Meaningful discussions and poetry recitations

Sheikha Alyazia bint Nahyan Al Nahyan underscores the importance of having meaningful discussions

Books are a great way to start meaningful discussions. Delores Johnson / The National
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On the television and in social gatherings, we regularly bump into meaningful discussions and unmeaningful disagreements.

Opinions surrounding Russia’s expanding interest in the region, theories about the far-reaching paws of extremism, the facts, the alternative facts, all in the name of informing society, have only proven to divide society.

When a conversation kicks off whether it is online or in person, it mostly starts off as a comment or a headline and ends up in heated debate.

Everyone is an expert nowadays because our knowledge of current affairs is growing, or at least our access to alternative facts is.

There are new emotion detector devices, introduced in stores, which are worn on the wrists. They work by measuring slight electrical changes in the skin and may well indicate the topics that cause stress in normal communication.

A friend of mine said that when she visited her grandmother a comment was made about men and women mixing and an argument could easily have erupted on segregation in the workplace.

This was an unintended topic and a discussion that was out of place.

An old-time rule of rhetoric and discussion is represented in the Arabic proverb that says that “for every status, is a suited utterance”.

If the state of our discussion has reached a level of rigid meaning, the mood indicators will definitely signal tension.

People also need a break from the question: “Did you know?”

Instead, a different question is required: “Did you feel?”

Lately people’s tiresome attitude towards the over-accumulation of misinformation shows in the way we deal with international events.

Decisions or statements discussed at the latest Arab League summit, for instance, took a back seat to the reasonless scoops of items about naps, falls and exits of the various members.

Twitter’s millions of active users are perfect mood forecasters. Some of the trending hashtags this month in Arabic and English are: #hibernation #iamhappywhen #13reasonswhy and #signofthetimes. These are topics far from events and debates.

In the time of my grandmother, people talked and gathered for one reason.

The reason was not international affairs, or their thoughts on religion. It was to have a good time – to recite poetry and tell stories. Any matter is worth bringing up in conversation if those present feel content and undivided.

Meaning and reason always used to lie in feelings not only in information.

Alyazia bint Nahyan Al Nahyan is an Emirati artist and founder of Anasy Documentary Productions

OPINION