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Morocco: A Kingly History

Earlier this week, we heard from Morocco's Francophone contingent on faith and politics. On Friday, blogger Abdelilah Boukili (whose blog is entitled Regular Comments Based on Issues Raised by BBC world Haveyoursay continued with the former theme, responding to comments on a BBC Have Your Say post in his own blog:

I agree with you that Muslims like you are seeking to be part of the world and not a community apart. There are some mistaken Muslims who still consider one mode of Islam as the best referring to past Muslim heroes, caliphs and Emirs they take as the best example. But as we are human beings, we should be proud of any person who contributes to humanity regardless of their religion. It doesn’t make sense that only Muslims are the only top be favoured by God. God loves anyone who loves his neighbour as he loves himself. This is at least a shared view between Muslims and Christians.

Another popular topic this week was my very own (adopted) city of Meknes, about which Cat in Rabat writes:

I like Meknès. There, I've said it. Out loud. Liking Meknès isn't a something I share with too many of my colleagues but I like it, so there it is.

Heri es-Souani, Meknes, Morocco by Jillian York

Having lived in Meknès for quite some time myself, I share the blogger's sentiment – while not as attractive to tourists as its neighbor Fez or as modern and wealthy as Casablanca or Rabat, Meknès has a certain charm, and a fascinating history, which the blogger tells us a bit about:

But unlike any other Moroccan city, Meknès is irrevocably associated with the larger-than-life historical megalomaniac figure of Moulay Ismail (1645-1727). It is nigh impossible to walk the streets of the old city without feeling his noxious evil nefarious weighty presence. Moulay “the Bloodthirsty” Ismail – who was known to kill anyone who looked at him the wrong way – inherited the throne in spite of the some four score other family members who felt that they had a more legitimate right to rule.

One post about Meknes is exciting, but two posts in one week is unheard of. And yet The View From Fez writes about the city as well, sharing with us some links to Meknès travel tales:

In the interest of balance, in case you think our love of Fez has blinded us to the seductive atmosphere of Meknès, we went searching for someone else who considers the city a wonderful place. We did have to search hard, but eventually we found Gay Grant – the author of a story in The Capital Weekly which hails from Maine in the US of A.

But lest you think that Meknès is the only blogworthy subject, bloggers are also discussing the Moroccan Royal Family, which was actually taboo prior to 1999 when the current king, His Majesty King Mohammed VI ascended to the throne. Braveheart-does-the-Maghreb has written a highly informative article on the royal family, in which she concludes:

I think the King is trying to move his country forward. You have to understand this is much like moving the Pacific Plate, you have to go slowly or you get earthquakes. The bombings in 2003 were a direct result of his reforms. The Princess is a real inspiration to the women’s movement here and she does a great deal of work for the Moroccan children and education. There are of course faults and many matters that need to be addressed about and to the royal family, but that is not what this post is about.

Myrtus also shares with us a link about former King Mohammed V (the current king's grandfather), who was recently nominated for the title of Righteous Among Nations by heads of the local Jewish community. The title is awarded by Yad Vashem and given to those who helped Jews while risking their own lives.

Photo of Heri Es-Souani (Agdal Basin) – Meknes, Morocco by Jillian York

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