College of the Atlantic
A special session given by college students:
Alternative Middle Eastern Voices Heard Through Social Media
On Saturday evening of the Conference, a group of ten students from College of the Atlantic delivered an exciting and thought-provoking hour of video clips from social media to illustrate the people’s voices from the Middle East. These students represented home countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the USA. Each introduced a short film clip with background on events that influenced the Arab Spring.
Video clips focused on:
• Humor and Satire — Bassem Yousef, and Fazrat political cartoons
• Non-State Struggles — PKK, a Kurdish video; and Queer Voices from the Middle East
• Wikileaks –- Bradley Manning -– 1000 Days
• Palestine/Israel -– “Shades of Anger”, Jewish Settlers, Activists against the Occupation, and “We Teach Life, Sir!”
During the second hour, Professor Gray Cox, along with student Kyle Shank, facilitated a lively town hall kind of meeting, which was at times emotional for everyone. The importance of open communication and dialogue among diverse groups of people from around the world was evident throughout the session.
Over sixty college and high school students, and other Conference attendees, engaged in this very stimulating Saturday evening event. Students represented the University of Maine, Hampshire College, Portland High School, Belfast Area High School, Camden Hills Regional High, Lincoln Academy, Oceanside High School in Rockland, and River School in Belfast.
Many in the audience also represented countries around the world, which added to the dynamic exchanges that evolved.
At the end, many expressed the importance of this student/professor led session to the Conference Program, with hopes that the concept would be repeated another year.