Adib Masumian, “ʻAbdu’l-Bahá in Europe, 1912–1913,” May 19

Sunday, 2 pm Eastern

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Since it was first published around twenty-five years ago, many English-speaking Baháʼís have enjoyed reading Maḥmúd’s Diary, a translated account of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s journey throughout the United States from April to December 1912. What is not well known in the West, however, is that the chronicler of this account, Mírzá Maḥmúd Zarqání, wrote a sequel that mainly covers ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s subsequent travels in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Hungary, and Austria from December 1912 to June 1913, and concludes with glimpses from His return to the East, with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sojourning initially in Egypt for several months before finally arriving in the Holy Land in December 1913, where He would remain for the rest of His life. A little more than a hundred years after its original publication in Persian, this second volume has just been made available in English translation under the title ʻAbdu’l-Bahá in Europe, 1912–1913. The value of this book lies not only in its reverent depiction of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s exemplary conduct as He interacted with people from all walks of life and holders of various ranks (including a Nobel laureate), but also in its transcripts of more than two hundred of His oral remarks, among them many formal talks and other addresses. The book additionally features a handful of Tablets He wrote during this period. In this presentation given by the book’s translator, we will go through a number of highlights from every stage of this vividly recorded journey, accompanied visually by images of people ʻAbdu’l-Bahá met with and places He traveled to. Through the lens of this second volume of a chronicle that the Universal House of Justice has called “a reliable account of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s travels in the West and an authentic record of His utterances,” we stand to gain a richer perspective on ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s second journey to Europe and the timeless lessons He taught there.

Adib Masumian received his Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012, and his Master’s in Learning Technologies from that same institution in 2015. During his last year of graduate school, he spent a summer abroad in Jordan to study the fundamentals of Classical Arabic (fuṣḥá), with the goal of being able to understand the Arabic Baháʼí Writings well enough to be able to translate them. He has been working in the field of e-learning for the past ten years.

Adib has contributed articles on various Baháʼí topics to online spaces like Iran Press Watch, the Baháʼí Library Online, and, as well as peer-reviewed publications such as Lights of ʻIrfán and Baháʼí Studies Review. He has also self-published one book, Debunking the Myths, and co-authored a book with his parents, The Secrets of True Happiness, which was published by George Ronald.

Adib has a website which features more than three hundred of his provisional
translations of the Arabic and Persian Baháʼí Writings—a list to which he is regularly adding as time permits. Additionally, he has translated, from Persian into English, a number of news articles, essays, letters, poems, and peer-reviewed articles, as well as one book chapter included in The Bab and the Babi Community of Iran, published by Oneworld Academic in 2022. His translation of Mírzá Maḥmúd Zarqání’s account of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s talks and travels in Europe from December 1912 to June 1913, known in Persian as Badáyiʻu’l-Áthár volume 2, has just been published by George Ronald under
the title ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Europe, 1912–1913.


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