26 March 2006

Death in Morocco

who kills Moroccans ?

Death in morocco seems to be everywhere, like other places in the world but there are deaths that happen because of anger and politics. People who killed themselves in the suicide bombings of Casablanca in May 16th have left more than 43 other people killed. The killings continue to other areas like the gendarmeries and police stations. Killing happen at night in the dark in neighborhoods where police think are out of the circles they are responsible for.
When asked to provide security for the villagers, the Moroccan government ignored people in Ait Ourir. Now after demonstrations and arrests and the assassination of Hamid. After the loss of lives police took the initial action of bringing some police men to arrest the gangs that brought insecurity and assassinations to the village.
Now unemployed university graduates organize collective suicide ceremonies to take their lives and this is happening on the street in front of parliament buildings.
This is not just a phenomenon, and it is not a thing psychologists could ever understand. It is beyond what they think is a social trend . It is the absence of valuable meaning of life, Moroccas cal it Hogra. It is not as simple as “jobs or death” which these unemployed university graduates write on the banners. It is the meaning of life that is lost with dignity and self pride that can not be explained by scholars or news papers, it has to e experienced.
This is very different from the debate in Switzerland round the right to die and whether it is ethical to assist people who want to put an end to their lives. [Read more]. In many areas in Japan this is called a trend. As reported by the ABC website. “Total strangers making meticulous arrangements online to kill themselves en masse. The group suicides usually take place inside sealed cars, where people burn charcoal so that they will die of carbon monoxide poisoning.” (abcnews.go.com).
In Morocco it is still the case but the government is not taking measures to stop it. Knowing it can be stopped. However unemployment is only the apparent surface cause of what is happening. If we look at the list of people who attempted to take their lives in Rabat, most of them have children and some of them were getting married this means that these people have lives that they value. The thing is weather their life is valued by a political regime that imposes a culture of submission and enslavement. Many other people commit suicide for other reasons when they feel they are so damaged that any kind of fixing is impossible but to hold slogans like “work or death” is more powerful than the job and more powerful than death. Seeking death as a form of liberation is a thing that has nor been addressed by any of the Moroccan thinkers or politicians.
Now it is high time we looked at the reasons beyond slogans. If “Al-Hogra” can be translated into other languages, then the world would understand what it is to be Moroccan and what it means to seek freedom in death.
Moroccans love life.

10 March 2006

Another Ali Passed Away

Ali farka Toure

We are loosing many Alis in the Berber land and sahara deserts. Those who shaped our understanding of what art has always meant.
Ali farka toure dies at the age of 66 this past week. He was an outstanding figure in musics of the desert. He survived cancer and lived to rinse all the ears of his people and others with beautiful music. He was the hero of tones and rhythms. He played and sang for love, for the desert for more than thirty yeas.
He is seen by many music ‘specialists’ in the US as the best blues player and singer in Africa. He always responded to that is a very Ali way “ Americans play good Malian music” but they do not really understand much of it
Crowds of musicians like Ray Cooder, Taj Mahal and others made the ‘pilgrimage to Mali to meet Ali and learn from his talents. they discovred him Ali played his ancestral music that spirits tell him about. He played a music that echoed tones from the desert. He knew what it all meant. Was he discovered like all the other things the west likes to call “great discoveries”
In his visit to Essaouira Morocco. 1999 he played for the Moroccan crowds and all the internationals who came to the concert. He played with the Moroccan Grawa who had the same background as he had. The music that cleanses the souls and brings hope to people who are looking at there homes being more and more invaded and devastated by the gurus who want everything even sacred sounds.
Ali refuses to record anywhere else he made a crew come o record in his home village.
listen more
( from National Public Radio, USA)

09 March 2006

Difandi Ssouq / forbiden to souk.

Baraka / enough:
Hamid Bounhilat, a 30 years old, a seller of
fruit and veggies at the weekly Souq of Ait Ourir (about 20 miles south east of Marrakech) gets killed by gang early in the morning last week . Hamid is from Hellet Belhadj one of a thousands of forgotten villages.
After the burial, Inhabitants of the village rose and walked to the HQ of the local government to protest against lack of security in the area. earlier incidents showed that the government does not give a hoot about whatever is related to the peoples safety and security.
It is ironic that the Moroccan government has all the arsenal to stop the protests. People were asking for more security in the area. they were asking their government to do what it is supposed to do.
Protesters were faced with a regiment of policemen and Gendarmes armed with guns and tear bombs. Four helicopters were roaming above them. the governor and his band of suites and ties came out surprised about what is happening.
60 people were arrested according to a local news paper many were injured.
This is not the kind of security people want.
People want to go safely the weekly market when ever they want. A government that provides regiments of FIR and gendarmes helicopters and hundreds of cars and trucks can use some of this to provide some security.
When it is protests and demonstrations the gov is super present but when it is peoples lives, forget it.
Read amazighworld.com

02 March 2006

Graduates and cartoons

Let’s create safe space for dialogue

Everything will fall under the freedom of speech and the right to write and say.

In a diversity convocation in a Vermont graduate school, Muslim students were invited this week to talk about the Danish cartoons question. Others were encouraged to listen and later to dialogue as peacefully as they could.

Te meeting managers reminded the crowd about the rules of listening and dialogue. You should listen to “them”.

A professor leading the meeting started out with a familiar question: let’s all try to make sense of why we are here. He invited people to say what brought tem there. Learning about the misconceptions they have about Islam and the Muslim world.

Muslim students were listened to for a while in their expressions about what they felt about the incidents and the cartoons of prophet. An apology was pronounced by two Danish SIT students. The discussion continued to raise some questions round the causes of the incidents and the fingers media has in the issue. Home grown tensions, freedom of speech, monopolization of information. Who talks about the cartoons now that streets are filed with protestors and violence is all over the place. Violence. Etc.

People had different reactions to the session.( i mean graduate people had reactions.)

“it helped me understand things i had not thought about before” said a graduate.

“ I wish it was deeper than that” said a student about the session.

“ well I think the session was framed in a “compassionate listening / conflict transformation kind of frame . we want real discussions about the political implications of all that. We are in grad school, man. Enough of touchy feely staff. I don’ t learn that way”

“ people reacted to a company that published the cartoons.. it was not the Danish government or the people of Denmark who did it”

“in this country (USA) freedom of speech was to express views against the government not to denigrate each other” said one professor at the school.