Wadi Rum, Jordan
The Middle East Youth Leadership Jam will connect diverse, engaged and committed leaders, for a week of deep listening, sharing, self-discovery, systemic inquiry and community building. It will take place from October 14-21, 2012, in the spectacular Wadi Rum desert in Jordan.
The Jam is not a conference, seminar or a typical meeting. It is a gathering for three different levels of conversation about change: the internal (self), the interpersonal (relationships) and the systemic (the whole). On the internal level, it is a place to share and reflect on their life journeys and their work in the world. It is a time to replenish, recharge and renew, and to gain specific and practical tools for self-care and personal sustainability. It is also an opportunity to grow in self-knowledge, to ask meaningful questions, to unlearn our fears and blocks, and to co-create new possibilities together.
On the interpersonal level, we come together to share our cultures, our stories and our struggles with each other, to deepen in our understanding of each other and of ourselves.
The Jam values diversity and seeks to bring together as diverse a group of people as possible. During the week, we hope to discover our commonalities and celebrate our differences. Given the conflicts happening in the region, it is not always easy to hold onto a vision of unity and cooperation that exists beyond the narrative of ‘us’ vs. ‘Them’.
The Jam seeks to create dialogues that build on what is common among us, in which our differences are engaged, not with antagonism, but with a spirit of shared learning.
The Jam is a chance to move from the ‘demon-ization’ that is so prevalent today, to the ‘human-ization’ we so desperately need for a healthier future for all. The intention is to build trust and friendship, in a meaningful (not superficial) way. This means challenging stereotypes, being present with each other, speaking truth, working through tough places and being open to giving and receiving support. We feel that the more authentic our relationships are, the stronger the foundations we will have for developing new collaborations and synergies within our region.
On the systemic level, through the Jam, we become clearer about our vision and work in the world. We get a chance to link issues that aren’t commonly linked, to notice crucial intersection points, and get a clearer picture of the whole. We come together to learn from each other: about what is working, about what mistakes we have made, about where we need help. We have a chance to share tools and ideas to support one another. In turn, we hope this helps us to generate a body of collective wisdom for activism in the region. We also hope it will enable each participant to feel deepened in their capacity to affect meaningful positive change and carry their dreams forward.
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