#Only the Good-Volume Three

Welcome back to #OnlytheGood! In today’s line up is women driving, immigrants revitalizing a community, books for refugees, and notes from a nomad.

Saudi Arabia women hail end of driving ban.  In Saudi Arabia women have campaigned for a long time to have the right to drive cars. Since 1990 female activists have organized protests to change this law. Manal-al-Sharif, who organized the Women2Drive campaign, said “I cried”. She then tweeted:

The Story of Lewiston, Maine – If you’ve kept up with the blog, you will have seen the piece I wrote on Lewiston, Maine. I first visited Lewiston at 18 years old. My brother had fallen in love with a young woman, Terry, whose family lived in the twin city area of Auburn/Lewiston. I had just graduated from high school in Pakistan and come to the U.S. for college. During the summer, I got to know Terry and she became one of my dear friends. We worked in a college book store together and in the evening hours created bridal and bridesmaid gowns to wear at the wedding set for September. During that summer I also took a couple of trips to Lewiston where Terry’s mom, who had an incredible gift of hospitality, fed and nurtured us.

I returned to Lewiston on September 14 after many years away. Lewiston has changed and is a beautiful picture of an immigrant community reviving a dying mill town. It has not been an easy journey, but it is a good journey, so if you missed the piece take a look and watch the video that accompanies the piece. It’s a good story. 

Bringing literature to refugees stuck in Greece.  I’ve long been a fan of public libraries, and know that in cities in the United States, immigrants and refugees find public libraries and flock to them. The Echo Refugee Library is a mini-van stocked with books in many different languages. The van travels to refugee camps and neighborhoods where refugees have settled in the greater Athens area. The books have been donated from people around the world and provide relief from the tedious hours of waiting that become a part of a refugee’s life. A favorite author? Dame Agatha and her detectives Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.

From the article: Ali, a 26-year-old Syrian, is among those who never misses a delivery at the food market.“I really love having something to read. It does me good,” he tells AFP, an Agatha Christie novel under his arm.

What a Bedouin Taught Me About Being a Nomad When I met Mariam, the writer of the blog “And Then We Moved To…” at the Families in Global Transition Conference last March I knew I had met a kindred spirit. Mariam left her home in Karachi, Pakistan at the age of 18 for college in Western Massachusetts. 15 years, 7 countries, and 3 continents later she lives in Dubai with her husband and two beautiful children. Her writing is beautiful and she knows what it is to be a nomad. The article linked tells of a conversation she had with a Bedouin in Wadi Rum, the largest desert in Jordan.

From the article: ““We both wander. I am a desert nomad, you are a modern-day nomad. For centuries we have wandered. For us the desert is home. But yet, we wander. We wander in search for grass and water for our animals. You too know something about wandering. People are by nature, nomadic. It’s in our blood. We wander not because we are lost, but because we want to be free. Free of constraints, free of restrictions and free of boundaries. What joy is there in living a life from only one spot? Are we meant to live in only one place our entire lives?”

#OnlytheGood Picture: On Monday night, we went to a RedSox game. In our area, RedSox games are a cultural, anthropological experience and my younger daughter had given my husband tickets for his birthday. We can walk to the famous Fenway Park from our apartment, and on the way this is what we saw. In the midst of concrete and steel, the end of a glorious sunset.

So there you have it – #OnlytheGood. Hurricanes destroy, politics tear apart, and refugees flee brutal regimes, yet there is still good to be found.

Redemption is real and finding grace and good in the midst of the hard is not naive, it is necessary.

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