I have so many images in my head from our visit to Bahrain, it is difficult to get them all down. First, the plane flew directly over Baghdad on our way south from London. The night was totally clear and I studied the lights to see if I could see the airport where Brian's brother is stationed, but it was hard to tell. The plane proceeded on to sunny Bahrain.
The first day there, Michael and I visited the Bayan School. It is a throbbing place, a bi-lingual school. Our introduction was watching the lower school practice the Japanese anthem for an exchange program that they are participating in. The song lifted and soared sending peaceful messages into the universe.
Next Michael and I both visited classrooms and at the end of the day, students read their poems aloud in a poetry jam to loads of applause and nodding admiration from their teachers and peers. Below are some images from our visit.
We were so struck by the fact that we never see images of students from the middle east on television in the US unless they they are doing hateful things. I felt honored to be welcomed into classrooms in Bahrain and to meet the bright, friendly and respectful students there. I think many of the world's problems could be lessened by more classroom exchanges where we view one another in terms of commonalities instead of differences.
For instance: The words "kids, please take out a piece of paper," is a discussion starter in any language and students everywhere like to express themselves through poetry and exchange their thoughts with one another. I will never forget my time at the Bayan School.