Cultural mediators support human growth

Welfare Human Rights


Hoda Thabet, a cultural mediator at the welfare department, is the latest guest of Veltan podcast. The first minute of the podcast is in Icelandic, the rest in English. 

„The concept of home is a challenging conept. I myself have been displaced almost all my life. I have seen many cultures and lived in many countries. I have not been accepted as a human being here or there, for this reason or that reason. Not the right religion, not the right skin, not the right language, not the right cultural background, not the right nationality.

Next year I will have lived in this world for half a century. For me its not easy, because of this constant search for home. Maybe this is why I am very interested in serving the displaced population, the refugees.

The word itself, refugees, means that they are taking refuge. They are running away from something. It is not easy for a person to run away. Some of the children that live here now have been in refugee camps. They have never been to school and have never seen what their parents talk about - their homeland. But they are still holding up to this image that they have a home which is different from where they are now. Always thinking that this is temporary.

And when things are temporary people do not grow roots. If we want to bring a cacao tree to Iceland, we can not bring the seed and say that it has to adopt itself to everything that is Icelandic. It is just not possible. If we want to bring a cacao tree to Iceland we need to provide the environment around the seed to grow. And then we need an expert on the cacao‘s tree‘s environment, who knows exactly what the tree needs to grow. This is what cultural mediators do.“