I felt the Encompass blues when I returned home with my luggage, especially when every last person had returned back to their home countries. My city life differed so much compared to the content country side and the sound of the water fall at night.
I had learnt so much over the space of a week. Not only about other people and their backgrounds, but more so about my self. I learnt that I am able to trust people I have never met before, I can get along with people regardless of their age or background, I have so much in common with someone totally different to me and the list could carry on.
The Israel and Palestine conflict is what interested me the most. In fact, when I read about this opportunity to go away for a week, it was the Israel and Palestine conflict which caught my eye. It was interesting to see two groups of people, living in the same space of land with two completely different views and actually having the confidence to share such personal views with people from different parts of the world.
I also learnt about conflicts which are not publicised in western media. The issues between Malaysia and Indonesia, where Malaysia occupy Indonesian land without permission. The Kashmir issues where they are strict on borders and although America seems to have no problem, their government is a little corrupt. (Saying ‘little’ is being polite). Aside from learning about different backgrounds and cultures I made really good friends and thanks to modern technology and social networking sites, it will be hard to lose contact with these people.
Not many people can say they have; learnt a song in Hebrew, learnt to do a clap dance from Indonesia, heard someone perform a song in Urdu, seen Americans go wild dancing, do the Dabka with Palestinians, watched a Samaritan break dance and boogy with the Brits… All in one night!!!
Two months on and we are starting to plan projects so we can travel to places and facilitate workshops. We are looking for different ideas on how to fund raise to travel to these places and give them something that could benefit their community. Our first stop in this project will be Palestine and Israel and hopefully with the help of the people whom we have met from these places, we will be able to complete our project successfully and a make a positive change.
I cannot even explain how Encompass 2013 has opened doors for me and has allowed to me to gain confidence. Though it was just a week, it has benefited me for a lifetime.
Encompass 2014, come at me!!!
Salma Razia Khatun