Fez - It is time to direct attention to deep scrutiny of the layman’s daily concerns before he bursts with impatience.
Fez – It is time to direct attention to deep scrutiny of the layman’s daily concerns before he bursts with impatience.
Like the average Moroccan, I lived out my childhood in the early 90s with great passion for the future. I knew the national anthem by heart very early on and often times felt like chanting aloud on the hills of the remote countryside in Taounate’s impoverished province while returning from ‘school’ or guarding the cattle. Life was humble and sweet, notwithstanding the hardships people endured tomake a living by the most primitive means.
The last twenty years have been sufficiently viable to transform the social, political, and cultural air in Morocco. The upheavals that hit the Kingdom from the late 90s to the present day seem to have created a profound effect in this North African Arab Muslim country. King Hassan II passed away and was succeeded, a novel electoral system was put into place, the Arab Spring arose, and the Justice and Development Party (PJD) took power. All of these events taking place make me feel I lived more than my actual age.
While countries like Turkey, Malaysia, and Ethiopia have made significant steps towards building their capacities, Morocco seems to have only turned around the bush in many areas of life which has resulted in worsening situations in education and social stability.
Prevalent and efficient means of communication have ‘educated’ the public and enabled them to discuss issues on public and private sites. People’s concern about individual and common issues has grown so drasticallyas to render conventional tranquilizing means futile and pointless.
Moroccans feel frustration because of subsequent disappointments after decades of endurance and plight. They witness how comparable countries have made huge strides in development on levels thatboost people’s comfort and pride. Meanwhile, Morocco appears to portray a bogus image for the sake of international partners and bury the latest hopes of the people for an appropriate and decent life.
The latest of social unrest omens is the inhumane crushing of a Hoceima fishmonger, Fikri, in a trash truck and the fatal shootings of two youngsters in Salé and Beni Mellal. This has been prevalent on social media as more young peoplehave posted photos of themselves holding swordson Facebook.
The long-awaited unformed government,the announcement of ceasing free secondary and tertiary education, and the huge budget reportedly wasted on restoring Parliament’s toiletshave but added insult to the persistent injury to Morocco.
The latest contract-based employment exams for teaching jobs have sparked outrage. Many Moroccans have spoken out on social media,which became the sole method of expression because street protests are fiercely assaulted by law enforcement. This fact will certainly have a profoundly adverse effect on the country’s human rights profile that is already in its worst days since the new millennium.
Again, footage broadcasting how Americans have been freely protesting Trump’s election and millions of South Koreans who are staging public strikes in the streets to demand the President to leave his position in complete freedom stir common emotive attitudes towards oppression of the most of basic rights.
Services have become more and more difficult and tiresome to get. Healthcare and education are worsening nationally despite increasingly heated debate about them on media. Administration is getting slower and more corrupt to the extent that one feels lucky if they receive a facile service.
Today, state employees will have to work to an older age, receive lesser pensions, and pay higher taxesthan in the past. Citizens endure slow, poor medical services and have to wait for their appointments for a long time. Protests face merciless oppression in streets. Political inter-party debate has grown accusative and dishonest
It is high time for Morocco to make serious efforts to get out of its momentous decisions that could save this country regardless of the presumptive repercussions on individual officials or parties.
Moroccans are afraid of the possibility of prevalent chaos similar to that which hit many Arab states. Hence, they consider security a top priority, at least at the present time. However, a few voices, along with the sweeping influence of social media, can render a faction able to engender massive public unrest which could only be destructive of people’s hope and patience.
Public contempt for politics is aggravated day after day due to successive political scandals, growing decadent discourse, unintelligible political processes, and the like. Socially, prevalent crime and harassment, corruption, immorality, and more, intensify the already disturbed psychological humor of a wide segment of society.
The most serious issue today is the growing ornamenting of outward image instead of directing attention and concern to addressing critical realities stained by a range of social and economic ills and coupled with persisting moral decadence. Citizens’ good education and health and most of all, their dignity, have to be guaranteed and protected against wicked political discourse, unjust social discrimination, and collapsing purchasing power.
The state has to learn from all previous instances of public rage and question its blindly-trusted ability to quell the situation through the carrot-and-the stick approach. Given the diverse social fabric of the Kingdom in addition to the significant rate of ignorance and negative attitudes vis-à-vis the government, instability would yield calamitous repercussions once activated.
King Mohammed VI is making great efforts to retain Morocco’s good position regionally and globally. However, these moves have to be accompanied by an inclusive will by surrounding officials, political parties, and institutions in order to reinforce the goodwill of leadership. The people need to concretely see the impact of the numberless investment deals with countries all around the world.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent any institution or entity.