IDMAJ FIFTEEN YEARS AFTER
IDMAJ Foundation For Development (ex : Neighborhoods Association Idmaj) was created in a very critical period of time, highlighted by the International economic crisis, conflicts in the Middle East, 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 and criminal 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 in 2006, when I gathered a group of young high school students, determined to foster change, and founded IDMAJ Neighborhoods Association. 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, self confidence, volunteerism, life skills and social mediation techniques. Once I created the first Cultural Center in Sidi Moumen, in 2006 as well, we established an ambitious educational, cultural and artistic program and organized countless activities which you will read about in our newsletters.
Is the world better off fifteen 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, we 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 fifteenth anniversary and to show you that, indeed, Idmaj and SMCC have made a difference.