As the holy month of Ramadan has just begun, many Muslims around the world are thinking about charity and those less fortunate than themselves. Coincidentally, a report recently released in Forbes Magazine shows that King Mohammed VI of Morocco, often referred to as “the king of the poor” for his initiatives and interest in Morocco's poor, is the 7th richest monarch in the world, leaving Moroccan bloggers to reflect upon the huge discrepancy between their king and their average countryman.
The Morocco Report takes issue with the monarch's spending:
…King Mohammed VI is the 7th richest royal in the world – while I am left here wondering who the first 6 are, the Moroccan monarch’s salary blows my mind, but not as much as the amount he apparently spends daily on clothes and car repairs: $960,000.
King of the poor my left arm.
Referring to the report, Eatbees says:
I remember mentioning a similar report to one of my Moroccan friends while I was still living there. His response was, “I wish him luck getting to number one, because then he might feel he can give some of it back to the rest of us.”
The blogger then adds:
Mohammed VI is popular, professional, and unlike his father, more liked than feared. But I can’t help wondering where all that money came from, whether monopolizing the nation’s economy had anything to do with it, and whether it might be a drain on the nation’s development.
Blogger Hisham from The Moroccan Mirror commented on the above:
I’m glad you’ve mentioned the Forbes piece on MVI: $2 billion man! Isn’t that obscene. I can’t help feeling disgusted by the sheer hypocrisy of this regime. As you’ve suggested: there is a strong attachment to the monarchy as an institution but that’s not guaranteed forever, and is surely not a blank check for the King and his people to keep on with their lavish and extravagant lifestyles.
Of course, with a month of fasting and abstention from vices, Ramadan is a much talked about subject in the blogoma as well (even from those who do not fast).
The Moroccan Vocabulary blog, designed to teach a word of darija (Moroccan Arabic) each day, shares some information on wishing a happy Ramadan in Morocco:
For religious occasions, Moroccans use the expression “3wâshr mbrôka” عواشر مبروكة, which is almost the equivalent of blessed holidays . The answer to this is “3lînâ w 3lîk ” علينا و عليك, for us and for you . Funny enough, I always –wrongly- use the answer “ Allah ibaârk fîk” الله إيبارك فيك, God bless you, which is normally the answer to ”mbrôk” مبروك, congratulations.
Move it or Lose it is frustrated by all the questions she's been asked about her fasting:
I continue to be offended by how often I get asked if I am fasting, following by really? REALLY? Are you sure? When is the last time you ate? What time will you eat again?
Fasting is the invisible pillar. Only God really knows, or is supposed to know if you are doing it or not.
Yesterday evening I was flipping through my du'a book to make sure I had all the biggies memorized, and found the du'a for when someone is bothering you when you're fasting:
“I'm fasting, I'm fasting, I'm fasting!”
The Moroccan Mirror shares a story of what happens when you're caught not fasting (be sure to go and read the whole story!):
I think there is a big hypocrisy attached to this issue: while it's not considered a big deal for someone not to pray; while people who don't pay the Zakat (Muslim alms) are generally ignored, others who don't fast during Ramadan run the risk of being ostracized and stigmatized. I witnessed my self, during my years of study in Casablanca, many instances of that.
Finally, Bill Day from the a la menthe wishes happy holidays to everyone:
Only someone who has experienced Ramadan can appreciate the camaraderie of breaking fast together at the end of the day over harira, dates, and shebekia. And for Jews, today marks the beginning of the New Year, traditionally celebrated with sweets for a “sweet” new year. Ramadan karim, happy Rosh Hashanah, and may we all live more harmoniously together as we celebrate our differences in the coming months and years.
Image Courtesy of Duettographics.com.