by Chung Seung-yeon
Having lived in the Middle East, which is even until today perceived as so veiled a region, often the times, I tend to find myself especially paying attention to events going on in the Arabian Peninsula reported in the media. Not simply because I recognize Arab regions from the news but because of the extreme pleasure I find as I read along non-Arab people's point of views upon Arab issues. Leadership, on the other hand, is another field of my personal interest, ever since I entered college but always feeling academic thirst with related teachings. In this sense, Professor Ki Suk Cho's participation-encouraging e-mail to Women As Global Leaders Conference (WAGL) 2008, hosted by Zayed University, U.A.E, attracted me to sign up with no hesitation.
This conference did not teach me tips to become a "successful women leader" A to Z. Nonetheless my participation throughout three days in the event was a truly priceless one; each moment of the conference was awakening experience. Apart from giving presentation on my part prepared and researched for months with my partner, I once again, learned that leadership is not something that is created out of nowhere, but is an essential skill and motivating source of self-development that is a byproduct of endless interactions with people, uninformed challenges, continuous studying, firm determination and even errors of past miscommunications.
From prominent invited speakers such as Sarah Ferguson and Helen Thomas, not only was I thrilled to see them in person but also have come to realize they too are human beings yet who exhibit full confidence, clear philosophy of their own and unshakable responsibility. Tolerance to accept others if not your opponents' harsh criticisms was another crucial factor these global women leaders had in common.
Meeting and interacting with young and motivated delegates from both the Middle East and the rest of the world in workshops and discussion session was another insightful moments indeed. As Ewha delegation was the only Korean participants in WAGL, I had previously thought there would be certain limits in mutual understanding due to lack of cultural knowledge. However, after hours of discussions, the conference proved me wrong. No matter where we came from, how old we are, what language we speak of, all participants were involved in exchanging ideas and were actively connected with one another as we continued our discussion in search of the answer: what is women leadership.
Needless to say, staying a week in Dubai with people with whom I share my interests and visions with was unforgettable. As an Emirati wisdom "Illy yeba el sala matefooteh" goes, a person who wants something will do everything do get it. I was greatly inspired and encouraged to provide my perspective about leadership and share opinions with impassioned fellow future women leaders; I will continue to fly high in pursuit of my dreams.
저작권자 © Ewha Voice 무단전재 및 재배포 금지