"Grapes," a poem by Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th century poet and mystic. The poem describes an argument among four wise men who all want grapes but don't know it because they speak different languages. The lesson: People must understand each other or be lost to bickering.
"Sufism is nothing more but love of God and love of other human beings," said Nooraee. "And Rumi is the greatest teacher" of the Sufi Way.
Americans who haven't heard of Rumi probably will soon as the world celebrates his 800th birthday Sept. 30.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has declared 2007 the International Year of Rumi. Fans and followers are organizing readings and concerts, while the legendary Whirling Dervishes, inspired by Rumi, tour the world. Given the tensions between the Islamic and Western worlds, many Muslims and non-Muslims alike welcome an occasion to reflect on Rumi's message.