Maroon, pink, turquoise and grey
There is something very special about WSIS Tunis, which we didn't witnessed in Geneva. Yes, very special indeed...
Like any other UN conference, or we can refer to WSIS Geneva too, this event is also full of colors, multi-national, multi-cultured and great mix of men, women, old men, old women, young boys and girls and frankly, I have seen a 3-4 month old baby attending the event with his mother ;)
Also, today, I have seen few special people (people with some disability). I also saw one special person with his dog, guiding him the way, through the complex and huge exhibition area. Interesting thing was that, like everyone of us, the dog was also wearing a WSIS registration badge!
Yeah, I know this is nothing special or unusual. Gimme a break. Anyway, am supposed to be telling you about the special.
As I mentioned earlier, WSIS Tunis is very colorful, but one would find maroon, pink, turquoise and grey colors, dominating any other color. Let me give you little background on this. These are the colors of the uniform which a huge number of Tunisian Volunteers@WSIS wear for their various assignments.
MAROON, is the color which one would start noticing right from the Carthage Airport in Tunis. All young girls, mostly university students, hired by WSIS organizers to help the WSIS delegates with various things. You would find them at the airport, registration centre, in the official buses managing shuttle service, information desks and literally everywhere. Am extremely interested to know the exact number of these volunteers, which must be surely in the hundreds.
PINK, is the color for cleaners at the venue, all women. Yes, these pink uniformed ladies are responsible for all the cleaning at the venue.
TURQUOISE is the color of the protocol people. Since a huge number of diplomats are in town and all of them require certain protocols, so these girls are responsible for protocol duties. Very helpful, speak English and guide you very politely...must have been well trained before the event.
I came across one this morning, when I was looking for Ambassador Masood Khan, of the WGIG fame, for an interview. She even allowed me into the official area, where I couldn't enter otherwise, being a civil society representative at the WSIS.
Then, there is the color which at times feel real scary. That's GREY. Tall men in grey suites, seemingly are the only male workers for WSIS. Otherwise, the show seems to be run all by females.
MEN IN GREY, are the "African journalists trained in how to communicate securely online" (APCNews and Toni Eliasz, 30 September 2004), Take Back the Tech! and APC Internet Rights Charter">security. You would also find lots of them at the venue entrance, shuttle service area, hotel gates and lobbies and usually equipped with walkie-talkies. I must say that usually they are very polite and helpful men, and mean no harm. Wish to have a conversation with them but unfortunately, I can't speak French or Arabic...pity!
Isn't it special?