Casablanca - They are called “Zouhri children,” victims of medievalist beliefs that still lamentably persist in the minds of some Moroccans. They are thought to bring fortune and prosperity because of some physical characteristics that differentiate them from “ordinary” children.
Casablanca – They are called “Zouhri children,” victims of medievalist beliefs that still lamentably persist in the minds of some Moroccans. They are thought to bring fortune and prosperity because of some physical characteristics that differentiate them from “ordinary” children.
In the world of witchcraft and black magic, a Zouhri child’s blood is gold. The success of some medievalist witchcraft rituals necessitates the sacrifice of a Zouhri child. It starts with abduction and ends up with corpses of innocent children, whose only crime is being born with distinctive physical marks, thrown dead in nature.
One might recognize a Zouhri child by their array of physical marks that distinguish him or her from other children: blonde hair and dissymmetrical eyes, a continuous line that crosses their hand pal, and distinctive marks in the hair or on the iris.
When a child matches some or all of these characteristics, he or she is likely to be the victim of Morocco’s darkest minds. Why are Zouhri children abducted, murdered or severely wounded? Some believe it is to serve as a sacrifice to be offered to the “djinn” or invisible spirits believed to watch over ancient treasures. The idea is that only a Zouhri child’s blood would unveil the location of an immeasurable fortune and chase away the spirits guarding it.
Long ago, early families who lived on the Moroccan land used to bury their most invaluable possessions in cemeteries, pits, and forests. According to what some believe, after these families vanish, these possessions become the property of “djinns,” and only a Zouhri child’s blood can unveil these locations.
Those who call themselves “treasure hunters” in Morocco deploy all means to get their hands on the so-called immeasurable treasures. This might even go to committing most hideous crimes. No one has ever heard of a lucky treasure hunter getting his grip on a great treasure. Yet, those individuals persist on continuing their never-ending quest for wealth, whilst heartlessly taking the lives of those children to prove myths right.
In the stage that Morocco starts to make significant steps towards development one recognizes that the most encumbering social phenomena surges again. Recently, a child was allegedly abducted in Kenitra for sorcery purposes. The child, Houssam Riwi, was said to match the characteristics of Zouhri children, which is suspected to be the reason behind his probable abduction by treasure hunters.
“Our society is still conservative despite the profound mutation that Morocco is experiencing,” Moroccan sociologist Fouad Benmir was quoted as saying by Zafro.net. “There are still traditions based on mystical beliefs that are a far cry from realism,” he added, referring to phenomena such as sorcery.
Benmir’s observation hits the point. Those medieval beliefs that still roam in some corners of the Kingdom are among the impediments to Morocco’s full development. The impingements of such practices as the abduction and sacrifice of a child for witchcraft rituals are severe on a society that aspires for progress, development and betterment.
Photo courtesy: Albadee.net
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