North African ? Your are African too!

From Algiers, to Busan, South Korea. I took a path for a long trip far from North Africa, to seize a lifetime opportunity and represent Algeria in the second leadership workshop for Global Citizenship Education.

GCED ! This new promising concept of gathering citizens from all over the world to work together in order the achieve the global goals for sustainable development, far from race stereotypes, religious beliefs and all other titles dividing humanity. It is such an inspiring reunion of the sons of mother earth.

Yacine Sichaib Speaking at the GCED workshop in Busan, Korea

Yacine Sichaib
Speaking at the GCED workshop in Busan, Korea

As an Algerian, I had the great pleasure to meet my brothers and my sisters from my African family. I was enlightened by a shining diamond from Botswana called Mmabatho Motsamai, Inspired by the talented poet Ntui Oben Obi from Cameroon, and how can I forget my Moroccan neighbor Sarah Moussaoui with whom I felt like we never had and still do not have boundaries between our two beloved countries. Besides, I still do not know how to describe how strong I felt in middle of all the other talented and brilliant nine members of my African family… Kenya, Ghana, Tunisia, Togo, Tanzania, Nigeria, Gambia, Ethiopia and Sudan… Oh Africa how great you are !

I finally got the chance to re-build my African identity through this Global Citizenship initiative. Given the fact that I Grew up in a Arabo-Islamic society in the North of Africa, I have never been taught about the history of Africa until I became an autodidact musician and photographer exploring the dunes and mountains of Algeria which let me to finally understand that I cannot deny my belonging to Africa.

We people in North Africa are forgetting all about our origins as sons of Amazigh, the first men to explore North Africa who fought endless wars against the Roman invasions just to keep peace and harmony on our lands. We have allowed ourselves to identify more as Arabs and done away with our African identity.

This  kind of ideology is diving the North and Sub-Saharan African countries more than ever, because we are dealing with our issues separately by ignoring our Subsaharian, Center, West and Southern African neighbors. But in the meantime, we are living in a new era where we must stand united together as “Afrolutionists”  to achieve a successful and sustainable development for our beloved Africa.

As a muslim, I learnt from the Coran that “ God does not change the situation of people until they change what is inside their minds “ and also that “ God created us Men and Women, nations and tribes, so that we get to know each other and live united together “. Now is the time to change our minds in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lybia and Egypt, and remember the duties we have to accomplish towards our blessed African land, whatever the cultures we have, the religions we practice, and the languages we speak. Before being global citizens, we need to be African citizens by considering our differences as a rich diversity making our strength. Tolerance and coexistence must be the greatest values we need to promote, while understanding that the colour of our skin and kink in our hair is a mere resemblance on the amount of melanin in our bodies. The strong concepts of race must be foreign to us. We are united through our differences, similarities, shared pain and hope for prosperity. We are and will always be one – our continent has tied us together.

Yacine Sichaib is a 21yo autodidacte musician, photographer and a very attached adventurer to the African land. He is an active member of the organization SIDRA, and part of the Young Algerian Leaders Academy. Yacine advocates for a new ideology of optimism and positivity in Algeria, aiming to inspire the whole new generation for the positive change.