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