Soliya Session 2

        Thankfully throughout this session almost all team members participated and shared their perspectives, which was very beneficial for the discussion because I was able to recognize the importance of being…mindful. The facilitator asked many questions regarding being an Egyptian or Middle Eastern in general, in order to help create a clear image for those from other cultures. This was a little bit difficult because before speaking, I really had to think of the importance of being honest and cautious, in order to avoid unnecessary conflict. For example, we were asked to explain our routine and lifestyle to the Americans, given that most of my team members are Middle Eastern, I thought to myself that they’ll probably think we’re being defensive or simply exaggerating, because almost all team members said only good/luxurious statements, but avoided saying any actually struggles, even if it is as simple as traffic. Furthermore, then we talked about the importance of intercultural interaction, as it is necessary to help create a stronger imagery than the one media has established. As a result of this topic, two of my team mates that are American, stated that the media depicts the Middle East as ‘unsafe’, therefore, they are happy to see and understand our culture. This was when I recognized that it is very weird how most Arabs know about the culture and lifestyle of Americans, for example, and have visited America multiple times. Whereas, numerous Americans do not really know a lot about the Middle Eastern lifestyle…Therefore, I was happy to see that I had the chance to actually represent my culture, through honesty and mindfulness.

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