Unless you’re familiar with American news and geography, you may have recently heard about the state of Virginia in the news following the unfortunate Charlottesville incident. I personally have a different story and experience with State of Lovers. Although I live in Washington D.C., I have been spending every single Sunday since my arrival to the United States in Arlington, Virginia. Every Sunday morning, my friend Denise comes to pick me up and we go have coffee and doughnuts with friends from The Redeemer church of Arlington.

Like I grew up watching Muslims standing behind an Imam every day for prayer, at Redeemer we stand facing brother Jordon, one of the elders here and a known Christian singer and songwriter, tuning his guitar and next to him his wife and the rest of the band made of church members. Every Sunday we sing the songs he shares with us on Facebook during the week. Later following the sermon, Pastor Eric invites everyone to pray in his way for everyone at Redeemer and the world, then invites the faithful ones to Lord Jesus Christ to come to the altar to eat the sacrament of the Eucharist. Later on we go out together to play softball or have a meal… they are my second family…

"Here in the presence of Christ I'll stand".

A post shared by Aymen Abderahmen (@aymen_ba) on

Two days ago, I have shared a post on the Facebook group of the Redeemer family, to thank to thank the members of the Church and told them that I was ready to accompany those who wanted to learn about Tunisia and North Africa, or teach them Arabic and/or French. Few hours later, I have received a message from someone thanking me for volunteering to do this gratis. He told me that he wanted to learn French tomorrow morning if possible! I asked him if he had a test to prepare for or something like that. He replied: I want to learn French so I can teach it later to my 2-years-old little daughter. My wife spoke French fluently but she passed away few months ago, may God have mercy on her soul. My wife would have taught her French. I want to do that for her. I just wanted to share with you a different story, with no comment or interpretation as I always do, for what happened here means a lot to me. Peace be with you all.