Using Skype to leap barriers
Esra’a Al Shafei from Mideast Youth, a network of students, bloggers and activists aimed at eliminating extremist ideologies and ignorance from the Middle East, is showing us how Skype can be used to overcome barriers through the simple act of conversation.
In a post on the Mideast Youth website, Esra’a, a 21-year-old student from Bahrain, talks about a Skype conference call between members of her network and American high-school students in Pennsylvania.
While this link-up may be modest in scale, it is a laudable effort that contributes to the rather noble aims Mideast Youth has set for itself: democratic coexistence and the elimination of extremist ideologies and ignorance from the Middle East. “Arabs, Iranians, Kurds, and Israelis post side-by-side to prove the fact that moderation, interfaith understanding, and sanity does exist in the region,” the group explains on its website.
It’s satisfying to see young people use the Web, and Skype, to strive toward understanding across barriers not of their own making. This particular initiative won’t bring about change on its own, but even a marathon consists of lots of little steps.