Meriam Bendriss about our project “Open Your Mind”

Date Added: 06 April 2022 / 14:43

We all are people with different emotions and feelings but recognizing them and being able to control them is what creates leaders and important people out of this world. 

What if you can not only identify what you feel and why you react that way but also control those feelings and reactions? 

What if a one-week project can sow in you the seeds of a leader? 

You are curious ? Hear about my story. 

I’ve spent so many years searching for where I belong. I finally ended up understanding that I belong everywhere.  

I have travelled to so many places and lived in more than one country searching for one where I can feel that I belong and where I can settle down. I have changed a lot through the years and I grew so much on so many scales; physically, mentally and especially emotionally. 

 My trips and different adventures made me a self-conscious person and thanks to this project I discovered that I am also endowed with a high level of emotional intelligence. 

 Let me first tell you more about me so you can understand the impact of this project on my life and how could similar projects impact yours. 

I am Meriam Ben Idriss, born and raised in Tunisia. Five years ago I have decided to take the leap of faith and go to France to pursue my International and European law studies and to experiment to living on my own away from the comfort of my parents’ house. 

 The first year wasn’t an easy one; The adaptation, despite the similarities between the two countries, was hard. 

But what helped me cope with this new life and its ups and downs was my previous youth exchange project where I went to Egypt to teach English to Egyptian students for 6 weeks. 

That experience made me recognize that I am a world citizen and able to cohabiting in any place and with different types of people. 

Through the years, I was always eager to get out of my comfort zone and discover new countries and cultures, either through trips or through human exchanges. 

Coming to Georgia in this « Open Your Mind » project was a beautiful and unexpected experience. It is helping me put words on the knowledge that I have acquired during the past years of my life. 

It is helping me know more about myself and how to be open minded both to people and to all life opportunities. 

It’s a one-week experience yet having a life time impact on me. 

I was so open to all the quality daily exchanges (both during the sessions and during our free time) and that made me so inspired and empowered by my fellow participants or let me rather say, my international friends. And I am more than thrilled to hear from them that I was able to impact and empower them as well. 

 This peaceful and sharing atmosphere was created since day one, thanks to the project organizers and to the shared mindset of the participants. We are here to talk and share, we are here to get out of our comfort zones and especially we are here to be empathetic. 

I came here to meet people and get out of my comfort zone and I am going home with tons of unforgettable memories and lifetime friends. 

Let me summarize some of the things I have learned in few points : 

  1. We should be reunited by our differences, our human diversity is what makes our strength. 
  2. The moment you are living now will never be repeated, enjoy it.
  3. The best trips are the inner ones. 

I will close this by saying that this experience made me see new parts of the world thanks to people here and through their eyes, taste different foods and learn to say « I love you » in many new languages. And don’t we all believe that love is the most universal language? 


open society georgia foundation