April 12, 2020

‘Abdu’l-Baha lived in the morgue of the barracks in Akka for two years

North-west building of prison complex
Akka 1922
The dear friends in this city [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 7, 1912] engaged an apartment on the seventh floor of the Schenley Hotel and were exceedingly happy about it, because it looked like that of the Plaza Hotel in Chicago. Then during their private interviews, the friends, one by one asked the same question: "Master! how do you like these rooms?" His reply to all was also the same, "Khaili Khoob! Khaili Khoob!"meaning "Very good! Very good!"

When all had left His presence happy and pleased, He turned His smiling face toward this servant [Dr. Zia Baghdadi] and exclaimed:

"The friends here are anxious to know if I like these rooms! They do not know what we had to go through in the past. Imagine the conditions and surroundings when we were exiled by the Turkish Government and were imprisoned in the barracks of 'Akka; Baha'u'llah occupied one room; His family and several other families were forced to occupy one room.

"Aside from the severe illness that was raging, and the death of many among us prisoners - adults and children - on account of unsanitary surroundings and starvation, I noticed that my own presence in that crowded room was another source of torture to all of them. This was due to the fact that parents and children were suppressing and restraining themselves by trying to be quiet and polite in my presence.

"So, in order to give them freedom, I accepted the morgue of the barracks, because that was the only room available, and I lived in it for about two years. Now the kind friends here wish to know if I like these magnificent rooms!" 

(Star of the West [The Baha’i Magazine], vol. 19, no. 5, August 1928)