“Maa feesh hadd ahsan min hadd.” “No one is better than anyone else.”
I often heard this saying growing up in Egypt with eight siblings. It taught me that favoritism and discrimination were not to be tolerated.
According to Banous Dunham, “The moment comes for anyone capable of rational decisions, when, for the first time, he grows aware that people are important the same way he is important. If he decides that they are so, he freely embraces ethics.”
I believe in the value of every individual, regardless of race, creed, gender, mental or physical health, or country of origin. I believe we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers here and all over the world. None of us can be free when others suffer from injustice, prejudice and stereotyping.
I agree with Walt Whitman’s remark about the United States as “not merely a nation, but a teeming nation of nations.” As we assimilate, we do not forget our ethnic heritage and identity. It is indeed our responsibility to our ancestors as well as to our descendants to promote our cultural heritage and to correct inaccurate representations of our history and reality.
There can be no peace without justice, nor justice without truth.
Maryse Doss Mikhail