By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, June 22, 2012
Anyone can agree that before serving a full year in prison, Rachid Nini had never endorsed the policy that is silence can be louder than words. However in his latest work “The Rest of the Warrior,”–a sort of ‘sequel’ he published in “Al Massae,” on May 28–Nini surprised his loyal readers when he wrote that he would stop writing. He had said this especially because writing no longer proved to serve him well at a time when prison has become the ultimate destiny for outspoken journalists like himself.
To convince the Moroccan public, Nini resorted to quoting to further support his unexpected decision. Yet the quotes and proof on which he based his ‘sequel’–albeit somewhat convincing–are contrary to the principles he once fought for before being jailed.
To look back on his widely read editorials under the name “Chouf tchouf,” his readers can conclude that he wrote critically of journalists and other Moroccan writers who kept their lips sealed and their pens dry in the presence of a corrupt system. Readers can also learn that Nini wrote critically of those who stoically prefer silence to serving time in prison and went on to describe them as traitors and “sheep.” Anyone who has read his previous critical and outspoken articles may be convinced that it is impossible that a day would come when such a man as Nini would decide to stop writing.
Nini’s faithful readers who have truly yearned to welcome him with outstretched arms upon his release find his departure from writing a shame. It is a real disappointment to his loyal readers for the sole reason that he is the man who always fought with his pen and now he no longer fights, but instead rests. Many of his readers must wonder why he is resting instead of writing. In his latest article Nini explained that whoever writes with such fierceness and frankness as he does jeopardizes his freedom, his life, his future and his family.
What about one’s home country, Mr. Nini? This is the only thing that a person might never jeopardize so long as free writers write in favor of its downtrodden masses and against its corrupt leaders. It was Nini himself who made Moroccans avid readers of his column “Shouf tchouf.” (Look and see). Now, it is undeniably necessary for him to reveal the real reasons to excuse his “renunciation.”
In reality, his loyal readership is taken aback by the fact that Nini has brought us all this way towards a Moroccan ‘utopia’ only to say “Goodbye,” and leave us stranded as he disappears into the distance. But, for how long? No one can say but him. Sooner or later his militancy will be forgotten because it had not lasted long enough. It is now time to wonder who is going unveil the hidden reasons behind hiking up fuel prices, behind the beneficiaries of sand and ocean fishing licenses and behind the numerous occurrences of women who give birth while in taxis or on the street.
A number of writers have written, condemning the common occurrences of these situations. Still left is Nini’s response, which could have dug up new unheard-of secrets, some new ulterior motives, and some other shocking and brilliant analogies. But, gone are the golden days! What has become of you, Mr. Nini? Isn’t the fact that your beloved country that is being plagued from all sides hurting your heart? Why do you choose to not give us hope through a critical column from time to time instead of writing every day?
Where have you gone, Mr. Nini? Moroccans are pleading for you to point a finger to the bitter realities that are encountered every day by the downtrodden masses. Moroccans are appealing for you to shed light on these realities in your much-cherished, unique writing. Even those who don’t like you can’t help reading what you write; they too support you at heart.
Instead of quoting Jean Genet and others who hold the same attitude to the value of silence, why didn’t you quote Ernest Hemingway as saying, “Man is not made for defeat; man can be destroyed, but not defeated.” You have been destroyed by the cockroaches in prison. But for God’s sake, don’t admit that you are already defeated.
Edited by Laura Cooper