Once upon a time there was a king who sent an Arabian horse to a king in Germany… At first, the horse had a hard time due to the big environment change – it could not eat and after a while, it struggled on how to walk on grass instead of sand. The horse probably was also missing the familiarity of home.
I went through the same, but the good side is I get to know more about myself when I am alone. What I learned is that you are never truly alone when you meet good people. When you have someone who you can look into the eyes and feel like you can see their soul, then you are already at home. Home is inside of people’s hearts.
After planning and giving my best shot, I went to Germany for an internship over a CrossCulture program at State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments in Stuttgart. Dr. Jakobs a wall painting restorer, and also my supervisor asked me to join her in Cluj-Napocca (a city in Romania) for a project of the European IIIustrated Glossary of Conservation Terms of Wall Paintings Architectural Surfaces. The objective of the project is to clarify the terminology of the conservation of wall painting and architectural surfaces among Europe conservation and restoration specialists and to get an excellent translation of the terminology. To put it simple, it is like a documentation of the used terms and standards for everyone in this field. Besides the workshop, I also got the chance to visit Moldovan monasteries that are registered in the world heritage list. This was amazing experience. It gave me the impression of the Byzantine drawing style which is more common in Eastern Europe.
Those four days were amazing and Dr. Jakobs was simply someone who cared a lot for me, she always asked if I was okay, made sure that I enjoyed and helped a lot even without asking. I remember telling her about her kindness, and she told me that I needed to accept and learn to take because life is not always about giving. I think it is rare nowadays to find people like her: someone who wants to teach and show you many things. It is even harder to find someone who is in a high position yet is humble and generous with their time.
In the end, it’s just one world with different cultures – I do not see it the other way around. Even though it is commonly used as terms “Islamic World” or “European World”, the terminology creates more distance than the actual distance. People are just the same no matter how different they look and all the places are the same eventually. ν