Mohamed Aitali Exclusive Interview – ‘My Cultural Heritage Has Played A Crucial Role In Shaping My Identity’


Mohamed Aitali was recently interviewed by and below is the Q&A session we had with him.

Mohamed Aitali As Cover Story – January 2024 Edition – (Swipe Left)

Could you provide a brief summary of yourself, including your background, interests, and any significant life experiences?

I am an environment protection expert, specializing in electronic recycling, and a seasoned political and economical advisor. Beyond my professional roles, I am deeply involved in community leadership. Throughout my journey, I have faced diverse challenges, with a central focus on environmental sustainability and fostering positive societal change. My background reflects a commitment to environmental advocacy, and my expertise lies in electronic recycling. As a political and economical advisor, I engage in shaping policies that align with sustainable practices. Beyond my professional roles, I am passionate about community leadership, aiming to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of the societies I am a part of.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your life and how did you overcome it?

The most significant challenge I’ve encountered revolves around the quest to find oneself. This existential journey demanded introspection, self-discovery, and resilience. Through a combination of self-reflection, seeking guidance, and embracing personal growth, I navigated this challenge, emerging with a clearer sense of purpose and identity.

Can you share a significant aspect of your cultural heritage that has played a crucial role in shaping who you are today?

As an Amazigh man, my cultural heritage has played a crucial role in shaping my identity. The rich tapestry of Amazigh culture, including its traditions and values, has provided me with a strong foundation. This cultural influence guides my decision-making, instills resilience, and fosters a deep sense of connection to my roots. It has been an essential compass in navigating the complexities of both personal and professional life. The importance of culture and traditions in my life cannot be overstated. They serve as pillars of strength, providing a sense of belonging and grounding. Embracing Amazigh traditions has not only enriched my personal experiences but has also influenced my approach to environmental and community initiatives. The fusion of cultural heritage with my professional endeavors creates a unique and holistic perspective that guides my actions.

What motivates and inspires you on a daily basis?

The boundless potential of what can be achieved drives me every day. The belief that there are no limits to what one can accomplish serves as a constant source of motivation. The world is full of opportunities, and the prospect of exploring new horizons and pushing boundaries inspires me to keep moving forward.

How do you balance work, family, and personal life?

Balancing work, family, and personal life is a constant challenge. I’m often torn between professional commitments and the desire to spend quality time with my family. The guilt of taking time away from loved ones is ever-present. Striking a balance involves setting clear priorities, effective time management, and ensuring that each aspect of life receives the attention it deserves.

Can you describe a turning point in your life that helped shape who you are today?

A pivotal moment that significantly influenced my life was 9/11.

Can you share an experience where you felt a clash of cultural values and how you resolved or navigated through it?

The aftermath of 9/11 presented a significant cultural challenge for me. Navigating through the stereotypes and biases associated with my background required patience and understanding. By engaging in open dialogue, educating others about my culture, and fostering empathy, I was able to break down barriers and bridge the cultural gap.

Have you faced unique challenges as a diaspora individual, and how did you overcome them while maintaining a strong connection to your roots?

Introducing Amazigh culture to the Washington Department of Studies of International Culture was a defining moment. Overcoming challenges as a diaspora individual involved actively promoting my roots. By contributing to the understanding of Amazigh heritage, I strengthened my connection to my roots and made a meaningful impact on cultural awareness.

How has your cultural background influenced your personal and professional aspirations?

My cultural background remains a guiding force in both personal and professional decisions. Drawing from the rich tapestry of my past, I leverage cultural insights to inform my choices. This influence ensures a holistic perspective in decision-making, enhancing the depth and authenticity of my aspirations.

What is your definition of success and how do you measure it?

Success, to me, is measured by one’s happiness and fulfillment. It’s about finding joy in the journey, not just the destination. Material achievements matter, but true success lies in the balance between personal contentment, positive impact on others, and continuous self-improvement.

Can you share a situation where language presented both a challenge and an opportunity in your personal or professional life?

Speaking six languages has been both a challenge and an opportunity. While it opened doors for communication and collaboration, maintaining proficiency in each language requires effort. However, the ability to navigate diverse linguistic landscapes has enriched my personal and professional experiences.

Additionally, how do you actively contribute to and give back to both your first and second homes, be it through community involvements, philanthropy, or other means?

Almost 35 years ago, I embarked on a new chapter of my life in California. At that time, it wasn’t easy for a guy with only 200 dollars in his pocket and a lot of dreams. I told myself that I would work hard and be smart about it. I started attending school at night while working during the day, taking on various jobs to make ends meet.

Now, after all these years, I am committed to giving back.

I am involved in various community initiatives, such as providing computers to kids. for their schooling in different communities. Additionally, I contribute to humanitarian efforts in Haiti by working with Oakland Sister Cities, sending essential items like medicines, shoes, and computers.

In supporting new arrivals from Morocco, I strive to facilitate their integration into the culture and system. Recently, I opened a school to teach Arabic and French to both kids and adults, aiming to help people from the Middle East maintain their cultural traditions.

Furthermore, I am working with the UN to address the concerns of Iraqi refugees. There are plans to open a new center in the Bay Area in the future to facilitate their transition and provide necessary assistance. My journey from a newcomer with limited resources to someone actively contributing to various communities has been a fulfilling one, and I look forward to continuing these efforts in the years to come.

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