I am a postgraduate student, I admit that I am not well-versed in politics. But as a Moroccan citizen, I feel it is my duty to reflect on what’s going on in my country, following the news and eye-witnessing the events here, in my city Fez.
Morocco is a kingdom ruled by his majesty Mohamed VI since July 30th,1999 after his father the king Hassan II passed away on July 23th, 1999. The kingdom is 12 centuries old.
Following the news on what’s going on in North Africa and the Middle East, almost all these countries are against the regime including their presidents (and kings in some countries). We heard on TV the slogan “the people want the fall of the regime” which implies the expulsion of the president as well as the government.
Morocco is different, however. At this period, almost all Moroccans were sharing pictures of the king on facebook, with slogans such as “we support the king” and groups entitled “we love the king” & “The Nations burn themselves to expel their presidents, we (Moroccans) burn the world for our king Mohamed VI” and the like. I personally feel so proud of my country and of Moroccans, and proudly joined these groups.
Couple of weeks ago, there were some videos circulating of demonstrations that will take place on February 20th in Morocco. This date, according to them, has become linked with “freedom.” On Sunday, Feb, 20th, there were demonstrations in the capital (Rabat), Casablanca, Fez, Marrakesh and other cities. Following the news, they were peaceful demonstrations. Interestingly, and unlike other countries, the demonstrators were lifting up the photos of the king Mohamed VI with slogans “Long live the king.”
In the afternoon of the same day, I took my ID, iPod and went out to see what’s going on. Walking in the street, almost all stores and cafés were closed. There were few buses. I had to walk to Atlas (where there was a demonstration). On my way there, I met with some guys and women running, and they told me to go back. I asked some kids “what’s going on?” they replied “things are tense, there are troubles.” Since the way looked safe, I continued my walking. There was a group of people surrounding someone who was saying that “these (the demonstrators) do not understand” apparently he was commenting on the slogan they were using “the people want the fall of the regime.” He added that “we should support the king, the king is young and he is also with change.” I managed to film that. I understood that the demonstrators moved to the university, probably to gain more participants especially students (who were among the demonstrators too).
I continued my way to the court in Atlas where there was a demonstration in the morning, it was empty but there were police tracks. I met with a friend (who lives close to the university) and we were soon joined by an American friend. We went to the university and things were calm. We walked to the centre ville, things appeared quite and normal, till a group of young people (not more than a hundred) appeared shouting “the people want the fall of the regime” followed by “long live the king Mohamed VI.” I filmed them. They continued their way to avenue Hassan II. Soon after, police tracks came but did not interfere.
At the mean while, I texted my friend in Narjiss and he told me that there were some demonstrations along Trek Sefrou and they were very aggressive and “horrible.” This is mainly because there was a match in the stadium of Fez, and the viewers on their way back made lots of troubles and damages (probably out of fun?).
On my way back home, I saw a bank’s glass broken, the entrance door of a residence broken, dustbins thrown down. A foreigner was prevented from photographing fearing that he will misuse the photographs (as was previously done in Laayoun). The police were organizing the traffic. And demonstrators were still shouting…
Concerning the Media; it is misleading. As Sayf al-Islam al-Qadafi, al-Qadafi’s son, in a speech states that media has provided wrong information concerning what’s going on in Libya, and Libya is not Egypt or Tunisia. Yes, and Morocco is not Egypt, or Tunisia. A wrong media coverage, just to give a STORY, some news channels are giving the impression that “Moroccans are against the king” which is NOT true! We are with the king, we support the king, but it is the government which is corrupt. The king is a young man, we are a young people, we want a young (in age not in experience though) government and prime minister.
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