Home Morocco Saudi Official Stirs Controversy After Offensive Statements About Marrakech

Saudi Official Stirs Controversy After Offensive Statements About Marrakech

By Sana Elouazi

Rabat – Turki Al-Cheikh, the sports advisor to the royal cabinet of Saudi Arabia, made earlier this week, offensive statements against Morocco after the Saudi football player Fahad Al Mawlid visited Marrakech.

In a television interview broadcast by Rotana Khaliji, Al-Sheikh, decried Al Mawlid’s visit to Marrakech, insinuating that he went there for the purpose of “sex tourism.”

“I have a problem with Fahad Al Mawlid, we sent you to Manchester United and you had the training, but why the layover through Marrakech? why? I want to know what is the situation,” Al-Sheikh said amid the laughter of the guests.

Al-Shaikh’s controversial statements caused a wave of uproar among Moroccans, who demanded an immediate apology for what they considered an insult to them and to their beloved city.

The hashtag Saudi_Minister_Insults_Marrakech, went viral on social media and many Moroccans took to their Twitter accounts to express their denunciation of Al-Cheikh claims, while many others recalled the history of the ancient city of Morocco.

In December 2016, another video of Saudi stand-up comedian Samer El Hazmi sparked an outrage among Moroccans after he insinuated that Morocco was a destination for “sex tourism.”

The comedian explained how Saudis view Morocco: “People are divided into two groups when you tell them that you traveled to Morocco. The first group supports you and views traveling to Morocco as a victory. While, the second group rebukes you by saying astonishingly, ‘Oh, you traveled to Morocco [as it is a shameful country].’”

“Morocco is a Muslim country, but Saudis are not eager to discover Morocco – they already know about it as a country for sex tourism,” he said, adding that Morocco is well-known to Saudis for its “pretty girls.”

When approached by the media for a comment, the comedian claimed that “Moroccans misunderstood his show,” adding that he meant to imply that “Saudis who visit Morocco are the ones to blame.”

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