I suffer from massive post-Bali blues as I write this post. For someone who’s recent past has been marked with minimal activity, the period between the 20th and 30th of August, 2014 will certainly be one of the memorable times spent in some useful activity.
Writing on the learnings from the Asia Pacific Youth Training in Media & Civic Participation which was followed by the Global Media Forum in Bali would require a separate post altogether. This post is a gratitude to the people I met and interacted with at Bali, members of UNESCO, and as the title suggests, a passenger who indirectly helped me reach home.
Up until this training programme, UNESCO to me was a subject of a few articles I read, part of college notes in the last semester and a twitter handle I followed. I had, however, read about its goals in development of societies and recognition of cultures. This training programme gave me a first hand experience of its ability to gather admirable youngsters from various parts of the world on a common platform for exchange of ideas and experiences. Any university could do that, but it is UNESCO’s ambition to put youth at the forefront of substantial work that justifies its heavy investment in a programme of this kind. Thank you Charaf, Mikel, Ailsa and others from UNESCO for giving me this opportunity, and also Niwa and Iman of the Young Future Leaders group for tirelessly taking sessions during the training.
Working for the Youth Newsroom was an awesome experience, and I extend my gratitude to the editors who worked on my articles. I also thank Nick, Mr. Michele Zaccheo and Mr. Noel Boivin for supervising our efforts.
People are becoming increasingly mobile these days and very few live in a bubble. If the young are set to become ‘global’ citizens of tomorrow, their success depends greatly on the kind of people they meet and interact with who don’t belong to their countries. During this programme, I met people from more than 20 different countries. While I could not spend enough time interacting with each representative equally, I would like to thank them simply for representing their nation at the platform. Your stories have helped me and others build a reservoir of information about places we have not visited so far. Some youngsters are already inspirational and have dome great work in the field of development. I would like to thank everyone for sharing their work with us and giving us a lead on what could be reproduced back home to address local challenges.
I would like to particularly thank the host participants from Indonesia who played their part in upholding their country’s hospitality and kindness. Honestly, I’m not sure if Indians would go far into gifting souvenirs to their guests. You guys are certainly the future and I hope the next time I come to Indonesia, I meet at least some of you again.
I spent a lot of time with some great desi (a world usually used for Indians and Pakistanis) friends. Meeting, interacting and spending time with those lads from Pakistan, I honestly feel sad for those millions of people from India and Pakistan who have never interacted with each other, and worse, wish that an interaction never takes place. The only way forward for a peaceful world is greater tolerance between the two different countries who are rich in culture, tradition and history – things that they ironically share with each other to a great extent. While politicians from our respective countries spill vile at each other, UNESCO could be at the forefront of insulating the youth from such hatred and providing a common ground for interaction and brotherhood.
Lastly, I would like to thank the passenger, who I obviously have no clue of, for cancelling his ticket for Emirates Airlines flight 357 from Jakarta to Dubai. After being stranded at the Airport, I could replace the passenger on the flight and finally head home while flights flew full capacity.
Thank you all, once again. Hope all of you are back home safely and resuming from where you left before this training programme.