Zoom in and meet the world..

This week we have a post from my very good friend, our advisory board member in Gaza and UNRWA education specialist, Rida Thabet.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 15.22.14
Sharing our lovely mugs! (from Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem)

Long ago, when I was a child, I was given a plastic toy that looked like a camera. It was a gift from a pilgrim returning from Mecca. It was a common gift for children at that time. We were able to zoom in and out and scenes from around the world were displayed.

Last Monday, I had an experience that reminded me of those days. It was when I joined the Hands Up Project’s intercultural show and tell session. With nearly all corners of the world represented now in our work, with people from as far afield as China and Nepal in the east and Brazil and Argentina in the west it looks like the world has come together hanging in the air for one hour for joy and interaction.

Teachers and students from around the world met to talk about things that means to them. It was a deep and meaningful experience to listen to different people talking about their favourite photos, gifts, books, plants and talking about trophies and medals that represent their successful moments in life. We listened to stories behind pictures and we lived moments in the lives of people seen for the first time. They reminded us with similar objects we once had or still have and with similar feelings or moments life.

We were paired to take turns listening to each other before re-joining the others. Our task was to represent our partner and talk about the dear item he or she had chosen.

You not only need to repeat what your partner has said, but to live the story behind it and to experience the feeling he or she had experienced. It is a lesson to look at things from others’ perspectives, to feel empathy for others. Some objects that may seem meaningless to you might mean a lot to other people. It reminds us to listen with our ears but also with our hearts as well.   If people listen with their hearts and learn how to tell the stories of others, the world would be a better place.

If you want to be part of this and want to live the experience, just zoom in with the Hands up Project one Monday or many Mondays.

4 thoughts on “Zoom in and meet the world..

  1. As a primary school teacher for 25 years, ‘Show and Tell’ was a staple Friday afternoon activity in my classroom. The children would look forward to it all week and would eagerly bring in a variety of special things from home:sports medals, stories they’d written or special objects. It was a time for me as a teacher to sit back and listen and allow the children to ‘do their thing’. Sometimes children would sing a song they’d learned or even do a dance. It was great for building confidence and developing respectful relationships within the classroom. As an extra grammar point I would invite the children to either ask a question, make a statement or give a command. So, “Tell us that story again!” or “I really like your special gift” we’re all typical responses as well as a wide variety of questions. The Zoom “Show and Tell” sessions are great , I might re-invent them for my adult English classes. Thanks for the memories!


    1. Hi Sue. I thought it might be you! Thanks a lot for your comment and thanks too for being in the session. I think Show and Tell is great for adults too. When I worked at the Sharek Arabic Language and Culture Centre in London we used to have a course for learners of Arabic called ‘Show and tell for adults’ (We quickly changed the name to ‘Show and tell for grown ups’ because we didn’t want people to get the wrong idea! 🙂 ) Here’s an example with me doing it as a beginner learner of Arabic. I think it’s one of the richest language learning experiences I’ve had. https://youtu.be/jkVFrXKIiRk


  2. Thanks Mrs Rida , you always rock!
    I love what you said that we should.listen by our hearts because this is the way to.value.others. As a teacher , I think if.the thing goes from..my heart , it will.directly come into the learners’ hearts . This world is like an umbrella and we are all under it . We share the same root of being human beings and learning the language , but we are different in other aspects like cultural.backgrounds . The more we share , the more we care and the world.will be an amazing place ❤❤❤


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