All aboard the YOCOPAS airplane. More than fifty nationalities represented by EMIS students, ambassadors from Turkey, Guatemala, European Union, Union of the Mediterranean, guests, proud parents, students from Palestine, Spain, Denmark, amongst many others boarded the YOCOPAS airlines flight. All these people from different corners of the world, gathered in the same auditorium, with the one and only purpose: Seeking a change in the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by collaborating through a platform of dialogue.
The on-board entertainment started with the amazing Linda Yuan, playing a beautiful song on her unique Guzheng. It was a beautiful piece where everyone was able to indulge in the Chinese culture.
Then Dr. Kobi Nave, CEO of the Kfar, expressed his happiness and proud feelings of the Kfar Hayrok community for being the host of this conference, through a really meaningful speech.
Opening greetings were given by The European Union ambassador, Head of the EU delegation to Israel, Mr. Emanuele Giaufret. Mr Giaufret did not miss being part of this unique event and gave an inspiring speech, highlighting the amazing EMIS mission. It was really motivating for the participants of YOCOPAS, that such an important person came to support the mission of the movement, and gave hope that this movement will spread further throughout the world.
The evening continued with a performance from three of our amazing and talented EMIS students. This time it was for Spaniards to demonstrate their Hispanic culture. Sara and Irene Diaz performed a breathtaking flamenco performance, while the unique Mario Martin showed his musician skills playing the guitar. It was an unforgettable dance. Holay!
We welcomed to the stage a key member of YOCOPAS, and EMIS as a whole, Dr. Nedal Jayousi from the House of Professional Solutions. Dr. Jayousi is the reason why most Palestinians were able to come to YOCOPAS, and his speech opened our eyes to the importance of dialogue within this conflict. When he asked all the Palestinians to stand, it was eye-opening to see how many people were able to cross borders and join the movement.
It was followed by two speeches from Ms. Margarida Mano and Ms. Laurence Pais both representing the Union for the Mediterranean.
The skillful Samar Qassasafeh, EMIS DP2 student, gave a stupendous performance. She sung Helwa Ya Baladi /My beautiful country, and got the whole crowd clapping and dancing along.
Dr. Alexander Brakel from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung gave a speech showing his support and the conference would not have been possible without the help of KAS and Dr. Brakel and his team.
The YOCOPAS leadership committee was represented by the incredible Keren Saban. She gave an encouraging speech about the importance of activism rather than just plain talking. She highlighted the hard work and all the efforts the YOCOPAS committee put, in order to make this amazing conference.
The flight was preparing for landing, and the astonishing InterVoices group sang “Imagine” by John Lennon. This song represented the union of every culture that was represented in the auditorium. It was breathtaking when students started standing up one by one, until everyone in the auditorium was up on their feet, singing this great song. What an incredible way to start the third YOCOPAS conference!
We finally arrived to our destination. This left everyone looking forward, totally excited, and thrilled about what was waiting for us in these next two days.
“We thank you for flying with YOCOPAS Airlines and we hope you enjoy your stay!”
By: Isabel Castro