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After a warm welcome of the Mentors at IKA airport, we were anxiously waiting to begin the Mentor Development Program (MDP). Alhamdullillah we all had a good rest before starting the day in full swing.
After fuelling ourselves with breakfast at Dar az Zahra, we began with brainstorming two expectations we have from the MDP as well as what the course can expect from us as mentors and the fears that could perhaps be in our minds of the mentoring task at hand. We also had to consider the qualities that make up a good mentor and present this within our groups. It was fairly clear from this that qualities such as being an active listener and being there for the participants are of high importance.
Furthermore we got to know each other better through the Ice Breaker session after which we felt we now knew each other a lot better even though it was only a few hours ago.
After Salaat and lunch we carried out more activities, one of which was the MBTI (Myers -Briggs Type Indicator) activity. This exercise identified for us our personality and highlighted to us the fact that being judgemental in someone's differences is a flaw that shouldn't creep into a mentor's mind; rather we should welcome differences and treat everyone with respect in their own regard.
All in all it was a great eye opening reflective day and thanks to Brother Qasim for his efforts in conducting the session. We all await an exciting day of the MDP tomorrow!
Written by: Mustafa Merali from Stanmore, UK
Today was the official first day to the beginning of the most anticipated three weeks of the year. A beautiful sunny morning we all set out for Dar ul Zahra where we were to have our first day of the Mentors Development programme session. After a delicious breakfast we started off with the session.
Brother Qasim Gulamhussein began by giving a brief introduction about himself and explained how and when he was inspired to make a difference and become more involved with the Madina and Bab courses. His experience left us all fascinated.
We then had a self-introduction session for mentors where we discussed what our expectations are and what could be expected off us and what our fears are in exercising our roles. Throughout the morning we had group discussions about what an ideal mentor would be and the predicted aims of the participants. We held an ice breaker session pairing up with a partner and stating interesting facts about them which were really amazing to get to know. This was a rather good time as we got to know more about the sisters whom we are all really bonding well with. Together with that we had a “build a tower” activity which demonstrated to us the vitality of teamwork and communication and also being open to many different ideas.
In the afternoon we reflected on how we could better understand ourselves and as well as others. Brother Qasim covered the subject with the “rabbitduck” concept, followed by studying the ice berg, the knowledge paradox and respect versus tolerance. Lastly we explored our personality types with the help of MBTI preferences which would help us to interact with the participants.
After a long day of training, some of us decided to spend the rest of the evening at the Holy Shrine of Sayyida Masuma (AS) while the rest headed back to our accommodation at Jamiatul Zahra.
Written by: Neelam Vakil from India and Rabab Kassam from Kenya