Pandas for Peace!

Asalaam alaikum!

Did you know that animals can help bring good relations between countries insha Allah?  Especially pandas?  It’s true.

File:Lightmatter panda.jpg

(from Wikipedia)

In 1972, President Richard Nixon went to China during the height of the Cold War.  (Your parents can tell you about the Cold War, insha Allah.)  The United States, being a capitalist and democratic country, didn’t get along with China, which was a communist and non-democratic country.

But President Nixon thought it was a good idea to try.  And China said “Okay, come on over and visit.”  And the US and China didn’t become perfect friends, but no one is perfect. And, you have to start somewhere.

So, what does this have to do with pandas?  Well, as a goodwill gift to the United States, China gave two pandas to the National Zoo in Washington DC, the most awesome zoo on the planet, masha Allah.  Those pandas’ names were Hsing Hsing (sounds like Sing Sing) and Ling Ling.  They represented the new friendship between the US and China.  The giant pandas were agents of diplomacy.  Diplomacy means figuring out a way to be cooperative and friendly, even if it is not easy.

(Those pandas were adorable, according to my neighbor Miss Debby, who got to see them when she was about my age.)

Today, there are a few zoos in the US that have pandas.  This link (http://www.giantpandazoo.com/panda/) goes to a panda place, where you can find info about the brand spanking new panda at the National Zoo.  It is a cute little thing, but it sure doesn’t look like a panda bear yet.

Peace is best.  Allahu alim.

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