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Ask Ahmed/ Ask Joze

An app to improve cultural understanding between refugees and host communities.

The influx of refugees into Europe has sparkled worry and fear among the local population. This has been made worse by sensational, mostly negative and unilateral, media reporting as well as political polarization and radicalization. On the other hand, refugees enter Europe based on false promises of human traffickers and without much contextual knowledge. There is a lack of cultural understanding on both sides - the refugees and the local population.

Our app "AskAhmed/AskJoze" intends to eliminate fear, humanize both sides and create bridges among them based on improved cultural understanding. Both locals and refugees can log into the app and ask a member of the other social group anything they like about their culture, way of life, beliefs etc. Based on a principle of equality, the app requires the user to also answer a question from a user from the other social group before he gets the answer to his question. This creates a fair cultural exchange where both sides benefit from improved understanding "of the other". This direct user-user/refugee-local exchange counters the negative media and political discourse and fosters a sense of togetherness on an individual level, thereby alleviating social tensions.

The app distribution is enabled via a product that would be placed in store chains - "Fusion Tea" (a combination of Middle Eastern tea and Slovenian honey). For refugees, the tea would bring a small piece of their home countries into a foreign environment to make them feel more welcome. For Slovenes (the local population) the tea represents a vehicle for familizarization with a foreign culture. Additionally, companies involved in the tea production and distribution would profile themselves as socially responsible and would expand their customer base to the socially conscious segment.

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Creative Commons Licence