Four years ago, Mohamel Alselini quit his job, packed his bags and told his family he would leave his Libyan home to travel the world. A risky bet, but a necessary one. “I had been depressed for two years and could not see a future. All I wanted to do was to go out there and pursue my passion: traveling.I could see in their eyes that they did not believe it was possible, that it was too good to be true but for me, there was no other way.” His one million Facebook followers seemed to agree with that.

Since he took off to Thailand on a one-way ticket, Mohamed has earned the nickname of “Rahalista” (“The traveler” in Arabic), and became one of the most influential travel vloggers in the region. He has been sharing stories from Pakistan, Bali and Argentina, and off the beaten tracks in places like Belarus and Uzbekistan. “I want to expose people to cultures that they are not used to seeing or hearing about. For my Libyan audience, especially, as there are many foreign cultures that are still unknown to them.” His goal? To share human stories and foster a better understanding of one another through them. “I promote tolerance and cultural diversity through the acceptance of other cultures, religions and ways of life. By sharing those videos, I show people the similarities between all of us, wherever we are.” Being named EU Goodwill Ambassador in Libya was a testimony of his shared vision and values with the European Union, Mohamed says, stressing that “we share the desire to support the youth from the region and inspire them to work hard, follow their dreams and keep striving despite the difficulties.”

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