The facilitator writes on the board:
I am …and…and…and…and… with blank spaces, and then asks the participants: “Who am I?” The facilitator does not give the answer and gives the participants a couple of seconds before listening to their spontaneous answers – I am an Arab, Egyptian, Muslim, Christian, Artist, Engineer… – she/he asks them to be patient in case they start giving answers.
The facilitator adds: Now I want each one of you to take a paper and a pen and write five qualities that determine her/his identity I am…and…and…and… and… and stay away from characteristics like fat or slim, tall or short…You have a few minutes to consider before answering.
In case of questions, the facilitator can give examples of different affiliations that constitute the individual identity such as: country, religion, confession, culture, language, gender…
Two minutes later, the facilitator asks the participants to read the five words they have written and classify them by priority. The facilitator divides the participants into pairs and asks them to spend two minutes comparing their identities. At the end of the discussion, the facilitator will ask: “Are there common components between your identity and the identity of your fellow companion? Are there any differences? Do you have the same priorities? Does anyone wish to present the results of this comparison to the whole group? You can choose not to read your answers if you do not feel at ease, but what we are interested in hearing are similar or different words and the importance you give them.”
The facilitator takes 7-8 answers to discuss (5 minutes). Then the facilitator asks: Are we 100% similar or different? The facilitator will either get their acknowledgment and acceptance of diversity from the participants (e.g. different yet similar in two points), or their declaration that they have different priorities despite the presence of five similar points, or their declaration that they are totally different with no similar points; however, they are present in the same room discussing new ideas together and so can work together.
Adyan Foundation – www.adyanfoundation.org