Knowledge is power, and power is a serious responsibility, reflects 2016 Fellow Anis Issa

12-Photo-1-1024x768Ms. Diana Patch addresses the Gabr Fellows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

25 October 2016

Knowledge is power, and power is a serious responsibility

By 2016 Fellow Anis Issa

"If you have an apple and I have an apple, and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” That quote by George Bernard Shaw crossed my mind while reflecting of our program, nevertheless I believe I am luckier than Mr. Bernard Shaw, as I have now twenty-two ideas, twenty-two friends, and twenty-two apples!

The East-West Art of Dialogue is my 4th international program. USA is the 10th country I have visited. When I applied for this program I was very enthusiastic and eager to learn about the USA, a major power, gain new experiences, make new friends and add a new flag to my collection. However, when I joined the fellowship I figured out that this program is an exceptional opportunity that is absolutely far more than any of my expectations!

It is an eye-opening and a once in a lifetime experience and magnificent chance where we learn a lot. We learn from Chairman Shafik Gabr who is a role model in his thoughts, words and actions. We learn also from the distinguished speakers and the pioneer institutions that we had the privilege of visiting and discussing with, and we did learn from each other. The fellows were a sublime colorful painting where each one had a special quality fitting a special part in the bigger picture. Personally I have learned from every one of them, it was a perfect joyful experience of coexistence.

Finally and besides being a magnificent program, I have to say that it is a serious responsibility! Because knowledge and experience are power, if you have both you must use it in favor of dialogue, understanding,and respect, these are the only way for a better world.

I highly recommend this program for any ambitious emerging leader that fits the criteria of the Gabr Fellowship and is seeking challenging opportunities. If accepted, I can only recommend the incoming fellows to be mentally prepared as it’s a rich, hard, and enjoyable journey!