Since february this year I have been active as a board member in the international interreligious women’s group Iketh. Over the past couple of months Reinhild, Susanne, Naida, Martina and myself worked together to plan a seminar about hospitality and refugees called: On the Move. The 23rd of september it was finally go time. We were greeted in the beautiful Orthodox Academy of Crete by the sweet Katarina Karkala-Zorba with dinner. After all: food connects people. Afterwards I did the Kabbalat Shabbat and we got to know eachother better.
The group was diverse in age, religion, background. There were people from Moldavia, Germany, Austria, Sweden and many more countries. Our ages ranged from 24 to 74. There were Jews, muslims, orthodox, Catholic and Protestant. In all that difference we had one common ground: we wanted to learn from eachother. And learning we did… The program was a nice combination of lectures, workshops and outings. We for example started every morning with an meditation exercise. We also read in our different holy scriptures about hospitality and we had a lecture by Liska Berner about her work in setting up a refugee center in Athens. An even balance between practice and theory, religion and “worldly business”.
Because of this balance everyone felt at home. As Ivana Gabalava put it: she never thought she, as an atheist, would be comfortable in a group of religious women but she felt safe. It even made her feel powerfull to be with a group of such active women. We had a really exhausting but inspiring couple of days. I felt really proud to be part of such an amazing group of strong women. Women are often set to the side as being to emotional, to weak to achieve something. But all these women have achieved so much on their own, let allong what we could do together…
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