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1868. 23 Aug The steamer left Smyrna at night for Alexandria, which she gained on the morning two days later. [BKG265] Izmir (Smyrna); Turkey; Alexandria; Egypt Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Ships
1868 26 - 27 Aug The steamer carrying Bahá'u'lláh and His companions docked at Alexandria, early in the morning. [BKG267-2368; RB3:6]
  • The exiles changed ships, again onto an Austrian-Lloyd ship. [BKG265]
  • Several exiles went ashore to make purchases. One passed by the prison house where Nabil-i Aʿẓam had been detained. Nabíl, watching from the roof of his prison cell, recognized one of the companions of Bahá'u'lláh. [CH65, BKG265, 267; RB3:6]
  • Nabíl and Fáris Effendi, a Christian Syrian doctor who had been imprisoned for the non-payment of debt wrote and who had just recently become a Bahá'í, wrote letters to Bahá'u'lláh which were delivered by a Christian youth. The youth returned with a Tablet from Bahá'u'lláh and gifts from `Abdu'l-Bahá and Mírzá Mihdí. [BKG267–8; RB3:6–7]
  • It is believed that Faris Effendi was the first Christian to have embraced the Bahá'í Faith. Shortly after His arrival in Akka, Bahá'u'lláh wrote a tablet to Raḍa’r-Rúḥ, a believer from Mashad. In the tablet, Bahá'u'lláh told Raḍa’r-Rúḥ that, while waiting to set sail from the port in Alexandria, He was given a letter by a messenger, which was from a Christian physician known as Faris, who was imprisoned in Alexandria with Nabil-i-Azam. In this letter, Faris declared his belief in Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'u'lláh expresses to Raḍa’r-Rúḥ how thrilled he was to receive this moving declaration from Faris. The Tablet to Rada'r-Rúh has been translated by Nosratollah Mohammadhosseini.
  • The ship bearing Bahá'u'lláh and the exiles left Alexandria for Port Said. [BKG268]
  • See the story in complete detail written by Christopher Buck serialized on Bahá'í Teachings. The first instalment is called The First Christian to Become a Baha’i.

    The second is titled Baha’u’llah’s Welcome to the First Christian Baha’i.

    The third - The First Christian Baha’i, and His Letter to Baha’u’llah.

    The fourth - Baha’u’llah Replies to the First Christian Baha’i—and to All Christians.

    And the fifth and final instalment - Baha’u’llah’s Most Holy Tablet—to the Christians.

  • After his release Nabil travelled to Cyprus and Beirut and then joined the Bahá'u'lláh's exiled community in Akka in late October of 1969. He spent the last two decades of his life in that area. [“Nabil-e aʿzam Zaranadi, Mollā Mohammad,” by Vahid Rafati, Encyclopædia Iranica]
  • Alexandria; Egypt Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Nabil-i-Azam; Gifts; Ships; Faris Effendi; Bahaullah, Writings of
    1882 11 Jul The British navy bombarded Alexandria, beginning or provoking fires that destroyed the city and forced a mass exodus of its population to the interior. In August-September the British invaded the country, restored Khedive Tawfiq to his throne, arrested Urabi, the Muslim modernist Muhammad 'Abduh, and other constitutionalists, and imposed a "veiled protectorate" on the country that differed only in name from direct colonial rule. The official British sources attempted to suggest that they had saved Egypt from a military junta allied to Islamic fanaticism, but more impartial observers have characterized the British invasion as the quashing of a grassroots democratic movement by an imperial power in the service of the European bond market. [BFA15, Wilmette Institute faculty notes] Alexandria; Egypt British history; History (general); Imperialism/Colonialism
    1903. 21 Mar The passing of Gabriel Sacy, (b. Alexandria c. 1860) a Syrian Christian who had become a Bahá'í after contacting Mírzá Ábu’l-Faḍl and others in Cairo. He was the author of Du Règne de Lieu et de l'Agneau conn sour le nom de Babysme: se trove chez l'Auteur au Caire. It was printed privately in Cairo and dated June 12, 1902. [Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion compiled by E G Browne p185; ABF135]

    Also written by him was a booklet called Proofs that was published in Arabic in Cairo in 1902. It is believed to be the first book published in Arabic about the Faith although unpublished manuscript written in Arabic were circulated in Russia and the UK prior to this time. [A posting by Rowshan Mustapha 17 February 2024 on the tk list]

    L'implantation de la foi baha'ie en France et impact de la venue de Abdu’l Baha à Paris au début du XXème siècle Mémoire D.E.S. de Natalia Behnam includes him among the first Bahá'ís in France. iiiii

    Àbdu'l-Bahá is reported to have said of him:

      His value will be known in the future. He enkindled for you a lamp which shall never be extinguished. He laid for you a foundation which shall not be destroyed throughout centuries and cycles. He planted for you a tree whose root is firm in the ground, whose branches have ascended to heaven and its fruits are shared by all throughout all the seasons. Mr De Sacy was in reality a divine man. In Syria there was no one like him. He was like a torch. He was the essence of sanctity. Whenever a person looked into his face, if he was unhappy, he wold be made happy. [ABF355-356]
    Alexandria; Egypt; Cairo; Egypt
    1903 May Russian poet Isabella Grinevskaya wrote the play "Báb" which was performed in St. Petersburg in 1904 and again in 1914 and once again in 1917. It was translated into French and Tatar (and later into German by Friedrich Fiedler) and lauded by Leo Tolstoy and other reviewers at the time. It is reported to have been Tolstoy's first knowledge of the Faith.
  • In 1910-11 she spent two weeks in Ramleh as a guest of `Abdu'l-Bahá and after she returned to Russia she had several letters and Tablets from Him.
  • Immediately upon her return from Egypt in January of 1911 she began work on the book "A Journey in the Countries of the Sun", an account of her visit with 'Abdu'l-Bahá. This work was not completed until 1914 because in the summer of 1912 she made a trip to Paris to work with the French translator of "Báb", Madame Halperin, and when she returned to Leningrad she began work on the drama entitled Bahá'u'lláh. It was published in Leningrad in 1912 but was never performed. "Journey", a book of some 550 pages did not get published because of the disruption caused by the advent of the war. See BW6p707-712 for the article "Russia's Cultural Contribution to the Bahá'i Faith" by Martha Root.
  • For a photo see BW6p709 or here.
  • Also see Notes on the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions in Russia and its territories by Graham Hassall.
  • Isabella Grinevskaya (the pen name of Beyle (Berta) Friedberg), born in Grodno in 1864, died in Istanbul in 1944. [Revolvy] In His message to Isabella Grinevskaya, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá praised her efforts to stage theatrical performances about the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh but cautioned her that people’s attention at that moment was focused on “war and revolution.” However, He added, “the time for staging it will come” and it will “have a considerable impact” in Europe.

    Ms. Grinevskaya’s play about the Báb was first staged in St. Petersburg in January 1904. Mr. Tolstoy read the play and wrote Ms. Grinevskaya to praise her and share his sympathy with the Baha'í teachings, according to an article by Martha Root in the 1934-1936 edition of The Bahá'í World.

  • St Petersburg; Ramleh (Alexandria); Alexandria; Egypt; Istanbul (Constantinople); Turkey; Grodno; Russia Isabella Grinevskaya; Leo Tolstoy; Publications; Drama; Plays; Arts
    1910 29 Aug `Abdu'l-Bahá departed for Egypt on board the steamer Kosseur London accompanied by two attendants, Mírzá Munír-i-Zayn and 'Abdu'l-Husayn. Upon arrival he telegrammed the Bahá'í in Haifa that he was in Egypt. Shoghi Effendi was asked to come two days later. [AB133-168; ABF5; BBRXXX; GPB280; AB134-135; Bahá'í News #12 16Oct1910 pg206; the Message from the Universal House of Justice dated August 29, 2010]
  • See letter from Sydney Sprague to Isabella Brittingham which indicates that He left sometime before this date.
  • GPB280 and AY84 say He departed in September.
  • After one month in Port Said He embarked for Marseille but turned back to Alexandria owing to His health. In a letter to Munírih Khánum He stated that His intention was to proceed to America or South Africa. [GPB280, ABF5]
  • He stayed for a few days in the Victoria Hotel but then moved to a rented house in Ramleh, a suburb of Alexandria, where He stayed for about one year. [GPB280, AB136; Memories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá by Ali M Yazdi (1899-1978) who was a child at the time.]
  • Early in May of 1911 he moved to Cairo and took up residence in nearby Zaytún. [AB138]
  • It was during this period that a sudden change occurred. A journalist who had previously been hostile towards Him took a new tone. [AB136]
  • The Russian poet Isabel Grinevsky, the Oriental Secretary of the British Agency, Ronald Storrs, Lord Kitchener, George Zaydán, eminent writer and celebrated editor as well as clerics, aristocrats, administrators, parliamentarians, men of letters, journalists and publicists, Arabs, Turks and Persians all sought out His company and met with Him. This period could be considered the first public proclamation of the Faith. [MRHK348, AB136-139; CH226]
  • See AB138-139 for a description of His triumphs during this period.
  • Haifa; Port Said; Ramleh (Alexandria); Alexandria; Cairo; Zaytun; Egypt Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Proclamation; Firsts, Other; Isabella Grinevskaya; Ships; Kosseir
    1910 Nov Wellesley Tudor Pole met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Alexandria. An interview with him appeared in Christian Commonwealth (1910 28 Dec), "A Wonderful Movement in The East" (reproduced in SoW Vol 1 Issue 18 p1-4. [SYH6] Alexandria; Egypt Wellesley Tudor Pole; Abdul-Baha in Egypt
    1911. 9 Apr c. Louis Gregory visited Ramleh where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was staying in preparation for His first visit to Europe. During their first conversation ‘Abdu’l-Bahá immediately cut “to the substance of the issue.” “What of the conflict between the white and colored races?” he asked. “Work for unity and harmony between the races,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told him. “The colored people must attend all the unity meetings. There must be no distinctions.” [239Days Day 12; SoW Vol 2 No 10 September 8 1911 p5; SYH6]
  • On pilgrimage at the same time were Neville Meakin and another British Bahá'í, Louise Mathew. On the 16th of April the three set sail for Haifa. [SYH3-8]
  • After visiting the Holy sites Louis returned to Cairo and to 'Abdu'l-Bahá who asked him to visit Stuttgart, Paris and London before returning to America. [SYH12-13]
  • Ramleh (Alexandria); Alexandria; Egypt Louis Gregory; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Louise Gregory; Abdul-Baha in Egypt
    1911 11 Aug The beginning of `Abdu'l-Bahá's first Western tour. [AB139]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá departed from Egypt with a party of four on the S. S. Corsica for Marseilles, Thonon-les-Bains and London. [AB139; GPB280; SBR22, SoW Vol 2 no.10 8 September, 1911 p7]
  • Subsequent research has shown that the ship was not the S.S. Corsica as stated in GPB280 but rather the L'Orenoque. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris page 6 note 47.
  • See BW1:130 for a list of cities He visited between 1911 and 1913.
  • It is believed that funds for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s teaching journeys to the West were provided by an oil-rich believer in Baku, Áqa Músá Naqiof (alternate spelling Musa Naghiyev)(yet another alternate spelling Báqirof) (1849-1919). [AY11; ABF295note684]
  • Baku; Alexandria; Egypt; Marseilles; Thonon-les-Bains; France; London; United Kingdom Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; S. S. Corsica; Orenoque; Ships; Funds; Donations; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Musa Naghiyev; Musa Naqiof
    1911 7 Dec 'Abdu'l-Bahá departed Marseilles for Egypt on board Le Portugal. It travelled to Beirut via Alexandria and Port Said and reached Alexandria on the 12th of December. [ABF255-256; AB167; GPB280; SBR25]
  • Letter from Ahmad Sohrab. [SoW Vol 2 No 16 December 31, 1911 p9]
  • Marseilles; France; Alexandria; Egypt Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Ships
    1912. 20 Mar 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave a talk on the festival of Naw-Rúz at the Hotel Victoria in Ramleh, a suburb of Alexandria. This translation was released by the Research Department in 2016. In His talk 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke about the importance of the day for the Persian people and for mankind in general. ['Abdu'l-Bahá's Talks] Alexandria; Ramleh (Alexandria); Egypt Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Abdul-Baha in Egypt
    1912 25 Mar-17 Jun 1913 `Abdu'l-Bahá's second Western tour

    'Abdul'-Bahá and His party embarked from Alexandria on the White Star Line Liner RMS Cedric for New York via Naples. They departed Naples on the 30th of March and made a call at Gibraltar. Three of His party were forced to leave the ship for supposed "medical' reasons. Among them was His grandson, Shoghi Effendi. [AB171; GPB281; ABF274; ABTM50-52; SYH50-51]

  • Boarding in Naples to join Him on the Atlantic crossing were Louisa Mathew and the Woodcock family, Percy, Aloysia and their daughter, May as well as Mr and Mrs Austin from Denver, Colorado. [SYH49, 52; ABPp18n.96]
  • Alexandria; Egypt; Naples; Italy; Gibraltar; New York; United States Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; - Basic timeline, Condensed; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Louise Gregory; Percy Woodcock
    1912. 22-27 Aug The International Moral Education Congress was an international academic conference held in Europe six times between 1908 and 1934. It convened because of an interest in moral education by many countries beginning a decade before the inaugural event.

    The Second Congress was held at The Hague, August 22–27, 1912. Twenty-three countries sent official government delegates. Over 1,000 members were officially enrolled for the congress. Over 200 papers of some 2,000 words each were contributed and appeared in the five published volumes of more than 1,200 pages. [Wikipedia]

    From Alexandria, Egypt, 'Abdu'l-Bahá sent a paper called Universal Education.

    The Hague; Netherlands; Alexandria; Egypt Peace; Education; Moral education; Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Life of
    1913 17 Jul `Abdu'l-Bahá traveled to Ramleh. It was hoped that the drier climate would be more salubrious than the humidity of Port Said and Ismá`ílíyyah for He was still not well. He and his attendants stayed at the Victoria Hotel initially. The remainder of His party that had remained in Port Said joined Him on the 24th of July and His daughter Touba Khanum with her son Rouhi arrived from Haifa.
    At this time Ramleh was a modern Egyptian town with all the conveniences of western civilization. It was a summer resort for the most important European officials in the service of the Egyptian government and also for the native Pashas. [AB400; 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Egypt p80]

    Note: Memories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá by Ali M Yazdi says that He returned to Ramleh on the 3rd of July.

    Ramleh (Alexandria); Egypt Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Life of
    1913 1 Aug With his final year of high school over, Shoghi Effendi hastened from Beirut to Ramleh to join the Master. He, the Greatest Holy Leaf and the eldest daughter of `Abdu'l-Bahá arrived in Egypt. [PG9 AB401]
  • During this period Tammaddun'ul-Mulk (who had been in London during `Abdu'l-Bahá first visit) attempted to divide the Bahá'ís of Tehran and Dr Amínu'llah Farid's increasingly erratic behaviour brought Him much suffering and sorrow. [AB402]
  • Ramleh (Alexandria); Alexandria; Egypt; Tihran; Iran Abdul-Baha in Egypt; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Syrian Protestant College; Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf); Covenant-breakers; Tammaddunul-Mulk; Ameen Fareed (Amin Farid)
    1913. 19 Aug 'Abdu'l-Bahá took the decision to send Lua Getsinger to India. His words to her were published SoW Vol 4 No 12 p208. [LGHC189] Ramleh (Alexandria); Alexandria; Egypt; India Lua Getsinger; Edward Getsinger; Travel teaching
    1913 Oct Shoghi Effendi returned to Beirut and the Syrian Protestant College to start his college education in an Arts program. [PG9] Ramleh (Alexandria); Alexandria; Egypt; Beirut; Lebanon; Haifa Syrian Protestant College; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1925 Jan The Spiritual Assembly of Alexandria was established, the second assembly to be formed in Africa. Alexandria; Africa Local Spiritual Assembly
    1939 21 Feb Situation in Egypt: Background Information

    "riots which broke out with exceptional fury in Ismá'ílíyyih, when angry crowds surrounded the funeral cortege of Muhammad Sulaymán, a prominent Bahá'í resident of that town, creating such an uproar that the police had to intervene, and having rescued the body and brought it back to the home of the deceased, they were forced to carry it without escort, at night, to the edge of the desert and inter it in the wilderness." [GPB367-368]

  • The National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt had, in respect to the decision of the 10th of May, 1925 declaring the Báhá'í Faith to be non-Muslim, petitioned the government for the right to administer laws of personal status to the Bahá'í community according to its Bahá'í Laws affecting Matters of Personal Status.
  • On the 29th of February, 1939, the Grand Muftí ruled that the Bahá'ís were not to be considered Muslims and had no right to be buried in Muslim cemeteries. Four plots of land were allocated to serve as cemeteries for the Bahá'í community in Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and in Ismá'ílíyyih.
  • Immediately following this decision the remains of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl were transferred followed by the exhumation from a Christian cemetery in Cairo the remains of Lua Getsinger and subsequent re-interment in an adjacent plot. [GPB368-369]
  • Cairo; Alexandria; Port Said; Ismailiyyih; Egypt Lua Getsinger; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani
    2022. 20 - 21 Dec The Appeals Examination Circuit of Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld a ruling issued by the Alexandria Administrative Court allowing the Governorate of Alexandria to deny a request submitted by the Bahá'í community to create a new cemetery for the community.

    Members of the Bahá'í community had requested that the Alexandria administrative authorities allocate a piece of land to be used as a burial site for its members because, at that time,, only a single cemetery space in Cairo’s Basatin neighbourhood was available to the thousands of Egyptians of the Bahá'í Faith. This resulted in the depletion of the cemetery’s capacity and forced families of deceased Bahá'ís to transport their loved ones’ remains to Cairo from all across Egypt.

    The legal representative of the Bahá'í community argued before the Alexandria Administrative Court that local administrative authorities had previously approved the allocation of burial sites for individuals who are not affiliated with the three officially recognized religions in Egypt — Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. He noted that the Cairo Governorate had leased land to the Indian Embassy to cremate the bodies of deceased Hindus in 1964. The Cairo authorities had also granted Bahá'ís the right to bury members of their community in a separate piece of land in 1965. He added that the Governorates of Ismailia and Port Said had approved the allocation of burial sites to the Bahá'í community in 1944 and 1949. Therefore, on the grounds that local governments had previously allocated burial sites to individuals not affiliated with the three recognized religions, the Governorate of Alexandria had no right to reject the Baha’i community’s request that a new burial site be allocated for its members.

    The reason given for not allowing the appeal by the court was that the Egyptian state recognizes only Islam, Judaism, and Christianity as religions. This was based on the opinionof the Islamic Research Academy affiliated with the Al-Azhar, the main Islamic institution of Egypt. The Islamic Research Academy claimed in a report submitted to the court that providing a burial site for the Bahá'í community would “lead to discrimination, further division, fragmentation, and rupture of the fabric of one society.”

    In another decision issued on December 20, 2022, the Administrative Court of the Governorate of Port Said rejected a petition submitted by members of the Bahá'í community to allocate a piece of land to be used as a new burial site by the community. In this case they had asked that a burial site should be located on a piece of land that had been confiscated in the 1970's for which no compensation was forthcoming. This request was also disallowed. [EIN Newswire]

    Alexandria; Egypt; Port Said; Egypt Persecution, Egypt

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    from the Main Catalogue

    1. International Bahá'í Library and the Library of Alexandria, The, by William P. Collins, in Scriptum: Newsletter for Bahá'í Librarians & Information Professionals, 5 (1996-07). Similarities between the ancient Library of Alexandria and the contemporary Bahá'í archive. [about]
    2. Light of the World: Selected Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, by Abdu'l-Bahá (2021). Tablets of ‘Abdul-Bahá describing aspects of the life of Bahá’u’lláh including the tribulations He suffered, events in His homeland, the purpose and greatness of His Cause, and the nature and significance of His Covenant. [about]
    3. Memories of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, by Ali M. Yazdi, in Bahá'í World, Vol. 18 (1979-1983) (1986). Recollections by a prominent Iranian-American Bahá'í. [about]
    4. Tablet to Rada'r-Rúh, by Bahá'u'lláh (1986). Raḍa’r-Rúḥ, a believer from Mashad, received this tablet shortly after Bahá'u'lláh arrived in Akka. In it, Bahá'u'lláh describes being pleased about the recent declaration of Christian doctor named Faris. [about]
    5. Universal Education, by Abdu'l-Bahá, in Mémoires sur l'education morale, présentés au deuxième Congrès international d'éducation morale à La Haye (1912). Tablet to the second international congress on moral education in The Hague. [about]
     
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