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Archive for November, 2006

Hidden Masters

Even in the smallest villages, the cemetery has as its focal point a marabout such as this. Aziz didn’t know the history of this particular saint, but he explained that it is usually someone who lives an ordinary life among the people of the town, who through his wisdom and exceptional character develops a reputation for holiness.

First Impressions

Hurtling through the night streets with a bunch of crazy Arabs in a broken-down car…. Some of us went to the Roman ruins of Lixus after midnight and stayed until dawn, singing, drinking bootleg whisky and discussing the world of jinns…. I’ve stood on a rooftop at night in the heart of the ancient medina, and seen the Kairaouine mosque tower under the moon….

Transparency

The internet is a tool that brings about transparency. And transparency is what is needed to transform a closed and secretive society into an open one. Unfortunately, transparency in Morocco is still in the early stages of development, despite the great strides of the last few years.

“This Exists—Not Here, but Now”

An urban installation by Amnesty International, brilliantly done.

Defending the Blogosphere

Farid of “Le magazine des blogs au Maroc” defends the Moroccan blogosphere, which is apparently under attack from both right (Islamists) and left (socialists). “Moroccan blogs exist, we have seen them and many are of excellent quality! The shortcuts taken by this lazy journalist are regrettable and demonstrate a profound ignorance of blogs.”

Political Paralysis in Morocco

Clandestine immigration, poverty, the political indifference of the young, illiteracy, unemployment, exclusion, marginalization, and so on…the question concerning us here is to what extent Morocco’s political parties are responsible for these consequences, since they are the representatives of the Moroccan people?

No to Borat, Free Kareem

Egyptian blogger SeptiC doesn’t like Borat. He notices a double standard: “It might be interesting to wonder how an American media might react to the inverse situation; that a Muslim actor make a movie in which he plays a stupid, rude, crass, offensive, creepy, clumsy, buffoon of a Jew….”

What Went Wrong?

Kenneth Adelman, one of the Iraq war’s early promoters, speaks out: “There are a lot of lives that are lost. A country’s at stake. A region’s at stake. This is a gigantic situation…. This didn’t have to be managed this bad. It’s just awful.”

Without a Slave

Larache was the home of Jean Genet in his later years, and his spirit is still present in the place. Genet was an orphan and thief and homosexual, a self-taught man of letters and a lifelong champion of the underclass. I can see why he felt at home in Larache. It’s a rough place but very beautiful, a “public woman” as Abdeslam called it….

Voodoo Bush

President Bush has been hypnotized by Henry Kissinger, according to a former senior administration official. “He believes it’s a matter of political will. That’s what Kissinger told him. And he’s going to stick with it.”