Meknes - It is commonly believed that a nation’s youth are the wealth of society. Most democratic countries correctly perceive their youth as a vigorous well of innovation and progress, and as the only age group that pushes the country towards equality by eradicating corruption and freeing it from the tight fist of oligarchy and the lobbies that work to sanctify ignorance and illiteracy in order to control natural resources and repress the people’s freedom.
Meknes – It is commonly believed that a nation’s youth are the wealth of society. Most democratic countries correctly perceive their youth as a vigorous well of innovation and progress, and as the only age group that pushes the country towards equality by eradicating corruption and freeing it from the tight fist of oligarchy and the lobbies that work to sanctify ignorance and illiteracy in order to control natural resources and repress the people’s freedom.
In dictatorial regimes the youth were a marginalized group of citizens confronting indirect disaffection and discrimination from the old political leaders. After the awakening of political activism across the Arab world and the many uprisings that have taken place, the governments of these countries firmly believe that youth participation is the engine of development and that encouraging their engagement in the political arena should be a priority in the decision-making process of a nation.
Regarding this issue, let’s shed some light on what’s wrong with participating in politics in Morocco.
Youth Aversion to Politics in Morocco
A hideous spot in Morocco’s history was known as “the years of lead,” which was marked by haphazard political detentions; during this period anyone who had a political background or independent view could be arrested. During this period the people could not castigate the regime or openly discuss politics.
Today, the majority of youth are victims of propaganda and traps set by the current policy regulated by the regime. In this way, the government is allowed its own individualism without any accountability. By the same token, old, arrogant political leaders are still hogging the political scene with their fundamentalism and undermining youth ambition to be involved in politics.
The Positive Role of the Youth During the Arab Spring
After the success of the Arab Spring in some countries in the region beginning in 2010, a deep scab was left on the face of history. Admittedly, the youth played a huge role in something that was regarded as the symbol of gaining new freedoms and comprising the head of the pyramid.
During the Arab Spring, the wave of change was sure to hit Morocco. At that time, a cluster of young people conducted a movement called “20th February.” This diverse movement saw the inclusion of multiple ideologies and political beliefs, but shared a common goal: to overthrow corruption and begin building a democratic country.
During this period, most political parties were terrified of the youth’s rebellion, disobedience, and their strong insistence to speak out against inequality and injustice by manifesting their claims and demands in the streets instead of with ink and paper. Thus, the youth’s power shook up the political parties’ schemes and upset their pre-determined decision-making calculation. As a result of this, the Moroccan government developed an amendment to the constitution that enabled youth to engage political parties with no restraints and boundaries. But this was four years ago and nothing has changed and the youth still askew being regularly involved in politics.
First off, I would like to congratulate Tunisia—the first Arabic-speaking country to ignite the spark of revolution. I truly respect the Tunisians, who have taught the world how to write justice, equality, and dignity with will’s ink. This is how people prove their existence. Tunisia is a prototype for how any chaotic country is capable of improving its status from a negative one to a much better one. Regardless of any collapse and devastation the country has previously experienced, the road to democracy is close at hand. The war can still be won, regardless of how many battles have been lost.
Emna Trabelsi, a Tunisian English student stated, “Before the Arab Spring, Tunisia was a safe land. The pro-Ben Ali had been living in heaven but the dissidents were oppressed. The revolution brought freedom but took security in return, raised the average rate of poverty, and caused an inflation of prices. People could not pay for their necessities. We are fighting terrorism, and this kind of poverty is itself terrorism. Due to poverty, injustice, despotism and joblessness we have taken our efforts to the streets and we won’t surrender until we get our demands.
“Actually, I don’t anticipate that Tunisia will be better, but hopefully the status will be at least a bit better than it is now, and has been before….Something good that came out of the revolution is the engagement of youth in political parties. Now, the youth believe that change comes by engaging with governmental intuitions” Emna added. Sondes ben Achour, also an English Tunisian student, said, “Before the revolution, Tunisia was a country seemingly calm and peaceful because it was ruled by fear. Now, we have some freedom of speech, but things are getting chaotic. Tunisians are not accustomed to democracy, so they abused their freedoms.”
Beyond Revolution and Rebellion
Change does not come easily. We cannot build a sufficient base overnight as long as the state has distrust in the youth.
Since the state does not grant an unconstrained platform for youth to express their political stance, they are incapable of freely promoting a democratic policy that will clear the path to the coming posterities for a system that believes in competence and rejects favoritism.
Most of the emblems that have arisen aim at building a creative and intellectual society, granting access to the country’s natural resources for all citizens, and establishing transparency in all fields. Essentially, supporters hope to create a pact that will overcome chaos and serve the government and the people equally.
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