Archive for July, 2009
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.
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.
“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.”
When I reflect on the stuckness of Morocco I reflect on two things: the political and economic system, and the mentality of the people.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.