At the beginning of the semester when the professor introduced us about Soliya I had a love-hate relationship. I was excited about the idea that I am going to meet new people, but I wasn’t excited to open the camera for 2 hours, or feeling bored. However, this perspective changed before attending the first session, due to Covid’19 and I personally don’t go to university and everything is now virtual, I felt I am excited to meet new people to talk to them and see them. In addition, after attending the first session, and meeting my wonderful and instructors who have made me want to share as much as they were sharing, loved how each one was trying to give positive feedback to the other, and that anyone who shared an experience others tried to relate and respond back. After the first session, I felt happy and I felt I want the next week to come. I personally believe during my Solyia session time flew and I didn’t feel that the 2 hours have gone at all. Although Solyia’s session was mainly about us talking and listening to each other I learned a lot, I learned how to construct a good dialogue with my peers and I learned more about a different culture.
Although all my lectures are now online due to the pandemic, I didn’t find Solyia similar at all to the online setting it was different. In addition, dialog on Solyia is different than in face to face meetings. So overall, Solyia was a new experience from all directions from online settings and from face-to-face. It is different from an online setting as all my class we don’t have to turn our cameras were I find something not good because it doesn’t motivate us as a student to pay attention to everything that is being said. Also, it is different because all my lecture is academic not reflecting on us nor about our culture. On the other hand, Solyia is different from meeting my colleagues face-to-face because I believe if I met them face-to-face wouldn’t open up easily nor share stuff easily too. Solyia reminded me more to my talks with my friends either on FaceTime or on zoom, how each one of us is reflecting on their day and sharing stuff with each other.
Moreover, I learned from my instructors in Soliya how to construct a good dialogue either online or face-to-face setting. I learned how to ask the question and how the question should be an open-ended question in order to get all possible information and to make the dialogue to continue. In addition, while we were playing together a game who will draw correctly what they listened to I found out that I only heard the first part and started drawing the animal that came to my mind. Hence, I learned how to listen better and I should listen to how prompt before creating assumptions.
To conclude, to be honest, I learned a lot about myself during the Solyia session. Firstly, I found myself loving exchanging cross-culture. Secondly, I didn’t know that I was going to share or participate a lot I thought I will only listen as I usually do. Thirdly, I learned that I need to listen to what exactly is being said without jumping to a conclusion. To be honest this was one of the best experiences during my pandemic time.