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The Green March: An Eternal Day in Moroccans Memories

Marrakech – Every Nov. 6, Moroccans celebrate the anniversary of the Green March, the largest, longest, and most peaceful march anywhere in the world. The day is a national holiday in Morocco, during which Moroccans recall the extraordinary events of the Green March.

In mid-October 1975, the International Court of Justice at The Hague declared that there existed legal ties of allegiance between the Moroccan throne and the Sahrawi people.

“The materials and information presented to the Court show the existence, at the time of Spanish colonization, of legal ties of allegiance between the Sultan of Morocco and some of the tribes living in the territory of Western Sahara.”

Following this ruling, the late Hassan II announced the organization of the Green March, on Oct. 16, 1975, to retrieve the Moroccan southern provinces from Spanish colonialism.

“Tomorrow, God willing, you will pierce the border. Tomorrow, God willing, the Green March will be launched. Tomorrow, God willing, you will step on a part of your territory, touch the sand of your Sahara, and kiss the soil of your beloved nation,” said the King in an address to Moroccans who had volunteered to participate in the march on November 5, 1975.

Afterward, about 350,000 Moroccans, women and men, headed toward the Sahara, and met in Tarfaia.

The Green March- An Eternal Day in Moroccans Memories

All the participants went in an atmosphere of celebration and belief in God and patriotic values. Along the way, People sang joyfully as they made a pilgrimage to a part of their country to show the world that all Moroccans are one when it comes to their country.

In God they trusted, as the Moroccans marched carrying Qurans and green flags, to show the world that all Moroccans were for peace, and that they would take back their rights peacefully, avoiding any damage or useless wars.

They sang the song “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar… Ferhi y’a ard bladi ard’ak seb’hat hurra”or“God is the greatest, God is the Greatest …May you (Land of Morocco) be cheerful, you are free.”

Thus, Moroccans, with the belief in their national issue, could have what they were determined to realize, as they contributed successfully to the liberation of the Moroccan Sahara.

The Green March- An Eternal Day in Moroccans Memories

On November 14, 1975, just a few days after the launch of the Green March, Morocco, Spain and Mauritania, signed an agreement in Madrid, whereby Morocco regained its southern provinces.

The agreement was approved by -al jamaah- the only authentic representative of the Sahrawi people.

Al jamaah confirmed in a meeting on February 26, 1976, in Laâyoune, that the Sahara is Moroccan. Therefore, the agreement put an end to the Spanish presence in the Moroccan territories.

Organizing the Green March was not that difficult for Morocco, as the king, in an interview with the French journalist, Eric Laurent, said:“Sending Moroccans to the Green March was not the most difficult thing, how they would get back to their cities when they were asked to, systematically and in an organized way, believing that the triumph was in their side, was more challenging.”

“That’s what happened,”the king added.

After this historical event, people returned home bringing with them their strong value of patriotism, and Moroccan flags. The new generations of Moroccans found those flags they brought which are still at every Moroccan’s house. Parents and grandparents always told us that they were the Green March flags.

They told us, also, that the people who could not participate in the March stayed by their radios as the March went on, following the news about the March, and standing beside the routes waiting for their families and relatives to come back. They stayed there the whole day celebrating and playing folk music, while they were waiting for them.

The Green March remains the pride of all Moroccans, and a lesson to the world in promoting peace. It remains a symbol of determination, courage, and sacrifice for the sake of the nation, Morocco from Tangier to Elgouira.

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