AEGEE INSPIRE! A chat with Marcus Khoury

AEGEE has been a huge part of so many of our lives. But what happens when we graduate and step into the professional world? For those who still want to contribute to making the dream of a borderless Europe real, an excellent opportunity is to become one of Les Anciens d’AEGEE. Created in 1990 by former members, it maintains links across generations of AEGEEans and with AEGEE itself. The AEGEEan Magazine invites Les Anciens members to share their experiences and to inspire readers. In this chapter, we let Marcus Khoury inspire us with his story! 

Hi Marcus, thank you for your time. To start off, could you please tell us a bit about yourselve?

Marcus ‘with a C’ Khoury: Hello AEGEEans, readers of the AEGEEan and editing team. I joined Les Anciens in around 2000. I have been living now in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates since 2008, in between I have lived for two years in Casablanca and for another two years in Jeddah. I miss the time I have lived in Brussels. Even though most of the time during my active years in AEGEE Europe were spent less in Brussels, but traveling all over Europe. I am passionate about reliving these experiences with great old friends from the past days. But also, and that is the beauty of Les Anciens, with many people I may have seen or known only by name during AEGEE times, or may be not even at all, and, instead, really made friends with them many years later through Les Anciens

When a typical AEGEEan thinks about a member of Les Anciens, one often thinks of something far off into one’s future. What’s your take on this perception?

Marcus: I would heartily share with those who would think “not now, maybe sometime far off into the future”, take a look at it now, enjoy it to the fullest now, make the best out of it for yourself and for your friends now. The AEGEE spirit, the hunger for travels throughout Europe and beyond, meeting up with great people in exceptional situations from outside of your regular comfort zone, your own mother tongue, fulfilling your ideals of cross-border cooperation, gaining experiences and making connections for your professional life, none of that has to stop. On the day you finish your studies, say goodbye to your student life, and start working. You are always free to continue to live out and pursue that great AEGEE spirit within Les Anciens

Les Anciens has been undergoing changes lately, do you have plans to make it more attractive for younger people?

Marcus: Of course Les Anciens (in spite of the ironic connotations coming with the name) has to be and actually already is attractive for younger people. We keep joking tongue in cheek that we are not a club of  old Dutch and German men drinking beer. The hassles resulting from world travel as a result of the Covid 19 outbreak have actually brought forward the great diversity in generations and nationalities when Les Anciens started offering more and more online activities.

What are some of the new things you have started or that you are planning?

Marcus: We definitely want to continue to reach out to AEGEE, not to impose ourselves on you. You will enjoy and are enjoying AEGEE as you choose to and that is great, without us telling the younger generation how it has to be done. We are not at all like that. But having been active AEGEE members ourselves we know how grateful we were when we could pick up the phone and call a lawyer from Les Anciens for some really needed legal advice or just bounce ideas off with a former member who can now help with contacts for speakers.

To conclude, could you share some words of wisdom?

Marcus: Enjoy AEGEE, travel, make many friends, don’t get angry about too many things or feel less professional about what you are doing compared to the real professionals. Having turned professional since 2000, trust me when I tell you so many of the things we did in AEGEE as students, were far better organized than what I have come across in my professional life.