Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

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Facebook … Mon Amour

November 14, 2013

There is this special friend in my life that I spend time with at least 1 hour a day. Whenever I open his window, he would ask me gently “what is on my mind?” Or “how am feeling today”. He can be available at any time day and night welcoming my silly comments and anything I feel the urge of sharing. It is more awkward, if I tell you that my husband happen to have the same person as a mistress and so does my father, my brother and 864 people from my family and friends. Our common lover’s name is Facebook!

See, I spend a big deal of time thinking about my relation with Facebook and how does it affect my social life. I concluded that there is very few things in life that I can’t do with my blue and white personal profile. We can gossip, watch videos, play games, remember old memories while viewing old albums, celebrate birthdays, attend events, support causes, discuss politics, read, write, and even Poke people for fun!

In fact Facebook is a reflection of my social life and is ruled by the complexity of my human connections and ties. For example, there are things you keep public and others you keep private. You can show things to some people and hide them from others. There are some pictures which you want to share with your friend but hide from your family, and feelings you can’t put on your status because you care for the feelings of your friends or fear to hurt your colleagues at work.

I totally disagree with people who say “get a life and sign out from social networks” because the best profiles belong to people who actually have A Life, as the more you do things on the real life, the more writings, pictures and stories you have to share and thus you get a more interesting virtual life.

It is true that I’ve had some symptoms of facebook addiction sometimes like when I sat on the morning after my wedding to upload the nearly 200 pictures captured by my friend Corinne. Or when 5 minutes after I delivering with a cesarian I asked for my mobile to announce the birth of my son from the reanimation room. Yet, for a person who lived in different countries of the world and who has friends from over 40 countries what could be better and cheaper to keep in touch other than Facebook! Well, sometimes I cheat on facebook with the new guy called twitter, but that doesn’t count because I made sure they know about the time I spend with the other by synchronizing them.

When I lost a job because an article I published on facebook few years ago, I decided to go Off-Line and reconsider my priorities. Then, I started hearing people around me talk about all sorts of things I was missing like who met who and who said what and that video that went viral and that funny picture about that famous politician… I found myself in less than a month melting out of temptation like a kid in a candy shop. I am still proud of my record of 27 days of abstinence. Another diet on the list!

I should confess that it sometimes scares me to think about data security and confidentiality and about sharing more than what I am supposed to do with a global platform that I do not control. I even get more scared when I think that I have exposed and gave my son a virtual identity that he might not want to have once mature enough to decide for himself. However, I comfort my self by repeating that if someone wants my data there is worse than facebook like satellites, cell phones or my Bawaab (door-man), unless I choose to isolate my self from modern life and live with the Touaregs in the great sahara.

I believe that so far facebook has been a great window of opportunities for me to have a mental image about political views and general trends. I have a very diversified friend list of journalists, activists, artists, family, childhood classmates who range from the extreme right to the extreme left. I also have photo albums, series of statuses, groups, and pages that constitute together my Virtual Capital!

Finally, I wanted to talk with you about what happens to my virtual identity if I die. I take the opportunity to ask you not to put a black and white picture with a black bar on my profile picture and start unfriending me right away, because maybe there is an afterlife for me and Facebook Mon Amour when I leave definitely the physical world…

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I am an X%

July 2, 2011

la Croix.org copyrights

I was never good in mathematics, but when it’s political mathematics I don’t mind trying. So 98,5% of Moroccans voted YES, only 1,51% voted NO, 73% participated, and the other 27% probably boycotted the Referendum, went shopping during the sales at Zara, went bronzing in Dar Bouazza, or are part of the confused X% to which I belong!

What Does It Mean To Be An X%? Well it simply means that you have a monarchist 19 years brother who voted YES, a nationalist father who call you at 8 a.m from Rabat to Alexandria to remind you to go do your national duty of voting, a politically passive aunt who never had any political position but who suddenly decided to vote YES not to let Feb20 movement decide for her, and hundreds of friends in real and virtual life who find every royal discourse holy and every royal gesture so CUTE and worth sharing on social networks. It also means that you have journalist friends whom you trust saying NO, activists you believe in deciding to boycott the vote, and other hundreds of friends who demonstrate in the streets every Sunday since the 20th of February. If you are like me you were feeling torn between the YES and the NO and finally decided not to vote on the first of July, because you prefer letting mathematics being the referee between the YES and the NO!

The Masses Said YES! And the biggest mistake is to think that the masses are not mature enough to decide for themselves. It doesn’t mean that if they were not present on twitter and facebook like you, that they don’t have a voice and an opinion about their country. Also, please stop saying that we are an illiterate country and most didn’t even read the project of the constitution, because this will be underestimating the intelligence of your fellow Moroccans educated and illetrate together, who don’t need to have a degree in constitutional law to know that it is about the redefinition of the three pillars of the Moroccan modern state: Allah (Religion), Al Watan (Territory), Al Malik (Monarchy). Furthermore, this 98,5% shows how much the new Moroccan ‘‘elites’’ are isolated in their virtual world and closed circles of people who look exactly like themselves, to the extent that they really believed for a second that the Moroccan masses will revolt, and this referendum is a reality chock which we should not take with the classical reaction of refusal, but with the maturity of reconsidering our choices and stop talking and media, social media and bars and start listening to the beat of the deep society!

The Cheap Makhzen Propaganda! The fact that I support the decision of the Moroccan people whatever it is, doesn’t mean I support the archaic way the Makhzen managed this referendum. For the NOz all people saying yes were corrupted and manipulated and for the YESz all people saying no are traitors and foreign spies, and these Manichean campaigns went on as July first was approaching. Yet, the Makhzen over abused its mobilisation tools and made us feel that the soul of Idriss el Bassri was there somewhere directing all this, with all the Mkadems, Kayeds, Consular Affairs, Police Forces… ‘’encouraging’’ the people to vote YES. Then you have the eternal magical religious card, with the Sufi brotherhoods hitting the streets and praying the whole night for the Monarchy, and the Imams at the Friday prayers preaching in favour of the constitution. Then comes our almighty king going to vote in his fabulous Djellaba, reminding us of his religious authority and that it’s not time for the modernity of suites and ties in our traditional kingdom of Morocco. All I can say is: Halleluiah and Bravo for the big communication hit!

Back To The Constitution Itself: Personally I don’t think that the constitution was that bad, but we could have done better. First, when you read it you feel that it is a Very Moroccan constitution, written by Moroccans in response to current changes, and has nothing to do with the copy-pasted constitutions we used to have from the French ones. A second positive aspect is that the text constitutionalised all the assets and gains of the past 10 years: women rights, the rights of Moroccans Resident Abroad, human rights, prevalence of international laws over national laws, Advanced Regionalization, Human Development etc. But my personal 5 favourite articles, remains: 1. Unconditional Freedom of Expression, 2. Access to State Information, 3. Communication Privacy Rights, 4. No more Detentions, Tortures or Invasion of homes, 5. Youth Inclusion and Participation as constitutional rights.  So yes the king didn’t give up of much of his military, political or religious powers, but whom do you trust in Morocco to give them to? And imagine with me one moment what we can do with my favourite 5 articles?

So I would like to thank the Moroccan People illiterates and educated for making the choice on behalf of us poor confused X%, to thank the Constitutional Committee who were clever enough not to bother the king and at the same time gave us space to militate from within the system, and to thank Feb20 movement for spicing up the political debate. From my side, if I have to live with this constitution, I promise to abuse every single constitutional right I have, starting with Freedom of Expression!

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Confessions of Ali, a Revolutionary Opportunist

May 27, 2011

Revolutions are made of some few idealistic, committed and honest people and thousands of opportunists who go with the crowd, seize the moment and mobilize a noble fight for their personal sick materialistic or psychological interests. These specimens are often misunderstood and hiding their intentions in the shadows of their dark minds. I will be enjoying today doing the autopsy of Ali, a revolutionary opportunist from the Arab World.

Profile: I am not too tall, not too short, not too handsome, not too ugly, an average guy from an average family, who was average in my studies, my personal life and in my career. I always felt misunderstood and gifted in a way that I cannot explain. Sometimes I feel like killing or making suffer these people who have better girl friends, better cars and better job positions, but I can’t because I am too coward, so I spend my time stabbing them on their backs and gossiping about how life can be unjust with an average citizen like me.

Motivation: Revolutionary winds are shifting powers in the Middle East, this is maybe my chance to shine and become a star. I have no principals except my Marlboro Light and my daily Beer at the bar with my friends over a good Barca match. Ideology? Are you kidding me ? the best ideology is to be against EVERYONE, and EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. It makes me look intellectual and critical in front of innocent girls I want to flirt with during the debates I have in the coffee shop.

Why I do this? Well I find it not fair that Youssef has a BMW where I only have a Renault. I hate the fact that I only get 1000euro per month whereas Asmae gets 5000, and why the hell does amine get to party every night when I just can afford going out twice a week? See how unjust is my country and my society? Yeah and all that health, education and poverty stuff the media talks about!

To say the truth, I was always dreaming about being in some kind of opposition of some kind of issue and being interviewed by some kind of media and telling them some kind of lies that the masses love to hear. Nothing can flatter my ego like receiving admiring phone calls and praising comments on my facebook wall, and maybe even meeting some of that open-minded girls who participate in demonstrations. I heard that they are very flexible about sexual intercourses! That’s what I call a revolution man! And at the end of all this mess I may become a parliamentary member for the party of lemons and bananas or even a minister of Islamic Affairs! God bless the revolution!

Steps to follow: it’s all easy, I have to grow up my hair and my beard, wear a shirt with the face of Che Guevara, a purple Palestinian Kofeya  and go everyday to the bars and coffee shops where the pseudo-intellectuals gather, until they all become my friends, so I start telling them fake adventures about the day I was beaten by the police and the day I did a hunger strike at the ministry of interior. Next step is to create a blog where I insult the king, the army, the police, the media, God and even my mother if it can be useful, without forgetting to update my twitter and facebook account with news and articles and sharing revolutionary statements like: ‘’I will die for my country’’, ‘’we will not fall until the regime falls’’, ‘’with our resistance we will break the chains of injustice’’…

In action: I am not interested in spending the night at the square or in front of the parliament because I cherish too much my body for that, but I convince my band of revolutionaries that I spend the night doing grater missions lobbying for our cause (with my play station) and protecting my neighbourhood from thieves (while sleeping 12 hours every night on a cosy bed). My favourite moments are when I take the microphone at the demonstrations and exteriorise all my frustration. I truly get my inspiration and anger from the memory of Youssef stealing my lollypop at first grade. That traumatised me for the rest of my life. I also enjoy speaking to lost foreign media reporters I meet in the square, to whom I introduce myself as the leader of the leaders of the revolution and an expert of social media and political analyst and journalist and human rights activists and representative of the cats and dogs initiative for the freedom of donkeys and ponies. I always explain to them ‘’how much the situation is complicated and the inequality is prevailing and that the youth of this country are ready to die for liberation because all of them have lost their lollypops with a tyrant dictator’’.

Look around you and tell me how many of Ali you can see in your direct surroundings nowadays. How many people just became revolutionaries just two days ago, without cleaning the street, educating their children on democratic ideals, helping the poor, planting a rose or spreading hope? Remember that Kaddafi, Mubarak, Ali Abdallah Saleh or Ben Ali were all of them one day revolutionary opportunists like my Ali!

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Revolution Made in Morocco

February 21, 2011

I am someone who is pro Feb20 movement, who thinks my country deserves dignity and real structural reforms and that it is a real revolution to see the Moroccan youth reinvesting the political sphere. Yet, it is very important at this level to do some self-criticism and to give some explanations about the standard Moroccan attitude in politics, life and in demonstrations. You may consider this an auto-flagellation of a Moroccan young person who dreams of change.

Enjoy the Moroccan 20 wonders:

1 – In other countries people set themselves on fire if angry, in Morocco we set other people on fire

2 – In other countries police oppress the citizens,  in Morocco citizens oppress the police

3 – 30.000 people want to change the constitution, 30 million Moroccan never read the constitution

4 – in other countries the leaders of demonstrators get kidnapped and beaten, in morocco we took Rachid Spirit Zata to a 5 stars hotel and bought him a new shirt to meet foreign Media

‎5 – in other countries when they finish the demonstrations they camp in the square, in Morocco we go to a bar for the after party

6 – in other countries they form a human chain to protect the goods, in Morocco we formed a human chain so thugs can steal freely the goods from Zara and Guess

7 – in other countries the enemy is the police or the army, in Morocco the enemy in Mr. Ronald Mc Donald

‎8 – in other countries the national media didn’t cover the events, in Morocco the national media covered everything as if it was a football match of the national team and they even invited bloggers, sportsmen and singers to react

9 – in other countries the regime pays thugs and mercenaries to destroy the country, in Morocco the thugs volunteer to destroy and even pay for their own transportation fees from their countryside

10 – in other countries they demonstrate because they couldn’t find a job, in Morocco we demonstrate because we don’t want to pass the entrance exam of the jobs the state offers us

11- in other countries they hate the political parties so they fire them, in Morocco we hate the political parties so we want to take the executive power from the king and give it to them

12 – in other countries people go vote and the results are falsified,  in Morocco we don’t go vote the results are not falsified but we still contest them just because we don’t like them

13 – in other countries the authorities use water cannons to calm down the crowd, in Morocco God sent us the rains to calm us down

14 – in other countries the authorities deny the existence of any conflict, in Morocco the authorities used facebook, twitter, press conferences and meetings with the demonstrators but we still can’t understand each other

15 – in other countries parliament members don’t participate in demonstrations, in Morocco some parliament members participate in demonstrations Sunday but don’t go to their office Monday

16 – in other countries they are calling for investigating the human right crimes and to engage in human development, in Morocco it has been 12 years that we are doing reconciliation and human development  but no one seems to be seeing it

17 – in other countries the freedom of press is oppressed and they call for more openness, in Morocco some journalists are unethical and still call for their right to practice defamation against public figures freely

18 – in other countries they demonstrate and then clean up the streets from the mess, in Morocco they demonstrate and make it even more messy on purpose to give more job to the street cleaners

19 – in other countries they don’t let foreign media cover the events, in Morocco foreign media don’t have anything sensational to cover so they invent fake news and footage

20 – in other countries there is quite a unanimity about the desire to withdraw the regime, in Morocco without referendum, unanimity or elections, 30.000 decided on behalf of 30 million that Morocco should be a secular parliamentary monarchy, and still call themselves democrats !

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A Picture of Mohamed, Ahmed, Hosni, Hassan or Hussein

January 26, 2011

Black and White Picture:

When you were born in the late 70s and early 80s there was a black and white picture hang in the birth registration office. The picture represents a thin man with a military suite. That man’s name is n. He claims that he united the country, that he has beaten the enemy, that he will reform all the legislative and executive powers of the state, and that he is your hero.

Sepia Picture:

You start going to school and there is a sepia picture of Mohamed, Ahmed, Hosni, Hassan or Hussein, but this time he is wearing a modern suite and Rayban glasses. He became friend with the so called ‘’enemy’’, he ‘’united’’ the country around values of corruption, dependency and fraud, he did many reforms at the legislative and executive powers of the state to allow his family member, military friends and foreign investors to dominate the politics and the economy, and to allow himself to remain in his golden chair for long time, and he is still claiming himself your ‘’hero’’.

Coloured Picture:

Things get hard for you, you live your first love stories and have the features of a real woman/man by now and you go to the university. In the conference hall there is a well situated picture of Mohamed, Ahmed, Hosni, Hassan or Hussein. The picture is in colours, but he seems getting fat while the shopping purse of your family is getting small. Your former enemy is now called the potential investor and tourist, the country is very united except when there are ethnic, religious, ideological or tribal tensions, which happens more and more often. Reforms are doing ‘’great’’, the telecommunications, water, electricity, tobacco, gaz, cement, and even sewage and your wastes are privatized to foreign companies. You start looking in history, philosophy books, and Indian movies and even in football player for someone you can call a hero.

Photoshoped Picture:

Maturity is not easy to face when you have a miserable job which destroys your self esteem every day, when you start avoiding your girl friend’s questions because you have empty pockets and a heart full of dreams that will not satisfy you daily needs as a couple. You walk in the streets thinking about a solution, and on the corner there is a banner with a huge picture of Mohamed, Ahmed, Hosni, Hassan or Hussein. The picture is photoshoped in order to reduce his belly and to give a lifting to his old face. You examine yourself with your hand, and you start thinking that you would use of some photoshop magical touches too. You receive a notification on your Gmail from your Facebook on your Blackberry about a demonstration. You change your Profile picture, push the Like button, update your status and send a message to your friends on BBM. After all, he is maybe a real hero. We are having a pretty good life! Why we always compare ourselves to other countries? We are a Special case!

Burned Picture:

You roll a join of hash or go to the mosque to reach a status of peace and forget that your girlfriend married an engineer in Kuwait, that your parents are getting old and tired, that Mody the son-in-law of the manager got the promotion you were dreaming of,. In the street there is a growing noise of young people like you shouting. You follow the voice and found a burned picture of Mohamed, Ahmed, Hosni, Hassan or Hussein. The demonstrations are calling for real reforms for withdrawing the man in the picture and for some dignity for people like you and me. You belong to a generation that never thought revolutions really exist, that they are just old people’s tales, that you will live and die and leave Mohamed, Ahmed, Hosni, Hassan or Hussein as a heritage for your kids. Well, in the name of all this generation who has been digging and digging with our broken fingers, scratching and scratching with our weakened pens, kicking and kicking with our tired legs… now we can see some light at the end of the tunnel and the Hero who made it happen can be called YOU if you help us digging!

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Jasmine for Egypt “مسائك فل يا مصر”

January 17, 2011

I prepared a tea with jasmine to celebrate the Tunisian revolution, and I sat in front of my notebook to do my morning tour on facebook. The red of the Tunisian flag masked the blue of the social network, and the videos and caricatures of ‘’Zin El Haribiin’’ – as the online community call him – covered the pages of most of Arab users. Yet, what I would like to share with you here are the facebook statuses and their trends from one country to another with a special focus on the country of my heart: Egypt.

Self-Immolation – burning one’s body with fire- is not like burning a DVD on a computer. It is a holy act symbolising purification by fire in ancient religions which became on the 60s a Bonzo Buddhist way of protestation against oppression, and on the 80s and 90s a signature of the PPK ‘’Kurdish Workers Party’’ to attract the attention of the world. However, we are witnessing a unique rise of this phenomenon in the Arab world. First the Tuk-Tuk  suicides in Egypt and now a graduated Tunisian who burned himself and started a revolution on the streets and on the internet. The story of this hero chocked the Arab facebook population, and produced a flow of comments and statuses. 

It is not surprising how the Egyptian humor took over the guilt and the shame of not doing a revolution of their own. I saw somewhere that the more oppressed are the people; the more their humor is strong and creative as a way to exteriorize the pressure they undergo. The jokes talked the Ben Ali escape, the comparison with Egypt, the Arab leadership with a sparkle of Adil Emam and Advertisement quotes which only Egyptians can understand, like : ‘’Tunisia chose change, and Egypt chose Shipsy with shrimps’’! Well I allow myself to criticise the Egyptian reaction, because I left my heart in Alexandria and I feel real concern and love for this country. I was laughing with amusement at first while reading the comments, but later I felt the bitterness of disgust in my through and the tears filling my eyes. I started repeating to myself, here they go again laughing about it instead of taking action. Here they go again spending all their energy in longue articles, analysis and poems instead of standing up for justice! 

We all know Tunisia is not Egypt, not anthropologically, not geopolitically and not politically! The foreign powers sat on their shares watching the former Tunisian Regime collapsing without a move because they have pragmatically no interest in the land of the Cathagians except from some mild investments here and there. Yet, Egypt is the neighbour of a boiling Sudan in the south, and You Know Who in the east, and all the super powers invested so much in the stability of the region to risk it like this. Without getting into the details of the nature of the Egyptian elites, the problematic of the army or the heterogeneity of the dominating ideologies in the country, let’s just admit that Egypt is ready for its revolution to the extent that we hear the countdown tic-tac of the bomb in the air, but not in the Tunisian way in the Egyptian way which unfortunately will be bloody and spectacular enough for a 80 million inhabitant and a 5 millennia of history. 

For the Moroccan facebook population we can note three trends. The first one is the total support and happiness of Moroccans for the second liberation of Tunisia after 1956. However, most people on my list didn’t express any envy or desire to import the revolution to their kingdom. The second trend is the minority of intellectuals who had a really out of context discourse about having a Moroccan Revolution! What is amazing about this second trend is that the revolutionary fever took the people to the extent that sounded like being in Burma not in Morocco, and being just angry in general without précising what is the real subject or object of their anger! The third trend is the most intriguing for me, as some Moroccans were promoting for an Algerian Revolution against the army in the country. I wonder is it out of solidarity between neighbors, or a hidden hope to see the supporters of the Polisario on their knees. 

Regarding our friends from the Gulf countries, I didn’t notice much concern about what happened as if Tunisia was a small island next to Madagascar far from the minds and hearts. The few comments I saw were from a religious point of view, explaining how Ben Ali was banning Hijab and religious symbols and how the Tunisian believers are liberated now on. Watch this discourse, because it is from this part of the Arab body that the capitals come from!

Finally, the heroes of the day: the Tunisians! If they didn’t call the revolution the Jasmine Revolution, I would call it the Internet Revolution. Tunisians were acting as live reporters from their street corners reporting to the world the bloody confrontations with the Police. We witnessed a high quality of information, up-to-date news and sense of patriotism from the people living in Tunisia and the Diaspora living abroad. While the Tunisian national TV was broadcasting documentaries about zebras and crocodiles, the average Tunisian was shouting online his glory to the world. 

At the end I would love to offer a necklace of Jasmine to Egypt on the 25th of January. One of those ‘’Ful’’ ornaments sold by young gipsy girls on the cornice to busy drivers stuck in the jam of life who forget how frail is a jasmine flower and how refreshing is its smell, just like the smell of freedom. Massa’k Ful ya Masr!