The Moroccan Monkey

April 6, 2008

Everybody knows the story of the three Japanese Wise Monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil). Well let me tell you the story of a young journalist, who feels like that monkeys. Yet, this Monkey seeks no wisdom. She just feels that her senses are being paralyzed by too much frustration in a Middle Eastern country called Morocco.

I CAN’T SEE. In my country we have only two TV channel, and both are controlled by the state. There are people I don’t like to see, like the characters they show on TV who look like living on another planet. There are people I would like to see, like the political leaders or my municipality civil servants. Unfortunately, these people sit on desks situated in very high towers which my sight can’t reach. And there are things I’m forced to see, like the thousands of doctorate holders protesting in front of the parliament, the poor youth being brain-washed trying to bomb them selves, or many others who venture on the Mediterranean Sea risking their lives to make a living.

I CAN’T HEAR. I’ve grown up in the middle of the Economic crisis of the 1980s and 1990s. We had no music of our own then. We used to listen to music made by other people to other people. I live in a place where we hear rumours all the time, because we are somehow afraid of the truth. Sometimes I hear machines and constructions around. However, even deaf; I can still understand that these houses and infrastructures are not for me, but for wealthy people who can pay for it.

I CAN’T SPEAK. My tongue is chained by three chains called: Religion, Patria, Monarchy. I can shout on strikes, on football games, or on public markets, but what can I have to say if I can’t speak about the main components of my identity, as noted in our constitution: Islam, Morocco, and the King.

The Moroccan Monkey is handicapped in his senses. Still, he has a heart full of hope, honour and ambition. With his heart he can see him self in the mirror of reality, hear the hymn of change and shout loud for glory!



  1. You make some interesting points here.

    I have been living in Marrakesh for about 17 years, and to say that there is no Moroccan music is ridiculous. I have heard Moroccan music on the radio since I came. What I will agree with you about is that there is no GOOD Moroccan music, and I have wondered for a LONG time why this is. All the Moroccan music I hear is extremely boring orchestra music (and I am an accomplished musician), or folkloric, or Gnaoua–NONE of which interest me in the slightest.

    When I first came to Morocco they used to play Algerian Rai on the radio (mixed in with other songs, of course) and I really liked that. Why isn’t there any MODERN Moroccan music coming out of Morocco? All the decent music is coming out of Egypt and Lebanon these days. Why aren’t there any similar Moroccan musicians on the radio? I’m talking about like with electric guitars, but sung in Arabic (I have heard a little Arab hip-hop coming out of Morocco, but I don’t like it any better than the hip-hop of any country.) I just can’t figure this out. What are your thoughts?

    As far as what you see, can’t you get a satellite dish? All the best programs are on MBC 2, MBC 4, and Action, and One TV (all out of Saudi).

    As far as speaking, no comment!

    Madame Monet
    Writing, Painting, Music, and Wine

  2. Dear Madame Monet,
    I never pretended that there is no moroccan music. Yet, I said that my generation which was born in the 80s and the 90s don’t have a music of its own. Howevere, we should all admit that there is a musical revulution gowing on these last years with fusion Music which worked on the folklor and the modern music, like : hoba hoba spirit, Big, H-Kayen, Fnayer, Guenaoua difusion etc

    Regarding the TVs, the point was to be able to see something Moroccan and to enjoy it. but as you mentioned everyone here have a satellite disk and watch non-moroccan programmes which can be dangerous for the identity as long as local media is strong :°(

    I would really enjoy if you write a post on your blog about Moroccan music!!! please do! it’s always very enlightening to have an external view of what’s happening here.


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