unsolvable  problems in the world, there may be a growing sense of helplessness to improve the conditions around us. Almost everyone wants to make a difference and sacrifice some of their comfort for others, but how do we best do this? Globe - image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/adam_blust/893154/Baha'u'llah (pronounced: ba-haa-ol-laa) shared with the world a message suited to the needs of today and our global society which has been transforming hearts and communities for the past hundred and fifty years. 

     Most learn information about Baha'u'llah's cause from attending study circles where there is joint aim of applying what is learned—since, for example, can we really know what love is if we don't practice it?! Or generosity?

      Devotional gatherings where prayers are offered are also excellent venues to capture the spirit of the revelation, along with virtues classes for children and training courses for junior youth. Yesterday, some adults I know in Ottawa, were featured in the local newspaper for setting up a course at the library to convey information on the subject. 


Religion     January 21st. News. Today was World Religion Day and our new major, Larry O'Brien, made a public proclamation. The nice thing I find about the celebration is the singleness of the word Religion. (source: Brian L.)


    January 21st. Cool trick. I was surprised when I read this on CNN.com. Many of you liked the other javascript code so here is more which allows you to edit any web page on the internet!

javascript:document.body.contentEditable='true'; document.designMode='on'; void 0

J
ust paste this code into the URL address bar once the page has loaded.


a picture of the bacteria that causes strep throat      January 18th. Packet of Information. With some prompting from my mom I went to the walk in clinic and the physician there diagnosed me with strep throat. This differs from a cold as there is less coughing, it persists longer than a few days, and your throat hurts! If you don't get treated you'll be additionally contagious and the bacteria may damage your heart valves and kidneys. Now I'm on amoxicillin.


JamesHowden    January 16th. Cool Site. Always a promoter of quality content and Ottawa websites, there is a new website on the block and it is updated virtually every day! Jay Howden has entered the fray with his blog, www.JamesHowden.com, filled with personal observations about life, sports, and other topics.

      It will definitely appeal to the readers among you and those who can appreciate his witticisms and stellar writing (he used to be the speech writer for the Governor General of Canada!!!!!). Please share your positive feedback and let me know which spot, if any, it should replace in my coveted 'bobbing heads' menu above.


Sarah and Shameem's Wedding   January 15th. Pictures. I just came back from Shameem and Sarah's wedding in Kingston, and wow, it was nice. I went there more to enjoy it than take pictures but here are the few that I did capture.
 

       Update: This is exactly the reason I did not take more pictures, look at the incredible beauty of these shots - OMG - wow! Louis Brunet is my hero! [also available in a single zip file] Also see Dan's pictures.


      January 15th. Announcement. My site was down for a few days. Thanks to all of those who sent me emails letting me know. The issue is still being resolved now, but essentially my calendar script was overpowering my server.


     January 8th. News. Today my alma matter, The University of Florida, and their incredible Gators destroyed the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2006 NCAA National Championship game.

     When I was in Gainesville, football was huge—the town shut down during games—it was insane! Even though I had to watch it on tape tonight, it was so worth it. So once again, Go Gators!


       January 4th. Cool Media. Here is a nice underwater 360 degree panorama by my friend in Australia.

       Also, view this video if you wanted to know what the Simpson's would look like with real people.

     If you want to make any website look cool, (Internet Explorer only) delete everything in the address bar (where it says, "http://www...com/.../), paste in this code and hit enter.

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.images; DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5; DIS.top=Math.cos(R*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5}R++}setInterval('A()',5); void(0);


Enlarge      January 1st. Announcement.  In one of the finer posts on this website and indeed one of the most anticipated, Shameem and Sarah have announced that they will be getting married. Words can't express the joy of this as the news greeted many of their friends and family.

     Sarah and Shameem, I'm sure that you will contribute to each other's happiness and encourage one another in your efforts to serve.


    December 31st.  A Day in the Life. Evidently Google thinks that I am the most relevant Martin in Ottawa (over recent prime minister Paul Martin and Senator's goalie Martin Gerber)

     Also, I had always known that Einstein was always a huge fan, of my site, but this historical photograph was a nice confirmation ;)


Montreal Family    December 30thPictures. I spent a few unplanned days visiting my family in Montreal and sharing Christmas with them. I had fun and be sure to look at the photos.

     You will also notice that I added some cool functionality on my smugmug page—most popular pictures and most popular tags. Enjoy.


     December 21st. Boxing Day Sales. Even though this site has a particular interest in spiritual upliftment, with the Canadian shopping holiday around the corner I thought I would provide you all with some of the best deals that I have seen in case you wish to buy gifts for others this season. This list will be updated regularly and includes items that I am selling personally. 

  • Spherex XBox 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System ($199 including shipping. MSRP: $). Fantastic surround sound system for your living room (and computer if you have a digital sound output) (Buy) (Discuss)
  • LifeSource UA-779VL Advanced Inflation Sensor Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor ($Free. MSRP: $150) I'm giving this new hardware away to a deserving recipient. (Buy: Email me) (Info)
  • 21" CRT Monitor P810. ($150 incl. tax). I am selling this monitor from my collection. Has up to 1600x1200 resolution and great a great picture. (Buy: Email me) (Info)
  • 22" Westinghouse LCD Monitor. ($450 incl. tax). This was recently replaced and only used for about 2 weeks. It has full TV inputs and is a gorgeous display! (Buy: Email me) (Info)

sources: Red Flag Deals, Price Canada, Smart Canucks, and Price Network


Empty box    December 19th. Tomfoolery. Back in the day I had the devious idea of a prank to buy everything on my friend's registry and then return it all the day before the wedding. This didn't actually happen but I did think about it. :)

     Here is an interesting article on the economics of gift giving which really makes sense to me. I have often openly postulated that giving someone $60 in cash has more value than say $60 in groceries because there are no restrictions on it.


 Great deal on airline tickets   December 15th. Hot Deal. Do you enjoy traveling but somehow your paychecks can't keep up with your jet-setting lifestyle? Air Canada has a new program which gives you unlimited travel on Tue/Sat/Sun all across Canada and the States for a single low price for January and February! (source)


     December 15th. Policy update. I have begun linking to the (source) of any material that I post on MQ (that I deem family friendly). A while back I got heat for taking credit for some nice Flash animations; plus I feel it provides more context.


Ruhi Book 8?     December 14th. Inside Scoop? Here is a picture of a jr. youth group from Malaysia which wouldn't be so remarkable were it not for what appears to be the fabled Ruhi Book 8 resting inconspicuously on the shelf in the background. (source)


Jessica and Rama    December 12th. Announcement. What a wonderful world. I'd like to congratulate Jessica and Rama on their recent engagement. Proving the long distance thing (Montreal - Ottawa) does work, they'll be getting married early next year.


December 11th. A day in the life. I've been in Toronto a bit recently for an assortment of gatherings. Here is a picture of one last Saturday where some coordinators met to discuss the training and mobilization of human resources necessary for the advancement of integral civilization building methods, approaches, and activities. In other words we played basketball and went to a friend's birthday party...


     November 26th. Pictures. Happy Day of the Covenant - a Baha'i holy day which reinforces the inviolability of the covenant—ensuring an uninterrupted stream of divine guidance. From the local celebration, here is an early picture as we gathered and one of the children and jr. youth singing led by Basim.


Westinghouse 22" Widescreen Flat-Panel TFT-LCD Monitor - LCM-22W2       November 26th. A Day in the Life. I recently drove with a fellow webmaster to a Best Buy in New York to participate in the tradition of Black Friday (Basically the American version of Boxing Day - learn more). Waiting in line from 8pm for the 5am opening proved advantageous since by being 10th and 11th in a line of 1200 we got what we wanted and left materially content.


Alex and Pedram    November 22ndPictures.  Members of cluster agencies recently met in Toronto to discuss ways to better serve the community. Here are the pictures.


     November 14thCool Site. How rich are you? This neat site helps put our wealth in perspective in a really vivid way.


      November 12th. Event. Happy Birth of Baha'u'llah (see slideshow). Happy Birth of Baha'u'llahEnjoy this holy day and hope you enjoyed the celebration at St. Elias Banquet Centre. See past celebration pictures from Ottawa:


    Misagh and Jamal - Click to Enlarge   November 8th. Announcement! It is with great joy that MartinsQuest is proud to announce the recent engagement of Misagh Ziaei and Jamal Gabriel. Currently residing in Alberta, the specifics of their upcoming plans are still being worked out, but what is certain is that this couple captures the spirit of radiance like no other. All the best to both of them as they explore the wonderful world of marriage.


     November 7th. Community Update. The 2 week expansion phase is in full effect in Ottawa. There is a collective movement toward beginning community development projects around the city centered around tutors initiating introductory study circles an inviting their friends and neighbours to come and learn skills to serve their community—principally by reflecting on the quotes and passages from the course and applying it in their individual lives and in service to others through various approaches explored in the curriculum including children's classes, devotional gatherings, and junior youth study circles. Currently, three of the twenty tutors have a study circle firmly in place.


36" Quiznos Black Angus Sub - Click to read story


     October 26th. AnnouncementCongrats Dave and Ela on Aiden Abbas Federico Ienzi; described by one of his impartial parents as the "cutest little thing I have ever laid my eyes on," and coming into the world radiantly at 11:44pm on Wednesday. Congrats!
 

"The Almighty hath not created in man the claws and teeth of ferocious animals, nay rather hath the human form been fashioned and set with the most comely attributes and adorned with the most perfect virtues. The honour of this creation and the worthiness of this garment therefore require man to have love and affinity for his own kind, nay rather, to act towards all living creatures with justice and equity."

(Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 287)


     October 18th. Pictures The trip to Toronto was really nice...got to see Mees and others.


     October 18th. Videos.  Baha'is around the world are offering four 'core activities' to communities that have been conducive to personal and collective transformation: devotional gatherings, Baha'i children's classes, junior youth courses, and adult study circles. Here is an article describing two of them, plus direct links to the videos.


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Random Baha'i Quote
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~Bahá'í Writings

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