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Marriage, Birthday and identity crisis in the Moroccan blogosphere

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Morocco, Economics & Business, Ethnicity & Race, Freedom of Speech, Technology

I'll start today with some good news.

The first one: Morocco is among the four African countries which count the biggest numbers of internet users [1] in a continent where only 22 million people use the net, that is 2.5% of the 900 million people living in Africa. But, this number has increased by 400% since 2000.

The second one is the marriage of two Moroccan bloggers. Houda [2] (Fr) and Kamal [3](Fr) tied their knot last week. Congratulations!

The third one is about Lillytwill [4] (Fr) who celebrated her birthday last week. Happy birthday to you Lilly!

The bad news is about Lynn [5] (Fr) who decided to stop blogging. And according to her readers’ impressions, her decision has to do with some annoying and disturbing comments she started to get lately in her blog. Sad!

Palestine remembered

“We need to help the Palestinian people to carry on”, says M.S Hjiouj [6] (Ar) in a message he displays in his blog, asking his readers to help break the Financial embargo [7] imposed by the EU and the USA on Palestine.

M.S Hjiouj launched this Palestine solidarity campaign [8](Ar) the way many other Arab (non Moroccans) bloggers did. And although I can't tell if it was successful to generate the support it aimed to provide, I salute M.S Hjiouj's commitment to help make a difference.

Soumiaz hails the Iranian decision to help the Palestinian authority [9] deal with the budget crisis caused by the withdrawal of aid by western nations .

I went through as many Moroccan blogs as I could, and except for M.S Hjiouj and Soumiaz, no other blogger posted about Palestine's newest crisis. And I just cannot help asking, why is it that the Francophone Moroccan blogs don't show interest when it comes to Arabs’ political problems which are not overmediated in the international level? While many of those blogs react immediately to events happening in France or Canada and the USA?
Does the choice of the language determinate the nature of subjects that are to be treated?

Being a Berber

Samir posts two interesting articles about being a Berber in Morocco [10]:

What rights should the Imazighen have? Should they be allowed to teach their languages in the schools? How compatible is Imazighen culture with Islamic culture? Which identities are to take precedence—Moroccan, Islamic or Imazighen?

By the way, Samir is one of the authors of The View from Fez [11] . Zany and El Glaoui are also contributors to the blog.

Loulouzip wrote some jokes about men [12](Fr), Crucivore retaliated with “funny” anecdotes about women [13](Fr).

Lawyers and priests wear robes because they're as liars as women..

bla francya is back to his favorite subject [14](Ar), which is the way some Moroccans speak, mixing their dialect with French words.

I can understand this phenomenon if it only concerns specific words or if the discussion is about the French literatture. But it also concerns simple greetings expressions.
What's the reason behind that?

Answers, anyone?

Blogs swap

With no previous notice, Larbi [15](Fr) launched an uprising against the image of “ideal” young Moroccan many of his readers have forged of him. It started with a post full of cursing expressions [16](Fr) that he entitled “it's not me,ok?”, than a comment in Nadia's blog [17](Fr), where he expressed his concern [18](Fr) about the way he, sometimes, acts.

How can I reclaim more freedom for others when I'm not even capable of enjoying the small amount of freedom I have..
Then I say that I'm not credible.

Hmm..Deep, isn't it?
Last week, Larbi switched his blog with Adel's one [19]. Not all of Larbi's fans enjoyed this swap thing , especially that Adel was, in their eyes, the opposite of their beloved Larbi.

Adel speaks his mind, and when you blog that way you cannot please everybody. But this young Moroccan blogger doesn't seem to care. He however gives his impressions [20] about the swap.

so my experience is:

1.the good… they are good example of community
2.the bad… by the time you start to blog for them not for yourself
3.the ugly… that's enough reason (2) to shut down the blog

Larbi came out of this experience with a deep awareness of the challenge facing bloggers and which is to practice what they claim to believe. He was disappointed and hurt by some remarks and he's more than ever decided to become a simple blogger, with no specific considerations [21].

When you break down all the barriers, the best in human beings comes out.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I think that the Moroccan blogosphere is starting to look exactly like the Moroccan society with the VIP [22]s, the covetous, the rejected, the ins and the outs.. And that's alarming!

Blogs were never meant to duplicate the social system that shapes our “real” lives.

Coup de coeur

Nadia Lamlili [23](Fr) is the Moroccan journalist who won the CNN Francophone General Award, an annual prize in recognition of African journalists. Lamlili won the award for an article published on 24 September 2004 on migration to the north shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The piece focused on the intentions of migrants, the difficulties they encounter and the groups that profit from the human tragedy.

The good news is that Nadia has a blog [24], and I urge you to go discover it. You'll be impressed by her boldness.

That's it for today. See you next Wednesday, Inshallah!