Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Bahiyyih Khanum (1846 - 1932) - Persia

Bahiyyih was born in Tehran - her Father was the founder of the Baha'i Faith - Bahaullah - and her Mother was Asiyih Khanum.   When Bahiyyih was six years old, her Father was arrested and put in prison. The family were then moved to Baghdad.  Exile to Constantinople and Adrianople followed.

When Bahiyyih was 21 she was moved to Acre in Israel.  She chose not to marry and dedicated her life to helping her parents. Bahiyyih's Father died in 1892 and Bahiyyih accepted Abdul Baha as leader of the Faith.

In 1908, the Ottoman Empire freed all political prisoners and at the age of 62, Bahiyyih was at last a free woman.

During the First World War, Bahiyyih and Abdul Baha were kept busy with humanitarian aid and were of great help to the British in Palestine.   After the War they were warmly thanked for their stirling work and Abdul Baha was knighted.

Bahiyyih died on 15th July 1932.   She is remembered as one of the most important people in the Baha'i Faith.

Persia remained neutral during the First World War.   Prior to the War, Britain had signed a contract with the Anglo Persian Oil Company for them to supply oil to the British navy.

In 1918, the Dunsterforce, led by General Dunsterville was given the task of "reaching the Caucasus by travelling through Persia."

My Grandfather - Lewis Jackson, then a Captain in the Royal Artillery - was a member of the Dunsterforce.

Photo:  General Dunsterville talking to Armenian Soldiers, Baku 1918
From the Great War Centenary Facebook page.