- In reading the Dispossessed article as a part of this week’s material, I thought that it brought a lot of perspectives to the table that are not usually, if at all, considered by the main-stream population, that is, the population of non-refugees who live in the world today. It is hard in any situation to try and view the lives and experiences of another group, or another culture, or even just another individual. We ourselves cannot entirely perceive the thoughts and emotions of other people. But I think that the Dispossessed article really helped with this problem. Now, albeit, this article was written by another person who is representing the thoughts, emotions, and experiences of a group of people as she has heard it accounted from them. However, even still, I believe that the author (and artist) who made this piece did a good job of making sure that the story expressed was true to those who told it, and they did well by providing the precursor (to the comic) that thoughts expressed in pink were direct quotes, while others were paraphrased. However, I digress now on this, and move onto how this analyzed the dispossession and refugee crisis.
Overall, I think that this piece described the crisis well by putting it into a new perspective. Instead of being told by official statements by governments or other news sources, the story is told from the perspectives of a smuggler, a raft captain, and the families escaping to Germany and otherwise. To me, and I am sure to countless others as well, this was a refreshing and much needed new perspective on the situation at hand. Other sources feeding information about the subject always tell it from the “official” perspective, and how outside views criticize it, rather than from firsthand accounts of the refugees themselves. Already this analysis is better than almost all the rest due to this simple shift, and certainly provides more weight to the situation. As far as analyses go, this one provides a more or less true account of what just one group of smuggled refugees have experienced (and what can be assumed many others have experienced as well), as well as the misunderstanding opposition to their safety that was exhibited by other governmental powers. The article showed just how hard it really is to find refuge in a country that is not your own, and how the journey away from danger can be just as harrowing as staying near it.
Did Islam Play a role in this story, and this article? I would say yes, but from a far standpoint. In part, Islam may have been what was causing some woes for these refugees, whether it be governmental movements, or radical terrorism, or just their beliefs being used as a weapon against them. But as for the journey that was described, and the relations that occurred, I would say that Islam was not a main focus of this story, and this account. This shows that Islam and religious reasons are not the only things that brings or motivates refugees to flee their home country.
- On the “stories” of intercultural confrontation and intercultural compatibility, they each are separately and simply definable, while they both mirror each other’s opposites. Intercultural confrontation is referenced in the readings as how the Western and Muslim nations view themselves in a battle of light and dark. They both find themselves looking directly at the others faults, and, since “they” are different than “us”, one must be evil and one must be good. The West thinks that Islam is prone to violence, while the Muslim world believes the West to be oppressive; a vicious cycle that repeats itself continuously.
Intercultural compatibility’s story is one of healing the wounds made by the confrontation. Compatibility speaks of taking two groups, the Western and the Muslim, and emphasizing in the cultural empathy. The text says that each must begin to see one another not as “us” and “them”, but as “we”. They must understand that yes, there may be differences in their cultures, practices and beliefs, but this does not mean that these two groups cannot work alongside one another. It is just like what I had written in the above portion: One groups perception of another is wildly difficult, and often leads to conflict as a result of blatant misunderstanding and the negligence and ignorance to understand the reality of a group’s motivations. Compatibility speaks of looking forward to a future of cooperation, and a harmony and progression of both groups’ ideals and social structures.
These two, intercultural confrontation and intercultural compatibility both affect conflict transformation greatly, in that they both define why conflicts arise, and the individual biases and judgements which permeate throughout them. Their only difference is that one speaks of the demise of the groups in conflict, while the other speaks of the what to do afterwards.