Keep Moving Forward

By Soheyb, Algeria

A year ago I was eating lunch with my best friend. We were sitting at one of those cheap local restaurants because we didn’t have the time or money to go somewhere fancy.

At the time we were applying for the same scholarship, which is given to those who demonstrate leadership ability.

My chances of getting the scholarship were good because I was already a young social activist. I had organized many events and workshops about public speaking, effective communication, and management at conferences with people from all over the world.

My friend was an active member of the community. He attended conferences and other events occasionally. I admit that I let my ego consume me, and I was so short-sighted that I thought I would automatically get the scholarship and he might not.

He, on the other hand, kept working hard on himself and believed that as long as he was trying hard, he still had a chance at the scholarship. He believed that success is not related to how old we are or the amount of money we accumulate, it is actually measured by the number of our attempts. He didn’t get where he is by accident, he did his best with only the tools he was provided; motivation, determination, and perseverance.

When the result finally came out we were sitting in front of our laptops, and we promised each other that we would open our emails at the same time. At first, I didn’t even read my own email. I was more focused on his screen because I was already sure that I had been selected. We started reading, starting with that cliché that always starts these kinds of emails. “Dear applicant, thanks for showing interest in our program, we received thousands of applicants which made our decision so difficult, however, we are happy to inform you that you have been selected to the second round….”

I was so happy for him, we were screaming from excitement because I thought that we would be going together but, when I started reading mine, I realized that I wasn’t accepted. I didn’t know what to do, keep smiling to show him that I’m happy for him? Hide the fact that envy him? Or to storm off?

I asked him how he could have been accepted when I was not, is this a joke? Instead of getting mad he said, “I know that you’re the one who should get accepted because you truly deserve it.” He killed me with those words, and he made me regret what I said. After a few months of preparation, he passed the interview and the English test and was officially accepted.

I didn’t feel sad at all, I supported him as much as I could. It was only then when I realized how stupid I was. I let my ego consume me and there was nothing I could do to change it. I have to keep moving forward no matter what, only time will show us whether we are up for the challenge that is life.

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. eupi-both-flags.png

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