DS106 – Writing assignments (Who inspires you?)

Actually I can’t think of any inspirational character that I’d like to live up to at the moment except my parents, but I wanted to mix up the assignment a little. I’m not going to write about a character, instead I’m writing about a trait which is commonly found in the Egyptian population and society. ‘El Gad3ana’, I couldn’t find an appropriate English definition for the term, however ‘Gad3ana’ is a term which describes good will, deeds, and intentions and acts of unconditional support and engagement. This particular trait I believe is influenced by middle-eastern culture and their ‘Ebn el balad’ construct, where individuals take pride in acquiring such a title. Most individuals around the world, especially in the western sphere follow a more individualistic approach where they are not exposed or taught to such a trait. For example, if a women is walking down an alley/street at night, she’ll always be accompanied by a man from the neighbourhood. If there’s a funeral in one household in the neighbourhood, everyone will stand in solidarity with the deceased family. Between the youth, if a friend doesn’t have the monetary means to hang out, the rest of the group will cover him and insist he goes out. This ‘Gad3ana’ trait, creates a bonding relationship between all diverse sectors of society and makes them move forward as a single unit.


DS106 – Visual Assignment (You’re favorite photo)

I’m not a really big fan of taking pictures, however this picture has a special place in my heart. The photo was taken in the Philippines on Pico Osmena which has an amazing overview to the island of Cebu. Other than the unforgettable view, this picture reminds me of a unique battle i fought with myself. On the third day of my adventure to the Philippines islands I had a catastrophic motorcycle accident, in summary I was racing with a friend down a mountain in Palawan, El nido and ended up patching my body at a local’s house. For the first time in my life I felt hesitant on executing such an activity, the hike seemed hard at the first place and i was not physically ready to preform it. Nevertheless I chose to challenge myself once again, after 20 minutes into the hike it was raining like crazy,  in my head i felt like i was shooting an action/drama movie in an exotic country surrounded by nature’s wildlife and it’s unpredictable outcomes. Once i reached the top my mission was complete, and from that day onwards my inner-confidence was never the same and i was not only a survivor but a doer!


Soliya Reflection

I registered for the Soliya exchange program during my Digital literacies course, which basically combines different individual from all parts of the world whom seek intercultural learning in a video chat. The course is four weeks long with only a session of two hours a week, which you eventually get bored of. The purpose that the program serves is by far excellent, however the technicality of the program shows some deficiencies. For starters I think the weekly two hour duration should’ve been distributed on two days a week instead of one, which would’ve helped with acknowledging my group peers faster and sharing insight and ideas on a faster scale, alongside not boring out of the session itself. Another problem would be the internet connection and the alternatives that an individual had in participating. I felt that the first two sessions were kindergarten classes, we were introducing ourselves on a very slow rate with minor insight and discussing very tedious topics such as our ‘favourite foods’. On the brighter side, the last two sessions were more interesting and witnessed more interaction between our group members. I was very fond of my group and their respect for different cultures and identities, I even made a couple of friends as a result of the program. I love the program’s diversity and the fact that it gets people closer to each other in an accepting and open-minded manner. I’ve found more similarities than differences with my peers and that’s exactly what I was aiming for. As a citizen of planet earth, I completely support the idea of the Soliya exchange program and hope to commonly find more online and offline courses with the same initiative and objective. Peace out!

Restoring Motivation – Dr. Sullivan

A few weeks ago, Dr. Tim Sullivan anticipated a very important and enlightening speech regarding us fellow students. In his discourse, Sullivan discusses his perspective of the reasons behind the lack of motivation of students nowadays. I was working on a paper three months ago that revolved around the topic of academic inflation and how degrees are increasingly losing their purpose, proving to be problematic to both students and educational institutions, while on the larger scale a disaster for the economy as a whole.

Similarly, Sullivan provides his example of the importance of degrees in maintaining social statuses and other factors unrelated to the process of education itself. Parental influence’s also a major factor behind the education an individual may receive. Job opportunities in my point of view are also problematic, as you can see for third world countries such as Egypt, liberal arts being undervalued is an understatement. Therefore, realistically speaking the sciences prove to have a much safer and secure position in our society. However, no one has ever bet enough on a winning horse.

Later on in his speech, Sullivan introduces Queen Rania’s hope deficit theory. The theory states that the youth (Arabs) find future opportunities as ‘bleak’ and with this pessimistic attitude they turn to violence, crimes, drugs, immigrations, and revolutions. However, the problem arises from our classrooms as stated by Sullivan, the unmotivated and reluctant student persona is a product of societal pressures and the unattainable ‘ideal student’ character we all strive to become.

However a bright side still exists according to Sullivan, he provides an efficient solution for overcoming the lack of motivation students often suffer from, “Students work best when the professors are aware of the needs of the students as individuals not as an undifferentiated group”. This may not resolve the problem as a whole, but it’s definitely a good start. Generally speaking, confronting an individual on a personal level exposes a number of unique hidden characteristics and traits that may not appear on other levels of communication. By acquiring the insight needed, you have the chance to develop and explore those abstract minds that lie in your classrooms, and who knows you might get lucky…


(Watch ‘Do school kills creativity’, Sir Ken Robinson)