ICRD is excited to partner with AMIDEAST on the Qisasna exchange, and assist in connecting the next generations of peacemakers in both the United States and Yemen.
Qisasna, or “Our Stories” in Arabic, facilitates cross-cultural exchange between American and Yemeni students by providing participants with the skills needed to produce podcasts that focus on discussion of global issues, perception of both cultures, career opportunities for young people, and community service. Over the course of one year, Qisasna will train 32 virtual teams consisting of ten participants each — evenly divided between Americans and Yemenis. Qisasna instills global citizenship values and understanding of others among participants. It also provides participants with storytelling skills to help them develop more nuanced and empathetic views of others and pathways for sharing their efforts with the broader public.
As part of a cross-cultural effort designed to enhance bilateral understanding and cooperation, participants join an orientation and complete a series of asynchronous podcast training modules. Afterwards, participants from the multinational podcast teams will engage in a series of facilitated, online dialogues, along with synchronous work, to create a pilot podcast. The activities are complemented by synchronous mentoring to support their podcast efforts. Following facilitation training, facilitators will moderate the initial cross-cultural dialogues that will take place within project cohorts, participate in podcast planning sessions, and provide support during the podcast creation process. The Qisasna exchange is funded by the Stevens Initiative.