Date posted: July 7, 2013
They built our hopes up with their peace and fellowship messages at a time when our morale was shattered by the sudden outbreak of a snowballing tension, when the world media was airing pessimistic images of our country 24/7, and when we were longing for even the slightest good news.
The languages, faiths, colors, countries or flags of the two thousand Turkish Olympiads participant students who hyped up millions in 55 cities and on tens of TV channels were different. Yet, they shared the common mission to build a new world filled with love.
They were practically the realized vision of “the man of cause” who had said, “Alas, I was hasty, I came in winter. But you will come in a paradise-like spring. The luminous seeds sown today will blossom in your time.” They were the colorful bunches of those who went around the world with mission of “living to let the others live” in their hearts and “peace” on their lips, in the manner of Yunus Emre.
Everyone-from average person, the president, artists, and intellectuals to leftists or rightists- liked them a lot. And here’s what they shared about their ambitions and impressions of us in their letters written in a fresh Turkish to Aksiyon magazine:
“My name is Abdullah and last name is Bakari. I’m from Tanzania. I competed in speech category of the 11th Turkish Olympiads and won silver medal. First of all, the event was a great success but I was curious to know about it in advance. I was asking to myself “What is it going to be like?” Sometimes, I couldn’t go to sleep. I was astonished when it was time, as it was even better than what I had thought. We, two thousands students from six continents and 140 countries, were speaking the same language. We stayed together. We forgot about our colors, cultures and all! We lived together. I really enjoyed it! We will celebrate a new world thanks to such an event.”
“I traveled three cities in Turkey; Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. People and all were so nice. Turkey is a historical place and its people liked us. For example, at least 1, 5 million visited our booth at Izmir fest and I got 200-500 pictures a day with them. Turks are hospitable. Their food is so delicious. I liked them so much. I liked kebab, doner, lahmacun, wraps, soups, and desserts.
I met many new friends from Somalia, Brazil, Moldova, Mali, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kenya, Mozambique, Romania and Mongolia. They are all my friends but we met most from Kenya, Mozambique and Somalia and became like brothers and sisters.
I liked the event and I will miss everyone when I return my country, which makes me cry. Everyone is so cute and friendly. I would like to thank everyone who invited us to Turkey for the Olympiads. One day, we will celebrate a new world towards universal peace.”
“Hello. My name is Ahmet Harun and last name is Sultani. I’m from Afghanistan. I’m in 3rd grade at Afghan-Turk high school. They say our age is a time of hatred, grudge and bigotry but I believe the Turkish Olympiads will clean them all. Its goal is to live and let the others live a life of love. As its motto suggests: “Towards universal peace.” I’m grateful first to God and then to those dedicated people. May God be pleased with them as they wholeheartedly did this volunteer work. The Olympiads let me relish the universal peace and taught me the beauty of a new world.”
“My name is Rafigue Namutuga. I’m from Mozambique. I’m studying at International Willow School. I met people from all over the world, especially from Moldova, Macedonia and South Africa. Hopefully, we will too raise such young people and they will bring a new day to the world. And that world will be hopefully as peaceful as the Turkish Olympiads.”
“My name is Senan and last name is Abdullayev. I participated in the grammar category from Azerbaijan- Nakhcevan Autonomous Republic and won silver medal. I’m so happy to have seen the friendship of the children with different colors, languages and faiths from 140 countries. We’re getting along very well here. Everyone here is speaking Turkish. The world would be in peace if everybody was like the Olympiads students. I hope we can build a new world with peace and fellowship.”
Source: [in Turkish] Zaman, 29 June, 2013. English translation is retrieved from HizmetMovement.Com
Tags: Turkey | Turkish Olympiads |