From Shepherd Girl to France’s Education Minister: Najat Belkacem’s Inspiring Immigrant Story

Najat Belkacem, born in a Moroccan village in 1977, migrated to the French suburb of Amiens at the age of five, when her father – who then worked as a construction worker – called for the family to join him in France. In Morocco, she herded sheep with her grandfather. After arriving in France, she lived through the immigrant experience like one with Canada or Australia PR Visa. She focused on her academic endeavors, finally graduating in 2002 from the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

Immediately after graduation, she became an active member of the Socialist Party and used her education to advocate for citizen’s rights, anti-discrimination policies, and affordable housing. She became a councilwoman for Rhone Alpines, and held the post until 2008 when she was chosen as the Rhone Department’s Council General. In 2012, she became the Minister for Women’s Rights and spokeswoman for President Hollande’s government.

Her struggle began from humble origins, and has culminated in taking up political office as France’s Minister of Education and Research in 2014. As a female Moroccan-Muslim French politician, she has faced racist, xenophobic and sexist attacks from many conservative voices – including her fellow politicians. She has continuously fought back and successfully occupied high ranks in government.
At a time when there is an anti-immigration rhetoric brewing in some of the world’s most developed nations, Belkacem has emerged as living proof that even those who belong to socially marginalized groups can achieve success by empowering themselves through education, and representing their political interests in democracy. The success story of this immigrant is an inspiration to all.

All in all, the immigrant’s success is about determination and perseverance whichever immigrant i.e. Canada PR visa holder or Australia PR Visa holder etc., it would be.

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