I know you're thinking the same thing: 2018? Get out! Didn't 2017 just begin? I know I know....
So you might remember that at the end of every year, I think forward and choose a word that I want to guide my next year, sort of like a north star. That way, when I get lost, I can come back and ask myself, am I focusing on the important thing? How can I get back on track?
I think I did okay by my 2017 word because I helped build Project Soar from 1 location, to over 20. We now have nearly 50 trained facilitators providing a 100 hour empowerment curriculum to teenage girls all over Morocco. I am so proud of the Project Soar team that helped make this happen through their unwavering dedication and commitment.
But I didn't stop there, secretly I began planning something else, something brand new. It's a work in progress, and I am on that very steep part of the learning curve, where panic often ensues. I was talking to a friend and mentor who runs this beautiful company, and she said this to me, "Maryam, years ago, you didn't know anything about starting a hotel, did you? And after that, you didn't know anything about starting a nonprofit organization, did you?" When I inevitably shook my head to both, she said simply, "So what makes you think that you can't do this?"
So I am doing it. I've spent not only my pennies, but hours, days and weeks of my time trying to figure it out. I've fallen down and gotten up again. I've quit it and come back again. And here I am....... still standing. But before I show you, let me share with you my word of the year for 2018. It's this: Feminist.
I've never felt more passionately about this issue than now. And so I wanted to make something that invited feminists everywhere to play a role, including Arab girls and women, and including, well, YOU. Because feminists of all nationalities, religions, races and sizes are welcome.
Come see what I am creating right here.
Please please sign up - I'd be so grateful. I'll be sharing what's happening there and nowhere else. 2018 is our year to be brave, you and me. Wouldn't you agree?
Maryam in Marrakech