Precious Values

  Yassien Daleel 

            I grew up in a land of freedom and democracy, Sudan. Sudan consists of many ethnicities and religions. This variety of people created my trustful charisma. My education from pre-school through university was marked by this diversity, which allowed me to interact with people from various backgrounds and to gain knowledge about new cultures. I have an honest Jewish friend and a role-model Christian friend, both of whom supported and stood by me in difficult situations. The most important cultural values that I would want pass on to another generation are the values of equality, mercy, and kindness.

            I am a civilized man who believes in equality. I was born in the capital of a large country, Khartoum, Sudan. The city laws have strict regulations which keep most people from breaking them. Because God created people equal, I believe that all people belong to one class and should be treated equally. Khartoum is also a unique city with great diversity. Khartoum taught me to be more open and accepting of others. Sudanese refer to Khartoum as ďan elephant stomach,Ē because itís made up of different ethnicities and religious groups from all over the world, and they share equally and openly their schools, residential areas, and cultures. Khartoum is also an exceptional capital because it freed itself from the racism that was caused by British colonization. The construct of the city taught me that equality among people is the wide gate to a civilized society.

            I am Muslim; Islam taught me that mercy between people is the most important value. My parents overwhelmed me with daily advice about mercy. I realized early in life that mercy is the link that can bring people closer with no consideration of race or religion. One day on my way back home from elementary school, I found an old man lying in the middle of the street and he was exhausted. I knew immediately what to do. I picked him up and escorted him to his house, just as my parents had taught me. Finally, we reached his desolate house, which had no neighbors nearby, and I  was welcomed warmly by his family members. After that I felt pleased with what I had done. From that time on, mercy has become second nature to me.

            I am Arab-African. Another significant value among Arabs is kindness. Hospitality is practiced frequently in Arab homes by offering tea, coffee, and food to visitors and new people in the neighborhood. Arabs are also generous. They donate 2.5% of their incomes at the end of each year to help poor families. The Arabs' heritage of generosity and hospitality comes from the story of the Prophet Mohammed, who shared his food with his neighbor. From that time on, Arabs have been following his example of generosity.

            As a Sudanese- American, I hope I can pass on my values of equality, mercy, and kindness to the next generation. If we share our precious principles and  believe in and encourage the goodness in humanity, we will create a more perfect society.