Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Morocco, Land of the Free

I was talking to a shopkeeper in Marrakech. Since his shop is in a former Jewish quarter of the city, talk turned to the current influx of Moroccan Jews and other Europeans into the madinas of Morocco. "Why are they coming back?" I asked. Here are his answers:

1. Many of those who went to Europe and America found it hard to live there--high taxes and not many business opportunities.

2. Those who went to Israel met with discrimination, because they were Sephardic Arabic-speakers.

3. Moreover, those in Israel are under daily threat from terrorism. They could be blown up at any time.

So why do they come to Morocco? Taxes are relatively low, the business climate is favorable, and it's a free, peaceful, and secure society.

Meanwhile, I have to wonder how free, peaceful, and secure America is when I read such a story as this, in which a naval veteran arrested for wearing the wrong kind of T-shirt to a Chicago VA medical center.


At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Meriem and I'm from Morocco. I go to school in Minnesota U.S. It makes me really happy to hear that jewish Moroccans are comming back to their country. I mean the first thing people ask is "where are you from?" and I don't see why moroccans - whatever religion they have - should struggle abroad when their country is welcoming them arms opens.
Peace and Love

At 1:22 PM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

Hi Meriem, thanks for stopping by.

Well, a lot of the attitude in this post was tongue-in-cheek. For example, there's plenty of repression in Morocco, especially (in headlines recently) if you're gay or like to wear black T-shirts and listen to death metal.

And unemployment is high, which means the "education" track of class mobility is often a dead end for many Moroccans from the middle and lower classes. This is one reason they emigrate. (Wealth is tremendously concentrated in very few families here.)

However, if you have some financial independence and/or capital to invest, Morocco welcomes you with open arms, no matter what your religion. ;)

At 1:01 PM, Blogger AWG said...

Yeah, I saw that article about the Veterans for Peace guy in Chicago. Despicable!

At 1:54 PM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

He's a gutsy guy. I don't think I'd have the resolution to stand up and say no, I'm not going, I have the right to be here, and you can arrest me.

That's probably why the government can get away with what it does, because ordinary people like me are too scared to stand up to them.


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