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London and Oman, 19/12/2011

A young leader from Connecting Cultures shares her experience

Elaine Penniket, one of the UK participants, was on the recent December journey with Connecting Cultures. Elaine came to visit the MBI Al Jaber Foundation staff to speak to us about her experience in Oman. In her own words…

On the 8th December 2011, a team of 14 girls from a variety of Euro and Arab nations set off on a five day journey to the Sharqiya Sands of Oman. This wilderness journey aimed to promote intercultural dialogue and identify shared values reducing the polarisation of cultures. And what a privilege! Yes there were sand-dunes, camels, star-filled skies and lunar eclipses; but its a project that inspires, that challenges. With no technology to hide behind, no TV to distract, you can simply be people together and discover that we aren't so different after all. That the Arab world isn't to be feared.

Edmund Burke motto was often quoted that, 'all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.' Daunting words and a reminder of our responsibility to our community, our country and our world. This was just one of the challenges initiated by the skilled staff and there aren't sufficient superlatives to describe the experience it is a building block for change. 'Young Global leaders' the template declares: scary words but this initiative leads you to hope, to believe that it can come true.


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