My Chimché Project experience…
I found out about Chimche Project through a friend who was directly invited by Mustafa (The Diplomantiq Head Honcho). My friend asked me if I wanted to show up to a thing, and without hesitation, I said ‘Ok’ even though I didn’t know what to expect or what the event was about. I was going through an odd time in my life, where I said ‘yes’ to everything. I read the events page, and from what I understood, I’d be interacting with strangers and the mere thought made me hesitant. The last event I attended that included conversing with strangers was terribly awkward and uncomfortable for me, and to the last hour, I almost canceled my Chimche Night plans. I’m not sure at what point I decided to go, but I remember it was too late to go back.
I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that I’m glad I didn’t cancel because it was everything I ever hoped for and then some. Enriching conversations, with people from different nationalities, academic backgrounds and interest was definitely proving to be my finjan of Turkish coffee. It started with introductions, and what we remember about the people we introduced ourselves to, what people chose to tell strangers and what strangers remembered then shared was quite beautiful.
I can confidently say that I was surprised with what I chose to share to introduce myself to someone I never met. I remember leaving the First Chimche Night with my friend and feeling ‘woah’. How Mustafa managed to help us figure out a little bit more about ourselves in less than 2 hours was quite incredible and I knew then that I would never want to miss a single Chimche Night.
3 Chimche Nights later, I continue to discover more about myself and others’ perspectives on the topics we discussed. It’s a safe place to ask questions, and listen to what others have to say (regarding the chosen topic). The sessions are well planned and Mustafa makes sure we don’t drift completely out of topic but sort of levitate in the atmosphere surrounding it.
Chimche Nights indirectly made me comfortable with who I am as an individual, and somehow managed to do what many other ~events~ couldn’t, and that is to converse with strangers on a human level, and for all entities to benefit intellectually and emotionally.
Finally, taking a photo of what we have in our pockets/bags and taking a photo of them to digitalize our chimche notes is one of the raddest ideas.
// Sarah Ahmed, UAE, 24 years old.
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