Diaspo #108 : Zoubida Barik, a distinguished 10-year law career in Spain

Born in Rabat, Zoubida Barik has been practicing as a lawyer for over ten years in Spain. Her career is that of a fighter who went on to pursue the job of her dreams with determination. Today, she is distinguished in Spain for her hard work.

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Zoubida Barik is a Rabat-native who studied in Salé, before obtaining her law degree from Mohammed V University in 1994. During the same year, she decided to pursue her doctoral studies, which led her to Spain, while her first choice was towards Belgium. Due to a registration delay, she found herself at the Faculty of Law of Madrid.

«At first I felt like a fish out of water», she recalls. «At some point and considering the language barrier, I thought that I had made the worst decision of my life by coming to Madrid», says the lawyer, now specialized in migration, family and labor law.

To improve her college experience, Zoubida Barik enrolled at the National School of Languages in Madrid. During the day, she used to learn Spanish and in the evening, she used to attend law classes. «One day, you'll get there», one of her teachers said, which boosted her confidence and helped her improve her speaking and writing skills. The advice was short but fruitful, she told Yabiladi.

Difficulties seen as challenges

The language barrier was not the only obstacle the lawyer was faced with during her life as a young student. «In order to respect the halal dietary restrictions, I found myself forced to eat potatoes every day, which resulted in me getting anemia, in addition to housing problems», recalls the lawyer.

Four years after arriving in Madrid, Zoubida Barik married a schoolmate in 1998. The young couple thus shared their daily life between studies and marital life. At this time, a letter from the Spanish Ministry of Education informed her of the requirements to get an equivalence for her degree obtained in Morocco, which meant she had to follow a dozen modules in three years before being able to access the doctoral cycle again.

In addition to helping her family in Morocco and studying, Zoubida Barik also worked in a library for the integration of immigrants. She gave classes in various disciplines. Meanwhile, she obtained her equivalence in 2008.

«Honestly, it was a tiresome experience because I became a mother of two, which restricted my availability to attend conferences. So, I mostly borrowed books from the university library and my classmates' notes».

She graduated school at a time when Spain was experiencing an economic crisis. As a result, Zoubida Barik was faced with a new obstacle: finding a job. «I intended to work with the government and apply for jobs, but that did not happen», she says.

Lawyer through thick and thin

The graduate obtained her professional lawyer card and got recognized by the State. Even if said card took plenty of financial sacrifices, Zoubida Barik managed to rent a small room in Getafe (south of Madrid), from 2009 on and set up her cabinet there.

Then again, life was full of surprises. One day, she was invited in a counter-terrorism trial. Upon entering the court, she was denied access by decision of the judge, due to her veil. «I was shocked, and the case created a scandal among local media», Zoubida Barik recalls.

The Moroccan lawyer filed a complaint against the judge, but to no avail. «This event had a negative impact on my career», Barik laments. But the Moroccan was not to be defeated. Shortly after this unfortunate event, she was offered a position in the documentation department of a local court.

Today, she deals with family law, labor and migration cases, mainly on behalf of Moroccan nationals in Spain, to whom she also provides legal advice.

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