Blog post Diana - Celebrating the amazing African Community and ASAH
I have been admiring ASAH for a while now and I have decided to dedicate this week’s article to them and their activity. The Association of Students of African Heritage, or ASAH, is the largest international Africa-oriented study association in the Netherlands and their activity and focus is on overcoming the gap between students and the African continent. For me, they are the real representation of the ‘’start small and thing big’’ saying: starting with around 30 members in 2006, they have grown into a beautiful association with over 500 members.
In order to get some insights and a deeper understanding of what the ASAH culture represents, I had a short interview with their Marketing Manager and amazing Saaiqa Merali. Saaiqa is finish her first year as an IBCoM student and she told me that ASAH is an open community where everyone, from any heritage and background is welcome to join. ASAH is about diversity not only within their committees, but within their members as well; the beauty of it is that although the ideas and messages that they are transmitting are the same, they are transmitting them in a unique, personal and personalized way. For Saaiqa, her time spent volunteering in this association was a real eye-opener because even though she is originally from East Africa, she was able to find a piece of home here, in Rotterdam. Moreover, ASAH is an inspiration for students at Erasmus through the workshops that they are organizing and through their guest-speakers.
When I asked Saaiqa about her take-away after her time spent in ASAH she said that her take-away is simple and straightforward: stay curious, stay learning, stay open-minded. Africa is and will continue to be a very diverse environment and so, full of potential as a continent. She felt like having a piece of home here because she could share the same taste in music, same sense of humor, even the same taste in food with a lot of people, while always feeling supported. According to Saaiqa, the best thing about ASAH is its energy and positivity which is simply contagious. She was surrounded by such a supportive and go-getter attitude, a team full of inspiring and supportive people and an environment in which she could grow and share her ideas; ASAH has been the place where she felt like she could always ask for help, even though she is such an independent personality.
I am sure that I got you under their spell already. To prove that everything that Saaiqa said it’s true, you can watch their African Business Days, 2017 Edition, Aftermovie and I am sure that you will get as excited as I am. You can contact them for more information on their future events or how to become a member at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, here is a gorgeous photo with their new board that is going to surprise you every day with their charisma and big plans.