From the Editors
Every month or so, mainstream commentators and analysts make the bold decision to publish an article on Morocco. The obscure nature of Morocco’s experience of the regional uprising has made it a difficult case to grasp for some. Unlike its neighbors, Morocco has slipped through the “Arab Spring” formula of popular protest movement > violence > dictator overthrown. To avoid steering away from binaries and into the sea of nuances, it is important to stick to basic approaches. However, in an effort to save writers, editors, and readers time, I would like to reassure everyone once and for all: YES, Morocco, the country ruled by King Mohammed VI, is the model for the region. I do understand I may have put some out of work with this statement, but I do this with the confidence that efforts in writing, editing, and reading these pieces can be better served in discussing more pressing matters.
Unfortunately, this statement comes too late. Foreign Policy columnist James Traub made an attempt at tackling this heavy-hitting matter…twice in three months. In August, Traub's piece is headlined, “Is Morocco’s King Mohammed VI the savviest ruler in the Arab world?” The sheer scope of the question seemed to pose an issue of framework, as the same author published a lengthier piece a few months later. It too was headlined with a similar question. This time it read, “Morocco’s mysterious young monarch is promising a ‘third path’ between democracy and tyranny. Is it a model for the Arab world – or a myth?” The saga ends, six pages later, with the following line: “There is no third way.” The piece is complemented with a photo essay entitled, “A Tale of the Two Moroccos.” The photo essay bravely highlights the contrasting socioeconomic realities in Moroccan society.
Prior to making that conclusion, however, the author makes a groundbreaking assessment of the roots and causes for the income inequalities. Unlike the Moroccan journalists, writers, academics, and activists that have, for years, been advocating for reforms, the author cites various examples demonstrating the ties and policies that have entrapped wealth and power within the king and his closest allies. “I had never imagined that the king had any involvement with SNI. This blows my mind. I’m truly grateful that this white man has taken the time to inform the rest of the world on this matter,” a Moroccan journalist told me after reading the piece.
[Foreign Policy columnist, James Traub, asking tough questions.]
My hope is that in establishing the fact that Morocco is indeed a regional model, it may be possible to begin addressing other exceptional circumstances in Morocco. For example, no one has bothered to discuss that, unlike any other country in the region, Morocco has been the only country to directly respond to the economic grievances of its people by successfully opening Africa’s biggest mall. Or that Morocco is the only country in the region mentioned in the chorus of a popular club song featuring Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez. Not one mention of Morocco recently setting a record for the biggest omelet in Africa either. Nothing even on the advanced and highly evolved Moroccan goats that climb trees to eat argan seeds. These are just some of the factors that seem to be overlooked in the attempt to analyze Morocco within its regional and geopolitical context. Considering these factors, it is quite clear that Morocco is not simply a regional model, but rather, a world model--to be emulated beyond North Africa and the Middle East.
If you prefer, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot on Facebook
"Characterizations like “radicalization,” “moderation,” or “pragmatism” have proved inadequate to describe the nature of the shifts, simply because these terminologies are basically descriptive, and thus lack analytical precision."click | email | tweet
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Jadalicious / جدلشس
RT @4Bassam: US Tax-Payer Dollars at work: BBC News - Gaza UN school shelter hit, 'killing 15' http://t.co/11292FCHFX
12 hours ago
Media on the Margins: An Interview with Sky News' Sherine Tadros on Reporting the Israeli Attack on Gaza http://t.co/oo9MztEZEr
14 hours ago
New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Alliances and Perception Profiles in the Iranian Reform Movement, 1997... http://t.co/CBbMAEyIZ6
15 hours ago
15 hours ago
Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut http://t.co/qWkYjpnv73
yesterday at 8:58 AM
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- Media on the Margins: An Interview with Sky News' Sherine Tadros on Reporting the Israeli Attack on Gaza
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 July)
- A Debate on Gaza: Democracy Now! Interviews Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada and. J.J. Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward
- New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Alliances and Perception Profiles in the Iranian Reform Movement, 1997 to 2005
- Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut
- Al-Diwan Roundup: News and Analysis in Publishing and Academia from the Arab World
- Can Palestinian Men be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 22)
- Israel Mows the Lawn
- نون"... حرف واحدة تكفي فاتحة للخراب الاكبر في العراق"
- Mohamed Bouazizi, l'ouvrier agricole : Relire la « révolution » depuis les campagnes tunisiennes
- Egypt Media Roundup (July 21)
- Video: US Aid to Israel - The Real Deal
- بغايا بغداد التعيسات
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (July 14-20)
- HRW Whitewashes Israel, The Law Supports Hamas: Some Reflections on Israel’s Latest Massacre
- Press Release: UNRWA Commissioner-General Press Briefing on the Situation in Gaza Strip
- Kateb Yacine: A Profile from the Archives
- On the Margins Roundup (July)
- On Our Intervention in Kalam al-Nas: Real Estate Development Will Not Realize the Dreams of the Lebanese