Tbilisi University Session 2015
CONTENT 4 WARNING! 5 “IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN” 6 ORGANISING BUZZ 7 TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT 8-9 “JE SUIS...” JOURNALIST 10 GREEN IS NOT A CREATIVE COLOUR, IS IT? 11 THE HIGH AND MIGHTY OF TUS’15 12 FAILING AT ITS FINEST 13 WINTER SNOOZING 14-15 EDITORS EXPOSED 16 FROM THE PITCH TO THE POCKET 17 IS IT A SUPERSTITION? 18 MARKED FOR LIFE 19 ONCE UPON A TIME IN EYP 20-23 TUS’15 SESSIONBOOK 24 EYP LOVE FORMULA 25 OFFICIALS’ BLOOPERS 26 WHAT’S NEXT? 3
It is not advised to read this issue straight through, from beginning to the end. These pages contain various adventures encrypted in our memory that you may choose to go back to whenever you start missing EYP. Please, realise that as you read along, there might be a severe attack of emotional meltdown followed by Post-EYP Depression. Keep in mind that as soon as you step out of this venue, you will be asked to make a choice, whether you carry on with your EYP career or set another goal. Remember, whatever decision you make, you are responsible for the consequences that you will ensue in the future. Now, proceed to the following page to see what is in store and dare to CHOOSE YOUR OWN PATH.
- A note from the editors
“IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN” Bonfire of the Vanities- Even though the name sounds very poetic, it directly aimed to usurp the illumination of the Renaissance and bury humankind into the darkness of ignorance. By lighting a huge bonfire, Priest Savonarola tried to destroy all the objects that could have tempted one to sin, including books and causing some of the rarest Latin and Greek manuscripts to perish. This happened in the late 1490s, however, as unfortunate as it may sound, we still have not got rid of the habit of thinking, deciding and acting on behalf of others. “Who decides what is indecent?” - Allen Ginsberg, one of the most significant figures of the Beat Generation (a group of American post World War II writers) directed this question to a crowd of people following the obscenity trial in 1955, which jeopardised the publication of his poem- Howl. All Allen needed was a chance to express his sentiments the way he experienced them, to grieve and let people hear his voice without sticking to formal guidelines which would generate his work as “literary valuable” for critics. In the wake of both World Wars, with thousands of people fighting for freedom, this was quite scandalous case to take place in the Land of the Free – the United States of America. Luckily, Judge Clayton W. Horn pointed out that Howl was not obscene and added: “Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemisms?”As history shows, this was neither first nor the last attempt of banning a book. For centuries, kings, governments and other authoritative bodies were “generous” enough to think, believe and decide what is morally right for their people. Such “gracious” efforts caused a serious breach of freedom of self-expression as those who did not conform to publicly recognised definitions of right and wrong were ostracised. However, it would be unfair to say that authorities did not value literature at all. In fact, they acknowledged the significance of words while diffusing certain ideas or beliefs, and understood perfectly that books were “loaded guns”. Perhaps, one of the reasons for banning Orwell’s 1984 for a specific period of time was that it clearly demonstrated how Big Brother tried to prevent “his comrades” from deciding for themselves and drag them into “fake reality”. The genres of banned books throughout the history vary from novels to essays, from poems to autobiographies. Some were banned due to political reasons. Apparently, a pillar of Martin Luther King’s famous Dream- equality had been dreaded by some, to the extent where Uncle Tom’s Cabin was forbidden during the US Civil War in the South for its anti-slavery content. Though, it is not the only book banned for not complying with the government policy. The author of Animal Farm, for instance, could not find a publisher since his writing involved heavy criticism of Soviet Russia, which was an important ally for the United Kingdom during the WWII. Even today, there are books restricted for including sexual themes, such as Decameron, Ulysses and Madame Bovary. Some are banned for religious reasons, including the Bible being prohibited in North Korea, and a text from Quran being censored by Russian authorities due to anti-extremism laws. Other religious texts are banned in various parts of the world, under the pretext that they might disrupt public peace and unity. Ray Bradbury states in his famous Fahrenheit 451 that “the books are to remind us how fool we are.” The famous antihero of the novel The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield praises books for helping him realise that he is not the first person ever to be frightened and confused by human behaviour. Italo Calvino defines a classic as “a book that has never finished what it has to say”. It should be added that most books considered “classics” today have caused controversy at some point in history. For the firemen of Fahrenheit 451, the process of burning books was a mere pleasure. Though, luckily for us, no matter who firemen are, no matter how strong they are, books will still survive and their “howls” will not be silenced as it should not be forgotten that every burnt book, which has already been read, leaves an imprint in the world.
Vazha Chanchibadze and Zurab Giorgobiani - Some may say that they have invented water, while others may argue that they eat staplers for breakfast, nobody knows for sure. However, I will try my best to characterise these amazing young men. First of all, they are the Head-Organisers of the Tbilisi University Session 2015. If you end up enjoying the session, please feel free to kiss them on their foreheads as a sign of your appreciation (do not take this piece of advice too seriously, though). They deserve it, since they put their heart and soul in creating a memorable experience for peer students. That being said, both Head-Organisers are university students. Vazha studies Economics at Tbilisi State University, where he has been excelling in every possible way. Apart from academic involvement, he enjoys swimming and playing basketball, both of which he is really good at. Additionally, Vazha is known as a ladies’ man. Thus, he is particularly fond of being surrounded by beautiful females during sessions. It is already his third year in EYP and he has been organiser for as long as I have known him. Undoubtedly, Vazha is not only a warm and open-minded youngster, but also a wonderful person and great friend. Unlike Pepsi, which features Messi in its latest commercial and pays him a grand sum to represent the trademark, EYP Georgia pays nothing to Zurab for representing the organisation. However, he is most remembered person among newcomers due to his open nature, bright personality and a great sense of humour. If someone asks you about people you have got acquainted with during the session, you will list a bunch of names and in the end, you will add: “Hmm... That guy with curly locks... The one who fought with aliens over a slice of pepperoni” - you will both know who you will be talking about. When Zurab is not fighting raging aliens, he studies Business and Management at Free University of Georgia. Though, as surprising as it may sound, he is especially drawn to Philosophy. Despite the fact that Zurab prefers keeping his hobbies private, I know for sure he loves eating, so, please feel free to feed him anytime. Considering all the aforementioned information, I believe that both Vazha and Zurab will be properly appreciated by participants of the session. Just like chocolate and ice-cream, they are pretty good separately, but when working together, they create a combination that blows everyone’s mind. They are EYP peers, friends and finally, the Head-Organisers of the Tbilisi University Session 2015! Guga Sukhiashvili
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT It is estimated that on average, each of us spend around three hours a day engaged in observing some form of social media. However, as I am sure most of you would agree, even that is an underestimation. But who could possibly be blamed, when within our modern society having an online presence is no longer optional? There is no denying the fact that social media has come to play an indispensable role in our daily lives as a major tool for both communication and information sharing. Examples are not hard to come by as most of you would have probably heard about this very session through social media and will most likely find yourself using it just as many times through the committee work process. Social media has become a routine part of our lives, but it is this exact familiarity that often leads us to loosing track of how much we are actually sharing, and at times not even recognising the ways in which we share personal information. To draw society’s attention to this issue, a team of researchers from Stanford and Cambridge have put together a programme, called “MagicSause”, which claims that by analysing just Seventy “Facebook likes” it can predict your personality more accurately than most of your friends can do. In order to check the accuracy of the aforementioned programme, I asked Salome Bladadze and Nini Chokhonelidze, fellow delegates from DROI, to test it out for us. They found that though at times statements were incorrect, with the suggested age for both eighteen-year-olds being twenty-five, considering the fact that predictions were made by analysing only their liked pages, it was still really insightful. “I would have never thought that something as minor as my favourite band could somehow play a role in determining my religious beliefs.” says Salome. “What I found to be the most weird was the “life satisfaction” bar and how frightfully precise it turned out to be.” adds Nini. But what exactly is this information even used for? As it is often said, if you are not paying for a service, then you are likely to be not the consumer but rather the product itself. As a result, the majority of people are no longer surprised, or in fact even opposed to their information being sold to private companies as it leads to improved and more personalised services. However, the consequences of one’s online presence are steadily becoming much more personal. According to last year’s statistics, three fourths of all employers admit taking into account a person’s social profile when making a decision about hiring. Likewise, cases of people being fired over what they chose to share or post on social media are getting more and more common. And it is not only about what you post. Even something as seemingly trivial as your social networking “friend list” can have a significant influence on your credit score and chances of getting a loan. It is often too simple to “villainise” social media and portray it as a mystical Big Brother figure, watching over our every move. But we must not overlook the communities it unites and the movements it kindles. If anonymity and discretion are no longer the things that draw us to using Internet, we have no one to look for answers to but ourselves.
Journalism is a career which demands the highest professionalism.It demands responsibility as well, for the line between honest revelations And disingenuous sensationalism is sometimes perilously thin. Margaret Thatcher
While living a life of a mortal human being, one can never be too far from the crowd of people who literally walk the entire Earth in attempts to report something new. Even in the century where media and other sorts of communication are reaching limits of their development and people are fighting for the freedom of speech at the expense of their lives, we still struggle to decide whether journalism exists for the bad or good purposes. Starting from the early nineties, journalism has been considered a mediator between policy making elites and societies. There was a widespread assumption that mass was unable to depict complex issues objectively. Thus, the truth came off being too colourful and bright. As years have passed, question still remains the same - is society ready to handle the unveiled truth? While criticising journalists for every tiny mistake, some people have clearly forgotten what it means to live the life of a journalist. When a war breaks out, expected reaction of an individual is to run far away from the hot spot, but this is never the case with journalists. They are the ones who trek to dangerous zones, face various obstacles and risk their own lives in order to provide us with the breaking news. Thus, if we truly strive to live in a democratic society where every single word matters, we should respect the people who never hesitate to defend the freedom of that very word. Since the twentieth century till now, we can see that the awareness of people has become as high as never before. We see how the meaning of journalism has been changed from then on. Rest assured with the thought that even better days of journalism are still to come. Even a quick look at EYP Journalism can serve as a guarantee for that. What does the Media Team do? Why is it an indissoluble part of the organisation? Through reading articles provided by the Media Team, EYPers can see political or social problems of the modern world from various angles and perspectives. At the same time, such articles help participants form their own views about issues of current interest, which is a great step towards raising awareness and breaking some well-known stereotypes. When you are utterly exhausted during the committee work and find it too complicated to come up with a solution for a particular problem, members of the Media Team are right by your side and serve as the second wind bringing fresh ideas or relaxing activities to the table. Editors, Editorial Assistants and Journalists form a team that creates memories for every single participant of the session. It might surprise you, but journalist’s position is extremely challenging and demanding, since you have to create a material that will be assessed by sharp-sighted and well-educated representatives of student societies. But still, being a journalist is one of the best experiences that can be acquired through this unique organisation. Here comes what members of the ROAR Media Team think about EYP Journalism:
“How cool is the fact that one of your primary goals as a session journalist is to learn about new people and events, and then convert what you know into a compelling story which will be read by dozens of youngsters. That is a dream responsibility for every aspiring writer.”
“EYP Journalism is all about creating memories and preserving a history of a particular session.” Sophie Tsertsvadze “When you are a member of the Media Team, you have a chance to come up with dozens of creative and innovative ideas and easily turn them into reality. “ Guga Sukhiashvili
“EYP Journalism is the combination of the most intoxicating issues and the hottest news that make people drunk as lords.” Nako Edisherashvili
“With the help of the Media Team, all participants of the session will experience one of the best times during the session and the moments captured through the lenses of our cameras will be eternal.” Pınar Özcan “EYP Journalism assembles youngsters who generate various ideas and whose writing skills improve from deadline to deadline.” Mariam Kapanadze
“EYP Journalism is a tough call with its ups and downs, which requires the widest and the deepest general knowledge from a journalist.” Tamar Simonishvili “The Media Team helps me realise that I am very lucky person as I have something which makes saying goodbye so hard.” Nestan Mamukashvili
“EYP Journalism requires all of your innate abilities of imagination and creativity in order to not simply fill the space, but to capture, reflect and depict all those precise moments that will never exist again.” Tatuli Tolbaia “At first it just seems like voluntary masochism, but then it ends up being rewarding in ways you never imagined.” Nia Chigogidze
GREEN IS NOT A CREATIVE COLOUR, IS IT? It is a fact that today humanity has taken bigger steps in terms of technology and industry than ever before in the history. However, as mankind tries to prove its power over nature, the environment is being degraded in multiple ways. This is perceived as a typical and unchangeable result of development. People tend to approach this topic with a sense of fatality and assume that they have no power to make decisions and fix the issues that concern them (“Que sera, sera” - Whatever will be, will be). Such way of thinking is not only wrong on a mindset level, but also puts our lives in danger. Activism advocates and directs social, economic or environmental changes through actions taken by members of society. Especially it carries utmost importance in environmental issues, with the global warming and overpopulation adding up to countless problems of this world. Thus, environmental activism aims to improve conditions and health of the environment and maintain the balance between human and non-human elements of nature. It comes into effect when environmental legislations are inefficient or not applied properly due to lack of jurisdiction, corruption and authority. Reactions coming from the community are reflected through peaceful methods and commonly, the goal of these activities is to create awareness and reach out to a larger crowd. In fact, environment has a lot to do with politics and economics. It is with the industrialisation that economic growth is possible for modern-day developing countries, resulting in increasing profits of investments allocated to industrialisation. The cycle becomes completed with the involvement of governments and local authorities, who regulate the economic policies and the location of industrial facilities. In case a controversial decision is taken, environmental activists “intervene” in their own way and stand up for the nature.
There are specific organisations that aim to eliminate a number of environmental issues. Greenpeace is the most recognised one, which has nearly three million members worldwide. It mostly advocates transition to green energy (solar, wind, etc.), preventing pollution as well as the abundant use of toxic substances, protecting endangered species, forests and sustainable agriculture. In the core of such organisations lies voluntary work, and the reason that they have millions of supporters all over the planet is that, with raising awareness, everyone wants to have a say in their own future. Despite having a strong basis, some organisations have failed to reach out to every single corner of the world. This poses a threat especially to those who expect a systematic and organised ensemble of events and reactions, or maybe a sense of belonging. For instance, several delegates from ENVI have stated that although they would love to take part in an organisation devoted to protecting nature, due to the lack of advertisement they found it extremely hard to join one operating nearby. Being an official member of NGO is not essential to be an activist, though. Even the smallest and easiest tasks that can be done at home, such as recycling, can be considered activism. Green means continuation. It is the most “productive” colour, giving birth to many others with thousands of species, which are indicators of a healthy environment, as well as a healthy future. It is pointless to wait for someone else to take the issue over and fix it. The change can be made only through collective effort, and collectivism starts with individuals taking initiative. In the end, it is all about realising that the sources in this world are scarce and Pınar Özcan
THE HIGH AND MIGHTY OF TUS’15 With cherished years spent in EYP, growing personally and academically, establishing life-long friendships, and planting innovative and creative ideas, I am more than honoured to present to you dedicated, committed and inexplicably enthusiastic president of the Tbilisi University Session 2015- Ms. Bircan Kilci, who flew all the way from Turkey to Georgia to preside this particular event. Despite all the preparation fuzz for the upcoming session, the president kindly agreed to answer a few questions, just so we could get to know her captivating personality in a better way. The presented interview proves to be a little offbeat and bizarre, as well as amusing and humorous. I started off with the general, conventional questions:
T: Who is your favourite public figure/favourite writer/actor? B: The most outstanding figure would definitely be Malala Yousafzai. As for the favourite writer, I will go with Virginia Wolf and surely, Morgan Freeman would be my most beloved actor. T: Who is your role model? B: (Without hesitation) Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. T: What are your main strengths? B: Well... (Gives a little bit of thought) I can make very tasty salads, would that count? T: It sure would. How about your weaknesses, if any? B: I can NOT cook. Then I swiftly moved on to less-mundane questions: T: What is your source of inspiration? B: Ugh, deadlines, definitely deadlines! T: What raises your mood the most? B: Hot chocolate…Oh, and new flight tickets! T: Who is hotter, Pocahontas or Cinderella? B: Pocahontas, duh! (Could not agree more with that!) T: How lucky are you? B: Well, I have never won a lottery, so that should speak for itself… T: If there was a war and you had to grab a weapon, what would it be? B: My two lovely Vice-Presidents. (Frankly, not the answer I expected as I was aiming for AK9) I then decided to test the president’s beliefs: T: Do you believe in Big Foot? B: Okay, that was unexpected! “Big Foot” as in the monster from “How I Met Your Mother”? T: You could say that! Do you like Green eggs and Ham? B: (Now fully surprised) The song? T: Nope, the Dr. Seuss comic poems! T: Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? B: Depends, really… T: Okay, the last question: Imagine you are an 80-year-old lady, what kind of advice would you give to your grandchildren? B: Do not be afraid to make mistakes, travel, experience, love, and do not waste time on the ones who do not love you back! T: Truly a valuable advice!
FAILING AT ITS FINEST Serious faces all dressed up real nice and smart, fancy speeches made, even fancier resolutions produced, extravagant and heated debates on European politics and economics… Surely, EYP looks dead appealing and hyper serious on the outlook, and it most certainly is, but the things that make it even more loveable and more importantly, awfully delightful are its tiny failures. To start with, the speeches that are made both at the opening /closing ceremonies and the General Assembly, at times can be unique and captivating, but sometimes just too cliché. Having spent almost a year in EYP, I have familiarised myself little too well with these two harmless words: “lovely” and “fruitful”. Not once, have I ever seen a session come to an end without hearing those words mentioned in speeches: “I wish you a fruitful work”, “the session proved to be very fruitful” or “let’s invite our lovely chairs in the circle”, “a warm welcome to our lovely president” and so on and so forth. Though, not only certain words, but the whole mainstream sentences are being frequently used while delivering a speech. I have too often heard an official at the opening ceremony encouraging delegates to “look on their left, and then look on their right”, promising that by the end of the session, when they look around, the people sitting beside them will no longer be strangers, but the dearest friends. Though, my all time favourite has to be the oddly formulated “attack speech” cliché, usually uttered by a delegate, addressing the proposing committee: “Thank you for your resolution, I hate it.” It practically implies that “you have done the worst job you possibly could, but I have to thank you anyway for your work, because the social convention dictates me to do so.” That is mainly the reason why I am all ears during the General Assembly and never am I able to hide the sneaky smile when I hear those phrases coming from the podium. There are issues connected to applauding properly as well. For instance, we always clap after hearing the European anthem, completely disregarding the fact that it is actually pretty unacceptable. Moreover, during the opening/ closing ceremony or the General Assembly, people officially refuse to keep applauding until a person goes from the seat to the podium to deliver a speech. We usually start clapping nicely at first and then when a speaker has, say two more meters to go, the applause dies out but is renewed right after the speaker actually stands behind the podium, eagerly expecting another round of applause. The last but certainly not the least, my very personal observation about the typical EYP photography, which basically implies portraits displaying each and every part of your face. Sometimes the photographs are so very professional (and frankly speaking, pretty zoomed in) that it is simply impossible to hide a pimple on your face. Though, the worst part would be the fact that you are automatically tagged in the photograph and already gone viral on Facebook. For this reason, I have come to appreciate the “hide from timeline” function. There is a lot more in EYP that makes it so special. I leave it unto you, both delegates and officials, to contemplate your own funny, embarrassing, bizarre EYP failures and experiences and embroider them tightly on your minds and hearts, so that in the future, when you look back, they shall serve as your very own mood-raisers and sources for inspiration.
I am in the bus full of people. My head is aching badly and I am having dark circles under my eyes. I am sitting and struggling to stay awake, but I cannot help myself...I doze off. Sleep is Mother Nature’s panacea, more powerful than any drug in its ability to modernise and rejuvenate the human brain. Thus, getting the right amount of sleep is important in improving concentration, heedlessness and maintaining the fat-burning systems that regulate our weight. Taking the aforementioned information into account, I can presume that Alexander the Great did not want to keep fit as he slept only four hours a day. Martin Eden, who slept as little as five hours per night, woke up instantly, just like a cat, because he was always happy that several hours of his unconsciousness were gone. There was too much to live for. Similarly, there is too much that has to be done during a particular session in EYP. Indeed, it is a place where a good night’s sleep becomes a luxury and those who sleep more than three hours per day are often criticised by others. That is why we wake up instantly when the alarm goes on. However, I can assure you when the session is over, you will only want to sleep for years and not be aware of the fact that you exist. When I recall all those places where EYPers used to fall asleep, I can say without an ounce of hesitation that a bus is the most comfortable bed substitution. However, I still want to give you some tips that will help you find comfortable places for getting some sleep during sessions. TOP 5 PLACES/WAYS TO SLEEP DURING A SESSION: (Based on a true story) 1. PRINTER - As the Head-Organisers of TUS’15, Zurab Giorgobiani and Vazha Chanchibadze, assure us, this is the most comfortable sleeping place during printing resolutions before the General Assembly. 2. LAVATORY/BATHROOM - If you are totally exhausted after long day of committee work, either one works. 3. GENERAL ASSEMBLY - Not a wise choice, but sometimes it is utterly impossible to resist yourself. If such thing really happens, make sure you do not get caught. 4. PIANO - You will simultaneously practice your music skills. 5. LAPTOP - Make sure not to drool all over it.
Nako Edisherashvili 13
EDITORS You could not possibly miss this duo. Tatuli is sitting quietly next to her laptop, going through all the deadlines over and over again, while doing editorial work and once in a while, cheering with glee when reading a successful article. Mari is putting all of her creativity to work, accompanying it with music and making humorous comments that definitely reduce stress during the working process. Despite their busy schedule, both Editors kindly agreed to answer some of the questions that could give you an insight on their personalities. A: What was your first thought when you found out that you would be editing the TUS’15? T: Okay, before we were selected for this position, it was just a promiscuous dream for me to become an Editor of a particular session, but when I actually got selected, my first thought was: “Oh, dear... I am in trouble!” M: Tatuli and I have been planning this for such a long time that I could hardly believe it when we finally got selected. We were extremely enthusiastic about editing, but as soon as I received a confirmation email, I got a panic attack. That was the very first time when I actually realised how much responsibility it is to be editing the session and guiding the whole group of journalists. A: What is your most vivid memory from EYP experience? T: I guess it is connected to Batumi International Forum’14, because I have developed massively as a journalist there. I have gained all the necessary skills, including time-management and article-writing, from the “TIDE” Media Team. I cannot choose any specific moment, but rather BIF’14 as a whole would be the most memorable experience for me. M: My first experience of being a journalist in Telavi. That is where I made friends with Tatuli and all of my other current friends. It was a step forward in both my academic performance and social life. A: What did you enjoy the most while being a delegate? T: I enjoyed doing sum-up speeches the most! That is a part of General Assembly, when you get to be emotional and support your beliefs and ideas with arguments that are reasonable enough to leave an impact on the audience. It is very hard to combine emotions with objectivity, but I always embrace the challenges and make them an additional motivation for myself. M: Committee work was my favourite part of the EYP session. I was very confused at first, but I caught on later and actually started enjoying the discussions. After my first experience of being a delegate, I thought I would never come back to this organisation again, that is how frustrating it was. I found it extremely tiresome when delegates were loudly arguing about certain issues. I literally got headaches from listening to them. However, as surprising as it may seem, I became a part of that arguing mess myself and actually enjoyed it later on. This is how unpredictable one’s EYP experience can be! A: What do you admire most about your co-editor? T: I admire the fact that she can never say “NO”. She is a typical “YES” person, which outlines her kindness and unselfishness. Undoubtedly, this is something I absolutely love about her. M: She is very spontaneous, just like me. She manages to make the last minutes decisions which turn out to be the best ones. When we are caught up in difficult situations, we always start dancing. If we were on a deserted island, all alone, we would whine, but then we would stand up and dance. Even in toughest times, she can stay positive and supportive.
EXPOSED A: What is the most unique feature of hers? T: Well... She has not got any sleep throughout the month and still is able to function properly. M: She bites her nails in stressful situations, though she tries to hide this fact. A: How will you restore your energy after the session is over? T: I usually drink loads of caffeine to keep the energy and creativity flowing during the session. However, as soon as I am finished with the TUS’15, I will most definitely get a proper night’s sleep, followed by American Horror Story marathon and eating my favourite snacks. M: I will sit down and go through the session photographs. A: What is your biggest dream? T: I do not have dreams, I have goals. My biggest goal at the moment is to reach exaltation in my profession and to become an impactful sociologist, who will actually contribute to the improvement of Georgian society. It might have sounded a little far-fetched or even ambitious, but I feel extremely passionate about it. M: My dreams change frequently. I decided to watch the Doctor House series again and I am under the huge impression. Thus, at the moment, my biggest dream is to work as an assistant of Doctor House that would be thrilling. A: If you could be anything in the world, who or what would you be? T: I would be a genie, a kind one, though... But sometimes being a tricky genie can be more fun (smiles mischievously). M: I would be a chef-cook on one of the TV shows. That way I would get to travel the world and make delicious food. A: A perfect human being is... T: From my perspective, a perfect human being is smart, kind, open-minded, fair-minded, and also empathetic. M: Someone who loves movies, I guess. I try to imagine a perfect human, but I am having such a hard time... (Groans in frustration) Someone with a genuine and kind smile. A: Where is happiness? T: Happiness is around people you love, people you are comfortable with, including not only family members, but also close friends. M: In Nepal and Tibet. A: What is your happy place? T: Being at my friend’s house by the seaside, drinking ice-coffee and having a girl-talk. That is truly my happy place. Other than that, my happy place would be sitting in my armchair, wrapped in a blanket and reading an interesting book. That is a perfect surrounding for me. M: Movie theatre. A: EYP is... T: A challenge. But a positive one! M: EYP is life, EYP is love. It is especially true for me as I am doing nothing but EYP, literally nothing. So it is actually my life. As for love, it is a place where I experience love the most, while being among my closest friends and creating something as great as THIS (spins around) together!
FROM THE PITCH TO THE POCKET “I eat football, I sleep football, I breathe football. I am not mad, I am just passionate.” This famous quote, attributed to the football legend Thierry Henry, pretty much sums up how obsessed football enthusiasts from all over the world are. While sporting events are generally of major interest to a wide range of people across the globe, soccer has managed to bring it to a completely new level - about one billion people watched the World Cup Final 2014 online or through TV broadcasts which is the greatest number ever reached in sports events audiences. Although commonly followed and enjoyed by many fans all around the world, such international events have an aspect that we are completely unfamiliar with. According to several researches conducted by various organisations, sport as an activity has recently outgrown its limits and turned into an entirely new industry of its own, involving countless cases of corruption where parties attempt to distort results deliberately. Corruption in sports comes in different forms. The most common form of corruption is connected to the usage of performance-enhancing substances that give competitors an advantage over their rivals. Lance Armstrong, a cyclist who has won Tour de France seven times, admitted having used performance-enhancing drugs and as a result, many of his awards were rescinded after the scandal broke out. Match-fixing is another problem in sports, especially in football which is not necessarily related to betting. The magic of sports lies in its unpredictability, so why bother watching if one knows the result in advance? That is probably because the sports industry offers nearly two hundred billion dollars per year to all the competing parties. Everyone wants to have a share out of sports, without realising that by such actions they are actually killing the entire industry. Using (or misusing) insider information is another form of corruption in sports which provides illegal income through betting companies to the parties involved. For instance, one case occurred in the United Kingdom, when football players, who were unavailable to play for their team due to severe injuries and who were well aware of the overall situation, betted on their team to lose which brought them a huge amount of money. As unfortunate as it may sound, some institutions that aim to prevent corruption are also corrupted. Michael J. Garcia, the chairman of the investigative branch of FIFA Ethics Committee, conducted a research on the bidding process for 2018 and 2022 World Cups (which are to be held in Russia and Qatar) in September 2014, and the publication of the report was blocked due to its controversy. The United Kingdom had also made an unsuccessful bid which was followed by claims that FIFA has demanded bribe. Smells fishy, does it not? It is especially suspicious, considering that hosting a World Cup in Qatar will require entirely new arrangements for at least three seasons in the national leagues and a huge burden for international institutions all around the world as well. Apparently, as the journalist Andrew Jennings stated, FIFA “used the public office for private gain.” Centuries ago, Plato theorised that we all live in a cave and what we see in this world are mere shadows of puppets, held up in front of a burning fire by people who hide themselves behind a wall and we, prisoners, are pretty content with it. The similar thing takes place in today’s world as we see what we are allowed to. We enjoy watching but we never bother to look behind to catch a glimpse of the light outside the cave. “All the world’s a stage”, Shakespeare said. In sports there is a lot of dirt going on behind the scene that remains unnoticed. Just turning around would be enough to actually perceive the reality and as soon as one gets out of the cave, there is no going back!
IS IT A SUPERSTITION?
Being wary of Friday the 13th is much more than just a superstition observed by a few people in distant, unreachable towns and hamlets. In the United States alone, it is estimated that between seventeen and twenty-one million people dread this date to the extent that it has been officially classified as a phobia, named as paraskevidekatriaphobia. So, why is Friday the 13th considered to be such an “evil” day? The origins of the superstition are not perfectly clear, but both Friday and the number “13” have long been considered unlucky and it was around the late nineteenth century that the first documented instances started appearing, where people put the combination of the day and number together to form the unluckiest day of all. To start with, the most popular theory of Friday being an unlucky day is thought to be originated from Christianity. According to Bible, on Friday Eve gave Adam the “apple” and as a result, they were exiled from the Garden of Eden. Though, it should be noted that not all cultures in the ancient world were afraid of the number thirteen. For instance, the Ancient Egyptians believed life was a spiritual journey that unfolded in stages. Twelve of these stages occurred during lifetime, but the last one, the thirteenth, was a joyous transformative ascension to an eternal afterlife. Thus, the number thirteen symbolised death, but not in a form of fear. Instead, it was an acknowledgement of a splendid eternal life. Still, there are some inexplicable occurrences linked to Friday the 13th. If we concentrate on the TUS’15, a number of dubious events had been taking place on that exact day. While hurrying to get to the session on time, one of the Head-Organisers (Zurab, to be more precise) along with other two officials accidentally ended up in Mtsketa, which is a town situated next to Tbilisi. Moreover, one of the members of the organising team realised that he had accidentally left his mobile phone in a cab. Most importantly, the session journalist, who was taking photographs of her respective committee, fell off the desk and damaged her left leg. Some people may believe that assumptions about Friday the 13th are real, while others may argue that they are amples of boundless human imagination and we just tend to pay disproportionately much attention to mere coincidences occurring the same day. No one knows for sure. Thus, it is completely up to you whether you believe it or not.
Female Genital Mutilqtion
MARKED FOR LIFE
“To this day, I had never experienced a pain as intense as being mutilated. It was the kind of pain I would not wish upon my worst enemy.”- recalls a 15-year-old Iraqi FGM victim. With no health benefits whatsoever, Female Genital mutilation also known as FGM comprises all procedures that involve “partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other intentional injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”, as defined by the WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA. Procedures can cause severe bleeding, cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths. Today, more than one hundred and twenty-five million girls and women alive have been cut in twenty-nine countries in Africa and Middle East where the FGM is concentrated. The circumcision is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and the age of fifteen. The practice is rooted in gender inequality and is therefore deemed as direct violation of human rights by the WHO. FGM attempts to control women’s sexuality and ideas about purity, modesty and aesthetics. It is a mix of cultural, religious and social factors within families and communities and is often motivated by beliefs about linking procedures to premarital virginity and marital fidelity. In most of the eastern countries, FGM is often considered as a necessary part of raising a girl properly, and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage. Although no religious scripts are prescribed to the practice, practitioners often believe that they have religious support, which results in FGM becoming a social convention, pressuring young girls to undergo the said procedure. “Those who are not cut in our village are looked down upon. No one will ever eat anything they cook. They are seen as impure and unclean.”-states Payam from Iraq. Since 1997, great efforts have been made to counteract FGM through research, work within communities and changes in public policy, such as a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on the elimination of female genital mutilation and a “global strategy to stop health care providers from performing FGM” published by the WHO. Even though FGM has been outlawed and restricted in most of the countries in which it occurs, the laws are weakly enforced. There is an arising controversy surrounding the ban of the Female Circumcision, particularly amongst the anthropologists. Eric Silverman, an American cultural anthropologist, states that “FGM has become one of anthropology’s central moral topics, raising difficult questions about cultural relativism, tolerance and the universality of human rights.” In other words, as previously mentioned, in most societies FGM is considered as a cultural tradition, which is often used as an argument for its continuation. It goes beyond the shadow of a doubt that the FGM needs to be eliminated for good. However, continuous attempts to raise international awareness of the issue do not prove to be enough and undoubtedly, wider international involvement is required to end FGM. International monitoring bodies and resolutions that condemn the practice are mandatory, revised legal frameworks and growing political support are equally essential. Indeed, in today’s society where we strive to guarantee freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatments, young girls and women, like ourselves, shall not suffer in the name of traditions and trivial social conventions.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN EYP Every tale includes characters that start their journeys for a search of joy, happiness and friendships. Believe it or not, EYP is structured in the same way. By joining this unique organisation and attending a number of sessions, we gain valuable knowledge, great experience and most importantly, life-long friendships. Thus, it is not surprising at all that even after attending numerous sessions, one cannot help but apply for more and more EYP events. Below, participants of the Tbilisi University Session 2015 explain why they stay involved in this organisation.
Louise Van Benschop (Vice President) “From the beginning, the particular reason that motivated me to apply for various sessions held by EYP was connected to my strong desire to travel, explore and meet new people. Currently, I am an EYPer because I want to figure out what others think about the problems I am interested in.” Markos Merkouris (Chairperson) “I stay in EYP because it has helped me acquire truly valuable skills. Most importantly, it has given me a chance to meet with interesting, bright youngsters from all over the Europe and thus, feel a certain sense of European identity.” Irakli Kikoria (Organiser) “After spending a year in EYP, I have realised that this organisation is all about people. I have already made a lot of friends here. Actually, they are the ones who motivate me to apply for every single session of EYP Georgia.” Tamar Garuchava (Organiser) “I believe in our teenage years it is essential to stay engaged and EYP is the organisation which provides a perfect opportunity for motivated youngsters to become active citizens of their countries. It has always encouraged me to gain knowledge, explore, discover, and have fun at the same time. That is why I am still here.” Pinar Özcan (Journalist) “The reason why I keep filling in application forms whenever a new call is announced is due to the fact that there is something new to share each time. I know that I have a place regardless of whether I am acquainted with people or not.” Tamar Simonishvili (Journalist) “It has simply been more than pleasant to see myself growing both academically and personally over a year and taking on to new challenges. Being a part of EYP gives me this heightened sense of self-satisfaction for which I am eternally thankful.” Mariam Chaduneli (BNC Member) “After so many years, I still come back to EYP because here I meet people who can challenge me in every field. But above all, EYP is all about the perfect balance between fun and academic work.”
EYP LOVE FORMULA According to a widely spread assumption, EYPers are not humans as they have the intelligence and strength of advanced robots. If taken into account various tasks performed by members of the organisation that require cold calculations instead of feelings and emotions, the truthfulness of this statement cannot be questioned. However, one should never forget the existence of couples who symbolise sensitivity and tenderness in EYP. They started out with fear, doubt and hesitation. Nevertheless, it was a start. Taking baby steps towards establishing relationship, especially in EYP, is an extremely hard job. Though, it is accomplishable with an ounce of courage. The latter can be proved by introducing to you one of the most famous couples of EYP Georgia- Elene Ambidze and Zurab Giorgobiani, who dedicated their precious time in order to answer a few questions that could give you an insight on their relationship. N: What was the most romantic day in your life? Z: Well, well... Every day is romantic as long as it is spent with Elene. As cliché as it may sound, I am falling in love with her harder day by day. E: When we were walking in the rain and eating croissants all night long. I cannot say why but we were so happy! N: Zurab, can you name the most special gift you have ever received from Elene? Z: I cannot recall one... E: (Jumps into the conversation) Surely, you can! It is a handmade bracelet! I have been working on it for two days. N: Elene, what kind of gift do you want to get from Zurab on Valentine’s Day? E: I want him to shave his beard. As there are a number of EYPers who still remain single, we decided to interview Irakli Kikoria, a member of the organising team, who is considered a ladies’ man of EYP Georgia. S: How would you organise a romantic date for your beloved one? I: Well... I would invite the lady over to my place. The room would be lit with candles and there would be roses everywhere. Romantic music would be playing all night long. I would wear a suit with a bowtie, like a true gentleman, and of course I would hold a rose bouquet to give it to my beloved one. Moreover, I would prepare something delicious to amaze her even more. S: Generally, what does Valentine’s Day mean to you? I: This day is a chance for couples to spend more time together. Even though some people may think that it is not appropriate to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Georgia, I believe this is one of the most beautiful occasions that should definitely be celebrated! S: Your dream girl is... I: A brunette with a good sense of humour and beautiful smile. Nako Edisherashvili Sopho Tsertsvadze
WHAT’S NEXT? After endless hours of diligent work and sleepless nights full of dizzy anticipation, with all the resolutions discussed and defended, the three days that seem to have stretched over eternity officially come to an end. However, among the frenzy of goodbyes and deserved congratulations a certain moment will startle you, making you realise that starting from tomorrow you are going to go back to everyday life, where spontaneous group hugs are not deemed as socially acceptable and where new friends, who have managed to become so indispensable, are not so constantly present. In moments like these, the only real comfort can come in hopes and promises of reunions at the soon-to-come sessions. Luckily for every heartbroken delegate, the EYP schedule of 2015 is busier than it has ever been. EYP Georgia is going to hold four major Regional Selection Conferences which will take place all over the country in a variety of beautiful cities full of historic sites. Just like other sessions, these events are guaranteed to bring together many talented young individuals. But unlike the University Session, they will also be uniting a more diverse group of people both in terms of age and cultural or social backgrounds. These sessions will also be giving a chance to the most exceptional and dedicated delegates to get selected for the National Selection Conference, an event which will have an honour of composing next year’s Georgian delegations for one of the biggest and most important events that are held by EYP - International Sessions. The sessions are as follows: Batumi Regional Selection Conference Planned to be held before end of March, Batumi Regional Selection Conference is going to take us to the picturesque seaside capital of the country. Apart from the perfect location, the session will also have the fortune of being Head-Organised by two outstanding ladies- Ms. Sali Gogitidze and Ms. Lika Tsintsadze, who aim to make this session the ideal opportunity “for sharing experiences and ideas with new EYPers and helping through the enhancement and development of EYP Batumi”. Gori Regional Selection Conference In the middle of April, EYP Georgia is going to hold its very first regional session in the historic town of Gori. Head-Organising this truly milestone session will be the prerogative of two of the most dedicated and passionate EYPers, Ms. Nako Edisherashvili and Mr. Toma Adamia. They publicly promised that they would “do their very best, not to let a single detail escape them and make the perfect session; the one you have always dreamed of.” Kutaisi Regional Selection Conference From May 1st to 3rd this year, EYP will have the pleasure of organising a regional session in the legislative capital and the second biggest city in Georgia - Kutaisi. The session could not be in safer hands, as it is being Head-Organised by some of the most experienced EYP Georgia alumni - Mr. Giorgi Gugenishvili and Ms. Veriko Devidze. Their biggest hope is to make this “the perfect session for newcomers to start their EYP journeys and returning delegates to test their academic skills”. Mtskheta Regional Selection Conference Taking place in one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Georgia, Mtskheta Regional Selection Conference is going to be held from 20th to 23rd of May, and will be one of the last EYP sessions of the year and consequently the last chance to experience the beauty of regional sessions firsthand. If the aforementioned was not enough of a reason to get exited, be informed that it is being Head-Organised by the amazing Editors of this very session - Ms. Tatuli Dolbaia and Ms. Mari Kapanadze.