Couscous, Djellabas, Tajines

Jillian makes the case that travel writing about Morocco neglects the country’s very heart: its people’s ability to redefine themselves and their identities.


Blogger, writer, activist, co-founder of Talk Morocco 81 comments

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Julia Roberts, McDonald’s, Mickey Mouse.

This was how a young Moroccan student of mine described the United States to me.  Images from his youth: Pretty Woman, glimpsed illicitly on satellite TV as a boy, or downloaded by BitTorrent.  McDonald’s, which arrived in his hometown when he was eight, a beacon of American consumerism.  Mickey Mouse, drawn on medina walls, advertising a kindergarten down the street.  If those are his images of America, then they are too my images of Morocco, mixed with salty black olives bought from the local hanout and Amazir wine, hidden in paper bags for the journey home.

I am not Moroccan, and so my musings on Moroccan identity exist only from the perspective as an outsider.  Moroccan identity has been fetishized and orientalized by Westerners since the time of Edith Wharton, and continues to be.  In popular travel writing, Moroccans are described as mystical beings, devoutly attached to Islam but yearning for modernity, in love with everything Francophone, and confused, caught somewhere between east and west, tradition and modernity.  To them, Moroccans fit one singular, albeit complex, mold.  In my classroom, Moroccan students themselves would often refer to the “Moroccan mentality,” an intangible thing that needn’t be defined, as everyone knew quite what it was.  Everyone except me, that is.

When I first settled into my life in Morocco six years ago, I was indeed struck by certain paradoxes: How my newfound friends could pray the Maghrib prayer then go out clubbing that night, stumbling home intoxicated, just to start over again the next morning.  How a female friend would tell me she longed to wear hijab but simply couldn’t, because her parents wouldn’t allow it.  But with time, these things seem far less strange; they are small patches in the fabric of Moroccan society, things we just live with.

At the same time, I recall being frustrated with the stagnancy of discussion around certain topics.  It took almost a year for a close friend to admit to me that she was an atheist, and even then, it’s still our little secret.  And forget bringing up the Western Sahara–despite global opinion to the contrary, nearly every Moroccan I’ve ever met believes it to be wholly and unarguably part of their country.

But over time, the diversity that I at first thought was lacking made itself apparent to me, as I navigated Morocco’s tightly woven hip hop scene, met atheists and punks, lesbians, and young Sufi hopefuls.  What was nearly impossible to crack on the surface slowly revealed itself to me in my friendships, and as time passed, I found that much of what keeps these “secrets” hidden is a desire to keep up appearances…not so different from life in my own country.

Ultimately, however, there is a unifying thread amongst Moroccans that is hard to put a finger on.  It is made up of thousands of small parts: it is in the overwhelming sense of hospitality, the willingness to offer–and drink–a glass of mint tea with a stranger.  It is in the language, the darija of the streets that puzzles other Arabs but which holds the key to so many doors in Morocco.  And yes, it is in couscous, and djellabas, and tajines, things with roots across the region but that have become so quintessentially Moroccan, synonymous really, just as (for better or for worse) Julia Roberts, McDonald’s, and Mickey Mouse are to the United States.

What Morocco is not, however, is a simple place stuck in time, contrary to what many travel writers would have you believe.  It is too easy, as many travel writers have found, to stick with the same simplistic tropes: “a place stuck in time,” “a disorienting and surreal mix of old and new.”  In focusing on the contrasts, one misses out on what makes Morocco so fantastic: its people and their ability and willingness to reassess identity as time goes on.  As Morocco grows and develops, so does Moroccan identity.

Swirly divider

Written by

Posted on Sunday, April 18th, 2010

  • Share on Twitter
  • Facebook
  • E-mail
  • Google Reader
  • Permalink

81 comments on “Couscous, Djellabas, Tajines”

  1. What an amazing Piece of internet litterature about Morocco.

    The Next Pulitzer for the Web ? I Hope so :)

  2. ya ya a lot of connexion !!! it’s rocks in Mo-rock-oh!!

  3. I do not have the experience like “nearly every Moroccan I’ve ever met believes -the Western Shara- to be wholly and unarguably part of their country.” The ones I have met are curious about the issue.
    But anyway, the believe to have the duty to occupy and fortify and aggressively deny the Saharawi nation the right to exist is a most fundamental part of the Arab-Islamic-Moroccan national identity.
    To be blind to that part will not help to understand the problematic Moroccan identity.

    • Jillian York

      Interesting – that has not been my experience at all, but I’m sure it all depends on whom one is interacting with.

      Nevertheless, it’s interesting to have discussions about the Sahara in the rest of the Arab world; they turn out considerably different from those that occur inside Morocco.

      • It makes me wonder what the difference may be between the Moroccan communities in the USA (I presume you live there) and in Northern Europe (where I am) and I guess the USA to have mostly upperclass Moroccans while we have mostly working class people, mainly from the Rif area where man remembers Abd el-Krim very well.

      • Jillian York

        @vankaas – Actually, I meant Moroccan friends in Morocco, where I used to live. My circle of Moroccan friends in the US is too small to make such a pronouncement about.

    • @Vankaas : perhaps both sides of the ‘desert wall’ were manipulated by their respective regimes and voluntarily maintained in ignorance of History.
      I can speak only for the Moroccan part, there’s something fishy about the Sahara many Moroccans do not know about…
      On the other hand, many of the Tindouf people don’t know about the real story of El Ouali Mustapha Sayyed (a left-leaning activist and Polisario founder)

      • Jillian York

        For what it’s worth, I’m not advocating in either direction. It’s not the Moroccan stance that bothers me so much as it is the attitude and closed-mindedness that goes with it much of the time.

      • The Wall is Moroccan – I see no equality of both sides of that Wall in Western Sahara. One side is a free zone and the other is Moroccan occupied. Equality maybe can be found in the amount of landmines. But then again RASD has ratified the treaty to ban landmines and Morocco has not.
        Anyway: what is your story on El Ouali? You make me curious!

    • it`s very true that we all moroccan consider the sahara a part of our heart , and the problem is between morocco and algeria so it`s a very complicated political problem ,but i can see a very close solution withing the new democracy growing in morocco. more democracy we have closer we get to something we can call moroccan identity. the big problem for us ,is to find that line between religion and modernity, for the rest we are all in the same page.

      • Dear Samir, what is the Sahara you speak about? The political issue, the Saharawi people, the landscape or just the natural resources?
        The problem is even more complicated than you think. It is *not* simply a problem between Morocco and Algeria. It is a problem between Morocco and a international community comprised of nations, like Algeria but also South Africa, East Timor and Cuba, and institutions like the African Union and also the International Court of Justice.

    • You believe in such history called “Moroccan occupation of Sahara” ? United Nations and its Mission in Sahara (MINURSO) are saying that Morocco “reintegrated” Sahara.

      No country in all Occidental countries recognize RASD or Occupation of Sahara, if you want to do so, it’s your right.

      Using and creating new words is a kind of disinformation and lies.

      How about hundreds of Unionist Sahraouis who are living in the Sahara ? Who has the right to talk in their name. As we Know, Frente Polisario was never elected. Furthermore, His secretary general has self-nominated himself president of RASD and is still in his position from 79.
      How about Human rights in Tindouf ? Did you know that any NGO who wants to work in tindouf needs a visa from Algerian authorities ? And only few get it ?

      How about hundreds of Sahraouis who returned these last months to Morocco running from Tindouf ?

      Morocco is seeking peace and better future for everyone, even for Polisario : the best way to reach this goal is the autonomy of sahara under Moroccan flag.

      • Hi BBM,
        The United Nations and its Mission for the organisation of the referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO) have never said it’s ok for Morocco to “reintegrate” Western Sahara. That’s the problem you see.

  4. “found that much of what keeps these “secrets” hidden is a desire to keep up appearances…not so different from life in my own country.”

    “the darija of the streets that puzzles other Arabs but which holds the key to so many doors in Morocco.”

    this piece makes me even more proud of the country of my ancestors, my country–thank you.

  5. Dear vankaas :
    I appreciate your interest and your answer. Thank you.

    Sure, The Minurso have never said such thing. But what i can’t understand is : From where did you bring the description of “Morocco is occupying Sahara” ?

    How did you know that “the other side (Tindouf) is free” as you said ? Did you live there ?

    As we know, only Few NGOs were able to go in Tindouf (the ones who are 100% Pro-Polisario), for the other Ones, A special VISA is needed from algerian Authorities.

    Sure, Morocco is not an Angel and Polisario is not one also : The Last report of Ban ki Moon and many NGOs has criticized Human Righs In Both side.

    There is so many distorsion in your description of Sahara and Morocco that we need a real discussion and not only commentaries.

    Oh yeah ! Have you ever been in Morocco ? Is it so Evil as the Polisario propaganda describe it ?

  6. Hi BBM,

    Morocco occupies the Western part of Western Sahara by military force. It had to build a big wall to keep armed Saharawi’s out. By “Morocco” I mean the government of the monarchy, or the Makhzen as you call it.

    The other side is free for there is no Moroccan occupation… you can go there, and be welcome, but only if you recognize the RASD as a nation. Otherwise you can not pass their borders.. not without military force.

    I have never been to Morocco but some Saharawi told me it is a beautiful country.

    • so why you are talking about a huge problem between a nation and (rasd ) if you never been in morocco ,so all your information are from one part . i suggest you to go to morocco and you will be welcome in the south ,and i will talk to you after that . i dont think the basque or the catalans need a country because i was there ,not because my best friend manolo told me !!!!
      vankass i think you are a little naive about the moroccan sahara situation and i hope you will go there and see with your own eyes both regions and talk to people ,after that let`s talk.

      • Hi Samir,

        Going to the Moroccan occupied Sahara is a bit risky I think. The Saharawi’s from that area who went to Tindouf have been arrested and assaulted when they came back by Moroccan police and settlers.
        Check <href=""this story from Amnesty International.
        No sorry, but thanks for the invitation.

      • It’s only risky if you’re an outspoken activist. I’m American, neutral to the situation, and have been to Ad-Dakhla and Laayoune plenty of times.

      • hi Samir,

        My information comes from mostly English-language sources, like this. Or that

        Now if you say this problem about the Western Sahara is not my problem but it is yours, I must agree. But unfortunately you do not say it is a problem at all. You say, just like your government, there is no problem because the Sahara is Morocain and basta. And well, that is a problem. because it will not solve the very difficult situation of the refugees and the oppressed people.

    • Dear Vankaas,

      I have one and only one question for you, and i hope that you will answer it : From Where did you bring the description of “Occupation” when you are saying Morocco is occupying Sahara ?

      Thank you again for your valuable answers.

      • The Moroccan presence in 4/5 of Western Sahara is not recognized by other nations or international institutions. The people from Western Sahara strongly object to the Moroccan presence, to put it mildly.
        The presence is a very military one and came about after an invasion and subsequently the colonization by settlers from Morocco,
        What objections can you have against the word “occupation”? I think it is a perfectly fit word for the situation.

    • you are an activist i guess !! it is not risky at all to go to dakhla the pearl of the sahara or laayoun ,you will have a good time , actually you will find a lot of tourist . maybe you can ask jillian york she will explain better ,she was there and she is american . do you like couscous djelaba and tajines?? or you have allergies of everything moroccan ;))

      • No Samir, I do have not an allergy for the djelaba or tajines. C’mon. But I think it is risky to go to Morocco and the occupied zone for there people can not speak their mind. And I like to do that wherever I go.

  7. vankaas !!!
    i`m a moroccan and i know more about the history of the region than you , if you tell me that the problem is between morocco and the international community i will tell you we are in the same page ,european community and usa dosen`t want a micro state in north africa . and if you are so intersted about the communities in the world ,let`s give the basque a country in the north of spain ,and the catalans a country in the south of spain ,the corse a country in the south of france …
    we are in the time of globalisation ,we are giving the moroccan sahara the autonomy for everything ,they can decide about the way they want to make there identity .so vankass again politic is so big than you can see ,it`s a very complicated problem and no one want a micro state in north africa ,and the most important the sahara was moroccan and it will always be

    • “and if you are so intersted about the communities in the world ,let`s give the basque a country in the north of spain ,and the catalans a country in the south of spain ,the corse a country in the south of france”

      Spain and France are a democracy, missy. The separatists in those countries are free to push for their agenda within that system. They form political parties, they march, they vote, they instill their propaganda, they give their opinions without fear of retribution, etc.

      Morocco is closer to an absolute monarchy than it is to a democracy. It is a state where the government invokes the “sacred” to violently silence critics. It is a deeply religious country where undigested slogans rule. There’s a climate of fear about debating the issue in public. The supreme leader made it clear that anyone who doesn’t side with the official position of the Makhzen is to be considered a “traitor”.

      You analogy falls flat. Take your rubbish nationalism elsewhere.

      P.S: @VanKass: BBM is a homophobic Islamis who never misses a chance to glorify amir al-mouminine and the Makhzen’s infamous attacks on liberties.

    • Hi Samir,

      RASD may be a small state, and not fully functional because of the Moroccan problem but even now it functions probably better as Morocco does.
      In the refugeecamps and the free zone there is not as much inequality in wealth, and there is certainly better education as in Morocco and less corruption.

      • you are talking about polisario like if you are talking about sweden .good education and democracy and …..
        i know amnesty very well and i went to some of their events in new york ,they are always saying that the refugees are living in a very bad conditions we all know about it ,but i have no idea if you know that tindouf is in the algerian land , i dont know if you have any idea that if you say that you want to go back to morocco from tindouf they can put you in jail , and most the historic leaders of polisario are back to morocco . and also polisario dont want the family visit by road ,and they dont allow the whole family to travel for the visit program to morocco they alway keep someone .anyway talking about details and problem will not take us anywhere. it is always good to talk about the future ,we have better schools and better infrastructure in the moroccan sahara ,there is a solution now in the table ,and the international community , is happy about it, because it`s a solution where will be no looser ,it`s the autonomy of the sahara under the moroccan flag ,like the catalans in spain. and i believe it is a solution that respect the human right

  8. Dear Fly,

    Im not trying to encourage the basque to have independence or what else, but Are you trying to legitimate an occupation because of the democracy of the occupying country ?

    Israel is known as a democracy but its occupation of palestine is, and will always be Illegitimate.
    Furthermore, Having a king is compatible with democracy, ask any spanish or Dutch about this.

    being a democracy or no, Doesnt throw away the right of a country to reintegrate its occupied territories.

    Morocco has its own path for reaching a democracy : It’s a long road that needs more education and a learning-how to practice this democracy.
    And in this path, there will always some ambush and problems : Morocco is not Perfect but its not what you’re describing.

    In all cases, Morocco was described by hunderds of impartial organizations as the most democratic country in the MENA region, where the elections are free, and the freedom of speech is in the highest rank in North-Africa (2009 Ranking of RSF)

    In RASD, where its president, Mohamed Abdelaziz is still in his position from 1979. Frente Polisario is a unique Marxist party who always wins, sometimes without any kind of elections.

    Moroccans and Morocco are religious. yes, and is it bad for you to have a religion ?
    In the beloved dollar, USA wrote : In God we trust. Spain is also a religious state where the crucifix is in all primary schools…

    Im Moroccan Blogger, living in Morocco and You can also find in my Blog many critics against Moroccan politics : why im still free if you said that there is no freedom of speech in Morocco ?

    Again, Aminatou Haidar is known as pro-Polisario, she’s leaving and coming back to Morocco even that she is always criticizing Morocco outside its borders.

    And she IS FREE !

    How about Polisario ? The only voice they have in Tindouf is being Pro-Polisario and nothing else.

    This was a logic approach to explain to the readers the lies that you are saying about Morocco.

    And for your P.S to Vankaas : here we are debating about Sahara, if you want to debate about my ideas (but the way, im Indifferent of homo problems) , it will be a pleasure for me and my ego : It means that im really disturbing your ideology with all my respect of you as a person .

    You can describe me as Bin Laden Also if you want. But, your reaction is making me smile : Thank you :)

    • @BBM:

      > “but Are you trying to legitimate an occupation because of the democracy of the occupying country ? ”

      Yes. Democracy entails a people can split if they deem it necessary.

      The same way the majority of people in Ceuta would rather cross the channel than trade their Spanish passports for one issued by the Makhzen.

      > “Israel is known as a democracy but its occupation of palestine is, and will always be Illegitimate.”

      Sure. But you must admit that Jews have been much more open to compromise and peace than Arabs.

      Zionism is a secular rational movement. The morons on the other side are deeply religious. Guess which side doesn’t use their brains.

      > “being a democracy or no, Doesnt throw away the right of a country to reintegrate its occupied territories.”

      It kinda does. A dictatorship such as Morocco has no business telling the Sahrawis how to live their lives. They don’t want to pledge allegiance to your king, or live under a medieval legal system. And their right to do so come above the right of a fifty-years old dictatorship.

      > “Moroccans and Morocco are religious. yes, and is it bad for you to have a religion ?”

      If you keep it to yourself, I’m convinced religion is a force of good. But as soon as it creeps into the public sphere, all hell breaks loose.

      And the (exclusively symbolic) “In God We Trust” issue is debated in American courts as we speak.

      > “Morocco has its own path for reaching a democracy : It’s a long road that needs more education and a learning-how to practice this democracy.”

      Mostly, it needs neutralizing the excessive and abusive power of the palace.

      As far as I know, education has been voluntarily sabotaged by the Makhzen to keep the Moroccan people dumb and malleable.

      > “Im Moroccan Blogger, living in Morocco and You can also find in my Blog many critics against Moroccan politics : why im still free if you said that there is no freedom of speech in Morocco ?”

      I read your piece of junk blog. It’s like reading ALM. Bashing the decoy political figures and glorifying the absolute monarchy.

      > “Again, Aminatou Haidar is known as pro-Polisario, she’s leaving and coming back to Morocco even that she is always criticizing Morocco outside its borders.”

      Not as smoothly as you make it seem. I recall a incident not too long ago where the EU had to intervene for Morocco to give the lady her passport back.

      And that was undoubtedly caused by that Dubya-sounding speech by M6.

      > “here we are debating about Sahara,”

      Not true. We are debating Jillian’s view on Moroccan identity. The Sahara debate was started by vankaas whom never misses a chance to remind people of the ongoing problem and the suffering it is causing to the Sahrawi people.

      > “if you want to debate about my ideas (but the way, im Indifferent of homo problems) , it will be a pleasure for me and my ego”

      Thanks for the invitation, but I’ll pass. I know enough of your dogmatic standpoint not to consider engaging in a debate with you. People like you who believe in The Absolute Truth as revealed by some sacred book are really not worth it.

      P.S: In a country that criminalises sodomy, your so-called indifference is obviously a validation of the status quo.

      • But you must admit that Jews have been much more open to compromise and peace than Arabs.
        Zionism is a secular rational movement. The morons on the other side are deeply religious. Guess which side doesn’t use their brains.
        i wish i you come back and read what you wrote ,and i guess you will start laughing .
        jews have been more open to compromise?????? israel have probleme even with obama`s administration ,the secular stat you are dfending that they have big brain did many genosides since 1948 ,i have the list from dir yassin to the last genoside of gaza . there is something in the table now by the arab community ,that offers israel a peace not only with palestinian ,but with all the muslim world ,and the rational zionist have to give back the land occupied in 1967 .guess what ,your rational zionist dont want even to talk about it .
        take care

      • Fly,

        Zionism is neither secular nor rational. At worst, it is based on a tribalist belief of superiority of one pseudo-race (Jews) over Arabs, at best it flourishes because of guilt over the Holocaust.

        Palestinian nationalism is, historically, a secular movement. There are, of course, a number of reasons as to why that changed, not least of which is decades of oppression by the Israeli occupation. Learn your history.


      • Dear Fly,

        You said :
        “The same way the majority of people in Ceuta would rather cross the channel than trade their Spanish ”

        Do you have any statistics of that or opinion poll ? or you are just assuming this information ?

        You said :
        “Zionism is a secular rational movement. The morons on the other side are deeply religious. Guess which side doesn’t use their brains.”

        And guess who said the same Words about Jews in 30’s and 40’s ? Mein Kampf is back ?

        You said :
        ” A dictatorship such as Morocco” and “or live under a medieval legal system.”

        Do you have any official statement from any respected NGO or Administration that describes Morocco as A dictatorshipe ?

        The only Medieval here is the one who are stigmatizing a country that he’s not willing to visit : where democracy and liberty is ranked in the top of all MENA zone.

        You are spreading more hate than any kind of racists in this world against Morocco : If you were a victim of the Former Regime, i feel sorry for that.

        But you should wake up and see what Morocco is : An emerging country with so many problems but at the same time, a country in the path for democracy and freedom for all.

        Thank you to show some respect to US, as humans.

  9. Dear Samir and BBM,

    Did you read the letter of RASD president Abdelaziz to UN secretary-general Ban-ki Moon? Here is a copy.

    It is very interesting indeed. The president makes it very clear the main obstacle in the peace-process is the attitude of king Mohammed VI. And when this does not change the MINURSO will coem to an end within a few months time.

    • @ Vankaas : of course the president is going to say so. Just like the Moroccan authorities report their blame on the Polisario…

      I don’t want to meddle in an arid argument, but it seems basically each one of you are defending (in)equally undemocratic regimes, instead of defending the people involved in the matter : the Moroccan citizens are paying big money for the largest and most corrupt web in Morocco, and the Tndouf people are being used as blackmail for humanitarian purposes. Let us not forget that both sides are benefiting from this status-quo at the expense of the very people each one is claiming to represent, it’s rather all pathetic, wouldn’t you say ?

      • A simple “neutral position” in the case of Western Sahara can not be achieved by blaming both sides equally because both sides are not equal. If some Moroccan thief steals the wallet of a lady on the market you can not take a “neutral position” in that conflict by suggesting the thief and the lady have to share the content of the wallet. The thief is a thief and suggesting he has a right at all to the wallet is wrong and that makes someone even complicit to the crime.
        The same goes for Western Sahara. Morocco has no right whatsoever to the territory. They did not liberate it from the Spanish, they made some secret deal with the fascist Spanish government and then they tried to commit genocide on the Saharawi people. The Moroccan government is a criminal one and these guys should be brought to justice.

        Sure it is Moroccan people who has to pay for the crimes of their government which is a puppet to other forces. The Saharawi people already paid a hefty price for their struggle against that corrupt Moroccan dictatorship. No wonder the Saharawi seem to prefer to have their own government.

        Your suggestion the Saharawi people are in the same position as the Moroccan is not very thoughtful. RASD government is fully prepared to have the human rights monitored in the camps, Morocco is not prepared for human rights monitoring at all. Of course not: it is the main CIA torture-workshop.

    • hello
      every time the united nations send a letter back (not morocco) saying that rasd want to use a human right in the moroccan sahara as a politic issues,all the time . i remember van (seloum ) the one after james baker ,said in his last letter to united nation ,the independance of the sahara is NOT POSSIBLE

      • Maybe you mean van Walsum who said independence is not a realistic option. Well, that was not a realistic statement; he had to go after that. Van Walsum was a waste of time.

    • Mate, forget it! You’re talking to Moroccans who, for the most part, believe that questioning the “Moroccan-ness” of the Sahara is a crime in itself. That’s how they were raised, that’s what the state propaganda has been telling them, and there’s no reasoning with brainwashed people who view the issue emotionally. People who rose above the brainwashing (e.g: Syassator) would just obfuscate and play the humanist “why can’t we just all get along?” card.

      The truth is that the Makhzen has the upper-hand thanks to its “unholy” alliances. And a communist Arab republic ruling over a no-man’s land scares a lot of people. Barring a change of regime in Rabat or Algiers, the situation will remain deadlocked.

      Let me just add that, in my opinion, the Sahrawis people are suffering a lot more from the status quo than the Moroccans.

      • Hi Fly,

        Talking to Moroccans is an alternative to fighting them. The ugly desert-war is in a pause now and we should enjoy talking as long as we can. Maybe the pause is over sooner as we might expect.

  10. vankaas !!!
    it was a realistic statement for the international community ,and i think you will hear the same statement very soon in the next few months.

    • Hi Samir,
      Did you read the statement by president Abdelaziz? In the next months I expect there will be human rights monitoring or else an end to MINURSO, the UN mission to monitor the ceasefire and to conduct the referendum.

      • abdelaziz said a lot of things ,but it`s united nation and the international community who make the rules. and believe me ,the referendum is quite impossible because of one big problem ,who has the right to vote ,they tried that in the past (i hope you know about that),but they didn`t agree about the list .
        exp :aminatou haydar was born in TATA and it is a moroccan city but she has the right to vote because her father or grandfather is from the sahara,i was born in casablanca my grandfather from tata an his father from dakhla ,so do i have the right to vote ??? it is a very complicated problem bigger than you imagine

  11. @ vankaas
    i really dont know from where you get your information !!! moroccan dictatorship ,thief ,puppet ….
    i was thinking we are here maybe to explain different point of view without using all those words,but we can see you have a big hate to morocco and moroccans ,and it is just a waste of time to talk about this matter with you. there is a realistic plan in the table ,and the international community consider the plan as a very realistic plan.i dont know if you have been to morocco before but i dont think so ,because you talk about us like if we are in afganistan ,we are not perfect but it`is not very dark like you are trying to discribe us ,we are facing our past with with no shame we closed most of the cases the 60s and the 70s, we still working on our democracy and identity ,and we will fix the problem of the moroccan sahara withing our democracy . and finally use a better language (fascist ,and genocide).it seems that you are talking about the 2nd world war ,so funny:))

  12. Hi Samir,

    Yes: Morocco is a dictatorship, that’s the general idea of Moroccans as far as I know.
    Do you have other information? And according to international law there is no right for Morocco to occupy Western Sahara. Morocco claims the territory because of historical reasons, just like Benito Mussolini who used the Roman empire as the historical excuse for his aggressive foreign policy. Morocco’s foreign policy is not in line with international law, but surely it is in line with Islamic law. Mohammed VI is an Islamic leader is he not? So he makes the law. According to his own law he may not be a thief. But his autonomy-proposal based on his law is not very realistic.
    A thief has no right to stolen territory and can not grant any status to anyone.

    The words fascist and genocide are not nice words but do correctly describe the policy of Franco and Hassan II. Now Mohammed VI did not offer his excuse for Hassan’s bombing of Sahawawi refugee camps, did he? No, on the contrary, he said the refugees have to ask forgiveness to his Holy Majesty…

    • @Vankaas: we are getting a bit beside the point here.
      It looks as though you know very little of the Moroccan post-1956 history, as well as how the Sahrawi people worked hand in hand with the Moroccan liberation Army to oust the Spanish occupation (the MLA was eventually crushed by the monarchy when it rose too powerful, that’s another thing Samir or BBM didn’t know of) and
      hell yeah ! Mohamed VI didn’t even apologies for his father’s crimes in Morocco !

      You are so blinded by your own propaganda that you cannot help but see the Polisario as a pristine and flawless defender of the Sahrawi people.
      I mean come one, there’s a fine line between the late Ouali (a left-leaning Moroccan militant may I remind you, that changed his mind when unlawfully and stupidly arrested and tortured by the Moroccan police) and El-Marrakchi.

      Btw, any news from Polisario Khat-a-Shahid ? or any other political movement in the RASD? I mean yes, Morocco is no democracy, but neither is the RASD, so let’s be grown ups about it.

      @ Fly : humanist, moi ? 😀

      • Hi Syassator,

        Recent Moroccan history is complicated indeed. The Sidi Ifni war was an example of a joint Moroccan – Saharan anti-colonialist struggle. And this is Moroccan territory now, because of intervention of the UN.
        The story of Western Sahara is a different one.

        Those El Ouali and El-Marrakchi I do not know. Never heard of them. Please do explain!

        As far as I know Khat-a-Shahid is silent now so they are probably content with the line Polisario has taken. I think there is room for dissent in RASD, but this is just my impression. Sure they have police and judges and jails and they are imperfect as anywhere but RASD tries to impose a rational system; they are very poor but it seems to work as far as I understand it.

        Morocco is ruled by a filthy rich religious leader who enjoys impunity for himself and his family. It is a medieval system behind a western-democratic facade.

      • “You are so blinded by your own propaganda that you cannot help but see the Polisario as a pristine and flawless defender of the Sahrawi people.”

        I don’t think so. At least, not anymore than you yourself are blinded by propaganda and see Hamas/Fatah as “a pristine and flawless defender of the [Palestinian] people”, or the Dalai Lama as a flawless defender of the Tibetan people, or the ANC as a flawless defender of the South Africans, etc.

        The situation is indeed complicated, but it doesn’t change the fact that Morocco is the aggressor in this story. And the Sahrawis are the victims of said aggression.

        If you want to be a grown-up, admit that much. Then we can talk about finer details. But you know damn well it’s risky business for a Moroccan, so you keep dancing around it.

    • vankaas !!
      you have a very weak information and argument about morocco ,we are not a super democracy but we are the nbr 1democracy in north africa and the midle east (do your reaserch ),we are not an islamist country it`s more towards secular system (searh the new moroccan family code modawana).when you talk about islamic law you reffer to a chariia law ,that`s in saudi arabia not in morocco,the king is muslim but he dosen`t rule with the shariaa.
      the autonomy proposal i said ,is in the table of the united nations with the (rsad) proposal ,and not samir nor the king or the moroccan said that it is a realistic solution ,but it`s france ,spain the old colognizers and the usa and great britain said that. im sure you know how to use internet ,why dont you make sure about your information ,because it seems you are missing about a lot of point. about the history and even the actual facts . again nooooo moroccan will tell you we are a democracy like sweden but we are working on our democracy and identity with no shame about the past (search Equity and Reconciliation Commission morocco) and looking forward for the future ,and i think spain the closest democracy to morocco was in the same situation ,and it`s a kingdome with a dark past and different ethniques .dont just throw words (thief ,king is islamist ) because a lot of readers will start laughing ,how you are defending a big human cause (no moroccan want to see or happy about the refugee camp in tindouf algeria) and your information are soooooo limited .use internet and make reaserch about the last decade and you will see that there is a lot of transformation ,but our road still long to go and we admit that

      • Hi Samir,

        Morocco may not be a super democracy indeed but the democratic façade is of an excellent French quality. Behind the façade we can see, when we look into the dark, a royal house with unlimited power based on…? Well, that must be some Islamic law for the King is said to be a successor from the Prophet Mohammed and is called the leader of the believers.
        Looking deeper into the darkness of Morocco we must notice a lot of terrorist attacks in Europe most of the time do have some Moroccan component.

        The Saudi connection is very clear: the Saudi royal family have their palaces in Morocco too and visit them a lot. They have a lot of business in Morocco don’t they? It is said they paid the building of the Wall that splits Western Sahara.

        And talking about Sharia: where is the Islamic peace proposal? What does the Quran say about ways to solve a conflict between Muslim nations?

        The autonomy proposal is like a maffia offer you can not refuse. It is nothing but a demand for submission to the King. But alas.. Saharawi are too modern for that, they have advanced into a republic state already.

        I must remind you that according to international law there is no right for Morocco to steal the natural resources from Western Sahara. When will Morocco use the money from the illegal profits to support the hungry refugee population? Is there no heart in the Moroccan courts?

  13. @ Vankaas
    I am surprised you didn’t recognized these names :
    Abdelaziz El Marrakchi is the incumbent Polisario leader (and RASD president), don’t tell me you didn’t know that…
    As for El Ouali Mustapha Sayyed, he is the Polisario true founder (Mai 1973 if I am not mistaken) KIA near Nouakchott (1976)

    And no, I am not referring to the ifni war, but to the much bolder operations the MLA (Moroccan and Sahrawi tribes alike) undetook near Layun
    Vankaas, are you sure you know everything about the Polisario?
    I do not doubt you defend their cause passionately, but you do need to know a little more about History (the real one, not the propaganda both sides are serving…)

    • Hi Syassator,

      This link to the Time magazine article on The Battle for Aiun is better. It is an interesting piece, thank you. It is another example of the complicated Spanish – Moroccan relationship. I think Spanish colonialism in Northern Africa is quite special because at some locations it is also a matter of shifting borders and positions between neighboring states.

      Of course I do not know all about Polisario, because you didn’t tell me enough yet! El Marrakchi… I forgot about that name, and the El Ouali I know for he is an icon like Che Guevara but there are more people with such a name and I was not sure who you meant.

      • Jillian York

        Honestly, I’ve been watching over this whole thread (it’s on my article, after all), and I’m disinclined to believe that your position, van kaas, is any more informed than that of the average Moroccan on this matter. They’re “brainwashed” in one direction, you in the other. You’re making a lot of strong statements about Morocco without ever having been there, and you barely know the history of the Sahara.

        I’ll tell you this: I think the Sahara is a topic that needs to be brought to the table far more often in Morocco, and I do not accept the government line, but neither do I think the Polisario is an organization worth believing in. If anything, I would support Saharawi independence (though in reality I lean more toward autonomy) because I’m a pragmatist, and the people there seem to want it. But I most certainly don’t fall for their b.s. politics.

  14. Dear Vankaas and Fly :

    Morocco wants peace, democracy, freedom and evolution for all its citizens and region.

    As Moroccans activists, the path for reaching this aim is, and will be our engine.

    You can help all these people to reach this Goal, regardless of the dirigeants, the systems, or some stigmatization and lies : at the end, they are as smart, peacefull and intelligent as you -probably- are.

    Morocco is paying now, what former occidental forces of occupation made of its territory : a part of this occidental world was built by the blood and the ressources of Morocco.

    But as moroccans, we are inviting Polisario Leaders to enter the democratical process that will lead to a real sustainable peace for their people and for all the region : the Large Autonomy of Sahara under Moroccan Flag.

    Democracy, Freedom and respect for All is what is willing to pay. Stigmatization, lies and ignorance were never leading anywhere.

    • Jillian York

      Meh, neither do I believe that statement, Big Brother Maroc: “Morocco wants peace, democracy, freedom and evolution for all its citizens and region.” I know you made it in respect to the Sahara, but do you really believe that Morocco wants democracy and freedom? If so, why is the press so heavily restricted, why are they starting to filter the Internet again, and why do activists, bloggers, and journalists get silenced (by jail, exile, or heavy fines) constantly? Get real.

      • Hi Jillian,

        Did I pretend to know more about Morocco or Polisario or the Sahara as someone else? Well no, I did not. And that’s not what I want. There is a problem that urgently needs to be addressed and I seem to be one of the few who has no problem starting a conversation about it. (Maybe because of ignorance :-)

        What I do not like is the idea we should make a choice between Morocco or Polisario. For me this is not a competition on democratic appeal. That is way too simple. The choice we have is one of dealing with the problem or neglecting it, for starters. Most people neglect it.

        Things I do know about the case are:
        * Morocco invaded a country and part of the population fled.
        * Morocco controls 4/5 of the territory and colonized it.
        * Morocco exploits the natural resources of the land.
        * The international community takes care for the refugees.
        * Morocco regularly beats up Saharawi.

        Do I know more than anybody else? Not really; these facts are common knowledge for anybody who wants to know. But sure they are disputed by Moroccans.

      • Jillian York

        Van Kaas,

        a) remind me to fix comment threading on the blog 😉

        b) I don’t entirely agree, though you’re right about Moroccan mistreatment. But “invaded a country?” It wasn’t a country! It’s never been an independent nation; it was Mauritania, it was Spanish, and it was Moroccan. Perhaps it’s fair to say they invaded a nation-candidate, but if your opening premise is a turnoff for me , then I can see why you have trouble engaging with Moroccans.

      • @VanKaas: “* Morocco regularly beats up Saharawi. ”

        To be fair, allow me to add that the Makhzen beats up everybody. It’s not like the Sahrawis are cut more slack than shiites, republicans or gays.

  15. Oh Jillian !!!

    For you, “Morocco” means its Government or authorities ?

    It is its People -Moroccans- before and after eveything.

    Even if this contreversial governement who is elected… democraticly is doing some incomprehensible actions as filtering the Net again (as mentioned in my article ), it remains a Democraticly elected government.

    Some of its actions are far away from the interest of their people : So mixing the government actions and the wants and needs of Moroccans is inapropriate.

    That’s why im trying to push each moroccan to be more interested in the issues of their country and to participate to the democratical process and legally fight for their future.

    To be concreet and In my view, some journalists who choosed exiles like Aboubakr Jamai who is still very respected in Morocco or Ali Amar and Ali Mrabet, made some mistakes.

    The freedom of speech is a space that has its limits : The Moroccan limits aren’t the english ones or zimbabwe one. Each culture has its own limits.

    In Spain for Instance, there is a national consensus about Respecting the King : it’s accepted by almost all Medias, but why spanish medias are respecting their king and Moroccan ones shouldn’t ?

    Abou Bakr Jamai Chronicles became (in the last Few months) at the limit of respect : he has treated the Monarchy as “Junky” and so many other words…

    For you, Junky can look like a Normal word, for Moroccan culture it’s Not and diffamation is the limit of Freedom of speech.

    Some people used the fact that Le Journal wasn’t paying its taxs to kill this media for once : And i was clearly against this killing.

    Until now, Reda Benchemsi and Telquel (an other successful private Magazine who made thousands of critics against Monarchy) is still publishing its magazine : He knew how to make critics without falling in Diffamation.

    The other real problem is : In Moroccan French talking Medias, there is only one Kind of vision, a kind of unique View : Pro-occidental liberalism.

    But we get censured if we have ideas who aren’t conforming with occidental ones : That’s what eveyone should know.

    Morocco is not occidental or oriental country, it’s Morocco with its own culture : respecting it with some real actions to change what has to be changed is the path for a Moroccan evolution and Not Occidental ones.

    We have so many points in commun : Using Democracy as a tool is one of these ones. That’s why im calling each one to defend its ideas with logics and facts with respect for others’ ideas.

    The respect in the difference.

    • Jillian York

      I can see how it must be hard to take, coming from me, a Westerner, but the fact of the matter is that I frequently find myself surrounded by born-and-raised Moroccans who also want no limits to such freedoms.

      You and I both know that the monarchy warrants criticism in many case, criticism that is not allowed by the media. By claiming that Moroccans can’t handle such freedoms, you’re infantilizing them! I’m by no means suggesting that Morocco’s media should become sensational and tabloid-like, the way my country’s has, but I believe–as do plenty of Moroccans–that free speech, and the ability to criticize (without defaming) the monarchy is an incredibly important step in the right direction for Morocco.

      • @ Jillian :
        westerner or not, your views are always welcome;

        May I remind you that Watebury, Geertz and Harris and many others are respected US scholars, and thanks to them, many precious academic papers and books made it clearer to understand Moroccan social structures?

      • Western Views are always welcome Jillians, i only give you the other view for an other Moroccan Perspective.

        I did never say that “… Moroccans can’t handle such freedoms”.
        I am saying that a learning-how is needed for both Moroccans and Medias to handle carefully a growing democracy and freedom of speech (which has its limits as any place in the world).

        Unfortunatly, some medias didn’t know how, some others did : it’s a learning process.

        Im writing my comments and Blog from Morocco, and be sure that this country is globally moving forward to reach a respectfull life for all its citizens.

        Moving forward with some mistakes, but also learning from these mistakes : here is the view of one Moroccan living in Morocco in 2010.

    • Sorry old boy, but the Moroccan people have been so brainwashed for the last 40 years that the ‘demcoracy’ criterion hardly applies to us (and to the RASD as well, to that matter)

      About the monarchy thing : I think you should have a look at the national archives, you might find an old issue of ‘Al Mouharir’ criticizing the King in a much stronger fashion, Jamaï and ARB are quite moderate… beware of history when the Makhzen distorts it. these ‘les valeurs et constantes de la nation’ are just political strategy to suppress dissent, in a total and utter contradiction with democracy… I suggest you read a bit about it (the Bulletin d’Afrique du Nord are a wonderful reference to use)

      • Dear Syassator :

        You are probably right when you are talking about Brainwashing. But let’s think Futur and don’t keep living in the past.

        The best way to Develop a nation is by education. The real threat for Morocco is this : 46% of Its people were never in school.

        ‘les valeurs et constantes de la nation’ Values and constants of the nation is something that each Country has : this constant is the system (republics, Monarchy..) mixed with democracy.

        In the case of Morocco, Now it became a reality : The Monarchy is constant and -the path for- democracy is also constant.

        From 2000 to 2010, Moroccan system has changed so many things on itself, but there is so many other things to do : it needs time, work and ACTIONS.

    • @BBM:

      > “The Moroccan limits aren’t the english ones or zimbabwe one. Each culture has its own limits.

      A Saudi guy told me the same thing in defense of their country’s atrocious sexism.

      > “In Spain for Instance, there is a national consensus about Respecting the King : it’s accepted by almost all Medias, but why spanish medias are respecting their king and Moroccan ones shouldn’t ?”

      For one thing, Spain is a democracy. There are openly republican people (and parties) that partake in public life. They are neither banned, tortured, jailed nor killed. They gather, publish and disseminate their ideas in a fair and transparent manner. They are already in the double-digits percentage, and there is no sign of slowing down.

      And there’s also the central issue of separation of power. In Spain, the executive power lies in the hands of the Consejo de Ministros. Across the channel, Mohammed 6 rules as it were not 2010. Most of the political power in Morocco is held by the palace.

      So let’s not compare apples to oranges here.

      > “Until now, Reda Benchemsi and Telquel (an other successful private Magazine who made thousands of critics against Monarchy) is still publishing its magazine : He knew how to make critics without falling in Diffamation.”

      Telquel is a magazine that has been repeatedly confiscated by the Makhzen. They were harassed, their offices stormed by cops, arrested and piles of copies burned. Medieval style! So cut it out with your MAP-ish nonsense.

      Criticizing a political figure is NOT slander. It’s comes with the job. High responsibility (and exposure) needs higher scrutiny.

      I am not saying that the press’ margin hasn’t improved since the death of the previous king, but to give the self-censored articles of Telquel as proof of a free Morocco is jut ludicrous.

      > “The other real problem is : In Moroccan French talking Medias, there is only one Kind of vision, a kind of unique View : Pro-occidental liberalism. ”

      I like to see it as a universal set of values that took humanity a really long time and effort to perfect.

      And how can it possibly be a “problem”? Is anybody forcing anybody else to write about the virtues of liberalism? No! It’s one of those things that happen to convince by sheer virtue of reason. And it scares the pants out of a system that relies on collective delirium.

      > “Using Democracy as a tool is one of these ones.”

      Tell that to the people in charge! In fact, shout it!

      Because between Morocco and democracy, there lies an archaic system where the people (person) making the important decisions have zero political responsibility.

      > “That’s why im calling each one to defend its ideas with logics and facts with respect for others’ ideas.”

      Again, tell that to the Mahkzen. It is the one refusing to allow logic and facts being stated in public.

      A religious-based system is impermeable to logic and fact. It views doubt and open debates as evils to be fought. Read the official statements surrounding the oppression of, say Shiites or Satanists. The Makhzen shows no respect whatsoever for different ideologies.

      You have the nerve to come here defending the Makhzen and tell us that WE have to respect other people’s ideas. This is straight out of bizzaro-world. It is not Jillian, VanKaas or I who incarcerates people for their thoughts. It is you who justifies censorship because of some cultural “limits”.

  16. I just learned by reading this blog 46% of Moroccan people were never in school. How is this possible? In the Saharawi refugee camps all children go to school. They learn Arabic and when they are about 12 they start with the Roman script and the Spanish language. The girls go to school too, ofcourse. There are also English lessons in the 27 February school and these are quite popular.

    @Jillian: please fix comment threading on the blog :-)
    And, yes, ok, I should have written Morocco did not invade a country but a territory instead. But it was an invasion, and that was my point.
    I do not think you are completely right when you say “It’s never been an independent nation; it was Mauritania, it was Spanish, and it was Moroccan.”
    Indeed it was not an independent nation.
    But is was never Mauretanian; except for a part and a short time. Spain decided in 1975 to split WS in two and give Mauretania and Morocco both a piece. Both met fierce resistance. Mauretania agreed to a peace accord with Polisario in 1979 and recognizes RASD since then. Morocco was not defeated and decided to try occupy the Mauretanian part. They did to some degree but Morocco never controlled the whole area.

    • Regarding that 46%, I really doubt it to be true, currently. That said, there are huge swaths of rural Morocco that lack proper education facilities. Like any other developing country, Morocco has a lot that needs straightening out, but the education system is constantly improving. Girls in Morocco go to school too.

      I think the 46% illiteracy rate is “true,” but skewed…because (I believe) it only counts those over 18, and as you know, nearly 30% of the Moroccan population is under 18.

      Van Kaas, it still wasn’t a “territory.” It was Spanish-administered Morocco for 40 or so years. Are you attempting to claim that the people of the Sahara are somehow different than the people of Morocco? Aren’t the borders really arbitrary anyway?

      I don’t accept much of the historic dispute; as I said, my belief is pragmatic; if the people who live there now want a differently-governed country than Morocco, then I support their right to that struggle, but I also think most of their claims could be satisfied by the autonomy plan.

      • “I think the 46% illiteracy rate is “true,” but skewed…because (I believe) it only counts those over 18, and as you know, nearly 30% of the Moroccan population is under 18.”

        First of all, it counts people over 15 not 18. And just to give you some perspective, it only excludes people born after 1995. Now, it is true that this chunk of the population is sizable, but the figure remains a proportion. Also, I never met a 12 years old whom I would describe as literate (I’m sure there are exceptions though). If the figure included infants, you’d be all up in arms about how it “skews” the figure.

        Let’s just agree that Moroccans are, by and large, an uneducated people who can know scripture from 15 centuries ago by heart, but who are definitely not a literate bunch. Should I remind you that Morocco is still in the business of banning and burning books?

        Allow me to get anecdotal here and tell you that my mother went thru that “literacy program”. Officially, she is counted among the literates. In practice, she has the reading and comprehension skills of an 8 years old. She can barely decipher words, let alone understand a written paragraph.

        Education is not part of the mainstream Moroccan culture. People would rather invest in curtain fabric or chandeliers than they would in a book. They would rather stay in a mosque till dawn than put in the time and effort to learn new things. Contrast with other cultures that put education and literacy as highest priorities.

        So you believe the 46% figure is skewed. I do too. I think it’s much higher than that. But let’s not obfuscate the main issue by quibbling over statistics. At the end of the day, the average Moroccan is ignorant, which is exactly how the Makhzen likes it.

  17. Jill,

    Western Sahara is in UN speak a “non-self governing territory“.

    The peoples of Morocco in the Souss and Rif area are different for sure in language and customs from the Western Sahara people. But the people in the south of Morocco are very similar, like in Mauretania, I am told.

    The borders are not arbitrary but simply colonial. In the period of decolonisation the Africans decided to keep the old colonial borders for the time being to avoid the problems that come with defining new borders and keep the peace. That was a wise decision and it is why most borders in Africa are the old colonial ones. But Morocco never accepted the borders it inherited from the colonial time. It wants the Spanish enclaves, made war with Algeria for the Tindouf area (Sand war) and occupied WS.

    The people who live in Western Sahara now are in majority Moroccan settlers. It may be pragmatic to give them autonomy but it will not change a thing.

  18. Dear Jillian :

    Here is the History of Two Australian journalists/film makers who were invited by Polisario to make a movie about the refugees in Tindouf.

    These journalists were totally dedicated to the cause of Polisario and they were daily living with these refugees.

    But, something happened : these film makers discovered something that shouldnt exist in the world of 21 century : Slavery of young girls in Tindouf camps.

    They made a film about it, they were discovered by the Polisario police and detained in a house in tindouf for several days.

    The Film makers couldn’t escape from the Tindouf camp without the help of UN agents.

    Their documentary received awards from different international movies festivals.

    Here is the Trailers of this documentary : “Stolen

    Here is some interesting links about the slavery and Human rights abuses in Tindouf camps :

    From El Pais (Spanish Journal) :

    From Human Rights watch :

    I can use this space for thousands of Facts of Human rights abuse in Tindouf.

    Morocco at least, recognized its errors and started indemnisation of some of its victimes.

    Yes, there is no comparaison between Morocco, a democratic country where the prime Minister is subject of thousands critics everyday, with Polisario, self Proclamed, unique party and marxist one where its secretary general is still in Power from 1979 who did never recognize any of its abuse and keep using slavery of young girls.

    If someone needs more evidences, just ask : It will be a pleasure for me to bring all needed.

    • dear BBM,

      It is good to see you care about the welfare of the Saharawi refugees in the camps. Keep up that spirit! You must be delighted to know the slave depicted in the movie ‘Stolen’ attended the premiere of the movie in Australia and declared in reality she is not a slave.
      Also you must have been relieved to read in the report of HRW the RASD/Polisario administration acknowledges there are remnants of the ancient slavery practice, is open to human rights organizations to discuss the matter and is committed to abolishing it.

      But it is a shame all these fine people have to live in refugeecamps don’t you think?

      • your partiality is clear : For you, everyone who showed some negative facts about Polisario are “Impartial” as :
        – Peter Van Welsum (special envoyee of UN for Sahara) who said that independance of Sahara is not a realistic option.
        – 2 Australian Film Makers, invited by Polisario itself, and retained against their willing by Polisario because of Making a movie which is showing negative facts, are for you liars.
        – HRW report said Thousands of critics about Polisario but you are only choosing what you want.
        – UN and Official statements are talking about Morocco who “Reintegrated” sahara but you, and polisario/algerian medias are talking about Occupation.

        I would like to believe you, but i prefer Impartial Organizations and People.

        How about that Polisario aren’t as Angel as you want to show us ? How about Polisario using Propaganda and denying the rights for justice and democracy in these camps.

        You are supporting Slavery in Polisario camps when you Try to find a reason for it ! And There is NO REASON for such behavior in 2010.

        Aren’t you ashamed to support such Propaganda against these Young Humans who were slaves In Tindouf ? Here are more Former Tindouf slaves in These videos :

        If You support Polisario Leaders for any kind of reasons, you should also support the rights for the refugees, who are HUMANS as YOU for freedom and peace.

        Is the Polisario able to do so ? the Polisario the Marxist, unique party who is leading the camp with only one and same non-elected “president” from 1979.
        Or Morocco who made some mistakes in the past but who propose the Large autonomy plan where the polisario can participate democraticly in ruling sahara ?

        Morocco made some mistakes and is learning from it, but this country is willing to move forward for the freedom, peace and respect for all.

  19. @Vankaas,
    Jillian and Hicham have done a wonderful job bringing to us, readers, such diverse views on such complex issues and topics. Let’s take the time to digest and comprehend the diversity that this website and Morocco have to offer and start looking beyond the Sahara conflict. You’ve honestly become more of a nuisance and less of a resource.

    Some comments are best left unchallenged. Please, let’s not turn this website to another Morocco/Polisario/Algeria bashing platform.

  20. @Vankaas,
    Miss me yet :)? I will publish a new blog, in due time, just for you. I also noticed that you took me of your twitter followers’ list… several times… notice I didn’t reciprocate 😉


    • @Analitikis
      i would have followed up on the Hespress story you blogged about, you know the RASD flag in Belgium incident. Looking forward to your new blog.
      Did I take you from my tweetlist? Well, maybe once when you tweeted to much about non-Moroccan-Saharawi issues. But you do behave very well lately :-)

  21. Nice entry.

Leave a comment:

You can use the following XHTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.


Swirly cluster