“From the small group discussions to the brilliant people who gave presentations and everything in between. The small group discussions included Youth Mekhete, debating what the priorities should be for a hypothetical country that is in an identical situation to Eritrea”
By Fitsum Tesfamicael
This year’s North America YPFDJ conference held in Toronto was memorable for Chicago chapter members in many ways. First of all, it was the first time we had to cross a country’s border to attend the national conference. Even though the drive from Chicago to Toronto was a great experience in itself overall, it was not as smooth as we hoped it would be. Out of the three cars that left Chicago, only two of them were able to pass the border the first time. The car, with four people in it, that was not allowed to cross the border had to drive back to Detroit to drop the person that created the complication. The four of them stayed the night in Detroit. The next morning, the person who was not allowed to cross the border flew home. The other three started driving back to their destination, Toronto. Even though they were saddened that their bitsot could not make it to the conference with them, these three individuals were not going to let anything get on their way from participating in this unforgettable once a year YPFDJ conference.
The contents of this year’s conference were mentally stimulating. From the small group discussions to the brilliant people who gave presentations and everything in between. The small group discussions included Youth Mekhete, debating what the priorities should be for a hypothetical country that is in an identical situation to Eritrea, the six visions of Eritrean people from the national charter, and much more.
The presentations were given by the following people: Mr. Zemhret Yohannes, the director of the Eritrean Research and Documentation Centre, about human history on political development evolution. Dr. Ghidewon Abay-Asmerom gave an evidence-based presentation about Eritrean people’s hard work and honesty from history and current events. Dr. Elias Amare’s presentation was on the power the pen/media from the perspective of African people struggle for independence which continues to this day. Sophia Tesfamariam talked about how some countries use human rights calls to exploit and dominate other countries. These topics and the way they were presented left us wanting for more. They gave us the motivation to research and learn more about the world we live in.
And then there is the socializing that takes place in these conferences. We get to meet new people every year who have the same interest as us, Eritreans/Eritrea. And with those we have met at previous conferences, we get to know each other on a deeper level. The Bahlawi Mishet (Cultural night) help us connect with our identity, which is second to none. We all know that when these amounts of Eritreans are gathered in one place, the guaila is going to be one of a kind, especially when Qorchach is the one singing for you. My only wish is that we have these conferences twice a year. I know it is not possible but you can’t blame me for wishing.