The cloth and sewing machine of diversity 




By Frozan. Native language, Dari. Frozan is in 10th grade in Afghanistan. Next year she will be studying at a wonderful school in England.

     [PART ONE]

IF a cloth has just one color it doesn’t look so beautiful. But when it starts to have different colors and different flowers, it looks more and more beautiful. So diversity means beauty.

     But diversity also means a good system. Think of a sewing machine. It has many different parts: square shaped, circle shaped, rectangular, long, short, thin, thick, big, small. If we lose even one of the smallest parts of this machine, it won’t work. If we don’t put the parts together correctly or if we don’t fix them and take care of them, they will break each other. So diversity means that each piece is needed and should be cared for.

     I study in a school where most of the students belong to one ethnic community: the Hazara. My school is regarded as one of the best schools in Kabul, or even in Afghanistan. The only flaw is that it has only one ethnic community. Still, my school has always helped me to realize that neither the world nor my country is limited to a tiny place where I live.

     Thanks to my civics courses and the wonderful instructions of my teachers, I know the requirements of living in a country where different ethnic communities live. My family has been helpful to me also. They have introduced me to the realities of my environment, where there are people with different ethnic and religious backgrounds. I think about this because soon I will be studying in a new country. 

     Some years ago, when I had not been born yet, my mother and aunt were living in a village in G—. The village had a clinic. Sometimes when foreigners would come from other countries to provide them with medicine, or help them with curing the patients, they would be treated differently. After serving them food or beverages, the people in the village clinic would break their dishes or throw them away! The people would say that these foreigners were not Muslim, so they are not “clean”. 

     I see a big difference between these stories and the realities I witness in my own time. Now such ideas are beginning to change and no longer exist among many of the people. At least, I have never seen myself such negative view towards foreigners, even when they have a different religion or faith. I’ve seen many foreigners visiting my school and having lunch with the school faculty and the students. I have seen my sister with her friends visiting our home. They are always served with food and beverages. I have never seen my mother or other relatives have the slightest hint of different feelings towards them. My family doesn’t say that people who are not Afghan, or who are not Muslim, are not clean. Instead my family always says that good people are those who do good things, who help people and work for the goodness of the world. Nationality, ethnicity and religion are not the basis of my family’s ideas about a person. The basis is a person’s thought, behavior and humanity. 

     I think the mindset of people changes by education. Those who are scared of interacting with different people are those without a chance to learn about others and so they have problems working with them. They never come to know the importance of being in touch with different people. My family’s ideas on diversity changed through their knowledge. They went to school and university. They have lived in cities where people of many different backgrounds live. 

     Sometimes we are scared of diversity. If everything was the same, there would be no reason to fight. That is true. But when I think deeper, I come to realize that the will of God was to make the beauty of the world out of this diversity. Our task is to accept this diversity as the beauty and wonder of the world.

 ©InterestEng. July 2013 - July 2021 §  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 photos or used with permission.  §  To contact us: