Websites to Explore `Abdu’l-Baha’s Three-Year Travels to the West
In August 2010 the Universal House of Justice alerted the Baha’is of the world to the upcoming commemoration of the three years that `Abdu’l-Baha spent away from Haifa, resting in Egypt and traveling in Europe and North America between 1911 and 1913. The letter ended with an invitation to all Baha’is to increase their efforts to contribute to the “systematic, sustained, and coherent action” called for in the Master’s Divine Plan.
Below we have collected some websites, Twitter feeds, photo galleries, and blogs to help you understand and meditate on the superhuman trip that the sixty-six year old `Abdu’l-Baha began in 1911 in Egypt and concluded in 1913.
We conclude with some information on upcoming Wilmette Institute courses related to `Abdu’l-Baha’s momentous trips and on commemorations in the United States honoring the 239 days the Master spent in North America in 1912.
1911, Egypt and Europe
- The Journey West (`Abdu’l-Baha’s Travels, Europe & North America, 1911-1913) is a personal website with articles and podcasts, many of them featuring ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s travels in Europe. Be sure to click on some of the podcasts.
- If you speak French, you must see the video produced by the Baha’is of Portugal. Even if you do not speak French, you must see the photographs. Called `Abdu’l-Baha in Paris, the video has subtitles in Portuguese. It was broadcast on a Portuguese television station on October 2, 2011.
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha Visits the West, a personal blog about `Abdu’l-Baha’s trips to Europe and North America, has an extensive collection of photographs culled from Star of the West, The Baha’i World volumes, Baha’i News, Andalib, and other sources. For those most aware of `Abdu’l-Baha’s trip to America, this is a good introduction to His European travels.
- In the Footsteps of Abdu’l-Baha’s Travels in London is a blog covering the Master’s September 1911 visit to London.
1912, North America
- The most extensive website by far is Commemorating ‘Abdu’l-Baha in America: 1912-2012, Calling America to its Spiritual Destiny. The site contains pages for nearly every town and city that `Abdu’l-Baha visited in North America. You will find 1912 press coverage, 1912 photographs, public talks, related resources (including many books), topics on which the Master spoke (world peace, stopping racism, empowering woman, and much more).
- 239Days is a social media documentary that will follow, on Facebook and Twitter, in the 1912 footsteps of `Abdul’-Baha in real time, hour by hour from His arrival on April 11, 1912, through His departure on December 5.
1912, New York
- The Baha’is of New York City, where `Abdu’l-Baha spent a great deal of time, have a website called`Abdu’l-Baha in New York: A Centennial Celebration. It includes a virtual tour of significant places in the City of the Covenant visited by `Abdu’l-Baha with mini-slide presentations of some sites, a photo gallery, power-point presentations, maps and directions to places the Master visited, and news clippings of the day. It also features an eBook called `Abdu’l-Baha In New York and a booklet called `Abdu’l-Baha in the City of the Covenant.
- A Google map shows historical photographs of all the places `Abdu’l-Baha visited in Chicago.
- The website of the Baha’is of Montreal contains an informative page (in English and French) detailing ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s nine-day trip to Canada from August 31-September 8.
- To mark the single day (September 20) in 1912 when `Abdu’l-Baha visited Minneapolis, you can visit a bench marking the spot where `Abdu’l-Baha walked in Loring Park.
1913, Edinburgh, Scotland
- Finally, check out the site marking `Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to Edinburgh, Scotland during the final year of His three-year time away from Haifa.
Wilmette Institute Courses Offered
for the Centenary of `Abdu’l-Baha’s Travels in the West
- The Wilmette Institute began its tribute to `Abdu’l-Baha’s three-year travels in the West with a December 2011 course called `Abdu’l-Baha: His Life and Ministry.
- On April 1 we will begin a new course devoted to `Abdu’l-Baha in America..
- In December 2012 we will focus on `Abdu’l-Baha’s treatise, The Secret of Divine Civilization, which expounds on the true nature of civilization and provides a blueprint for “the future reorganization of the world.”
Major Centennial Events in the United States
- The website Commemorating ‘Abdu’l-Baha in America: 1912-2012, Calling America to its Spiritual Destiny provides information about the 2012 commemorative events to be held in Chicago, Wilmette, Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco and details on how to reserve tickets for them.
- Many local communities in the United States are also planning events, some in places where the Master gave talks and others in cities and towns that he was not able to visit. Recently a bus tour was announced for Baha’is in Washington and Oregon who want to retrace the steps of their spiritual ancestors who made the same journey to San Francisco in 1912 to meet with the Master.