By Tarik Elbarakah
By Tarik Elbarakah
Morocco World News
Agadir, June 28, 2013
When I was covering the 10th edition of Timitar (signs in Tamazight) festival taking place in the beautiful city of Agadir (southern Morocco), I came across shocking examples that the LOCAL GUY, be it a journalist, artist…you name it, is always taken for granted and that French is truly the official language of Morocco.
As any journalist willing to cover such an big event with artists coming from all over the globe, I had to contact the person in charge with the press and see whether it is possible to get an accreditation that would allow me to participate in the events, enter the backstage and meet the performers.
I dialed the number of the press secretary several times but faced with the same reply over and over again: NETWORK BUSY! I waited long enough to attempt one more time and this time someone really answered.
It was a soft female voice coming through the phone with an articulate French that actually drove me to check the name again to see if the lady I’m about to talk to is French, not a Moroccan. But a quick look at the family name got me to realize that yes she is a Moroccan but a Moroccan from an exclusive breed.
Anyway, I introduced myself politely as a journalist, not a full-fledged journalist though, since I’m still a journalism undergraduate. I asked to be granted an access to the pre-shows, the press conferences and the concerts. It took me about 10 seconds to say all that.
The lady in charge of PR and the press seemed to be in a hurry. “I’m busy, try to reach someone else”, she said with her big French after I asked a simple question with our first constitutional language: Arabic.
You would say that’s understandable behavior, it is the year’s event of the city for Godsake! She is not in the mood to hear your nonsense. Yes true, but the manner in which she responded from her ivory tower-after I said I’m a local journalist-proved to me that Moroccans don’t respect each other and that we are pseudo-citizens in the eyes of those so-called high circles elite!
0.14 seconds, it was the duration of the entire phone call. 10 of them were mine so do the math! That’’s the time given to the LOCAL GUY, that’s how much important we are in our own country. I have been accustomed to such practices from people who have the illusion of knowledge but who are in fact just a bunch of ignoramuses.
After checking the official website of the festival to see this year’s program I was amazed of the fact that it is all written in French. The festival’s name is signs but I didn’t detect any sign of any other language but Her Majesty: the French language. Correct me if I’m mistaken but I believe the constitution of this country states that Arabic and Tamazight are both and equally the official languages of Morocco not French.
Are they too busy to include a language option at the upper right corner or at the bottom of the page? No, in fact they aren’t. They are just careless or (pardon my French) don’t give a damn about it.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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