Casablanca-“Some Moroccan ministers grapple with speaking Arabic,” wrote Moroccan news outlet Alyaoum24 in a recent article.
In the majority of their speeches and presentations, either before the parliament or during their general meetings, some Moroccan ministers display a weak command of Arabic, which continues to shock Moroccans, and sometimes even trigger their mockery.
Among these Arabic-unfriendly ministers, Alyaoum24 mentions, is the businessman Moulay Hafid El Alami, who’s been appointed minister of Commerce, Industry and New Technologies.
According to the same source, Mr. El Alami started off one of his presentations on his ministry’s budget saying, “Please, bear with me, this is my first presentation in Arabic after 53 years.” The Minister is 53 years old.
During his presentation, the minister endeavored to speak in Modern Arabic, making a number of major grammatical mistakes, which led him to eventually continue his presentation in Moroccan Arabic.
Ironically, the minister who feels the most embarrassed because of his weak command of Arabic is, according to Alyaoum24, the minister of National Education, Mr. Rachid Belmokhtar.
Iike his fellow minister of Commerce, Industry and New Technologies, the minister of National Education in turn made a bunch of major mistakes while presenting his ministry’s budget, which made some MPs wonder what would happen if some students learned of the major mistakes the minister of Education himself makes.
While Arabic remains Morocco’s official language, its use in the government does not reflect its status and importance as an official language.
On the other hand, Moroccan Arabic, an unofficial and unwritten language, and the language predominantly spoken across the kingdom, is the one that seems to enjoy considerable prestige within today’s Moroccan government.
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