The museum hosted a summer celebration this past Saturday. For me, this meant I had a chance to meet many friends of the museum—including a few readers of this blog.
I’ll confess, I was a bit nervous about the party. Large social events have never been my strong point and I still don’t speak German, so the prospect of interacting with a bunch of German-speaking people I had never met wasn’t very exciting to me. As it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised by the evening. Although I couldn’t understand the speeches and at times I had to resort to hand gestures when asking people what drink they wanted, I also had wonderful conversations with many people who have been involved with the museum for much longer than I have.
Over the years, the museum has built an incredibly strong community. I am grateful to be a part of it, at least for the summer.
The celebration on Saturday also featured excellent Syrian food, a subtle reminder of the connections between the past and the present, the history we preserve in exhibits and the events that shape our societies today. As the museum constantly reminds us, people migrate and communities change. But if we can welcome one another with open arms, maybe we’ll be all right.
Last week was a tough one back in the United States. Between major racially charged shootings in three separate American cities and massive wildfires in my home county, I was glad be part of such a community and momentarily have something to celebrate.