Archive for June, 2011

absolutely intercultural 138 +++ Saudi Arabia +++ Iraq +++ NYOI +++ Diversophy +++ Refugee Week +++

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Diversophy logoIn this show we’ll be hearing about how games can help your intercultural awareness. We’ll also be following up on a couple of items from the last show by going to Iraq to hear more about the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq initiative which brought Arab and Kurdish Iraqis together to make music and we’ll be re-visiting the issue of the right of Saudi women to drive cars in cities.
absolutely independent:
In the last show we went absolutely independent when we heard about the Saudi women who were going to drive their cars on June 17th in a bid to convince the authorities to accept this practice. Actually June 17th was not meant as a one-off but as a start date, but it seems that the day went well with quite a few women driving their cars with only minor brushes with the police as a result. This is in contrast to what happened with a similar action in 1990 when the women then were harassed by the authorities and other citizens and described as ‘The fallen: Advocates of vice and corruption on Earth’. ‘A source of depravity’ and when other citizens were advised to ‘Take whatever action you see fit’ to bring them under control. What’s the difference between then and now? Perhaps that, because of social media, the eyes of the world were on Saudi Arabia on this occasion.

absolutely social
So does social media such as Twitter and Facebook have an effect on culture? That is a question which I shall be exploring as part of a webinar organised by Christine Develotte and Fred Dervin on June 29th.  More specifically we will be looking at whether social media can actually contribute to developing intercultural competences. You will find the link to the free webinar here.

absolutely playful
We’ve covered games before and today we’re going to hear from George Simons working with Kati Volt about his Diversophy game, how it works and a bit of background about how the game is made. So how can you gain some intercultural awareness through a game? George Simons of Diversophy.com explains the game which started out as a face to face card game but now also comes in online and Android smart phone format. We also hear about sample cards in the game and how people react to them. In fact George and I had a great deal more to talk about; too much for one show, so you’ll be hearing more from George and his gaming approach in future shows. In the meantime you might like to try one of the Diversophy Android apps on your Smart phone.

absolutely musical
Now let’s be absolutely musical and hear a little more about that incredible orchestra put together by audition on YouTube which puts together traditional enemies, Arabs and Kurds, to play together in an Orchestra which is due to perform at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn this coming October. In previous shows we have heard from Paul MacAlindin, the conductor and Karin Wolf, the viola teacher, as well as the RheinAhr Campus students whose task it was to find a way of raising awareness of the event. In this show I will play you an extract from one of the videos put together to explain the background to this very special orchestra. You can see and hear the whole video here.

absolutely desperate
Did you know that this week is international refugee week? In Australia it was marked by an amazing reality show, Asylum Exit Australia: Go back to where you came from , in which over three consecutive nights you followed the journey of six ordinary Australians who made the refugee journey to Australia backwards; in the words of the programme makers :

Deprived of  their wallets, phones and passports, they board a leaky refugee boat, are rescued mid-ocean, experience immigration raids in  Malaysia, live in a Kenyan refugee camp and visit slums in Jordan  before ultimately making it to the Democratic Republic of Congo and  Iraq, protected by UN Peacekeepers and the US military. For some of  them it’s their first time abroad. For all of them, it’s an epic  journey and the most challenging experience of their lives.

This is all about trying to walk in the shoes of others or leaving your comfort zone and is meant to confront viewers with their stereotypes of refugees as spongers and taking the easy option and so on. For the moment this has only been broadcast on Australian TV.  But the TV company have added another way in which you can get a taste of what it might be like to have all your normal certainties suddenly taken away from you, in the form of  a simulation. The game starts in Australia where, through some unamed political developments, you are suddenly in extreme danger of your life and need to escape. How does it feel to have to leave the place you consider home, to suddenly not know who you can trust? These are the sorts of issues which the game explores. You can try it out for free. I’d be interested to hear your reactions so do add a comment here after playing it. .

Ways to support “The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq”:

The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq would especially welcome your support on the various social media sites if you have a moment or two to spare.

YOUTUBE: 1. NYOI plays for kids, 2. General Information, 3. KICKSTARTER

FACEBOOK: 1. German, 2. International

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 8th July 2011

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Markus Scherer


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absolutely intercultural 137 +++ National Youth Orchestra Of Iraq +++ Marketing Project +++ New European Mobility Law +++

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The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq” is an inspiring project led by musical director Paul MacAlindin which  is going to play in Bonn, Germany, on 1 October in the context of the Beethovenfest. In show 135 I interviewed Paul about the project itself. Now  I am talking to some of the supporters of his project. On the one hand there is Prof. Karin Wolf, who plays the violin and is helping the players to improve and on the other hand there are two students from RheinAhrCampus who are also playing their role in the project.

absolutely open
Karin Wolf, a professor of viola, will share her experiences with us.  She tried to collect musical instruments for the orchestra. Karin asked at her school whether people would have instruments which are no longer used and which could be donated to this international project. Furthermore she supported Paul and now she is helping the viola players to improve. In this interview she will share her motivation with us and the reasons why she is taking part in the project.

absolutely professional (part I)
Lucy Warren, our committed exchange student from Australia and co-worker in the International Office, will interview Nadya Kokareva from Russia. They are both involved in the “National Youth Orchestra Of Iraq” project.  Nadya is also a participant of the university course “International Business Simulations” at RheinAhrCampus. Nadya will tell us in a first part how quickly her university course and the simulated company turned into a realistic one with a customer, what the students are doing for this customer and how they support the “National Youth Orchestra of Iraq”.

absolutely political
I would like to share a commentary given by one of my university colleagues about a political change which has affected Europe during the last few months. Two students from RheinAhrCampus, Marc Friedrich and Andrea Edel, interviewed Heinz Schaumann a university lecturer and expert in European institutions and law. Marc asked about the newest political developments in Europe; the recent changes in mobility law which were widely discussed in Germany. The countries in Europe have gradually opened their borders to the labor market. Especially those countries which followed the 2-3-2 rule are now the focus of European attention. This rule was made to somehow protect the labor markets of Western European countries for 7 years from workers migrating from East to West. Heinz Schaumann is in a very good position to give us a report about what happened and about the future prospects, for example the advantages and disadvantages for the “old” countries of the European Union.

absolutely professional (part II)
The Arabic and Kurdish players of the orchestra will  leave their country in September, albeit, only for a short period of time and will travel to Germany. They will  have to abandon their intercultural comfort zones by leaving  their home country and coming to a foreign country with a very different culture, to play music in a multi-ethnic orchestra. In our last category  Nadya tells us in the second part of the interview what specific role she held in the project and in the simulated company and what YOU, the audience, could do, to support the Orchestra, too! If you are interested in the way the exchange students are involved in the project, you can also follow them on their blog.

Ways to support “The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq”:

YOUTUBE: 1. NYOI plays for kids, 2. General Information, 3. KICKSTARTER

FACEBOOK: 1. German, 2. International
We hope we can motivate some of you to help support the “Youth Orchestra” with their project and their trip to Europe!

Breaking News: Saudi Arabian women want to be allowed to drive on their own! You can get to know something about their situation on Youtube and on their blog! Enjoy!

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 24 June

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Markus Scherer


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