ZINEB BENHARBIT- MOROCCO

Zineb Benharbit is a fifth year architecture student at the National Architecture School of Rabat, Morocco, and has lived her high school and elementary school years in Dubai UAE and Jeddah KSA.

Her love for debates has led her to countless encounters and many opportunities. In 2016, she won the National Competition of GDM alongside her university debate team, and the international competition of debates organized by GDM and the transnational initiative countering violent extremism, thus raising awareness about current events that are related to violent extremism and how to prevent it.

What or who inspires you, and why?

What inspires me is the smile of strangers to which you throw small words of kindness. I love saying "thank you for doing your job so seriously" to a cashier or a waitress and realizing what it means to them after a long day of hard work and rude clients. 

 Regarding who inspires me, no matter how cliché, it's my parents. My father is a very hard worker, always has the biggest smile on his face, and never complains about anything! He makes getting things done look so easy when it really isn't, which I only realized after growing up. And my mother is the most giving human being I've ever known. She never comes back to Morocco without having gotten a gift to each and every family member of ours (and trust me there are a lot), even after 13 years of living abroad. 


How did you hear about Young Morocco Voices?
I heard about YAV through friends, thanks to which I was introduced to its concept and activities. 


What was the biggest change you noticed in yourself from going through the programme?
The biggest change I've noticed in myself while debating is my ability to conquer my fear. 

Tell us more about your involvement in the Great Debaters?
Great Debaters has been a second school to me. While university teaches me the role of an architect, Great Debaters has given me lessons about everything else! Open-mindedness, listening to others, public speaking, and of course so much more information about every current event, because we debate about such topics. It's also given me to opportunity to meet so many people, future leaders, who are ambitious, smart, and hard working, which only made me want to be and do better! 

Since I participated in GD, I won the National Competition 2016 alongside my team!

What would you say to anyone who is thinking about becoming a YAVER?
To anyone who wants to become a YAVER, do not hesitate! I understand some of who might be scared of the unknown, but if that's the case, that's exactly why you should integrate that community! It makes you more confident and more able to face your fears and makes you get passed them and evolve as a young adult! 

What do you expect from the UK week summit?
The UK Week is most probably the one thing I'm most looking forward to this year. I believe we learn through experience much more than we could ever learn through anything else that's why such events are always so exciting for me! Meeting the amazing trainers and participants all gathered for one same reason: knowledge! 

 What’s next? What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future is a question I don't have an exact answer to, because I'm currently in a phase of my life where I'm trying to gather as much knowledge and experience as possible, preparing for the next step of my life: putting this knowledge and experience to work and using it to make as much impact as possible in my society!