Kai Henrik Barth, Professor at Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, talking about his trip to Turkey with RumiForum:
Kai Henrik Barth
My name is Kai Henrik Barth. I am a Professor in the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where I teach in the Security Studies Program. My own portfolio is technology and security. I would like to thank in particular Ali, Jenna and Zafer for a fantastic organization of the trip. It has been very rewarding in a number of ways. In particular it is for the first time in many years I have to say that I have thought so much about religion and culture in a short period of time. I had the good fortune of having a very interesting conversation with Ali today and I am sure he has come to similar view that he has never talked with a guy like me, and I have never talked with a guy like him on issues such as religion.
I found the Turkish hospitality legend as I expected. I came here twenty years ago. It was a fantastic experience to travel all around the country from east to west, and this was confirmed by this trip, and I hope I will be able to come with my wife and my little boy for much extended period of time. Turkey and Turkish politics I have to say it is one of most fascinating topics of today. Seeing a million people demonstrated in Izmir and a hundred thousand demonstrated in Samsun couple of days ago, trying to figure out how the Gulen movement and the RumiForum fits into the spectrum has been one of the most interesting challenges of this trip for me. I find it fascinating to watch what the RumiForum has done in terms of building up schools of this high caliber, building up clinics, hospitals of this quality that I quite stunned by the success of the (Gulen) movement at this point.
Finally I can only echo that all my predecessors have said. To go with a group like this was very enjoyable. In the beginning when we had the first meeting I have said we gonna be the youngest my wife and myself; we gonna be the only ones a little skeptical about religion and we find that communication lines between everybody here on board was just terrific. So I find this was a very wonderful experience all around. Thank you very much for this!
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