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1934-05-10 to NSA various

USBN #85 - July 1934 - pages 1-2

Haifa, May 10, 1934. "He also wishes me to express his approval of your

suggestion that as soon as the ornamentation work of the clerestory section of the

Temple is completed no new contract be signed for the next unit unless the entire

sum required for the contract has already been collected. Economic conditions,

both within and without the Cause, are nowadays too unstable to allow us to

undertake any extensive scheme before insuring its uninterrupted and succesful

prosecution. He would urge the friends, however, to continue exerting themselves

in order to complete the ornamentation of the clerestory section of the Temple

which they have spontaneously undertaken, towards the end of the summer, and if

not, at least by the end of the year. Their resourcefulness, courage and self-

sacrifice surely offer a sufficient guarantee that they will not fail in bringing

their task to a happy and successful completion.

"Concerning local Baha'i news letters the Guardian strongly feels that they

should be primarily devoted to the spread of local news and activities, and should

under no circumstances contain any statement implying criticism of or even

interference with the policy of the N.S.A. They may occasionally refer to items of

a national scope, but this should be done only with the view of assisting and not

hindering the national body of the Cause to carry out effectively its program and

decisions. There is thus a definite line of demarcation between correspondence

initiated by local and National Assemblies. Local activities should always be

subordinated to those of a national character and importance. This is intended not

to minimize the role of the local Assembly in the administrative order, but to

establish and insure a sane relationship between that body and the national

organization of the Cause.

"The Guardian wishes you to convey to the N.S.A., and through them to the

entire body of the American believers the news of the successful negotiations

initiated with the Palestine authorities concerning the exemption from taxation of

the entire area surrounding and dedicated to the International Sacred Shrines of

the Faith on Mt. Carmel.

"After long repeated representations Shoghi Effendi has succeeded in

obtaining from the Government an exemption which is tantamount to a recognition by

the Palestine Administration of the sacredness of our Shrines, and of the

importance and significance of the international center of our Faith. The exempted

area has been purchased largely through the contributions sent for that purpose by

the American believers. A section of it has already been transferred to the

Palestine Branch of the American National Assembly, while a portion of the

remaining part is still registered in the name of individual American believers.

"This exemption granted by the Government constituted, indeed, a triumph

which the friends will certainly appreciate, and a step forward towards the

further establishment and consolidation of the administrative order of the Cause,

in both the Holy Land and beyond its confines. The title deeds which testify to

the purchase and transfer of various plots to the name of your Assembly will soon

be forwarded to your address. Negotiations are still pending in connection with

further purchases and transfers which the Guardian is endeavoring to effect on

behalf of the Palestine Branch of the American N.S.A.

"In this connection I am directed to extend to you, as well as to the

general body of the American believers, Shoghi Effendi's abiding appreciation of

the American Baha'is' splendid cooperation in preventing the area surrounding the

Shrines from falling into the hands of non-Baha'is. Now that the town of Haifa is

developing so rapidly and so many buildings are being erected along the slopes of

Mt. Carmel, the friends can realize the full wisdom of their having kept such an

extensive area as an open space around the Shrines. This is becoming increasingly

manifest to the government officials and also to the increasing number of tourists

and visitors who annually flock to the Holy Land and admire the beauty and

impressions of so important a center in the Baha'i world. And the Guardian cannot,

indeed, but feel deeply indebted to you and to those who have cooperated with you

in taking such a vital and historic step, as a result of which the Faith has seen

its prestige heightened and its interests effectively promoted and insured."

(In the Guardian's hand) "The American believers have in recent years

shouldered tremendous responsibilities and have acquitted themselves magnificently

of their task. The erection of the superstructure of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, the

completion of the ornamentation of the dome, their spontaneous decision to proceed

with the decoration of the clerestory section, the purchase, the safeguarding and

eventual recognition of the precincts of the Shrines on Mt. Carmel, the

consolidation of the administrative machinery of the Faith in their country, the

generous assistance extended by them to the needy, the harassed and suffering

among their brethren in many lands and the activity they now display in the

teaching field are deeds for which the entire Baha'i world may well feel


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