Dear 18 year old Me

It’s 2010 and thanks to your Dad you get the opportunity to go to Germany on a Science Camp. You go alone to a country that barely speaks English and manage your stay there quite well. You witnessed a country that was torn apart by war for decades, which had so much hatred to one another that people had to leave. And this country rose to one of the strongest countries Europe has ever seen. You are amazed by their contribution to Science, by how much they have developed as people and as a country – vowing never to repeat history again. You too felt hopeful that your country will rise to this state because your generation and the ones before that never knew what it was like to experience peace.

Taking a photograph in front of Karl Gauss’ grave. The man who introduced the Gauss distribution and many more mathematical formulas

You have this ability to see something good from the outside world, bring it to yours and make it work. You felt this is there your country needed to be, this is where we needed to change. Germany helped you dream of a developed Sri Lank, a country which will stand on its own feet. You wanted to welcome your children to a beautiful place the world has never seen yet. You had a plan which was set in motion from that day, how you could be a part of this amazing story – from third world to first world.

At the German Parliament. I had the pleasure of meeting people from so many different countries!

Sadly, your hopes and dreams come crashing to the ground on April 21st, 2019. The evil that you thought you left behind came and haunted innocent people who went to Church that Sunday. As frightening as the death count was, you were shocked to hear your own people were behind this. How will you win back the trust of the people? How will you execute your dream? I have no idea. Should you find opportunity here in the USA and settle down? There are questions I keep asking myself every day.

Suddenly that tall mountain you had to climb from 2010 became even taller. It’s almost like God is asking you, “How bad do you really want this dream to true?”

What I do know is if you do overcome this – this would one of the greatest stories ever told.

“If we hug the world – it will hug us back” – quoted by Antonija from Croatia

Yours sincerely,

Fadil Iqbal in 2019