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I am a Prostitute, a Witch, a Drug Addict, a Zionist

August 29, 2010

Today I woke up with a BBC Tweet that says “Arab Drama continue to depict a negative image of Moroccan women during Ramadan series”. I am not surprised by this attitude as I have been facing it since I started travelling in the Middle East many years ago, but this time I decided to do a small test. I took my phone and call randomly 10 different Arab friends from different countries to ask one simple question: 

Friend N˚1 Egypt: “You know in Alexandria we love Hash and everyone knows that the Moroccan Hash is the best. I always dream to go to Morocco to try it firsthand, and off course you have very very beautiful liberal girls (very liberal in Egypt mean Prostitute)”

Friend N˚2 Jordan: “You are very famous with the Couscous, the belly dancers, and you have a king like us but you kiss his hand!”

Friend N˚3 Syria: “Morocco is known for Magic craft, they say you have the best sheikhs ever who can solve anything. You have nice jewelry and lots of problems with the poor people of the Western Sahara”

Friend N˚4 Saudi Arabia: “You should educate your girls, they are all, I am sorry to say that, acting against God and against Islam and many of them are prostitutes. But I am fun of your traditional cloths and of your skills in Magic. How do you do that? Do you get any special education on Magic Craft?”

Friend N˚5 Palestine: “You sent us many Jews and frankly speaking and don’t take it personally, you are a country which support Zionism and you stand against the right of people to determine their fate in Western Sahara”

And it went on and on and on…

Nothing surprising about the reactions I received especially that I chose people who don’t know me very well and who ignore that I can get very irritated about the image of my country when it comes to exaggerated stereotypes. The truth is that I tried to stay very diplomatic all this years while explaining how much Morocco is an amazing country and that what they talk about are cultural aspects  of the Moroccan identity blablablabla. Today I decide not to be diplomatic anymore and to respond to what they accuse us of: 

I am a Prostitute

From my boyfriend who thinks I am constantly cheating on him, to all the taxi drivers who sexually harass me when they know I am Moroccan, to the police men in Jordan airport who refused that I enter the country because Morrocan females under 34 are considered public danger, to the men who come at night nock on my hotel door during civil society events hoping that I will open with a red underwear and invite them to come in. I say wake up and see the reality! 

Moroccan women are more honorable than many oriental manipulative little girls who practice superficial sex, anal sex to preserve their virginity and bay a Chinese spear virginity in case they lose it, and still they will act like virgin Mary “Achraf mini Echaraf Mafiich”. At least we are honest, we assume our bodies. If we choose to be virgin until marriage it is a free choice and if we choose to lose it we don’t find ourselves a corrupted gynecologist to sew it. We don’t hide behind tiny veils and wear the “Spanish” hijjab with a mini skirt, tight leggings and 5 kilos of makeup. When we choose to wear the veil it is in general by conviction and decent, and when we choose to show our golden bodies we show them proudly as a master piece.

Many people who make all this fuzz about Moroccan prostitutes, never met a Moroccan girl before in their lives and when they do they die out of frustration to date her of marry her. I toured very well in the Arab region to say that every country have its prostitutes and some countries even have neighborhoods full of prostitutes mostly local ones, not to mention the famous 5 km Al Haram Street with all the beautiful belly dancing shops.

I don’t want to be vulgar or to hurt anyone. I know that most Arab women in all Arab country are very brave, proud, beautiful, respectful mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. As I personally met many Moroccan prostitutes in the planes to Gulf countries seeking for jobs. So this is just warning to think about the stereotypes you have about us, and after all there are 17 million Moroccan women in the world, do you know them all?

I am a Witch

Not mentioning that no one in my family or direct friends in Morocco believe even in Magic Craft. I just want to say that most probably the people I meet in the Arab world know much more about the subject than my whole town. I have been asked many times by colleagues, friends and even by my hair dresser to bring them strange staff that I don’t know even how to pronounce!

During my whole international career, I heard rumors about me that I made a special spell on my boss to get promoted, that I wear a special magical square to attract men, and that I read a special prayer to make people obey me! The reality is that I have been bleeding without reason for two years, have been unlucky in love, and jumping from one job to another without reason… so if I know the way to cure all this I would have done it longue time ago, and even if I know it I will not because of my faith in God and in the fact that certain boundaries should not be crossed in metaphysics.

We do have schools to teach Magic Craft supported by the state like “Sidi Zouin”, we do have saints that are known to control humans and djins like “Bouya Omar”, we are still a land where miraculous healings happen and where people are very superstitious. Yet, this is nothing but the traces of the paganistic believes and Jewish mysticism before Islam. Magical symbols are living with us in our carpets, jewelry and furniture like in any important civilization. As the Egyptians are proud of their pyramids and hieroglyphs (which are magical by the way), we as well we try to keep some of our heritage alive.

I am a Drug Addict

No one can deny that Moroccan Hash is the best from the US to the Nederland and from Alexandria to Istanbul, nor that we are a mass producing country of this strong hallucinogen, but this doesn’t mean that we consume it with our mothers’ milk since birth, and that it is available everywhere on the closest Carrefour supermarket. 

What people ignore is that we are far more open minded about consuming alcohol than about consuming Hash, except from in some town in the north where the Chira Plant that produces Hashish is more or an ancestral agriculture like any other. 

My grandfather is 67 years old and he used to work in the police and he told me that he never saw hash in his life until 1976 when they arrested some drug dealers. At the same time in secondary school I saw myself some of my classmates eating a chocolate mixed with Hash called “Lma3joun”, but this doesn’t make it socially accepted or a normal product to use in everyday’s life.

I am Zionist

Yes we used to be a Jewish kingdom under Al Kahina until the arrival of Islam, Yes we had an important Ashkenazi and Sephardim Jews, Yes 20% of Israel’s Jews are Moroccans, but what does that really mean? All Arab countries had a Jewish community, people who were born and grow up in that country and didn’t knew any other until they chose to leave or were kicked out like dirty pigs. And just for your information out of 30 millions of the Moroccan population there is only 10.000 Moroccan Jews left. And we are very proud of our compatriots from the Jewish confession like other Arab countries are proud of their Christian compatriots (which we don’t have by the way).

A big confusion between being Jewish and being Zionist exist in the mind of Arabs with a sparkle of conspiration theory. Even if Moroccan Jews who choose to stay in Morocco are all against Zionism and many of them in official meetings declare supporting the Palestinian cause.

What is even more choking about this is the fact that we are labeled of a betrayal we didn’t even participate in! We don’t even have diplomatic relations with Israel, not like many Arab states who have Embassies and military and diplomatic representation. Most of the people in Egypt for example ignore that the fruits they are eating this Ramadan is made in Israel and the flowers they are offering on Valentine’s day are made in Israel.

I know we are geographically very far (it takes me halve ½ hour to go to Spain and 5 hours to come to Cairo), we are also emotionally far as I care more about the elections in France than I care about the successor of Hosni Mubarak, but still we have common history, common language. We watch your series during Iftar and you eat our couscous with sugar during Suhur. So why don’t we concentrate on the common and confess that we both were wrong. You didn’t make an effort to understand our culture, and we were too busy to impress the west that we forgot our Arab soul.

19 comments

  1. HAT TIP & RESPECT!
    Look like our diplomay isn’t working enough to change the image of Morocco. It’s time to change!


  2. Bravo, excellent !


  3. Bravo


  4. Dear Sarah ,

    nice article . i wont oppose you . there is wrong conceptions here and there . we have to work on it . only if we respect ourselves and we want to do what is true .only if we look to ” our ” history and looking after ” our ” future .

    PS : your boy friend thinks that you are cheating on him not because you are Moroccan , but for other reason😛


  5. Dernièrement, Le Maroc est devenu cible d’une grande anti-propagande (touchant le Tourisme, Education, Civilsation, etc…) qui mettrait la puce à l’oreille et pousserait à chercher qui en bénéficierait en retour!!

    La plupart des propos stigmatisant notre culture, notre peuple viennent de personnes ne nous connaissant que via d’autres propos échangés à tort et à travers, comme vous avancez.

    L’image véhiculée, certes n’est pas à 100% fausse, mais ne désignerait qu’une minorité dont on se donne le droit de généraliser et juger. A chaque société ses vices et ses points noirs!! Arrêtons alors les clichés!


  6. Bravo pour ce billet !
    Quand j’ai vu ces bêtises et sotises qui circulent sur les Marocaines j’ai eu cette phrase en tête lahla yehyihom wala yemenihom wala yewssel yedihom lrgelihom…
    Et comme on dit que celui qui n’a jamais pêché me jette la première pierre… (elli dare mene zaje mayderbech nass b’lhejere).
    C’est aux autorités marocaines de jouer leurs rôles.


  7. For the drug addict , the hash isn’t a strong hallucinogen , it called around the world :”Drug Soft” or “La Drogue douce” !!!
    Generaly , thanks for this nice words !!


  8. […] blogger Sarah (Words for Change) responds to the ban in a post she titles “I am a Prostitute, a Witch, a Drug Addict, a […]


  9. You need to get new friends! If you called me I would’ve told you this:
    I have visited Morocco and only saw what pleased me. I have traveled to many Arab countries and I can honestly say that the Moroccans I’ve met during my visit were very honorable, friendly, hospitable, polite and NOTHING like I expected an Arab country to be. I don’t blame you for being annoyed.


  10. Good post! (despite not agreeing with some parts – esp. Egypt parts of course🙂 )

    BUT…

    I can tell you — without any doubt — that when I think of Morocco, the first image that comes to mind is most definitely artistic structures and beautiful architecture!

    PS: Have no idea about “fruits from israel,” but I researched flowers, and realized you may be talking about this:
    “Israel approves Gaza’s first export in a year: flowers for Valentine’s Day”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/4605186/Israel-approves-Gazas-first-export-in-a-year-flowers-for-Valentines-Day.html


  11. I’m a moroccan bitch,And i’m so proud of it! I went to mixed schools,i studied a “boyish” carreer,Engineering and i have a wonderful job,i work with amazing HUMAN BEING.
    Leading with all those bitchy things,i had time to have boyfriends and experiment wonderful sensations with my body.
    They talk about racism in Western countries,What about how they treat people from Phillipine,India,Pakistan…?
    PS:I hate seeing people from Saudi Arabia walking down the morroccan streets dressed in a “western way” Just an ADVISE FOR SAUDI GUYS:you have to learn how to walk with pants i know that you’re not use to wear it…


  12. I am pure Moroccan, AND BERBER like 78% of Moroccans, (you said our Arab soul???) I am not Arab.
    and I don’t want to have or even think about Arab souls, We are muslims yes! and proud, But Arab, not and I don’t think that being Arab is a thing to be proud of.
    We live in Morocco like we want, this is our life style, the arabs, have nothing to tell us apart to kiss the USA bottom and shut up.


  13. ARABS!
    lessen to me <> why are you criticizing us?>>
    we never criticized your shitty way of living, or clothing or thinking nor eating (like pigs by the way)
    why you criticize my country? the only country that stood up against turkey empire, and obliged it to sign a peace treaty, when ruled you like animals.
    what is this some king of inferiority complex?
    you have just to have a look to Moroccans facial physiognomy, (I AM SORRY BUT THEY DON’T LOOKS ARABS)


  14. very good post sister x).

    to begin the conflict between Arabs and Berber is not very important because the fact is we are all Moroccan and proud of it.

    for the stereotype, i think its normal that middle east people don’t like us, we have a rich culture, we have beautiful women, beautiful traditional cloths and architecture and a beautiful nature unlike them.

    for prostitution i think that every country has prostitution like it or not,and if the middle east women were taking care of their men, loving them and being interesting,it wouldn’t be the same.the fact is those men’s are not seeking for prostitutes but for REAL WOMEN.
    in an economic view i m not against it. because if they weren’t a local demand, we wouldn’t have seen this.by the way why don’t we speak about Asiatic prostitute ?

    for supporting Jews, its a false polemic because Moroccan people are very interest in Palestine, but the government have nothing to gain to support you guys, unlike European, American countries who help us to build our country and to develop it, and i personally not ashamed to say that i don’t care about this (over-mediatised) problem because its geographically far away from me.and why won’t we speak about the Egyptian government which is supporting Israel, or the Turkish who are the American base in the region–‘.

    for the drug, its a stereotype and nothing else, morocco is a big producer of this THING but Moroccan people don’t consume it, we are not even a big consumer of tobacco unlike a lot of Arab countries which by the way is a pro-American product.

    to finish i have to say that i don’t want to irritate people in this post, because its normal to defend the image of my country which is very important to me.
    and by the way our king is better than all of your president an king x), because he is much more aware of the situation and knows how to stay from polemics that leads nowhere.
    only a Moroccan youth who love his country.


  15. Awesome post, I like it… contains many of the undeserved stereotypes that anger me when I hear them… and I hear them too many times


  16. No,you are not. No you are not.

    It really hurts, and certianly falls under the category of a sin called (alqathf) which is acusing people of committing adultry or of being adultrer,adultress, or a whore without evidence and is punishable under (Sharia) law with 80 lashes, and they should provide at least one scape goat to take these lashes, with a big apology to all moroccan specially the ladies who are our sisters and our(Irdh)honor. Morrocans are the crowns on our head, and when someone point to them with one figer all the remaing fingers point to them and tell them that they are worse for having said that.


  17. Dear Sarah

    I always reads your article.. I found you a great journalist.

    I’m from Saudi Arabia and I never visited morocco but I think it’s a great country ..

    Even though, i cannot say to my family that I’m planning to travel to morocco because I’m sure that they will think that I’m looking for prostitution ..

    I think that there is a big culturic gap between the east and west of the Arab world.

    I don’t know how to do anything to solve it.

    Abdullateef yousef


  18. marhaban,
    nous vous présentons la première sociale bookmarking pour les sites web et webblogs marocain. Nous également heureux de voir votre blog sur http://www.maroc-ads.com
    beslama


  19. I really like your website.



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