When we were first assigned to participate in Soliya, I thought that I will really enjoy it and wait for it every week, but unfortunately, I felt the total opposite. Due to some tech difficulties in the first, I lost nearly three-quarters of the session and couldn’t engage properly. Once got over all the tech issues, I understood what they were doing. The activity was that everyone should say seven aspects that shape his or her identity. I loved this activity at first and I thought it would be interesting to see what people believe shapes their identities, but once we started the exercise, people started literally coying each other and saying the same things over and over again, which I thought was a total waste of time. After that, we wrapped up our session with a survey and agreed on a topic to discuss next session. The topic wasn’t really of my interest, but I was ok with it.
The next session, I was a little late due to some issues (my fault not tech…), but I didn’t miss anything. They were sharing this seven aspect thing again and I listed mine. Surprisingly, we stayed the WHOLE session doing the same exercise and we didn’t even finish!!! I was so mad honestly because I literally learned nothing and it was a waste of time.
The sessions, in general, are too long and I think the facilitator should assign everyone to a maximum amount of time (like 2-3 minutes or so) not to stay two sessions (which are four whole hours) discussing the same topic and repeating what we say over and over again. I also think the sessions were too long in general, I think that they should be shorter.
I really wish next sessions would be better and more fun. I’ll also try my best to find understand what the goals of the exercises are. I don’t mean that this was a total waste of time, I actually learned a little bit about people of different places in the world. But the problem is that many people in my group are Egyptians. I learned, for example, a little bit about rights of Tunisian women (it’s a topic that I read about a couple of months ago). But I don’t think that what I learned is worth learning in four hours.