Education Happy Eid!

We wish all our Muslim colleagues and friends a Happy Eid!

In Burkina Faso, all religious holidays are celebrated by all. My Christian friends celebrate Muslim holidays with Muslim friends and vice versa.

When my daughter did a school essay in religion a few years ago, she interviewed women in the village Nakamtenga, about how their religions affected their everyday lives and how they practiced their faith. The women described their values, their choices in life etc. The last question was about the difference between Christians and Muslims.

After some thought, both Christians and Muslims answered, independently of each other: The number of times a day we pray.

If they had had a little more time, they might have added more things. But the important thing is the common message of love, caring for each other, taking care of those who need help and trying to constantly become a better person.

It feels as if the jihadists attacking from the neighbouring countries, in northern Burkina, who are attacking villages and schools, are living by a completely different religion.

Since I grew up in Burkina Faso, this is my "truth" for how religions live side by side and how their messages are interpreted. I have a very hard time believing that our great religious founders meant anything other than this.

Ramadan is about learning to have more patience and humility. To ask for forgiveness for what you have done wrong and to do good deeds.

Let us all choose to interpret the messages with the same openness as in Burkina Faso and see each other with love and pragmatism. We all live on the same earth. We are facing enormous challenges with climate change, a future with a shortage of potable water, dying seas and the extinction of lots of species on our planet. We do not have time to devote ourselves to anything other than cooperating, and focusing on all the positive messages that must be the point of the religions.

So Happy Eid, all of you! Love, peace and understanding!