WEF Blogging | Leadership In A Multicultural World

الأحد 20 أيار 2007

A session on multiculturalism has just ended and HM Queen Rania was the guest of honor. It was the first time seeing the Queen speak live and I was taken aback by how eloquent she is. It was surprising to say the least and I think perhaps I had preconceived notions that she was more cast into the leadership role. Instead I discovered she was tremendously articulate and to the point as well as fully engaged and enthusiastic about the topic.

Speaking of preconceived notions: the multicultural session focused on bringing down those bridges that divide the world and more importantly our region. The Queen talked a great deal about her own personal experiences but as well as multinational organizations taking the lead in “being ambassadors” for multiculturalism as they are already perfectly positioned for that role.

That is an important aspect that is often overlooked I think. The global village that has been emerging is dependent on multiculturalism and the need to understand other people. It wasn’t a necessity ages ago; now, businesses sink or swim depending on how they reach out to other cultures.

One aspect I felt as a Jordanian was completely absent was intra-multiculturalism in the region. People often look at the Arab or Muslim world as one big lump when in fact there have been a great deal of divisions for the longest time. Some of them are political, some of them are geographical but a lot of them are cultural.

It’s already May and in a matter of weeks Amman, the heart of the Arab world, will be fluttered with license plates from all over the region, practically even making the local kind an extinct species. This was an unseen sight less than a decade ago.

There was no discussion as to the role that technology has played in eliminating those differences. From TV to radio to the Internet, the Arab youth is discovering more about each other. This however is just my own opinion. It’s a positive thing however; there are many preconcieved notions that Arabs have created towards each other and it has stemmed a great deal from our parents as well as an uncertain history.