While the Muslim greeting Salam derived from Arabic literally means ‘peace be upon you’, and used exactly like that in Urdu as well, there remains another use of the word Salam in Urdu. Sometimes when you want to pay tribute to someone for a job well done or, when you want to salute someone out of admiration and respect you tend to say in Urdu, ‘my Salam to him or her’
Through this blog I want to send my Salam to Serene Jones. When we first started this program, we were told how it is Ms. Jones’ vision to involve women in inter faith dialogue because they usually just aren’t as such jobs are stereotyped as ‘men’s jobs’. The softer, more interpersonal nature of women was talked about as probably being an advantage to the whole process.
Serene Jones’ mission dawned on me never more clearly than when we all read, ‘I saw Ramallah’ as suggested by our housemate, Norah. We all saw Ramallah…through Norah’s eyes, through Lauren’s eyes, through Muslim eyes, through Jewish eyes, through Christian eyes and mostly, through the eyes of responsible global citizens…
The emotion, empathy, tears and apologies in that book discussion made me think about how perhaps it’s time we told the men to move over, they’ve had their chance for more than half a century now…it’s time we let the women do their magic….the fairer sex or the ‘sinf e nazuq’ or ‘fragile sex’ as it is often referred to in Urdu poetry… let them give their soft, delicate touch to peace for all humanity.

And for her vision, which I see so much more vividly as I live it, I send my Salaam to Serene Jones.

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