A video dialogue program for young women in the USA and Muslim countries
April 29th, 2008 at 8:20 pm
Posted by Zia in Uncategorized

We just held our final two sessions of this year’s program.

New techology. Last week’s session dealt with issues of technology: how new technologies were changing our lives. We talked about the technologies that were most important to us: the Internet, cell phones and cars were all mentioned as technologies that had changed our life. Our participants also mentioned that these technologies would vary by generation: our parents’ generation, for example, was more influenced by the arrival of new appliances for the home, whereas we took these things for granted. We also discussed the impact new technologies had on small children, and how important it was for parents to ensure their children were not influenced in a bad way by all that the new technologies enable.

Globalization. Our final session was on the impact of globalization. There was much discussion of what globalization means: for us in the US, it conjures images of companies in Asia becoming more competitive than their American counterparts. In Tunisia, there was concern about protecting local customs in the face of global, often American-influenced culture. One participant asked the US group what we’d think of globalization if global culture was dominated more by Eastern thinking and customs rather than typically Western ones. Overall, there was consensus that our increasingly global world could be good in many ways, but that you had to also ensure that many different cultures could thrive rather than being eradicated by a single global identity. 

It was sad to finish up our program after so many sessions, but our participants promised to e-mail each other and to keep in touch. With any luck, this will be the start rather than the end of our interactions!


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October 21st, 2007 at 9:03 pm
Posted by Zia in Uncategorized

We’re close to finalizing the list of bios for participants in both NYC and Gabes - have a look at our new lineup!


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October 14th, 2007 at 7:14 pm
Posted by Zia in Uncategorized

We have a great US group coming together for the program; later this week my counterparts in Tunisia (Hajer and Fethia) will be speaking with students at the University of Gabes to identify our group in Tunisia. 

Assembling new participants has been one of the most exciting parts of the program. I’m always amazed that so many people in both locations are anxious to take part in the conversation - there’s definitely an enormous interest in learning more about each other’s societies.

Stay tuned to hear more about our program launch within the next 2-3 weeks!


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September 29th, 2007 at 2:46 pm
Posted by Zia in Uncategorized

I’m very excited to be planning for our second year of 12 Hours of Dialogue. Over the next few months, I’ll be updating the blog with a few details on the program and summaries of our sessions. We’ll be drawing from the same two universities as last year: I’ve got an amazing group of women from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) on board for our 2007-2008 program; in Tunisia, we’re hoping to assemble our group of graduate students from the University of Gabes by mid- to late October. 

Coming soon: a list of participants and bios, as well as a countdown to our first session.


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April 13th, 2007 at 7:54 am
Posted by Zia in Uncategorized

We had a terrific final session yesterday on the topic of globalization. I will continue to update the site - and will provide a write-up of our last session and video clips soon - but in the meantime, I wanted to thank those who made the program such a success.

Thanks to Hajer and Fethia for their hours of work in Gabes, and to Karim for introducing us. Thanks to Malek for troubleshooting all of our technology issues in Gabes, and to Don and his team for helping us out with the technology in New York. Thanks to our participants in Gabes and New York for their insightful comments, and for being so open to hearing others’ points of view. I think it’s been an incredible experience for everyone involved.


March 7th, 2007 at 11:58 am
Posted by Zia in Uncategorized

We have just two more videoconferences to go - tomorrow’s session will address the use of new technology.

Video clips of this upcoming session (as well as of our last two) will indeed be coming, most likely over the next week.


February 20th, 2007 at 1:37 pm
Posted by Zia in Uncategorized

Coming early next week: a write-up - and hopefully a few video clips - of last week’s session on crime and violence. Interesting discussion on the prevalence of gangs in the US to preventing crime to staying safe as a woman.

Our next session (topic: environmental issues) will be one week from Thursday.