As the Haze of a new day breaks here in Istanbul, Turkey, this is the morning site from my hotel window. Much like the view of the world these days, the distant is less than clear, the water slightly choppy, but over the horizon we see the brilliant awakening of a new day, and the sun once more. They also are a living celebration of diversity here, as diversity should be celebrated around the world. The bridge, there in the distance, leads from the European continent literally into Asia — but there are both "Turkey."
You see, Turkey (population 70 million plus), and specifically the city of Istanbul (population 13-16 million), sits on both the European and Asian continents, if you can believe that. Their people are likewise a study in contrasts, with a heritage that pulls from so many ethnicities from the world and spanning more than 1,000 years.
Mostly a Muslim country, Christians and Jews live in peace with their Muslim brothers, primarily because people are educated around the true religions, all of which are peaceful in nature. I remember by friend Murat Sarayli, a fellow Young Global Leader with me for the World Economic Forum, telling me that "a terrorist cannot be a Muslim, and a Muslim cannot be a terrorist." He went further still, saying that "you cannot be a Muslim and not acknowledge Jesus Christ (though Muslims see Jesus as a Prophet and not the son of God)." Yes, we all have more in common than we have that separates us – not only as an American, and African American, and Christian visiting Turkey, both as members, all of us, of the human race the world over.
Happy Thanksgiving world. We have much work to do to repair the world we hold, and to prepare the world we want (for our children).
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant