Hi everybody. I cannot believe that these four months have come to an end already. Time flew by so fast.
I would really like to return to Morocco someday. I can really say that I have learned a lot. So many people have invested in me and inspired me to get the most out of life. There were so many preparations and forms to fill for me to go for a study abroad experience in Morocco. The Gilman Scholarship Program made it possible for me to go. There are many opportunities out there and you have to pursue them. We are very fortunate to have so many opportunities in the U.S. In many countries, children do not have these opportunities.
I had expected Morocco to be a journey. It was supposed to be the time when I would learn about a foreign culture and people. However, I also learned about myself. Traveling is a very good chance to discover yourself. You get to think more deeply about the world around you. You get to see how other people survive. You get to learn about your space in the world, such as what you like, what you do not like, and how you can make a difference to improve others’ lives.
I have become even more inspired during my last four months in Morocco! Many of my experiences here have inspired me to help others. For example, my friends and I went to Agadir for four days. In the souk, or marketplace, I saw so many people who were sick or struggling. Then, when we drove to the beach about ten minutes away, it was so different there.
My next experience occurred some weeks later. I came across a book in the university’s library titled, “Before Their Time: The World of Child Labor.” It was a book full of pictures of children from countries all around the world. They were doing hard work so they could help their families with money. Can you imagine your life being like this? It make me think.
You are quite lucky to be able to go to school and have books, pencils, crayons and other things to learn and have fun with. You must make sure that you use these chances you get! This way, when you grow up you will be able to help others. Maybe you can start thinking about what you would like to be when you grow up, if you do not already know. Then think of the path you will take to achieve your dreams.
Many other experiences in Morocco influenced me. For example, do you remember me telling you that many Moroccans use wood stoves for heating? A film in one of my classes showed me that some people are still very cold during the winter months. I want to do something to help these people. You can make a difference, too. I believe we have a responsibility to help other people out when they are struggling. We are all members of humankind
One day I hope you all will have an opportunity to travel. You should have fun, which is a part of the experience of traveling. However, it is important to not only have a tourist experience. You should also investigate local life. I remember my friends and I made a journey to the city of Chefchaouen. While there, we came across a little boy who did not seem to be having fun. Since soccer is the favorite pastime for little boys in Morocco, we all pooled together our money and bought him a ball from one of the little shops. It made him so happy. It was amazing how much that little ball meant to him.
A wise man named Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you want to make a positive difference in the world, whether by being a teacher, a scientist, a religious leader or even the president, you have to first make your life productive. This way you can inspire others to be the best they can be. You must do what my grandma always says: “Plan your work, and work your plan.” Trying hard in school and in college are important in making those dreams become a reality.
My Moroccan experience has made me more aware about the role that I can play in the world. I had an idea of what I wanted to do before I left, but now I am more determined. I really want to work to help others have healthcare and nourishment. Hopefully, one day I can work for the United Nations or a similar organization to help create a better world and a culture of peace. Maybe I will even come across some of you as you pursue your careers!
You all have influenced me so much and I would like to thank you for that. I appreciate the way you are all working right now to learn about others. I enjoyed your questions! Sharing with you helped me think more deeply about my journey here.
You are all up and coming young leaders. I know you will make a positive change in the world. Remember you are special. We all have similarities and differences. That is what makes us all human beings alike. The rainbow is a spectrum of differences and that is what makes it beautiful.
I wish you all the best!