By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, May 19, 2012
Like Moroccans who have evinced the same longing for the opening of the borders, Algerians dream about opening the borders between their home country and Morocco so as to strengthen the relations between the two countries. Throughout history, the latter shared the same colonizer, the same religion, nearly the same language, and the same historical struggle against French rule. Yet, Algerians have doubts over the recent parliamentary elections for fear that the current distressing situation between the two countries will remain unaltered for the coming years.
On a yearly basis, Fatima, an Algerian national, travels to Essaadia city (near the Mediterranean Sea and at the Moroccan-Algierian border) to pay her relatives a visit there. For her, as an Algerian official in the Algerian government, she finds it challenging to continuously travel to Morocco for fear of being suspected of smuggling people across the borders.
“Morocco is a wonderful country; we love it so much. I come to it every year to visit and stay with my sister in-law on the outskirts of Essadia city,” she says. The plane fare to move from Algeria to Morocco ranges from 2800 to 4000 MAD ($550). Fatima’s children know their aunt and their cousins only by sight through photos. Sometimes, they talk to each other on the phone. But they have never been able to see each other face to face for the main reason that the price to travel to Morocco is incredibly high.
Algerian citizens are suffering incessantly, because they miss their blood and flesh relatives in Morocco. For Algerians, the thought of living far from their relatives in Morocco is unbearable. On top of that, there are many Moroccans of Algerian origin who have passed away without their Algerian families attending their funeral.
Sometimes, some Algerian families in Morocco celebrate the wedding of one of their family members, and rarely are their Algerian relatives living in Algeria able to come to Morocco to attend and celebrate the wedding. It is a real pity, particularly that the two countries live side by side.
Other Algerians in Morocco diagnosed with a serious disease have no relative by their bed to look after them and ask about how life is treating them, not because they have no family in Algeria, but because their family finds it hard to visit them, due to the high cost of traveling.
According to Fatima, there used to be an Algerian living in Ouajda (15 kilometers west of Algeria and about 60 kilometers south of the Mediterranean Sea) for many years, and towards his late adult life, he was diagnosed with a chronic disease which rendered him bed-ridden instantly. His daughter, who lives in Algeria, was unable to see her suffering father, simply because she didn’t have enough money to come to Morocco. She only contented herself with giving her miserable father a call from time to time.
On the other hand, there are many other Algerians who have no family in Morocco but whose ambition is only to go sightseeing and visit Morocco for pleasure. Mohamed, a regular Algerian tourist to Morocco, thinks that it is high time the borders between Morocco and his home country were opened, especially that the characteristics that unite the two Muslim countries outnumber those that divide them. Mohamed thinks that political matters are nothing compared to the debatable and thorny issue in question.
Mohamed stresses many advantages in opening the borders. Among them are strengthening the commercial exchanges between the two countries at a time when the world is going through an economic crisis, and strengthening the tourism sector, which would, in turn, boost the economy of both countries.
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved.