By Abdelmoula El Khdar
By Abdelmoula El Khdar
Morocco World News
Khouribga, Morocco, April 17, 2012
Spring has finally arrived! The weather is cool and almost every living creature is full of energy and actively engaged in some sort of physical activity. The other evening, before the arrival of King Mohamed VI to our town, the spirit of spring seemed to have captured everyone as they were busy doing their job like worker ants. As I gazed at them, I wished that they could always be as committed to their work! But I was certain that these cold hearted public servants, trying desperately to impress the King with their patriotism, will disappear and hibernate, like bears, in their cold offices once the King’s parade was over.
In Morocco, many people use the word “penguin” to refer to what they perceive as cheaters and liars working in local public administrations and city councils. But this characterization is an insult to penguins because they are actually hard working creatures. The disingenuous, lazy and unqualified public servants are in a category of their own. Regarding those in my town, I do not think that it was the spring energy that pushed them to be proactive. They were merely scared of having their incompetence exposed and eventually being laid off.
Spring usually entails natural phenomena like snakes shedding their skins, chameleons changing their colors, trees growing green leaves on their branches, and flowers blooming. But our public servants seem untouched by the marvels and rebirth of spring as they never change their modes of thinking and behavior.
After the king left our “beautiful” towns and “clean” villages, everything went back to the status quo. Flowers fainted, colors faded and the busy life was now history. The hibernation season is in full effect and we’ll have to wait for another royal visit in order to wake up our dormant local officials and ministers. These are the same officials who are only upright and tentative when a mouth-watering and money-making project comes across their desks. They also seem quite alert when they are on travel to overseas conferences where they are supposedly representing the nation when they are only adding to their treasure chests. When traveling to the snowy capitals in the West, these officials continue their hibernation in posh five star-hotels, in elite suites, until the last date of the conference.
They have hired chauffeurs to drive them to fancy and expensive shopping malls because they despise the idea of walking to local shops and negotiating prices. Only the poor and less privileged know about the extremely high prices at our mini super markets! We are used to “Souking”, shopping in local markets where we compare prices, negotiate with vendors and try and save every Dirhams in order to buy a treat for a kid, a small gift for a beloved wife, or other necessities.
After the departure of King Mohamed VI, our towns and villages will be in mourning with somber faces. Birds would desert their nests, lights would go off and their rusty poles would fall on the passers-by. Pedestrians would seek shelter in patched clothes and the only big clock at the heart of the town’s roundabout, where newly married couples reluctantly go resort for memorable pictures, is gone insane and regresses in time…..the king is gone!
Edited by Hicham El Koustaf
El khdar Abdelmoula is a social organizer. He worked on many projects related to citizenship, women marginalization, youth participation in political life and illegal immigration. He is currently teaching English in Ibn Abdoun High School, khouribga. He graduated from Chouaib Doukkaly University of El jadida with a BA in linguistics. He had worked in many middle and high schools before he won the Fulbright scholarship to USA in 2007 to represent the Moroccan culture and teach Arabic at Mississippi Valley State University.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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