A video dialogue program for young women in the USA and Muslim countries
November 1st, 2006 at 5:24 am
Posted by Zia in Participant contributions

Two quick thoughts on the value videoconferencing has added to our sessions:
The visual element. While the Internet itself provides an unprecedented platform for connecting people around the globe, what’s been amazing is how important we’ve found the additional visual contact to be in helping to build relationships across our two cultures. Several of the US participants have commented on how critical body language has been to understanding the women in Tunisia – it makes an enormous difference seeing what makes them laugh, what doesn’t seem to resonate, and how they engage with their friends and colleagues in Gabes. Indeed, observing the reactions and interactions of our counterparts has probably been as eye-opening as the conversation itself.
The “home” factor. Videoconferencing also affords a unique situation in that participants are taking part where they feel most at ease, that is, in their home environments. The participants have felt free to speak freely – there’s no concern about saying things that might put them in an uncomfortable situation. It’s enabled us to broach subjects in a completely open manner, and tackle subjects that might take a while to reach in the course of a traditional, in-person conversation.