On Friday November 17, the Caribbean Centre for Family and Human Rights, CARIFAM, founded by Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, opened the fifth World Congress of Families regional conference. The event lasted for two days at the Johnson’s Centre in Rodney Bay and proved to be successful and informative, featuring a new diplomatic contribution from the Kingdom of Morocco to Saint Lucia.
CARIFAM’s main purpose is “to protect the family, human rights and human dignity” and, through hosting the World Congress of Families conference, CARIFAM aimed to accommodate useful and impactful sessions with its guests.
A highlight of the event was Moroccan doctor Raja Aghzadi, a world-renowned oncologist and founder of the Heart of Women movement who shared her knowledge and years of experience with attendees from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda and other countries.
Aghzadi became a doctor by the early age of 21 and began her specialized surgery career at age 30. She was not originally inclined to oncology but, because of the lack of existing breast surgery in her region, she began to focus more on surgical cancer treatment. After noting the number of women who were unable to visit her at her practice, she began Heart of Women, an initiative that brought her to rural and secluded areas to treat and diagnose women. Now Heart of Women operates in several countries across the African continent.
Abderrahim Kadmiri, the ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Saint Lucia and nine other Caribbean states, was immensely proud of the new collaboration established from the conference. He professed, “It is well known that Morocco has been dynamic and very active within the last decade through significant contribution and cooperation focussed mainly on agriculture, tourism and education. At the opportunity of hosting the event by CARIFAM here, we decided to add another stone to this cooperation, to reinforce this cooperation, in a sense that we are now open to health care cooperation.
“The decision was made by myself and my team – by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco – to ensure our presence in this conference and to give the assistance and knowledge and contribution of Morocco in that field.”
The Kingdom of Morocco, according to Ambassador Kadmiri, is the only African-Arab country with a resident ambassador to the Caribbean. He further emphasized that the choice to house the embassy in Saint Lucia was “a very important choice” for the kingdom: “First of all it reflects how close we are to Saint Lucia and in terms of diplomatic action.”
Most recently the Kingdom of Morocco extended profound assistance to the countries of Dominica and Barbuda, recently affected by the two category five storms, Hurricanes Irma and Maria of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. This has deepened Morocco’s pioneering interest in battling climate change and assisting affected countries, adding to Morocco’s health, agricultural, education and tourism assistance in the Caribbean.
According to Ambassador Kadmiri, “The most important thing for Morocco right now is that we plan to continue to do so.”