Morocco World News
Washington D.C, June 28, 2012
The importance of the notion of respect in dialogue cannot be overstated. It is not only an intrinsic Moroccan value, but it is also what is called a basic human need in the fields of psychology and conflict resolution. Basic human needs can be tangible, like food and shelter, or they can be intangible, like respect and recognition.
Moroccan culture places a particularly high emphasis on respect—respect for parents, respect for those older than us who may have knowledge that we do not, respect for peers, and respect for the experiences of others. One common tradition in Morocco is to kiss our parents hands on both sides, to show respect. In the past, we were expected to do so even with aunts and uncles.
In creating a platform for dialogue, Morocco World News embodies the Moroccan value and notion of respect, and invites its readers to do the same—by respecting diverse views on difficult issues, and by working with us to foster inclusion and a sense of community.
We call Morocco World News a platform for dialogue, because it allows for a multitude of viewpoints and voices to be heard on a wide array of issues, some of which are complex and contentious. We allow and encourage writers to reinforce points made in articles that they agree with, and to respond, with respect, to articles that they disagree with. We encourage debate on ideas and opinions, and in the spirit of positive dialogue, we strongly discourage personal attacks on individuals who have taken their time to write and share their opinions with a public audience. We ask our community to adhere to a code of respect—to adhere to a value that we hold so dear in Moroccan culture.
As a Moroccan living abroad, I have found that our greatest strength is in the way we encourage and support one another. We have received encouragement and support both from our Moroccan readers, and from other readers around the world. Here are just a few of the hundreds of messages we have received:
“MWN’s appearance in Morocco has added a new impetus to the journalistic scene, especially for English speaking audience. It helps many voices to be heard; it brings together divergent opinions and gives way to lot of young talents to be discovered. Moreover, many issues, considered to be taboo, have been brought to the front and widely discussed. It also managed in a brief period of time to gather a huge number of English readers and to be one of Morocco’s widely read websites.” -Jawad Maniani, Rabat, Morocco
“I’ve been a reader of MWN for about a year. I’ve found it to be a refreshing view of the news absent of the bias and polarization of many ‘mainstream’ media outlets. I have also found that MWN sheds light on issues that most ‘western’ outlets don’t or won’t cover and get other perspectives without the confrontational undertones. Although MWN is experiencing some growing pains I plan to stick by MWN and its reporting.” -Steve Wilson, California, USA
“Morocco World News plays an important role for the 4.5 million Moroccans living outside the country by bringing them the home news in English. Through its daily updates, it makes them aware of the news that matter to them and push them to be involved in the political process of their country. Morocco World News is wise to tap into the Moroccan community around the world, because it is a political and economic force with experience and resources, whose influence can bring real change and hope to Morocco.”- Ed Talby, Nevada, USA
Morocco World News takes this opportunity to thank you, our readers, contributors, and community for supporting our growth by being a part of it, and for having patience as our small staff works with great energy and tenacity. MWN now has over 12,500 “likes” on Facebook, and we are more proud than ever to know that we are helping to meet the needs of the Moroccan community, by bringing attention both to taboo issues that are underreported, as well as to the successes and contributions of Moroccans around the world.
Our virtual doors opened just over one year ago, and we re-extend our invitation to you, into a space where you can engage with one another, while adhering to the value of respect, which every human being deserves, and which is so important in Moroccan tradition. We strongly believe that respectful dialogue is the only way we can move forward in educating one another and taking collective action to address and meet the challenges and opportunities we are facing at home and abroad.
Morocco World News is here out of great love for our country, Morocco, and out of great respect for the diverse views of our community both in Morocco and around the world. We look forward to continuing to serve as a platform for your voices to be heard, and for your ideas to be acknowledged and debated, with respect, by each other and our global community.
Yasmina Mrabet is a conflict resolution practitioner specializing in intercultural engagement and dialogue processes. At Peace X Peace, she manages Connection Point, a global initiative that utilizes web-based technologies for peace building and women’s empowerment. She is a member of Morocco World News’ editorial board.