I was nervous that I didn’t have anything interesting to say, but it turned out that the simplest topics of conversation are still profound when you are talking with someone you’d never otherwise have the chance to meet – soccer, shopping at the market, jobs, family. I felt honored that someone would want to take time out of their day to connect with me, and I hope to do it again sometime soon… thank you!
Omar is poignant, funny, beautiful, wise and filled with other worldly joy. Meeting him and getting to know him briefly has been a highlight of my life. It is work like this that makes me hopeful for the future of the country and proud of this institution.
With all the experiences I’ve had as an Iranian American and as a part of this community, this experience was unimaginable and incredible. I had a conversation with a complete stranger, someone who I would normally never meet. Thank you for organizing this experience. Please do it more! I can’t wait to meet someone from another place. There was a moment when all I wanted to do was jump through our boxes and see his street and show him mine. So we told each other about the weather and painted an image for each other. Mana
The Portal worked perfectly, like magic. I was transported to the life of a young photographer who is propelling herself toward studies in the US. We soon swapped stories of our travels and interests and as cliché as it sounds, we are all one community. I look forward to staying connected with this lovely and talented woman.
I was happy. We saw a lot of killing in front of us in Mosul, but now we have a better life in the camp. I hope to come here every day and see my lovely friends in the Portal.
To me this experience was mind blowing. Sharing to someone on the other side of the world makes you feel that you live in a place where everyone cares so much about time and space. You are locked in a container standing there “literally” naked.When a man naked, you are standing in front of someone, and this person can see your hands, the way you stand and move. You are opening your soul and your thoughts to another human being. It’s like a time machine. To him was 6pm to me was 9:10am. Time is not crucial, and space is nothing when you metaphysically are confined to express what makes a good day to you. Have you thought about it?
Amazing, incredible profoundly beautiful and connective experience. This is a terribly important art exhibit that instantly breaks down the arbitrary barriers that we put up between cultures and people. This is exactly what social media technology should be used for. It’s a beautiful, gorgeous bridge that I hope to see crossing more boundaries in the future. I am grateful and honored to be part of this art exhibit. Yours truly, Kwadwo ADAE
As an educator, constantly opening my students’ eyes to current happenings in the world is something I consider one of my duties. Before I can do that I need to open up my own. Thank you for such an eye opening experience.
The Portal is a place where you lose yourself — however momentarily — and exist in a space with no time, place, language, constraint. The Portal is a type of control that allows for the most authentic human exchange — a conversation — so simple, yet undeniably profound.
Can you please portal make all over the world! The longer I stayed inside, the more I realized the power of communication especially because people we’re told we shouldn’t communicate with! Art can change the world – and this project is an epic fresh step. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.
We connected with beverage consumers in Mexico City, who told us about their consumption of our products and where they find it in their lives. I could imagine sitting here in the Portal and speaking to a rotation of Portal sites all day, and all over the world, for similar insights.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the very delightful Human (Hooman) Amiri – a 23 year old Art painting Student at the University of Tehran. What a cutie patootie!! I was taken aback by how easily we connected – what an amazing experience! Human told me about his “girlfriend” and that he was really excited about the future of their relationship as a typical older Iranian woman, even though I was born and raised in the USA. I naturally fell into the position of giving relationship advice! I was almost embarrassed that I felt it my place to chime in – but he was ecstatic! Continuing to tell me that he bought her a nice gift for her birthday almost in hopes of my praise and approval! How endearing and cute! His innocence and passion came through us vividly and were so symbolic of what I love and admire about Iranian people and youth in particular. The time seemed to go by way too fast and perhaps the encounter was so sweet because of its rapidly fleeting moments. We exchanged contacts and I told Human I expected an invitation to his wedding! Ending by giving him a comfortably characteristic pep talk – ensuring him that his drive, spunk and kind demeanor will get him far. Whether in his goals for his art and painting career or his relationship with his current love interest. Human had not expected an Iranian American on the other side of the portal and I had expected to disappoint my Iranian counterpart by being a “boring Iranian”. But in reality we were both (at least I think he was too) very pleasantly surprised! I look forward to keeping in touch. Thank you to the beautifully artistic and interestingly “human” experience. I can’t wait until there is a beautiful Golden Portal in every city around the world. Here’s one step closer to a more unified, tight knit, loving world and human race. To Human!
As a senior at Georgetown, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how conversations have been the defining part of my college experience. This conversation is certainly one I’ll remember, even if it was only fifteen minutes. Muwaz and I broke the ice by discovering a lot of things we have in common – we’re both attending university far from home, we both care about access to education, and we’re both 22-year-olds unsure of exactly what course our lives will take. But as we got talking, I also realized that he had had many experiences I never will. He was sent to Pakistan when he was nine to work on a construction site and he worked as a translator for foreign troops in Afghanistan. These moments of difference were uncomfortable for me, not because they surprised me necessarily, but because I realized that despite 22 years of interacting with people different than me, I still don’t always know the best way to respond – support? consolation? more questions? I’m reminded of a quote by anthropologist Clyde Kluckhohn (or something like that) that says, in essence, “Everyone is the same, some people are the same, no one is the same”. We’re all human, we’re all part of a culture, and we’re all individuals – all at the same time! Thanks, Portal team and Merwaz reminding me of that. H F
Today is my 46th birthday so I wanted to do something special to mark the day so here I am! It’s such a great idea to connect people from different parts of the world. I really enjoyed my conversation my partner in Iran is a 3rd year engineering student who plays blues guitar! We exchanged contact info so I look forward to continuing the conversation in the future. Thanks so much for setting this up. I’ll never forget this day!