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Global politics can often fill us with horror at the state of the world. Half of the world is in a state of constant war. And while the state of the people of Syria easily brings most of us to the brink of tears, what exactly is the world doing to help the lesser fortunate? Even countries like Hungary and Slovakia that once took in refugees by the thousands are now refusing to accept any more people. So where will the Syrian refugees find sanctuary now?

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Meanwhile, Donald Trump won an election off of his wall to keep out the Mexican immigrants – a wall he is eager to begin building. The message seems to be clear. There is no place for the poor and underprivileged in this brave new world. In a system like this, it is people like Najat Belkacem who bring us hope and inspiration.

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So who is Najat Belkacem? And what is her story? Najat is France’s current Minister of Education and Research. And her story is such an inspiration because of her outstanding rags to riches story. This powerful French politician was once nothing more than a shepherd girl. How did a person with her background get to where she is today? How did a shepherd girl become the French Education Minister?

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Early Childhood

Najat Belkacem was born in the small Moroccan village of Nador – one of the seven children of a construction worker. When her father moved to France for work, Najat and her family moved to Amiens with him. As the second eldest Najat had a lot of responsibility at an early age. And she wanted to make her family proud.

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Education

So she joined the Paris Institute of Political Studies from where she graduated in 2002. It was at the Paris Institute that she studied the depths of political theory. And formed her own views on politics, human rights and other pressing issues. Soon after graduating Najat decided to become a member of the French Socialist party.

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Political Career

Following her membership to the Socialist Party Najat began her political career by supporting Mayor Gerard Collomb. Her views at the time aligned with his political stance. Which included firming local democracy, fighting discrimination, supporting civil liberties and improving public access to employment and housing.

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Then in 2004, she became a member of the Regional Council of Rhone Alpes. Her other accomplishments include chairing the Cultural Commission, advising the Socialist Party and working as a spokesperson for Segolene Royal. Additionally, 2008 saw her election to Rhone’s conseillère générale. And is 2012 she joined the Rench cabinet as the Minister of Women’s Rights.

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Personal Views

Najat’s personal views include support of the LGBT community. And the support of online censorship that bans hate speech on social media platforms like Twitter. Religiously Najat claims she is a ‘non-practicing Muslim’.

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Obstacles and Hardships

Clearly, Najat has come far from her childhood as a shepherd girl in a small Moroccan village. However, her opponents continue to harass her because of where she comes from. In addition, to having to navigate the natural obstacles of the political world Najat has also had to face much sexism and racism. From slurs attacking her identity to hateful comments about her clothing she has overcome everything her opposition has thrown her way.

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Najat remains a symbol of hope and pride to those struggling around the world. She is living inspiration that no matter your background, or social and financial status you can accomplish anything in life. All you need to do is work hard, focus on your goals and ambitions and ignore the haters.

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In a world where most politicians choose to consolidate their power by using fear and hate Najat is a welcome breath of fresh air.

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