The Agora returns to Macedonia: While the memories from the fantastic Agora in Alicante is still very fresh in the minds of the participants, AEGEE-Skopje is already busy with the preparations of the next Agora. It will take place from 27th to 30th of October. Simona Dimovska (picture on the left and last photo), President of AEGEE-Skopje, told the Golden Oldie why the participants should look forward to the autumn AEGEE assembly, which is the second that the antenna organises. The organisers don’t know yet whether there will be a livestream, so in case you want to make sure not to miss it, you should definitely apply!

Golden Oldie: Simona, how are the preparations for your autumn Agora doing? What has been arranged, what are the next steps?

Simona Dimovska: The preparations are still at some beginners’ point. We pulled some strings, made lot of contacts about all the things related to the event, such as accommodation, places for plenaries and workshops, food and parties. Now we are waiting for the answers. At the same time, we are promoting the event in our city among the students and explaining how important event it is for our antenna and for the network, in general. A lot of AEGEE-Skopje members and non-members are interested in participating as helpers and those are really good news. So, to sum up – the preparations are going well so far.


Golden Oldie: The spring Agora Skopje in 2004 (see impressions on this page and check the link in the end) took place at Lake Ohrid. Will the autumn Agora 2011 also be held there?

Simona Dimovska: Apparently, the Agora will take place somewhere around the Ohrid Lake. Maybe not in the town Ohrid exactly, but somewhere around the lake. We all love Skopje, but we all agreed that the atmosphere for a statutory meeting is better in a relaxed place. Anyway, you’re all welcome to stay and visit Skopje after or before the Agora takes place!


Golden Oldie: How would you describe the atmosphere of Lake Ohrid to people that have not been there yet?

Simona Dimovska: It is a beautiful lake under the protection of Unesco, a great places for sightseeing with a relaxed atmosphere. If it’s not in Ohrid, we’ll definitely be near Ohrid, so people can visit the town of the 365 churches. It is also the most popular touristic place during the warm period of the year and lately we have so many tourists coming.


Golden Oldie: Will you rent a hotel again for lodging? And will the plenaries and workshop be in the same place?

Simona Dimovska: The aim is maintaining the reputation of a local that organises an Agora in a hotel and we’re trying to reach that aim. We made contacts with a few hotels around Ohrid Lake and now we are waiting for the answers. Anyway, we plan the plenaries and the workshops to be at the same place. It’s more convenient for us and for such a big group of participants.


Golden Oldie: What do you plan for the social programme?

Simona Dimovska: We still don’t have plans for this part. We are searching for the best options and the most exciting programme, including the European Night!


Golden Oldie: How is the support from authorities, city and government? Do they help you? In the past, AEGEE-Skopje had great contacts to the government. In 2004, the deputy prime minister, a former AEGEE member, gave a speech at the opening…

Simona Dimovska: Yes, it’s true. In the past we had support from the authorities and we asked now, too. The problem in the moment is that we have elections in the country and the things are messy before the elections are over. We hope that we’ll get support for this event, too, and more important that we’ll know about it as early as possible. We are really trying to get the best out of this Agora.


Golden Oldie: What can you tell about AEGEE-Skopje? What kind of antenna are you?

Simona Dimovska: Haha! Interesting question… I think we have had our ups and downs. At one moment we were one of the leading antennae in the network and at another – extremely quiet. Starting from the time I involved myself actively in AEGEE-Skopje I can say that we have been raising our voice, especially this last year. We organised continuously Summer Universities, one Network Meeting, a Local Training Course that gathered AEGEE members and non-members who are still talking about the event as one of the best they’ve attended, we wrote “Youth in Action” programme applications, collaborate with other NGOs from our region, got involved in AEGEE projects and working groups… Our members are travelling all the time and now we are organising our second Agora. I hope I counted enough!


Golden Oldie: Definitely! On Youtube there is a video with a funny AEGEE-Skopje dance. Do you want to teach it to the Agora participants?

Simona Dimovska: It’s a plan! Everyone attending this Agora has to know the dance! It would be good and easier for them, if people could learn it before from the Youtube video.


Golden Oldie: Do you also know about pre and post events around the Agora?

Simona Dimovska: Unfortunately, I can’t answer this question. I heard that AEGEE-Nis was interested, but there is nothing for sure yet. Anyway, they have time, so I hope during this summer will find out the pre and post Agora events.


Golden Oldie: Is there a website or a Facebook group where people can be updated about the Agora progress?

Simona Dimovska: Not at the moment. The website is under construction and people can see it when we have more definite information. But, we’re working on it!


Golden Oldie: Can you say in one sentence why no one can miss Agora Skopje?

Simona Dimovska: I would leave this question to be answered by some of the Golden Oldies. All I can say as a hint: we plan to make it better than the one in 2004!



Check out the Agora promotion video:

Check out the AEGEE-Skopje Dance:


The spring Agora in 2004: