President & Founder
IDMAJ ten years after
Neighborhoods Association Idmaj was created in a very critical period of time, highlighted by the International economic crisis, conflicts in the Middle East, the struggle for power in Africa and Asia, starvation in Sub-Saharan Africa, the outbreak of deadly diseases such as Ebola, and, mainly, the rise of extremism in different parts of the globe, and the increasing number of terrorist acts to inflict pain and destruction into our communities and nations.
Morocco was no exception to all these crises. The suicide bombings in Casablanca were an awakening call to tell us that we were not as safe as we thought to be. Idmaj emerged as a youth association engaged to respond to some of the above mentioned challenges. It was formed by young citizens, the majority high school and university students, determined to foster change. As most of the members of the newly created association were from modest or poor neighborhoods, we decided to focus our struggle for dignity, social justice and opportunity, in marginalized, poor, underserved and underprivileged neighborhoods.
We organized several workshops on citizenship, leadership, volunteerism, life skills and social mediation techniques. Once I created the first Cultural Center in Sidi Moumen in 2006, we established an ambitious educational, cultural and artistic program and organized countless activities which you will read about in this newsletter.
Is the world better off ten years after Idmaj’s creation and the founding of our Sidi Moumen Cultural Center? Not really! The world is still beset by crises, the implosion of the Middle East, the fleeing refugees, climate change and global warming, the uprising of the Arab spring which has perplexed the analysis and predictions of thinkers, intellectuals and politicians of the Arab region, the increasing number of unemployed youth, and the rise of ISIS, which is recruiting hundreds of criminals and mercenary terrorists to combat Islam under the name of Islam. These critical occurrences and human rights emergencies that have taken place after 2006 show us that the world is still not “bikhir”.
Have we failed in our mission because of this? Are we that pretentious to wanting to change the world and save the youth? No, not at all. We are humble and modest and do what we can to change our communities and our neighborhoods. And yes, I can prove to you, evidence on hand, that Idmaj and Sidi Moumen Cultural Center have changed some lives and strongly impacted many youths and families. Apart from the successes you will read in this newsletter, we have countless success stories to share with you during our tenth anniversary in 2016 and to show you that, indeed, Idmaj and SMCC have made a difference. Until then, enjoy the newsletter!
President & Founder