Dar Si Hmad for Development, Education and Culture is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 2010 promoting local culture and sustainable initiatives through education and the integration of scientific ingenuity in Southwest Morocco. We operate North Africa's largest fog harvesting project, providing villages with access to potable water. Our Water School and Girls' E-Learning Programs build capacity in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Through our Ethnographic Field School, researchers and students engage with local communities in Agadir, Sidi Ifni, and the rural Aït Baamrane region for meaningful cross-cultural exchange.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Water RISEs: "This is life!"

When we challenged our RISE participants on World Water Day to creatively express the importance of water, we received submissions in all kinds of formats. Rkia Elarif responded with a beautiful poem, originally in Arabic, which we have translated. Thank you for your powerful words, Rkia!

انه الحياة !!
و الشمس في مشرقها و مغربها
تعكس أشعتها الذهبية
على أمواج البحر الفضية
و ذاك الشلال
و تلك البحيرة
و الأطفال الصغار على الوادي
و أمي القادمة حاملة جرة المياه
في الحر و وقت الشتاء
و حقنا لن يضيع بنا
و عطاك كيف يا الله ينقضي
و الماء العذب الزلال يروينا
و دهشتي أنا ….
ما بين هذا و ذاك
و ذاك المغتر كيف لي به نصحا
أو يسترشد الغافلون ….
من لم يرى في الماء نعمة
فكيف يراها حياة ـ
حياة !!

This is life!
The sun in its rise and set
Reflects its golden rays
On the waves of the silver sea
That waterfall
That lake
Young children over the valley
My mother coming carrying a jar of water
In the heat and in the wintertime
Our right we will not be lost on us
Oh Allah, the endless goods you give us
Freshwater quenches us
To my surprise...
Between this and that
And that arrogant person, how can I advise him
Or seek advice from the oblivious
Who do not see that water is a blessing
So how does he see water as life -


My name is Rkia Elarif. I was born in a town named Addar – Sidi M’Bark near Sidi Ifni on 20 June 1994 and did my primary school there. I graduated from high school in Lakhssas in June 2012 and from the University of Arts and Humanities Ibn Zohr with a bachelor of arts in English Studies –Linguistics in August 2015. Since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by reading and writing. They give me the ability to create my own world. I had no close friends, but my characters are mine. I love learning about different languages and cultures, especially about Italian and the British culture. I have been practicing yoga since the first day in 2014. I always believe that there are a lot of new things to be learned in this life, that’s why I like to treat my mind like a valuable gem by feeding it with beautiful things. Being a part of the Journalism Club and RISE program are one of those things.

Artist's Statement

All of us are witnessing big changes happening around us because of water and the multiplicity of natural resources of water, such as seas and waterfalls…the lovely image they add to nature and their role in the continuity of life, of human beings, animals and nature. But some people are just wasting water by using it without any control. At the end, I have come to the conclusion that water equals life and that is more than a blessing. Through the lines of this poem, I tried to visualize what water means to me as rain and its priceless appliances that I am seeing in my own life.

To learn more about RISE, please visit http://www.darsihmad.org/rise-thrive/. To hear more from Agadir's youth, check out Dar Si Hmad's Journalism Club, Agadir Rising.

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