At a certain time in this short life, one gets to experience different incidents, opportunities, chances, or even accidents. Acquiring the chance to meet a lot of different nationalities in a very short time (a matter of around 2 weeks) that I don’t recall I have experienced such a number of different faces through my entire life at large. Proudly, That was made possible by being admitted to the Fulbright program and the auspicious Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, USA.
I had the honor to meet people from different corners of the world; starting from the far east (China, Japan, Philippines, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Malaysia), moving a long to parts of Europe (including Turkey, Baltic) diverting a long to Russia, Spain, Germany, Greece, England, Ukraine, Macedonia, and others). I was also advantaged to meet people from dear Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, and down to mother Africa; from Egypt, South Africa, to Zambia, Namibia, and Nigeria. Let us not to forget the Americas; an amazing melting pot that took in a number of whom I mentioned.
Going through all these figures from different parts of the world, it is inevitable that I find their cultures “different”. That is one undeniable fact that we should, pretty much, thank God for. Why? This is so we enjoy the pleasure of getting to know them. Allah says in Quran (49:13) : “O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware”. It is indeed a perpetual perception that we live in everyday, whenever we get to know a new person.
Sultanate of Oman, my home country, interestingly falls in the middle here, probably this also has a significance, in that, geographically speaking, it supports the notion that this country has been a welcoming destination for people crossing seas for trade and other purposes. Oman, since 1700s, has had relationships with India and other countries around the Indian ocean. It has also built strong relationships with the coastal regions of south-east Africa, such as Zanzibar. Oman was also the first Arab country that established a treaty of friendship and navigation with the United States of America in the late 18th century.
Anyways, it is true that people vary in cultures, looks, behavior, manners and traditions. Yet, there is something that, to me, has been always mesmerizing and amazing unlike anything else. And that is the soothing chain of chemical reactions that a smile sparks within my heart. It is so prevalent, obvious and everybody can see it and “feel” it. That’s right, everybody, regardless of nation, race, gender, religion, tradition or culture, can actually make up a beautiful smile that make other people’s day.
People don’t need to change who they are, change their hair styles, clothes, eye-catching make-ups, expensive surgeries, skin color or name to make that soothing feeling to others, to themselves.. and to life!