It Wasn’t Meant To Be, by Hasnaa Lamrini, Morocco

This is what happened to me. If it starts like this, it’s because it doesn’t always happen to other people. It’s neither a severe illness nor a big loss. As a matter of fact, it is not even close to that, but still. It was heartbreaking in all types of ways, and you know what, it’s not even about love, because I believe a broken heart is not always about love. I’m a 22-year-old, studying International Trade at a Moroccan university. Just like any other student in Morocco, or at least most of them, I wish to spend some of my young years studying abroad. I will not lie and say it’s only for the university and the lectures, but it’s for the whole study abroad experience in itself. This happened last year. A riveting opportunity was offered to us by our not so prestigious university, and it was for an exchange semester in Germany. The truth is, I never thought of studying or even going to Germany, but after some research, it seemed like a really interesting place. I reached a “why not” state of mind, so I applied. Needless to say that there were only 10 spots available, whereas the whole academic promotion was made available for around 400 students. As far as I can remember, many people applied. After a long process, including file reviews and interviews and other complications as I love to call them, I was selected to participate in this program. That day, I cried.  I was overcome with feelings of accomplishment, I was truly happy and that is a word that I don’t use often. What happened next is the normal process for anyone who wants to go study abroad. This basically included gathering my documents to get my visa and then leave, but of course things didn’t go quite as planned.   Since I was coming from an Arab and Muslim country, things were a bit harder for my application. Enough to make you feel like you are worth less than other people. This was a real exercise since it teaches you how to contain yourself and stay strong. The process was overwhelming – very long and exhausting – and sadly at the end, after a lot of money and energy were wasted, I had to go back to my university. To sum it up, I felt that I wasn’t welcomed in Germany. All of my documentation was refused due to the fact that a German Bank couldn’t read a specific, small part of my passport. This was after  I sent this document around 6 times, from Morocco to Germany, of course, and this was the center of my rejection. My whole exchange program was cancelled given this silly reason. I was devastated, but I learned something at the end of all this, something that I have been preaching for a few years: “we can get over anything and everything, it’s only a matter of time”. Obviously it wasn’t meant to be, maybe it was really about the passport, maybe it was pure racism, it could have been anything, but my life has had so many wonderful chapters.  This chapter does not even matter anymore, forgotten and gone forever, but somehow taught me how to deal with specific situations. I will end my story with this simple sentence; Never lose hope, things will get better, and you’ll get over it, sooner or later.

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