Dr. Amani Al Bdah started the day by asking the Candidates if they know specific characteristics of their mates. Then she asked them to define “Critical Thinking” and if it is possible to standardized the way we think. One of the Candidates replied:”We apply rules in math, but we do not apply rules in life”. Dr. Amani replied with another question: “Then what is the difference between a math problem and a question to write a creative story?”. From the abovementioned Q&A, Dr. Amani made the Candidates question their way of thinking.

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Continuing her workshop, Dr. Amani did an activity in which she divided the Candidates into 5 groups, and each group had a spokesperson. She asked them some questions and set a time for their answers, after the time was up Dr. Amani asked the Candidates how they answered the questions and whether they did it orderly or randomly. Most of the groups said that they answered randomly and that they did not even consider the time. Dr. Amani shared the moral of the activity which was that one must know his limitations before diving in thinking.

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Following that, Dr. Amani moved to deeper parts about Critical Thinking, where she said that thinking is a combination of both “individual thinking” and “group thinking”. She also discussed whether thinking is inherited or acquired, and at the end of the discussion the Candidates came to a conclusion that thinking is both inherited and acquired. Dr. Amani then brought up the topic of intelligence and she said that in this generation there is not a single intelligence, but “intelligences”.

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Following that, Dr. Amani talked about the obstacles of thinking and whether we can overcome these obstacles or not. She stated that there is not a specific answer to that question, however we can be aware of the obstacles. For example, emotions are one of the obstacles that we face, and in order to overcome such obstacle, we need to express our emotions so that we can either avoid them or cultivate them.

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Other realization the Candidates came cross is that thinking is not a single step, however thinking is a process. And Dr. Amani explained to the Candidates the full process of thinking.

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Dr. Amani mentioned how our mind is lazy and that it likes to think uniformly with the fastest and the easiest way. To prove her statement, she did an exercise with the Candidates where she provided them with some questions that were designed to test their minds’ reactions. After the exercise, the Candidates had great “Aha’s” moments. Dr. Amani also talked about the source of assumptions and how they are formed. She emphasised on the importance to differentiate between assumptions and judgement; she said that assumptions come from a baggage, whereas judgements come as a result of our everyday experiences.

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At the end of the day, the Candidates stated that they were amazed by her ways of  explanation, her ideas and her exercises. And how the workshop made them re-think about their ways of thinking and gave them a deeper perception not only about their surroundings, but also themselves.