Azerbaijan AZ – a YEA experience from A to Z
December 6, 2018

Azerbaijan AZ – a YEA experience from A to Z

Exactly one year ago, as I was hastily filling in an application form before a looming deadline, my mind could barely have fathomed that I would set foot in Azerbaijan so soon…Becoming a Young European Ambassador and embracing with unbounded enthusiasm the idea of building bridges between youth from the European Union and our peers in the Eastern Partnership became not only a genuine pleasure, but also a lifelong goal. My next move was to advance fearlessly on the newly erected stepping stones of cooperation and to head towards the eternally fascinating lands on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

In other words, my trip to Azerbaijan was a memorable journey from which I have just returned. I vividly remember my disbelief at repeatedly reading the email inviting me to attend the 3rd edition of the EuroSchool, and to do so as a trainer. The days flew by and soon I found myself arriving in Baku Airport with my newly issued passport and my very first visa. I arrived at sunrise − the adventure merely at its dawn. It was only when we reached Shabran that I realized how blessed I was. Particularly memorable was the life−changing experience of sharing with curious and outspoken participants the values I fully believe in and adhere to.

  • Azerbaijan AZ – a YEA experience from A to Z
    Stefania-Felicia Pavel

It was…

…about the 15 young and outstanding Azerbaijanis whose glimmer in the eyes and countless questions fueled my drive. It was the moments I felt bombarded by sharp comments that I felt the urge to personally research more about the European Union.

… when I befriended the other trainers and organizers that I sensed our common passion and the concerted efforts behind this event.

…when I verbally walked them through the iconic European Institutions that I longed to be with them on the cobbled streets of Brussels.

…when I delved into my previous Erasmus study term and numerous exchanges, providing them with guidance and support, that I acknowledged how blessed I was to be European.

…when we sang and danced together that our cultures and human joys fused. It was when I had to depart that I knew Azerbaijan is and will always be a welcoming “chamber” of the great “European house”.

…when I had to bid farewell to all, whilst promising our paths will cross again, that I felt Azerbaijan is not just part of the European house, but also home.

And it will…

…be worthwhile to uphold the enthusiasm of these very promising individuals.

…be dauntingly challenging to counter myths, to assess critically the geopolitical and economic realities of Azerbaijan in the Eastern Neighborhood.

…be amazing to return to the country which gave be the unmatched opportunity to burst my cultural bubble, enlarge my circle of friends and broaden my cognitive horizons.

…be perfect to continue to extend a helpful hand to Azerbaijan and walk hand in hand towards a common European future!

…be ideal to have you join the constantly growing team of Young European Ambassadors and the expanding European family!

You can find more photos here.

Stefania-Felicia Pavel

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