Posts Tagged ‘Morocco’

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X Islam +18

March 25, 2012

Why Islamic clergies are obsessed by the sexual life of the believers? Why their entire genie is focused on erotic and sexual jurisprudence? Why instead of finding solutions to the daily real problems of Muslims such as health, education and elementary goods prices rise, they would rather compete who will release the most bizarre X Fatwa? Most of us prefer to laugh about these Fatwas and share them on social media with their friends, but after a while I stopped finding it funny and decided to denounce this furry of odd Islamic instructions without reserve because I will not let some sick ‘’Sheikh’’ with a two mitres long beard and a questionable Islamic studies degree tell Me, the standard honourable Muslim, how to live my life!

We all remember the Egyptian Sheikh who asked women to breastfeed their colleagues at work so they will all become ‘’breastfeeding sons’’, and the women can go to work freely starting from that moment! This ignorant religious man, who obviously ignores everything about adult sexuality and psychology, seems not considering that an adult woman giving her breast to an adult man is a sexual act and moreover in all professional ethics around the world it would be a scandal to have such practices in working spaces!

More absurd were the recent Saudi religious statements that women shouldn’t drive cars because driving can make them loose their virginity! Are you serious? I really don’t see the difference between sitting on a comfortable couch and sitting on a car seat, or did the generous Saudi Sheikhs did a special experiment that we don’t know about on car seat and found hidden phalluses who target women while driving. And if true in that case the hidden phalluses must have targeted their manly fat behinds as well!

Another Fatwa was advising that women shouldn’t eat cucumbers or bananas because their shape can suggest a male phallus, which according to the same bizarre Islamic jurisprudence would push women to commit the deadly sin of flesh. I will respond by saying in that case we should stop men from eating peaches, plums and apples or any circular fruits that may suggest a female breast. We can push our sick imagination to the extremes and ban men from smoking Shisha, because of the homosexual act it can imply! If God wanted us to have a special dietary according to our gender, I think he would have said so in the abandon literature he sent us.

The Egyptian Salafi presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Smail, who was a Sheikh in a recent past life, has his own bizarre theories, as he was suggesting few years ago to cover all pharaonic statutes with giant underwear not to show their flesh because, according to him, these monuments were symbols of pagan idolatry. Imagine with me one second what Egypt would be without its mummies and hieroglyphs and how we’ll have to print new postcards of Egypt with the Sphinx wearing a giant dipper!

Morocco is not an exception to this sexual fever, as we have our own parliamentarian, the very emancipated and liberal Sheikh Zamzami, who stood last year for the freedom of masturbation and who was back this year with the brilliant fatwa which says that sex toys are Halal to release the frustration of women! All this in a schizophrenic country where a first sex toy shop was just opened in Casablanca while the sexist law forced the minor Amina Filali to marry her rapist according to the article 475 in order to save her family’s ‘’honour’’!

This obsession of some Islamic clergies by sex as one of the main taboos in our region, enhanced by media and social media where the users would always choose to share the sensational and bizarre news, is a very dangerous phenomena which not only compromises the image of Islam in the world picturing Muslims as sexual animals, but also makes the standard open minded Muslim like myself feel ashamed of these reductionist instructions and want to grow a beard and release a Fatwa to kill all this frustrated Sheikhs!

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It’s Not Your Business If We Kiss His Ass

January 12, 2012

In Egypt and Sudan female circumcision is still widely practised, in Tibet they still cut in pieces the death and throw them to the birds, in east Africa some tribes slice their phallus, in India they still burn widows alive, and in Kuwait men shake noses instead of shaking hands… Yet, no one finds it chocking and everyone says ‘’it’s cultural!’’ to stay politically correct! But when it comes to some Moroccan stupid old fashion general kissing the hand of the crowned prince, no one thinks it’s cultural and many Arabs start criticizing Moroccan internal affairs!

If I’ll meet the crowned prince Moulay El Hassan or even his father Mohamed VI, I don’t think I will kiss their hands, because I only postern to God who created me, but no one will cut my head or put me in prison for that! What other Arabs don’t understand or refuse to admit is that we are different and we have different traditions and histories, even if they cross so often. Therefore, it’s no one’s business what we do with our 12 centuries monarchy, and if some traditional or old school servants of the throne still want to show their allegiance to the royal family by kissing their hands, because they think it’s the way to show respect to the offsprings of prophet Mohamed, it’s up to us to judge them and not to you!

We have a proverb in Morocco that says ‘’wait until you have crossed the river and dried your feet to give advices’’. I will say the same proverb for my Arab readers, who just got out of their revolution and who still have wet feet in the mud of years and years of oppression, but who already became specialists in Arab world’s politics and start giving advices and exporting their experiences to countries which live in an entirely different context. Some of these people come from countries that didn’t exist on the map 50 years ago, others from places where my father is older than their monarchies, and most from countries to which Nasser exported his military socialist model 60 years ago. No need to say that it’s Nasser’s legacy hires who the people are revolting against today in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia etc because apparently the citizens of these countries realised that they prefer a civilian liberal rule rather than a pan-Arabist military one.

Now let’s take the Moroccan example. While Nasser and his clan were mocking our monarchy 60 years ago, we chose another path, a path of gradual democratic transitions, a liberal economy, structural adjustments, strategic partnerships with the West, and a reconciliation process which started long enough to start giving its fruits. Yes Hassan II was a hard father on us. Yes you can call him a dictator in regards to certain decisions he took. But, that clever king saved us historically from 60 years of ‘’ideological adolescence’’ if we had taken the Nasser path like everyone else in the region. And now in less than 15 years we had voted for a leftist government, a right wing government and now we are trying the Islamist model, all without any complex and in a mature transitional democratic process that we are internally very critical about!

I don’t pretend my country is perfect. I know better than anyone that it has its strengths and weaknesses. We have a young movement which is militating for constitutional and economic reforms called the 20th of February, which recently made things advance to the better and created a fresh dynamism in the relations between the castle and the elites. However, I don’t tolerate lesson givers who know nothing about our culture, politics and traditions except from Samira Said and the footballer Hadji, and I have one thing to tell them ‘’None of your business if we want to kiss our monarchy’s hands or asses!’’.

P.S: the video everyone is talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ2pn8_XT2M

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A Letter to My Belly

January 6, 2012

Only one week before your birth, only 7 days before you become an autonomous human being. I am feeling insomniac and stressed like never before. It’s worse than waiting for an exam results, a feedback on an interview or a message from a loved one. This is the countdown for LIFE. So I decided to do what I do best: writing therapy. Yet, it feels much more difficult and serious than writing an article for a newspaper or a note for my blog. This is writing a letter for an unknown being inside my belly, my son.

I remember the day your father proposed to me. I was in Morocco and he was in Egypt in the middle of an apocalyptic demonstration where he was seeing people being shot around him, furious youth chanting, and a smell of spring and hope in the air. No romantic speech, no diamond ring, no leaning on his knees, just a ‘’If I die tonight, the only thing I will regret is not marrying you and if I survive and Mubarak’s regime collapses it will be a sign that everything is possible and that we are meant to be together’’… and I said Yes!

I remember how I felt when one morning one month after our big fat Moroccan wedding; I woke up feeling dizzy and strange as if I sensed an unusual presence in my body. Your father and I went to the doctor all confused, and in the echography screen there was a cell and inside the cell a tiny white blinking spot, ‘’it’s the heart of your baby!’’ said the doctor. From that moment I fell in love with you even before you becoming a proper human being!

There are many things I need to apologize to you for. First for dragging you around in 4 continents for the last 9 months on planes, trains, cars, boats, buses and microbuses. If you choose later to become a hard rock musicians I won’t blame you because I will be responsible for that one! However, you can consider yourself a lucky child who has lots of experience even from within, and you can put on your CV that you met Sheikha Mozah, Ban Ki-Moon, and Erdogan, visited the State Department, the Council of Europe and the NATO, had dinner with Marzouky, Hermes and tata Corinne, smelled Musk, Hash and Tear Gas, and tasted Caviar, Foul, and Couscous…

I also need to apologize to you for violating your intimacy, exposing you on social media and nicknaming you Sardina. Forgive me baby, but my friends and family are all around the globe and the joy of having you is so big that I needed to share it with the world. For the Sardina part, I think no matter what we will name you on formal papers by now everyone know you with your nickname. I even surprised your father one Ramadan night praying God and saying ‘’Please God bless and protect my son Sardina’’, so even up there they know Mr. Sardina Mohamed Awad!

Furthermore, I need to apologize for bring you to the world in such a date, where our region is living a turmoil and everything is uncertain. I know the earth is overcrowded and over polluted with toxic wastes and hatred speech and maybe the fruits won’t taste the same as when I was a kid myself, nor the landscapes will be as green. Yet, I can promise you that there will still be flowers to smell, seashells to collect, books to read and animals to play with.

I will not impose on you my taste, my choices, my religion, nor my political views, because I believe that the clever baby you are already have inside of him the light of the truth. Therefore I will do my best to help you keep that flame alive. In addition, I don’t want to impose on you my Moroccan culture or your father’s Egyptian culture, with all our heritage of chauvinism, guilt, schizophrenia and frustrations. Even if I had the chance and the strong temptation, I didn’t want to give birth to you in the US or Europe for offering you a blue passport, as I don’t want to doom you to a history, an anthropology or a geography. I would like you to be proud of being a fruit of a multicultural love, to have access not only to our two cultures but to all cultures and to choose by your own where your heart belongs to.

Finally baby I am asking you to give me a chance to learn how to be your mother. I confess having no previous experience for this risky job. I have tried my best reading books, singing songs and caressing you while inside my belly, but I know that it takes more than that to be a good mother. You didn’t choose to be my son, while I chose to be your parent. That’s why I am sorry if I don’t meet your expectations, if I am chaotic, idealistic and badly prepared for the adventure of motherhood. All I have to offer for sure in my unconditional and infinite Love. Would you accept it?

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منبت الأحرار، مشرق الأنوار”: رسالة شابة إلى ملكها”

January 3, 2012

 

ملكي العزيز محمد السادس،

أما بعد،

منبت الأحرار، مشرق الأنوار“، هكذا قيل لنا عن وطننا الحبيب المغرب ونحن أطفال. أنا لست من الحمر الباحثين من الربيع في فبراير، ولا من ذوي العمامات الخضر الذين يحجون إلى قبة البرلمان في محرم. أنا الثلاثون مليون الذين يعشقون بلد يتماها فيه الأحمر والأخضر في علم واحد. أنا جيل ولد في السنوات العجاف، سنوات الرصاص والجفاف وإعادة الهيكلة القحطاء الذي يرنو لنسيانها في ربيع يزهر في ظل حكمك.

“بالروح، بالجسد، هب فتاك، لبى نداك” من شباب لا يرضى أن يكون مجرد رقم في مؤشرات التنمية البشرية. أنا شاب لا آبه بقشور الحياة من توظيف مباشر في مسالك الدولة، أو بتطبيب مترف في أحد مستشفياتها، ولا حتى بسكن كريم في مدنها الجديدة. قد أكون قد تماديت في رفع الكلفة بيني وبين جلالتك. أعذر طمعي في عطفك، وقد رأيت من طلقهن الشعب من جنان السياسة قد قصدن بلاطك كحواريين. كيف لا وقد اعتاد الأنذال دق باب الأشراف بحثا عن خرقة تستر عورتهم الوجودية. وكيف لا تنصفني أيها الشريف أنا شعبك وقد قصدتك طالبا القصاص منهم . أنا “في فمي وفي دمي ثار نور ونار” سعيا وراء حقي الدستوري الوحيد الذي لست مستعدا للتخلي عنه: الكرامة.

ملكي، “هيا للعلى سعيا”ǃ لقد دقت درعا بالألاعيب السياسية الخارقة، والنخب المارقة، والصحافة المسيئة، والأحزاب الرديئة. قد أكون أخرقا حينا وعاطفيا أحيانا، لكن “ذكرى كل لسان” لست أنا من خان أباك الذي كان يسير بيني في الأسواق، ولن أخونك أنت الذي ينحني لأراملي ويقبل مشلولي. بل هي الضباع التي استأسدت في عهدك والتي تحوم حول صولجانك مدعية الشباب الأبدي التي من شأنها أن تعض يدا جادت عليها يوما.

نحن شباب نريد أن نمضي بين الشعوب رافعين رؤوسنا نشهد الدنيا، أن هنا نحيا بشعار: الله، الوطن، الملك”.

“عشت في الأوطان، للعلى عنوان”.

شابة مغربية

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The Farmer, The Warrior, The Merchant, The Lazy, & The Whore

August 23, 2011

In another life when I was studying at Al Akhawayn University I had an international relations professor called Dr. Kalpakian who told us once this: ‘’there was once a father who had 4 sons, the elder became a farmer and moved to Morocco, the second became a warrior and settled in Algeria, the third became a merchant and went to Tunisia, and the last one was so lazy that he remained at his father’s house in Libya’’. I remembered this tale now that we are living the time of harvests of the Arab Spring and would like to revisit each brother to see how they’ve been doing!

The Farmer: The farmer spent 12 centuries building his feudal kingdom, alternating periods of oppression and prosperity. Yet, despite the strange rituals he has been imposing on his people like kissing his hand, declaring himself holy by the constitution, or his mania of collecting human snakes, the farmer did a great job in the poor kingdom of Morocco. He inaugurated infrastructures, readjusted the structure of the economy and made the country a small paradise visited by 10 million tourists per year. In addition the Farmer built strong ties with the kingdom of Europa and is trying to reconcile between modernity and tradition which makes the citizens of Morocco looks schizophrenics most of the time!

The Warrior: The Warrior brother was so strong and brave in his youth that he liberated Marseille during WWII and sacrificed 1million martyr during the independence of Algeria from France. But once all great wars ended he found himself with a huge army without a job to do, so he started unnecessary civil war, a war with his brother the farmer and ever a war with Egypt about football! The people of the warrior brother will rise one day against social injustice and will condemn the generals who are stealing the country’s wealth; it’s just not their time yet!

The Merchant: He is the most charismatic of the four brothers. He can sell anything to anyone at any price! He lives in a country which is very open to foreigners and new tendencies and where women enjoy a great deal of freedom. One day a big dragon came to their land and cut the heads of women wearing Hijab and the tongues of men expression their anger, but the Merchant didn’t react because he was wise enough to wait until his offspring are well educated and until the house he was building is strong enough to resist the dragon. One day the brother realised that the dragon was allergic to Jasmines, so he planted so many that the dragon who hated religion escaped to the most religious country in the world!

The Lazy: The lazy brother was feeling misunderstood. It’s not that he is idle; it’s just that he enjoys more the simplicity of Bedouin life under a million stars in the big Sahara desert. One day a Jewish clown came to Libya and convinced its inhabitants to wear green sunglasses to the point that they started seeing everything around them green whereas in reality it was deserted and arid. Inspired by his merchant brother, the lazy decided to fight the evil clown and to die for the land of his ancestors and to clean Libya Zanga Zanga from the green glasses effect. Now on the Lazy deserves to have another name: The Brave!

The Whore: In fact the four brothers had a sister too which they chose to forget about because she was so rebellious. The sister was so charming and beautiful, with her pyramidal humps and her longue generous hair flowing like the Nile River. The sister was so adventurous during her youth that she decided to escape to Egypt and get enrolled in the Army. However, the poor girl didn’t seem to understand what happens to innocent girls in the army! She was raped and imprisoned for 58 years, and worse of all she was prostituted to her Eastern neighbour by the ruling generals to the extent that everyone forgot her real name ‘’Oum Eduniya’’ and started calling her The Whore. Despite her harsh condition the whore managed to fall in love with a Tunisian man who covered her naked body with Jasmine flowers, and so she gave birth secretly to a blessed baby: The Revolution. Unfortunately, we heard that the army generals are looking for the whore’s baby to slaughter him at birth and kill any hope of change!

I think it’s high time for a family reunion for the four brothers and their sister to support each other and learn from their experiences and why not live together in the same big house again!

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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!