Monday, June 9, 2014

Youths in Post 2015 Development Agenda in Morocco #3

National Consultation on the Priorities and Aspirations of Young Moroccans

Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margin, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies.
                                                                                 Kofi Anan, Former UN Secretary-General
Participants of the Youth Consultation on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, Morocco
Hello everyone

Today's post will be about the youth consultation on the Post 2015 Development Agenda in Rabat on the weekend of 31st March and 1st June that I was fortunate enough to be a part of.

In the past decade, the importance of youth participation in decision making has gained the much needed recognition with efforts by governments to engage youths in the national policy formation process. The stereotype youths faced, of lacking expertise or experience and being a problem or risk, has been replaced by being recognised as social actors who have the skills and capacity to bring about change and development.


In 2000, almost 14 years ago, world leaders from 189 nations pledged to achieve 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals sought to solve 8 main issues which were selected as the most important social issues at the time. As less than a year remains for the MDGs target date, the world is gearing up for a post 2015 agenda where new sets of goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will be set out for the future.

Work on the SDGs started from 2010 after the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, formed a High Level Panel of Eminent Person to advise him on a Post 2015 Development Agenda. Since May 2012, consultations have been carried out with a focus on 11 themes: inequalities, health, education, growth and employment, environment sustainability, governance, conflict and fragility, population dynamics, hunger, food and nutrition security, energy and water. (UNDP Website)

Youth Post 2015 Development Agenda Consultation in Rabat, Morocco

On the 31st of May and the 1st of June, I had the chance to represent IFMSA-Morocco (International Federation of Medical Students Association-Morocco) for the youth consultation on the Post 2015 Development Agenda by the United Nations Population Fund-Morocco (UNFPA-Maroc) in Hay Nahda, Rabat.

IFMSA-Morocco delegation to the event
This national consultation aimed to get the voices of young Moroccans heard on a national and international level, create a platform of communication for youths to advocate on issues which will affect them in the Post 2015 Agenda and elaborate the recommendations decided by young Moroccans on issues which affect them in their home country among others.

The weekend saw a gathering of around 40-50 youths who came from various cities, backgrounds and represented many associations and organisations in Morocco. There were those who had finished studying or were pursuing a Bachelor's or Master's degree, youths from rural areas, migrants, youths who were handicapped and also youths who sat on national committees. Participants were from different associations which advocated for various causes. Every effort was made to ensure Moroccan youth were represented from every community.

Equal representation of youth from all parts of the community
In the two days which followed, the participants had the chance to meet with UN officials in Morocco and debate and discuss issues among themselves. They were taken through the concept of the MDGs and information associated with the Post 2015 process.

Three working groups were formed for the 3 chosen themes: 
  • Right to Information and Sexual Reproductive Health and Equality
The ''Right to Information and Sexual Reproductive Health and Equality" working group
  • Education and Employment
The ''Education and Employment" working group
  • Governance and Participation
The ''Governance and Participation" working group
Each working group was moderated by a youth who was a leader in their own right. UN-Morocco officials were present to provide guidance but at the same time kept the process entirely youth focused. Priorities were identified and recommendations brainstormed. By the end of the second day each working group had come up with at least 6 recommendations along with ways they could be lobbied to be made into actual policies.

The event highlighted the potential of Moroccan youths in the public/political sphere and showed that our youth have a lot to offer to change the society for the better.

Hope you enjoyed the article on the event as much as I enjoyed participating in the event itself.

Until the next article.

Have a good week.


P.S. I recently joined twitter and you could follow me at this twitter handle: @abdulmshaheed
Check out for my other networks.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Giving Their Share to Show They Care #2

Hello everyone

It has been a a long time since I did any blogging. Studies and other activities have kept me from penning (or should I say typing?) my thoughts. But here is another interesting read (hopefully) about an event I attended recently. 

Last Saturday, the 10th of May, I had the opportunity to attend the ASEAN Food Festival and Bazaar Charity held at the Malaysian Embassy in Rabat. It was to help the AMESIP Foundation in collecting money through the sale of food and other items by the participating ASEAN countries.

Indonesian crafts on sale.
Hand embroided wallets from Vietnam.                  

Preparing the Malaysian Salad.

Vietnamese students at the event.
This little French cutie stole the show.

What is ASEAN?

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a political and economic organisation of 10 countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed in 1967. The members include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as founding countries along with Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam who joined later.
Source: Wikipedia

What is AMESIP?

The association was formed in 1996 under the name “Association Marocain d'aide aux Enfants en situation Précaire” (Moroccan Association of Aid For Children in Precarious Situations). The founders of AMESIP had initially found a large number of kids already engaging in various forms of substance abuse. The association has many shelters in and around the Rabat and Salé area with a center in Casablanca.
        Source: AMESIP Website

ASEAN Food Festival and Bazaar Charity 2014

Country stands for the ASEAN Food Festival and Charity Bazaar 2014

This year the event was hosted by the Malaysian Embassy in Rabat. This was the 2nd edition of the ASEAN Food Festival and Bazaar Charity which started in 2013 and there are plans to make this into an annual event. 

Five countries participated in this event: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Brunei. 

The Tombola, Indonesian and Brunei stands at the ASEAN Food Festival and Bazaar Charity 2014.       
Each country had their own cultural presentation ranging from cultural dances to traditional martial arts.

Thai martial arts

The Indonesian dance made the spectators join in with their lively moves. Ambassadors of Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam joined in with the performers.
Each country’s embassy contributed towards the charity aspect by having their traditional artifacts and cuisine for sale. There was a tombola with prizes donated from different embassies. The Food Festival and Bazaar Charity was also used as a means to promote ASEAN as one community giving back to the Moroccan society. The money that was collected was given to AMESIP who look after street kids and give them education.

Malaysian Salad

Indonesian Solo Sausage

Fish Cake from Thailand

The event was a huge success and was attended by the Moroccan and international community. It was an opportune moment for everyone to mix around and talk and meet the ambassadors of different countries. Ambassadors of Bangladesh and Pakistan were also present with their families to support the event.

Guests for the events having a ''picnic'' on the lawn of the Malaysian Embassy.

The event was a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities.

And to end this post, here is a bearded me with the ambassador of Vietnam to Morocco.

Until the next post beautiful people.

Have a good week.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

The First One #1

My First

So while this may not be my first try at a blog, it is however my first time on I wrote a few posts here and there on other blogging sites but I either lost interest or forgot my password. I am still learning the ropes of how to blog and I am sure I will have a few embarrassing moments in order to learn how to properly blog although I do not believe there is a ''proper'' method.

Who am I?

Just a curious mind almost to the point of being a busybody sums it up I suppose. I like being involved in whatever is happening. I am a socializing hound. Every opportunity I get, I talk to whoever I get the chance to talk to and I am always full of questions. If you ask my friends, they would probably warn you to stay away from me because I talk like there is no tomorrow. I am interested in social issues and activities.

I am very much interested in travelling. I suppose that is one of the reason why I came all the way to Morocco from Fiji. The second would be the love of language and culture. I am a bookworm and an internet freak (meaning I am addicted to Facebook).

But... Who am I?

I am Abdul Mufeez Shaheed 22 years young. I am of Indian origins but was born and raised in Fiji and am a proud Fijian (hence the name FIndian- Fiji Indian). I currently study Medicine in Morocco; Rabat to be precise. I love to learn languages. I already speak Hindi, Urdu, English and French and I am learning the Moroccan Darija (the Moroccan Arabic Dialect) and recently started self-teaching myself German (in love with it- for now).

I joined a few associations in Rabat to keep myself busy and to learn and make new friends.

Why the Blog?

Why not? I have so much to say and while not everything I say may makes sense, somewhere, someone might enjoy my gibberish. Even if my posts give someone a minute of genuine laughter, I would consider my blog a success.

What Now?

Wait I suppose. The next thing which interests me will be posted here on this blog.

Have a good week.