Welcome to the first edition of WATWB for 2018. Our co-hosts for this month are Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, Damyanti Biswas and Guilie Castillo.
We trust you had a great break over the change of year and hope to bring you good news stories both this month and in the months to come. More information about the WATWB blogfest is at the bottom of this post.
(Photo: from supplied source)
Some Somali’s in Melbourne go back to Somalia to play soccer (football). It was commented that the exchange inspired young people to be engaged in the community in practical ways when they got back to Australia.
As SBS news reports:
It’s often said that sport can unify communities, bridging the gap between various cultures. And there’s perhaps no better example of a universal sport than football.
Armed with this theory, a group of 50 young men from Melbourne’s Somali community were taken on a month-long trip back to home turf.
“Soccer is the easiest way to build a bridge,” Hussein Horaco, Secretary of the Somali Australian Council of Victoria, who organised the initiative, told SBS News.
“We wanted to give hope to young people in Somalia, and for us also, the young people in Australia to experience how difficult life is there.”
As the SBS report continues, we observe that the young people from Australia did get real in the field cultural experience too:
One of the footballers, 25-year-old Abdirahman Ahmed, said being taken out of their comfort zone gave the team a greater appreciation of what they have in Australia.
“Hot water, just having a cold drink in the fridge, small things like that, that you take for granted. And when you go there and you see people, the majority of people, not having those kinds of things … seeing them still being happy, it’s very uplifting,” he said.
Council representative Ahmed Mahmoud said some of the players were also pleasantly surprised by what some people had in Mogadishu.
“The boys thought they’d be sleeping in huts and probably go out into the wilderness to go to the toilet. But when they went there, there were five-star hotels, there were baths, showers in your room, balconies, room service. There was internet and some of the boys were joking that it’s much faster than Melbourne internet.”
They even had an audience with Somalia’s recently elected president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed – known by the nickname ‘Farmajo’.
So the world game continues to catch on. The exchange of events such as these breaks down barriers of nation, culture and fear in a fun way. They are kicking real goals of human goodness during such a formative age of these people’s lives.
(Photo courtesy of SBS news.)
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Just a final little note. Since this blog is about poetry, here is a sample of some Somali poets at Poet Nation in Minneapolis, US. There is some great stuff there. The second guy cuts across some of our WATWB themes.
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Want to know more about this blogfest? Read on.
Once again, here are the guidelines for #WATWB:
1. Keep your post to Below 500 words, as much as possible.
2. Link to a human news story on your blog, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. The Link is important, because it actually makes us look through news to find the positive ones to post.
3. No story is too big or small, as long as it Goes Beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others.
Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. We’ll try and follow and share all those who post on the #WATWB hashtag, and we encourage you to do the same.Just click Here to enter their link and join us! Bigger the #WATWB group each month, more the joy!
28 thoughts on “#WATWB January 2018 Kicking Goals for Goodness and Culture”
A great post Simon thank you! Such learning in returning and having ones eyes opened in seeing their own home country making strides and making valuable comparisons and having gratitude for their adopted country 🙂 Thank you! Pretty inspirational. Sport, like music, builds bridges …
Indeed sport does build bridges, Susan. I also – no surprise – enjoyed the Somali poetry. Am settling in, thanks. More to do, but that will be alright.
I agree, Susan. Sport, like the arts, builds bridges and seems to have really done so for these young people. Thanks for commenting.
p.s. thank you for co-hosting this month! Hope you’re fully settled and well ..
Hi Simon – it’s so good to see the cultural divides that can be surpassed with sport, or other passions … music, art, et al. What a wonderful initiative for the Australian Somalis … and then they’ll be friends for life and build on those relationships – helping others in Africa. Thanks so much … a great #WATWB post for starting off 2018. Cheers Hilary
Thanks very much, Hilary. Yes, sport, art, music, speak to us. It is a good thing. May those relationships build even stronger.
Simon, this is a great post for this month’s #WATWB. When we live in a country with conveniences and everything in at our fingertips, it’s an eye-opener being in a country that has few. I’m glad these young people were able to experience life in Somali so they can appreciate what they have in Australia.
Mary, we are like you here. We have many things that can be taken for granted. These young people had an opportunity to do better and have. May they learn from such days.
How great for them to see a bigger world and to share it with their soccer brothers. What a great day it will be when everyone everywhere has access to clean water and a nice bed to sleep in. Thanks for this post, Simon.
Pam, you are right. May they see the bigger picture. Thanks for visiting and for your support of WATWB.
You’re welcome, Simon. Have a great day!😘
This is a great story that teaches about respect, gratitude and empathy. Thanks for sharing, Simon!
It is, Shilpa. I hope that these young people carry that respect, gratitude and empathy through their lives and continue to deepen it. Thanks for commenting.
A great post, Simon. It’s good to see that sport can help build bridges between people and that travel can broaden our understandings of other people’s lives.
Thanks Norah. Yes, I agree. I hope there broadened understanding is lasting for them into the years to come.
It’s amazing to think that something as simple as sports can bring people together in significant ways. Usually the sports stories that I read are about rivalries, but the sports stories don’t have to be, do they?
That’s one of the things I love. That rivalries are put aside for cultural exchange. Maybe others will make such a trip too.
It’s exciting to see how these cultural exchanges can broaden and expand one’s understanding. Soccer scores again! Loved the Somali poets clip as well Simon. Thanks for co-hosting this month and sharing this bright spark of goodness.
Yes, yes, Deborah, the cultural exchange seems to be fruitful. Thanks for noticing the Somali poets. Aren’t some of them good? I’m trying to push myself to get to know poets beyond those I already know.
How wonderful for these players to experience something new and to broaden their own understanding of the world. Yes, hot water in faucets, something we are fortunate to have! Many of our neighbors do not have that luxury. Thanks for co-hosting this month.
Funny what they notice as they travel, Emily. Isn’t it great to see them appreciative and grateful? As for co-hosting, you’re most welcome. We do this because we love it.
This is brilliant, Simon! I love stories about sports events that segue into human interactions. It’s so easy, in our time, to perceive sports, and especially the bigger tournaments and competitions, the Olympics, the World Cups, as solely commercial events, exploitative and even discriminatory. (Witness the NFL debacle over the last year, for instance.) But sports meets have, historically, always been about cultural exchange. Yes, I pit my strength/skill/talent against yours on the field, but I also learn from you (and you from me), and after the race is done, we all go eat and drink and get to know one another. It’s beautiful to know this tradition still lives. May these exchanges continue, and multiply, all over the world.
Thanks so much for this story, Simon. And thanks for all you do for the #WATWB 🙂
Guilie @ Quiet Laughter
I could’t put it better than you have, Guilie. I thoroughly agree. It’s great. Thanks for joining us. It’s so nice to have you on board.
Lovely story Simon – isn’t it great to see how sport can cross cultures and communities and the Somalians are such great athletes.
It is. As you know better than I, music crosses barriers too, and aren’t we glad it is so. Thank you.
How encouraging it is to see privileged people understanding what it’s like to be unprivileged and to begin to understand how lucky they are to have these small luxuries in life like a refrigerator! It’s a great initiative. Thank you Simon for sharing this with us 🙂
Thanks Pradita. I thought so too. Happy to share. WATWB is one of my great joys.
As it is with me. You’re welcome