An Asian chapter of my life

Karolína Durdová (Czech Republic, LPC 10-12)

About two years ago, I read in a well-known Czech newspaper a fictitious article, which described horrible crimes committed during unspecific Iranian celebrations, illustrated with various untrue photos of wounded children.

At the same time I met an extraordinary man called Rafael Robles, who influenced and forever changed my way of thinking. Before he came to the Czech Republic, he worked as a professor of Spanish language and literature in a Tehran university. He became my teacher of Spanish History, but he also gave me the opportunity to translate his book “Leer el Quijote en Teherán” (Reading el Quijote in Tehran) to the Czech language. Thanks to him and his personal experiences I changed my view on this unique country and found out more about its kindly citizens and exceptional Persian culture, which has been so maligned in my country.

He also taught me that I shouldn’t believe everything I see or read in the newspaper, because often it is only a mass media artificial campaign. If I want to live a rich and conscious life, I have to keep trying to find the hidden side of everything and everyone. There are a lot of good and bad people in every part of the world and we don’t have any right to judge a nation according to actions of one or several persons with the same nationality. I hope the UWC will make my looking for the real truth in our world easier.

Every day I meet with racial intolerance, violence and injustice. Not only while watching catastrophic news, I also meet with extreme intolerant and unbelievable violent in opinions of people who live around me and are not able to open their mind to different worlds, open themselves up to a discussion or just listen to one another. I believe in the individuality and beauty of every human being. For me it does not matter what nationality you are, which god you admire, if you are lesbian or gay, how old you are, how high your level of intelligence is, what color your skin is or whether you have enough money to buy the newest iphone or you’re still using the oldest Nokia in the world like me.

I have always been looking for an opportunity like the UWC and when I received this scholarship I felt like my dreams finally came true. When they asked me during the selection process what are the positive things about going to a united world college for me, I answered – if we want to keep 15 minutes of my interview, I should mention its negatives, because I am not able to find anything wrong about the UWC.

It is really difficult to change something if you are just an unknown poor girl from a village in south Moravia. I hope the UWC will help me achieve at least a small part of my dreams. I hope the UWC will teach me how I can help to create a better world. I hope these next two years are the beginning of the greatest adventure of my life.

-United World College Student Magazine-

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