By now I am sure most of you have seen the news of the refugees, as well as every other life changing piece of paper President Trump has signed in the last few days. I believe all matters of politics are of the up most importance, but right now, my heart is heavy for the Middle East. If you followed my gap year journey, you are aware that I spent time in the Middle East. While at the time, I experienced a lot of heart ache and pain from being exposed to the drastically different lives of others, I miss the Middle East the most. I miss my family in Bethlehem, along with the friends I made there. I miss the smell of humus and fresh pita bread as I walked down the streets. I miss all the crazy drivers in Jordan, and I definitely miss my family and friends in Jordan. I miss the call to prayer throughout the day. I miss everything.

So naturally, with all of this happening with Trumps ban list of muslim countries, my heart is aching. I am at a loss of words for how I feel, but I find myself experiencing guilt and helplessness. Why do I get to travel where I want, when I want, to see whoever I want? Why can’t my friends and family that are over there come be with me here? Why can’t the world of politics actually give a crap about human beings? And why do I feel like I can’t I do anything about it?

Throughout my gap year, I made it my goal to be able to love everyone I met to the best of my ability. Setting aside political views, religious views, and everything else that causes arguments and distance. I continue to do that same thing every day now, but find it so much harder to do in the country I live in. How does one support someone and pray for someone who hurts people you care for dearly? How can I stand by my statement to support my president, when the decisions he is making are affecting my life negatively, as well as so many people I love?

There are no good answers to my questions. I do know that my love for the Middle Eastern countries I have been to, will continue to grow. My love for the muslim traditions and culture will also continue to grow. My promise is to continue to love everyone I met, and even love those I did not meet in the Middle East. I promise that even though I greatly disagree with many things President Trump is doing, I will still call him my President, and find the respect for him he needs. I promise to pray for him and every beating heart in the Muslim countries that have been banned. I will shed tears for my people in the Middle East, but I will never give up hope.

This world needs a little extra love and prayer in times like these. There is no time for hate, riots, and disgust. There is already too much of that. I may not be able to do something politically, but I sure as hell can love and pray for people like it is what I was born to do. My challenge to those that read this is to make a promise to the world. A promise of love, hope, or anything positive. This is the best time to truly come together as one, one world.

“I feel there is nothing more artistic than loving people.” -Vincent Van Gogh