Who was `Abdu'l-Bahá, and why did He come to the West?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 21 +, 1913 Paris!

Earl Redman writes: 

In Paris, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá moved into an apartment at 30 Rue St. Didier, rented for Him by Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney. During His first few days in the city and indeed for much of His time there, the Master was not well. He gave relatively few public talks, but continued to meet His many visitors, particularly prominent Persians and once-high members of the defunct Ottoman Empire, as well as many Bahá’ís who had made the journey from Persia and Egypt in order to meet Him. It was during this visit that the well-known photograph was taken of the Master 
with a group of these friends at the Eiffel Tower. [End]

It is amazing to think of those days in Paris, with all of the rich Baha'i history there. Laura must have been there, with Hippolyte. If only we had many accounts!  I am looking forward to learning more.  And going there someday, to think about the journey of the Master, not just famous museums. 
Abdu'l-Baha with Hippolyte Dreyfus behind him

To summarize Laura Dreyfus-Barney's connection, Earl Redman writes: 
            Laura Barney was an American, daughter of painter Alice Barney and sister of the notorious Natalie. Laura found the Faith in Paris. On her return to America, she was mocked in a Washington gossip magazine, but convinced her mother of the truth of the Faith. Though she was away from Paris between 1901 and 1906, Laura made several trips to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the Holy Land. In 1905, she travelled with Hippolyte Dreyfus and Madame Lachenay to Iran at the request of the Master, the first Western Bahá’ís to do so. They visited Tabriz, Maku and Ashqabad, where the first Bahá’í House of Worship had been built. During Laura’s many visits to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, she compiled what became the book Some Answered Questions. She, like her future husband, became fluent in Persian
Portrait of Hippolyte Dreyfus by Alice Pike Barney

Hippolyte Dreyfus
            Laura and Hippolyte were married in 1911 and spent much of the rest of the year travelling with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Europe. They also were with the Master in Washington, DC and in London and Paris in 1913.

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