The uses of translation are numerous, but it can also play a major role in bringing peace and stability to the Middle East. In the recent years, we have witnessed unrest and anarchy in many of the Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine. The deteriorating political situation of the Middle East now threatens peace and stability in other regions of the world.
With little chance of formal permanent political solution to hostilities in the Middle East, other unofficial avenues must be sought. The most obvious, but perhaps hardest to achieve, is communication. Opening up talks in the Middle East is definitely a first step to break the ice.
Peace for Profit
Teaching people from a mixture of cultures to avoid conflict isn’t unusual. But the chaos which the Arab world faces today, demands a more intelligent and practical solution. So, what can it be? Here’s one idea. Use the slogan “Peace for Profit” as an incentive for peace and stability in the region. People in power understand the economic factor better than anything else, as businesses cannot flourish in a politically unstable environment. Having experienced inflation and shortage of commodities, ordinary citizens also realize that peace is profitable, even though they hesitate to relinquish old wounds and hostilities.
Focusing on Smooth Interactions
Instead of teaching ways to avoid conflict in sticky situations, why not encourage people to work on a mutually amicable resolution? The first approach would empower people to deal with negativity, whereas the second approach would focus on developing interpersonal skills. Without good interpersonal skills, communication can never be plain sailing.
Bringing Change through Networking
Instead of becoming part of a violent demonstration, why not bring change by targeting a small community and operating in it? Highlight networking through social media. Encourage people to be more vocal about their viewpoints on social media. Open expression can provide an outlet for pent-up feelings, initiate discussion, and perhaps bring violent demonstrations and killings under control.
Do Your Part
Of course, some content on the Internet doesn’t present either the Arab or the non-Arab world in a favorable light. Instead of using this content to foment violence, write about these misconceptions and try to expose propaganda by also pointing to its source and revealing the truth.
Moreover, the general situation in Middle Eastern countries can be improved by incorporating technology and social media to attack issues such as unemployment, disaster management and food insecurity. Small public donations through different platforms can do wonders to alleviate these grave problems of the Arab world.
Where Translators Can Pitch In
Such awareness programs cannot be organized without the assistance of sociologists, psychologists and translators and intepreters. Because the majority of local populations in the Middle East are monolingual and speak only Arabic, while others speak only English or French to a small degree, the presence of translators and intepreters is vital to convey information successfully to the target audience.
There is no shortcut to peace, but these measures can surely lessen the severity of dangerous situations, as well as equip people to deal with similar situations in future. And translators and interpreters can be the midwives who bring stability to the region.