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Archive for July, 2009

Bricolage, Blessing or Curse?

Bricolage in Morocco isn’t the same as improvisation in a developed nation. It isn’t exotic, romantic, or an art form. It may be the sign of an inventive spirit, but more essentially it’s a response to a dysfunctional and even exploitative system.

Islamism and Democracy 2

My friend is a secular leftist who cast his ballot for the PJD, because he sees it as the party most likely to bring democratic change to Morocco.

Islamism and Democracy 1

“Some people claim that to be against Islamism is to be with the Makhzen. Others claim that to be against the Makhzen is to be with the Islamists. But they’re both wrong. There is a third way.”

Why Is Morocco Stuck?

When I reflect on the stuckness of Morocco I reflect on two things: the political and economic system, and the mentality of the people.

Thinking for Yourself

To question the validity of a single idea in the Qur’an or Sunna is like pulling on a thread that could unravel the whole social garment. As a result, while Islam is indeed a vast and rich system allowing for great diversity of expression, the risk of stepping outside it and finding oneself in revolt against all of society is very high.

New Generation

Why hasn’t the state made an example of some of the old-guard officials and well-placed families who profited under the old regime? That would be the best way to put officials on notice that corruption will no longer be tolerated in Morocco.

The Morocco Show

As we watched an open air concert I proposed, “So the rich want to turn Morocco into a show for foreigners to get their money, rather than developing the country in the interests of its people.” My friend replied, “That’s it in a nutshell.”

Nothing Has Changed

Since returning to Morocco after being away for three years, I keep hearing the same message from most of my friends. Nothing has changed, and that means Morocco is slowly sliding into an abyss of futility and defeat.

Travel Update

I have a backlog of photos and stories I’d like to share with you, and I expect to begin updating this space “live from Morocco” within the next few days.

Iran: Let’s Be Clear

We need to be vigilant if we want to understand objectively what is currently happening in Iran, because there is always the possibility of hidden interests that want to manipulate the system to their own private ends.