28 August 2007

Driss Basri dies again,

Driss Basri dies..,
Condolences to his family.
Moroccans believe they should not say bad things about their deads and we should follow some the great teachings that say “Mention only good things about your dead”. High levels of Moroccan forgiveness… things that do not always work. But Driss Basri had done tremendous amounts of atrocious things to his follow Moroccans.. There is nothing really good to mention… stp.

26 August 2007

Morocco elections ...

The View from the boxes.

The ‘electoral’ campaign, al 7amla, started… it is the fever (!) all over the place.

If you are a national bourgeois, a ‘nouvaux riche’, or an arrivist who wants to secure a spot in the crowd among the big ones, this is your chance. You can also be a ‘good soul’ who wants to do something great for your country.. a dreamer of democracy.. good luck with that. you will have to struggle a lot… it is a mess and you do not want to touch it… ttisa3 rbi3.

Many events took place in a short period of time. Mayor of Rabat arrested for corruption and pre-election campaign. A huge caliber minister in the Department of interior, Fouad Ali Alhema, one of the closest friends of the king Mohamed 6 ‘quits’ his job to become a barlamani (MP) of Skhour Rhamna; maybe something bigger later. This gentleman does not seem to want any affiliation with political parties. Maybe, he likes to stand above and beyond. Many political parties are tossing accusations to each other about transgressions and corruption. The election race has began.

However, young Moroccans did not stop thinking and reflecting about it all.

In Amazigh Blog, Amanar illustrates the last scenes by posing the question:

“what is new in 2007? Personally, if is have to sum it all in one word, I would say Nothing… democracy? Since long time ago, I have stopped trusting the Moroccan politics especially when it comes to ballot boxes.. to vote or not to vote; what difference is that going to make since it is always the same people who get elected”

Amanar states that morocco is a workshop for democracy . “We are on the right track” he says. “ it is better to criticize than stay quit”

I think a lot of young Moroccans are convinced that voting is not the right way to engage in politics. Many have a different ways of looking at this game. The general approach is “be33ed men lebla la yeblik” ( get away ).

There is also a long list of politicians who have always been there and many young Moroccans are a little fed up to say the least. Ange Bleu posts pictures of some old famous politicians.

“these men have occupied the political scene since the independence. The youngest of them is…76 years old. They are real dinosaurs… these guys have done nothing for morocco during all the period of its independence. Now they are coming back. Gentelmen: Yazghi, Osman, Aherdane, Yassine, Fassi, rradi, Amsil El Alaoui: ouffffff we are tired of you… go away. We need educated young people with new ideas and new project”

Ditti with Ange Bleu…

Most of these senior politicians lived during the independence movement times (40s-50s) and think they have the historical legitimacy to act as politicians and run the country.

they would not trust the country to “kids”. Now things have changed, I hope, and Moroccan “pprocess of democracy” has been hanging out to dry for a long time. Nothing has changed, I guess. Who does not know Mahoubi Aherdan. The big one at the MNP and the transhumant politician. He occupied all kinds of jobs and used Tamazight for his own politics. Now his son is in the same part doing the same things. In the parliament and beyond. He even moved a little ahead to become some sort of president for a shadow World Amazigh Congress, that did not survive the real AWC.

It is time for all the political parties to try their skills in selling and buying votes. This is a situation that did not please the king (read speech). He said what sounded like people should not sell their votes and should not sell themselves.

This democracy is a little joke. I noticed there are many illusions about some western democracies as being a dream for our country. people say we are not yet there. we have to work hard to get democracy that we want. And this is a very one sided approach to democracy which otherwise looks like a drop by drop system where Moroccans have to deserve it to get it. We have to graduate to that level where we can be handed democracy by some power. And this is what some people in morocco are angry about. These views are perpetuated by politicians, schools, some journalists, instititions, some bloggers,
Democracy is not just voting for people who promise you things. Democracy is not an end in itself and it should not be. it is a way, a means, makina dyal lbolitika , a plural approach to socioeconomics where people decide what is good for them. all people regardless their differences (the verbiage for a definition should be longer and more precise but is do not care about deffinitins now)
altought our friend Youssef “cuts 100 words” by sharing a quote by M. Soubhi, (Egyptian comedian)

“la démocratie c’ est te permettre de choisir le moyen qui te plait pour réaliser ce dont j’ai envi” (Democracy is to allow you the choice of the means you like to do what I want).
Wa Kul intikhab wa antum bekhir.

23 August 2007

My sacred ego

Kids do not cry:

The governor of our region visited my village when I was in fifth grade to appoint a new Qaid.

Every one lines up. All the men. Villagers and nomads from everywhere. All of them were happy to receive the governor. A great man in a black suit. The new Qaid was there behind him receiving welcomes from every single person. gnawa were playing and dancing. Great times. I was in the front row with the older ones when the cars stopped. I had never seen that much traffic in my life. More than ten cars, most of them were black cars. The man stepped out of the car and walked towards the crowd that shouted. “3ash almalik” ( long life to the king). I did not like the confusion but I was focused on the man walking towards me, us. I did not care much about the others behind him. they were his followers I think. I shook the governors hand...
His hand was soft, which was a little disappointing to me, but he was gentle and spoke Moroccan Arabic to me. In my village everybody’s hands were harsh and firm and they spoke Amazigh.
He said: “how are you?... and what is your name?”. Our neighbor responded and said I was well and he said my mane. That was very rude too intrusive. I knew how to say my name and I spoke Moroccan Arabic. Everybody knows how to say ‘ labas and lhamdullah’. But I was not happy with the guy taking my words. And denying me right to peak and say my things only because he thinks he was alder and maybe bigger.
I moved my small body out of the line in disappointment then I tried again. I run a head and sneaked between two giant men again and waited for the governor so i can say and say “ labas , lhamdullah” if I needed to.
He finally arrived still shaking people’s hands and saying things older guys always say.Still hearing shouts about the king every now and then. Women yuyu-ing in the background. He came. He shook my hand. He looked me in the eye and he said. “labas a weldi” I said “ abas lhamdullah”, then he said “ llah yerdi alik” ( bless you) . I did not care about the blessing. What mattered for was that I did it. Nobody interrupted me. I was myself. I felt as big as the giant men on both my sides. I understood later that I was the only person in e crowed that the governor bowed for. I was big.
Like all the kids. It is vital for me to say things myself.
I run to the village and told them that I shook the governor’s hand. I did not say two times because the first time did not matter to me. I learned how to deal with authority and power abuse. Well age abuse. My size mattered… the size I decided is the size that was.

20 August 2007

Book happens

Remembering a book I ‘ started to read’ a few years ago.. I do not know.. but I lost it on the train to Marrakech. Very fascinating book. “The Tattooed Map” listed as the first novel of Barbara Hodgson, a Vancouver artist and a writer. it is a travel journal about two characters, Lydia and Chris, who chose Morocco as a destination for one of many of their adventures:

I am embarking on what I hope will be another successful journey. I am alone, but I doubt that my companion shares my anticipations. We’ve traveled together many times before, Christopher and I, and on every trip I’ve had the sensation that the two of us have wandered—always together—to very different places.

The story that sounded like a regular chronology of “Tour du Maroc” was starting to get strange as Lydia noticed a tattoo of a map appeared on her arm. The map got bigger and covered all her body.

She disappears afterwards and Chris tries to find her. he finds her journal in a café place in Marrakech and finishes writing the second part of what came to be a great novel.

Chris finds the journal... I feel asleep and we were already close to Benguerir ( 70 Kilometers away form Marrakech).

Ladies and gentleman.. the train enters la gare de Marrakech. Terminus, les voyageur a destination de ….” Everyone stood up. Got out of the train. I did. Never saw the book again. never finished it.

But the sketches on the book, the photos, the doodles and all the margins stayed in my head for a long time...

I was not sure I agreed with everything but as B. Hodgson herself says:

“I think everyone has their own Morocco, whether it be their backyard or another country,"

Every one has their morocco that they cherish, or not. Lydia had a Morocco tattooed on her skin.. she had the whole world to appreciate with some life in it. She did not have a Marrakech that she owned or any other place.. she preferred to disappear instead of having to face a world that was leading her to accept deceit and terror. She wanted to perpetuate the images she has about a deteriorating world.

Details can be disappointing at times when their threads fall into holes of despair. Like the despair of محمود المسعدي Mahmoud Messaadi, a Tunisian writer and Activist who wrote حدث ابو هريرة قال Abu Hurayra in 1939. Abu Hurayra wakes up in the morning not wanting to do his daily rituals. He refused any further commitment to Allah. embarks in a journey into the “unknown” (if you want to call it, I don’t). His travels to desert, monasteries, and into himself.

A journey of a man who holds the name of one of the most renown figures in the history of Islam.. a friend of the prophet Mohamed. One of the ten people who were promised heaven. Mahmoud said once, “we don’t die till the end of the story”. But Abu Hurayra did not die. he disappeared.

The end of Abu Hurayra is the end of discovering “his own map”. . the grid of truthfulness that leads to an evaluation of meaning. A step ahead from the semantics of a reality where maps mean something more than the first person singular where most western knowledge is trapped.

15 August 2007

Lkamikaz d meknes

Hicham Doukkali is a 28 years old Moroccan engineer working for the finance department in Meknes. Found a job through the struggle of the Moroccan association of unemployed university graduates .. blows himself up near the door of a tourist bus in a public plaza in Meknes..
Place Lahdim, known for its legendary murals and big arched gates built by workers and Maalems during the reign of the Alaouite king Moulay Ismail. Now a photo stops. Tourist buses stop before going other destinations for a few minutes to take pictures on their way to Volubilis or Fes.
Doukkali’s attempt brings all the questions back.. "what the @#&# is going on in people’s heads?. What is their motivation? It is not definitely hanger and thirst. These guys are not protesting individual miseries. They are not desperate for food, which was the idea behind redesigning Sidi Moumen after the attacks of 5/16th where more than 42 people were killed. This is a person with high education, employed with a good salary and a good social status. He wanted to blow himself inside a bus but he could not get in as the driver closed the doors.
i am sure we are all bedazzled by this stupid act. It is just beyond my head. I cant understand this rising culture of destruction and self destruction. I can’t help thinking that it is so hard to think that some realistic analysis can be done to understand the hidden reasons behind the suicidal tendencies of this people who want to take as many lives as they can with them.
this is a foreign mentality officially created in the seventies and earlier than that to counter balance the communists and all the red staff… and the western iron curtain.
It developed as an imperialist tool against freedom of speech and all that.
It is high time we sat down and examined our selves, our school systems, our Moroccaness and all the crap we have learned about why things do not work.
I do not care if these people think there is a heaven they aspire for by doing this. I do not want to go to a heaven where everyone has killed someone. If killing takes anyone to Heaven, guess who are the people who are going to meet there… who killers Iraqis, Palestinians, Touaregs, New Yorkers, Afghanis, tootsies, Native Americans, …
However we are all encouraged as Moroccans to think seriously about the meaning of our religious ideologies to understand that all this Is not about wanting to be good to Allah, it is beyond that… terrorism shapes development more than any academic theories. The politics of this New Order speak the language of fire and blood.
Yet I am not understanding how any person can be indoctrinated enough to kill.
And I do not think I will understand it... ever.
(photo AFP)

06 August 2007

Red lines

Red lines and more red lines that grow bigger.
In one year the Moroccan Arabic magazine Nichane gets in the hands of the beast twice, la police. TelQuell magazine gets there too. censured by the Moroccan authorities. Ben-Chamsi, the director of the two publications, was heard by the Moroccan police yesterday.
According to accounts collected by Reuters, the magazines contained “articles which it said showed a lack of respect for King Mohammed and harmed public morals.” (read)
Laila Al Alami, a Moroccan writer and Blogger said:
“It's really disheartening to have to write yet another post, about yet another problem in the Moroccan press, but it seems the wheels of censorship never stop.”

Reactions to this seizure arose from disappointment with the Moroccan government that a lot of people think should make more progress in letting freedom of speech take its flow.
According to Moha Arehal, a Moroccan bloger and journalist,
“Ces décisions qui nous font revenir en arrière plusieurs dézaines d'années ne font que nuir à l'image du royaume qui se veut un exemple à suivre au niveau des pays d'Afrique du Nord et tiers monde.” (these decisions make us regress many years back)

This is happening while the case of ‘Al-Watan Al An’ is still in the hands of ‘justice’.
For Many moroccan this is a shame. What was in the magazines that deserves seizure. What did Nichane say. why Nichane? Well it is probably the only magazine of its kind that can be read and understood by many Moroccans. At least those who can read Arabic.. many city dwellers. From different social classes. Other Magazines in French, Classical Arabic , German, Spanish etc are foreign to the majority of Moroccans and “ we do not know how to read those”. They also are expensive. And you do not want to give half of your daily salary for a magazine.
Moroccans still remember the hot days of USFP, and the long glowing hot speeches of Fath Alla Oualalou criticizing the government and crossing the red lines. Now he is sitting in an air-conditioning big office with the other guys giving orders about and shutting down people. very disappointing to many of us who would like to see a morocco where issues of freedom of speech in the folds of the past.

05 August 2007

02 August 2007

IDIR: La France des couleurs

Nouveau clip d'Idir avec Féfé et Leeroy
Merci Colombiaweb
from La France des couleurs. listen to more songs. fabulous compilation. ayuz i t3urrma.