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The Utterance Project was started with three aims:

To extol the beauty of the spoken utterances of The Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the original Arabic and Persian;

To connect people with the languages in which the Bahá’í Holy Scriptures were originally revealed by providing subtitles and transliteration;

And to spark an interest in learning these languages among a wide variety of people.

Although the English translations of Bahá’í scripture are exceptional in their quality, there are musical and poetic characteristics of the revealed Persian and Arabic that cannot be reproduced faithfully in other languages without compromising the integrity of the original meaning. Certain words or spiritual concepts which sound nothing alike in English (or any other language) often rhyme perfectly in the original text. Similarly, certain ideas that can be expressed concisely in Persian and Arabic require wordier translations to unpack the full meaning in English. 

Ideally, because the chosen excerpts are spoken clearly and accompanied by subtitles and transliterations, the viewer will experience hearing the words and understanding them as they are being spoken in the original language of revelation. The written and transliterated Arabic and Persian are also provided with the hope that the viewer may eventually come to recognize certain sounds in their written forms. 

We hope these videos achieve their goal in making Arabic and Persian seem more approachable, and will make each person feel that it is entirely within their reach to access the wealth and beauty of the Bahá’í Holy Writings in their original languages.

Thank you for your interest in the Utterance Project!

The-Utterance-Team-2

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Dear friends, A big announcement today. The Extraordinary Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is complete. Part VIII – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Returns to the Holy Land (1913-1921)bit.ly/2XFAuIfPart IX – The Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (28 November 1921)bit.ly/39kvBqsParts VIII and IX are being released jointly, as they are connected. Part VIII is monumental. You witness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s majesty, brilliance, and genius of leadership at every moment as He single-handedly organizes humanitarian aid on a truly massive level during World War I. After the war, are the years of prestige, where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá truly astounds all around Him, and writes two of the most weighty Tablets of His ministry. Part IX is devoted to the Ascension and is itself divided in nine parts in order to be a befitting commemoration on this, the hundredth year of the passing of our beloved ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Thank you to Earl HombreRojo for collaborating in two of the (many) tributes we pay ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in these two parts: they are the section on Bahá’í Pilgrimage and Worldwide Missions during the Ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Without his amazing book, Visiting ‘Abdu’l-Baha Volume 2: The Final Years, 1913–1921, you would have been deprived of many, many extraordinary stories. Please buy his book!Thank you also to Michael Day for collaborating on the Map of the Route of the Funeral Cortège. This multimedia map, based on the one originally designed by the talented William McGuire in Journey to a Mountain, is very, very special and is the fruit of his wonderful work for Journey To A Mountain, The Story of the Shrine of the Báb, Volume 1: 1850-1921. Please, buy this book. It contains one of the most detailed and wonderful chapters on the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Chapter 21. Thank you again to Kamal Zein and Merican Melic, my sharp and steadfast reviewers for all nine parts. And thank you to Adib Masumian for his precious help and encouragement these last five months. Lastly, please share widely! See MoreSee Less
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3 weeks ago

The Utterance Project
Today is a very important but not well-known anniversary: 110 years ago today, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave the first public speech of His life, at the age of 67 in front of an audience of 2,000 Westerners, at the City Temple in London. For more information on the talk, to read the Master’s address, and to see photographs of the location, please head over to “The Extraordinary Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Part V” or click the link below: theutteranceproject.com/the-extraordinary-life-of-abdul-baha-part-5/#collapse_9780_2To mark this very special anniversary, we have chosen a particularly eloquent prayer that begs for Bahá’u’lláh’s confirmations in public speaking. However, this prayer is very special in quite an unexpected way. Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, the widow of Shoghi Effendi and Hand of the Cause was the representative of the Universal House of Justice for decades at innumerable events worldwide. Amatu’l-Bahá was famous for her eloquence in public speaking, and, as Violette Nakhjavani tells us in “A Tribute to Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum”: www.bahai.org/documents/essays/nakhjavani-bahiyyih/tribute-amatulbaha-ruhiyyih-khanumWhen asked, she attributed her power of public speaking to the fact that at the beginning of her marriage Shoghi Effendi had recommended that she memorize the beautiful prayer of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá which begins, “O Lord, my God and my Haven in my distress! My shield and my Shelter in my woes! …” and which concludes with the poignant sentence: “Loose my tongue to laud Thy name amidst Thy people, that my voice may be raised in great assemblies and from my lips may stream the flood of thy praise.” You can read the full text here: www.bahai.org/documents/essays/nakhjavani-bahiyyih/tribute-amatulbaha-ruhiyyih-khanum Linguistic note: The long “ee” (í) sound you hear repeatedly at the ends of many of the words in this prayer is a marker denoting the first-person singular possessive, “my.” See MoreSee Less
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3 weeks ago

The Utterance Project
Part VII is now available. theutteranceproject.com/the-extraordinary-life-of-abdul-baha-part-7/With only a short, eight-day respite aboard the RMS Celtic, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá embarks on His second, very intense, six-month journey through Europe on December 13, 1912. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visits SEVEN COUNTRIES (we include Scotland in this count). Because four of these countries are visits lasted 4-10 days, we have expanded them as full sections, not wanting to diminish any experience arbitrarily due to length of stay. In this part, we have included more than 200 pictures, graphics and maps, to bring the journey to life. Each country is special in its own way, as you will discover in exploring this amazing chapter of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s extraordinary life, as the Center of the Covenant moves through England, Scotland, France, Germany, Hungary, Austria and finally Egypt, before He boards the SS Baron Call, bound for Haifa on December 2, 1913. Part VIII, the last chapter of our chronology, will pick up when the Master drops anchor at Yaffa. *****THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS*****I would first like to thank my dedicated and eagle-eyed team of reviewers, Kamal Zein and Merican Melic. They both added so much to the part with their suggestions and comments, and I am so grateful for their time. This most complex of all parts of the Chronology thus far would have been impossible to write without the precious help of a number of Bahá’í historians. Adib Masumian shared of his own personal research into Persian diaries for this period to confirm certain events, and provide clarifications and additions. Earl HombreRojo shared relevant notes for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in their Midst Version 2, the pre-publication edition, as he had added new sources and had many new sections. Earl Redman also provided personal research he has compiled in estimating the total participation at ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s many talks throughout his journeys.You will find this information in the very last panel of Part VII.Alexander Meinhard shared his research into German Bahá’í history, completed the incomplete names of German Bahá’ís, proofread both German sections, provided many of the photos, and provided a map he and a friend designed of the places ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited in Stuttgart, which we then localized into English. Ágnes Ambró shared a PDF that the National Spiritual Assembly fo Hungary produced to commemorate ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to Budapest. She also provided us with photographs, newspaper articles, and clarifications and corrections. David Menham proofread the section on Austria and helped identify at least two locations, and therefore two additional photos for the Austria section. Amín Egea gave of his time to answer many, many, newspaper-related questions for almost every country in this part. He also provided source materials of high quality. He also provided the numbers for the media reach of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s journeys in the last panel of this part. This contribution can be found in the last panel of Part VII, where media reach estimates come to complete the picture of Earl Redman’s public talk attendance estimates.Ismael Velasco Ismael Velasco contributed many important details to this part. You will find one of his contribution in the definition of "waqf" and "head-architect of waqf" in the 2 November 1913 section. Chad Jones Chad Jones shared a veritable treasure trove of primary sources that were invaluable for research. Finally, we would like to thank the following individuals for helping us identify and find photographs for Persian and Ottoman notables in Paris many of which had to be especially scanned for this publication: Dr. Moojan Momen, Ismael Velasco, Adib Masumian, Dr. Siyamak Zabihi-Moghaddam, and Iskandar Hai. See MoreSee Less
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