(Kelley Thompson is a Program Specialist in FLOC’s Scholars Program.)
FLOC Scholars spent the month of February participating in a cultural exchange with students in Afghanistan. In doing so, they learned about Afghan ways of life, cultures, religions and traditions. Their Afghan counterparts took them on video explorations of Kabul and shared their hopes and desires for the future.
In exchange, FLOC Scholars shared much about themselves, their cultures and their thoughts and insights about the world. Throughout the cultural exchange, the Afghan students and FLOC Scholars identified many differences and commonalities that exist between the two groups, which sparked interesting and meaningful dialogue.
I would like to share one particular exchange, as it demonstrates how students in very different circumstances can relate to each other.
Students in Kabul sent FLOC Scholars a poem by Rumi, a Persian poet and philosopher from Afghanistan, who taught about love, kindness, tolerance, and peace. FLOC students compared the Rumi poem to a Black Eyed Peas song about love. After discussing how love can be universal, transcend boundaries and make communities stronger, they collectively wrote a poem about love, which they will send to the students in Kabul.
Love is a dangerous thing.
We become addicts from birth,
It is the doses of warmth and happiness that life gives us
That turns into love.
When we don’t have it we’re left cold and shivering and sad
Sadly there is not rehabilitation for not love.
Love can connect the souls of all people
And turn blood shedding
Into hug sharing
Love between people is one thing you hate
But learn to live with.
Love isn’t just a feeling,
It’s more of an action
And how you show care and respect for one another.
If you love and you could forgive,
And don’t think of the misery.
When I cry and see your face
You’re like love who came to take the hate.
Love isn’t just an emotion;
It’s an experience you grow and change from.
We need love to mediate the hate
In order to replicate a mindset that can elevate.
There’s no such thing as love!
There’s no such thing as peace!
Looking for love somewhere
Love leads to sadness
Peace is like laying on a private island with deep rich blue water.
Love is a connection of people
Love is access to bliss and hate
Love is tough
Love is something that you feel, that takes you on a high!
Love is a word easily spelled,
But hard to express.
Love is like a bright sun ray
That illuminates your pathway.
Hears come together to form
One heart, one world.
Love has no eyes.
Open the eyes to the world
And see who loves you.
Difference doesn’t matter if love is there.
Love doesn’t have to be about where one is;
It can be about where one is going.
Love doesn’t have to be in one place,
It can be everywhere.