Abusufyan

Herr Feldmeier, distinguished professors, dearest student workers and Hochschule Bremerhaven staff, guests and my fellow students and friends. This is a bittersweet moment. Bitter that we have to depart, but sweet that despite this departure, we have come to know one another and have shared priceless moments that will forever remain memorable chapters in our lives. I have thought about how to begin my speech, but having seen so many thoughts pictorially expressed, I thought I would take a different angle. Speech has always resonated with people, but every time I put pen to paper, I cancelled because something inside of me tells me there is a better way to begin. I do not know how else to say this without sounding like a boy broken beyond measure he’s at the verge of tears. How do you quantify intangibles like friendship, kindness, richness of heart, and an unforgettable experience that will undoubtedly stay with me for the rest of my life? I’ve made new friends. I’ve had intimate conversations. And truth is my encounter with all of you has left me a better person. I am more than I was when I started two weeks ago. You have helped me find a new dimension of thinking that is indispensible, something that will forever inform my life and influence my decisions. I stand before you today a multitude of cultures. I have immersed myself in you and have emerged as more. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explore you as people, as cultures, and as individuals. To the professors, I say thank you and I salute you, for having taken up such a great task. It is amazing how you have been able to develop methods and games to bring us together. It was very easy to differentiate myself from others, but after your work on me, it is not black and white anymore. There are so many overlaps that have truly helped me understand that we are very alike. We may speak or behave differently, but underneath everything, in those quiet corners of our lives, we are more alike than different. So thank you for making me understand that China, India, Russia, Uzbekistan, Spain, Poland, and Germany are not differences, but opportunities to explore and understand cultures. To learn, internalize, and apply what is beautiful and beneficial from each culture for a fuller and more versatile life. And to Herr Feldmeier, the Hochschule Bremerhaven staff, and the student workers, I would like to say, on behalf of all of us, that we owe our experiences to you. We are profoundly grateful for the wonderful organization and for having had the chance to participate in something meaningful, especially me. I guess 12 years ago, when you came up with the idea of a summer school, you did not anticipate how much it would affect the lives of different people. I hope, with every fiber of my being, that after we all leave here tonight, and the fuss about summer school dies out, any mention or remembrance of Russia or Poland, China or Germany, will invoke happy thoughts. And we can, on hard days, pick through our pasts, and find these memories we have made together, that we may find some comfort in them. Thank you.