By Ikram Baouchouch
By Ikram Baouchouch
Rabat – The following is a reader reaction to the original article “Morocco, Among World’s Five Most Hopeful Nations: Survey” by Iliana Hagenah.
In her article, Iliana Hagenah addresses the notion of hope among Moroccans. A survey conducted by the WIN/Gallup International Association classified Morocco as one of the top five most optimistic nations in the world.
When I first read the title of the article, I had mixed feelings of pride and surprise at the same time. How can one believe that a country that is ranked for several years among the lowest countries in education, social welfare, employment, and gender equality, always make it to be in the top most hopeful and happiest nations all over the globe? Because I’m Moroccan and I know what is happening in my country, I can understand that many Moroccans would share the same feelings as I do and may not believe what this survey says.
The article provides a series of questions depending on which a respondent’s level of happiness is determined, which is something I disagree with. I think people’s feelings of happiness and hope cannot be measured in numbers. However, I have to agree with the author in that economic wealth does not necessarily correlate to economic optimism. I find it reasonable that emerging countries are more optimistic and hopeful about their future than developed ones.
As a university student and young Moroccan, I believe that hope is part and partial of every Moroccan’s worldview. Moroccans’ concept of hope is religious, spiritual, and social at first place. Their perception of hope and happiness lies in their simple life and peace of mind, not in money.
Reasonably speaking, Moroccans have many reasons to be pessimistic about the future: the alarming statistics of social service, education, unemployment, health, corruption, the increased salaries of political leaders, discrimination, and the less freedom of political life, to name a few. Also, the lack of rain this year made things even worse, and rings more warning bells on the growth of the Moroccan economy. Yet, Moroccans chose optimism of will rather than pessimism of reason.
Every Moroccan wants and dreams of a country where he/she has total freedom to say what they believe in, speak their minds without fear, benefit from their land’s resources, and have equal rights regardless of their class or political views, so they do not need to immigrate and come back rich to be treated in better ways. They want to enjoy the beauty of their country as any foreigner visiting Morocco does. Most Moroccans may not be very happy and optimistic about their current situations, but they are very positive looking forward. Although there is a serious decrease in confidence in the Moroccan government, especially among the youth.
The reason why Moroccans are always featured in the top most optimistic and happiest nations is that happiness in the Moroccan perspective differs from a French or an American’s perspective. Moroccans have a tendency to stay happy and optimistic in hardships throughout history. Moroccans believe that wealth is not necessarily the key to be happy and satisfied with one’s life. Another reason why a Moroccan embraces life hardships more than anyone else is because they think it is a test from God. Moroccan people hold great faith in God, their land and their king. Thus even in worst cases you will always hear a Moroccan saying it is God’s wish and we have to accept it. We Moroccans take our strength from the challenges of everyday life. From a Moroccan’s point of view, if you live healthy life, have your family and beloved ones around you, that means happiness.
One cannot deny that Morocco has made recognized progress on political, economic, social, and human rights. However, we still have so many marginalized and oppressed people who have no right to express their opinions, citizens who lack the simplest basics of a decent life. Sometimes Moroccans, especially those living in rural areas, are unaware of this; they only pray for good health, safety of their beloved ones, and for God’s mercy. This is their secret to always remain positive and hopeful in the hardest situations possible, which money cannot solve.
English in Media is a Master’s level course in Linguistics at Cadi Ayyad University. The course aims to increase students’ media literacy and awareness of media bias. It also trains students to simplify their English for better communication with non-native English speakers. Morocco World News is partnering with the students of this course to provide them with a real-life opportunity to use and show what they study.
Ikram Baouchouch is a master student majoring in English Linguistics at Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakesh. This reaction is part of a class on English in Media.
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