Why I Quit?

Washington / Morocco Board News Service -      I have seen old TV presenters not going on vacations because they fear being replaced or fired.

I have seen opportunists surrounding [king's Friend and current head of PAM Party] Fouad Ali Alhima -who was still the second man of the Ministry of Interior at that time- in nights where alcohol marries miniskirts and hypocritical laughter.

I have seen checks signed by Moulay Hisham for Corrupted Journalists for whatever conspiracy he was planning against the monarchy.

I have seen these same journalists becoming national heroes, professors in the Journalism Institute and famous newspapers owners.
I have seen the former Minister of Communication ordering to put a tape of his belly dancer sister on the news right after the Friday Prayer led by the king.

I have seen arrogant political leaders like Liazgui insulting me and saying I am a cheap bitch, a miserable journalist that he can destroy easily just because I was too honest in my questions.

I have seen the money of the City of Rabat spent on festivals and private parties in villas where Fatima Makdady sings half naked and drunk on the table surrounded by a disgusted Marcel Khalifa and applauding journalists.

I have seen honest journalists living with 200 € a month and still believing in social justice.

I have seen other journalists happy with the free mobiles, the 100 € in an envelope or the weekend in Marrakech offered by strong companies to write a nice article about their lousy press conferences.

I have seen young and honest entrepreneurs like Ali Anouzla and Aziz Koukass fighting to keep a neutral independent newspaper running, while the advertisers deprives them from any help.

I have seen opportunists like Badie and Niny selling millions of copies with stories full of defamation and against journalistic ethics.

I have seen TV presenters sexually harassing interns and earning a huge salary without even working.

I have seen Samira Sitael slapping a journalist in the face, tearing the hair of another  and drawing her hot coffee on the face of a third.

I have seen secret services contacting me in order to share my information “for the sake of national security”, and others trying to recruit me because I was a promising journalist.

I have been threatened of death, of prison, and my parents interrogated because of the boldness of their daughter.

I have seen production companies exploiting young correspondents and blocking the market.

I have seen young journalists in the Journalism Institute (ISIC) full of dreams of building a better journalistic environment and becoming famous one day.

 I have seen and I have seen… and you know what it was too much to take for someone who was 18 to 21 years old. The years other people spend dating, partying and shopping carelessly, I spent them locked in an editing room, correcting an article on a A3 or under the rain covering a strike.

 Yes I have interviewed prostitutes and learned the codes they use to catch men.

I met Tazmamart detainees and witnessed the reconciliation process with them and their families.

I have infiltrated an evangelic mission and had prayers and meals with the beggars who converted to Christianity for a monthly salary.

I have investigated on Franc Massons in Morocco, met their great leader in Casablanca, and revealed their lodge.

I have interviewed from Driss Bassri to Plontu to Tindouf detainees to the poorest worker wanting just peace and a load of bread.

I have met the totally veiled wives of the Casablanca terrorists who were asking me why they should trust a girl in halve sleeves and jeans like me, to the atheist socialists who believe in gay rights and constitutional reforms.

I have seen the body remains in the mortuary of the Casablanca terrorists where the flesh and blood of the suicide bombers was melting with the flesh and blood of their victims.

Yes my life was exciting, challenging and full of adrenaline. I was getting pocket money from my parents to continue doing what I do. I was happy with my little name on a paper or a news feature on the TV and my miserable salary because I was believing that I was making change in my country. I felt no one can break my pen or burn my tape, no one can corrupt my ideals or steal my dreams. Yet, I wasn’t strong enough to continue fighting. It was becoming too heavy for my soul to see all the double standards and having to cope everyday with different levels of people as if I was a machine with many masks not a human being. I needed to shout my anger and my refusal, but the chains of neutrality and subjectivity were holding me quite and smiling. Until one day in August 2006 when I faxed my resignation letter to the Moroccan channel 2M, which symbolized for me resigning from the whole field once for all. The same night I started my blog “Words for Change” where I could finally say what I think, what I see and what I feel.

My last thoughts are for the brave colleagues who worked with me or studies with me and who are much more courageous than I am, because they chose to continue the battle in a country still in democratic and social transition. I would like to thank you for all what you are enduring on our behalf to get fresh new everyday while sitting on our offices. For my part I work now in Development which I believe will help me making a little change, and which is not that innocent of clean as you may think. But let’s leave that for another note.

Comments (10)  

0 #1 no!F6433A 2010-09-21 03:56
too bad...I so like and enjoy reading you!
PLEASE,give it a second thought..
All the best to you.
0 #2 yallah tanhedrouGermelou 2010-09-21 06:35
What you describe is the Morocco of fils et fille a papa chocolat (Sitail et co., ) and their Papas. What you describe is not confined to the world of journalism; you find the same crowd (their brothers and sisters) in the government, banks, large firms (RAM, OCP, Maroc Telecom, Meditel, ...). No true changes will take hold in Morocco while these filthy folks, who have been considering the country as they own little playground while looking down on the rest of the country, can go on unpunished and unchallenged transferring the same sense of entitlement and superiority as well as habits and privileges to their kids. All, this is truly the heart of the problem. While a lot of things have definitely significantly improved, we will not go very far when the culture and cliques described above that formed in the 50s-60s-70sare still getting fatter by the day.

A sad and poignant article. Good you gave up that world akhti walakine if there is one thing we've learned in this country is "Never Give Up". When I read stuff like this and old memories come back to mind, I say lhamdoulillah 3ela mirikane mille fois ou Allah i3awounna me3a had lmoussiba that keeps Morocco from fully shining and really explains why our social indicators are still "inexplicably" so backwards; all due to the crowd described above.
merry chase
0 #3 COMMENT_TITLE_R E Why I Quit?merry chase 2010-09-21 07:49
Morocco needs people like you. Keep your ideals. Yes you are fighting a big battle. you are brave. too bad you are leaving. We need idealistic people like you. Corruption of our government is a very large burden to bear. Don't lose faith though.

Blessings in you next journey An admirer of your ideals.
Moroccan in the US
0 #4 Journalism is only alive in South AfricaMoroccan in the US 2010-09-21 09:31
The only country in the world that still has a free press is South Africa.
man en blanc
0 #5 Another voice. SILENCED!man en blanc 2010-09-21 09:34
Sometimes it's not even worth it.

We have corruption on STEROIDS in Morocco! I am not talking about the few dirhams we all dole out for the basic low-life cop, civil servant, judge, douanier, kadi...etc!

I am talking about about the MORAL corruption of the powers that be! The very people in very high places, les MINISTRES, who show up at the Friday prayers on a regular basis, with Gendarmes, and limousines and ugly smirks on their degenerate faces, then spend those very afternoons wallowing in debauchery, sleaze and nefarious plans designed to squeeze the very last breath of the hard-working, Allah-fearing every-day Ahmed, or Najia! The very people who enable the ELITES (Sarcastically- speaking) to continue on their nefarious journey!

0 #6 COMMENT_TITLE_R E Why I Quit?E.Hamid 2010-09-21 15:22
I have read and re-read your article.You hit the nail on the head.Prior to immigrating to the US in December 1970, I have seen worst under the likes of Dlimi, Oufkir, General Moulay Hafid Alaloui and Co.: the "mouirta days"as in the Cisilian Mafia.Those were the days when Police will knock at your door at 3:00 in the morning to be hauled away never to surface again. You had to live by your wits with the hope never to make an ennemy in the 2eme Bureau or the secret police.As an avid reader of the news concerning Morocco, I am seeing a "BIT OF LIGHT" toward the abuse of Human Rights. Not as much as I wish for the Old Homestead but an improvement anyway I look at it.I do not feel that Morocco is a democratic country in the sense of the word. Much needs to be done: EDUCATE THE CITIZEN=RECREAT E HIM to understand his constitutional rights. You see Democracy is never given freely, it has to be taken. How can we achieve such? Educating the POPULACE= re-inventing the human.Morocco is still plagued by illeteracy and the old customs of yesteryears.Mor occo is still at least 4 generations away from enjoying a democracy as we know it, i.e. application of a bill of rights as applied in our Country of residence the USA or similar advanced countries. I am 66 years old and I am in a hurry to see Morocco achieve all I wish for it from Human rights respect whereby all Moroccans are equal in the eye of the law.No, that would not happen in my life time to my regret. However, we the Moroccans in the diaspora can influence the acceleration of constitutional changes by voicing our comments as I am doing herein. I regret your giving up. You should not as the Country needs the likes of you. Please do reconsider your decision and keep on fighting. America did not get to where it is today ( even though not perfect democracy) but yet we can express our opinions as guaranteed by the first amendment.I wish you courage. Morocco needs the like of you.Wish to leave you with 2 famous sayings: Paul Revere: " don't tread on me" and also General Patton: " l'AUDACE". best of luck.Don't get discouraged, the future is yours as Khasogi told his Son Mohamed on his 21st birthday.
0 #7 i am not surprised!SimohamedNY 2010-09-21 23:10
Dear Sarah,
What you have described is nothing new! We all know what goes on behind closed doors, and the image "they" try to display in front the cameras and the public! I agree, there is a lot of hypocrisy, dishonesty and opportunism, not only in the Moroccan media, but in every single sphere of our beloved Moroccan society. But as a fellow Moroccan and professional, I advise you not to burn all your bridges! Coming out like that and being too honest can be detrimental to your professional life. Be honest and straightforward about the stories you tell as a journalist. Do not compromise your principles and live by your virtues and beliefs.
You know, you remind of the last 8 years i spent in Rabat before moving to the U.S! I saw a lot of what your described, but in a different setting. My boss, who is trying to become a minister these days as a result of the new seats in parliament gained by Al Haraka Al Chaaibiya, was the biggest opportunist and thief in the world in the company i worked for. Forget about the "red night" (a married man - mind you), he was using a lot of company money for his own leisure! And he will soon be a minister!! Go figure!! Thank God for the U.S (despite all its wrongs!!).
MRE - Houston TX
0 #8 Leave and don't look back! Start a new page!!!!MRE - Houston TX 2010-09-22 03:23
You want to make a change? Leave.. don't look back... free yourself... think and write like a flying bird. You have got some guts to be able to turn the page.. Make this a new beginning ... I am sure your words will shine and the light from your candle will strengthen !!! Abviously you have to make money to survive. Write books... there are millions of people out there who want to read words from an honest thinker who fights for US.
0 #9 COMMENT_TITLE_R E Why I Quit?riffi 2010-09-22 03:31
brave and courageous,keep on writing don't stop.
0 #10 Unto whom are thou singing your Psalms?Chomskyan 2010-09-22 13:37
What you "have seen" is just the tip of the Iceberg, what lies beneath the surface is far beyond our grasp. Others have chosen to quit everything- not only their career- and leave Morocco for good, they are thought of as "heat-headed" and cacophonous because they could not get along with the "democratic and modernized" propaganda that's been regurgitated around the official mainstream. Anyhow, I don't wanna bring about all those bottled up memories of yore reminiscent of periods of dysphoria. Move on with your life young lady, psyche yourself up for stirring your ship before it hits the storm ,and please quit wasting oxygen on issues that will remain unaltered. The tongue stiffened and the eyes run dry already.

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