The round square and other progressive inventions

        The Round Square is an international organization of schools committed to the six IDEALS of Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership, Service.  The King’s Academy in Amman, Jordan was the first Arab school admitted to the organization and the first Middle East school to host the conference.  

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Round-Square Logo. Fair use.

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Here Shabana, President of SOLA speaks at the conference. Photos courtesy Jamshid.  

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Jamshid prepares for a long night of lively Arab dancing.




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Story by Jamshid.  Native language, Pashto.

I AM a student at King’s Academy in Amman, Jordan. In October my school hosted the Round Square Conference. Almost 600 students and adults from 53 schools around the world came.

     King’s Academy chose the theme, Al Salamu Alaikum. It means, “Peace be with you”. The conference was about how to bring people together. We proved that we don’t have to discriminate. I made lots of good friends! I now have friends in South Africa, India, Italy, Pakistan, China, Australia, the United States, Canada, and Nigeria.

     We talked honestly about conflicts in the world and what causes them. Someone came from Palestine to give a talk, for example.  He is working there to bring peace. After his speech, we broke into groups to talk about what he said. Everyone was free to share their ideas. 

     The director of SOLA, my school in Afghanistan, also spoke. I was very proud of her. After her speech we talked about education in Afghanistan.  She told us a wonderful story.  She said, “Maybe you are afraid of people who wear black turbans and have long beards! I had a student whose father was like this. He came to me and said, ‘I am going to let my daughter be educated!’ ” 

     We also had cultural nights. People shared music and dancing. One night was Arab night. Everyone was dancing Arab dances even if they didn’t know how. I danced an Afghan dance.  Everyone liked it. 

     I can say that we brought more unity to the world. We learned how to be a good friend; how not to discriminate against others. I made friends with four Pakistani students. It was a little hard to talk about the conflict between our countries, but it didn’t keep us from making friends. When we were talking, I thought of Nelson Mandela and how he made peace with even his enemies.  I thought of the saying, “When an enemy slaps you, turn the other cheek.”  You will make him shy to slap you again.  

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com