I vividly remember when my Sociolinguistics professor had been explaining to us the meaning of a register. “It is a speech variety used by a particular group of people usually sharing the same occupation”. Peculiarly and immediately, I went in a deep mediation, thinking about those who have no occupation. I soliloquized: “don’t they have a register? When I took to the streets myself during Ramadan protesting against the outrageously growing corruption and backing my unemployed friends' endeavours, I discovered that the process of finding an answer to that weird question drove me to a very different and unexpected issue, but a gripping and a significant one.
Unemployed Moroccan’s register is very typical and even distinctive. Mainly, you can recognize them just from the words and the expressions they use in their every day interaction. The following are only samples of countless examples that :
- What a fucking country. (Sorry for the word)
- May Allah curse this nation...
- If I were outside (Europe), I would never think of coming back…
- This country has offered us nothing but misery…..
The majority, if not all these expressions and others mirror one unique truth which is the fact that Moroccans have reached the climax of hopelessness and desperation.
This sense of wrath that sweeps over Moroccans, especially the unemployed, is not towards their country though it seems superficially so. The feeling of despondency is not at all due to their homeland simply because this latter is the source of their belonging, dignity and integrity. Rather, their incandescent anger is for those who represent this nation, those who once pledged to do their utmost to serve this country, but they ended up furthering themselves. Their inner pain and agony are due to those, vicious stakeholders and politicians who have been robbing everything in this nation to cram them in the Swiss banks. Wrong is the one thinking that Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is merely a myth and has nothing to do with reality.
Moroccans love their country even to adulation; and I have enough and cogent examples to bring the ones who believe in the otherwise around to this point.
Imagine yourself sipping a cup of tea in a Moroccan coffee, enjoying the vividness and the sociable atmosphere of the place. Suddenly, a foreigner enters and starts hurling insults at your country. What would be your reaction then? What would be your inner feelings? Notice with me if this impudent behavior was from a Moroccan citizen, I bet that you will not give it a second thought and you might even sympathize with that person and start seeking reasons that incited him to behave in such a manner.
Surely, our disappointment and frustration is not because of the nation as a homeland. It is because of those who are the avatar of this unlucky nation. The land, undoubtedly, deserves our ultimate love and respect.
Only last year, I witnessed an accident of two cars in Taza. The drivers rushed out of their cars with signs of rage and nervousness were splashing from their eyes. To my surprise, that feeling vanished into the blue once they knew that they were both from Tangier. They forgot about the accident and started conversing about where they live exactly and the likes. It’s safe to state that feeling of belonging to the same land and the pride that one shows when talking about his/her origins have an enormous influence and a magical effect on Moroccans and humanity at large.
With this incident in mind, one can call to mind countless examples pertaining to the fact that feeling of harmony and familiarity between people is emanated from, without ignoring other factors, the notion of national belonging. This sense of nationalism and identity becomes clearer on the macro level. Meaning, think of that accident in Paris, New York, Tokyo, or Sydney, how would be those people’s reaction when they get to know that they are from the same country, city, or even neighbor. In plain English, the more distant we are from our native land, the more nostalgic and home-bound we become.
Any person who was forced to quit his homeland either to study or to work is bound to turn back to it at least for a visit. This is human nature, As if there is a powerful magnetic field that pulls us in. A friend of mine had been repeating indefatigably that he will never think of coming back to his homeland if he set foot in France and I bet that it is the case with a large number of desperate Moroccans. In stark contrast, once he got his residency papers and become a legal citizen in France, he did not give it a second thought to come back to his home country for a short visit, and all his vows fell short of claiming and went with the wind. More than that, he kept his word and married the girl he has been in love with before immigrating. Wise who said that blood is thicker than water.
Nationalism is deeply rooted in every Moroccan’s disposition. It is undefined, inborn, eternal and colorless. In addition to the examples listed above, one can feel that his nationalism is functioning when he participates in a debate about a crucial national topic or event. Let us take the Western Sahara case or Sebta and Mallilia crisis and the tense atmosphere between Morocco and Algeria or Spain. Any Moroccan, when it comes to these issues, appears to be a great strategic expert or an experienced militant, or a shrewd diplomat or a great academic lecturer. He analyses, diagnoses, opines, suggests…. Any Moroccan: young or old, male or female, native or expatriate appears to be zealous, loyal, and even chauvinist in defending his country’s case though his knowledge of the issue is fragmentary and even scarce. In fact, he converses subconsciously from his emotional perspective that mirrors the light of his nationalism.
Moroccans utter anger and dissatisfaction is not due to their country. Rather it is because of those who hold the reins this realm, for those instead of serving and improving socially, economically, and culturally this nation, have chosen rather to secure their positions for life in a coward, base and selfish way. It is because of those fellow gluttons who have been lavishing our money carelessly in swanky castles and cars and satiating their depraved taste and carnal pleasure.
Our love and adulation for our country is beyond description. Even though the national event, when this feeling can come into function, are scarce, one can easily remember his national blood was rolling and boiling inside his veins out of joy and ecstasy when the national football team had been defeating a team after the other in 2004 African Cup in Tunisia. What can we call this? Isn’t nationalism? When Hicham Elgarouj stumbled and fell down in Sydney’s Olympics and how sad, sullen and downcast we became. What can we call this? Isn’t nationalism? When Juan Carlos visited Seta in extraneous circumstances and how the Moroccans expressed their incandescent anger in numerous demonstrations that reveal the solid bond between the people and their land. What can we call this? Isn’t nationalism? When almost 70% of the Moroccans boycotted the latest parliamentary elections refusing to cast their vote for a hodgepodge of illiterates, opportunists, drug barons and moguls aiming at a new start; What can we call this, isn’t nationalism? When the youth take to the streets days and nights asking for democracy, justice and bringing the corrupts to courts; what can we call this; isn’t nationalism? For me, it is those who are the real patriots, the real lovers of this country simply because love is not paid for; they love this nation expecting nothing in return. To much ink has been split about the World biggest flag, the tallest Mosque, the great football victory, the king’s May 9th historic speech, the unprecedented constitution …etc, portraying them as the epitome of nationalism and loyalty. What put my monkey up is the rank hypocrisy of those who harp about change, citizenship, the national interest while holding red passports.
I do remember that in the late 60s, john Kennedy challenged the American youth in a very influential and touching speech; he said “ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can for your country”. I think this saying is true at any time and any place. Moroccans should not stay cross handed waiting for GODOT. We need to have a step forward even with the least means and effort we have got within our power. It is said “if you desire honey, be patient for bees’ bites”.
I have a solid belief that Morocco is not black, and it is not white. It is not a place of wars, oppression, dictatorship, deprivation and wretch; and it is not a country of peace, fairness, democracy, welfare and happiness. Let us be reasonable an insightful, for those who see Morocco as a black nation, which color would they choose to paint Sudan, Somali, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq and the examples are legion. Do not be sad because you do not have a car, others’ legs are amputated. Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. Moreover, it should be stamped in the tablet of each one’s heart and mind that our Almighty God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.