Transcription of the notes made by various stenographers during his travels...
Mirza Asadullah Fadil Mazindarani (pictured left) (also known as Fazel Mazandarani, Jinab-i-Mazandarani or other similar transliterations--note, I have used Shoghi Effendi's transliteration) was a notable Persian Baha'i historian. If you are just stumbling across this page and need to know more about
the Baha'i Faith to understand the historical basis of this project, I
recommend a visit to www.bahai.org for some basic information.This project's purpose is to make the stenographic recordings of the contents of some of his speeches during his journeys to the United States during the early 1920s electronically available.
I decided to take on this project because I was motivated by the contents of these talks as an inspiring episode of history. The message was and is visionary: In the early 1920s, long before the Civil Rights movement and during a time when the Jim Crow laws were still in full effect, Jinab-i-Fadil spoke out loudly for racial equality. In other talks he spoke of the equality between men and women, and the importance of religious tolerance--a movement away from fanaticism and fundamentalism. He spoke of an international world and of a greater and more meaningful interaction between nations.
This project's goal is to provide to the reader the information as faithfully to what Jinab-i-Fadil's translator would have originally conveyed, keeping some relevant stenographer mistakes or idiosyncrasies but removing trivial errors. Jinab-i-Fadil would be the first to indicate he was merely attempting to convey the Baha'i teachings to a new audience. Accordingly, these reproductions come replete with all of the wonderful historical observations but also, in some cases, the now obvious transcription errors or mistranslations. Spelling and other irrelevant typographical mistakes in the stenographer's notes have been generously edited, and a consistent transliteration system has been applied with the goal of assisting readability to a modern audience. The purpose of this information is to help flesh out a historical context by reproducing some of the information available to the American Baha'is during the early 1920s in an easily readable and searchable form, while preserving the original meaning and general flow. No doubt there may be errors in the typed versions, so, accordingly, I have included scans of the originals.
Not all of the talks he gave were recorded, nor can I say that I have here a copy of every talk that was recorded--so if you have some talks in your possession which are not here, feel free to provide transcripts and scans and I will gladly add them to the project and credit you.
To be healthily critical, there have been technical and methodological errors in the approach I took in transcribing this, which have caused delays and also caused minor issues with the end product. For the sake of continuous improvement and advancement, I have put some ideas as to how a project like this could be better run in the future in the section called "Advice for Future Projects", which I hope is useful to someone (anyone) out there.
The project came about at the suggestion of Dr. Ahang Rabbani on the history email discussion list "Tarikh"; I'd like to thank him for suggesting the project and for providing the notes from which I worked. All things considered, the final outcome of this project is a success, and this was due to the efforts of many people who helped type or edit the document, or even just provide support. However large or small your contribution, I would like to thank: Amelia Tyson, Ana Martinez, Benjamin Leiker, Bonnie Ellis, Carla Baumgartner, Chelsea Lee, Corrinne Agnes Padilla, Eric Kianfar, Harindra Goluguri, Jennifer Wilker, Khima Bhandari, Kiyoko Nanni, Lucia Tyson, Nahid Eshraghi, Nancy Meetun, Neva Jane Padilla, Nicholas Ward, Sabina Zaripova, Sheida Vazir Zadeh, Shohleh Khodarahmi, Soraya Florez Khamsi, Tazien Dodvand, Theresa O'Toole, Willi Remello and Carole Udziella--without your volunteering and contributions a project like this could never be completed. Last, but certainly not least, I thank my wife Kathryn Khamsi for helping out with the editing and with her constant support.