Farid Meraghni? discovered Magic, the Gathering in 1999 in Paris. He started out as a card dealer without knowing how the game works. After some months of commercial activity, the Ostelen tournament center staff suggested that he might have fun in playing the drafts instead of waiting for the players who drafted to buy their cards. That was his start in competitive Magic with his first draft (toward the end of January 2000), paying a participation fee, selling the cards to play in the next draft, starting to win boosters and so on. He played 270 sanctioned drafts in two years, with a Limited ranking close to 2000 points and 99% of these points had been made in Paris in 8-player booster drafts.
He was very turbulent in his drafts, collecting tons of cautions and warnings for talking during the draft (sometimes even getting ejected). It wasn't serious, it was fun to see his enthusiasm but he had to learn the rules. In May 2001, he qualified for the French nationals (his first big competition), and after being ejected after the second booster of a draft, he won 2 out of 3 matches, and ended up in the Top 8. After that, he always reached the Top 8 of Pro Tour Qualifiers without making it until the Summer 2001, when he qualified with his team for Pro Tour New York.
Nobody had ever heard from him before on an international level because of his lack of English. With support from other French players in foreign countries, he recently started going to GP's, still trying to finance his travel cost himself. After being stuck in New York for more than a week, he was forced to sell almost all his cards to face the situation. After these experiences, he has started to calm down, being wiser, focussing more on the tests, constantly increasing his knowledge of the metagame and the formats. I think this won't be the last time we'll to hear from him and the new French player generation with players like Franck Canu and Gabriel Nassif.