As part of Project #INTEGRA - Integration of Third-country Nationals Through Urban Partnerships, Center for Peace, nonviolence and human rights is running an online campaign, part of which includes quotes from famous immigrants.

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī was a 13th-century Persian poet, faqih, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic originally from Greater Khorasan. Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats.

 Rumi's works are written mostly in Persian, but occasionally he also used Turkish, Arabic, and Greek in his verse. His Masnavi (Mathnawi), composed in Konya, is considered one of the greatest poems of the Persian language. His works are widely read today in their original language across Greater Iran and the Persian-speaking world. Translations of his works are very popular, most notably in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the United States, and South Asia. His poetry has influenced not only Persian literature, but also the literary traditions of the Ottoman Turkish, Chagatai, Urdu and Pashto languages.

Here it is the translation of the quote in English:

"I love my friends
neither with my heart nor with my mind.

Just in case…
Heart might stop.
Mind can forget.
I love them with my soul.
Soul never stops or forgets.”

On 22nd of August in Sofia was led the second Social Services Quality Forum. Representatives of Sofia Municipality and over 140 professionals and users of the various types of social services on the territory of the city - services for children, for elderly, for people with disabilities and for families - met to discuss together what "quality service" means and how it changes the lives of the people in it.

The event was opened by the Mayor of Sofia Municipality, Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova, who emphasized on the importance of partnership with non-governmental organizations and her satisfaction that the Forum is attended by users. "We are making this Forum for the second year after we have signed the Memorandum of Cooperation for social protection and inclusion of vulnerable groups through social services. This Memorandum was a management innovation that opened the door to the municipality. In 2017, we put our efforts and resources together and along with 22 organizations, signed the Memorandum - this was the formal occasion for the following major meetings, during which we discuss the quality of social services and the way we are required to control them. Currently, there are 29 organizations involved. ” said Mrs. Fandakova.

Among the NGO signatories are a number of organizations providing services to migrants and refugees. The Memorandum of Cooperation is open to new signatories, and civil society organizations are invited to join the initiative for better coordinated and more efficient social services for the benefit of the vulnerable groups in Sofia. The text of the memorandum is available at the internet site of Sofia Municipality -

This project is funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund

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