KIMUN: Friends Who Are Different

 

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A spontaneous hug between Jewish and Muslim friends

The MUN conference in Kosovo was an experience that changed my life. I met incredible people that I now consider family. In previous conferences I was active during the debate but failed to make personal connections with the people around me. This conference was different. Even though I had only met the group I traveled with two days before the conference I already trusted them and loved them. They made this conference an amazing experience through which I made many connections I hope to keep. Those people, so different from me that I would never have imagined they could be my friends, became people I trust with my life.

Some of them don’t share my religion. Some don’t share my ethnicity. Others don’t share my opinions. And I had a great time arguing with all of them. I argued about politics and about human rights. I argued about capitalism and about the army. I was challenged. I was forced to think differently and creatively. It was an exercise for the mind, and I came out of it with some new perspectives, but also more confident than ever in some of my own.

The trip to Kosovo also introduced me to an amazing country with great sights and incredible stories. I learned about the national hero of Kosovo, and about a Jewish doctor and an Albanian man who saved each other’s lives during World War II. I saw churches, mosques and a Jewish community center standing one next to the other. I had snow fights on old bridges and passed an abandoned church on my way to the university of Pristina. I nearly froze to death and five different people offered me five different kinds of help. I shopped for clothes and walked around the biggest mall I have ever seen.

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All those things and many more made this an unforgettable experience. I was very happy to come back home, to my family and my friends, but I carry this trip with me, and talk to the friends I made there all the time.

By Inbar Shaked Vardi


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