This post is composed of different thoughts that are not necessarily in proper order, so I apologize in advance.
2017 has been a tough year. A tough year for me, a tough year for my region, a tough  year  for  our community , a tough year for many communities I relate to. I agree with what Carolina  shared recently: “We survived 2017!”
While many of us are surviving, some of us are talking about hope. Not the romantic kind of hope, but the realistic one. The pragmatic one. Instead of writing poems in the name of hope, we use hope as a tool in our survival, to support our struggling. We do struggle, a lot. We endure a lot of awful things that happen, to us, to friends, to innocent people we know, or not know.
It is having a toll on our well being, on our health, the physical one and the mental. We try to take care of our loved ones, of our friends, of our colleagues. We try to protect our communities. We try to create safe spaces while trying to filter out harassers and bullies. But it gets to the point when it is too much. When even the strongest of us need help and comfort. When even our strongest feel very weak.
Given how screwed up the world is right now, and how the internet is changing to a different form than when GV began, I feel GV is getting more important than ever. In the 2000s, we always had this discussion, if web2.0 is a complimenting factor or a substitute to traditional media. There were many arguments between bloggers and traditional journalists, that led to forcing traditional media to evolve. Traditional media is now becoming what GV wanted to be when GV started.
Right now, traditional media is in this place where it needs to evolve again, to a place where GV is going to taking the lead again. Fake news? Transparency? Community? Network? International? Reach? We were working on all this for years before traditional media began to realize the potential, to market these terms of the “cool stuff” or the “new stuff”. It is time to realize, it is time to show the world that we are the cool kids. We are the leaders, and we will always be the leaders!
It was lovely meeting you at the summit. Old friends, and new ones as well! Having the summit almost by the end of the year was pretty symbolic to me, marking a new beginning with my relationship with GV, and how I see myself as a part of this amazing community. I joined GV almost nine years ago , that's the longest time I ever stayed in one place!
In my childhood, I used to change schools every couple of years because my family moved a lot, and I attended high school and university in different cities. I am not used to staying in the same place for more than 4 or 5 years. Back then over the years, I developed a weak connection with places and people so breaking up and moving won't be too hard.
But with this community, I felt this powerful connection, the belonging. In this community I saw how I could change to be more open to others, others who are like me while different. Like me in openness, opening our minds. In this community, I shared moments of victory and happiness and preserved my sanity in the moments of sadness and defeat. The diversity, the friendships, the experience, the ingenuity, the knowledge, the curiosity, the kindness, these are just examples of what I enjoy in this community.
So, I want to take this opportunity to thank you.
Thank you Global Voices, for letting me stay for nine years belonging to you, and holding on for many years to come!
Thank you Lingua for being the essence of GV! Bridging different communities, crossing languages, and regions! Translators are not “just translators”, translators are so important! Translators are the best! And Translation Managers are the rockstars! Our translators, you, have this unique ability to acquire many skills and contribute to various projects, not necessarily related to translation! Also, translation naturally builds relationships in our community, which is a core part of how GV evolves! You rock!
Thank you GV authors! Writing about my blog in GV was what pushed me to join! Keep writing, keep rocking, keep fighting the way you always do!
Thank you GV Editors! I can't thank you enough! You are the leaders who enable our amazing authors and translators to do what they do best!
Finally, I wish you a happy new year, Global Voices! Let's show the world what hope can achieve! Let's change the world by showing the good, instead of fighting the evil! Let's unite the world behind happiness! Let's just be together! Let us be!