You know how it goes: You arrive in a city for the first time and everything looks new and you feel completely clueless. Then, little by little, you start to get familiar with the streets, the people, the atmosphere, and you find yourself becoming a part of that city, even if for a very brief period of time, and you find yourself falling in love with it, a sweet, childish crush of sorts, that is how I would describe the relationship I had with Copenhagen.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m such an eager-beaver who can be very easily amazed, but if my first visit to Europe won’t get me excited then I don’t know what will. What’s that expression, a child in a candy store? Happy as a clown? Well I’d say a child in a candy store made of candy and full of clowns, and that would still be an understatement.
For starters, the city blew me away. The old buildings everywhere, the museums, the castles, it smelled of history. Now I know I come from a country that’s rich with history but that’s a different kind of history. Our history in Jordan in represented by ancient ruins and cities that are carved in stone, while in Copenhagen they have this tangible history that you can live and touch on daily basis just by walking on the streets. I’m not holding any comparisons here, both of them are great, it’s just nice to experience something different. The other thing that captivated me was the nature. I have never seen so much greenery in one place. And of course the ducks, I’m a sucker for ducks!
And to be quite honest one thing that really put me in the mood was that I often felt like I was in a cartoon. You know, the cartoons we used to watch as kids were all made after the things in European cities. The houses, the animals, the chimneys etc. One time I felt like I was at Gargamel’s house, another time I would get wide-eyed because a certain house reminds me so much of Sally, one of the most famous cartoons we watched as kids.
And if you think that isn’t enough to be excited about, then add to it the pleasure of meeting a wonderful group of ladies who come from different backgrounds, each with her distinctive personality, and telling you interesting stories about her country, her life and all sort of things. Yet, I know of at least one thing those girls have in common: they are opting for positive change. It was great to feel that connection to people you have never met, especially when you’ve had known them online for so long and then you got to put the face to the name. I feel like I want to talk about each girl in detail but that would be hard to express in one post.
On the first day we attended a conference on Cyber Activism where we got to hear from some of those ladies among others, all talking about the role of digital tools in changing the world and other things related to the Arab spring. Then for the next three days we had a workshop organized by Danish Pen and sponsored by Kvinfo. It was very impressive to see this great work done by that group of wonderful Danish women which teaches you a very important lesson about the universal human values that transcended all kind of differences. A lesson about understanding the other and working together for a better world. It’s time we stopped generalizing and judging people by the actions of a minority or the actions of their governments.
All in all, it was a great experience that added to me more than I could think of, and I enjoyed it even more. A shout out for all the great girls I had the honor and pleasure to meet, and a big thank you to Mille Rode and all the wonderful ladies at Kvinfo and Dansk Pen who saved no effort to make it happen.
As for Copenhagen itself, I can go on and on describing how beautiful a city is, but why do that when I have an easier, more visually appealing way to do it? Enjoy!