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The idea of friendship projects a range of timeless human emotions and values, some prized and others abhorrent viz. love, trust, compassion, reconciliation, betrayal, and loss. Throughout human experience, and across cultures, this theme of friendship has found expression in historical accounts, literature, poetry, religion, ritual, and performance. The men and women who forged these ties of friendship had to cross differences of culture, ethnicity, caste, class, race, nation, religion, and gender in order to build relationships that were based on dialogue, mutual trust and respect. One could argue that the human capacity to build friendships holds great promise in our troubled and broken world, especially in the twenty-first century.

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