Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tech and Me

I came across this video on ARCALL wiki a wiki created by my friends Nelba and Jennifer Verschoor for the Argentine Association in Computer Assisted Language Learning. I felt it talks about ME!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Building Blocks for Citizenship & Peaceful Transition

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We have a proverb in Sudanese colloquial Arabic that says" Sudanese eat, drink and breath politics. They are breast-fed with politics". These are the terms that I am "eating", "drinking" and breathing these days: Conflict Management, Democratic Principles in the Sudanese context, Case studies of Parliamentary elections, Presidential elections in Egypt, Kenya Congo . Negotiation Skills,: Elections as a Negotiation Process, Responsibilities of Citizens in Peaceful Elections: Volunteering , Conflict Styles, Democracy and Pluralism, developing undergraduate Peace studies programs.
Dr.Mutasim, a very dear friend of mine, PhD in Arabic language asked me to take his place as an interpreter in a workshop held by the Institute for the Development of Civil and society, East Nile University, and the U.S Institute of Peace. The workshop title was “Electoral Violence Prevention: Building Blocks or Citizenship and Peaceful Transition", It took place in January6-8 2009-02-03.
I took the job!
Yes, people get excited about new experiences, but I got way too excited and overwhelmed by the experience to the extent that I am thinking of changing career (I hope it will pass away soon:-)I love teaching!)I thought that all Sudanese youth are indulged in trivial interests which will take Sudan to the grave. However, seeing and watching tens of motivated youth in the workshop,from all ages and races,working in civil society organizations, obsessed with knowing how to get hold of ways to help in conflict resolution in our country, is what drifted me from my classroom walls. Themes? War in Darfur, Southern Sudan, Northern Sudan at Marawy Dam, Eastern Sudan with the Nuggara tribe and even North-west where others are trying to do the same, to divide!
What was amazing was that participants represented all parties in Sudan, from all four directions. It was amazing to see them all working in harmony to reach agreements and suggest ways to conflict resolutions.
The presenters helped a lot in open participants' eyes on new and innovative ways of holding workshops. Telling about their own private stories during Obama’s elections was the part that took participants' hearts ways. They ended up saying” Wow! We are faaar away back on the stick!!” (Authentic translation”.
I felt I am helping a nation to go forward. So, here I am, beyond the classroom walls, and even inside my classroom walls,I strongly believe that I am also helping the nation by teaching English language, without which the new generation will not be able to compete in the job sphere of sustaining peace and development.
I asked the most active young man in the workshop if I an accept my daughter,as a volunteer, after finishing her exams, to join their organization. They were pleased with the idea, and how much I am offering her as a mother. I hope she will love the experience.I know she will!
Technology wise: I couldn't stop tweeting and jotting down points for further blogging. When one of the American Instructors asked me" Where did you learn all these tips and tricks?" guess what was my answer?