“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right…let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle… to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States.
The fourth day of IYLA was an experience in global citizenship. From the Organization of American States, the U.S. Department of State, the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia and the historic monuments in D.C, the delegates of IYLA delved into the culture, food and principles of regions around the world.
They discovered that they are citizens of the world, and that they do have common values and visions.
The first stop was the U.S.State Department. Della Hareland, Angela Woods, and Mark Azua gave an overview of opportunities to work with the State Department. Angela Woods, a member of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, emphasized the values exposure abroad, and the importance of applying that knowledge at home.
Lunch was hosted at the Organization of American States. The ambassadors of Paraguay and Belize greeted the assembly. Ambassador of Belize H.E. Nestor Mendez told the delegates, “Being a young leader is challenging. Make use of it. It makes you a more valuable global citizen.” He urged them to “take ownership of the world because it is yours!”
Naomi, the daily sketch writer for the IYLA responded in her blog, “And why wouldn’t we? Our future grows brighter with every young person who has the courage to see from different perspectives, to become a citizen, not of their country alone, but a citizen of the world.”
In the afternoon IYLA was welcomed to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia by Norah Al-Eidi and Tarik Allagany. They gave an overview of the culture and tradition of Saudi Arabia. Tarik Allagany observed that inter-religious tensions are often spurred by politics issues. He emphasized the importance a strong leader, “someone willing to guide people to do whatever they should regardless of what others think.” Jeannie, a delegate of IYLA found it insightful that the core values of Saudi Arabia are “peace, tolerance and benevolence.” In an up-closer exchange of culture, the delegates got to model traditional Saudi Arabian garments in front of their peers.
The closing activity of the day was a tour of the DC Monuments, a profound way to frame their day’s experience. In reflection, Naomi wrote, “Having lived a day as a global citizen, I realized the vision Lincoln spoke of does not pertain just to America, but to the entire world.
As young people from nations around the world, we struggle to resolve the conflicts within our country. However, it does not end there. If we dare to dream the biggest dream, a world of leaders united with that common vision will emerge.”
Dream big, IYLAer, dream a dream that can embrace the world.