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Testimony to nobility shown by Te Atairangikaahu

Friday, 18 August 2006, 10:20 am
Press Release: NZ Baha'i National Spiritual Assembly

TE RUNANGA WAIRUA TAPU O NGA BAHÁ’Í O AOTEAROA / NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA’IS OF NEW ZEALAND

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release

DATED: 17 August 2006

Bahá’í community testifies to nobility shown by Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu

The New Zealand Bahá’í community adds its voice to the many others who are praising the lifelong services of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the Maori Queen, on the occasion of her passing.

On behalf of the New Zealand Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly, the Chief Executive, Suzanne Mahon, said that it has been an honour for members of the Baha'i community to have had an association with Te Arikinui over the course of many years.

Mrs Mahon said that the Bahá’í community can testify, from direct experience, to the nobility and grace of the late Maori Queen’s character.

“Clearly, her very real mana arose from a truly radiant spirit, and her life's work was a demonstration of what is best and finest in the people of this country. She has left a legacy that surely will not be lost,” said Mrs Mahon.

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Worker's son interns in Israel

Mom has faith in his safety

Carolyn Wolfe was proud when her son, Nathan, was selected for an internship in Israel. She didn't know that Israel would soon be at war.

The day after he arrived in Haifa, Israel, the Hezbollah militants in Lebanon fired rockets into the city, which had always been considered safe. Things have stabilized since but the nation remains at war.

"Right now no rockets have hit where he is," said Wolfe, a human resources specialist in the Aviation and Missile Command's G-1 office. "But it's such a volatile situation. Hopefully they'll be able to engineer an end to the conflict soon."

Nathan, 23, is an intern working in the department of the secretariat at the Baha'i World Centre, located on Mt. Carmel. He graduated cum laude in May from the University of Alabama-Huntsville with a bachelor's in finance. He left for Israel July 11 on El Al Airlines.

"He got there on a Wednesday and the first rockets fell on Thursday," Wolfe said. "This was a real shock. Haifa has been an oasis of peace in Israel. This was a shock for us. The Palestinian conflict, all these years, has not affected them. Up to a million people live in Haifa * Christians, Jews, Israelis, Arabs and Baha'is * all coexisting peacefully. Then of course Hezbollah decided to fire rockets into Israel. Haifa is the third-largest major city in Israel, so this was a real surprise to Israel and to the world that Hezbollah would actually fire on a major metropolitan city."

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Bringing honey to Haifa

Cortes family in Haifa, Israel

Baha’i pilgrims arrive as missile attacks begin

In the last two weeks of July, as half of Haifa's population was fleeing the besieged city in the north of Israel, 171 members of the Baha'i Faith arrived from all over the globe to take part in a nine-day pilgrimage to the Faith's most sacred shrines, historical sites and world administrative center.

(See related story about Baha'i pilgrimage.)

The pilgrims had eagerly anticipated this day, after being on a waiting list for up to six years. So although the timing seemed wrong, they proceeded with their plans after receiving approval from the Baha'i World Center in Haifa.

"Many of our friends and family said ‘Are you nuts?'," admits Mary Hansen, a Baha'i from Northbrook, Ill. "They said, ‘Do you have to go there now?' But I had a dream right before we left that felt significant to me. In the dream, I was bringing honey to Haifa. I now believe that the honey was our presence there."

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Call for Israeli Arabs to leave Haifa

Nasrallah during Wednesday's televised address. Photo: Channel 2

Nasrallah also warned all Israeli Arabs to leave the port city of Haifa so the gurrilla (sic) organization could step up attacks without fear of shedding the blood of fellow Muslims.

"I have a special message to the Arabs of Haifa, to your martyrs and to your wounded. I call you to leave this city. I hope you do this. ... Please leave so we don't shed your blood, which is our blood."

The Jerusalem Post

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Caldwell couple braves danger for pilgrimage

Middle East: Visit to Israel included worrying about Hezbollah bombs

NAMPA — Just as the first bombs were falling in fresh fighting between Israel and Hezbollah last month, Amelia and David Jamison of Caldwell were packing their bags for a pilgrimage to the troubled region.

Friends and relatives asked them if they were still going, and they responded that “unless they say you can’t go, we are going,” said Amelia.

Their destination was the Bahai world center in Haifa, the city in Northern Israel where Hezbollah bombs have been falling now for several weeks.

{josquote}The couple said they didn’t really talk with people about the conflict in the Middle East. “The Bahais in Israel try to stay out of it,” said Amelia. “We didn’t talk much about politics.”{/josquote}

A pilgrimage to the site, Amelia said, is one of the obligations for every able Bahai, a person who follows the teachings of Baha'u'llah, a 19th century spiritual leader whose belief systems draw on Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

“The most stressful part of the trip,” said Amelia, was arriving at the Tel Aviv airport and not knowing the military situation in northern Israel.

“It was scary because we really didn’t know what was happening,” Amelia said.

David said, “we were advised not to go,” but not forbidden by Israeli authorities.

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