As the countdown for 2019 begins, it is time to recall some of the best Moroccan achievers who represented their country worldwide.
Rabat – From literature to science to technology, Moroccans young and old have shown the world their talents and skills in 2018.
Moroccan child prodigies
Nine-year-old Mariam Amjoun shined in the world of literature.
Amjoun won the 2018 Arab Reading Challenge in Dubai on October 30, outperforming 10.5 million participants from 40 countries.
At a young age, Amjoun developed a love for reading which made her the eloquent child she is.
The young girl who goes to a public school has read 200 books and participated with 60 books in the reading challenge launched by the Emirati prince, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Amjoun, who had received a personal call from King Mohammed VI and met with Said Amzazi, the minister of education, has become an inspiration to many.
Crowds of Moroccans welcomed her at the airport when she returned from Dubai.
“I advise Arab children to read because reading is the lighthouse of civilization,” Amjoun said.
Another child prodigy has excelled in mental arithmetics.
Eight-year-old Malak Belarbi won first place in a global mental arithmetic competition in Turkey, only a few days after Amjoun received the Arab Reading challenge award in October.
By solving 160 problems in 7 minutes, Belarbi received the highest score in the competition.
Among other Moroccan children, she competed with children from 30 countries for the prize.
Belarbi, who is from Morocco’s port city of Essouira, also goes to a public primary school.
Like Amjoun, Belarbi has also become the “pride” of Moroccans.
Belarbi said: “I advise children to believe in themselves, and advise parents to encourage and support their children to accomplish their goals.”
Idder Motii, an 11-year-old Moroccan, is a self-taught programming prodigy.
At such a young age, he is fluent in three programming languages: Python, C++, and SQL.
Motii is also a self-taught English speaker who learned the language from watching movies.
Motii became famous after his participation at a Google Developer Group (GDG) event in Agadir early in December.
At the event, called DevFest Agadir 2018, Motii was the youngest speaker. He gave a presentation about Python, his favorite programming language.
Zakaria Jaiathe, a senior software engineer who met Motii at the event, said that he was so amazed by Motii’s technical background and ability to discuss very advanced topics at such a young age.
In the spiritual realm, a teenager has excelled in tajweed, Qur’an recitation.
Abdeljalil Bouski, won the 16th annual International Competition for Holy Qur’an Memorization, Interpretation, and Recitation in Tunis in mid-December.
Bouski outperformed 31 participants from 22 countries.
Top Moroccan adult male achievers
Karim Touijer is a model for all Moroccan doctors.
Touijer, a urologist at New York’s MSK Cancer Center and an oncology specialist for 26 years, was named the 2018 Top Doctor in New York by Top Doctor Awards in August.
Dr Touijer’s dedication and expertise make him “a very worthy winner of a 2018 Top Doctor Award,” the award statement said.
Touijer is known across New York as a specialist in the treatment of patients with genitourinary cancers, including cancers of the prostate, kidney, bladder, and adrenal glands.
The renowned doctor told Morocco World News that he performs about four to six prostate cancer surgeries a week and about 150 to 200 each year.
Charif Hamidi, 29, is a hardworking Moroccan teacher who strives to make school a better place for children to enjoy learning.
The year 2019 may have more success in store for Hamidi because the British Varkey Foundation nominated him for the prestigious $1 million Global Teacher Prize 2019.
The nomination acknowledges Hamidi’s efforts to promote education, build libraries, and improve standards for underprivileged children in Morocco.
Hamidi is the founder of an ambitious and innovative project, Education 4.0, that aims to leverage fourth industrial revolution technologies across young populations to empower and develop their creativity.
Another talented achiever, Mouad Boukioud, is a Moroccan religious singer who won the 11th annual Munshid Al Sharjah competition.
Boukioud won the competition at the final ceremony on December 14.
The munshid (religious singer) outperformed 21 talented participants from various countries, including Algeria and Tunisia.
Majidd El Bouazzaoui, is an outstanding inventor who won seven distinct awards in Canada and China in 2018.
Bouazzaoui, the founder of the OFEED innovation association, won a gold medal at Taiwan’s International Innovation and Invention Competition (IIIC) in November with an “automatic guidance system of photovoltaic panels” which cleans solar panels without using drinking water.
The young inventor has won more than 10 gold medals in China, Canada, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Poland, and South Korea.
His OFEED association also won a Korean medal early in November at the international invention exhibition of BIXPO 2018 in Gwangju.
Moroccan poet Mohammed Bennis won the 2018 Arab Creativity Award by the Lebanese Cultural Forum in France with only a few days left until 2019.
The award recognizes Bennis’ valuable literary works.
Born in 1948, the poet published his works in several newspapers all over the Arab world and won several awards throughout his career, including the el Premio Feronia International for literature.
Successful Moroccan women
Among the Moroccan female achievers who shined in 2018 is Ihssane Elidrissi El Hassani who was shortlisted for the highest legal award in England and Wales.
The London-based Law Society’s Excellence Awards nominated Elhassani in October for the “Woman Lawyer of the Year Category” award, along with 10 others, of more than 90,000 female lawyers in England and Wales.
El Hassani, who came from a legal household, grew up in Marrakech and studied law at the Cadi Ayyad University.
In 2016, Elhassani became the first female Moroccan lawyer to open her own legal office in England.
El Hassani’s encouraging word to all is: ”If you put in the effort, talent and hard work, you will be recognised, regardless of your nationality, skin colour or religion,” she told MWN.
A brave Moroccan adventurer is also deserving of a tribute.
Moroccan mountaineer Bouchra Baibanou finished off 2018 with a life-changing adventure.
Bailbanou became the first Moroccan woman to climb the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest. She climbed the 8,848-meter mountain on December 17, sharing pictures on her Facebook.