Sunday, December 27, 2009

Congress in Istanbul

I spent more than 3 weeks in Turkey, in Istanbul. I´m very happy I´ve chosen this country due to more reasons. The most important one was the international congress called ANATOLIA.

ANATOLIA is the biggest international congress traditionally organised by LC Istanbul, which proclames its proudness to be in charge of its organisation. There were approximately 400 delegates from all over the world. The main objective is to enable Aiesecers to meet together, to feel the diversity, to show that living peacefully among various nationalities within cultural differences is possible. I had a privilege to be part of organisational crew (OC). I could see all the processes, tasks, responsibilities and problems to face and tackle.

As international OC I had a language disadvantage, so I couldn´t contribute to everything. I didn´t have the precise list of my responsibilities, so here is the short overview of my daily tasks:

1. OC´s presentation: prepared in PowerPoint. It required lot of creativity and inventitiveness as I didn´t know others before. It must have been captivating, interesting, funny. The hardships were the above mentioned lack of knowledge of OC and PowerPoint usually in turkish versionJ However, the result was satisfactory and I got to know other people better.

2. Work with Excel´s database with names of delegates: findings about who is participating in the Study Tour and who is going to buy the T-Shirts.

3. Short presentation of countries of all international MC´s.

4. During the conference:

· To prepare badges and suger cubes

· To usher groups of delegates to the buses to get to the venue

· To make some adjustments and decorations in the rooms, to inform the participants about the agenda and where is what

5. During the Study Tour:

· To supervise delegates in the city, providing them with practical information

· To help during „boat trip“ with serving drinks and meals

I´m very glad I could witness to such liveness, which reigned in this congress. The fact, that all the delegates were coming from different countries, were brought up in various cultural environments under diverse influences, required certain dosis of tolerance.

A multitude of things must have been done by OC during and mainly before this event for its smooth course. However, some obstacles were impeding these efforts. In my opinion, the congress was sometimes accompanied by little bit of chaos and logistical nuisances. It´s hard to say, where was the problem, but the members of OC were always doing their best. As OC, we had to tackle lot of petty demands and complaints.

Although we didn´t manifest all our organisational skills (also due to some external reasons or failing communication), this shortage was in full extent replaced with the big promotion. I must admit, that this congress was smartly promoted also in a public and obviously the people in charge of it have a developed sense for promotion.

At the same time, they achieved double success. Thanks to video advertisement on the famous screen in the downtown and numerous posters in buses they made not only ANATOLIA but also generally AIESEC better known among people. There was also external Global Village in a shopping mall, where all the AIESECers contributed to this succesful promotion.

Overall, this event was amazing with its special and unique atmosphere. After all, the 3 planned objectives - connecting civilisations, feeling the diversity and revealing the synergy, were fulfilled perfectly. We lived together in 5stars hotel with swimming pool and tasteful food, the ceremonies and program were presented by great Chair and the parties and internal Global Village were all about joy and fun. Later on (during Study Tour), we lived 2 nights in a considerably more modest conditions in dormitory with turkish toilets and unisex showers. Some delegates kept on moaning, some found this dormitory as a nice experience in the name of „feeling the diversity“J

Naturally, following the rule of every good conference, the word „sleep“ was erased from everybody´s vocabulary. I believe, everybody had a great time, because I certainly had. Personally, I find this experience of being international OC and working with people from LC Istanbul, as really enriching and rewarding.

The enthousiasm, eagerness and keenness of all the members of Istanbul´s LC were visible in every step they had taken. I could have a close look on their way of working, approaches, meetings, projects, to feel the local atmosphere and to see the qualities and hard work, which are behind their high ranking position among world´s LCs.

Undoubtedly, this LC is striving a lot for reaching the top with the best results. However, sometimes I had a feeling they are running just after numbers and statistically big amount of raised EPs. I´m not thouroughly sure if the quantity can always corresponde with the quality. On the other hand, their LC meetings are made very effectively and shorter, giving just summarisation of the week´s work. It was also a pleasure for me to work in such a nice office with beautiful view, enough space and even rooms, kitchen, toilet and usually full of people. I could observe their AIESEC´s spirit and willingness to work. I do not know why, but probably AIESEC has better name among the students in universities and lot of them want to join this organisation. As a result, they appreciate it more when they manage it.

For the future, I hope our LC Praha will continue with improving the good relations with LC Istanbul. We have comparable size and we are both over-averagelly functioning LCs, so we can mutually share our knowledges and strenghts. Therefore, I would suggest to intensify our cooperation.

Besides, Istanbul is one of the greatest cities I have ever visited and it really overpassed my ecpectations. It´s the only city in world which lies on 2 continents, there´s mixture of islamic and christian culture, modernity and traditions, and it´s unbelievably vivid thanks to dense concentration of people spending most of time on streets. I´ve never got bored, there is always something worth to see and visit. There are lot of places suitable for observing Istanbul, terraces, restaurants, numerous tee-houses or ordinary streets. Moreover, turkisch people are generally so polite, nice and helpful.

I hereby recommend to everyone, go to Istanbul



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