Moroccan (R)evolution: “Where Are You Taking Us Brother?”

“Fine Ghadi Biya Khouya?” (Where are you taking us brother?) is a refrain from a popular song, first performed by the Moroccan mythic group Nass El Ghiwane in the early 70′s. At the time repression was such that esoteric art and music were the most visible expression of dissent. Four decades later, the Arab Uprising [...]

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Thursday, July 14th, 2011


“Fine Ghadi Biya Khouya?” (Where are you taking us brother?) is a refrain from a popular song, first performed by the Moroccan mythic group Nass El Ghiwane in the early 70′s. At the time repression was such that esoteric art and music were the most visible expression of dissent. Four decades later, the Arab Uprising has changed the picture completely. Dissent is expressed in the open but the battle remains essentially the same. While Morocco is preparing to vote in a referendum on a controversial draft constitution proposed by the king, we ask you to share your perspective on the challenges ahead for the north African kingdom: Where does the king lead Morocco from here?

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Posted on Thursday, July 14th, 2011

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4 comments on “Moroccan (R)evolution: “Where Are You Taking Us Brother?””

  1. This is my first post on this blog and have only begun to read the material. I have a few comments and please take this as constructive for the purpose of furthering debate.

    I should point out that I am a resident of Marrakech for the last 9 years. I travel the country regularly for my work and I am an owner of a security consultancy company that reports on security issues in Morocco and provides brand protection (searching for counterfeit products all over the country) for companies. I have 15 employees in the field simply recording what happens.

    My view is that the constitutional reform in Morocco was not inspired or is part of the “Arab Spring” and comparing it is a mistake. Since the King took power there has been at least four major upgrades of rights and other changes (family law, HR, etc) and that the only claim is that this particular change perhaps came at most a year earlier.

    Secondly, claims that there is a revolution here is false and the February Movement, like the Islamists are actually fringe but noisy so they get the attention. The Feb movement in fact had “negligable” impact on what events are occuring.

    Reports, particularly in the blogosphere, have been not very accurate and in fact serve their purpose and journalism was not part of it. The demonstrations the days after the Kings’s referendum speech were nothing comparied to the popular and spontaneous demonstrations of support that night.

    I could go on but I think you are getting my point. The bloggosphere is important but there is a huge danger with it. It is not controlled and that is a two-edged sword as there is no method of verification and thus subject to agenda-manipulation.

    It is understandable that the youth of Morocco want a better life, jobs and a future, but they also must participate like their parents in the life of the country to make the changes – that do not come over night but through hard effort. Watching the Arab Spring and chatting on the net can confuse the youth into thinking this is Egypt, Tunisia or even Syria – it is not and nothing like it.

    The real risk to Morocco is the part-political system, not the monarchy or even the handing-over of power but to who the power will be given to. With 35 parties of which most are “personality cults”, the risk of continued corruption and clashes of these personalities is strong and thus the power of good government and good opposition is actually quite significant.

    A last comment. In comparison to its neighbours and in general, life is calm and peaceful in Morocco. With the millions of visitors and the hundreds of thousands of expat residents, the world media often forgets this country because nothing shocking or dangerous happens and thus it is missed and their resources are not present. It is because of this, that the media ends up listening to ex-or-so-called Moroccan journalist/bloggers in California or established in other countries far from Morocco and get the wrong picture (I am not targetting talkmorocco on this point, I do not know it) but I watched their interviews on television and could not laugh at how obviously they do not know “their own people and country”.

    Please do not be offended, this is a basis to discuss. I stand by my comments and am willing to discuss and support open good debate and dialogue, our objective should be the same – to know the reality on the ground.

    DHH
    Marrakech


  2. The modern facade, the Potemkine villages, the extensive media buying and bribing are not fooling the people anymore.
    Highly incompetent head of a state incapable of facing the media, formulating or reading a speech is unacceptable nowadays.
    50% illiteracy rate amongst the population is a willful, deliberate and premeditated crime.
    Morocco deserves better and can be better without these class of inconsiderate rulers and the next level of crumbs eaters as DHH from Marrakech.


  3. I guess such comments are not unexpected – from those that actually neither live nor take part in the country.

    Yes, Morocco has serious issues, mostly economic and middle-level corruption and there is a huge risk with her imature party-political system of 35 mostly personality-based political parties.

    But having said that, Morocco walks over almost – if not every other – Arabic speaking nation in social stability, crime and personal security.

    Unfortunately there are many, almost exclusively either not living here or who think the web is infaluable, that fall for the all-to-often farce of thinking that solutions can be pulled out of a hat and give massive discredit to the real people who put an actual effort in changing things for the better instead of whinging to a captured and self-congratulatory crowd on the net.


  4. DHH,
    you are probably a good paid american in an exlusive residential area of Marakesh when you speak about personal security. You dont live at the biddonvilles in Casa or Fes.

    I am a Moroccan living in the Netherlands and trying to build a business in morocco, so i know quite well whats going on. And please dont do as if you know the best for Morocco. If you like this King and this monarchy take him with you where you live ( USA , france or whatever)


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