From my childhood, I have been a curious mind to know other people’s minds and they’re prospective. For me, traveling is never meant to chill in nature or do adventure. It’s always meeting new people with a new culture, language, and amazing food. I believe the most amazing thing in the universe is “Homo sapiens”.
My “searching people” goal lead me to many international conferences and summits in neighboring countries. But, I never attended an international youth summit in my own country. The reason is that most of the conference or summit here is domestic and that never excites me to join paying for a seat.
But, a few months back I saw a post that a youth summit is about to happen in Bangladesh in the city of Cox’s Bazar which has the longest sea beach on planet earth (just a little show-off here 😂). And the summit seemed to be International. I didn’t take a second to register and book a seat. It was around 30 euros. Cheap? Not in Bangladesh 💁🏻
On the day of the program which is the 23rd of July, I took a long bus journey and reached the venue on time and it was chaos. Ultra level mismanagement and I just couldn’t understand what was going on there. Fortunately got direction from them and figured out what to do and what I need to do.
Took a seat and tried to find like-minded people and wah, I made friends and we were talking about certain things. For me, the summit was all about that.
What I genuinely hated about the program was the class distinction. The summit authority pre-decided who will seat where and had an announcement in the beginning of the program. For example, foreign delegates will seat in the left corner and so on. I mean come on, we are in a summit to expand our network and it felt like we have borders within a hall room and I have the weakest passport like my Bangladeshi one.😦
The summit was not bad when speakers took their time for some sessions.
Unfortunately, a virtual session was so boring that, an Afgan delegate used to art the speaker live in his “not so great” time. A pure creative mind it seems😁.
Day one was average, until we learned we are having a concert time with local and national singers and also some stage drama. I didn’t take my dinner and reached the venue on time. And it was fun. Bangladesh is not a festive country like The Netherlands and other European countries. We hardly have these events. So, I enjoyed every second possible for me. Made friends throughout the dancing session LOL. 🕺🏻💃🏻
After the concert there was a gala night with a buffet dinner, possibly the worst buffet I have ever been to.
Day 2 starts with the best part of the summit. There was a climate session where the main moderator was one of my friend name Sohanur Rahman who is the young face of Climate activism in Bangladesh. The session panelists were full of members of parliaments and diplomats. But that was not the specialty of the session. The session was very interactive with the youth. We could ask them questions about various things and they also ask for values. It rarely happens in Bangladesh where a politician listen🙆🏻♂️
In that session, I also get to know more people who talked my heart and I always become friends with like-minded ones. Now we are connected via Facebook.
It was time to close the summit by 6 pm and we got a certificate with spelling mistakes but they promised us to send a corrected copy somehow. It didn’t happen till now (2 August,2022)🙅♂️
Did I learn anything from the summit?
Yes, I learned the fact that not only international people but also people in your country can have different cultures, a different mindset and different stories. You gotta search within your boundaries.
The good part of the summit?
The good part was that they gather two hundred delegates in one place and organized two days summit and create a space to know each other. Who knows in the coming future some of us might start a business or social venture together.
The bad part?
My goodness, it was chaos at many levels. From accommodation to food to timing. Everything was a mess. But we can forget and forgive them because it was their first ever summit. I learned that, if I start something new, I will do it small according to my capacity.
We need more of these programs in Bangladesh where we can learn from wise people and expand our network. Now I have friends almost everywhere in Bangladesh and my domestic network is going pretty well. I am not poor anymore because I believe the network is my net worth.
Thank you reading and hopefully I will continue writing stories regularly again.
Fahad Bin Husne Ali,