Re: New CALL site (feedback needed)
You were directly on target with this, including
bringing it to everyone's attention, because I
reviewed the site and failed to catch the link, so I
didn't do a very good job. I'm frankly more than a
little upset that Ismail hasn't removed the link and
instead defends his right to retain it. The words
printed on that page are more than a 'joke', and can
be frightening foreplay to horrendous murderous acts
-- definitely quite scary to read and not at all
educatinal. I take full responsibility for the
content of my website and believe that's part of the
responsibility of having a site on the web and being
part of the web community. I hope Ismail will come to
see this responsibility and live up to our
All the best,
Hello dear friends,
le me go straight to the point:
we do need to take a critical look at pages created by
members; after all that was also what Ismael asked a
few days ago.
At a frist sight, I think the ESL page looks
interesting and cull of
good content, so I wanted to second the usual
appraisals. But then
I became aware of a very tasteless page linked from
pilgrimage page. Buth asked me to have a look.
"Most amazing Islamic facts", click on link 4: Are you
related to a
monkey? (still inside the same domain, sara.1000.geo)
"What's past is prologue."
-- W. Shakespeare, The Tempest
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- To those who are concerned about this matter of responsible review
of links, I an happy to tell you that Ismail has edited his links
from his report from the Holy Land - so the one we disliked is no
longer there to bother us. A good decision, Ismael, and thanks for
the contribution of a burning topic for a relevant discussion.
For me, as a totally irreligious, modern woman, brought up as an
atheist and living in ignorance about many religious traditions
around the world, it was an interesting page to read. I'll probably
never get to Mecca myself, but I can hardly imagine how difficult it
may be to make the seven rounds together with hundreds of thousands
of like minded people from all over the world. Pretty suggestive, I
In your message # 5483, you said < To those who are concerned about this matter of responsible review of links, I an happy to tell you that Ismail has edited his links from his report from the Holy Land - so the one we disliked is no longer there to bother us. A good decision, Ismael, and thanks for the contribution of a burning topic for a relevant discussion.>
My message# 5471 to the group was not a contribution to a topic; it was a clarification of some issue that you raised among the respected community members and asked for my quick response to it, and this is what I did. With the sensitivity and importance of the topic, I would say, and as most of you stated, I thought we all can benefit from such mental and educational dialogue.
In another message # 5473, you said: <believe we're getting into a more general disuccsion about cultural awareness of homepage content, and that we do not necessarily need to protect our students, our families or ourselves against any offensive of controversial material, rather we should know how to view things with a critical inspection>
Who said so, I did not refer to this meaning in any way in my message..
You also said: <I do think that this is sometimes naive, because it takes quite a bit of linguistic as well as intellectual sophistication top reach that
level of neutral evaluation.>
I don�t think considering someone in the group as a na�ve because of his thinking or points of view a helpful feedback, as long as it is not against any of our values..
I intended not to go deeper into the topic or to reply to personal responses on the same subject in order to avoid any misunderstanding, sensitivity, or misinterpretation of facts or opinions, with any respected member of the that group I like.
But, in your same message # 5483 you said < For me, as a totally irreligious, modern woman, brought up as an atheist and living in ignorance about many religious traditions around the world, it was an interesting page to read.>
Of course you are free in your religious or nonreligious belives and I never asked anyone anything regarding the subject.
You added: < I'll probably never get to Mecca myself, but I can hardly imagine how difficult it may be to make the seven rounds together with hundreds of thousands of like minded people from all over the world. Pretty suggestive, I would say.>!!
For me this totally irrelevant contribution from you and has nothing to do with this group. For me, personally speaking, I would say it is insulting to me and to other muslims in this group. It is simply because you are commenting not on a personal thought, rather on a religious aspect of my beloved religion (Islam). It is not even a regular aspect; no it is one of the five main pillars of being a Muslim who respects the religions of other as well as his/ her.
Anyhow, it seems that some of you did not read my response #5471 clearly to see my feelings about this issue. If you feel it is a good opportunity to discuss an important cultural/ global issue, it should NOT be in relation to one community member or to one respected religion and this is what I tried to make clear in my first response. There are a lot of other religious forums where we can have religious debates or whatever kind of discussions away from this group.
If some of you felt upset because s/he heard of a (sub-link in a list of referenced links in one of the links of my personal page), then you can imagine that I am really OFFENDED to have this response about one of the main aspects of my religion in an inappropriate forum for such topics�
After all, I should have sent this message to mention how I really feel and to ask if you would consider it a category for discussion on this community, in this case, we can all contribute to the topic in this same forum with no sensitivity or misunderstanding from any part. We will also be able to decide if we should remain members of the same community or not, with these topics, or not.
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Friends,
Ismael and I wish to share with all of you how we managed to end up
with a fruitful and understanding dialogue on the difficult exchange
of words in the last few days.
We have agreed to copy a private mail conversation to help this
experience make sense for our future collaboration and friendship.
Please read these messages with an open mind and help us by
following an exemplary reconciliation process.
Yours grateful Webhead,
- dated 1.5.03:
First, let me thank you for asking us to comment critically upon
your excellent ESL page and your personal portfolio that I find
admirably stringent in terms of navigation structure. Yesterday
night, I sent a message to our WIA mail list concerning a disturbing
link from that page to a puzzling and narrow minded Moslem page
with clear racist stupidity.
I think I should have told you in a personal mail about my concern
instead of projecting the question in the open forum, but I really
hope you will understand this, not as a kind of attack on you in
person, but more like a memo for controlling your links before they
are exposed as part of your professional or personal credo.
Please take a look on my WIA message and the reaction from Michael
and Buth - and then tell us what you decide to do as for a removal
or a critical warning before going to this page!
I wish you and your family all the best in the new year, and
hopefully also more interesting collaborative efforts
yours online colleague and friend,
PS Did you have a special reason for contacting me in Yahoo earlier
yesterday, that was before I had checked the links from your page to
the next layer of pages, so my reason for showing you off was
strictly personal - it was dinner time :-)
please do not let this digression between you and me create gaps in
our community. I agree with you in many of the points you mention
about the inappropriateness of using WIA for this kind of
discussion, but prefer to answer you with my own words instead of
going back again and picking up details.
Attached as a file is my heartfelt reply to your last offended
posting, please take some time to read it and forgive my careless
expressions, I would prefer to know what you think about my long and
more carefully reflected answer, before I expose it in public on
our mail list. If you can accept my apology, but still wish to let
this attached message unpublished, then let me know, and we might
just send a brief message to the list that the discussion is closed
and that we have managed to settle our disagreement in private?
Tell me what your thoughts are, and let us make peace, if you need
more time for healing your wounded spirit, just let me know you have
received the mail, because this unexpected digression is causing me
a great deal of worry and grief. Do not let the sun go down on your
anger! If those who already know each other from before, could not
manage to build bridges between different life orientations, even
though hard feelings have occured, how then would there be any hope
yours humble webhead,
Sus to Ismail (as an attachment to the above:)
First of all, I wish to say I'm sorry for having disturbed a good
collegial connection with you, and that I hope this will be solved
without a loss for our communit that has brought so many of us such
interesting learning moments. Sometimes I think that there is a
danger of misinterpretation of written texts that could have been
less harmful in a face to face situation. An angry face expression,
a surprised look, lifted eyebrows or a trembling voice can often
make a person go deeper in an explanation, or just know where to be
silent before a harmful situation occur, and avoid anger,
bitterness or offense.
Please try to be tolerant with me as an ignorant in your world and
accept my heartfelt apologies and an explanation, and let us bury
the axe of stride. Honestly, I did not mean to be harmful. I DO find
your travel to the Holy Mecca very interesting as a first hand
report from a life situation that is so meaningful and important for
you and your people. Like you explainit making "7 rounds around the
kabba. This is not an easy task, especially in Ramadan and in the
situations where the place is full of hundreds or thousands of
people. But, what is the morale behind crowdedness and why all
people have to face it? It is in order to create tolerant Muslims.
They should all accept each other, welcome each other, and respect
each other." It is not unknown that accidents happen when people
begin to fall from exhaustion and pressure in large crowds.
When I read YOUR OWN description of difficulties moving around the
monolith together with so many people, you simply trigger my
imagined fear of the masses of moving people, not a disrespect for
one of the world religions. When I travel, I try to see as much as
possible, encouraged by a natural curiosity, but also sometimes
limited by a feeling of risk, getting lost or run over in large
crowds, which is the reason why I would not go there, not even under
cover as a true Muslim lady from abroad. (perhaps wearing my good
old invisibility cloak from the playful times of our TI MOO, well
I'm just joking here, of course).
I understand now how you feel upset with what I wrote about your
tribute to Mecca, and that you would have preferred that I had not
mentioned it at all. But from my side, it was meant as a tribute, to
explain that I had read your page critically, which you encourage us
to do when opening your portfolio - I hear sweet music that is
unknown to me, and read this welcome message: I hope you enjoy being
in my portfolio and looking forward to hearing your input about the
content of this personal page..
One thing that is at risk when you expose your personal portfolio
online, is that someone is actually going to read it, and learn
about your personal experiences and preferences in life. Also,
we're in a habit of helping each other check and evaluate the online
material we create. Otherwise, I would not have done such a detailed
study of the page, or just have kept my wonderings about the content
for myself, my first thought when I saw the Monkey story was that
you might not have read the page, so I wanted you to have a look for
yourself. This was MY input!
When I try to rethink why I wrote like I did in my last message, it
was not meant to be an insult, more an expression of my personal and
paranoic fear of getting lost or hurt in a large crowd. I would
never feel comfortable going to a football match because of the
stressful presence of so many enthusiasts. I'm unsure whether this
comparison is offensive; it is certainly not meant as such. I'm just
trying to relate to something that I know about. And, my use of the
term "pretty suggestive", was not a good choice. I can see that when
I look it up in my English-Danish dictionary - "suggestive" can
have more implications, some of them very negative. My meaning was
synonym to "evocative" or maybe "significant". Others would say
touching, or nothing at all. Feelings shouild not always bne
transformed into words that can limit us.
Do you remember an image of Vance diving with a shark, once sent to
our mail list? When I saw that, my first reaction was: Oh no! I
would never have dared to do so and I may even write some lines
about my personal fear of diving, and fear of supposed dangerous
creatures like sharks, and I would expect the diver himself to drop
a few lines telling us how this meeting with the shark was. I
imagined this as an at risk situation, while the experienced marine
zoologist was in his right element!
Although I know by now that this was not your intention to encourage
a deeper interest in your personal belief, as an anthropologist of
education matters, I still find these cultural habits and
controversies are important enough to pay attention from language
teachers as well as learners. Encouraged by this discussion, I've
tried to find information about Islam and found a study of the
Qu'uran with both English and Arabic text; as a start you may read
25 prayers http://www.islam101.com/quran/Duas25Quran.htm
This might be a helpful link for foreigners to learn more, and maybe
could be useful for your page? However, I know too little myself to
evaluate the quality of this Islam study page to see if it is
relevant and reliable. http://www.islam101.com/
- Ismail's answer to the first mail, 1.5.04
Thanks for your message and concerns. In fact, I have replied to the
many questions I have received today in an email to the group. I
have explained my point of view and gave my feedback as well.
Yesterday, it was the first day I try Yahoo Messenger after some
days of technical problems with the program. I found out that the
problem was with the Flash Player installed in my PC, so I have
removed it and it worked. I found both you and Buthaina online and I
wanted to send you both my greetings. In our chit chat, Buth.
refered to her feedbak and to the link issue, I did not hear or knew
anything about it and this is why I have sent another message to the
group and to her indicating that I will review the web links. What I
really don't understand is why did she refer you to it instead of
just telling me about it and waiting for my input?! Of course, it
would have been better and more relevant to our community in order
to avoid any misunderstanding or misinterpretations of our personal
believes or values..
First of all, I am happy to receive your response and to know that
it was all a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of context. This
is what I, too, feared from the very beginning. I can recall all the
many good occasions and wonderful moments among all our community
members, especially you and some of the other pioneers of this
group. This is why I too hope that we will be able to overcome this
situation and keep the very strong boundaries that make WIA a unique
I have witnessed many other communities that can not keep this
virtual rapport and understanding we enjoy here. Most of these
communities can not guarantee a non-moderated environment for its
members and this is why you can not find a real mutual feelings and
respect, or even trust, among its members. Our community is
different, with this collaborative efforts and wonderful attitudes
towards each other. This is why I think this situation will help us
all build on that and learn from the past for a better future for
all of us and (for humanity) as you said.
For me, you can be sure that there are no hard feelings of any kind
towards you at all. I also hope that we will remain with the same
collegial relations or stronger, since we had a strong test of
relations and tolerance like that case :-)
I also agree with you that publishing personal information and
believe online is a risky matter, but I guess that it is helpful in
fostering the concepts of personal values and self-esteem as humans
and educators. It will affect those we teach or those who consider
us as models from our students.
For me, I don't mind sending any thoughts of opinions in public. If
you want, you may send both messages in one attachment or one
subject to ensure everyone that everything is OK and that we are all
still one team with no gaps of any kind.
I hope that Vance did not suffer any troubles from this situation,
as the owner and moderator of the group; it is a difficult
responsibility of course. I would also love to send him a joint
message of apology for any misunderstanding of any kind.
Finally, you are welcome to send me any comments of any type related
to my portal or to elaborate more in the discussion about my
cultural or religious traditions in my email or via YM.
your honest and kind message is even more than I could have hoped
I will see to create a combined message with this content later
tonight, so that we can all breathe freely and continue our
invaluable voyage in a shared practice of global reach, with an even
stronger understanding of belonging to a tolerant and open minded
community ready to face even strong disgreements and brave enough to
clear things up before bad vibrations spoil such a good ald well
consolidated framework of multiple scaffolds
yours friend and online colleague,
- Dear Ismail and Sus--
If we were in a MOO I would react that way:
Van applauds effusively Susanne and Ismail
for their efforts towards mutual respect and
- At 09:56 AM 1/9/2004, Van wrote:
>Dear Ismail and Sus--Me too. Fantastic guys! And thank you for sharing your private
>If we were in a MOO I would react that way:
>Van applauds effusively Susanne and Ismail
>for their efforts towards mutual respect and
communications with us. It is really instructive (and heartwarming) to see
the process of resolution at play.
- Michael C.
(and I hope you don't mind being a 'guy' Sus. It's a generic term for
friends of both gender these days isn't it?)
- Thanks Sussane for all your the time and efforts you spent in
preparing these words of Peace, friendship and understanding. This
is what will foster this meaning in our community and strengthen our
relations as ONE group and one entity with many love, respect, and
understanding to one another.
Greetings and Love,
> your honest and kind message is even more than I could have hoped
> I will see to create a combined message with this content later
> tonight, so that we can all breathe freely and continue our
> invaluable voyage in a shared practice of global reach, with an
> stronger understanding of belonging to a tolerant and open mindedto
> community ready to face even strong disgreements and brave enough
> clear things up before bad vibrations spoil such a good ald well
> consolidated framework of multiple scaffolds
> yours friend and online colleague,
- Dear Van, ten minutes ago,
upon your invitation, I tried to enter you MOO, and was accepted as a guest
, I came into a nice forest highway image and saw you and others around in
the left side list of psrticipants but did not figure out how to type or
read any chat?
I'm too ignorant to read your Portuguese help text. But I've applied for a
membership - my call name would be SunRay I think
I'd better come back some other time as I'm having need for some fresh air
before sunset. let me know how I could help you with some Norwegian text?