Azeddine Lahlou, a 17-year-old Moroccan from Casablanca, has won the hearts of Moroccans after sharing a video where he ardently defends the “Moroccanness” of the Sahara.
In the three-minute footage, Lahlou presents strong historical arguments that support Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
He begins his passionate speech by debunking the argument that the population in Western Sahara should have an independent state because of ethnical differences.
“Morocco is a diverse country that draws its richness from its plurality,” Lahlou said. “We have the Tamazight [population], the Tachelhit, Soussis, Moors who came from Andalusia, Arabs, and many more.”
The young student gave the example of the diversity of the musical genres practiced in Morocco — Gnawa, Hassani, Andalusian, Chaabi, Ahidous, Reggada, and others.
“This plural culture is the strength of Morocco and does not take away from its unity,” he argued.
Lahlou stressed that people should not confound belonging to an ethnicity with belonging to a country.
“If we had to create a country every time there are some nuances, we could create one in every neighborhood,” he said. “This reasoning is not right.”
The inspiring patriot emphasized that what makes a group Moroccan is not their culture or ethnicity, but rather their historical contribution to the country.
“We all come together behind our flag, our hymn, and our king is that we have all contributed in a certain way to the enrichment of Morocco, both historically and culturally,” he argued.
Lahlou used this argument to prove that Sahrawis are Moroccans by recalling their contribution to the country throughout history.
The student highlighted that the founders of the Almoravid dynasty (1040-1147), which built the foundations of the Moroccan empire, come from the Sahara.
“This dynasty that significantly developed [Morocco’s] culture, arts, and judicial system, comes from the Sahara, from the island of Tidra more precisely,” Lahlou stated.
“If the Almoravid emirs Abu Bakr ibn Umar and Yusuf ibn Tashfin are not Moroccan, then who is?” he asked.
The young Moroccan encouraged people to read history books about Morocco because, he argued, they contain all the facts proving Morocco’s rightful sovereignty over Western Sahara.
“When we read about the history of Morocco, we can no longer say that Sahrawis are not Moroccans,” he said.
At the end of his passionate speech, Lahlou urged Moroccan youth to learn more about the history of their country and to vocally defend its territorial integrity.
“Moroccans will never stop their fight until truth and justice triumph,” he concluded.