On Thursday evening, the Qatari Forum for Authors, through the Forum’s YouTube channel and its social media accounts, broadcasted the second session of the initiative “Words”, which is supervised and moderated by writer/ Mona Babetty. Journalists Haidar Al-Saad, Majid Mahmoud Al- Braikan and Ahmed Fadel from Iraq were hosted to discuss a number of cultural topics with Qatari journalists (Mrs. Iman Al Kabee and Mrs. Zahra Al Sayed Jaf).
The participation of Mr. Saleh Gharib, director of programs at the Qatari Forum for Authors, at the beginning of the session contributed to enrich the discussion. Mr. Haidar Al Saad, journalist and activist in the field of defending the rights of journalists, confirmed that social networking sites opened the way for young people to discuss all current issues, whether social, political or even religious, in addition to putting forward their ideas and views on everything related to them, noting that the various media are trying to address this generation and intensify the messages addressed to them in corresponds tailored approach to their ideas and interests. Mr. Haidar Al Saad also confirmed that word is the first key to communication, and the communication techniques shall match with this generation’s level of thinking. The older- generation shall adapt to social networking sites that are new to them, as they shall try to approach young people, through these techniques and through the popular vocabulary.
Mr. Haidar Al Saad explained that the category of young people in Iraq is targeted by the international and Arab media so that some media are driven by certain media templates and believe and embrace some ideas and create their own special vocabulary. The word became a reflection of thought and ideology or even a certain political entity. Some extraneous vocabulary are used for disparagement or provocation and some words became to be understood as charges received by some people. Those words may be a reason to close the discussion. Mr. Haidar Al Saad called young people to us reason and logic and not to be dragged by provocations and called upon them to open discussion and accept differences and unite the words between generations so that the older generation can pass the torch to the new generation, which shall continue the path of construction and development.
In response to Mr. Saleh Ghraib’s question regarding the intellectual gap between generations and its impact on communication, journalist/ Zahra cited the saying of the writer Hessa Al-Awadhi who said that “the word has its magic and its impact”, noting that no one can deny the magic of the word and ignore it because it could be a constructive and destructive force at the same time. Journalist/ Zahra also stressed that intellectuals should not be disconnected from the language of society and its vocabulary. The cause of the gap between society and the intellectuals, she continued, is that society is unable to keep up with the thinking level of intellectuals. Journalist/ Zahra called for drawing on Arab literature and culture in general and of knowledge and research in order to be able to contribute to the education and development of our societies, stressing that modern means of communication narrowed the gap between generations and facilitated communication. Journalist/ Zahra also called intellectuals and older generations to choose more simple and expressive words and move away from complex words, stressing that the intelligence of the writer and intellectual shows in the delivery of deep and positive ideas through simple words.
The BBC media correspondent/ Ahmed Fadel said that the experience in Iraq required the intellectuals and community leaders to choose their words in order to convey the facts impartially and maintain the life and safety of people and the security of the society, as the word is a weapon more powerful than bullets. Therefore, words shall be polite; some words can be a cause of sedition because they incite violence and murder and encourage violence among the people of the same country, noting that some of the words broadcast through the media have fueled sectarianism in Iraq. This made the BBC media correspondent keen on skipping some words in the media reports that he presents, stressing that some words that were written, published and broadcast were among the reasons that led to the worsening of the situation in Iraq. Mr. Ahmed Fadel stressed that the existence of a thoughtful and neutral institution working to reform societies and destruction caused by wars through educating young people and guiding them, which shall make a big change at the level of thought and eventually at the level of society. Mr. Ahmed Fadel also stressed that it is necessary to make an effort to spread peace and lead young people through good choice of the right words, particularly in exceptional circumstances and critical situations. Mr. Ahmed Fadel called for the good use of social media sites, which can be a means to revive the love of life among peoples suffering from instability, and called the journalists to observe their conscience, use their minds and choose words to protect their homelands and children and avoid sedition.
In a similar note, journalist/ Iman Al Kabee said that words can tip the scales and she highlighted the phenomenon of bullying and the negative effects it may have on the victim, noting that the vocabulary might change the direction of some people’s lives, destroy their dreams and demoralize them.  Iman Al Kabee added that words are able to thwart the march of an artist and drag others to the path of crime and can be a catalyst and a reason for the success of others at the same time. Iman Al Kabee added that words can effect the person and determine the course of his life the world. The word is sharper than the knife and it has a hard impact, which time cannot cured it.  Iman Al Kabee stated that Islam urged us to use good words, considering the word as the key to the hearts, and we should not underestimate the power of the word and paying attention to people’s feelings. The word is the cause of the beginning and ending of wars. She also approched the topic of child education and the impact of the word in building children’s personality and defining the features of their future, which was confirmed by science. Iman Al Kabee called the parents to make good choice of words with their children.
The session concluded with Mr. Majid, who considered the word as the demarcation line between good and evil, a tool that can spread awareness or be a cause of spreading ignorance, which is the demarcation line between prosperity and havoc. Mr. Majid cited the saying of “Civilization began when an angry man said a word to the same effect of of throwing stones”, considering that word is a responsibility, noting that the responsibility that lies with the media and the intellectuals is large and doubled because their word is extended and spread wider. Therefore, they have to be more careful, particularly in countries undergoing exceptional circumstances. The misuse of the vague or unclear words and words with many meanings, may lead to major and deep problems that may effect fragile stability.
The “Words” events are expected to continue for the end of July and throughout August, hosting a group of intellectuals from several Arab countries. Next week, the initiative shall host a group of authors and intellectuals from Algeria to talk about the words that pave the way for success and awards.