knowledge university news
  • 05-06-2021

International Dialogues between KNU and Penn State University

On Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021, an event was held at KNU in honor of handing out the certificates to the students who participated in the international dialogues between KNU and Penn State university in WinC program in the Spring semester of 2021.

World in Conversation (WinC) is an entity within Penn State University in USA dedicated to expanding human understanding of complicated social, cultural, and economical challenges. The work of WinC, its goals and objectives are that students around the world are connected, in an active exchange of information, via online video conferencing by conducting dialogues alluringly involving different countries, places, people, and cultures. The goal of these dialogues is to bring people closer and clear out any stereotypes and misconceptions about any certain group of people. WinC provides students with a chance to voice their opinion about matters and master Conversation Skills, build up confidence to practice public speech, as well as the techniques of Academic Debate and Critical Thinking. The WinC undergraduate dialogue facilitators make it possible for people in small groups to “think together” on the basis of their different social positions.

The Mechanisms of Dialogues

WinC has a huge support from its wonderful team of organizers, working collectively in the U.S and in all the other countries in contact. Prior to the start of each dialogue, the organizers receive the topic and share it with participants to prepare themselves for the dialogue day. As the rule of thumb, the dialogue unfolds with the first part which usually provide opportunities for the participants to learn more about one another, passing basic information, for example “What is a free time activity that you used to do when you were young?” or simply “talking about the neighborhood they live in”. This part normally lasts for the first 30 minutes of the dialogue aiming to give the students the courage and confidence to manipulate the main section that is mostly in the form of a given statement, the topic, selected from the heated recent topics, requiring the part takers exhibit their views, concerns, stands and freely tackle the ambiguities and misconceptions about absolute issues related to culture, economy and politics in the next 60 minutes. The participants can examine the topic from as many perspectives as possible, an example of such statements would be “Issues of discrimination are either made simple or oversimplified”. Moreover, every year there are two semesters in which these dialogues take place and they happen on a weekly basis, we have done 12 dialogues in the Spring semester.

KNU Facilitators and Participants

KNU has been involved in WinC program throughout the past three academic years, setting up and attending dialogues on a weekly basis, around 42 successful dialogues during the past three years. KNU team is led and supervised by its WinC-organizer Mr. Mohammad Kiani, the head of the English Language Teaching Department who has had the initiatives from the start of the project, working closely with WinC country organizer Mr. Basim Razo and the Penn-State organizing team. Moreover, KNU is the only university in Kurdistan Region partnered with WinC. In addition, the first international dialogue facilitators from KNU are: Mohammed Khabat Naif and Shahad Bahjat Mohammed-Redha, and that roster keeps growing as two new international dialogue facilitators have been added to the team and they are: Fadi Raad Afram and Mohammed Syamand Nasih. Finally, come the amazing team of students-participants listed below:

Aysha Omar Hassan, Akam Azad Mustafa, Ahmed Ibrahim Saeed, Asmar Razzaq Kareem, Bahra Abdulsalam Younis, Heshow Dedawan Khorshid, Ivan Mohammed Khorshid, Israa Jamal Ahmed, Karwan Yousef Muhammadamin, Mohammed Shakhewan Ahmed, Maryam Serwan Kareem, Mohammed Khabat Naif, Razar Salar Jalalbag, Rania Ali Rajaa, Sara Syamand Nasih , Sara Salam Abdulrahman, Shireen Razzaq Kareem, Solin Abdulaziz Mohammed, Sarmad Shawqi Mukhtar, Shayda Khalid Hussien, Vana Burhan Othman, Noor Adnan Sherzad, Nvar Ayoob Ali.