Now that the Extraordinary Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is complete, it is a my great pleasure to publicly thank and pay tribute to all of the precious collaborators who helped me bring this project to life. Working on this chronology has been an honor.

I am deeply grateful for the help, the assistance, encouragement, and collaboration I have been blessed to enjoy these last five months. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

Bahá’í Institutions


Words fail me to properly thank the United States National Bahá’í Archives. The kindness, patience and generosity they showed me in answering questions and providing newspaper articles and photographs is one of the reasons this part of the Chronology is so special and I am forever grateful to them.


The Office of Public Affairs of the Montreal Bahá’í Community shared information, articles photographs, suggestions and corrections to the section on Canada.

Bahá’í Historians


Adib Masumian researched and wrote the sections for the Timeline of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s 1,194 Days in the West on Europe, Egypt, and the Holy Land from December 1912 to December 1913, drawing on the fruits of his research on ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s time in those places at those times as recorded by His chroniclers, which will soon culminate in another project.

Adib also diligently reviewed and proofread the chronology and painstakingly transliterated all the Persian and Arabic names that appear in it, and provided precious editorial suggestions throughout the entire process.



I wish to especially thank Earl Redman, who has been my writing mentor. The help he provided exceeds my ability to properly pay it tribute.

Earl Redman is the author of : Visiting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá – Volume I: The West Discovers the Master, 1897-1911, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá In Their Midst – The Master’s Travel to the West, which provided the guiding thread and main stories for Part VI, and Visiting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá – Volume 2: The Final Years, 1913–1921, as well as Shoghi Effendi – Through the Pilgrim’s Eye Volume 1: Building the Administrative Order 1922-1952, Shoghi Effendi – Through the Pilgrim’s Eye Volume 2: The Ten Year Crusade 1953-1963, Knights of Bahá’u’lláh – The Stories of all the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh as well as two forthcoming books: The Apostles of Bahá’u’lláh and the Disciples of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and My Name is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to be published by George Ronald

Earl reviewed nearly every iteration of this chronology, provided me with references or corrections for dates and events, and generously shared with me excerpts from his books, one unpublished manuscript, and work he is doing on a new and existing project. Earl also helped me sort through the stories from Myron H. Phelps’ “The Master in ‘Akka” which were most historically accurate and directed me to Balyuzi’s references for the journeys from Ṭihrán to Baghdád and from Baghdád to Constantinople.

Earl wrote our second guest section Part VI, chronicling ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s three most pleasant weeks in America in Dublin, New Hampshire.

Earl also collaborated on the section and the infographic about the reach of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journeys to the West. I am honored and grateful he agreed to collaborate with me throughout this entire project!




Michael V. Day supplied me with ample additional details on all events relating to the remains of the Báb and the construction of the Shrine from the first book in his exciting trilogy: Journey to a Mountain: The story of the Shrine of the Báb. Vol. I: 1850–1921.

Michael collaborated with me on part IX for the very special section “The Route of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Funeral Cortège.” Michael constructed the exact route of the funeral cortège from historical sources, personal accounts, and an aerial photograph for his book “Journey to a Mountain: The Story of the Shrine of the Báb Volume 1: 1850-1921”. Former member of the Universal House of Justice, the late Mr. ‘Alí Nakhjavání, confirmed with Michael an aspect of the route taken before it reached Mountain Road.

Michael also consulted on the multimedia map of the route taken by the funeral cortège that I designed based on the map in the plates between pages 80-81 in Journey to a Mountain Chapter 21: The Shrine Becomes the Tomb of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The original map in Journey to a Mountain was designed by William McGuire from the information given to him by Michael.




Amín Egea is the author of the definitive series of books “Apostle of Peace” Volume 1 and Volume 2, a collection, compiled over a ten-year period, of a few hundred of the more than 2,900 press articles written about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during His lifetime that have thus far come to light. Amín Egea collaborated on the section and the infographic about the reach of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journeys to the West, from the fruits of his in-depth research into newspaper articles spanning five decades the life of the Master.

I am deeply grateful to Amín for having contributed five of the six articles about the Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá which are mentioned by Shoghi Effendi in God Passes By. This section was deeply important to me personally, because God Passes By has guided my writing of this entire chronology, and I remember reading this list of papers in awe when I was a teenager and wishing I could read the articles. It is absolutely a dream come true for me to be able to illustrate our Beloved Guardian’s words with images of the ACTUAL articles, and this would never have been possible without Amín and his herculean research work in newspaper clippings over more than a decade. Thank you SO much for this!



Jan Jasion provided many clarifications on dates and details for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s journeys to France in 1911 from his original research for his book ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in France 1911 & 1913. Jan suggested including the section on the 1905 Commission of Inquiry and provided valuable additional reference material and a correction to the name of the ship that brought ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Marseilles in 1911: it was the SS L’Orénoque and not the SS Corsica as is often thought. 



Necati Alkan is the author of Dissent and Heterodoxy in the Late Ottoman Empire: Reformers, Babis and Baha’is. Necati thoroughly reviewed all of the sections relating to Bahá’u’lláh’s exile in Constantinople (Istanbul), Adrianople (Edirne), the visit of Midḥat Páshá to Palestine,  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to Beirut in 1880 and the Content of the (1901-1908) Panel including the 1905 Commission of Inquiry with details from his original research and published papers and books. It is thanks to Necati’s research that we now know that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote the “I Was a Hidden Treasure” commentary in Adrianople and not in Baghdád as had been believed for decades.

Necati also provided help in finding current place names for the map of the journey from Constantinople to Adrianople. The 19th century photographs of Istanbul credited to “Istanbul Üniversitesi, Nadir Eserler Kütüphanesi” were also provided by Necati.

In Part IX, in the section “Media Coverage of the Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá”, Necati provided all of the articles that are featured in the section Six newspapers from former Ottoman territories – A collaboration with Necati Alkan.




Nabil Khodadad provided references for a number of events in the chronology, and a number of sections were expanded as a result of his generous contributions, most notably the story of the scroll given by the Báb to Bahá’u’lláh, the arrival and the departure of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá from New York on the RMS Cedric. Nabil also suggested expanding the section on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s address at Stanford University, which I did. 


Steven Kolins provided constant encouragement and support during the writing of this timeline, he was of great assistance with fact-checking specific details. It was at Steven Kolins’ suggestion that I added the following stories to the timeline: the shepherds in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s childhood, the pilgrimage of Thomas Breakwell, the transfer of the remains of the Báb, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the grandchildren of Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh in Switzerland, the pick-axe at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Temple, the indigenous boy watching the train in Canada and seeing ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the story of the only footage remaining of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the marriage of Louis Gregory and Louisa Matthews.

Steven also provided references for the expanded story of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to the Bowery and the verse from Psalms. Last but not least, Steven proofread in extensive details two early version of the chronology and provided extensive, precious corrections. Steven also sent me a wonderful paper by Iraj Poostschi on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in ‘Adasíyyih, which resulted in the two panels on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s agricultural enterprise, which are my personal favorite panels. Steven Kolins also assisted me with research tips, as he is a fountain of knowledge in terms of internet research, having contributed over 40,000 edits to Wikipedia and 48,000 newspaper clippings to



Ismael Velasco greatly contributed to expanding the section on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s childhood by providing not only an outline, but references to the story of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mission to the General of the Persian Army on behalf of Bahá’u’lláh when the latter was in Karbilá and providing additional clarifications on the first draft of the story. The date for the story is based on Ismael’s historical analysis of several factors and sources.

Ismael contributed missing photographs to the “Prominent personalities who met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá” sections for America, England and Scotland and France 1911 & 1913. And personally, I am eternally grateful to him for finding the photograph of the thorn pickers in the Story from Part I entitled ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the thorn-picker and the burnt cake. Because I deeply loved this story, I tried to find in vain for months. Another of Ismael’s contributions was the very useful footnote to the story about the head-architect of Fawq during ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last visit to Egypt. You can read the footnote in the section entitled 2 November 1913 ALEXANDRIA – Prince Muḥammad-‘Alí’s book mentioning ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and two Ottoman PáshásThe position is particular to Egypt, and Ismael found the references and wrote a beautiful footnote. Details like this make this chronology unique.



Dr. Christopher Buck has been a faculty instructor at the Wilmette Institute for the last 20 years (since 2001) and is the author of several books including Bahá’í Faith: The Basics. Chris also contributed a chapter to the book ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey West: The Course of Human Solidarity Chris is an independent scholar, and author and co-author of more than 300 articles at Bahá’í Teachings.

Chris contacted me as the chronology was progressing through an era he is most familiar with (‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey West to America), and suggested several fascinating additions to the chronology,.

Chris co-wrote a paper with Youli Ioannesyan called “The 1893 Russian Publication of Bahá’u’lláh’s Last Will and Testament: An Academic Attestation of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Successorship,” which was published in Baha’i Studies Review 19 (cover date, 2013; publication date, 2017), pages 3–44. This paper goes into great detail about how Bahá’u’lláh’s Will and Testament (the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd) came to be published in a Russian Journal a year after His Ascension, which culminated into 1893 – The Russian publication of Bahá’u’lláh’s Kitáb-i-‘Ahd (Book of the Covenant) – A collaboration with Dr. Christopher Buck and Youli Ioannesyan.

Chris also provided me with one journal article he wrote that I felt made a great “further reading” addition to the section about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Howard University address because he delves deeply into the significance of this speech and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s purpose in visiting America. Chris also shared with me and two of his Baha’i Teachings articles, one on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visiting Charles Henry Tinsley, and one on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá accepting Rabbi J. Leonard Levy’s invitation to speak in Pittsburgh, both of which I decided to expand into full-fledged sections of their own because the stories were so great. These sections are “10 October 1912 – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visits Charles Henry Tinsley, a black waiter laid up with a broken leg, in his home” and 7 May 1912 -PITTSBURGH – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá speaks in Pittsburgh, at the invitation of Rabbi J. Leonard Levy.




Youli A. Ioannesyan is Senior Researcher, at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Youli’s major research interests are Islam (Sufi Islam and Shaikhism), Babism and Baha’ism and the languages and dialects spoken in Iran and Afghanistan (Dari). His publications include “Очерки Веры Баби И Бахаи: Изучение в свете первичных источников” (“Essays on the Babi and Baha’i Faiths: A Study in the Light of Primary Sources“), and The Development of the Babi/Baha’i Communities: Exploring Baron Rosen’s Archives, among many others.

Youli co-wrote a paper with Chris Buck called “The 1893 Russian Publication of Bahá’u’lláh’s Last Will and Testament: An Academic Attestation of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Successorship,” which was published in Baha’i Studies Review 19 (cover date, 2013; publication date, 2017), pages 3–44. This paper goes into great detail about how Bahá’u’lláh’s Will and Testament (the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd) came to be published in a Russian Journal a year after His Ascension, which culminated into 1893 – The Russian publication of Bahá’u’lláh’s Kitáb-i-‘Ahd (Book of the Covenant) – A collaboration with Dr. Christopher Buck and Youli Ioannesyan.




Andrew Blake is an horticulturist living in Western Australia who worked for several years in the Bahá’í Gardens at the World Center in Israel and has researched their history.

Andrew provided detailed captions filled with interesting information for photographs in Haifa and Bahjí in Part VI, Part VIII and Part IX. He also provided pin-point accurate placement for markers in the map of the gardens in Part III and the map of Haifa in Part VI. Andrew helped organize the funeral cortège photographs in correct chronological order in Part IX, and provided clarifications for the funeral cortège route map, along with Michael Day.


Charleen Maghzi-Ader made her personal research about ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to California available to me by correspondence.  She also provided suggestions and corrections to the California section.  Her historical research is based largely on the archival records of Mahmud’s Diary and Ella Goodall Cooper’s records. Both these individuals assiduously recorded the daily activities of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá throughout His California visit.  Kurt Asplund and Brent Poirier were early contributors to the California research effort.


In corresponding about California, Kurt Asplund felt moved to share with me in-depth, novel research he had done on every place in Manhattan ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had set foot. The article is called ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Manhattan and is one of the true gems of this part of the chronology. You can find it in the section “In the footsteps of the Center of the Covenant in the City of the Covenant.”


Ágnes was instrumental in helping bring to life the Budapest section of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s second European journey. She provided me with a PDF from the National Spiritual Assembly of Hungary which guided all my efforts in writing about this all important visit. She provided me with images and newspaper clippings, and was constantly there to answer any questions I had, in my efforts to portray the visit as accurately and befittingly as possible.


I cannot say enough about Alexander’s exactitude, passion and depth of knowledge. His generosity with his original scholarship is astounding, he shared with me maps he and a friend had painstakingly made of every spot ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited in Stuttgart, He provided me with extraordinary photographs, stories, biographies, photos of the believers who met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, answered my numerous questions with unflinching patience.

Bahá’í Websites and their teams

My heartfelt thanks to the hardworking individuals and teams behind the following Bahá’í websites without which “The Extraordinary Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá” would not have been possible. Living in Congo, I had access only to my family’s well-furnished Bahá’í library, but relied very heavily on all the sites below. They have my eternal gratitude.

Bahá’í Library Online
Star of the West Archive
Bahá’í Works
Bahá’í Chronicles
‘Abdu’l-Bahá in America: 1912-2012
239 Days in America
The Journey West

Special Thanks


The Extraordinary Life of ‘Abdu’l-bahá simply would not exist without the support and constant encouragement of Suzie and Kamal Zein, my parents.

Kamal Zein took on a role of editor-in-chief and producer, tirelessly helping me craft the storytelling, divide and build the chronology into cohesive sections and parts. He provided a constant big-picture focus to my writing, always keeping me on track with what was coming next in the story.

Kamal Zein also suggested the expansion of the story of the arrival of Munírih Khánum in ‘Akká, the story of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá swimming in the sea, and the many details included in the expanded section of the marriage of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Munírih Khánum in Part II. Kamal also did the research and provided many anecdotes, complete with notes and references for the following stories: The burnt cake and the Story of the Lost Mule in Part I, and the story of the man at the museum in New York in Part IV. There are now too many stories Kamal has added to the chronology for me to thank him individually for. There are simply no words for how much help he has given me and how much he has assisted, encouraged, aided and abetted me.


Kevin McLoughlin provided precious copy-editing and proofreading feedback for each published part. He also tested the website before it was launched, making many navigational and referencing suggestions that made their way into the final version of the interactive chronology.


Merican Melic has been a wonderful help throughout this process. He has reviewed every Part of the Chronologywith an editor’s attention to detail and has greatly improved the work. I am very grateful to him for the time and attention he has spent carefully reading each new part of this chronology.

I am unendingly grateful for the time these friends graciously (and generously) spent helping me bring this work to life. 

Individuals and Families

I would also like to thank all the friends below who provided a range of very valuable contributions to the Chronology, ideas, feedback, technical support, suggestions, corrections, links, articles, stories, images, and constant encouragement and support. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.

Alex Boysen
Alexander Nilsson
Alexander Zein
Anne Perry
Armindo Pedro
The entire Bosma family: Alexander, André, Eddie, Greta, Hessel, Lenka, Marcel, and Suzanne
Barney Leith
Brent Poirier
Daniel Caillaud
David Menham
David Merrick
Deirdre (DeDe) Moum
Don Calkins
Erica Leith
Frédéric Autret
Friedo Zoelzer
Gamal Hassan
Giuseppe Castello
Guita Baghdadi-Hoogenstraaten & Willo Hoogenstraaten
Hoda Thabet
Iqan Shahidi
Dr. Iskandar Hai
Johannes Rosenbaum
Mahdad Saniee 
Malakat Noshokaty
Margaret Mangan
The entire McLoughlin family: Corinne, Kevin, Nura, and OIsín
Dr. Moojan Momen
Nicolas Zein
Olga Mehti
Rahim & Lydia Mazlum
Rob Stauffer
Robert Stockman
Rochan Mavaddat
Saiyed Ali
Shcheglov Nikolai
Siyamak Zabihi-Moghaddam
Steve Cooney
William McGuire
Zohreh Granfar