Childlike Heart by Yousra, Morocco

When we are born, we enter the world as a tabula rasa: nothing is written on us. We have only a future, no past. That is the meaning of innocence. We lose our childlike innocence as time passes, as we grow up and experience the world.

I, as a child, was purely innocent; I always used to answer truthfully despite the consequences. Unfortunately, my innocence started to fade away as time passed. I still remember, when I was too young, I used to tell everything I knew about what happened around me, even what some people did not know or seemed not to be acquainted with.

I did not need to have the courage to do so. There is no need because nothing can be clearer than innocence. I was innocently interrupting elders while engaged in discussions, telling them all that I knew. Consequently, some of these people got very annoyed, others seemed sad and others insulted me. When the same situation happened several times, I began feeling bad! All of this for telling the truth.

After a succession of these experiences in my life, mostly bad ones, I tended to start “lying”. We go in REVERSE as we get older. We think of consequences, of answers or actions first, and only then do we do or say something. Ultimately, “lying” is the first conscious action which leads to a big loss, the loss of innocence in us.

Actually, losing our innocence is not really our own choice. When we are in the process of growing up, we are manipulated into losing our pure innocence. We are not acquainted with every piece of the puzzle yet, but we think we are. We start doing things that do not necessarily represent us, yet.

Fortunately, we have not run out of it. Yet we still tend to recognize that there are people who, when they get older, struggle to not lose all of the innocence they have. Yes, they are still innocent in a way! Their features still remain innocent. More significantly, they have a fervent desire to protect their own divine innocence.


This is just one example of the important work produced by YaLa’s citizen journalists, a program funded by the European Union’s Peacebuilding Initiative in order to enable young leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa to document and share their experiences of the region.

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