How can you prevent yourself from being a bystander if you do not take the risk of standing out from the crowd?
Thursday 16th October 4:15, saw two eager journalists; awaiting the commencement of Breaking Taboos by Proffesor Mohammed Dajani Daoudi. Amongst all of the sessions taking place at the same time, Daoudi’s appealed the most; as it’s concept was both emotionally and stirringly intriguing.
Dr. Daoudi is a holder of a B.A degree in communication from the American University of Beirut (1972), two Doctorate degrees from the University of South Carolina, Columbia (1981) and the University of Texas at Austin, Texas (1984). In addition to this, he is also the founder of Al-Wasatia moderate Islamic movement in Palestine.
He also joined Al-Quds University in 2002 where he attained two positions; the position of Director of Libraries and the position of the founding director of the American Studies Institute.
At the end of the session, the empty room, which the moved journalists had entered, had now completely filled with a sense of awe and respect for the Professor. The curiosity and the intrigue, which had plagued the minds of the journalists, had now been completely and utterly quenched. They had anticipated, and he certainly delivered.
Daoudi began his presentation with the question “ What is the difference between a leader and a politician?”
Pausing momentarily; a blanket of silence descended upon the room, as all of the inhabitants paused to contemplate the suggested notion.
Breaking the palpable tension, he answered the question with the interesting information, “Leaders may HAVE to break taboos, on the other hand, Politicians have to tell the people what they WANT to hear. Politicians must filter and adapt the information, which they are conveying in order to persuade those listening to agree with them. Manipulation is applied; which sufficiently reduces the reliability and value of the information.
However, in contrast to this, Leaders have already achieved the position that the politicians were striving to attain. Therefore, it is possible for them to leave their personal opinions as they are and use them in order to lead their communities- whether or not the people agree with the leader does not stop them.
Further on in the session Daoudi mentioned that he had taken 27 students to Auschwitz, in order to deepen and enlighten their personal understanding of the holocaust. Both Palestinian and Israelis went on this trip, and this exemplified the possibility of peaceful relations between the two.
When asked what the ideal dream be, rather than suggesting having a Palestinian state and an Israeli state, he suggested having them both live together in peace and harmony; for now and coming generations.
Despite having been heavily criticized, he responded to accustations with a peaceful state of mind, firmly believing that taboos needed to be abolished and that enlightenment was vital for those blinded by propaganda.
He concluded the session with the words “ The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.”
Written By Hannah Akhtar and Habiba Sallam