“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can do you no harm.”
I grew up in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. Even though Senegal is a secular country in the constitution, the vast majority of people are muslims.
Growing up, I used to go to regular school from Monday to Friday and to the Koranic school during weekends and holidays.
In the early nineties, I was taught my muslim faith through the society, the koranic school and practices from my family.
This muslim faith was and still is my framefaith for lot of questions about life, the universe and what’s after death.
Fast forward at the dawn of the new millennium, in the early 2000. I just left my home country to come to France to continue my studies.
In this new environment, most people don’t have any religion, even if the country has a catholic legacy.
They have their own faith in themselves and in many other things which have nothing to do with religion.
10 years later, at the end of 2010, I was heading to the USA for the first time in my life to attend the engagement party of one of my best friends, Jacques, who is from Jewish faith.
It was my first time in the US, in Los Angeles and Las Vegas during the Christmas period. And I still have vivid memories of that unique experience of the United States.
The US is another environment where there are countless stories of people living the American Dream. They have faith in that dream, most importantly they have faith in themselves.
Often with Jacques, we debate and exchange about what drives us in our personal and professional lives.
In the discussion, it’s never about religion. It’s more about ourselves ultimately, I think.
Here we are in 2020, I am almost 40 years old, and I will have spent half of my life in France by the end of 2020.
It has been and still is a challenging journey.
Far away from my parents and the rest of my family in Dakar, Senegal, I had to make a lot of life changing decisions on my own.