We live in a crisis of disconnection...
Some of us feel wounded, shut down, and numb.
Others feel hypertensed, agitated, and unsettled.
We are disconnected in our relationships with ourselves and with others. And we are hungry for connection and community, and hungry to belong.
The truth is...
We suffer a "deficit of being"...
Our identities are shattered, scattered, and reduced.
Our hearts feel despaired, wounded and less alive.
Our bodies are numbed, fatigued and less present.
But this is not fully our fault to begin with...
We've been carrying with us individual traumas from our past upbringing,
and collective traumas of culture, colonialism, and wars in our region.
And the only option we had for surviving these deeply intense and unstable histories was to shut ourselves down.
And so we have built walls...
Both internally and externally, making us feel more isolated and more disconnected.
Meanwhile, those walls remained within us as constant guides in our daily life.
Separation and isolation based on race, sect, group...became "business as usual".
"He belongs to 'X' family."
"She embraces 'Y' religion"
"They have 'Z' nationality."
Many of us have made unconscious agreements through culture, language, and media to uphold values that preserve separation and "Us vs. Them" mentality.
And though we may feel the despair and cynicism that nothing will ever change...
Deep down, we always know there still remains HOPE.
A voice continues to whisper to us:
"This region of ours can be more alive and more beautiful."
The key to peace and healing for our MENA region is in connection, community, and togetherness...
Our Arab culture, our history, our language, our wisdom, and our differences are all beautiful!
We tend to forget that.
We also tend to forget that our Arab culture and our religions have always encouraged the values of community, belonging, and togetherness among us.
However, we've been lacking the practices, spaces and tools for embodying these values.
And we've been mostly living our ancestral traditions and wisdom blindly and in-authentically as something that we have to do.
What if instead we consciously make the effort to relate to each other?
What if we have safe containers for introspection and self-connection?
What if we have group experiences to practice connecting with each other?
That's what The Human Lab exist for.