Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The (original) Intent for the Blogger Round Table

My original vision for this blog was to be a virtual gathering place, an online lil' Switzerland where people from different countries could discuss hot topic issues from their (inevitably opposing) viewpoints. Of course, not knowing anyone in the blogosphere to invite for participation did not help very much; there's only so many blogs you want go through by clicking 'next blog'! I managed to ask a number of bloggers and either received no reply, or one that said, sorry, too busy.
So I decided to just post as much as I could, get back into writing, and also read as much other people's work as possible.

I've almost written a hundred posts, found some gems of bloggers and blogs, in terms of their writing style, and/or insight, their personality and their care for their topics. My circle of blogger friends are a passionate bunch, and of course, this not being a real media, it is supposed to be full of passion, and personality. Otherwise they'd/we'd be paid journalists and we are not and won't be anytime soon.

Knowing that, I still had the original intent for the blog in the back of my head. Then, last week, as I felt myself getting too emotionally involved in this Middle East situation (considering I have no family or friends in that region, no real investment of sorts), I started to feel the pull to withdraw. When I feel too much of one thing or another, my natural tendency is to go back to the center to literally 'balance' myself.. I need to regroup and put everything in perspective. Even if I might decide that yes, this is the right stance or opinion to take..I cannot fully throw myself into one way of looking at something without simultaneously questioning myself. So what do I want to accomplish with this 'blogger round table' thing? (sorry, it's past my bedtime so my writing will lag)

Simple..I would like there to be some common ground or some sort of better understanding of the participants of each other, once they are done with a particular discourse. I'd like to see people, not changing their minds, but their attitudes. Now, the hot topic is whether Israel was right to go out and wage war on Hezbollah, whether it was disproportionate. A few months ago it was much ado about a danish cartoon that insulted allegedly the prophet Mohammed (pbuh, do I need to say that too if I am not Muslim? well, just in case, I got myself covered) which got totally out of hand, courtesy of one wannabe famous cleric in Denmark who alerted to worldwide Ummah who had been happily unawaress before than. There is the question of torture, some people are appalled that that should even be questioned and not outright be dismissed as unacceptable. There will always be something. Doesn't that make life so much more interesting, all these little dramas? Or big ones.

Seriously though, I have lived in different countries, on 3 different continents, dealing with different cultures each time, having to adjust my whole person yet again. I have experienced epiphanies from simply having lived somewhere else, understanding 'the natives' just by sharing the same living space. So I know what a world of good it can do, when people can somehow manage to bring about a little bit of peace, by trying to reach out, and explain, and most importantly, to listen to others. The blogosphere is the perfect venue for that. My new found recommend blog of Jonathan had this to say;
The Israeli media dealt with lebanese bloggers quite a lot in the last few days. It seems that blogging became what i thought it would – a mean for people to understand one another and to communicate. It is hard for the media to comprehend that, since they are still working as an Agent of Truth, where there is only one story to be told, and that is the collective Story


I believe in the personalized communication. Bloggers are all representative of the 'regular' people that are out there, with a variety of opinons and attitudes. The people who tend to comment on blogs, are the ones who are seeking to communicate and be able to express their feelings and opinions, which they really do not get to do in an easy forum, unless you count in calling in to a talk show.

For the coming weeks, regardless of the length of the current war, I would like to have at least 4 to 6 bloggers from Israel, Lebanon, Gaza, and perhaps somewhere else from the Arab world engaging in a discourse by way of the round table. I strongly believe it would be a real eye opener.
If you are interested, drop me a line, if you have a suggestion as to who would make a good addition, let me know. Jonathan has been so kind to accept my invitation, and I will be sending out two more.

10 Comments:

Blogger Granny said...

I've been looking at the couple of blogs from over there when I have time. I'll definitely be coming back here to read.

1:11 AM  
Blogger El Mas Chingón said...

This is a great idea. Too bad I'm in that foreign country out west...California.

2:31 AM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Good idea, well done.

I'd recommend the Sandmonkey - www.sandmonkey.org.

Good luck!

6:47 AM  
Blogger zazou said...

Hi Ingrid!

for a more overall, check out Issandr at arabist.net. He's had some interesting coverage of late.

Zazou

10:05 AM  
Blogger Zebster said...

I too look forward to it. Gotcha back, Ingrid.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Hi everyone, good to see the interest. Hopefully that will translate into interest for participation as well!
Granny, reading blogs can easily become a full time engagement, don't you think? Robbie..don't worry dear, if I do one on immigration..you're it!
Heathlander, I emailed the Sandmonkey but he has not replied. I don't know how many emails he receives, but if you'd like, you could always email him and ahm..politely suggest he'd join! I do have Jonathan on board and with his help he's generating a good amount of interest so ..sometimes people only get interested when others are..
Zazou! Shame on me for not thinking of Issandr. I'll need to email him after lunch..and perhaps you can also email him (it's a him isn't it??) to suggest this, it might peak his interest to see two emails instead of the one.
Zeb, thx bud! I know it!
On top of all of this, I received an email from Koop radio (community radio that I wrote about several weeks ago) and I was one of the people chosen to participate in training. There were at least 50 or so people but not that many spaces so hey..who knows if I can take this roundtable to the airwaves..how's that for 'branding'?!
Ingrid

12:29 PM  
Anonymous sunrunner said...

Unfortunately, people I know have a short attention span when it comes to the internet.

But I will think on it.

But I like the air-waves possibility!

5:51 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Sunrunner..thx for 'thinking'. I believe this blogging and the community radio possibility here could be potential stepping stones for me. For now, I am just enjoying it all for the sake of it. After all, I do have my family to take care off too...
one thing at the time (she thought to herself..be patient be patient)
Ingrid

5:57 PM  
Blogger Kim Gongre said...

Greetings Ingrid,

Kim from The Peace Tree here.
I came accros this blogger in Lebanon by following her visit to my site from my site meter stats.

http://urshalim.blogspot.com/

You might want to check out her blog it is worth reading. Se is updating conditions on the ground almost daily. I think your round tale idea is wonderful..keep at it!
Peace to All Souls.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Kim! Thanks so much for the referral, I'll definitely check it out. Thanks also for your words of encouragement, it is a great idea except I need others to make it work lol. Your name looks familiar btw ... I don't think I've been to your site before (but now I will) but who knows..you must have commented somewhere else and your name stood out. Thanks for visiting and hopefully I'll 'see you' again. I always appreciate people's comments,
peace to all souls indeed..the living ones especially!
Ingrid

8:37 PM  

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