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Under the Same Sky

Sarah (New York): When I first saw Hummingbird’s lovely face and heard her gentle voice, I loved her instantly. Neither of us have children, but we cemented our connection through our love and respect for animals. I was struck by her dignity and quiet determination in the face of the gross injustices ravaging her people.

She works tirelessly via social media to get the word out that her beloved Syria is being destroyed. But as a Kurdish Syrian, Hummingbird is considered persona non grata, invisible, according to her government. From her, I heard for the first time heartbreaking details of the Syrian conflict. For the first time I had a close connection to a war zone on the other side of the world.

Hummingbird (Dubai): When I first met Sarah on Skype, I found her full of life. Her smiling spirit surrounded me tenderly. I was a little bit shy, but she made me feel welcomed and beloved and secure to open up and release my thoughts. She got me laughing, and our love and respect for earth’s creatures brought us closer together. When Sarah first told me about her dogs I was listening like an eager child to the stories about the two lovely souls. Like Sarah, they are full of fun with kind hearts. I was amazed by Sarah’s career, her dedication to what she believes in, and her strength to survive. I was very lucky to have her as my mentor.

Over the five months of the Voices of Our Future training program, we become bosom friends, often resurfacing from despair to laughter, with the support of our husbands, the adoration of our animal companions, and the solace taken in the messages and strong voices of the other courageous World Pulse Correspondents from around the world.

When there is another massacre in Syria, I immediately reach out to Sarah. Working long hours, weary and discouraged, I email her, “I feel like running outside, naked and screaming.” Sarah, in her eleventh year of parent care and desperately out of fuel despite the help of her sisters, believes that she knows exactly what I mean, albeit on a different level. With nature always as her source of peace, Sarah advises me, “Go outside during your lunch hour and sit, for five minutes–or whatever you can eek out–at that pond with the ducks. Watch them swim, breathe deeply and just let that fleeting, organic serenity engulf you. That’s all you can do at this moment.” So I do.

Sarah: By September 2011, Hummingbird has been chosen as one of three World Pulse Voices of Our Future Correspondents to come to the US for a speaking tour, during which the trio will tell their stories from Portland to Washington, D.C. in person, on radio, television, and live stream.

When her plane lands in New York, I am fifty miles away, visiting family. I’m grieving over my mother’s continued and now alarming diminishment; she has had Parkinson’s disease for twenty-five years and, once so literary and clever, can no longer read or write. Once so warm and loving she is now only relentlessly anxious. She has become a shadow, both physically and psychologically. As Hummingbird loses her country, I am losing my family.

Later that week, Hummingbird and I meet in person at last. . . .


Nusrat Ara's picture

Thank you so much for sharing

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It touches ones heartstrings. It makes one believe that we all can contribute in our own ways to make this world a better place, with sisterhood it can get just a bit easier.



Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Amen, Nusrat!

Dear Nusrat,

Yes! With Sisterhood, making the world a better place can become easier.

Thank you for those wise and beautiful words.

With Comfort and Joy,


Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Karly N's picture

Thank you :)

What a beautiful, hopeful, inspiring story of love, connection and healing. Thank you so much for sharing this with us and the WorldPulse community! Learning so much from you beautiful women.

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Thank YOU, Karly!

And I learn, we all learn, from your generous expressions of gratitude.

With Comfort & Joy,


Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Y's picture

How inspiring. I see that the

How inspiring. I see that the two of you have found many ways to "go forth, be fruitful and multiply" The Sacred Spirit that is manifest in yourselves. What a beautiful relationship you have. Thank you for sharing.


Susan K.A.'s picture

The power of Love

Dear Sarah and Hummingbird,

Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

You move us with the ferocity of your courage, even in the face of such grief.

You inspire us with the profound intelligence of your love.

You show us the healing power of our connection.

I pray that we all have faith in this power, and that we find own courage in the midst of life's incredible sorrows.

As you say, Hummingbird, we only have each other.


"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."

. . . once again is a balm for the soul. Your magnanimous appreciation, so eloquently expressed, brings tears to my eyes.

I send you love across the miles,

- Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Greengirl's picture

Beautiful Connection

Thank you Sarah and Hummingbird for sharing your journey of sisterhood and togetherness with us. The bond you share is truly divine. Shine on!

In admiration,

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Greengirl! Love to you!

You shrine on, too, oh, Magnificent Woman!

- Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Mukut's picture


Such an incredible story. So moving and full of love. We are indeed lucky to witness such love in an equally empowering and loving family of World Pulse.

Thank you for sharing this story. Am touched.

Thank you beautiful Sarah and Hummingbird for telling your story.

Love and hugs to both.

Mukut Ray

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Yes, "an empowering family!"

Hail, Dear Mukut!

Thank you for your words of love, added to ours!

- Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Phinnie's picture

The Power of Friendship

Thank-you for sharing this powerful story of the pain, and hope, and joys that you have shared with one another as you have experienced loss and fear...I believe in the power of connection and the healing that occurs when we feel listened to...May your friendship continue to grow and nurture!



Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Hello, Phinnie!

Yes the power of friendship is a strong, enduring source of support. And the power of listening and feeling listened to is without equal!

Thank your for your remarkable comments and we send you comfort and joy!

- Sarah & Hummingbird

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Phinnie's picture


Great to hear from you! Wishing you a year of hope and healing!

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Same to you,

. . . Dear Phinnie!

- Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Hideko N.'s picture

Sarah, I have found you again

Sarah, I have found you again unexpectedly while I was browsing through some articles. You are amazing person who is capable of extending your hands to the needful. And Hummingbird, your story is not remote from my own experience. My daughter still is in the country that is very corrupt. I am doing all I can now to getting her back. I don't know how, but the most important thing is the empowerment for me to stand up and utter my voice outloud. It took me for sometimes to gather such courage because I was tormented so much physically and psychologically after years of abuse... Gaining courage and confidence after being abused really depends on those around you who have Godly mercy to encourage you.
Thank you for sharing the wonderful story...

Love, Hideko N.

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Hello, Dear Hideko!

Hello, Dear Hideko!

So glad to see you on this page and thank you for reading the story. I think of you and your daughter and cannot imagine how you've endured the separation. I pray that you'll be reunited before long.

Stay strong and hopeful, and know that I send you extra love across the miles.

I know we'll continue to keep in touch, and that is a comfort.

- Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Dearest Hummingbird, Dearest Sarah,

I will never forget being in that university conference room witnessing the moment you both met and the mutual radiance and joy of your embrace! You have both crafted the most tender and powerful expression of true reciprocal healing that is at the core of our community. I wept will reading every word. In you both lives a deep empathy, the known depths of extreme sorrow and the determination to be fierce advocates for a just and joyful life. Thank you for uplifting all of us and providing a path of shared wisdom and sacred friendship.

With love and deep respect,

Kika Sylvie Katchunga's picture

C'est bon

Merci beaucoup de cette histoire que Dieu vous bénisse


Keating's picture

Your Strength

Dear Sister ...

I have no words that can help of this situation; but I can assure you that your story is awe inspiring.

With those like you and your friend, other women would not know how to fin the strength in their vulnerability.

All power to you <3

You both are inspiring messengers for others to stand up and know they are not alone.

Feast your eyes on a hummingbird
humming through the sky
a window drawn for a look to see
a peep from the inside
messenger has arrived
messenger has arrived
messenger in disguise
see the eagle and the hummingbird
as they fly by through the clouds
a window drawn for a look to see
and wash away all your doubts
messenger has arrived
messenger has arrived
so high
so high
so high
messenger has arrived
so high
so high
so high

You share the hardships and show others that they too can put their self doubt aside and believe in themselves to stand up for simple human rights.

With Love


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