Words, Wealth, Chance and Choice

11 months ago

On February 17th 2020, Knowledge University (KNU) engaged in a dialogue with Penn State University, as a part of their weekly World in Conversation program. The topics of discussion were distributed according to the time of the dialogue session, the first thirty minutes, which are dedicated to knowing who the participants are-probing into factors that have affected their lives such as where they come from, what sort of words or phrases that the participants use and others don’t , and so ono, revolved around the question “What is a word that people where you are from use, and not everyone uses?”. This question alone helps the facilitators of the dialogue, through proper questioning, determine whether the participant is a native to the region where they come from or otherwise. The second forty five minutes are dedicated to knowing what is going on in the dialogue-what the participants are saying and thinking regarding a statement or a question proposed by the dialogue facilitators, and the question was that day “How do we understand wealth when we account for both chance and choice?”. The purpose of this question is to open up new horizons that the participants may or may have never thought of, leading everyone in the room to think together, which is the ultimate goal in a facilitated dialogue.

Participants and Facilitators

In a facilitated dialogue, it is impossible to conduct one without having facilitators and participants, the participants were; from right to left

Chya Kawes Anwar

Mohammed Syamand Nasih

Ahmed Ibrahim Saeed

Razar Salar Jallalbag

The facilitators were

Mohammed Khabat Naif

Shahad Bahjat Mohammed-Redha

Both the participants and the facilitators, with the help of Mr. Mohammed Kyani, the head of the Department of English (DENL), and the media and advertisement team, made remarkable feats in the discussions of the dialogue.

The Dialogue

In every dialogue session we have had with Penn State University, both the participants and the facilitators work in a harmonious rhythm to present an image and bring out ideas never heard of before, and this session is no different than any other before it. Many viewpoints and ideas were challenged and questioned, even more opinions were examined and poked at, leading us to uncharted territories of collaboration and brand new ideas. It was a great session.

After much discussion and even more questions, the time to conclude the dialogue had arrived, and as with every weekly dialogue session, a concluding question must be asked by the facilitators, the answer to the question must not be examined, for it is a concluding statement, so to speak. The question was “If you were to continue this conversation, where would you take it?” Some participants wanted to take this conversation to the daily routines and lives of the students in Penn State University, others wanted to know more about what they study and so on. In the end, we all shared our answers and we all had to part ways, with the promise of meeting again in another weekly dialogue session.

Report by Mohammed Khabat Naif

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