By Mohamed Lakdali
By Mohamed Lakdali
Rabat – One cannot spend a day in Fez without being bombarded by shocking local news.
In recent years, Fez has been the locus of a number of horrendous incidents. The recent story of an 11-year-old boy being thrown out of a moving bus by a ticket collector is just the tip of the iceberg. This incident is only one of the myriad of reoccurring events that take place in this beautiful city. Indeed, such things push us to question whether we are living in the 21st century or the dark ages. Are people really so cruel and inhumane?
Even if the little boy had not paid for his ticket, is there any justification for throwing him out of a moving bus? No, it is not legitimate in a civilized society. Perpetrating such atrocities has nothing to do with humanity. Hearing such gut-wrenching news really makes Fezi’s blood run cold and makes us feel uneasy in our city. This is not the first time the citizens of the city have had a complaint about the bad services of the transportation company. Citizens repeatedly suffer from the misconduct of ticket collectors, mainly women and children who cannot afford paying a ticket. Is this abusive behavior all because of three dirhams?
As hard as one may try to avoid hearing such disconcerting news, one cannot escape it. For instance, a month and a half ago, three German tourists were attacked by drugged bandits. Is that how Morocco will draw 20 million tourists to Morocco by 2020? Such reckless and unlawful behavior does nothing but stain the reputation of Fez and Morocco as a whole.
Among the many other horrendous stories is that of a cab driver being assaulted and robbed of his car and all his belongings. Hearing news like this renders life unlivable and unbearable in this bittersweet city. Behaviors like these impair the status of the city, day in day out. People no longer feel safe and secure, for fear that they might be attacked or robbed. By half past eight or 9PM, most streets are semi-empty. What does this imply? I am afraid to say that the security aspect plays a crucial role in what the city has become.
Hooliganism and vandalism is another issue that plagues city inhabitants, especially those who live near the football stadium or on the way to the stadium. Every match that takes place in the spiritual capital leads to significant damage caused either by the Maghreb Association Sportive de Fez (MAS) supporters or the opponent team’s supporters. This really upsets people whose properties are vandalized, mainly the cafe owners and business owners. In addition to this, parked cars are often wrecked with stones, and passers-by, mainly girls, are harassed.
Notwithstanding all this Fez is really a good city. However, if we want to elevate the status of this city, all citizens, from children, to taxi drivers, to salespeople, to passer-by in the streets, to people in public office, should change our attitudes, refuse to accept the status quo, and work toward changing the mentality that allows these atrocities to occur.
Edited by Elisabeth Myers
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