Wide Angle

Diaspo #198: Abderrahmane Chabib works on bringing Morocco closer to Italy

Although he wanted to become an airplane pilot, Abderrahmane Chabib finally turned toward politics. He led a diplomatic career that earned him the title of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

Abderrahmane Chabib. / All rights reserved
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Last April, the Italian President Sergio Mattarella decorated him Knight of the Order of Merit. Abderrahmane Chabib became the first Moroccan to receive this honor. A recognition from Italy for the work led by this talented multi-hatted young diplomat, among others United Nations and the world.  

Born in Casablanca in 1984, from a father working in construction and a stay at home mom, having two brothers and three sisters. He emigrated to Italy with his family in 1992, at only seven, to settle in Verona. «My parents insisted on the importance of studying. This is why, after middle school, I chose to go to aeronautic high-school to become a pilot», he confessed to Yabiladi. A children’s dream that never became real.

Abderrahmane Chabib had to work as a waiter to finance his studies at this aeronautic school. Once he graduated, at 18, the plan was to keep working on this area and integrate the academy of aeronautic. This is when he faced another obstacle : that of having the Italian nationality. «This created in me the feeling of injustice», confessed the young morocco-italian.

From political science to the Italian Diplomatic Academy

This is when he opted for political science, a field that drove him to his best very soon. At 19 years old, he became junior advisor for religious plurality to the Minister of Interior in Italy. Used to work alongside his study, the young Abderrahmane was representative of a Moroccan bank in Italy, with the task of opening bank accounts for the Moroccan community in north-east Italy, he later worked as an advertiser for an Italian television channel. «This allowed me to gain many skills, especially in negotiation and sales», he underlines. As his curriculum went forward, he chose to specialize.

He then followed course in Italy, Egypt and the United Kingdom. At the end of his curriculum, he went to Bangkok for an internship, that turned into a permanent position as an associated expert and public policy analyst in Asean Regional Center of Excellence on MDGs (ARCMDG).

«My career began in the field of international relations. This experience allowed me to grow a network quickly. I spent two years in Bangkok, Verona and Brussels.»

Abderrahmane Chabib

During this period, he also worked with the European Comission, which let him to integrate a Master’s degree in the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), in European diplomacy. Later he applied for a doctorate in the Collège d’Europe de Bruges in Belgium to specialize in Europe-North African relations, and completing a thesis on Morocco.

Thanks to his devotion and commitment, he managed to integrate the Italian Diplomatic Academy in charge of training. In 2016, he became the Director of this institution, receiving the first medal from the Italian Republic’s presidency, then a second one from the Italian’s parliament. «Those initiatives were saluted by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, that qualified those initiatives as examples between academia and United Nations», he confessed to us proudly.

With the leader of the Italian far-right, Matteo Salvini. / All rights reservedWith the leader of the Italian far-right, Matteo Salvini. / All rights reserved

Paying attention to Italy and the Moroccan diaspora

Two years later, Abderrahmane Chabib created the World Council for youth and diplomacy. He also gives, since 2018 lectures on economic diplomacy in the University of Verona in Italy, and also in the International University in Rabat, the ENCG of Marrakech and ENCG of Tanger. In March 2019 he even received an honoris doctorate in the University Analitica Constructivista of Mexico, before being appointed secretary general of the United Nation’s association in Morocco. An appointment that confirms his bond to his country of birth. 

«I seize every opportunity to shine a positive light on Morocco and a different perspective of international relations. However, the Moroccan community in Morocco is fragile, and it is only now that we start to see young ones that distinguish themselves.»

Abderrahmane Chabib

Before, for every young morocco-italian, «Morocco has always forsaken the Italian potential, because of the language or other interests and this led to isolate the Moroccan community in Italy.» Therefore, every time he has the chance, Abderrahmane Chabib underlines that «Italy can be a better partner for Morocco than other countries.» «Italy deserves as many attentions from Morocco than France, the United-Kingdom or Germany» he insists.

With Moroccan ambassador Maroc Omar Hilale in the United Nation. / All rights reserved With Moroccan ambassador Maroc Omar Hilale in the United Nation. / All rights reserved

Abderrahmane Chabib regrets the absence of Moroccans living abroad in the decision centers of Italy. Even though, he states that younger generations of Moroccans study and specialize more and more. «Moroccans are fighters that only need supports and I think that Morocco has its share of responsibility, especially from consulates and embassies to support them», he pleads. «There was once a time when we didn’t have resources to take care of the needs of the Moroccan community in Italy. Today we have enough, and the State has the opportunity to choose some human resources that will be suitable for the Italian community», he concludes.

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