In Photographs: The Travel of Bangsamoro Minister Naguib Sinarimbo in Europe

Rain welcomes delegates to UNICEF event in Madrid, Spain.

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  • EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — Scitech and Digital News 

MANILA (SDN) — Once in a while you get the chance to visit multiple foreign cities in one single travel.

They are the lucky ones — travelers on official business sponsored by and on invitation from governments, international organizations, and other patrons.

As has been said often quoted and cited, “Travel erases bigotry!”

That’s a quote from Mark Twain, American popular author whose real name is Samuel Clemens. A traveler and author of many classic novels, as well as his immortal stories on the adventures and misadventures of the young Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.

Traveling is both an opportunity and a learning experience. Travelers get to know and learn about other people, their culture, religion, idiosyncracy, language, things to do and not do while in a foreign land, historical and cultural icons, among other things.

Not too many people, though, have the privilege traveling through someone’s pocket. Of the lucky travelers for free are invited and sponsored government officials, journalists, sportsmen, and others.

Lawyer Naguib G. Sinarimbo, head of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), is one such lucky “Travelin’ Man”.

Remember the Creedence Clearwater Revival’s lyrics for the song above:

“737 comin’ out of the sky
Oh, won’t you take me down to Memphis
On a midnight ride?
I wanna move…”

Well, Sinarimbo is moving around in some famous European cities on account of his participation at the “UNICEF East Asia-Europe Child Friendly Cities Interregional Exchange: A Policy Dialogue” that was staged in Madrid, Spain, on September 4 and 5.

After the conference in the Spanish city, the Bangsamoro official and his fellow participants are moving on to some European cities to visit and observe best policies and practices on achieving cities that are child friendly. Hopefully, to adopt to the BARMM situation at least some of those best practices.

Which was what Sinarimbo said about his observation of his participation in the UNICEF forum.

“The Exchange is to provide a platform for knowledge and experience sharing on child-friendly environments for Asia and Europe delegations. We will hear both from experts and practitioners during the sessions and actual visits to child-friendly cities here in Europe.”

The MILG chief reiterated this in his visit to Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

“I am sure there would be many lessons to learn from here that can be applied to our cities in the Bangsamoro. The drive is to create cities that are fit for children. After all, a city that is fit for children is fit for all.”

Helsinki Central Public Library.

Here’s how he describes his visit to Finland.

“Helsinki, Finland is a child-friendly city. Having said that, this city has certainly taken its drive for child-friendly city far beyond ordinary cities. Its streets are all designed for improving mobility, and everywhere you go, the spaces are child friendly. The care for children has been taken seriously in the design of spaces and public buildings.
“I am inside the massive and impressive Helsinki Central Library (photo above) and to be very candid, I have never been to a public library of this kind. Its architecture is superb but what’s inside it is beyond great. It has books, yes. But beyond books there are also workshop areas, spaces for kids and toddlers, arts workshops, cafes, and even 3 D printing areas. It is where I have a first-hand experience of 3D printing.
“Some spaces are even designed to look like streetside public spaces to attract the youngsters to stay in this library.
“Just amazing.”
Madrid cityscape.
Of course, travel means a bubbly hot cup of coffee, too.
Helsinki library.
International delegates to the UNICEF conference.

Sinarimbo’s take about Spain:

“Beyond this conference, Spain or Al Andalusia is important for us Bangsamoro as it was once ruled by the Moors, from where the Spanaiards who came to our shores in 1521 named us collectively because of our similar religion with their once rulers, from the early 8th Century well into the 15th Century. This is why, despite serious efforts to erase traces of the Moorish rule in this country, it is still very much apparent and alive. That conquest ofcourse bequeathed to Europe a great civilization that awaken this continent from its deep slumber during the Dark Ages into the Renaissance. The great cities of Andalucia produced some of the best minds in Muslim world as well as triggered education and learning in Europe such as in the city of Toledo. From this country just across West Africa, learning gradually spread across Europe.” (/)

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