As we say good bye to 2014 and welcome 2015 with hope, positive thoughts and
enlightenment, I would like to share with you my observations on the global situation
in Morocco and recent Arab world events.
The Arab World, Morocco included, is changing but at what pace? And at what price?
I strongly believe that change will occur in the region slowly or perhaps suddenly and
brutally at any time as was the case in Tunisia, butin any case tens if not hundreds of
years will be required for to stabilize life for a better future. The French carried out
their revolution in 1789 and it took them at least 150 years to stabilize, develop and
democratize. The great Tunisian people got rid of Benali and moved on to kill each
other, although it looks like they are the only living proof that an Arab and Muslim
countrycan be democratic. The Egyptians told Mubarak“Irhal” and are living in deep
turmoil that makes us almost nostalgic of the despot.
The Arab spring gave freedom lovers hope thatfor the first time in history we, the
people of the Arab World, were stronger than a given Arab despot and his armed
forces. One after the other, billionaire Arab Presidents have left, through humiliation,
jail or death. Still, have the other leaders of the Arab world understood the lesson? A
All these Arab countries are characterized by the following: one the one hand a
massive poor and uneducated population that is, for the most of it, far from being
exempt from reproach and is too coward to demand change or even deserve it.
Instead, it finds an easier refuge in criticism, religion, conspiracy theories, laziness,
dishonesty, uncivilized behavior, belittling of women etc. Anything « to get by » and
forget breal issues but totally unable and willing to fix their own country that they
often despise. Anyone is to blame except them. This category is also known in
Morocco as « bouzebbal ». On the other side of the spectrum, a tiny ruling minority
with power and money. It profoundly despises and controls the first category and has
no problem spending thousands of euros on a Hermes handbag because it
compensates for the lack of compassion, thinking, public interest or intellectual
ability. This bourgeoisie shares common interest with the regime and is blind as to
the risks of social explosion. It has assets abroad and foreign passports and is ready
to flee should a revolution occur. It is usually, but not always, insensitive to the plight
In the middle, you have a tiny minority of patriotic, freedom and equality lovers who
suffer from the retardness of the mass and the selfishness of the rich.
This being said one can only be pessimistic for the stability of our beloved country.
Lets not let downtown Casablanca and Rabat mislead us: Moroccans are poor: over
fifty per cent of the population has never been to school thanks to the late Hassan
IIKing and our gross national income is 1,000 USD, against 4,000 USD for Tunisia
and 10, 000 for Turkey!! Our UNDP global development ranking is 129/200 against
69/200 for Turkey and 90/200 for Tunisia! In addition, the same causes always
produce the same effects. Extreme poverty and an immense gap between the haves
and the have-nots in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, countries that have exploded?
We have it. Lack of a true democracy, human rights and the rule of law? We still also
have it, although the new constitution has brought some minor changes to soothe the
February 20 movement. If you are poor in Morocco, you are guaranteed to be treated
without dignity, as a « sous-homme » by the courts and hospitals for example.The
judiciary, my field of specialization, is particularly in an appalling state and no
significant change whatsoever has taken place as of yet in this field. Right after the
passing of the new constitution journalist Rachid Niny was sent to jail, along with
many February 20 movement activists includingthe emblematic figure of the
movement Mouad El Haqed. Many more cases before the judiciary have shown that
there is absolutely no real political will to change an almost unchangeable mafia-like
justice system. More examples? A judge who got caught in flagrante delicto was
released instead of being sentenced for 15 years. The rapist of sixteen year old
Amina Filali who committed suicide is free and so is the suspected rapist member of
Parliament On the other hand, if you criticize the regime you will go to jail on some
political or fabricated criminal charge or pay some other heavy price. Recently, a
woman was almost so disfigured by her ex husband that one could hardly look at her
picture. At the hearing the judge asked her… if she drunk alcohol. The examples of
abuse (hogra) are numerous. The unjust, backward and freedom killing legal systems
THE norm. Cases that protect and redress basic citizen issues are the exception.
A lack of a good educational system? The illiteracy rate is over 50% (some say over
65%), overcrowded public schools teach in Arabic and employers hire mostly only
French speakers! I praise the patience and numbness of millions of public school kids
for being so patient and for accepting a totally useless education system. Let’s not
talk about health, just go anytime to any emergency room at a public hospital and
you will see people dying from lack of medical attention, despite the good will of good
doctors and nurses.
To conclude, one can only be worried, yet hopeful, for the future of our country.
Thirty years ago, South Korea was on par with Afghanistan economy wise. How did
they make it? One single recipe: They invested every cent not in highways or TGV’s
but in a strong, modern, and efficient education system. Education, education and
only education. So long as we will have public schools producing ninety per cent of
useless Moroccans, this country will keep regressing or will have a two-speed
development system, as is the case now. Thus, a minority benefiting from massive
and impressive investment projects will continue to coexist with an over whelming
majority of have-nots who will sooner or later rise up again. On a more positive note,
when former François Mitterrand of France met his then Prime Minister Pierre
Mauroy for the first time he told him: “Pierre, avec 100 personnes, decides, tout est
possible”. If only we had one hundred Moroccans who truly love their country and