MELA 4, DAY TEN: 16 MARCH 2013
Crystals are precious, resilient, well-ordered and pure. Their components are individual yet they fit together in a structured whole. They both capture light and send forth illumination. And, in a saturated solution, they branch and grow.
We may shed a few crystal tears today now that MELA 4 is drawing to a close. And no one has a crystal ball to discern the future. Yet this at least is crystal clear: we shall meet again soon, and our deep connections, joint projects and collective vision will go on, reinforced and reinvigorated by our time together in Muscat.
According to Michael Kouly, we need at least twelve hugs a day for peace of mind. Maha and Zainab have decided to start early.
The morning's guest speaker is Steve Sosebee (President and CEO, The Palestine Children's Relief Fund). His description of PCRF's work, coordinating and conducting emergency volunteer medical missions to Palestine and refugee camps in Lebanon, brings the audience to their feet in respect and awe for his determination and achievements.
A lot of people want to shake this man's hand.
Meet the press: Omani television interviews Michael about MELA.
What, no walls? The breakout groups have moved outdoors for a final wrap-up.
Understanding the power of MELA. With the Academy almost over, Jim looks forward to the follow-on activities of the network, and connections with MELA's partner organizations in USA, Central Eurasia and Southeast Asia.
Thank you, Bill, for putting together a curriculum that stretched, educated and delighted us.
Hats off to Amy, Samer, Devyn, Sami, Tim and Massi. You infected everyone with your fun and positive energy and made the operations at MELA 4 run as smooth as crystal.
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GRADUATION AND INDUCTION CEREMONIES
Participants are awarded a certificate of completion for the MELA Academy, and are officially inducted as members into MELA as a regional network organization.
|A Sami Ammous panorama picture production|
The ever-thoughtful Abdulrahman reflects on his MELA experience.
The ever-vivacious Abeer is picture-perfect in company with Meisa Batayneh, Michael Kouly and Hassan Alkabbani.
Ahmad receives a warm handshake and a cool MELA crystal from Sami.
Master of Ceremonies Dan poses with Verbal Maestro Ahmed.
Adib is returning home as a hybrid Lebanese-Omani.
The fabric of those dishdashas is thinner than you think. Hassan pins a MELA badge on Amer's chest – literally, it seems.
When Eman expressed so lyrically, in both poetry and prose, her feelings about the last ten days, you could have heard a pin drop.
The group shouts out so many positive words of appreciation and affection for Mater, he has to block his ears from the clamor.
For leaderly poise and grace, Manal has no peers...
... except for the charismatic genius of Reem!
Riyadh discovers a long-lost friend on stage.
Salah's wit and intelligence spiced up the program.
Forget those Oscar Ceremony gift bags (worth a mere $45,000)... bah! Wait till Sanad finds out what is in the MELA gift bag! Like the friendships we built here, its contents are priceless.
Wassim addresses his new MELA family.
Youmna is awarded her MELA certificate. Her mother Mme. Gemayel enjoys the moment from the back of the room.
The whole room chants "Zainab, Zainab" as the future Secretary-General of the GCC (insha'allah) takes the floor.
Said Alshanfari is one of the two MELA 4 representatives elected to the MELA Board.
Shadi Qawasmi is the second new Board member.
Congratulations to both these excellent gentlemen!
The room offers a standing ovation to the grandmaster and founding Board Member of MELA:
Guiding spirit Jim Crupi.
Daggers for gentlemen, dhows for ladies
The warmth and welcome that we all felt in Muscat was embodied by the MELA Omani team, who presented to each of us a souvenir of an unforgettable time together, with a resonant message that we carry home in our hearts.