| || |
We weren't going to stay long on that busy Saturday afternoon. It was a holiday weekend. We just needed to squeeze in a quick visit with our Afghan friends to check on the book translations that had been completed. So Melinda and I headed down the road toward Columbia. We met Hakimi and Mahmoodi at their apartment. The evening was full of pleasant surprises. The men were amazingly generous and hospitable. They greeted us with delicious healthy snacks. They took great pride in the translations and cared about every detail. Hakimi and Mahmoodi love Afghanistan. You could hear it in their stories about their beautiful country that has 5,000 years of history. They desperately want peace in Afghanistan. They believe that education is the key to restoring peace and prosperity to the Afghan people. They expressed their enthusiasm for the Afghan Book Collection. The four of us that night shared in this united effort to help the Afghan children through sending beautiful children's books.
We talked effortlessly for hours about our cultures, religions, families, hopes, and dreams.
Before we knew it, three hours had passed. They invited us to stay for dinner. They served chicken that was moist and delicious, rice, and bread. The food was very tasty and not at all overly spicy. Over dinner we continued to converse, and I realized how much we have in common. Similarities...They each live with their extended families. I live right next door to my sister and a mile from my parents. They are passionate about their religion. Everything they do is centered around religion. I am equally passionate about my religion. I found the guys to be quite conservative just like me. At one point, the three of us kind of tagged teamed against our adorable, slightly liberal friend, Melinda, giving her example after example for why we whole-heartedly believe in Divine Design. There is more. These men love their families. They spoke about how they can't wait to get back to their wives, kids, and moms. Family is everything to me also. I could go on about the common ground that was shared among the four of us.
Our conversation felt as though we had all been friends for years. We are four people from vastly "different" cultures who have incredible amounts of things in common. The east and west met together for a short night and had a beautiful evening never to be forgotten.