The UNSTOPPABLE Girl by Elarif Rkia, Morocco

It was a rainy afternoon of November, 2000. I was a little girl with an open mind yet my knowledge was very limited. Even though, I carried a pure heart who believed that the universe is limitless and my home town ‘Addar’, a rural area located in the southwest of Morocco was the nucleus in the universe. I believed that someday I will rock and that I will be a star but more radiant than the other stars. I was  6 years old, and it was time for many children to go back to school and for me the first time to hit the road alongside them as an official student. I previously joined them as an unofficial student and went to school for a year before as a listener (underage school child). I felt super excited and ready to learn, to experience and to grow. 

This afternoon, after school my curiosity lead me to my hometown school  that consists of two simple buildings surrounded by rocks but our teacher made it a colorful, lovely place for us to study at. I never have regretted following my curiosity that day. My father bought me the school supplies at the weekly market, and my mother gave him extra money to buy me a new dress for this special occasion. It was a  Tuesday, but he didn’t buy the meat that week as he usually does. Instead he spent his money on my things. I regret that.  

Back t15049923_1721019864885582_1562011949_nhen,  people in my hometown could afford meat only once a week;  it would be  for Tuesday’s dinner or for Wednesday’s lunch. Yet, my parents were happy to spend their money to buy us (My older sister Aicha and I) what we really needed to pursue our studies. My father said with his deep voice full of confidence: “Girls, I want you to study very hard beca use I don’t want to see you illiterate and if you don’t study hard you will regret it” and my mother followed up gently “Aicha, Rkia I believe in you and I count on you to make your own life a better one”… I still remember how amazing I felt looking to my pens, my pencil , my colored pencils, my 3 rulers, my books and my notebooks with a 24 pages. I spent the whole day looking at the images on my books. I love them and I spent the whole night hugging my satchel, I gained a new friend. I had only two friends by that time: My fluffy cat and my Satchel, then the characters I read about on the novels I stole from the bookshelf on our class because we didn’t have money to buy books and if we did, we would not have the meat in our meal, but I promised myself once I finished to memorize the whole story to turned back and took another one without being seen by our teacher or by my classmates and I did. I was made to be a student in life who can go beyond the limits and wherever I go my parents’ words keep hissing in my ears as a reminder to run after my goals in this life.

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