Morocco ∉ {Uprisings in Middle East} – المغرب ليس جزءا من الثورات

Long live the king

With the unraveling of the regime headed by Ben Ali in Tunisia and the ongoing demonstrations and protests in Jordan, Yemen and especially Egypt, witnessing national uprisings in the Arab world while living in it has made 2011 an interesting year thus far.

I’ve been asked if conditions in Morocco seem ripe for a similar uprising and if the demand for change will spread here. I can’t begin to predict what will happen, but it seems unlikely. I’ve learned during my time here that the institution of the king is entrenched in Moroccan culture and is centuries old. The current king is latest in line of the Alaouite dynasty, which claims to be direct descendants of the prophet Muhammad through his daughter, Fatima Zahra, so he has religious legitimacy as well.

After speaking to a number of Moroccans including neighbors, women at the hammam, and professors, I’ve noticed often times that their support of their “Egyptian and Tunisian brothers and sisters” are mentioned in the same breath as statements in support of the king. Looking around me, though, as I sit at a café, surrounded by bored under- or unemployed men, I wonder.

For the time being, live broadcasts of the demonstrations are on every TV in every café and we sit, me drinking my avocado milkshake, and watch and wait. The events of Egypt seem far away and life goes on as usual.

Though she makes no mention of Morocco, I enjoyed this opinion piece on the events written by Laila Lalami, a Moroccan novelist that I met during a book reading in Seattle.

About Laura McAdams

Laura McAdams is a Master’s student at University of Pennsylvania studying International Educational Development. Her experience in the MENA region includes 15 months as a Fulbright student researcher to Fez and Ifrane, Morocco in 2010 and 2011. Her project was interested in understanding the disconnect between the policies of technology usage in education and the reality of how these policies unfold in the classroom. Summer 2012 she returned to the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco to work with a women’s weaving cooperative. She is excited to learn more about other countries in the MENA region and issues involving education policy and reform, technology usage in curriculums and gender equality in education. One of Laura’s lifelong goals is to one day be able to sit down and leisurely read a newspaper in Arabic.
This entry was posted in Fulbright Student Research in Morocco, 2010-2011, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Morocco ∉ {Uprisings in Middle East} – المغرب ليس جزءا من الثورات

  1. Lillie Tryggestad says:

    Thankyou for the privilege of reading what you are writing . Also the pictures are so interesting. It must have been very special to have your family visit you. I am glad to hear that they could do that.

  2. James says:

    > Looking around me, though, as I sit at a café, surrounded by bored under- or unemployed men, I wonder.

    Prescient, Laura. It goes without saying, stay safe.

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