“Otaghe Gerd – The Circular Room”
We borrowed this idea from the Berlin “Simorgh-Group”. “Otaghe Gerd” is about a regular exchange of opinions and ideas in a protected space.
“Otaghe Gerd”, in English “The Circular Room”, offers a social space for discussion and exchange of opinions. “Otaghe Gerd” was founded to create a culture and community in which sustained and open dialogues and discussions can take place regularly. What makes “Otaghe Gerd” unique is the fact that this forum is not dominated by anyone. Quite the contrary, the participants themselves are responsible for shaping the meetings and the program. The Circular Room is a spot where all the different voices are heard and where these voices are essential for developing the program.
The whole program is composed in a democratic way: participants propose and choose the topics in a Facebook-group of the same name: “Otaghe Gerd”. The meetings follow the room’s “code of conduct” promoting an open and straight forward exchange of different opinions and viewpoints. Discussions take place in a friendly and respectful atmosphere. A facilitator helps the participants to stay focused on the topic and main idea of the discussion, takes care of time limits for each contribution and makes sure that all requests of speak are granted.
The facilitator neither comments on opinions nor takes sides, but constantly invites the audience to share their views. “Otaghe Gerd” is bilingual: Persian and German. We explicitly would like to encourage also German-Iranians who do not feel fully comfortable about their Persian language skills to take part in the debate.