#Winter Is Coming

English novelist Anthony Trollope wrote: ” What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?…Was ever anything so civil?”

Some say that he is quite right according to the standards of the Victorian Era in which he lived. Some others, myself included, think that he is quite right even according the standards of the 21th century.

If you’re reading this article, you’re definitely one of the luckiest people in the history of human existence. Since you have the luxury to be sitting comfortably at your home reading this article on the internet. We usually don’t get to realize how lucky we are and how stupid we are to take all of the above mentioned luxury for granted. We forget that there are people, somewhere in the forgotten world, who suffer in silence. Who fight and struggle on a daily basis not so that they can earn more money, or so they can have more possessions. No! They struggle against the harshness of the natural world just to survive!

Tiflet Young Leaders Association has decided to go to one of those forgotten places, which is a mountain village in Morocco called Douar Oulad Ali, and to offer a hand of help to those people who are in utter need. We have decided to collect clothes, covers, school supplies and anything that would reduce the harshness of their living situation.

We were quite surprised at the amount of clothes we have managed to collect from the huge number of generous people who were willing to help and who were actually searching for these types of humanistic initiatives. We have parted into teams, and every neighborhood had a team, and every team had a supervisor. We worked in a very organized and structured manner. At the end of the fundraise, we managed to wash all the clothes and to separate them according to some specific criteria, such as age, gender, size..etc. And then we packed everything up and we were ready to visit the other side of Morocco.

The trip started at around 4am on Saturday. We arrived at around 2pm. We were welcomed enthusiastically by the people of the village, who have already prepared for us a traditional lunch that was incredibly delicious. We ate and then we hit the road again to the school, in which we will meet the people who will benefit from the fundraise, which was far away from the village by 7km or so.

The weather was freezing cold. And yet, kids and adults alike weren’t wearing enough clothes. Their skin was quite damaged with the harshness of the temperature. Their faces were quite pale, and the marks of their daily struggle and suffering was quite clear. They were thin, clearly not well fed, and one can see through their momentary smiles a sense of despair in their eyes. That’s how the other face of Morocco looks like.

Work started, and we have parted again into 3 teams. The first one entertained the children, the second one distributed the clothes to women and their kids, and the third team to men. We couldn’t organize them very well, they were uncontrollable. But nobody can blame them for their behavior. They were all in utter need. But we nonetheless managed to succeed with great difficulty in the distribution of the clothes.

Throughout this experience I had some mixed feelings about what I already know on the appalling situation of lots of people in Morocco. And how they are forgotten without clothes, covers and some of the most basic needs of a decent life. What I saw in this place is not as worse as what I have seen on Television or on the Internet of course. But when one witnesses something horrible in real life, the impact becomes huge and far more powerful.

When you see small kids wearing plastic sandals in one of the coldest places in Morocco, and how damaged their little feets and hands have become because of said weather, you can’t help but feel more disgust towards the authorities and people who are in charge of this country. You can’t help but feel immense sadness towards these people as well as many others who live in the same downhearted situation… or even worse! You can’t help but feel deep sorrow when you think about the bleak future of these kids and how it won’t be any different than the current situation of their parents. And then you remind yourself with the fact that the only thing that makes you different from these people, socially or intellectually, is sheer luck. Because if I was born there, I would be begging for clothes and covers, too. And I would thank the supreme Leader, or the King, or the President…etc, Instead of thanking people who actually helped me. And then again, I reminded myself with the irony of the Moroccan regime that sends huge humanitarians aids to Palestine, Niger…etc!

But at least, we have unleashed the libertarian spirit in us and we’ve tried to help these people as much as we could. We have planted joy in their hearts for a few moments, and we have given them something that would reduce their daily hardship. It was indeed a character building experience, and we are quite proud that we have succeeded in one of the biggest humanitarian events we have ever done.
But, the best is yet to come. Stay tuned!


Inauguration party of Tiflet Young Leaders Network Association

Traditional Gala

The week after we finished the refitting of Youth House, we organized an inauguration Gala in a traditional theme. It served two main purposes. The first was of course to celebrate our achievements, and the second was to do an official opening of the association as a legal and professional one from now onwards. The party was held in the presence of all the members and the volunteers, families of some of the members, and I must add that we were honored with the fact that some of our high school teachers attended the party, too.

Everything started with a warm welcome to all the attendants, then a presentation about the association was performed by the President of TYLN. In which he gave an overview of how it all started, the three projects we did, the values and principles of the association as well as a quick introduction of the members of the association. Needless to mention the precise statistics that were given about the educational level of the members, together with their various fields of specialization. And finally a short video was projected that contains some snapshots from the workshops.

After the presentation ,the party started. We have invited an Artist from Tetouan, a Moroccan city in the north, called Smail Tetouani who specializes in singing Moroccan traditional songs. We have invited a break dance crew from Sale who did a great show, and who have performed in many national and international break dance competitions. And at the end symbolic awards were given to the best volunteers in the workshop of the Youth House. Who were: Reda Taj, Rabab Yachou, Abderahim Sorour. Then the rest of the volunteers were given participation certificates to make sure that their effort was very well appreciated.

In the end, an official thanks was given to the families of some members whose financial and moral support was a significant factor to the success of our journey.

But, the best is yet to come. Stay tuned.


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The refitting of Tiflet’s Youth House

Tiflet’s young population is full of talents that needs to be polished, skills that needs to be improved and energy that needs to be directed toward the goodness of the community. And the only place in Tiflet that could be a haven for the talented and energetic young generation is what is known as a Youth House.

Unfortunately, the most known Youth House in Tiflet wasn’t given much attention by the authorities and those who are in charge, and consequently it was in a quite shabby condition. Even though it has its own budget. Where does it go you might ask! Well, Nobody knows exactly where, but everybody knows that it doesn’t go to where it belong.

This is why we, Tiflet Young Leaders Network Association, thought of doing what I would call a huge project, given the fact that we have just started a couple of months ago and that we have become a legal association recognized by the state. The mission was to refit and repair the Youth House, and most importantly, to add to it an artistic touch that will definitely give it a new lease of life!

We then sat down to think about the budget we will need to accomplish the task, it took us around a week or so to do the estimations. The result was quite depressing, as it turned out we will need more than 6000MAD, which is around $600 or so. We didn’t have such a sum nor could we afford it by donations only. A feeling of hopelessness and despair emerged for a few minutes and it was quite clear on our faces. But, we didn’t give up easily. A brilliant idea saved the situation, which was this: If we have already organized a kids party before, and it was a successful one indeed, we could easily organize a new one that will be filled with much more fun activities! It will be both a way to raise money for the big project, and an event that will put a smile on children’s faces! It was the perfect solution and we immediately started preparing for it. It was called “A Colorful Day” and here is the flyer and some photos of the preparation:


The event was in the morning, kids from various Tiflet’s schools attended. We did the best we could to spend less, to raise more as well as to entertain the kids as much as possible. Pretty much all the activities were performed by TYLN’s members. Some members actually learned how to dance and they designed a choreography. Some performed as clowns. I did some few visual magic tricks that wowed the kids. We sold popcorn, and there was face painting art for the kids as well. And I cannot move on without mentioning a guy called Majd. None of us could imagine how the event would have been without his powerful energy!

Beside the performances, we did all the other organizational work as well. So yes, we did it all by ourselves.

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We did the event, everybody loved it, kids and parents alike! And we raised a respectable sum of money out of it. Isn’t that brilliant?

But still, we needed more money and people to get the job done. So we decided to invite young people from Tiflet to help us accomplish this huge project through a Facebook campaign. We created a video in which we introduced the association, we explained the legal issues we faced in our first event, and we invited everyone who would want to volunteer to make our next step possible. They didn’t disappoint us.

We organized an evening with them so we can introduce the association with much more details, to explain to them our goals and principles, and to set a plan for the work that needs to be done in the next week. We parted into specialized groups: Gardening, Cleaning, Logistics, Painting and Art.

Thanks to our chamberlain, who did a huge effort to provide us with everything we needed with the budget we had. And he got support from a store of painting and construction supplies, too.

The time has come for the work to start. Everybody was excited and motivated. Some of the work could only be described as hard labor. Which I myself did. But everybody participated and helped in everything. Most of us have never worked such jobs before, which made the experience much more beautiful and special in a way. By the second day we got more supplies and support from the authorities, which was very encouraging. I mean I could write a booklet about those three days. But as the saying goes, one picture is worth a thousand words. So I’ll just leave you with pictures from the 3 days of work, here they are:

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It was an amazing experience. All the hard work paid off and we are very proud of the result. Needless to mention that we have made new friendships and we have become more like a family. So, I’ll say it again: Thank you to everyone who participated in this beautiful project!



Since TYLN was launched in 2014 it didn’t get much attention from the public nor the people who were invited to the network. Maybe because it’s goals weren’t clear enough. Few months later the first event of our network happened. It was in a form of a lecture. The event was hosted in Abd El Karim Elkhatabi high school and the lecturers were in fact some of its old students. It went great, the network got lots of exposure in social media and people started grasping the idea of this initiative.

Now it’s 2015, and our second event was quite unexpected and challenging. The idea was setting up a campaign to raise money to buy school supplies and distribute them to kids who come from low income families in 5 days. Right before Eid Al Adha “Religious holiday”. I must say that the amount of money and the other donations we have got in this short period of time was astonishing and far from what we have expected. The whole thing  went through 4 major phases. Which I am going to walk you through right now to get the feeling of how it all started, which will automatically I believe make you appreciate the end result. So let’s start with:

Phase 1: The Idea!

Every great achievement in human history started out with an idea. This very computer from which I’m typing these words was once an idea inside somebody’s mind. In our case, the idea of the event came from the mind of the founder of this network, Anace Heddan. It came out of the blue and nobody expected it. The founder published the proposition on social media. Two hours later and there was literally no response to it. Then a few people, I would say 4 or 5, had liked the Facebook post, and the conversation started. Which lead us to set a meeting at that same day in the evening to start the ball rolling.

Phase2: The strategy!

There were only 6 people in the first meeting. The founder explained the idea of the network. And then we discussed the strategy, or shall I say the plan of what should be done starting from that day onward. It ranged from collecting donations, to sharing news on social media, to getting people interested in the campaign, to inviting new young students from high school, to using all forms of marketing techniques starting from the most basic and yet effective one, word of mouth.

I must not forget to tell you, dear readers, one of the beautiful moments we have had that motivated us quite drastically. When we were discussing the strategy in the coffee shop, a women was sitting quite close to us and she was hearing what we were talking about. She happened to be an active member of many associations. She seemed very interested and she couldn’t resist the urge to join the initiative and contribute to it. She then kindly stepped forward and respectfully introduced herself. She expressed her impression about the initiative as well as the fact that she did admire it. She proposed to us some few marketing tips and techniques to reach more people and gain more trust and credibility. In addition to that she donated money to the campaign, too.

It felt good to get attention from people who have never heard about our network and who just liked the idea of the campaign for its humanitarian purpose only!


Phase3: Action!

In day one, two, and three all what we had done was collecting donations and spreading the word. More students joined us in the campaign and we have become a team of about 20 to 25 members. We were all motivated and serious about work. we had different skills and we gave each member the kind of work that fits his own set of skills. We have burnt the candle at both ends for 3 days simultaneously!

In the fourth day we have divided into teams. Team number one was responsible for everything related to communication. Team number two was responsible for everything related to logistics and decoration. Team number three was responsible for everything related to graphic design and printing flyers and banners. And finally team number four had the responsibility to buy the school supplies, to manage the budget and everything else related to finance.

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Team number four bought all the school supplies we need and we started organizing them for each school level. Team number one made a list that contains the families who needs our help and their phone numbers, we then called them to tell them about the event and we’ve settled a meeting in order to give them the invitations. Meanwhile, team number three which was responsible for graphic design and printing have already designed the invitations, the banners and badges and they’ve printed them out, too. Team number one then got the printed invitations and distributed them. After working the entire evening on this, we all went back and helped team number four to organize all the material they have bought for each school level.


This may sound easy, but the above mentioned work took us the entire day from early morning to late night. It was both time and energy consuming. But it was nonetheless painfully pleasurable. We were working passionately against the clock to have the event ready in less than a day!

Phase 4: The big day!

The fifth day was the day of the event. We have all gathered in the school where it was hosted in. We discussed and prepared the activities we will be performing for the kids. They ranged from games, cultural competitions, dancing, face painting, music and a magic show.  And the time for team number two has come to decorate and get everything in place, nicely and neatly!

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Preparations are over. The event happened and everything went just as planned!

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We are proud to having taken part in this soul stretching experience. The beauty of it was the fact that our campaign had no religiopolitical agenda. The only agenda we had was to do good for goodness’ sake.


Thank you to every single person who helped us bring this idea to life and to put a smile on the faces of children . Without all of you none of this would have happened!