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Cheers to ICANN!

Afifa Abbas

This essay is part of a series of posts CircleID will be hosting from the ICANN community to commemorate ICANN's 20th anniversary. CircleID collaborated with ICANN to spread the word and to encourage participation. We invite you to submit your essays to us in consideration for posting.

* * *

It has been 1.5 years since I have started my journey with ICANN. Within this short journey of mine, looking back I remember a nice memory that makes me love ICANN more and forces me to get involved even deeper.

I got to know about ICANN in the APNIC conferences. I didn't really get the enormity of ICANN until I attended my first ICANN meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark in March 2017 as a fellow. Along with all the fellows from all over the world, I was treated so special by all the prominent members of the internet industry. The honorable tag "Fellow" was sufficient enough to provide access to all the experts.

As a newcomer, the first meeting was way too overwhelming for me. I was having a lot of questions in my mind. Throughout the first 5 days of the meeting, I was introduced to ICANN constituencies and their type of work.

After having a lot of sessions with all the constituencies, at last, a platform had caught my attention which is called "Public Forum."

With a fearful heart, I approached the microphone and asked three questions which were really bothering me. Why Bangladesh is not a part of GAC, how can we arrange an ICANN outreach event in Bangladesh and my interest to work with SSAC closely. My questions were answered nicely by ICANN board and I was introduced to few people right at that moment who could help address my questions.

My second ICANN meeting was in Abu Dhabi, UAE in October 2017 as a fellow again. From my first meeting to second meeting, ICANN made a noticeable progress on the issues I raised. I provided an update on progress made to ICANN board in my very second public forum providing the evidence on how at ICANN my voice was heard.

I am very delighted that since my last ICANN meeting in Abu Dhabi till now ICANN moved further and progress is remarkable. It was never easy but ICANN didn't give up. My heartiest thanks to Mr. Samiran Gupta and Champika Wijayatunga for that. Now we have a member in GAC from Bangladesh. At the same time, ICANN is going to arrange an outreach in Bangladesh on 8th September 2018. Now I see my voice didn't only get heard but also got implemented and I can't wait to face ICANN board again in next public forum to thank ICANN with pride.

I feel really proud when Samiran Gupta from ICANN mentioned that "Afifa, we are here because of you, because of the comment you made in public forum".

I was really nervous that day. But overcoming the fear, approaching the microphone and raising my voice was very important for me that day. The thought that my comment impacted my entire Bangladesh in a positive way makes me smile.

Happy birthday dear ICANN. Although I won't be able to attend your 20th birthday. You have my best wishes. Counting on making many more memories together. Cheers!

By Afifa Abbas, Information Security and Governance Lead Engineer
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