Vancouver - To the citizens of my beautiful country, from the alluring dunes of Dakhla to the gorgeous heights of the mind-blowing Rif.
Vancouver – To the citizens of my beautiful country, from the alluring dunes of Dakhla to the gorgeous heights of the mind-blowing Rif.
I intend this letter as an homage to the memory of Fishmonger Mouhcine Fikri, his family and loved ones and to the citizens of Morocco. Anyone with a heart has been deeply affected by the demise of fish vendor Fikri, seemingly due to negligence. Without a doubt those found to be responsible for this tragedy need to be brought to justice in a transparent investigation and within full view of public scrutiny.
Although all details of this tragedy have not yet been disclosed, I feel comfortable stating on behalf of my thirty million compatriots, events such as this are, quite simply, unacceptable. I find the need to reiterate a portion of his Majesty Mohammed VI’s call to order in this year’s preliminary parliamentary session speech: “The purpose of Moroccan administrations must be to solely serve the interests of its citizens,” calling for reconciliation between the nation’s bureaucratic institutions and its citizens.
To honor the deceased, I feel that I need to evaluate the sequence of events that led to his Mr. Fikri’s death. In saying so, many questions come to mind. In carrying his supply of swordfish out of the port of Al-Hoceima, Fikri, somehow managed to bypass numerous police checkpoints with his supply. It appears that at some point in time, the authorities pulled him over, deeming his supply as out-of-season and, therefore, illegal. Instead of resolving the conflict the relevant authorities decided that it would be reasonable to destroy the supply in a garbage truck and this is where the tragedy unfolded. The questions that come to my mind, are as follows:
1) How was Fikri permitted to leave the port, bypassing authority checkpoints?
2) Is there a competent mechanism in place to ensure that fish products are assessed prior to being loaded for transportation?
3) How is it that the authorities find it reasonable to destroy illegal supplies amidst tense surroundings, without firstly confiscating them?
4) How was Fikri permitted to mount the garbage truck (state-owned)? He should have been prevented from doing so. These questions, answered, could perhaps help prevent tragedies on such lines.
I would like to take this opportunity to denounce any attempts to divert this problem from one of the incompetence of authorities, to one on ethnic grounds. What has happened to Fekri clearly demonstrates the need for sweeping reform in the relations between citizens and state administrations. In the wake of the unfolding event, I have witnessed a pattern that seems threatening to me and my objective is to ask those of you who agree with my perspective to help me put it to rest.
Social media, the contemporary platform of connection, has opened my eyes to what I call free-riders. Free-riders, individuals who see this tragedy as an opportunity to advance malicious, separatist rhetoric. Such people are far too ready and willing to spill blood in order to create a destabilization of the structure of our nation.
Unfounded, uninformed and ignorant at best, such individuals are the products of identity crises, unaccomplished goals and a negatively connoted discourse that criticizes merely to gain attention. Let us say to them, ‘Matkish Bladi.’ We will not allow you to transgress the boundaries of stability. We will not allow you to advance your separatist agendas. We stand as one people, from Tangiers, to Lagouira, and from Essaouira to Al-Hoceima.
All in all, it is in our collective understanding that our nation still has room for much improvement in many areas. It is imperative that we collectively choose gradual change over rash destabilization. I do not believe that our demands will go unanswered. I can guarantee that our prime-minister has been sleepless. Finally, our guardian, his Majesty Mohammed VI has played an indispensable role in creating of Morocco a haven of political and economic stability. He has never let us down. Nor should we let ourselves down.
Edited by Constance Guindon