By Jalal El Mir
By Jalal El Mir
Morocco World News
Oujda, Morocco, May 1, 2012
The Moroccan culture places much emphasis on the importance of books and the value of reading. Every year, a book fair is organized in Casablanca where hundreds of bookworms around Morocco visit in order to seize the opportunity to buy the latest books published by both Arab and Western authors.
In another instance, all you need to do is to visit the Millennium Bookshop in Rabat to be amazed by the number of booklovers who do not hesitate to visit this famous bookshop looking for all kinds of books related to science, literature, philosophy and education.
Surprisingly, in trying to take the habit of reading to the street, a group of Moroccans fond of reading were inspired by a Turkish “Reading-day” experience.
They decided to do the same thing in Morocco in an attempt to sensitize the Moroccan youth and public opinion about the importance of reading. As a matter of fact, the Moroccan readers’ group has decided to organize, not a “Reading-day,” but a one-hour reading session on Monday, April 23, 2012, in the public garden facing the parliament.
Not surprisingly this time, the authorities chose to stand up against this very positive initiative – not by using civilized means, but by beating up the readers whose only weapons were books in their hands.
Is this how the government deals with the issue of reading in our country? Should they encourage such initiatives? The answers to these questions remain vague and unanswered in such a paradoxical context; since the one and only easier solution for “them” is to use force to separate groupings and “illegal” gatherings that aim at enlightening the newer generation on the value of reading and knowledge.