My name is Cian Moran, I am the event planner for tonight: as you can tell by my accent, my kilt and my beautiful pasty legs, I am neither Israeli nor Palestinian but Irish. I tend to speak too fast: I come from a family of talkers where we had to speak fast or not be heard so hopefully I’m slowing down enough for you all to understand me as our AV skills don’t extend to giving me subtitles. I am a law school graduate and have experience in leadership through my involvement with Irish politics through the Irish Labour Party as well as my university’s Students’ Union. In addition, I am a reserve artilleryman with the Irish Defence Forces. But I am especially proud, in fact I’m mostly proud of my current role on the Management Team for New Story Leadership where I got to work with these young leaders who are now like brothers and sisters to me.
If you hear them the way I do, what they all have in common is that they are demanding change. They came here today to say, the past ends now. They echo what Roosevelt called the Great Arsenal of Democracy which is not composed of the tank and the rifle, but of a commitment to democratic and republican values: liberty, equality and fraternity.
These young leaders have gained experience in Washington institutions ranging from the US Congress to the World Bank. They are part of something. Part of a New Story. Part of a New Story for Leadership in the Middle East.
The Holy Land is a beautiful place that has long been watered by the tears of the innocent. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, ““C’est tellement mystérieux, le pays des larmes.” (it’s very mysterious, this land of tears). As an aside, Greg Robisson is an NSL board member and co-founder who helped make this event possible. I believe Greg’s father flew with de Saint-Exupery during the Second World War.
This has been a tough summer for us all, leaving our loved ones behind. I myself sold my guitar to pay for my plane ticket. We are here because we believe in a new story and what New Story Leadership stands for; changing the story really can change the world. This is only possible through your support and generosity. There are many ways you can help us out. If your pockets are heavy from carrying too much change, we have donation envelopes at the registration table where you can pledge whatever you can, even if it’s just one dollar. If you’re a smart young university student, you can take my place and be on the Management Team for 2013. If you’re an avid social networker you can tell your friends about us and spread our message. These are just some of the ways you can help us.
The future of the Middle East often seems clouded in despair and uncertainty but as General De Gaulle once said, “L’espérance doit-elle disparaître ? La défaite est-elle définitive ? Non !” Does hope disappear? Is defeat final? No.
Merci mes dames et messieurs, j’espere que vous parlez avec l’equipe dans la reception.
Go raibh mile maith agaibh, tá súil agam go beimid ag caint le cheile ag an coisir i ndiadh seo.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I hope you all meet the team at the reception.
by Cian Moran