Shoghi Effendi's "Diary Letters":
An introduction and overview

By Mehrdad Bashiri

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #113
Louhelen Bahá'í School: Davison, Michigan, USA
October 5–8, 2012
(see list of papers from #113)

    The purpose of this presentation is to provide an introduction and overview of a unique collection of 143 diary letters written by Shoghi Effendi from February to November 1919. This collection of diary letters is written in a critical stage of Shoghi Effendi's life when he was serving as 'Abdu'l-Bahá's secretary and interpreter. The contents of these diary letters vividly reflect various aspects of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's life in the Holy Land after the end of the first World War (Nov. 1918). The diary letters include numerous translations of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's letters along with His talks at the pilgrims gatherings.

    Shoghi Effendi by describing the details of his Grandfather's life so masterfully invites the readers to join him in a spiritual journey to the Holy Land. His emotional descriptions of the events in the daily life of the Master confer upon every reader a vivid joyous spiritual pilgrimage.

    He intended for his diary letters to be distributed in the West amongst the believers. A copy of this collection is stored at the National Bahá'í Archives of the United States. Except a few that were printed in the Star of the West Magazine in 1919 and 1920, the rest have remained unpublished.

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