By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, December 30, 2012
Ain Chok Faculty of Letters and Humanities hosted last Friday a conference under the theme “The Representation of Moroccans in American Media”.
The conference was delivered by Mr. Mohammed El Hajjam, media expert and CEO of AVA Actions, a company specialized in communications consultancy providing services to governments, corporations, and nongovernmental organizations.
The conference was organized by the Master in Literary and Linguistic Studies in coordination with the English department in Ain Chok Faculty of Letters and Humanities. The conference revolved around the systems of representations of the “Other” and power relations.
In his lecture, Mr. El Hajjam considered that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American soil altered severely the relations between Americans and Muslims. The resentment provoked by these attacks, coupled with pejorative stereotyping of Muslims in the American media, infused hostility and intolerance towards Muslims and Arabs living in the US.
Nevertheless, Mr. Hajjam considered that the circulation of distorted representations about Muslims and Arabs can be also ascribed to the apathy of Arab channels and Moroccan media and their inability to reach out to the American audience. Mr. El Hajjam exhorted the Moroccan and Arab media stakeholders to open channels of communication with Americans in order to debunk the plethora of misconceptions about Muslims.
He went on to exhort Moroccan youth to make use of the boundless possibilities offered by social media in order to promote the image of Morocco and Islam in the West and to countervail the spread of Islamophobia.
He laid emphasis on the power of blogging as the most available and the least costly platforms so as to dispel misconceptions about Muslims and Arabs in general.
Mr. El Hajjam underscored the preponderance of Art in bridging the gap between Muslims and Americans. He argues that art can be used to brighten the image of Moroccans and to debunk all those ingrained stereotypes circulating in the American media.
He also exhorted Moroccan youth and decision makers to value all forms of national art and popular culture by offering Moroccan artists the opportunity to perform in Morocco and abroad.