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Francophone Morocco: Development, Modernization, and Creation

This week, francophone Moroccans take stock of their country, reflecting on the good, the bad, the beautiful.

Developing, modernizing and creating requires accepting criticism; but as Kenza, who blogs at Murmures hedra w klam (Fr), explains, criticism can be difficult to accept about one's own country, even when it is true:

Il est des choses qui peuvent choquer, il est des réalités qu’on a du mal à accepter, un amour pour ce pays qui sent la pointe de la critique comme une blessure à son inconditionnalité …. des choses somme toute que je peux admettre mais tout de même d’autres que je ne comprends toujours pas.

There are things that can shock, there are realities that people have a hard time accepting, a unconditional love for this country that feels criticism like a wound… [there are] things that finally I can admit but others that I still do not understand.

Sometimes it’s difficult to avoid telling it like it is, especially when you see videos like the one posted by Mourad in the blog of jeunes intellectuels marocains (fr). The video showed two cops in the countryside taking money from every car that drove by. Mourad introduced the video saying:

Si les terroristes et les marchands de drogue circulent librement, c’est en grande partie à cause de ce genre de scènes qui se répètent au quotidien, mettant en danger la sécurité des marocains et les initiatives de développement du pays.

If the terrorists and the drug dealers roam freely, it is mainly because of these kinds of scenes which happen day after day, endangering the safety of Moroccans and the development initiatives in the country.

A typical Moroccan public toilet

Sometimes, certain initiatives need a little outside help. Last month, a Moroccan family that had been living in a public restroom spoke to the BBC after being evicted from it. Shortly after, Britons reading the article donated over £1,000, allowing the family to rent a home. MoTIC (fr) says of the generosity:

On avait tous lu dans le quotidien Al Massae l'histoire malheureuse de cette famille marocaine de Salé qui n'avait trouvé comme domicile pas mieux que des toilettes publiques. On avait appris dans le même quotidien (voir cet article) que les cartes d'identité (qui indiquaient que cette famille avait comme adresse des toilettes publiques!) avaient été retirées et qu'on avait convaincu la famille de quitter les toilettes.

La BBC nous a appris la semaine dernière que grâce aux dons (qui ont totalisé les 1000 livres, soit plus de 16 500dh) des lecteurs d'un article sur son site Internet, cette famille marocaine a pu louer un logement et compte acquérir un appartement.

We all read in the daily newspaper Al Massae the unhappy story of this Moroccan family from Salé that had not found a residence better than public toilets. We learned from the same paper that [the family's national identity cards] (which indicated public toilets as this family's address!) had been revoked and that the family had been convinced to leave the toilets.

The BBC tells us that last week that thanks to gifts (which added up to 1000 pounds, or more than 16,500 dirhams) from readers of the internet site, this Moroccan family was able to rent housing and intends to acquire an apartment.

But then there are those that might need a little outside criticism. The Committee to Protect Journalists released another report on Morocco, and blogger basta-baraka (fr) says:

Intitulé “le Maroc de façade”, le document décrit fidèlement les contradictions d'un pouvoir qui veut indiscutablement s'ouvrir, mais sans renoncer pour autant à l'envie (au besoin ?) de museler la presse indépendante.

Entitled “The Moroccan Facade,” the document faithfully describes contradictions of a power that indisputably wants to open up but [stops short] giving up its desire (or is that need?) to muzzle the independent press.

Lastly there are the developments outside of Morocco, which we can simply sit back and enjoy. The new Seven Wonders of the World, welcomed on 7 July 2007, usher in a new era, particularly for blogger Faycal of The Unveiled Diary (fr), who said:

On vous les a enseignées lorsque vous étiez petits, elles n'ont cessé de vous enchanter par leur splendeur, par leur histoire incroyable. Une seule d'entre elles a survecu au temps, les autres ayant été emportées et ne vivent plus que dans nos mémoires. Depuis le 7 juillet 2007, ces merveilles de l'antiquité ne sont plus merveilles mais simplement un vague souvenir du passé décrit dans des livres d'histoire.

They were taught to you when you were little; they have not stopped enchanting you with their splendor, with their incredible history. Only one of them survived time, the others having been eroded, living on only in our memories. Since July 7, 2007, these wonders of antiquity are not wonders anymore but simply a vague memory of the past described in history of books.

Photo by dberm

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