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Connection Point

Women and men express their viewpoints and share their perspectives in a weekly column. These columns form the groundwork for a discourse across cultural and religious boundaries.

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[16 Jan 2013 | One Comment | ]
The Power of Dialogue

Yasmina Mrabet
Director, Connection Point Initative
“The results are clear: Dialogue makes a difference!”
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This past fall, we launched a pilot of our Connection Point Dialogues program, bringing together women from Arab, Muslim, and Western communities around the world. The purpose was to see if dialogue could, in fact, change perceptions and build positive relationships across cultural, religious, and in this case, physical barriers. We used the Google+ Hangouts videoconferencing platform to host web-based dialogues.
Four groups of women met for two hours each week, over a seven-week period. They discussed a range of issues …

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[7 Jan 2013 | 2 Comments | ]
Lady Essence Speaks on Women, Hip Hop, Misogyny

Connection Point Director Yasmina Mrabet interviewed rapper Lady Essence about her work and experience as a woman breaking into the male-dominated world of hip hop. Her answers are below.
Can you tell us a little about your personal background? How did you become interested in hip hop, and what inspired you to begin rapping?
I began rapping when I was 13 years old. It was really on a whim. I didn’t think rap music required talent and felt that it was too easy just to write some silly rhymes and have it be considered artistic. …

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[21 Dec 2012 | 4 Comments | ]
Can I Find My Home in the West?

Yasmine Mahmoud Fakhry
Alexandria, Egypt
“I whispered to myself that although I am not European like them they are my real brothers and sisters; they are my fellow human beings.”
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I grew up to believe that there has always been discrimination against people of different race, color, and religion throughout all ages. History lessons teach us that people have always invented all sorts of rationales for mass killings and wars. There is a general tendency not to accept someone who is not “one of us.” Differences in religion, culture, race, social class still …

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[20 Dec 2012 | No Comment | ]
Woman to Woman: Building Peace through Dialogue

Yasmina Mrabet 
Director, Connection Point Initiative
“In both Western and predominantly Arab and Muslim societies the international political arena is dominated by men, and our social structures characterized by insidious patriarchy. Our problems do not lie in our differences, which are not as stark as we believe them to be. Rather, our problems are rooted in a lack of direct communication and interaction.” 
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Arab, Muslim, and Western women need to sit down and talk to one another – now. Persistent misunderstanding about the ‘other’ – cultural, religious, political, and otherwise – is only …