Growing Up and Learning From The President of Colombia

By: David Janna · 大卫海纳


Having a close connection with the politics of my country represents more than an honor to me, it represents a responsibility and duty in supporting my country’s development internally and internationally. I refer to the knowledge of the subject by close links I have since my childhood with past and current political leaders.

My maternal grandparents were Jorge Janna and Maria Elena David, emigrants from Lebanon and Syria, tireless and prosperous workers who through their efforts were able to consolidate good relations in Colombia. They supported almost all of the politicians who visited the rural region in the Colombian Caribbean department() of Sucre, where they lived. It was just as my mother, Marian Janna, who was born and lived surrounded by all of these magnificent leaders of Colombia. Those relationships were inherited by my mother, now are being inherited by me, and without a doubt at Tsinghua University I am learning all of the skills I need to posteriorly become a leader in my country and further develop the relations I already have with the top leaders in my nation.

One of those leaders and the most important in Colombian political history, is the former president (2002-2010) and current Senator álvaro Uribe Vélez, with him and his family, me and my mother maintain permanent ties of friendship and work. 

Uribe was one of the presidential candidates in 2001 when my mother was in charge of the public relations and logistics in his campaign, and took me to visit him. Back then I was seven years old and at that age I already admired him; he was my hero, one of my role models and throughout the years he became my mentor.  This is how it all begun, an enriching and fascinating period next to this great Colombian and friend álvaro Uribe Vélez. I can assure you, without fear of being mistaken, that Colombia will hardly ever have such a charismatic, brilliant and amazing leader like álvaro Uribe Vélez.  

Another experience I remember with special gratitude was the invitation I made to former President Uribe back in 2012. Few days before graduating from my school, Colegio Nueva Granada in Bogota, I invited him to give a lecture on leadership. His lecture lasted more than two hours, and our schools leaders, teachers, parents and fellow students were all present.

During February I visited Colombia and had the opportunity to accompany and work with him on some of the legislative political campaigns he arranged during those days. The legislative elections of March 11, were absolutely successful, he obtained the most amount of votes in the entire country and was elected for the second time as senator. Through his rhetoric, not against peace but against how the peace process was carried out with FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), fighting corruption and solid proposals for the benefit of all Colombians, he demonstrated that he is still a triumphant chieftain. As expected, Uribe was also the most voted candidate in the Democratic Center Party, that he himself leads, consolidating himself as the visible head of that collectivity, ratifying and strengthening his leadership.

I also spoke with the former president and senator of my studies on international relations and politics, he congratulated me on the master’s degree studies that I currently undergo at Tsinghua, university that he knows well as one of the most important ones in the world and where I want to invite him next year. I listened attentively to all his advices and guidance for my professional future. I felt very proud and surprised after he invited me to work with him and his party, after finishing my studies in Tsinghua.


In the political campaign tours, we did in Bogota with Uribe I was able to meet Ivan Duque Marquez the presidential candidate of the Democratic Center Party. He is very disciplined, committed and incredibly intelligent. Duque has attended Sergio Arboleda University, Georgetown University, American University and Harvard University. He is also a great reader, a lover of books, culture and democracy. Hence his patriotism, vision and work to build a Colombia with opportunities for all. He decided to join the political life, under Uribe's mentorship, for the love of his country, for his conviction and for his vocation to public service. He combined his profession with his passion for numbers, leading him to have a strategic vision of financial management exercised in Colombia and abroad. 

Ivan Duque is the youngest candidate and most likely will be the next president of Colombia (2018-2022). With only 41 years this Colombian characterized by proposing solutions and non-aggression, brilliant, hardworking and with an impeccable and exemplary life stands out as a historical phenomenon of politics in Latin America. The presidential elections of my country have in expectation, not only the Colombians but all the members of the neighboring countries and the world. From Tsinghua University in Beijing I remain attentive with permanent information on the Colombian electoral process, on May 27th, 2018.


Currently I am a first year Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy master’s degree student at the School of Social Sciences in Tsinghua University. After graduating I would like to work in the Colombian embassy because I have the knowledge and capabilities to engage in a diplomatic task that without a doubt will help Colombia stablish a stronger relationship with China. I am a very disciplined person, who likes to maximize time and take advantage of every single opportunity I encounter.