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In Daughters of Abraham program, women of three faiths find common threads, including motherhood

By Betul Sayin
Special to the American-Statesman
Betul Sayin is an English as a second language  teacher at Harmony Public Schools.

“Beauty will save the world” — Fyodor Dostoevsky

It might sound naive, but do you think that there is any problem in the world that love, kindness and compassion cannot resolve? We need love, more love for peace.

Everything started at the First United Methodist Church on October 20, 2019. Julia Fuschak brought together women of three religions at that first meeting of the Daughters of Abraham.

 The impact of that meeting made us continue the gatherings, and we formed our Daughters of Abraham group and began monthly meetings. At our first few gatherings, we spoke about how we believe in the creation, verses on women and their impact, and individual prayer practices. We all witnessed curiosity and love at every meeting.

Our group had been growing in number until the pandemic interrupted the in-person gatherings. While our contact remained through email and everyone was wholeheartedly checking on each other, we decided to move our meetings to the online platform, to which we adapted immediately.

Since then, we met around a lot of topics from personal to religious: our childhood memories, our female role models, mental health awareness, peacebuilders, our favorite verses from scriptures, religious holidays, places of worship, and our sacred times. We ultimately turned into a pretty diverse family that embraced compassion and built a team spirit. 

The Daughters of Abraham devote their lives to creating a more peaceful world for our next generations. We strongly believe that beauty and love will save the world soon or later. We try to learn more from each other about our religious practices, and recall and celebrate holy days together.

Even though we meet once a month, we always find a reason to keep in touch outside the meetings as well by sharing the prayers we love and the books we read and gathering at interfaith events in our community. Our family is getting bigger and becoming highly intellectual, with new faces joining us almost every month.

We might be of different nationalities and religions, but we have so much in common. It is also delightful to talk about our similarities as women, mothers, wives, daughters and friends.

At one of our meetings, we had a conversation about our female role models. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that our mothers were our ultimate idols. Later on, we laughed and cried together while sharing our childhood memories and the times we spent with our mothers. All gatherings were blessed and touching.

What makes mothers so special? Again, the greatest gifts from God: unconditional love and great compassion to others. Mothers have an endless supply of compassion as they embrace and support each other and the people around them with great love, care and devotion. They can make others feel like they belong by lending an ear and offering a shoulder without any judgment.

Mothers have no expectation in return. This is such a nature of kindness. Actually, our mothers were alike, just like us. They planted the love and affection that filled our hearts. We as the members of the Daughters of Abraham group aim to make a meaningful difference in the world by performing what our mothers have taught us: simply loving after one another. 

As Yunus Emre, a Turkish folk poet and Sufi mystic said:

“Come, let us all be friends for once,

Let us make life easy on us,

Let us be lovers and loved ones,

The Earth shall be left to no one.”

Human beings tend to be dubious and even hostile to who or what they do not know. Whereas, assimilating ourselves to the unknown removes doubts; knowing and loving each other are our primary goals.

We need to remind ourselves that we are individuals within a community that needs to empathize and welcome one another with open arms. Thus, we will be able to recognize and work through the challenges we face together.

Cultivating the feeling of love and extending it to others strengthens the bond among us. In this regard, we adhere a great significance to our Daughters of Abraham gatherings. I hope our friendship and love will continue to grow, and we as the powerful women of our community will accomplish many great things together.

Betul Sayin is an English as a second language  teacher at Harmony Public Schools. Doing Good Together is compiled by Interfaith Action of Central Texas, interfaithtexas.org.