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Violating Sanctions

An American Woman’s Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil

“I Came to Bridge a Gap”

The Author By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 12th, 2008 | Comments No Comments

Some tourists come to Syria armed with preconceptions. Sally Tawfik, a music teacher from Houston, Texas, came with an armful of handmade cards from members of her church. sally.jpg

“There are times when you feel connected to people in another time and place. In this time of pain and war, I can’t imagine what you, your family, your friends and your country are experiencing,” wrote Drea Legare in one of the cards Sally carried to Syria for Iraqi refugees.

“I came to Syria to bridge a gap between me and someone not like me,” said the earnest 23-year-old about her participation in the month-long Middle East Fellowship’s Damascus Summer Encounter.
The daughter of Egyptian parents, Sally is putting a picture to her parents’ childhood stories. “My mother has a story about walking home with bread as a little girl. From our bus, I saw a little girl about six years old walking with a big stack of flat bread. I thought, ‘My mother must have been like that.’”

Sally is bridging both generational and cultural gaps while volunteering at the Greek Orthodox Church’s senior center. “[Volunteering here] has taught me the value of just sitting and being with people. That translates love more than anything else.”
[For more information about the Middle East Fellowship’s Damascus Summer Encounter, visit For fun blogs on this year’s Encounter, visit]
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