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MEPEACE.org Chat 27 Jun - After-event discussion - Introducing Diaspora and Conflict

Dear Peacemakers!

After each MEPEACE.org Chat Workshop (an event taking place every second Sunday in MEPEACE.org Chat), we (the MEPEACE Dialogue Team, that is Cigdem Yilmazer, Clara Singer, Jessica de Souza, Johanna Silverthorne, Tanya Kasim and myself) open a dedicated 'after-event discussion', in order to give the workshop participants and other interested members the chance to elaborate on their points raised during the workshop, share new ideas on the respective topic with others, and discuss with others about the topic.

Information about our event which successfully took place on 27 June can be found here:

 

http://www.mepeace.org/events/mepeace-chat-june-27

 

 

Please also have a look at the attached summary of the Chat Workshop!

 

 

The leading questions were:

 

What is a diaspora?

In what ways do conflicts affect diasporas?

What diaspora groups exist in the Middle East?

If applicable, how would you describe your life in the diaspora? What role does your national/ethnic identity play in the diaspora?

 

 

During the 90 minutes of live discussion in the MEPEACE.org Chatroom, the participants, together with the moderators, already addressed these questions to a large extent. However, feel free to add anything here. But please stick to the topic

 

Introducing Diaspora and Conflict

 

 

The Dialogue Team won't interfere in this discussion - however, take into account that 'normal' moderation (as in every other discussion) applies - so please observe the MEPEACE.org Guidelines.

We are looking forward to your comments and opinions!


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Oliver I been on vocation in Israel the last 3 weeks, I am back now and I want to be back on the team :)
Great to hear that, Ohad! Hope you enjoyed your vacation. It would be great if you could moderate in the next Online Peace Talks! Looking forward to talk to you..
This might or might not have anything to do with diaspora, but both my parents and I discussed identity and both had warned my sisters and I to not feed into what Arab nationality we considered ourselves because that's feeding into divide and rule. One of my mother's students used to ask her where my dad - and her husband - was from originally, and she said, "Does it matter?" However, the more you resist answering that question, the more other people will try to push you to say something you didn't want to say in the first place.

Basil, I remember after 9/11, most Arab and Muslim organizations in the States were afraid to donate any money for fear they'd be called names, not to mention being paid a visit by law enforcement.
The instructor at my school has a view very similar to your parents. She feels that nationalism is the crux of conflict.
Your instructor is correct. It's very easy to let yourself get caught up in nationalistic fervor if you do let people tell you what nationality you should be. This came out of a conversation I had with my dad ten years ago on our way into Amman for work. He said when he was a young boy, he didn't think of his identity in terms of how much of an Arab anyone was. He wasn't an Arab only, but he said the same thing to me and my sisters two years afterwards: don't let anyone dictate to you what nationality you should be.
The summary of the Chat Workshop is now available for download. Enjoy!

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