Welcome to the first post in our new series WorldPeople. Some weeks these will be long and some weeks they will be short, they might have images of the people we profile and they might not. It will depend on their story, their willingness to be photographed and the level of privacy they want to maintain. I may use their real names or I may not. The goal of this series is to share the people we meet on our WorldTowning journey with all of you, but more importantly to share what we have learned from them.
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them” – Ray Bradbury
Name: Samia B
Birth country: Morocco
Quote: “Most of the kids that come to the library it is the first time they have been in a library and seen the amount of books we have”. ~ Samia
Why we chose Samia: If there is one thing during our travels which has resonated or had a profound impact on us it is the need to educate children, all children and Samia inspires us in her quest to educate the children of Fez.
I was first introduced to Samia through Suzanna (our contact for the library project) via email. Samia was immediately receptive to the idea of us creating a promotonal video to benefit the children of the medina in Fez. I could tell through her written word that she brought something magical to the library and the children. Some people just get it, books and children, Samia is one of those people and it was profoundly apparent.
When we were finally able to meet in person all my assumptions about her were true. She was passionate about her work and the kids access to books, plus she possessed a maturity and commitment to her cause very rare for someone of such a young age. We spent several days with Samia reading to the children, doing an art project, filming, photographing and chatting which gave us a clear understanding to the why behind what she does. She believes in books and their power to open young minds.
“I think the resources the library provides and the values that it reinforces are making the children into better human beings. It makes them see the future in a very clear picture. Honestly, our kids are very energetic and ambitious. I enjoy talking to the kids about the future because through their words I see that they are drawing a clear picture about the future full or innocence, happiness and simplicity.”
We had the opportunity to interview the children of the medina library and they all expressed great joy for having Samia and the library in their life. Samia told us “… a library is not only shelves filled with books. It is a place where kids can create memories, can find their favorite books and can learn about themselves.”
My wish is that every kid will one day have access to books and a Samia in their life.
p.s. Get ready…We will be doing a Go Fund for the library once Will finishes the promo video.