Fez- Belgians living in Morocco say that the north African country "is a safe haven amidst a rough sea of turbulences, threats and insecurity, perhaps even safer than Europe these days."
Fez- Belgians living in Morocco say that the north African country “is a safe haven amidst a rough sea of turbulences, threats and insecurity, perhaps even safer than Europe these days.”
This was the gist of a Belgian TV report on the life of Belgian expatriates in Morocco. The trend of travelling southwards and residing in Morocco has hitherto been common among the French and the Spanish, but it seems ‘the cold country where the sun is hot’ as some tourists describe it has a lot to allure other Europeans.
At times when Belgians in Belgium are living in constant apprehensions and fears under the lurking menaces of ISIS terrorist cells, their fellow compatriots in Morocco are cherishing the stability, security and warmth Morocco provides. Belgians in Morocco, the report says, are very well established and their children feel completely safe away from the threats of ISIS.
Veronique, a Belgian interviewee living in Casablanca, told the reporter: “We have no problems whatsoever roaming in the streets of Casablanca or even in the Moroccan countryside.” Veronique’s positive attitude was confirmed by Ophelie who stated: “I have the feeling that I am safer and more secure here than in Belgium.”
Marine seems satisfied at how easily she integrated in Morocco and at the way Moroccans received her at first. “We felt we were immediately accepted, and I am very sure that it was easier for us to come and live here than it is for a Moroccan to go and live in Belgium,” she stated.
According to the report, there are approximately four thousand Belgians living in Morocco who are officially registered at the Belgian consulate. Yet, the true number is much bigger than that, ranging between twenty thousand and forty thousand Belgians.
The growing number of the Belgian community in Casablanca encouraged Moroccan private money to sponsor Belgian schools in the country; some are open, others under construction. Etienne Crousse, the director of a Belgian school in Casablanca praises the Moroccan authorities for their efforts to establish security for the Belgians. “The school is protected from all corners by the gendarmes, and this reassures everyone. We have no fears of living here today,” he said.
It’s worth noting that Morocco has been very proficient in thwarting ISIS destructive plans in the country after disintegrating a number of terrorist cells across the country, the last of which was last Friday, Feb 19, 2016. The disintegrated cell infiltrated into Morocco through the eastern borders with the aim of wreaking havoc in the country. Yet, the preemptive operations of the Moroccan national intelligence services paid off.