STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
Today we taught classes at a small wonderful organization Refugee Aid Serbia that is helping refugees to learn English and German. Megan dazzled the women with her knowledge of Afghan history - teaching us all how the region was at one point the center of medicine, philosophy, art and culture in the world before it was borrowed by Persia and later the Roman Empire. How the King of the Moghuls himself devoted a whole chapter of his biography to the Hazara people because he was so impressed with their ethics and achievements.
The girls told us how now there is just war, and the people are mercilessly killed. We discussed the importance of focusing on the past vs the future. The Hazara especially are in the sights of Daesh and the Taliban. One woman lost her entire family, mother, father and siblings, all killed, and had to walk with her husband and small children across Iran and Turkey to get to Greece and now Serbia.
It is hard for them to imagine that their country will ever return to greatness again.
The young girls were in their mid to late teens -- delightfully fiesty and empowered, with strong personalities, sparkling eyes, whip smart, and voracious to learn.
The boys were taught by Sam and Ben and learned useful vocabulary words. There were a couple of brothers and a cousin traveling on their own, their neighbor in the camp, and a few others.
Hearing their stories, I am in awe every day of how they continue to smile and be so incredibly kind and loving in the face of all that they have seen and been through. We can teach them some English, a little history, a few yoga poses... but it is they who are truly our teachers.
My heart aches at what humans have done to each other over and again throughout history, at what is happening right now. How could anyone want to hurt these sweet girls with these open, innocent faces and hearts so alive with love and desire to explore being alive - just like the rest of us.
What would be possible if we could all just be kind to each other? What would it take to see that in all of our eyes is the same light shining?