Ikram Ben talha

Connect Program Facilitation Fellow Spring 2021

Country of origin: Morocco

Date started with Soliya: 2016

Education and field of work: I am very passionate about strategic dialogue, peacebuilding, and conflict resolution. I will soon graduate with an MA in English Literature and the History of Ideas. My main research interests revolve around textual politics and peace diplomacy. Besides my virtual exchange engagements, I work as the vice president of a local organization that focuses on the development of a clean and healthy environment. My most recent project focuses on cleaning and restoring local cemeteries.

One accomplishment you're proud of:  I rejoice in being part of a big cross-cultural network of changemakers. In 2019, I was chosen by the US Embassy to represent my country in the United States as a MEPI student-leader. This experience helped me gain a deeper understanding of governance and civil society. Once back to my country, I launched two different projects on environmental protection and youth political engagement. Both the US International Exchange network and my Erasmus+ family play an important role in kindling my enthusiasm to give back to my community and to the world.

What about Soliya inspires/motivates you to be involved? There is a special recipe that makes me unable to skip a semester and not be involved with Soliya programs. One tablespoon of empathy, a full cup of community building, and spices of empowerment. Once you know what a virtual exchange family tastes like, you always come back for more.

What can you be found doing when not working/facilitating/training? Reading books on politics and psychology, doing yoga, or enjoying a warm virtual cup of coffee with friends.

Favorite food: Tofu rice bowl with roasted sweet potatoes and sesame dressing – delicious!

Additional roles within Soliya: 1YC Fellow; Senior Facilitator