“Believe in Yourself”

Chohra Mohammed Abdelmalik is highly passionate about technology, entrepreneurship and voyage, a passionate, and caring person who strives to influence, promote and empower Algerian youth to help them reach the next level of themselves via entrepreneurship and innovation. Mohammed is a keen reader and an amateur writer. He is a hard worker, an adaptable individual, a team player and a change maker.

Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!

A: I am Chohra Mohammed Abdelmalik, Student at Higher National School of Computer Engineering at Algiers, Algeria which I am from. I am a freelancer as a full-stack developer. Algeria is the biggest country here in Africa, it's situated in North Africa, and an Arab country with the majority of its people to be Muslims as I am.

Algeria is a very rich country, but still an African country, and you all know how is life there, the ecosystem and political issues. We are having a huge peaceful manifestation from 22 February in every Friday wanting a real change in our political system for a better situation and better living conditions.

I lived a normal life, a boy grew up in a normal family as my mother is a teacher and my father is a civil engineer. With two sisters and one brother, who are younger than me. I was the most intelligent person in the majority of cases at studying (always the first at class), this enables me to get my baccalaureate with a high degree to get to my university now. As a student there, I found more intelligent and mature people than I was, people who believe that they can change the world and do something big. Me, on the other side I didn't have any Passion nor a future vision of myself, just a few insight into normal life. In the meantime I started joining the associative work, actually just to have fun with all honesty: I joined the club Etic in Esi. At that club, I met a lot of professional people from all over the background, they said that the best way to start changing is through the environment and it was 100% happening to me. From these experiences, I found my personal mission: One of the problems in Arab region's people is thinking that they have born in the wrong place, that in their country or their city they don't have opportunities and living standards needed. They always make excuses about that instead of taking actions for bettering their situation. For that I reacted, my main goal is to prove that people can succeed in any place especially in my country Algeria.

Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?

A: I think the world or life, in general, is not fair enough: as I come from an African and Muslim country, I can tell you that: the amount of judgment and racism for this type of people are huge. Any person can see that.

As Africa is the richest continent, other developed countries are doing any kind of things to stop them to develop themselves (I really hate making excuses, but I am sure what I am talking about). I think with the internet openness, with new technologies and with more and more sophisticated life, every nation can have their parts in future economies. As some country just started working off that like, this new open generation (our generation), are willing to change things and create new values (our revolution won't be possible if it didn't start by our generation, who are seeing how other countries are living and how can we exploit all type of resources to get to them).

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?

A: Political issues, some sociology problems (as different races, different languages which are still having some issues in that) also, the technology difference between countries which I believe that with the internet openness it will be easy to minimize this hole in a very fast way that was impossible before (let's take Artificial Intelligence example: now with more of MOOC or open formations, people can learn these technologies even work on themselves to do great things with it).

Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?

A: As I am part of that new generation, I believe that Entrepreneurship and Leadership are the keys. So, starting some unicorns or international products will help improve our economy in the national and international field, also starting some N.G.O will help to fight some of these issues and push people to be more active in their society to create value with their hands. Me, as a student at computer engineer, and a developer I am still active in some N.G.O's such as Aiesec and Unicef here in Algeria and at the same time founded Demmi, an initiative to fight blood shortage.

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?

A: Sometimes, we forget our path, we forget even ourselves. That time, any motivational video can't wake you up; a mentor can. In this life, we don't have to reinvent the wheel, we only need to know how to use it and finish from that step. A mentor is the person who invented the wheel in the first place, so he can show you how, why and where to start.

Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!

A: Abdellah Mallek: the founder of Syllabs (an incubator and an entrepreneurs community to empower young and help them learn different skills (development, public speaking, digital marketing, design,...). He was one of the 30 Forbes under 30 years in Africa last year.

Q: What are some of the challenges that women in your country face and what efforts are made towards gender equality?

A: As we are a Muslim country, in Islam there are some boundaries between a woman and a man: not meaning that Man is superior to woman, but that every gender has a certain role or job he needs to fulfill (let's say; a man needs to work hard for his family to get them all the things needed, a woman should educate their children in young age). This kind of boundaries that I am talking about. In Algeria, still, like any other country in the world have some issues, but women here can live as in Europe or somewhere else (drive cars, work,...) but they have some limits as the need for an in loco parents for getting married ...

Q: Athena40 is the first ever global selection of the top 40 women forward thinkers, commentators, activists, authors, academics, entrepreneurs, executives, innovators. Can you think of a truly innovative and forward-thinking woman from your country that you wish to nominate for the Athena40 global list?

A: Selma Bekkouche


Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!

A: 'We only live once, smile!' by me :D

Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.

A: Believe in yourself!