Marock’Jeunes, wanting to improve the Belgian group’s impression of Morocco after the backlash, invited the group to not only enjoy a couscous but have a tour of Marrakech.
Rabat – A team of young Belgian volunteers who faced harsh scrutiny for their attire have been invited by the association Marock’Jeunes to enjoy a couscous as a sign of goodwill.
The group of Belgian youth has come to Morocco to volunteer for the summer and was building a road in Taroudant, but have now moved on to Marrakech.
Marock’Jeunes, wanting to improve the group’s impression of Morocco after the backlash, invited the group to not only enjoy a couscous but have a tour of the city today, Friday, August 9.
The volunteers, from the organization Bouworde, have found themselves in the center of media controversy this week.
On Saturday, August 3, Moroccan news outlets shared videos and photos of the volunteers building a road in the remote village of Adar, east of Agadir. The girls were praised in the media for their initiative, but online comments soon took a turn for the worse.
Internet users were objecting to the teenage girls’ choice of attire, as they were filmed wearing shorts and tank tops, as they were doing manual labor under the Moroccan sun in the name of volunteering.
One 26-year-old teacher from the north of Morocco posted on Facebook that “their heads should be cut off so that no one else dares to challenge the teachings of our religion.” He was arrested on Tuesday, August 6, by Moroccan police for inciting terrorism.
As a result of the threats and the fear it may have caused the students, Bouworde has offered the students the opportunity to return home early. Only 3 of the 37 volunteers have accepted the offer to return home.