Every new year brings some good and some bad. This list does not aim to remind readers of sad times but instead seeks to honor the people who survived and the people who lost their lives.
Rabat – With the new year around the corner, Moroccans cannot deny that 2019 brought both sweet and bitter memories. From a virus outbreak early in the year to multiple earthquakes at the end of the year, Morocco dealt with several natural disasters that claimed lives.
But Morocco’s saddest moments in 2019 also included the unpleasant memories of sporting disasters, tragic accidents, and assaults.
The events below are not in chronological order.
The year began with the shocking deaths of multiple people from the H1N1 virus.
The H1N1 outbreak left at least 16 dead.
Live video rape of Hanane
Like all countries, Morocco is not without cases of sexual assault and rape. But Moroccans were shocked to see a live video on social media showing abuse, torture, and sexual assault. A video documenting the rape of a woman in Rabat went viral in the summer, stirring nationwide backlash and protests in Morocco condemning an increase in documented rapes.
Moroccan police found Hanane in critical condition in Rabat. She died on June 11 of complications from injuries she suffered during the rape. Police arrested more than eight people involved in the case, including the main suspect, Hanane’s ex-boyfriend.
Morocco’s loss to Benin in CAN
Football takes an important part in Moroccan culture. Moroccans experienced collective heartbreak after the national team lost 4-1 to Benin on penalties in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) championship in July.
With the defeat against Benin, Morocco became the first big favorite to leave CAN, disappointing the aspirations of many fans who had hoped that Morocco would win the competition this year. Moroccans, however, celebrated Algeria’s win against Senegal in the CAN final.
Death of Moroccan student pilot
Moroccans all over the world sympathized with the family of Moroccan student Hind Barch after her tragic death in a flying accident. She was flying a Cessna 172 owned by Cargair Flight Training School in September, hoping to boost her night flight hours in order to obtain her professional license.
The death of the pilot was a sad event for millions of Moroccans, who expressed solidarity and sympathy with the family of Hind.
Tangier carousel accident
Moroccans enjoying a summer day at an amusement park in Tangier witnessed a tragic incident on July 21.
About 20 people between the ages of 13 and 26, were injured in the Mghogha district, near the Tangier train station, when the support for a carousel detached causing a number of people on the carousel to fall off.
The incident caused fear among people in love with amusement parks.
A series of deadly floods brought tragedy and mourning to Morocco this summer.
On August 28, rainstorms in Taroudant, southern Morocco, caused massive flooding with at least seven people being swept away.
The deaths included a 17-year-old boy and six elderly people who were watching a football match.
In September, a bus overturned on a bridge in Errachidia, eastern Morocco, due to floods and heavy rains.
Emergency services managed to rescue 30 people from the bus, but the accident claimed 17 lives.
Midelt, in central Morocco, experienced several earthquakes recently along with other places across Morocco. However, one earthquake spread particular fears among citizens.
A video shows dozens of people running away from school buildings as the second earthquake in a single day hit an area on Sunday, November 17. The first was a 5.3 magnitude earthquake at 9:39 a.m. The second quake, at 3:39 p.m., ranked 4.3 in magnitude on the Richter scale.
Dar Bouazza dog massacre
Moroccans and people defending animals rights strongly condemned local authorities in Dar Bouazza, a coastal town near Casablanca, for allegedly slaughtering 80 stray dogs. News articles and photos of the slaughtered dogs slaughtered went viral on social media. Internet users accused local authorities of executing the dogs.