Mohammad H. Qayoumi: A favorite poem

Saadi, 13th century Persian poet

I believe this poem very eloquently states the common roots and linkages that all of us have as part of the human race. The analogy of the human body to the human race sagaciously demonstrates that if one person is suffering, it is the suffering of all humankind. By this assertion our insouciance to other humans’ pain anywhere questions our worthiness to be considered as part of the human community. Thus, our common elements as part of the human race clearly eclipse any differences that we may perceive by any set of measures or metrics.

The English translation of the poem is posted in the halls of the United Nations.

Mohammad H. Qayoumi, President
California State University, East Bay
Incoming President, San José State University



Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul,

If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.

If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.

Saadi

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