Today was a very special day. It made me again realize where I get my inspiration from. People constantly ask me how I find the time for the things I do, in combination with the care of a child. Well, I can tell you that the best fuel for me is meeting other women. I love women. Yes I do. They insprire me so much. I like to look at them, listen to them, eat with them, dance with them. Sometimes I even think that I don't even need a man in my life. But please don't get me wrong, I am still in love with my fiance..
But back to today.. Filiz Odabas and Zeyno Baran..Both Turkish women living in Washington for almost their entire worklife. Filiz is the US executive director of the International Association of Human Values and director of Governmental Relations of Art of Living Foundation. I met her two years ago at a house of my girlfriend in Istanbul. Filiz invited me today for her monthly Middle Eastern Breakfast Club which they have at Four Seasons Hotel in Washington. It's a group of very distinctive, influential and diverse people with common interest in the development of the Middle Eastern Area. Filiz thought the group might be interested in what I have to say about mediterranean women. So, we had an interesting talk about the position of migrants in Europe, Iran, but also about the latest developments in China. And not to forget to mention: the breakfast was great! I had, again, my blueberry pancakes.
Afterwards Filiz took me to her office, which is the Art of Living Centre in Washington. They had recently renovated the former Italian embassy, in a tremendous old style four floor villa/mansion, probably dated from the thirties of the twentieth century. I love old buildings with wide marble halls, fireplaces, high ceilings and wooden parquet floors, It should be so nice to be meditating in such a fine place. While Filiz was guiding me through the building, I noticed, and that surprised me, there were very many young people attending these breathing- and yoga classes. Youngsters from America, middle and high-class (I could tell when seeing the Louis Vuitton suitcases in the dorms) were here together. It made me happy to see that youngsters were there in so much peace.. I have to admit that I was a little bit jealous of Filiz who is fortunate to work there every day..
Later, Filiz took me to lunch with a friend of hers, Zeyno Baran. Her name didn't sound strange to me, but I could not really remember where from. And then, when I saw her, I knew it. I had met her at the conference of the American Embassy. Zeyno works for the Hudson Institute, a renowned thinkthank in Washington, where she is the director of Eurasian Affairs. She started to talk about the two books she is writing on and while she was doing that I could see myself sitting there. We had similarities all over; our ambitions and our goals were almost exactly the same. She is a very independent thinker and is not afraid to tell her view. She takes initiatives and starts projects all over the world which make her travel much. But most of all she thinks about life. She thinks why she does things and how she can make a change. And she uses her position to make the change. I felt connected. Her latest project which she just ended is a book titled 'The other muslims'. About ten young muslims who were about to radicalize but decided not to. And that story is very fascinating. We know by know all the reasons and arguments why young muslims radicalize, but what made these people change their mind? I know I will be the first one to buy her book.
Thank you so much Filiz and Zeyno for this inspirational day!