Violetta Zein, Shoghi Effendi in Africa, Dec. 15

Sunday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m. Eastern

Shoghi Effendi never traveled farther east than Beirut, never traveled farther west than Sussex, never traveled farther north than Scotland, but he crossed Africa twice, from South Africa to Egypt, in 1929 and 1940.

This talk will cover both of Shoghi Effendi’s travels to Africa in the greatest detail, including original maps, and the names of ships he sailed on, and photographs of Shoghi Effendi himself in Africa, and other photographs he took during his 1929 solo trip.

Shoghi Effendi was the first Bahá’í to ever set foot in several African countries, which means these countries were opened to the Faith by the beloved Guardian.

The most notable among these countries is the Democratic Republic of Congo, which the Guardian and Rúḥíyyih Khánum crossed from Lubumbashi in the south to Kisangani in the northeast in 1940.

They were the first Bahá’ís in the history of the Faith to set foot in what was, at the time, the Belgian Congo, and this is why the Democratic Republic of Congo has no Knight of Bahá’u’lláh.

Violetta Zein is an artist and graphic designer living in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo, and is a researcher, writer, and presenter in the field of Bahá’í history.

She is the co-creator, with Adib Masumian, of the Utterance Project, a website and YouTube channel dedicated to sharing the beauty of the utterances of the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the original Arabic and Persian.

She is the author of four illustrated chronologies on the lives of the Central figures: The Primal PointThe Blessed Beauty, The Extraordinary Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and The Guardian. These four chronologies total 2,000 pages and 4,000 illustrations and are available in their entirety on The Utterance Project website. Violetta Zein is a regular speaker on the Clearwater Bahá’ís YouTube channel where she has given over 50 talks on Bahá’í history since 2022.


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