Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Welcoming Pioneers

By Amal al-Ashtal:

Making sure I took advantage of working at the Sheba Center for Strategic Studies, I began attacking all my work colleagues at our center and telling them about Kuni wa Kun. The biggest victim was my boss, who is an expert in gender issues.

She's been very helpful so far, helping connect us with Sabrina and the MEPI Alumni Steering Committee (with whom we had a great meeting yesterday- Mai wrote about that). She also gave us some great ideas of activities we could do (such as reviving old traditional games) and pointed us to people who can be great hepf (such as her own husband who wrote a book on traditional proverbs in yemen that we could use in reflecting some interesting aspects of Yemeni oral culture).

Another victim was the head of the financial affairs, who brought the works of his very talented female neighbor to my attention. She has a fascinating collection of hand made items, from bags, to clothing, to cute little models of people in different social settings. We will hopefully be bringing this lady and exhibiting her work for sale during our IWD celebration.

I then began widening my attack at work to include guest visitors and the biggest victim of those was Dr. Mohammed Asda (who's a neurologist and also running a show on al-Yemen TV for more than 10 years now), who offered to give a talk on the IWD and even invited us to his home this coming thursday for a chat! (lovely, lovely guy!) .

This deal with Dr. Mohammed was made Sunday morning, and on Sunday afternoon I went to visit Dr. Raufa Hassan, as she'll be one of our consultants. She greatly welcomed the initiative, point me to some examples that we could learn from in Egypt, and cordially offered her office and its resources for us to use at our leisure.

The next morning I managed to pass by the National Musuem and spoke to the director, Mr. Abdulaziz al-Jindari, about the possibity of holding our celebration at the museum's courtyard. He was very welcoming, and even offered a gallery room that we can use to display any works of arts we might have.

The French Cultural Center called me this morning and they're interested in co-organizing the event with us! nice, huh!? We're meeting up with them next week.

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