Moroccans have long and for various reasons emigrated abroad. Some countries now play host to several generations of Moroccan immigrants, and the Moroccan diaspora today is a large population scattered in almost all corners of the world. The Moroccan diaspora is a part of debates of recent years, often taking the side of Islam or the West, and sometimes feeling forced to choose sides. How does the choice affect both the host nation and Morocco? What are Morocco’s and the host nation’s efforts to mitigate the negative aspects, moderate related debates, appease tensions and address social stereotypes? How do Moroccans abroad strike the balance between demands to break away from the culture of their parents and appeals from religious fundamentalists to take refuge in religion and conservatism?
Moroccans often boast about their sense of hospitality and the country often presents itself as a tolerant and welcoming land. But to what extent is this true? Morocco receives millions of tourists each year, welcomes a growing number of expats, students, short-term contractors, and increasingly more would-be immigrants, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa. Many initially intend only to transit through Morocco, but end up settling in its largest cities for various reasons. Moroccan society is, for the first time, facing the problems of integration of this migrant population, and instances of racism and xenophobia are no longer alien to Morocco. At the same time, foreign migrants cannot become citizens of Morocco, and are often left in limbo, able to stay legally in the country only if they can secure a job. How do Moroccans see foreigners who settle in their country? Are fears about the negative influence of this foreign population on Moroccan culture, economy and religion ever justified? Do instances of racism and exclusion of foreigners in Morocco occurred? Should immigration laws be revisited? And what about emigration from the West? Is it beneficial to the country? Are there any justifications for making it virtually impossible for a foreigner to acquire the Moroccan nationality?