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Samia Errazzouki

The Moroccan Non-Exception: A Party, an Army, and a Palace (Part II)

[A miniature display depicting a joint operation that both the Moroccan and Algerian Liberation Armies carried out against the French on display at the Moroccan Liberation Army Museum in Rabat. Image by author]

[The following is the final part of "The Moroccan Non-Exception" Jadaliyya roundtable. Read the introduction here. Read the first part of this installment here.] The interaction of memory and forgetting in the state's construction of the history of the 1950s in Morocco takes on a pervasive form at the site of the Moroccan Liberation Army (MLA) museum. The museum is located within the premises of the Haut Commissariat des Anciens Resistants et Membres de ...

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The Moroccan Non-Exception: A Party, an Army, and a Palace (Part I)

[Image from the Moroccan Liberation Army Museum in Sidi Ifni, Morocco. Image by author]

[The following is the first part in the final installment of "The Moroccan Non-Exception" Jadaliyya roundtable. Read the introduction here.] The year is 1958. Morocco has entered its second year of independence from France. Sultan Mohammed V is aging and Crown Prince Hassan II, Commander of the Royal Armed Forces, is beginning to assert himself politically and militarily. The northern and southern extremities of Morocco, both strongholds of the Moroccan Liberation ...

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أسباب الثورة في البحرين: حوار مع مريم الخواجة

[ الناشطة مريم الخواجة. صورة من حسابها على تويتر]

  نُشرت المقابلة بالأصل في كانون الأول\ديسمبر ٢٠١٢، قبل شهر من تمكن مريم الخواجة من الدخول إلى البحرين في المرة الأخيرة. حاولت أن تعود إلى البحرين فيما بعد في آب\أغسطس ٢٠١٣، لكنها مُنعت من الصعود إلى الطائرة بسبب أمر حكومي من البحرين. مؤخراً، في ٣٠ آب\أغسطس ٢٠١٤ قامت مريم بمحاولة أخرى للدخول إلى البحرين لزيارة والدها المريض، عبد الهادي الخواجة، المضرب عن الطعام. لدى وصولها، صادرت السلطات البحرينية جواز سفرها، وزعمت أنها ليست مواطنة بحرينية وسجنتها. مذاك، سُجنت مريم ...

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Behind the Bahraini Revolution: An Interview with Maryam Al-Khawaja

[Protesters in Bahrain stand on the ground they were evicted from just three days before. Image from Flickr.]

[This interview was originally published in December 2012, a month before Maryam Al-Khawaja was last able to enter Bahrain. She attempted to go back to Bahrain later in August 2013, but was prevented from boarding her flight due to a government order from Bahrain. Recently, on 30 August 2014, Maryam made another attempt to enter Bahrain to visit her ailing father, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is on hunger strike. Upon her arrival, Bahraini authorities seized her passport, ...

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Sahrawi Realities: The Remembrance of Gdeim Izik (Part 2)

[The eviction of Gdeim Izik. Image by mexaraui/Flickr.]

[This is the second article in a two-part series that seeks to reflect on the ways in which social mobilization, creation of space, and new modes of resistance intersect within the Sahrawi community. Between these grooves are nuanced conceptions of Sahrawi identity that are colored by varied experiences but also a shared memory of external domination and displacement. The series is informed by research conducted during a weeklong stay in the Dakhla refugee camp, located ...

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Sahrawi Realities: Space, Architecture, and Mobility of Displacement (Part 1)

[View of the Sand Berm built by Morocco that separates between territory the Moroccan government controls and the territory the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) controls. Image by author.]

[This is the first of a series of articles that seek to reflect on the ways in which social mobilization, creation of space, and new modes of resistance intersect within the Sahrawi community. Between these grooves are nuanced conceptions of Sahrawi identity that are colored by varied experiences but a shared memory of external domination and displacement. The series is informed by research conducted during a weeklong stay in the Dakhla refugee camp, located about one ...

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New Texts Out Now: Samia Errazzouki, Working-Class Women Revolt: Gendered Political Economy in Morocco

[Cover of

Samia Errazzouki, “Working-Class Women Revolt: Gendered Political Economy in Morocco.” The Journal of North African Studies Volume 19, Issue 2 [Special Issue on Women, Gender, and the Arab Spring, edited by Andrea Khalil], March 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Samia Errazzouki (SE): I was in Morocco when Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire and many in Morocco, at the time, were anticipating what would follow suit. Not too long after ...

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Mediums of Outrage: Curzio’s Political Cartoons on Morocco

[Political cartoon from Curzio's page, posted with permission.]

There is a widely held perception that the Moroccan king Mohammed VI is beyond the reach of criticism. That view was quickly shattered in light of the “Daniel Gate” scandal following the king’s pardon of a convicted Spanish pedophile, Daniel Galván Viña, in the midst of serving a thirty-year prison sentence for sexually abusing eleven children. The initial response on social media spread rapidly through the use of the #DanielGate hashtag, which remains active to an ...

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Out with the Old and In with the Old: Morocco’s New Cabinet

[Image of Morocco's newly appointed government. Image from Lakome.]

These past few months have been a particularly turbulent period for Morocco’s Party of Justice and Development-led coalition government. While King Mohammed VI was on an extended vacation in France during May and June 2013, the conservative nationalist Istiqlal Party announced it was withdrawing from the coalition. Hamid Chabat, Istiqlal’s recently elected leader, cited the “slow pace” of reforms as a point that drove him and his party to decide on the departure from the ...

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Complicity and Indifference: Racism in Morocco

[A sign hanging in a Casablanca apartment building that reads,

“It is strictly forbidden to rent apartments to Africans,” read a sign in a Casablanca apartment building. France 24’s citizen media section, “Les Observateurs,” initially picked up the story of the signs in the apartment building. They were then later reported on independent Moroccan media. The report accompanying images of the sign gives an account of a student from Cote d’Ivoire who experienced a forced eviction from her apartment building in 2012. Detailing her ...

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Dissecting 'Opposing' Views: Morocco Reacts to Events in Egypt


As the situation continues to unfold in Egypt, the war of words among pundits on what to describe the ongoing events has made its way to the palace and parliament halls in Morocco. With countering press releases from the palace and the Party of Justice and Development (PJD)-led coalition government, the differing views toward the events in Egypt may appear to illustrate two equal opposing forces within the Moroccan regime. While the king's message to interim president, Adly ...

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Erdogan in Morocco: The Politics of Reception

[Morocco's Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, right, and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan review the honor guard during a welcome ceremony at Rabat airport, Morocco, Monday, 3 June 2013. Erdogan was in Morocco for a two-day visit. As riot police used tear gas against protesters for a fourth straight day in Istanbul, Turkey's president and prime minister displayed wide differences Monday in their responses to those taking to the streets. One death was reported. Image from Abdeljalil Bounhar/AP Photo.]

A widely mediatized and well-timed state visit can double up both as a political opportunity and as a convenient distraction. Such was the case, or as it seems, for Erdogan’s tour in the Maghreb, starting with a first stop in Morocco, followed by Algeria, and ending with Tunisia. Despite attempts at public relations spinning, the violent repression of protests in Turkey has overshadowed international media coverage of Erdogan’s state visits. In Morocco, however, domestic ...

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Lost in the Debate: Beyond Dominant Narratives on the Western Sahara Roundtable

[Image of Sahrawi women protesting against Moroccan policies in the Western Sahara. Image from Saharauiak/Flickr.]

[This is one of seven pieces in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the Western Sahara. Moderated by Samia Errazzouki and Allison L. McManus, it features contributions from John P. Entelis, Stephen Zunes, Aboubakr Jamaï, Ali Anouzla, Allison L. McManus, Samia Errazzouki, and Andrew McConnell.] Following the French military intervention in Mali earlier this year in January, and the hostage crisis in Algeria that soon followed, major ...

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The Facade of Political Crises in Morocco

[King Mohammed VI receives the Istiqlal Party's leader, Hamid Chabat, following his election as the head of the party. Image from Lakome.]

This weekend, the conservative nationalist Istiqlal Party announced it will be withdrawing from the government coalition, led by the Party of Justice and Development (PJD), and will take its place in parliament's opposition. Its reason, according to the party's press release, was to "avoid being complicit in the scheme against the Moroccan people." Additionally, the party will maintain its cabinet positions until further notice, and the party has written ...

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Morocco's 20 February Movement: Two Years Later

[Members of the 20 February Movement gather in front of the Parliament building in Rabat to commemorate the second year anniversary of the movement's beginning. Image taken by author.]

Two major protests were planned within the period between 20 and 24 February. On 20 February 2013, members of the 20 February Movement planned to commemorate their two year anniversary with a march in front of the Parliament building in Rabat. Unaffiliated with the movement and less than a block away in front of the Rabat Ville train station was a separate protest that a group of unemployed college graduates organized. Despite the similarity in chants, riot police had a ...

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Positioning Gender Fluidity in Francophone Maghrebi Literature

[A screenshot from Tahar Ben Jelloun's film, La nuit sacrée. Image from Universcine.]

The journey of self-discovery is a recurring theme in Francophone Maghrebi literature and film. Authors and directors place characters in a struggle against forces in both French and Maghrebi society, evoking various themes through which characters define themselves. While these characters embark on different paths in terms of their search for self-discovery, they prove that identities are not rigid. A multitude of factors contribute to the formation of these identities, ...

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Raped, Without Justice, and Without Hope

[Nasma Naqash cracks a faint smile during her video testimony with Febrayer. Image taken from screenshot of Youtube video.]

Last year, Moroccan civil society was highly mobilized around the case of Amina Filali—the young Moroccan girl who committed suicide after having been forced to marry her rapist. Ten months later, article 475—the article that absolves a rapist of his crimes if he marries his victim—remains in place, despite the fact that calls for its removal were a central part of the mobilizations. Today, the tragic story of another Moroccan girl—who in 2010 was raped by a stranger during ...

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From Opposition to Puppet: Morocco’s Party of Justice and Development

[PJD party leaders celebrate their win in Morocco's legislative elections. Image by Magharebia/Flickr.]

A protest repressed, a journalist beaten, an artist detained, a newspaper censored, and an activist tortured. Sixteen months after what was hailed as a “landmark” constitutional referendum, and exactly one year after a new government was elected, like a broken record, headlines from Morocco continue to repeat themselves. When the announcement for the 25 November 2011 parliamentary elections was made, the February 20th Movement and its supporters quickly agreed to ...

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Chomsky on the Western Sahara and the “Arab Spring”

[An image of the aftermath of the October 2010 protests in Gdeim Izik. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]

One of the most significant consequences of the term “Arab Spring” has been the evocation of a constructed timeline that placed the protests in the North Africa and the Middle East within a limited spectrum of time and space. The desire to enforce problematic nominal labels produces a narrative that shapes the way certain events are understood and discussed. The result is the acceptance of what is or is not considered legitimate dissent and the denial or reduction of ...

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Personal Posts


Samia Errazzouki


Samia Errazzouki is a Jadaliyya co-editor and freelance writer. She received her M.A. in Arab Studies at Georgetown University. She is currently a field research associate in Rabat, Morocco with the University of Cambridge.

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