YouTuber Salaheddine Benchikhi is not likeable enough for NPO

YouTuber Salaheddine Benchikhi is not likeable enough for NPO

Salaheddine Benchikhi, 41, was born in Casablanca, but grew up in southern Rotterdam. The career of a writer, interviewer, documentary filmmaker, and theater director began twenty years ago in front of the camera at the public broadcaster. There he soon noticed that he had to give up a lot in order to be able to work on his own ideas. “I’m not likable enough for NPO. The public broadcaster prefers Moroccan Muslims who hardly or don’t breathe out their Islamic identity. That’s why you see a lot of secular figures on TV who have color on the outside, but work on white shows on the inside,” says Benchikhi. Norwegian Refugee Council

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His academic career did not go well, he was not challenged, bored and not motivated enough in his own environment to develop his talents. “Work was either in the port or in something social, I had no other examples. So social work and services became HBO. Later, I should have chosen journalism school or film academy.”

When he saw that the charts Ab and Sal, which he had drawn for NTR, were working well with the youth, it was crucial for him to stop at public broadcasts. I bought a camera and a microphone and created my YouTube channel, Salah El Din. At first he gave many interviews on the streets with mainly Dutch young Moroccans. “This was new in 2008. I was the first. It cost me money at the time to make it happen. But I had to keep going. I didn’t want to stay in my comfort zone.”

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Over time, Saladin touched on more and more serious topics. For example, he spoke with Johan Dirksen and Jan Ross about death and God, discusses Islam with Muslims and non-Muslims and created a four-part series on YouTube about the latest stories of the first generation of Moroccans. In it, Benchikhi talks with six older Moroccan men who immigrated to the Netherlands in the 1960s and 1970s for work. “I will no longer be able to hear the stories of this generation of Dutch Moroccans in a few years. It was five to twelve for me.”

Benchikhi can also be seen regularly in the theater, for example, starting from Wednesday he will present his theatrical tour “From Mecca to Marrakesh”, a mixture of a live show and a documentary, in which he searches for his identity as a Muslim, Moroccan and Muslim. Dutch. The documentary shows how Islam came to Morocco. “It’s a history that the Dutch Moroccans don’t often know about. This is not taught in schools.”

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Salaheddine Benchikhi can now fully do his job. “I’d never make something I wouldn’t feel comfortable with. That doesn’t make me a very good fit for an NPO. The NPO shouts ‘We want more color,'” but when the push comes in, you don’t notice. Not if it’s too Islamic. Like my entire channel. It wouldn’t fit into the NPO. The public broadcaster is stuck in her own white tunnel of vision.”

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