#ValuableDiversity (Interview Series) – ep. 11 – Science & Personal Development


Introducing you to interesting people around the world


Meet Aladin Lijassi

– Doctor, medical scientist, Founder of Télé Santé (Morocco) –

Have you ever seen the embodiment of true understanding and adaptability? Well… I have. Do you want to know where did I see that? Better said, who provided me with this kind of picture?

My guest for today is a young, yet wise man from Morocco, who will take you through an amazing journey of what diversity means. In the same time, he’s a doctor and a scientist, actively looking for a cure for cancer.

Therefore, I wholeheartedly advise everyone to give a read to his words, in the interview below.

***

1. Hi Aladin, for people who are not familiar to you and what you do, kindly please introduce yourself in a few words.

I am a native Moroccan living in Rabat, Doctor of Pharmacy and Medical Scientist, with a pharmaceutical company, leader in research for curing rare diseases and cancer.

2. Please enlarge a bit the activity you’re currently running, in the means of finding a cure for cancer.

Due to the fact that I love challenges, I was looking for an offer in medical research, in order to improve my medical knowledge; in the same time, I offered my experience to the pharmaceutical industry, for finding innovative ways to cure different types of cancer, while volunteering to help people with disabilities who suffer from spasticity and cure it.

Never say: “If I did that, now I would have been like this!”

As a medical scientist, I have to provide all medical professionals with the latest updates in Oncology and clinical research; also, I provide training sessions to hospitals and medical centers, in order to update medical staff with whatever is new, related to their activities.

3. Personal curiosity… Was there anything in particular triggering this activity?

To be honest, there was nothing in particular to trigger this activity. I would have chosen a similar opportunity in other fields, such us Cardiology or Neurology if I got that first. But the main thing was to be devoted to medical research which interested me a lot, as I want to make an innovation in patient care. By chance, I’m now in Oncology. And, since my mom died of a cancer, I want to do everything in my power to ovoid pain for other patients.

4. Changing the topic a bit… I know you speak 7 languages (Moroccan, Arab, French, English, Spanish, Italian and a bit of German). How did you manage?

Well, about languages… As a native Moroccan, I can speak Moroccan, Arabic and French, since all 3 are official languages. My story with English was like Romeo & Juliette… After attending a few courses in high-school, I wanted to improve it, due to its importance and universality. I learned Italian and Spanish by communicating with native speakers; and the only language I studied in a dedicated center was German – yet I feel like a newbie, because I didn’t practice it in a long time.

5. We’ve talked for a pretty long time, during our call, about diversity. Please let the world know what Morocco means, in this extent. Please tell us, in a few words, about the real diversity going on there.

First of all, Morocco’s geographical position (close to Europe and open doors to Africa). This offers the country a first-hand chance to diversity, in terms of culture and languages; then, we share traditions and innovation, we are open-minded and we have a good reputation, in term of international achievements and relationships with other countries. I think this is what makes Morocco such a diverse location.

6. How did this help you on the road of evolution? Do you see any disadvantages diversity may have?

To me, diversity means being open to any challenge of life,  being up for continuous improvement and bringing a personal touch to whatever you can, in order to drive that “whatever” on the road of perfection.

“Personal development has been and will always be my priority.”

I have so many plans for my life! And diversity is the way to achieve my goals, for sure.

7. Going a bit deeper into the matter, let’s approach a controversial topic. I believe that, when it comes to thinking about Arabs, most of the world pictures danger. Let’s change the views about that. Tell us how should a regular person acknowledge your nationality (religion debates excluded, please)?

Being an Arab is a huge challenge nowadays, if we consider the opinion of the world. If you get closer to an Arab, you might, however, change your opinion. I believe that the sense of responsibility – since Arabs live in communities with all surrounding people, family and friends – may be the cause of others judging us as dangerous.

Yes, we have a different culture than others, yet we are open to other cultures and we accept all points of view.

8. Having the last question as a starting point, what does acceptance mean to you?

Well, I believe that acceptance is the scorner stone of diversity. I do have my way of living and my own beliefs, yet I still have to accept the others. There are 7 billion people on Earth so, of course, we are not all the same; and it’s quite a good thing, as we can complete each other.

“I want to do everything in my power to avoid pain for other patients!”

I am open to all kind of discussions and I do respect others’ beliefs and cultures. I truly believe that sharing points of view is good and I try my best to offer guidance, with kindness. I accept people because I believe in the benefits differences can bring.

9. What about adaptability? Does it help, when it comes to understanding the others?

To complete the last question, adaptability comes with accepting others! I try to consider the positive aspects of my friends and acquaintances, while sharing mine, in an effort to guide them towards what is logically beneficial to us all.

10. Continuing the line of personal inquiries, please allow us to get to know you even better. How do you react under pressure? When you’re angry, for instance. Both on personal and professional level. Is there any difference of approach between the 2?

Generally, I try to keep my mood as good as I can, but we are humans and we all get angry sometimes.

On a professional level, I manage to keep my reactions under control. I do manage to solve issues in a smooth way, as I believe that – in order to be a good leader – one shouldn’t express anger, but keep it inside.

With most of my friends, I try a similar approach. Yet, in critical cases, I do show my anger to the ones that know me very well, as my aim is to make them see what they may be doing wrong, in hopes they will take my opinion as constructive.

11. And, in order to conclude with this topic, do you think that personal development practices should be adopted on a wider scale?

If one wants to evolve, he/ she needs to work on both personal and professional development.

I, for one, whenever I find a personal development opportunity, never step back. For instance, I earned a honorific certification from the University of Texas, Austin for “Drugs Development and Clinical Trials” by attending online courses, from Morocco. And it has brought a huge contribution to my current position.

“Never rush in doing something that could be bad for you… Live your life and don’t regret a second!”

On the other hand, languages allow me to communicate with others in their own terms; and this helped me a lot when traveling abroad.

Personal development has been and will always be my priority.

12. Now let’s talk perspectives. I, for one, like to analyze a fact from many angles, yet without overthinking (it’s tiring and a waste of energy, loooool). What about you? And how do you take different perspectives from others?

About perspectives… I’m that kind of guy who never stops thinking :))

I analyze every single thing, to draw a personal map in my mind, so that I can make the best decisions, in regards to my existence. Yes, overthinking is very tiring, but sometimes is there for the better.

13. Going back to the personal-professional balance aspect. How do you manage that, as life struck you heavily and you have 3 younger sisters to look after?

As a medical scientist, most of the times I’m pretty busy doing research, even when my job schedule is over. That’s why, my free time consists in writing medical articles for my website or making videos for my YouTube channel.

Besides, I practice cycling and running, to boost my energy and keep myself healthy. On top of this, I engage daily on social networks, to share my daily experiences and motivational stories.

Yes, I have the responsibility of looking after my sisters, but it’s not as difficult as it was 3 years ago.

14. Did you ever have a moment you felt like giving up? What kept you going? Is there anything you would change about your past, if you could?

I did ! Sometimes – when all came at once… Like losing my parents, the stress of studies…

But my dreams have to be real! This is what I always say to myself. And this kept me pushing towards living my dreams, starting with an achievement of Doctorate in Pharmacy and getting a position as Medical Scientist. And I know there is more to come…

Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything about the past, because I believe in destiny. Therefore, if anything changed, I wouldn’t have been who I am now.

15. Let’s unveil the failures part. How many times did Aladin fail (under any aspect you are willing to disclose)? And what was your resolution to get where you are today?

I tasted failure more than twice. But the two greatest failures were during university years, when I lost both my parents, in just 5 years.

Yet, failures kept on giving me the willingness to pursue my dream, regardless of the circumstances. I’m thank God for the position I am in right now!

“Failure has a good taste, especially when you can look back and see it determined you to achieve your dreams.”

16. I could go on and on with the questions, since our conversation was a true blast. However, please let me ask you this: If, by some kind of chance, you knew the world would end tomorrow, what would you do today? And what would you advise the others? Please share with us your most precious life lesson.

I am one who has never had fear of death. So, I always live my life as if I’m going to die tomorrow.

I just want to say “Goodbye” to everyone… But, since we never know when the moment comes, I never miss a day to say “Hello” to all of them.

I would like to ask everyone to do what they want and what they love! And never think about the materials aspects. Life is too short to do everything, so just focus on what you love and your dreams will obviously come to life!

One more thing I’d like to add: Never say: “If I did that, now I would have been like this”.

I remember when i was cycling one day and stopped by a shop to buy some water, after 60 Km of cycling. While I was in the shop, two cyclists came across and said to me “Oh, I would like to go with you, to ovoid being alone”. But I didn’t manage to accompany them. After a few more Km of cycling, I was surprised to find them hit by a car and, unfortunately, one of them died.

Death is one inch away from our life, so my advice is this:

Never rush in doing something that could be bad for you… Live your life and don’t regret a second!

***

I believe that the best conclusion of this magnificent interview is to quote my guest, once again. And nothing more…

“I just want to say “Goodbye” to everyone… But, since we never know when the moment comes, I never miss a day to say “Hello” to all of them!”

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement, may become subject of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Aladin Lijassi*

Aladin Lijassi can be reached via his LinkedIn profile page.

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