I believe that in both communities, common people share the similar values, and have similar needs and desires for their future.
If I was given an opportunity to help build a united Cypriot community I would help facilitating information sharing between two communities in every economic sector, in particular on professionals such as doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants in both communities. Information is empowering. Having access to reliable information, in a language that the common people understand will open new doors for collaboration.
When people look for something, (let’s say for a doctor or car repair shop, etc.) they ask their neighbors for a reliable place . Why don’t we follow the same idea and create a virtual neighborhood for a united community in Cyprus? “Ask Your Neighbor” project aims to fill this gap through building interactive websites for each sector of the economy and for each professional community. The input (information) will be provided by the common people and the output will be used by them too. The experiences of common people who use those websites to find what they need can also be entered in the website as an input to generate further information. Only a concept like Mahallae can facilitate such an interaction between two communities and build trust through sharing information to satisfy common needs of people.
With the information technology available today a lot can be done. We can create multilingual (Turkish, Greek and English) websites for major professional sectors that let people search and find the services they need regardless of the borders. Instead of relying on the limited “word of mouth information” common people can search and find the doctors, dentists, architects, teachers, accountants and so forth, through the websites that will be created by this project. This way we could bring together the professionals in their designated websites in a virtual neighborhood. Such websites can be used for multiple purposes, as they can provide multidimensional interactions and benefits.