Alone, Asian, Atheist in the Middle East


Obey-Middle-East-Mural

Middle East! Turn around and look East! (Obey Middle East Mural, Shepard Fairey)

Many of you followed Phuong-Mai Nguyen’s journey through the Middle East, as written live right here on the Cultural Detective blog. Last year in Estonia, Mai, the co-author of Cultural Detective Vietnam, keynoted the SIETAR Europa congress. In that speech she shared the ten lessons (‘commandments”) she had learned after almost a year of living in the Middle East after the Arab Spring. Her remarks have now been republished by The Islamic Monthly, and I’m confident you’ll be eager to read them.

As Mai tells us, her learning “touches on threats of Islamism, the tendency to self-victimize, and the need for all of us to establish a genuine relationship with moderate Muslims in the West.” The full article reprinted from her speech contains some of her powerful photos as well as her personal learning and viewpoints. 

The ten lessons she learned from her journey include:
  1. Thou shalt not watch TV
  2. Thou shalt stay thyself
  3. Thou shalt empower thy man
  4. Thou shalt fear God
  5. Thou shalt turn around
  6. Thou shalt break free
  7. Thou shalt seek guidance
  8. Thy land shalt be named
  9. Thy land shalt be named again
  10. Thou shalt acknowledge my new identity

Please, read her remarks and let us and Mai know what you think! I have been fascinated by the fact that she chose to make this journey, and the opportunity to view such an experience through the eyes of a Vietnamese woman.

Best, Dianne

 

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About culturemovedotcom

Phuong-Mai Nguyen holds a PhD in Intercultural Communication from Utrecht University and currently teachers Cross-Cultural Management at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Previously her career was a journalist in Viet Nam. She has lived, worked, and visited more than 70 countries and is published widely. As a trainer and coach, she delivers training programs for multinationals with particular specialization in International Management, Asian perspectives, Conflict resolution, Cross-cultural marketing, The rise and fall of East vs. West economies. She also co-designed various business simulation tools such as Cultural Detective and Diversophy used in management and training programs. At the moment, she is on a journey through Middle East tracing the path of Islam from where it began, city by city, westwards to Africa and eastwards to Asia. Follow her travel stories at www.facebook.com/cultureMove and www.twitter.com/thequest2quest

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