The Soliya connect program in brief is an online weekly class that aims to aid students in getting to intertwine different cultures. It is a program that connects people from all across the world to discuss whatever topic they want to discuss, monitored by a facilitator who, by their title, facilitate the discussion that takes place for those two hours a week. My experience with Soliya had its positives and negatives. Starting off with the positives, I have met great people. Inspiring if I may say. It amazes me how Italy, Palestine, Tunisia, and Egypt we’re connected through this platform and having the opportunity to discuss ideas, beliefs, passion, and traditions. My weekly group were a group of five ladies. We were a small group and we got to know each other personally and we had greater things in common and we got to discuss our topics in depth and know each other’s views. The thing about the topics discussed in the program is that we talk about important educational topics. We have conversed about identities, economics, women in each of our culture and how they are treated and portrayed in films, citizenship, and more. These topics would not have been discussed on other platforms. Other platforms are not as educational.
I have found out that I am the type of communicator who tries to find common topics of interest and discuss native and personal things that are very simple. Also, it seemed like my colleagues were interested in the content I shared as I have noticed that I was questioned on my topics rather than shifting to other ones.
However, since it is an online program and since I live in Egypt were the Internet is terribly slow. I have faced a lot of technical issues were I had to login on and off a couple of times and trying to catch up on what I have missed in the conversation and even sometimes the camera would totally shut down and the program would work in audio only. These issues were challenging and a bit frustrating, but to my benefit and luck, I had a great facilitator who would instantly help me follow up and also, honestly, when it worked audio only I was more comfortable speaking.
One thing that disappointed me, was that there was not much of a controversy. I thought it was essential for better learning to have a debate rather than just sharing of ideas and having a mutual agreement. By the end of the sessions, it got to be a bit boring and that all the sessions were the same and there was no excitement.
Overall, I have enjoyed my Soliya experience and my group.