The 2013 Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner was held at the Hilton Austin on October 20, 2013. The year’s keynote speaker was Coleman Barks, a poet renowned for translating books of Rumi. Barks performed Rumi’s poetry with the aid of Grammy Winner Cellist David Darling. Other speakers include theology, philosophy, and art history professor Dr. Ori Soltes, who discussed the bond between Rumi, Fethullah Gulen, and the Dialogue Institute.
“An opportunity to get to know each other in the informal context of a meal”
Dr. Soltes made thought-provoking comments in his speech before the start of the meal. “We are people of love devoted to God”, the Georgetown University professor quoted Rumi, essentially defining the purpose of the Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner. The Dialogue Institute listens attentively to the teachings of Rumi and Gulen, aiming to serve for the good of people. Inspired by Gulen, the Dialogue Institute goes along with the Hizmet Movement, Hizmet the Turkish word for “service”. In doing so the Institute aims to create altruists, people who serve for the good of others. By hosting of the dinner, as Dr. Soltes pointed out, the Dialogue Institute managed to perform a service for the good of those who attended.