02 March 2007

Princess Khadija in the Blog sphere

Princess was born first.... then what?

The news “sparkles” around the country. Mohmed VI looked happy (left) and compassionate holding his little baby in front of the press crowd.

21 gun shots were unloaded to celebrate this big event.

In the blog sphere of/about Morocco this event has taken a lot of different shapes and forms.

3az3oza declares her blog a golden book. Sign your congratulations. Many other bloggers like rachidissari and opened it up for comment and people to express their congratulations. Rachid said 2 words (alf mabrouk). Humble and beautiful i admire that in Mr. Issari.

Amazzal (fr) posted the translation of the detailed press release about the birth of the princess.

Basta news post was a photo of a smiling king holding his gaughter khadija. Opened up congratulation as comments.

In a very elegant “trés rafiné” post Nadia Bitar announces to the world the birth of a princess.

Moroccan blogers that i read in the last couple of days (ar/fr/en) were excited about the event and were sharing the happiness of the Moroccan family. Well nationalism has its sides and corners. But i like how Moroccan received their new princess.

Blogging nnfakha:

One of the bloggers about morocco. Famous for writing about Rabat posts this time about her adventure with the Canadian Embassy. I was trying to read about what some north american ex-pats in the country are writing about this and the importance of the event for them. starts out with a very interesting title. ( i do not really care about the blog itself but i think it has an interesting note...)

My word count found out that she had a post of 894 words. She "donated"22 words (2.2%) to the topic.. the title she promised to talk about. Sprayed : 'On Cannons and Princesses.'

In this post used the word “I” 30 times and "capstoned"more than 97.8% of the post 'khabar'. A story about a mysterious phone call and the bureaucracy of an embassy.

This is the paragraph that the title of the post promised.

As it happened, it was cannon fire that I heard last night, a veritable 21-gun salute. Princess Leia Lalla Khadija was born to "The wife of Moroccan King Mohamed VI " (god almighty!) who, in fact, does have a name: Princess Lalla Salma. I needn't tell you that I was mightily relieved that Rabat hadn't been bombarded by terrorists last night, or that what I heard wasn't the sound of Kenitra's oil refineries exploding ... although, should that happen, I have full confidence that my Government will come quickly to my rescue. Hopefully I'll have my laptop handy so I can submit an emergency S.O.S. online form.

Let’s not talk about the implications of personal safety and the cost of Moroccans as opposed to ex-pats in Morocco.

The advice the post gave to the new born princess:

My gift to her are these pearls of wisdom: don't take any crap from your brother Crown Prince Moulay Hassan. Sure he's going to be king some day but you'll get to wear much nicer clothes. And please don't wear your hair like 2 bagels on either side of your head. It's been done. And it isn't a very pretty look.

[who can comment on this? I can’t]


Moroccan bloggers interested in this event remained humble and real in the way they defined what is important to them, while the [blogger] stayed above everyone in an ivory tower with a lot of egoistic clouds between her and the morocco she writes about with special interest in royal crap and star wars.


eatbees said...

About the "two bagels" comment, I think she is referring to Princess Leia, a fictional character from the movie Star Wars ( here is a picture: http://www.jedi-academy.com/props/leia_headshot.jpg ). A bagel is bread that is round with a hole in the middle. In the picture, the princess seems to have a bagel of hair attached to each side of her head.

About the style of writing, I think she is trying to entertain her readers in a "snarky" way. "Snark" is a form of humor that is popular on the internet, and it means complaining about things with a sense of humor. I don't think she intends to be taken too seriously. (You mention how in the case of a bombing attack, she seems to value expatriate life more than Moroccan life, and I think this is an example of "taking it too seriously.")

She is sharing her complications about "life in Morocco" with her friends in a way that is meant to be entertaining. I can understand why you aren't comfortable with these comments among expatriates, where they say to each other "look how funny the natives are." But here is what I think: 1) there is no malice in it; 2) it can be helpful to look at one's own culture with fresh eyes; 3) if there is nothing to learn, why not move on? There are hundreds of people writing about Morocco every day in at least three languages....


About the event itself, the birth of Princess Asma, I guess I don't understand what the big deal is, any more than I understand it when the British or the Japanese make a big deal about their royal families. There are thousands of children born every day in Morocco, so why pay attention to just one? It's a happy event, not a sad one, so it may give people the chance to escape the burden of their lives for a moment, and share the happiness of Morocco's "ideal family." But for those of us born and raised in societies without a king, it's hard to understand the attention given to Royalty who are, after all, just very rich humans.

Bouba said...

@Eatbees Thank you for your comments.
Side note: your radio on my blog is a weekly compilation of Maghriban music in Berber and darija. Please email me with any questions: mbouba@gmail.com.
I was not serious about the bagel business. I know about Leia Organa and the hair style. Star wars have been globalized a lot.
The style of writing of the afore mentioned post is entertaining to me too. I like to see where humor hits the “laughing cell” and why is it not funny for many people who are the subject of jokes. I counted the words a part of this.
‘your words are the bigger’ , Eatbees. What i mean by the value of ex-pats is a Moroccan joke. It looks like whenever things go wrong anywhere, lots of western countries rush to evacuate their citizens and, well… who cares about the rest. In morocco we say how many Moroccans you want for 1 Canadian ( blague de reaction)Well this has been invented long ago i was being “snarky” the Moroccan way. In stead of being cynically sarcastic (snarky), i counted the words of the post and practiced some stylistics ( ie the application of the findings of linguistics to literary criticism).
i understand that entertaining is pat or rather what friends get from reading us in part. But i like to read what non Moroccans write about the country and that is why Eatbees in one of my favorite blogs. (morocco time is the other one….there are others but this is my list for now).
If the post is a totally an inside business, i understand that too. But i find it hard to not stop at “how funny the natives are”. It just goes to my “zone de reaction” you know how that hurts. I wished i did not read English and “ it would just a bliss”. But what makes the non natives the doers of the joke stroke and the natives the subjects is a little hard for me to learn. Is there a rule to this ongoing game of superiority. Natives can get these jokes now. I gess, lots of them do as a result of a lot of ‘history’.
I found out about this post because it is public. And www is like the big plaza of the Douar, everyone goes there to learn, laugh , “write” or read. I read Moroccan blogs in french, Arabic, English, Tamazight and Spanish. But i like to study other blogs too as a part o fmy general interest in discourse analysis, Orientalism, sustainable development, globalization etc…
As for the event itself, i agree with you and i do not really care personally. I care about peoples’ reactions to these things though because i learn about what is important to them and that’s why i wrote this post.
Eatbees, i honesty am constantly troubled by the amount of books and articles i find every day that had been written by people who did not make enough effort to get closer those they write about . The whole discussion about books in your earlier post was in part about this. I do not really care about what cat writes, but i care about the views, the angles, the leaking superiority that falls on any learners of English ie most of our high school kids. I care about ex-pat class alliance with the Moroccan bourgeoisie to create a culture of “ refusal” of the image “ the native” that we all refuse. No one ever wants to be the “thing” that people laugh about. You know the images of the “3robi”, “shle7”, now “meghribi”.
Para-fin, thank you again for your insightful comment and the time to explain some of the things to me. i want to learn more.

eatbees said...

I just came back here and was surprised to see how much you wrote in response to me! Thanks for explaining more about your reactions. I'm glad to know that "how many Moroccans for a Canadian" is Moroccan humor. I see it now. I guess we could hope for a day when Moroccans don't ingrain this kind of awareness, but that's another story. Someone should do a study of all those jokes that start, "There was an American, a Frenchman (or Japanese, or Dutch) and a Moroccan...."

"But what makes the non natives the doers of the joke stroke and the natives the subjects is a little hard for me to learn." Here's a good question! I hope you never learn it -- because you answer it yourself -- an "ongoing game of superiority." Who needs it? I feel lucky that at a certain point, I stopped seeing "Moroccans in strange clothes" and started seeing "schoolkids, grandmothers, husbands coming home from work." In fairness to the expat though, it is hard to escape the sense of being an outsider, and Moroccan society treats the foreigner differently (more favorably!) in so many ways. I put up a post a while ago that speaks to these questions, you might not have seen it:


"i honesty am constantly troubled by the amount of books and articles i find every day that had been written by people who did not make enough effort to get closer those they write about" -- This is something that's bothered me from when I was at the university. Here in the West, if you get too close to a thing (person, culture...) you are seen as losing your "objectivity" and your authority to speak! On the other hand there are many excellent books written "from within." I notice that Jill commented here to say she dislikes Paul Bowles, and Moroccans themselves often think of Bowles as a literary "profiteur" but I don't agree. He did what you say few people do, befriended rough people and natural born poets (Mrabet), not the elite, got inside the culture (or an aspect of the culture -- music, magic, kif) and translated it through his eyes....

I'm glad you enjoy my blog, and I'm glad we're having this exchange of thoughts!