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Straddling West and East

Kinda Kreidi moved to Sweden from Syria in 2015. She writes about her visit to the UTSAV gathering at Asia Plateau, India, in January

The gathering in India was a very special time for me. I came back with a new understanding of the world and new experiences of people. I have not had the chance before to meet people from that part of the world - for example Sri Lanka or even the different parts of India. My eyes were opened by, and to, the beauty of being together. 

People brought their stories, their suffering and pain - and their desire to be an inspiration to the world to be a better place. I feel responsible to make these stories heard in Europe, especially through art. We should know how people deal with life there and how we as an IofC community can support them. COVID left every family there struggling with pain and loss and we should not forget the consequences of this.

From India I have learned the meaning of service and hospitality. Even if we have little, that can be enough to share with others. I have learned the meaning of belonging to group and a culture, even if that costs a lot. I have also decided to pay more attention to the quality of my connection with others. It was inspiring to hear a person from South Africa say that we need to “think globally and act locally”.

Being in Asia was a gift for me to find and heal myself as someone who straddles West and East. 

I also changed my understanding of the “quiet time”. Seeking to hear more my inner voice has helped me to take some important decisions for my life.