Included with this post is a documentary from Al Jazeera about recent social protests in Morocco. The story reminded me of a visit I paid to that country, as a tourist, many years ago.
It was in the city of Agadir where I chose to stay, and from there I travelled around the locality in an attempt to better understand the culture. I recall going on a ‘Camel Trek’, organised by some enterprising nomads close to Agadir. Although, on that particular day, I was suffering from a dose of the runs (a whole other story, and one that is hair-raising), I enjoyed the journey, even though it was not in a remote region.
At one stage, the camel train, loaded with intrepid foreign adventurers (I exaggerate), passed through some grassy sand dunes. As I gazed around, I noticed some tin shacks scattered throughout. It was then that I realized that the gerry-built constructions were in fact homes for families who had nowhere else to go. I saw small children moving around the dilapidated shacks, and I felt shame that I was passing by as a tourist while they struggled to live normal lives. What made the entire matter even worse was the wire fence that I observed running along one side of the dunes. When I asked my guide what the fence surrounded, I was informed that it was a perimeter for one of the many Royal residences.
Morocco is a relatively poor country, with a proud people who suffer their lot with great dignity. They shouldn’t have to.
One day in Agadir, I watched as an old man on a homemade wooden cart, drawn by an aged horse, travelled along a main road in the city. The rickety vehicle appeared to be on its last legs, as did both horse and man. It was overtaken by a bright red Ferrari. The perverse juxtaposition was not lost on me.
I learned a lot about the injustice to be found, not only in Morocco, but across our world during that visit to north Africa. I wish that I could tell you that I came home optimistic. I can’t. I wasn’t. I came to understand that the world is ill-divided in a horrendous way. The small number who have much too much, the Surplass, will never willingly give up all that they have gained via theft, violence and exploitation. I repeat, they will never willingly give it up.
Unreasonable people cannot be reasoned with. Our world is being run (into the ground) by unreasonable people.
I hope that the people of Morocco will stand strong in their justified demands for equality and respect. They deserve that much and more. Then again, so do all the people of the world. They, the Surplass, will not simply give it to us…