Rabat - Moroccan and Algerian citizens are to face off in a volleyball game over the international border fence that separates the two countries on October 31.
Rabat – Moroccan and Algerian citizens are to face off in a volleyball game over the international border fence that separates the two countries on October 31.
Fed up with the closed borders, despite the deeply rooted ties in the common Moroccan-Algerian history, Moroccan and Algerian youngsters have decided to take action, through sports.
Moroccan and Algerian activists have created an event on FaceBook, calling on Moroccan and Algerian citizens to take part in a volleyball game across the Morocco-Algeria international border, using the fence that separates the two states as a net.
Entitled “Volleyball Game Over the Algeria-Morocco Borders,” the event went viral. It has already received over 15,200 RSVPs, while more than 2,700 people have said they are going.
The event is the brainchild of Morocco’s Tarik Nesh-Nash, director of a Moroccan IT development company. He told an Algerian media outlet that the event “aims to jump barriers and build bridges for harmonious dialogue.”
“The volleyball match is another way to express the alliance between two peoples who share the same concerns and a common destiny,” he added.
The Algerian-Moroccan border has remained closed since 1994, after Algeria was accused of involvement in a bombing that occurred in Marrakech in 1994. Since then, Morocco has imposed a visa requirement on Algerian citizens, and Algeria has retaliated by closing the border with its western neighbor.
However, sports may get things back on track. Modern history is the greatest witness of this. In 1971, two table tennis teams were behind the opening of a new page in the history of Sino-American relations.
Named “ping-pong diplomacy’’ by international media, that event marked a thaw in U.S.–China relations. Hopefully, volleyball will dissipate the uncertainty around the diplomatic relations between Morocco and Algeria as well.