Dear friends, members of this extremely valuable and diverse community of GVers!
I am writing this post to introduce myself as I too have been nominated for Volunteers’ Representative. Although I must say, I feel very unusually unprepared. It is most likely the result of me being from Azerbaijan and not really knowing (or having experienced for that matter) elections. So being nominated, in elections- the whole idea is not just new but as I said, unusual and very exiting at the same time.
Having said this, I am beyond honoured to be nominated together with so many amazing and talented GVers.
So, first things first. I am Arzu Geybulla(yeva) from Azerbaijan, based for the past few years in Istanbul. I am a journalist by background and have been reporting about Azerbaijan since 2009. But I have also been engaged in advocacy campaigns on behalf of political prisoners in Azerbaijan and have spoken at a number of international events, delivering speeches about poor human rights and freedoms record back home.
My main passion however is writing and telling stories. This is how I was introduced to journalism in the first place. I started up a blog back in 2008 and slowly what started as more of a hobby developed into me writing for outlets and covering developments in Azerbaijan. In 2014, my work was recognised by the BBC and was named on the list of 100 Women.
Today, I am continuing my work as a journalist in self imposed exile covering Azerbaijan.
I was introduced to GV community back in 2009. With a break of few years in between, I was thrilled to reconnect again in 2013. For me the most fascinating feature of GV community is the pace of volunteer translators and a chance these amazing folks create for authors to see their writing republished in so many other languages. That in itself, to me is magic. Because as a journalist when you write a story, you are writing it with the hope it is read as widely as possible and reaches many corners of the world. GV has created this opportunity and for this, I am forever grateful.
And then of course, you have this extremely diverse community of contributors who are passionate in telling stories and it makes me feel at ease knowing there is a community I fully trust and if anything happens to any of us, we have each other's back. Having dealt with assisting political prisoners, their families, organising advocacy campaigns, I have always found GV a place people can rely on for exposing the cases, and calling for an international support.
This is why, it is a great honour to be nominated to represent this community. I often think of GV as a Christmas tree, except the one that you never take apart to put back in a box. It always stands, straight, colourful, and ready to wow people with its presence.
I wish all the luck to everyone on the list of nominees. And I am honoured beyond words to be among them once again. Good luck to everyone.
Good luck, Arzu! :)
Good luck, dear Arzu! I know you’d do it great!
Same to you darling!
Good luck, Arzu. By the way, in Urdu/Hindi, the word Arzu (or arzoo) means wish or desire. Just the right name for one who is in the fray for elections :)
It is the same in Azerbaijani.
Thank you for your kind words!
This is beautiful, Arzu! Good luck <3 xx
Thank you beautiful person!
Same to you!
Hi Arzu – here is a question that I’m posing to all of the candidates, as a way to encourage discussion during the last couple of days of campaigning:
1.) If you are elected board member, what would be the most critical challenge facing Global Voices that you would make your top priority to help address over the next three years? And why do you feel like addressing this challenge is especially important for our community?
Arzu, I love that you think of GV as a Christmas tree that never goes back into a box. Such wonderful imagery. Following Eddie’s lead, I’m asking all the candidates a question too.
Do you have any thoughts on how Global Voices can scale the trust we’ve built internally in our community to larger audiences outside of our community, so we can make more of the world look like GV?
I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers to this question. In fact, I’m not sure I have answers myself (!), but would love to hear any thoughts that it inspires.
Good luck in the election!
Eddie Q: If you are elected board member, what would be the most critical challenge facing Global Voices that you would make your top priority to help address over the next three years? And why do you feel like addressing this challenge is especially important for our community?
I think I would look into raising more funds for GV. I remember Cebu, this was my first summit and I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed meeting other authors, actually seeing my editor I work with in person. I would love to see these meetings happen more often. Perhaps start with regional levels. Just so people see each other ever so often. And I am not talking about big events, just short, one-two day meetings, open to public discussing pressing issues, challenges, offering solutions, brainstorming on partnerships.
Sahar Q: Do you have any thoughts on how Global Voices can scale the trust we’ve built internally in our community to larger audiences outside of our community, so we can make more of the world look like GV?
Thank you Sahar.
I am not sure if I have an exact answer to that. But I do think that videos, animation, visual messages are often great communicators of a specific message. So perhaps we could work on short videos about GV community, groups of two-three people talking to each other from the community, telling each other what they like about GV, why they think its an important platform, why they are there in the first place.
I don’t know if this feasible but I do think, the more people know about people who make GV what it is, the more change we can bring.
Many thanks to both of you for your questions.