Participant blogger #6

“Yesterday we start our afternoon section by having presentation leaded by the former representative of Polisario,  Sidi Omar in UN in Skype,  but due to technical problems we could not manage to hear him even though we could make few question. It was sad for me because I was waiting for this presentation as he is such amazing person, and I wanted the other participants to listen to Polisario perspective as they have heard from Algerian perspective.

“After dinner yesterday we got a call from the national radio in the camps, they were asking us to give a short report about what is happing in the program and why the student from Layounne and Morocco did not come. We gave them a general idea about what is happening, we told them that we do not have any answer about why they were stopped, and Andrew is going to the Moroccan embassy, so we hope that they have answer to that.

“I went to the Drag show. I really did not like the idea but it was nice to see it.

“Today’s section started by thinking to have question about our life stories in the Group dialogue and we agreed about it. After that we started talking about pitfalls on the path of conflict resolution:

– Unclear agreement (we have to be clear about what we agree about)

– Tolerance rather than respect and connect (respects and connects and do not just tolerate)

– Seeking strategies before understanding (understand before giving strategies)

– Compromising and giving up needs without empathy connection.

“Those ones helped me a lot in the rest of the section.

We divided to 3 groups:

-Refugee camps perspective

-Moroccan perspective

-Moroccan controlled Sahara perspective.

“I was in the refugee perspective group with 4 other people who I have never have a long discussion with, so it was a great opportunity to share my own story with them,  and to answer their questions,  which helped me a lot to know more about them and to feel comfortable to talk to them.

“I felt so happy to have people who have interest to hear my story and to listen to me.

“They tried to know my needs and my feeling while I was telling my story. After while we were asked to chose the main 4 important needs; we chose

-Security.

-Self determination.

-Having home land.

-International acceptance.

“That is what I really thought that are important need for the people in refugee camps.

“Each group has their needs as well, and I understand their needs. I felt in this workshop that we really used what have we learned so far in the conflict itself.

“In the break we got a call from Andrew saying that the Moroccan embassy are not happy with what we are writing in the blog, they see that we are going to one side.

“It was really difficult for me to understand it because they are the one who stopped the Moroccan students from coming and they did not want to give us their perspective I do not see any reason why they are blaming us. I felt so confused.

“In the end of the workshop we made requests to the other group, I found it difficult because I was afraid that they might not understand my needs.

“Afternoon section was presentation about cultural artefacts, we started talking about what design; the definition was a method can be applied for different problems. She talked about her project in the camps. I felt so happy to see this kind of projects which I saw it important for the people in the camps. We finished by having an exercise about giving a function of an object; we got many ideas but we felt that thread wool will be a good function.

“I finished my day with amazing Sahrawi cup of tea, which gave me a lot of energy and it remind me by many stories ……”

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