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Umthombo in South Africa, Zoughbi Zoughbi from Wi’am in Bethlehem, news of our Ahlan Gaza project, On Her Terms and details of our Spring appeal.
The Spring 2019 edition of Words of Hope, the Amos trust newspaper is now available as a free download.
In this issue we cover articles including an update from Umthombo, our partner in South Africa; an interview with Zoughbi Zoughbi from Wi’am in Bethlehem; news of our Ahlan Gaza project; how sharing stories brought the On Her Terms conference participants closer together and details of the Spring appeal for On Her Terms.
This edition also features an extract from ‘I Am Because You Are’ taken from ‘Lifelines: Notes On Life & Love, Faith & Doubt’ by Malcolm Doney and Martin Wroe.
I Am Because You Are
In Southern Africa a bantu word — ubuntu — suggests an alternative way of answering the big questions. Ubuntu can best be translated as “I am because you are”.
It’s a word that signals how each of us finds our best self only in relationship to others. How life is not to be understood as a solitary, individual pursuit but as something we share. That we understand ourselves better when we live in company not alone.
“Ubuntu speaks about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation,” says Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself… we think of ourselves frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas we are connected and what we do affects the whole world.”
This is counter-intuitive in a culture where our goals often centre on personal fulfilment — in family or career. In spirituality and religion. But many of our deepest questions can’t be answered in isolation, only in friendship. Many of them — “why is there so much suffering?” — can barely be answered at all. We have to live with these questions.
But living with them with others sometimes means we become the answers ourselves. Those others might be a lonely neighbour, an annoying relative, a sick child, an estranged partner. Or they might be losing hope in Syria, locked up in Guantánamo, forgotten in Gaza.
They might be the people we meet when we hesitatingly volunteer at that rough sleepers’ hostel — or step over the threshold of a local synagogue, mosque, or church.
‘Lifelines: Notes On Life & Love, Faith & Doubt’ by Malcolm Doney and Martin Wroe.
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‘Lifelines: Notes On Life & Love, Faith & Doubt’ Published by Unbound and available from lifelines-book.com priced £16.99