By : Regine Guevara, AsiaTV and AfricaTV
Africa, the oldest inhabited continent on Earth, is home to the youngest population in the world. From the Northern coast crossing the Mediterranean and Arab worlds, to the Southern tip where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, it is a melting pot of cultural heritage. Similarly, the home region of Asia remains to be the most diverse in the world, as well where majority of the world’s youth currently reside, making a noteworthy case for Asia-Africa partnerships.
In this day and age, when it comes to youth leadership in the Global South, which relies heavily on its populations, one’s following is social capital. Public image is what matters online, where the new goal has become to follow a post-modern culture of disinformation and filters. To find what’s real and genuine nowadays is a rather special task.
One humble beginning arises from the North of Morocco, in the name of Nidal Benali, Board Member of AfricaTV and Chief Organizer of Global Youth Councils. He describes himself online as a leader, and “life-enjoyer.” Actions speak louder than words for his team from Asia, Africa, and around the world, who are dedicated to localizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to be held at the Moroccan Sahara, or the African cultural capital of Rabat. MOUs have been signed in more than 30 countries, and across the regions with the likes of Asian Youth Council, Development Cooperation Initiative Africa as well as Foro Latino Americano y Caribeno Juventudes.
Nidal Benali, who was born in Assilah, a quaint city in the North of Morocco, is the son of an architect, whose family is also active in local governance and tourism activities. Creativity, governance and sustainability are bound in his roots. Starting as the president of his local youth council in earlier years, he now works for the international department of a prestigious university. Wherever he goes, educating the next generation is where his passion lies, to quote: “Youth to youth is the key to world peace.” And as a role model who practices what he preaches, Nidal was previously invited at both the Biden Summit and Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum. His last designation was as Youth Peace Ambassador of the Islamic World Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ICESCO).
In light of the recent reopening of the Embassy of the Philippines to the Kingdom of Morocco, after 30 years, Mr. Benali attended the Philippine Independence Day in Rabat. Shortly afterwards, he paid a courtesy call with the first on-site Ambassador of Morocco to the Philippines, to promote youth-led cultural diplomacy, with the hospitality of SDG Realty Inc. Over the last few months, a series of film screenings, fashion shows, eco-tourism campaigns were also organized with AsiaTV and AfricaTV Studios. During these trips, the Moroccan youth leader and his team not only enjoyed but felt at home with the striking similarities between both countries, beyond the scenic coastal landscapes, Spanish-inspired architecture and spices, but of course, the strong, loyal and warm family and friendship values. Indeed, it’s the memories, bonds of trust, and commitments which make communities and their leaders, truly special.
From Africa, to Asia, the heart of diplomacy and business truly lies on people to people engagement. As it is said - there is unity in diversity. Just like the Philippines, Morocco prides itself from the time of Al Andalus to today, as the Land of Coexistence. Here lies a lived example of the crux of the matter : peace is a way of life. When it shines from within, it illuminates everyone else, through the shared values of cooperation, friendship, and most of all, hospitality.
As the famous French writer for young people Antoine Saint Exupery once said:
“Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.” (The Little Prince)
What’s next for the peace ambassador - Nidal Benali intends to visit the Philippines again and travel the rest of the region at the end of 2022. For inquiries on partnerships, kindly contact email@example.com.
End Quotes for Photos
Humility - No matter who you are, always treat people equally and help them as best as you can.
Learn to be a giver, more than a receiver.
More quotes here: http://peacenetwork.asia/nidalbenali