Prof. Richard Webb is a Professor and Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Humanities at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He received the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Musicology from University of Cincinnati. He is the Organ Principal of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. He has performed solo concerts and appeared as guest artist with orchestras throughout the United States, England and Spain.

“One of great impression, not only of its humanistic, spiritual, global, welcoming, and communal aspects, but also of its service, its importance in the structural, social organization not only of Turkey, but of the concepts of inclusion, of dialog, of education as a principal factor, that have made it a global force.”

“In one of his poems, Mr. Gülen, and I must paraphrase this. At one time, I think I could quote several of the stanzas with great accuracy, but it essentially says that “when we come together in this presence, we leave as emeralds. We leave glowing,” as I believe is the terminology he uses in Turkish. “We leave glowing, as emeralds.” That kind of depth, that a brilliant emerald would have, I think is emblematic of the world effect that the Hizmet Movement, and Mr. Gülen personally, have had globally.”

“When one compares other civic movements around the world to Hizmet, one of the first things that occurs to my mind, now with the familiarity I’ve been privileged to have with the organization, is its decentralization, which gives everyone who participates, from the smallest circle of five, ten, maybe four around a table, drinking tea or coffee, to much larger groups…I believe that with the circular aspect, with the growing inclusion and the decentralization, that each person that participates feels a sense that whatever they are able to contribute.”