While the TV News thrives on stories of conflict, I have been inspired by many stories of kindness I came across in 2013 between people of difference.
Take for example the protection of churches by Muslims in Cairo to enable the Christian Copts to celebrate their Christmas last January. This video shows what happened. The friendship between the Imam and the Pastor, developed over former years, enabled the two communities to share medical facilities and create unconditional sanctuary during the Arab Spring.
And recently, did you hear the extraordinary story of the Muslim community in Bradford in the UK, who helped the small Jewish community save their synagogue? A great story that sprang out of friendship in the market-place.
Oasis at Flinders is founded on two related ideals– a wholehearted welcome of the other, so strangers become friends (hospitality), and the fostering of appreciative understanding between people of different beliefs and cultural traditions.
As 2013 drew to a close we made a summary of Oasis’ first year under the administration of the University.