I will try to be as short as my laptop’s battery will allows me, as my charger broke down this morning, and I don’t know what a Blogger like me will do without using his own laptop, my assignment for tonight is to find a computer shop or whatever to buy a new one!
I wanted to comment on what happened on that workshop of the ALF Blogger Network; we were sitting Me, Stephane, Majd, Carmel and Bahz. Then Xavi tried to explain to the people that he will divide them into small groups, and every group will share with us their ideas and thoughts about social media; trying to express their own opinion in both its opportunities and challenges.
9 Persons, that’s was the number or more that ran outside of the room, in a funny shocking way that kept us laughing, okay Xavi stop them! But he was brave enough to prove that this idea of participation is not a movie that you can watch, or a nice show you can laugh or comment on it, but no, it’s a game, that you have to be part of it, and to play it goes.
After the workshop and the live demo on how to become a blogger, I told them that I’m happy with the people who stayed, and for the guys that ran out of the room when they heard the word participation! Come on! Nothing is impossible until proven wrong!
Keep Safe and Brave!
Mohamed Ezz Aldin (Egypt)
What was it all about? We’re drawing to the end of the second day. I decided to follow the Building Bridges, Restoring Trust strand but as I look back on these two days there are some themes which kept recurring:
This was a theme heard most often in relation to the southern shores of the Mediterranean but what I heard nothing about and which I think is equally worrying is the massive declines in voter turnout in the North. The North may have the trappings of democracy but for how much longer if no-one takes part? Maybe the good news story here is that people are participating in other ways. But the only massive turnout I’ve heard about is for the Big Brother evictions.
Can I just say how strange it is to be participating in a conference of over 800 people, and only have two or three people blogging and twittering?
I know that only a small number of those 800 people work in the media, but we’re all here talking about intercultural dialogue. And one of the main way intercultural dialogue takes place, in the world we live in today, is through the internet. It’s used positively and negatively, to promote dialogue and dissent. And in America, it’s now the third most popular news platform, falling behind local and national television outlets, according to the latest Pew Research Center report released last week.
So where is everyone?
Everyone talks about dialogue here, but what is the meaning of dialogue? Is dialogue even happening when the parties come with their fixed agenda and just wanna be heard?
I must confess I’m not much of an activist or a political person so I only had 3 genuine conversations with Palestinians in my life (2 of them in ALF) but all 3 left me with little hope of peaceful coexistence in the horizon. Last night at dinner it finally caught up with me: A dialogue cannot happen when there is no real listening. Obviously we grew up on very different narratives we both perceive as the complete truth, and probably both of them aren’t the whole truth. But as long as every Palestinian I meet thinks his narrative is the only truth, how can there be dialogue?
Those with an interest in large group dynamics may suggest that more interaction is needed but I witnessed yesterday that simply the suggestion that the audience should discuss a topic in small groups caused a large percentage of the audience to get up and walk out! This was the session on social media and its role in promoting intercultural dialogue so getting the audience to talk to each other was entirely justified and contributed immediately to a blog post on the blog specially created for the forum.
So while many would advocate a more participative approach, it would seem that the participants are not ready for this.
Youth and Education ( Youth Policies )
After a comprehensive presentation by Mr. Khalid Louhichi ( The representative of Arab League ) on the reality of the Arab youth , challenges , obstacles and hope. followed by a provocative presentation by Haythem Kamel o the civil society organization , his presentation brought many challenging questions , are the civil society organization the same ? or shall we distinguish between the governmental and the non governmental , profit making or not. the two presentations brought so many essential topics to be discussed between the speakers and the audience.