Amal Oumimoune is another Moroccan student running things. She’s in her fourth year studying business at ENCGA (Ecole National de Commerce et Gestion d’Agadir) —that’s National School of Trade and Commerce in English. As a #MotherlandMogul in the making, Amal has started making moves while in school.
With friends, she started an English club at ENCGA that helps other students practice English while developing leadership skills. Through this club, Amal has boosted her organisational skills and has come in contact with important personalities from all over the world.
Amal also started a Korean-Moroccan Association with fellow students which is bringing the Hallyu (Korean pop culture) wave to Morocco. On top of that, she’s a polyglot who speaks/understands 5 languages! Basically, if you’re a student, you should be like Amal Oumimoune.
Tell us about ENCGA’s English club, what are your plans to grow it in the next five years?
The ENCGA’s English club was created in 2014 by a group of English enthusiasts; it’s a space that gathers ENCGA students in order to practice their English and develop their debating and leadership skills through holding weekly talk sessions and also hosting international speakers to share their experiences.
Last year, we had the pleasure to host authors from the US and Singapore, and some exchange students from Guatemala and Brazil. Also, we had the chance to indulge in the company of two Fulbright exchange teachers.
I am so thrilled to be this year’s team leader! There are many plans I would like the club will accomplish. For example, the first “little free library: take a book and leave a book” in our university to encourage students to read more. Also, organizing leadership and writing workshops, as well as continuing hosting inspiring personalities.
The English club is from students to all the students so we work as a team and we welcome everyone’s suggestions and ideas.
Based on your experience at ENCGA, what tips do you have on hosting international personalities for local events?
When it comes to hosting international personalities having a wide network always works. Also, keeping an eye on every opportunity is quite important. If there’s someone in town, why not contact them and explain the whole concept of your organization?
Most people nowadays are open to sharing their ideas and experiences while discovering another culture and meeting people from different backgrounds. What matters the most is to stay updated and have the needed information about the person you’d like to host.Amal Oumimoune shares her tips on working with embassies from her experience Click To Tweet
Why start a Korean-Moroccan Association? Is there a particular reason young people should want to learn Korean?
Korean culture is well promoted nowadays and many youth in my community wanted a space to share their passion for the land of morning calm. Since there are many people interested in this culture, we resolved into founding Hanmate the Korean-Moroccan Association in order to encourage cultural understanding through both education and entertainment.
Although there’s a lot of difference and distance between the two countries, we strive to bring their cultures closer. The Korean language is not widely spoken in Morocco; it’s always beneficial to stand out from the crowd by doing what you admire.
However, many young people desire to learn this language due to the Hallyu (Korean wave). This refers to the popularity of Korean entertainment such as TV dramas and pop music. The Hallyu wave gives consumers a glimpse of South Korea and makes them want to learn about every aspect there is, including the language.
As you’ve partnered with the South Korean embassy in Morocco, what advice do you have for other young people looking to collaborate with embassies and international organizations?
In order to collaborate with embassies and international organizations, it is really important to build a notoriety and visibility for your organization. This starts from adopting an effective communication plan, to share all the amazing work your organization is doing.
It is always helpful to differentiate yourself from others by taking measurable risks and thinking outside the box. What matters the most is to work earnestly and being creative.
In this regard, we organized the first event of its kind in all Morocco, “Taste of Korea: the Korean cuisine contest”. This contest was the beginning of our partnership with the Korean embassy.
Besides, we had the opportunity to have a native speaker as a Korean teacher. That sort of worked as a tie between us and helped circulate information better. Overall, we are lucky since the Korean embassy is quite helpful and encouraging.
Tell us about the current project you’re working on. What kind of educational program(s) are you in the process of designing to encourage girls’ education?
The project that I’m currently working on is an educational program that will provide young girls with a place to express themselves and develop their potentials. Zahra Program will focus on four components; language, creativity, leadership and orientation.
Learning English can be very empowering, and allowing young girls to express their talents and emotions through artwork is very healing. Zahra Program’s mission is to empower and enable young girls to develop their skills and self-esteem and encouraging them to give back to their community by educating them in different aspects.
I’m really passionate about this project. As a young girl, I struggled with a lack of confidence and self-doubt. I was given the chance to be a part of Access program and that helped in shaping the person I am today.
I really want to provide as many girls as I can reach the same opportunity I’ve been given.
I’m assuming you’re multi-lingual, what’s your secret to learning/speaking many languages?
Indeed. I’m fluent in Arabic, French and English and I’m yet a work in progress in Korean and Spanish. The mystery of learning languages is actually to indulge in it, don’t confine yourself with textbooks and classes.
Just carry the language you’re learning wherever you are and be as creative as possible. You can’t separate language from the culture, so try discovering it either by tasting food or having foreign friends with whom you can practice the language.
I’ve always been driven by my curiosity and passion to explore everything that’s new. In times when that spark fades, I remind myself why I started or take a brief break to return with more energy.
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