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(June 20-25, 2006)

Jacek Slezak

The Garden Houses of Zalipie

Yaniv Sirton

The Baha'i Gardens

Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel

May 25, 2006 ; 11:26 Israel Time (UTC+2)

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© 2006 Yaniv Sirton, All Rights Reserved.


The Baha'is Religion

The Baha'i religion is an independent, monotheistic religion. Baha'is follow the teachings of Baha'u'llah who lived from 1817 to 1892. He is regarded by the Baha'is as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time. Like the followers of other major religions, Baha'is come from virtually every nation, ethnic group, culture, profession and social or economic class.

The Baha'is Gardens

Most formal gardens in the world are either not open to the public or they charge admission. The Terraces of the Shrine of the Báb are privately owned gardens that are open to the public free of charge. Donations are not sought from visitors. Construction was entirely financed by voluntary donations from Bahá'ís of all income levels and classes, from all parts of the globe.

With their lush foliage from different parts of the world and innovative irrigation, they are sometimes compared to Babylon's hanging gardens, but the Terraces stand on their own as a gift to humanity, built through sacrifice and love for God. Their beauty uplifts the spirit and points to a united and peaceful future for all humanity.

The Terraces are an oasis in the city of Haifa, a little bit of paradise among high-rise buildings and shops. With the gardens' centerpiece, the gold-domed Shrine, always visible, the straight, wide paths and ordered landscape encourage contemplation by freeing visitors from thinking about the physical path and allowing them to concentrate on personal thoughts.

As the approach to a sacred place, the Terraces are treated with as much reverence as the Shrine they embrace. Their structure reflects the purpose of the Bahá'í Faith: to transform the hearts of the people of the world and create a united global community while celebrating Baha'is diversity.

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Nikon D70, Sigma 8mm Lens. Handheld.

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