Before February 20, 2011, I believed neither in politics nor in community work. But that day, I decided to break away from passivity and take action through my involvement in youth organizations.

 

This commitment has changed me and it enriches me by the day, be it through the trainings and workshops, the research and analyses of public policies, or the field work. If I had to sum up the experience in one sentence, I would say one cannot attain constructive and positive results without resorting first to reflection. It is my friends at the MENA Policy Hub (MPH) particularly who have given me a taste for adventure, and above all, trust in civil society. Today, I am proud of my membership in this organization and proud of our achievements despite the obstacles we face every day.

 

Through MPH, I joined the NET-MED Youth project which I consider to be a mixture of encounters – probably the most beautiful and most significant of my life – and discovery: the discovery of a different work perspective. The project is even more than that. It is an evolution and a sign that as long as there are young people on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea, its basin will proudly continue to be the cradle of diversity and acceptance of the other.

 

MENA Policy Hub and NET-MED Youth are to me additional ways to live my passion and deepen my conviction that we, youth, play a key role in civil society.

 

Mazigh Chakir discussing

 

I like to do things with my hands and use my talent in recycled art, transforming consumerist waste into utensils or artifacts. My passion for art and culture goes back to my childhood. And I think it is this love of beauty that has saved me from the clutches of extremism. This is why in my organization and within NET-MED Youth I decided to focus on cultural policies for young people. This interest I have in art and culture was all spontaneous in the beginning, but then at some point I decided to make of it my profession.

 

mazigh

 

Today, I am an art and cultural engineer, and I try to add an aesthetic touch to everything I do. A particular event has had a lasting impact on me: I was invited to join the team of Paroles Urgentes, or fast words, an art and culture caravan organized by Transparency Morocco to raise awareness about corruption. For the first time, I could put my passion for beauty to use for a good cause; and the results have only encouraged me to continue on this path.

 

Paroles urgentes
Mazigh (back row, 5th from the right) with his friends during the anti-corruption campaign Paroles Urgentes.

 

My community engagement has definitely made me see the world through different eyes. It opened up a window for me to better understand how the "world above" works. And I think that by laying out a bridge between the two worlds, I can contribute to the understanding of these blooming and dynamic youth who yearn for peaceful change, and who inspire me more than all the leaders of the nonviolent struggle. Because if you think about it, Mandela himself was much more influenced by anonymous people that by his idol Gandhi. These beings forsaken by human history could have been his parents, his friends or even the neighborhood’s bookseller... Mandela, Gandhi or the Dalai Lama only became icons because they were able to tell their stories at the top of the global hierarchy.

 

Mazigh reading
Mazigh supporting the initiative "Une heure de lecture" (One Hour of reading) organized in public spaces of Casablanca by the student club Conscience Estudiantine.

 

My role models have not had this opportunity, and I hope I will be the voice that carries their stories as high as possible. My role models are my friends of the Student Union for the Change of the Educational System (UECSE), those of Aswat and of MPH. My role model is also my grandfather who, at the age of 80 and despite fatigue and illness, continues to plow his land because he believes it is essential to preserve it for future generations. My role models are those who shape history relentlessly every day. They are all these little men and women with big stories. My dream? To raise their voice and that of my community whenever I get the chance; and I will continue to do so to the summit of the world.

 

 

Story translated from French. Read the original here.

 

 

  Mazigh ChakirMazigh Chakir was born in Casablanca, Morocco,

  where he currently works as an art and culture engineer.

  Mazigh is an analyst at the youth organization MENA Policy

  Hub. As a contact point of his organization within the NET-MED

  Youth project, his focus is the analysis of youth cultural policies

  and the contribution to the partnership of the project with local

  communes.

Also read

In the field

Youth and Media

#YOUTHMEDIA

Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.

Youth and Employment

#YOUTHEMPLOYMENT

Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs. 

Youth Policies

#YOUTHPOLICIES

Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.