Recently I've taken to social networking with a different approach. Why not build on the foundation that has been provided by means of the internet and social media platforms like Facebook and Google to communicate something positive? This attractive group of thinkers in Boston are.
I joined these sites in search of good conversation and to contribute something positive to a global community. With that idea in mind, let me introduce you to +Ziad Visionary .
In the last week or so, my circles on G+ have doubled. So many people from so many parts of the world right here sharing thoughts and feelings day to day. More than just what we witnessed on the VMAs. More than silly stunts and amateur youtube videos. Something besides the political scandals. Somewhat overwhelmed by the responses and random greetings, I met +Ziad Visionary Here's a short dialogue I shared with him after asking consent to blog about our conversation.
The exchange of instant messages began our dialogue. I asked question after question about where he was on the map, if he has siblings, and if cars like Mercedes and BMWs are driven there by ordinary people or are they also considered luxury vehicles. I wanted to know if he bicycles out of necessity or leisure. He told me that he doesn't have a car but drove a 94 Toyota before for a long time. When I replied that I've got an older car, he said "Old is Gold!" He also enjoys bicycling and has rode over 50 miles in one day! What about public transportation I asked him. He says they run but there's no schedule. I looked at him, shook my head and raised my hands in disbelief, he smiled and laughed in agreement.
What about insurance? Is it normal for people to have vehicle insurance in your country? His reply was something about law and order isn't always the way. Ziad let me know that he may not be reachable another day as I modestly put off having a conversation with him over video chat. I understood that. He mentioned how 50 people per day are killed in his part of the world.
The conversation continued via Hangouts. First I wanted to know what kinds of movies he likes to watch. With movies like Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionare, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel fresh in my American mind, I wondered if they painted an accurate picture of life where Ziad lives in Karachi, Pakistan. He simply responded that he had only seen Slumdog Millionare. We smiled. He mentioned that he likes movies without violence and no romance. I suppose that means he hasn't seen Eat Pray Love then. He mentioned an older title that he enjoyed, Pay it Forward. I should have asked if he has seen Green Street Hooligans.
The conversation continued as I asked plainly, Where do you vacation? He replied, in the mountains of Pakistan like Marri, and Sawat. That's similar to what we do here. Like camping. He likes being close to nature. Slight contrast to the places I would consider vacationing like historical places, amusement parks, beaches or shopping outlets.
Our discussion came to a sudden end when the connection was interrupted. I was asking him about what he likes to read and was impressed by the titles he showed. Had no idea what they said because the print was in Arabic. What a gift I thought aloud, being able to communicate in more than one language. He speaks, reads and writes English as well as Arabic.
The last question I had for him was more of a concern. I thought about the culture difference and the fact that I was sitting in front of my web camera talking to a man that wasn't my husband without covering my face. I didn't know if that was offensive or not because the connection failed. He only said something to the effect of it's a decision that women make there.
I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to talk with Ziad. Despite the time difference and sometimes unreliable internet connecetion and lack of audio we had a pleasant dialouge. He calls me a very nice girl. I think he's a very intelligent and interesting individual. Hope to have more conversations like this in the future for sharing with you. Don't take for granted what bridges have been built via Social Media, I'm trying not to.