As Libya calls for the resignation their “brotherly leader” of over four decades, we’ve been watching the events transpire from Morocco with bated breath. Khanzir, they call Qaddafi. That pig.
Moroccans have the right to protest, and they started exercising that right last Sunday, February 20th in cities across the country. Organized via Facebook and other social media, the protests in Fez have been mostly peaceful and certainly not calling for the overthrow of the monarchy. I’ve heard people calling for an end to the rampant corruption in Parliament and in government bureaucracy. The price of basic necessities like the butane gas used to cook in every household and the flour necessary for the bread that is an integral part of life have risen. There have been rounds of teacher’s strikes, calling for long overdue raises and suitable benefits.
This past Monday tension in the medina was palpable. Shops closed their doors quickly in the early afternoon after rumors spread that people were causing trouble. According to a few people I talked to in the medina, there are those that protest peacefully with real goals, and then there are the hooligans that take advantage of the situation to loot and generally get into mischief. The streets were quiet Sunday and Monday, most people playing it safe and staying home.
Today, though, shops are open, life falls back into its rhythm and Morocco’s gaze returns to Libya.