PH International

DOTCOM - Imagine Center

Armenia | DOTCOM in Armenia | 17 May 2010

On May 1, 2010 a few Armenian representatives of DOTCOM program were hosted by the “Dialogue for Action 2010” Armenian-Azerbaijani Dialogue Program implemented by the Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation. The Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation is an independent, non-political organization and is dedicated to positively transforming relations in conflict-torn societies.

Since 2007 the Imagine Center has been working in the USA. Starting from 2009 the Center is organizing annual workshops and training sessions both in Yerevan and Baku.

On May 1-2 training sessions on conflict resolution and social media skills took place in Yerevan and Baku for the selected Armenian and Azerbaijani participants of the “Dialogue for action 2010”. In addition to conflict resolution and communication skills, the 20 participants from each country were offered a workshop on social media and its role in conflict resolution.

As PH International’s DOTCOM program also pursued promotion of Armenian-Azerbaijani effective cross-cultural understanding, among other guest speakers were 2 Armenian DOTCOMers. The DOTCOM program representatives had enthusiastically accepted the Imagine Center’s invitation to join the training event and share their DOTCOM experience with the “Dialogue for action 2010” participants. Sona Dilanyan, DOTCOM program participant and currently Dialogue program finalist, first introduced the DOTCOM program structure, including the curriculum modules, social media tools applied, thematic discussions and extracurricular activities.

Then Ashtghik Zakaryan, DOTCOM Program Manager for Armenia, presented the cross-border communication patterns that both the students and the program staff had experienced during the whole program. She talked about specific examples and gave some advice regarding content facilitation which can help cross-border communication become more productive. The presentation was followed by active Q&A session which outlined how proper usage of social media can promote effective cross-cultural understanding and can help overcome negative stereotypes about the other nation.

The two programs have made good connections and mutually support one another hoping to create social change and better cross-cultural respect and tolerance between Armenian and Azerbaijani youth.