art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir #15, Special Issue on Iran
Winter 2022
Candles in the Darkness



“Their only crime...”

Holy Soil

Holy Soil: The Endurance of the Bahá’ís of Iran by Ighan
Hadigheh: A Bahá’í House of Worship in Tehran by Saba
The Blue Prayer Book by Hannan Hashemi
In Front of the School by Nava
The Roll-Away Pumpkin by Tanin Azadi
The Castle at Maku by Nogol Sadri

The Scent of Roses

The Scent of Roses by Nooshin Mavaddati
A Great Green Enignma by Mehrsa Mastoori
My Tiny Fruit Garden by Foad Bahrami
My Blessed Spot by Hannan Hashemi
Spring in My Grandmother’s Yard by Morvarid Ighani
The Garden of Memories by Sama Khalili

Candles in the Darkness

The Candle in My Family by Alhan
A Shower of Bullets by Daniel Sabet Rasekhi
From Thief to Benefactor by Foad Bahrami
The Green Handprint by Nava
The Kolahduz of Barfurush by Sama Khalili
An Immortal Man by Taranom
The Whisper by Andisheh Taslimi


From A Tale of Love by Mahvash Sabet
translated by Shahin Mowzoon and adapted by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

Personal Reflections on Bahá’í Texts

Calamity: The Path to Eternity by Hannan Hashemi
The Way Home by Daniel Sabet Rasekhi
The Light in the Darkness by Sama Khalili
From Your Inmost Being by Taraneh


A Small Light in a Dark Room by Andisheh Taslimi
Hope for the Future of Iran by Mehrsa Mastoori


Painting and Interview with Shahriar Cyrus by Mehrsa Mastoori
Resilience by Lynn Miller

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Ann Sheppard

The Green Handprint


This is a story passed through the generations of my family, about how one of my ancestors became a Bahá’í. My grandmother, who passed away last year, related it to me when I was eleven years old. She was staying the night with us and told the story to me and my sister when we were in our beds. After hearing it, I couldn't help thinking how wonderful it was to have such a story in my background.

My great-grandfather was a farmer in a village, far away from the capital city of Tehran. One day, after working in the field all morning, he decided to take a nap. As he slept, he had a strange dream that forever changed his life and the lives of all the generations to come in his family.

My great-grandfather dreamed he was walking alongside a huge river when a venerable man wearing a brown cloak and green turban approached him. It is noteworthy that male descendants of the Prophet Muhammad typically wore green turbans. The man taught him how to perform ablutions using the water of the river, and to pray in a way different from the way that Muslims pray. Then he put his hand on my great-grandfather’s back.

As my great-grandfather was about to ask the man his name, he was awakened by his friend, and was so furious at the untimely interruption that he grabbed his shovel and chased his friend around the field, threatening to hit him!

In the end, my great-grandfather found out that the man in the dream was Siyyid ‘Alí MuḼammad Shírází, the Báb, and the river was the Tigris. My grandmother said that after my great-grandfather woke up, a green handprint appeared on his back, in the place where the Báb had touched him. It was this dream which led my great-grandfather to become a Bahá’í. It is mysterious how a simple thing like a dream can change a person’s life and shape the lives of his descendants as well.