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GEMx Staff Post: Working the Faculty of Medicine-University of Tunis El Manar at The Network: Towards Unity for Health Conference 2017

Filed under: From GEMx Staff

Post by Carol Russo, GEMx Senior Coordinator and International Conference Organizing Committee Member for of The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) Conference

“It is Amine, not Imen [Madame!]”

This patient student could no longer politely bear the indignity of my grievous and ever constant misspelling his name.  I had been chatting back and forth with him via WhatsApp to manage and direct his assigned fellow student volunteers for The Network: Towards Unity for Health/World Summit on Social Accountability Conference. Each year I volunteer to assist  the Conference organizers in planning and provide on-site support. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my on-site role is having the opportunity to interact and work with the students. This year the conference was held in Hammamet, Tunisia; and the host institution was the Faculty of Medicine-University of Tunis El Manar.

Students from University of Tunis El Manar Faculty of Medicine volunteered at the 2017 The Network: TUFH Conference

Nearly 50 students from University of Tunis El Manar Faculty of Medicine volunteered at the 2017 The Network: TUFH Conference. Pictured here is the group responsible for preparing the delegate bags on the eve of the Pre-Conference. The students specially designed these bags to include traditional Tunisian weaving on their reverse sides (complete with camel silhouettes!) and also thoughtfully included unique Tunisian souvenirs for the attendees.

Led by their dean, Dr. Ahmed Maherzi, these students served as translators, hosts, session assistants, registration and badging clerks, scientific poster hangers, airport greeters and cultural ambassadors for the roughly 500 delegates who attended. Throughout the 4 days of Pre-Conference and Main Conference events, their dedication, humor, spirit, cleverness, energy, cordiality and tenacity were constant and present to the delegates, fellow international medical and healthcare profession students, global health stakeholders and their guests. The students were integral to delivering an experience filled with all the valuable take-aways this conference traditionally offers. 

By the way, come to find out,  “Imen” is a common Tunisian girls’ name.

Amine, again, my apologies… I don’t know how we could have had such a successful conference without your assistance, your fellow students’ commitment … and your forgiving nature!

 

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