By Youssef Sourgo
By Youssef Sourgo
Morocco World News
Casablanca, July 15, 2013
We all remember the piece of news that swept Moroccan media, wherein El Ouafa was reported to have told a female pupil, named Raouia, during one of his unplanned visits to a primary school in Marrakech, that “all you need is a man,” a statement that allegedly caused her humiliation before her classmates and a psychological shock.
Although a considerable time has elapsed since the alleged offence took place, it is now the United Nation’s turn to shed light on it.
Last Friday, on the occasion of the “Malala Day” for the education of young girls, Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General and Gordon Brown , UN Special Envoy for global education, paid tribute to the young Raouia for her persistence on continuing her studies despite the psychological trauma she allegedly suffered because of El Ouafa’s offensive statement. The Moroccan teenager was among 7 girls awarded on Malala Day by the United Nations.
The Malala Day ceremony, which took place at the UN headquarters in New York, was organized in the presence of Gordon Brown, UK’s former prime minister, alongside 500 young students representing numerous countries. The day was mainly organized in honor of the Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai, who miraculously survived Taliban’s attempt to kill her for campaigning for girls’ education in Pakistan.
El Ouafa’s statement to the Moroccan young girl was thus brought up during the ceremony to denounce any sort of violence, be it physical or psychological, that oppresses children worldwide and prevents them from enjoying one of their basic rights, a decent education.
However, as one of MWN’s previous articles had noted, El Ouafa had denied the allegation level at him and dismissed the daily Ahdat Al Maghrbia’s early incriminating article as an attempt to tarnish his reputation.
“Yes, I talked to a little girl who seemed very kind and well-mannered, but I did not tell her anything of what the media have accused me of,” El Ouafa told MedRadio’s “Kafass Al Ittiham” a few months after the incident.
El Ouafa went on to say that the “rumor” was propagated to impede his continuous unplanned and casual visits to schools “known for unethical activities and for not conforming to basic education rules and criteria.”
“I will keep visiting schools, because that is an unquestionable part of my responsibility as a minister of national education,” El Ouafa affirmed during the same interview.