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Dr. Archer:

Thank you Dr. Alamr for your participation and contributions to the Culture Bump Workshop. I am interested in knowing what you took away from the experience.

Dr. Alamr:

Well, I gained a great deal of information about bringing people together. I believe these positive ideas can be applied in workshops for Saudi businesses and companies to improve mutual cultural understanding within their workforces. My own experience is that we tend to view certain people positively and others negatively -thus fulfilling our own stereotypes.

Dr. Archer:

So do you see the Culture Bump being used in education in the Kingdom?

Dr. Alamr:

Really, I see it used more in business because a lot of businesses have foreign workforces – in fact, most companies that provide municipal and construction services have a lot of foreign workers. These are the businesses that could benefit from cultural empowerment with different cultures.

Dr. Archer:

How would you go about implementing this idea of mutual cultural understanding?

Dr. Alamr:

Actually, in addition to the information from the workshop, – we have a lot in our culture that supports this Culture Bump idea. For example, it is a part of our belief that in a workplace situation, you should judge people based on their productivity rather than on their race, gender or color. In other words, the Holy Koran teaches that people are equal. One example in which we can see this clearly is during Hajj. During Hajj practices, you see rich and poor people, Arabs and non-Arabs, men and women, all doing the same practices at the same time – wearing the same clothes. There is no difference between a king and a laborer. However – due to the stereotypes I mentioned earlier, it is more difficult to practice this in a work situation.

So the possibility that I now see is that the Culture Bump Approach is a way for people to practice their beliefs.

Dr. Archer:

Thank you very much. You have brought a new perspective to this work.

(May 31, 2013)

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