Rabat – Young Moroccans made their voices heard at the 2018 edition of Yo!Fest @ the European Youth Event.
Yo!Fest @ the European Youth Event 2018 is an important festival that brings young people from all over Europe together to celebrate what it means to be a young European.
This year’s festival brought 8,000 young people representing 104 youth organizations to Strasbourg, France from June 1-2. On the menu were debates, workshops, talks, exhibitions and performances celebrating what it means to be a young European.
The youths in attendance came from a wide variety of backgrounds, including several participants who trace their origins to Morocco.
One notable participant of Moroccan origin was Yasmine Ouirhrane, a 22-year-old Italian citizen of Moroccan origin. Ouirhrane is member of the 2018 Women Deliver Young Leaders cohort and works with the United Network of Young Peacebuilders on expanding the inclusion of youth in peace processes.
Ouirhrane contributed to the festival’s program with an event titled “Staying alive in turbulent times means staying united and elevating the European motto of ‘Unity in Diversity’ in a time where populisms and extremisms threaten the Union. If I had to describe this campaign in a few words, I would say, ‘Alive, Different and United.’”
She also helped organize a second event titled “Generation Y: What Is Your Biggest Fear?” In this event, Ouirhrane shared her own experiences as the daughter of immigrants and offered her perspective on the political crises currently taking place in Italy.
Thanks to the European Parliament’s sponsorship of the YO!Fest, Ouirhrane found a platform to share her experience with young people who share a similar family history.
Many other young people of Moroccan origin participated in the festival. Nousseiba, a 16-year-old French citizen of Moroccan origin, was part of a plenary session in the European Parliament that discussed the topic of banning the burkini.
Other European citizens of Moroccan origin were interviewed by France 3 about their experiences both in Europe and at the festival.
Yassine, a 26-year-old French citizen of Moroccan origin, stated, “We don’t learn about the European Union enough at school, we should learn more, because when I came here I realized how important the Union is and today I feel fully European.”