Friday, 21 November 2008

The Image in People's Minds

After I'm done with school work or jogging, I normally just want to relax so I do what a lot of other people do around the world which is watching TV or going online. When I'm online I check my mail, go on facebook, read people's blogs or read the news, and if I'm watching TV after I'm done with work which means that my dad is at home and he wants to watch the news so I end up watching the news with him and this is when I get to see and hear everything that’s going on through the media. Since we people get to hear things so often we start to believe them (just like commercials and when we get the product we realize that we have been fooled again) especially if we weren't there and have no idea what's going on and need something to build an idea on in our heads so we use the media to fill the gap. I realized recently how deformed the images are that we have of other people.

Last week I came back from Oman, where an UNESCO workshop of the European-Arab Dialogue was held, named "learning for sustainability in a world of cultural diversity taking responsibility for the future". We discussed topics such as water, biodiversity, thoughts, urbanization, mobility, home, tradition and integration. Tradition and Religion were the most difficult topics as you can imagine. We also ended up with a new topic "media" since it plays such a big role in people's lives and is a big factor on how people think. We formed groups that presented interpretations to the topics mentioned above in different ways such as dance, arts, theatre and film. Students and teachers from different countries such as Germany, Denmark, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and our host country Oman joined to make this workshop happen. I hope I didn't forget a country. The workshop was great, I learned a lot and got to know a lot of really nice people. We spent time not only working but also talking and getting to know the "others". Working, talking and living with them made us see sides of the people from different cultures and countries we didn't know existed through the media that has formed an image in our heads, but in the short period of time we had I couldn't believe how well we all got along and that we actually are able to communicate. It was impossible to see the other person through the media imposed glasses. We enjoyed our time talking and joking and we also reached at some discussions touchy points but for me it was just to be tolerant and accept others just as I want to be accepted and tolerated. I think we all got along because we could do that.

Some of us girls going crazy.

This is the group at dinner.

Wel, I really hope that more workshops of this kind will be set so more students are able this experience.

Just today I read something in a book that I am reading right now which is related to this topic and I liked it so much so I wanted to share it with you. "To me, that's what traveling is all about. Meeting people, learning to not only appreciate a different culture, but really enjoy it like a local.
It’s a quote of a book called "he Choice"by Nicholas Sparks. He is the same author who wrote "A Walk to Remember" or "The Ntebook" which most people probably know as movies. Some people would say they are cheesy chick flicks but I can't help it, I like them.

1 comment:

Beate Knappe said...

dieses Buch habe ich auch gelesen :-))