Like many people Hendrik and I were following the Egyptian revolution through the media and were very touched by the stories and pictures. Hendrik even got inspired to write an article about the EU and the mediterranean democratic awakening. The uprisings in the Arab world stimulated a wave of thoughts and conversations about what this could mean to the world and especially to relations between the ‘Middle East’ and the ‘West’.
A friend from Iran said to me: “There are wounds in this region. Some of them are rooted in the way people and the land are seen. Unfortunately many people who step from the West into this part of the world embody an attitude of ‘knowing’, ‘expert’, ‘professional’, ‘fixer’, ‘solver’… How would it be to make it more visible for everyone, from the Arab world and also the West that it’s possible to simply witness and be witnessed by the other, and respect the borders of identity? That by itself would be a huge source of healing for all of us.”
This is the story of our learning journey that wasn’t planned. It just happened. It is also a story about witnessing as a way of showing up differently in the world, not as the one who knows, but as the one who listens deeply, reflects and respects. My dear friend Helen wrote in a blog post ‘In essence, witnessing is the simple act of resting one’s naked attention on an object – be it a person, a scene, a thing of any kind. Without judgement, but with a simple intention to bear witness.’
Here to download the full story (R)evolution_2.0