These are very interesting observations Maha. You asked “how do you develop critical thinking needed to develop intercultural maturity without being in an intercultural experience”. You seem to predicate critical thinking skills on intercultural experience. I am making some assumptions about what you mean by “intercultural experence” but I still think that there are many examples of critical thinking emerging naturally … it is what most children do, after all. One of my favorite examples is a short narrative in the Quran about Abraham, pondering the stars then the moon then the sun and saying after each, “this is my Lord” until he gets to the Sun, which he notices sets and disappears from view… so, this could not be it… We do not know much about his world or the conditions of his life, but the story is not presented in any particular context, and it places Abraham in a situation that is quite familiar to anyone who has ever seen the sky – that is a shared human culture.
Humor, though, is highly contextualized and often does not connect unless we are “inside”. I think that’s a different view of culture entirely.