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From a friend's visit when I lived in Izmir, summer of 2005:


At Ersan Pansyon, just off of Kibris Sehitler caddesi, near my apartment, there is a nice young man who works there, who yesterday offered us breakfast and the opportunity to talk. My guest Chanan does not speak Turkish, so I served as both translator and breakfast guest with him. This has been wonderful. I have forgotten the young man's name, but he asked many questions about the US, which I translated for Chanon from a Boston/NY perspective, and occasionally threw in my own prespective on growing up in the south. One thing that particularly struck me, which I have hear from religious Turks before, is that they are anxious for Americans and Europeans to know that Turkey is different from the other muslim countries, and *is not Arab* -and also is not a bed for fanatical Islam. The current president, as our friend told us, comes from a religious background, as does the family that runs this pansyon, and none of them are fanatics. All do however believe strongly in hospitality and friendship. He told us that all of the people in the world are relatives, all descending from Adam and Eve. This was a wonderful conversation.

(partial translation: En el otel donde mi invitado esta viviendo, hay un joven con quien hablemos ayer. Fue una conversasion muy linda. El nos invite' a comer el desayuno y tenia muchas preguntas. El nos decia que Turquia es muy diferente -no es como los otros paises islamicos. No es fanatico. El decia que todo la gente del mundo son hermanos.)


-Glad to recall this event: Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
22 February, 12016 HE

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