Welcome to the Best of Friendship and Faith 2010! As each New Year rolls around, magazines love to sum up their highlights. Of course, we’re proud of every single story in our book! (Psst! Please make a New Year’s Resolution to purchase a copy of that book, via the Amazon link at right, which will help us in our ongoing work.) In addition to the book, we also have published dozens of new stories from women of many different backgrounds in this webpage—and we’re proud of all of them, too!
So, today, we’re not claiming that any of the women in our book—or in this online collection of stories—ranks as “best.” But we are following that time-honored custom of summing up, and celebrating a bit, at the dawn of a New Year. Today, we hope you will enjoy these highlights of our debut year along with us.
Our First Story About Two Little Girls Trapped in a Cultural Bind
Azir Alizadeh is fourth generation Baha’i. She has been an American citizen for many years and is a television personality, hosting a regional talk show about cultural diversity. However, she grew up in Iran and, as a little girl, she experienced Iran’s infamous intolerance of Baha’is. This story by Azir, which opens our book and also opened this website in early 2010, tells the true story of how Azir confronted this intolerance. The story ends with a surprising twist as two little girls figure out a solution to their cultural bind. (The story involves a neighborhood sweetshop the two girls loved to visit, perhaps a bit like the one at right.)
Our First NEW Story, Shared with You Directly on Our Web Page
Jewish writer Judith Goren had the distinction of writing our first “new” story, published directly to our website and expanding our project beyond the collection in our book. Our goal in the next few years is to collect and share many stories about boundary-crossing friendships. (Perhaps you have such a story to share with us?) Like Azir’s story, Judith’s story spans the globe and wrestles with the challenge of overcoming historic wounds.
We Love True Stories from Ordinary Lives (but We Welcome the Famous, Too)
At the heart of our project is the belief that everyone can experience diverse friendships—and eventually everyone can share stories of crossing boundaries. So, our best stories usually involve “ordinary” people—you know, people like us. But we have attracted the interest of some famous women, too. Here’s a story contributed by Mpho Tutu, the daughter of Desmond Tutu. In her story, Mpho talked about an unlikely learning experience she discovered in a new friendship—with … well, read the story to find out that detail.
You’re Not Too Old!
You’re Not Too Young!
We want to hear your story! And we’ve made a commitment to share stories from all ages. Here are simple instructions to help you write and send us your story.
You may think, based on the first three highlights today, that we’re focused mainly on mature women who have had long and successful careers. On the contrary! We’re eager to cooperate with educators and students to encourage fresh stories from high school and college students as well. Our first story from a high school student published in this website came from 17-year-old Lynn Tofil, “Opening Our Eyes to Friends from India.”
Sometimes, We Pause to Say ‘Thank You!’
We’re expressing our thanks today to all the women invovled in this enormous project in 2010. We also expressed thanks during November as we prepared for the American Thanksgiving Day.
Visit Us Each Week for Inspiration—and Great Ideas!
We sometimes devote our weekly stories to sharing a great idea for making new friends. This autumn, for example, we reported on our experience with walking a labyrinth together.
It’s Easy to Navigate Our Online Stories
You’ll find easy-navigation links at the top of each story that will move you step by step through all of the stories we have published so far. Enjoy!
(Originally published in www.FriendshipAndFaith.com)