Post 9 – The Dispossessed

The Foreign Affairs: The Dispossessed was a very good read. Along with the video, it documented the journey of a few refugees well. The article really illustrated how difficult the process that refugees have to go through, just to be free and feel safe, really is. One thing I did not like was the use of comics. I get that comics are supposed to be entertaining, but given the serious nature of these refugee stories, the comics were not appropriate. The comics in this instance, for me, tried to downplay the stories of these people. They should have stuck to text and pictures throughout the whole article. Yes, the comics did a good job depicting the emotions of the refugees, in the moment, but not overall. The film did an amazing job of documenting people’s experiences escaping their home country in search for a better life. Since this is a video, it affects our emotions more because we can see people’s facial expressions and body language, whereas with the article it was mainly text with a few pictures and comics. What stuck out to me in the video was, the fact that smugglers were banking off of people’s fear. That they had no regard for these people’s safety, the only thing they cared about was getting their money. They would even walk around with guns too. You would think that the smugglers are fearing for their life and their family’s lives too, but they seem very heartless. Compassion for another human being is slowly, but surely making its way out of human nature.  Islam did not play a big role in the article or video. Neither in the video or article, there was no mention of Islam being the main topic. Of course, we can make assumptions that Islamophobia is one of the main reasons, for example, as to way Hungary closed its borders to refugees or why the West pities refugees but doesn’t do anything to help. The closing of borders and the Islamophobia that the West has towards Muslims, will never bring about change and how future generations view Muslims. We are not paving the way for a pluralist world with intercultural compatibility and confrontation. The way the world is progressing in terms of pluralism, there will never be a positive conflict transformation between Islam and the West.

wiIntercultural confrontation and intercultural compatibility both affect conflict transformation because, intercultural confrontation is being able to confront issues that both cultures have with one another, figure out the reason why/how issues between the West and Islam are still set on past historical conflicts.  Intercultural compatibility is being able to share experiences of sameness between Islam and the West. Through narratives insight can be provided into resources that can help people, who wish, to tell a new story that acknowledges the experiences of the “other” and supports aspirations toward intercultural peace. Conflict can be transformed from hostile past historical images that remind both Muslims and Americans of their hatred/dislike for the “other” (vice versa), to positive pluralist images of the future. I agree that discussion of differences and experiences creates a more transparent dialogue that can help either culture understand where and how these feelings and thoughts came about. Open, honest discussion can also lead to productive steps to change mindsets of enemy images of the future generations. The goal of peace between these two cultures has to be established and agreed upon before real change can be started. If one culture has the goal of peace and the other doesn’t, then they will get nowhere, stereotypes and enemy images will still be embedded in one culture, and all proposals for peace and compatibility will fall on deaf ears.

 

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