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To Moroccan Youth: Be a Light to Arab World—Not a Shadow

Washington / Morocco Board NewsTo the youth of Morocco: I have never lived in Morocco or been there. Therefore, I do not know any of you personally; I know you solely by your presence on the internet—your “web-persona,” as it were. In this regard, I feel that I have personally come to know the electronic image you project—at least in English—as intimately as possible.

I have also studied your country and followed the development of your economy, government, and society for a long time, and most especially since the Great Arab Revolution of 2011 began. You have a remarkable country and therefore I care very much about the future of your revolution.

 

You know old men: we are always giving young people advice. What else are old men good for? Therefore, I hope that you will allow this old man to offer some advice based on what events look like on the web.

Although I am only a crotchety old man, my heart goes out to all the youth of Morocco at this important time in Arab history. A long overdue revolution is sweeping North Africa and the entire Arab world. It would be like commanding water to flow uphill to expect Moroccan youth not to want a revolution in their own country—any revolution—just to be able to hold their heads up high to the rest of the world—especially to other Arabs.
For, what young Arab-Moroccan is not proud of their fellow Arabs who have stood up to tyranny and stared it down in the streets of Tunis and in Tahrir Square—and are now facing bullets, tanks, and bombs in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen? And what young Moroccan is not concerned about the question he or she will inevitably hear from other Arabs—and even from his or her own future children: “What part did you play in the Great Arab Revolution of 2011?” What young Moroccan today does not yearn to answer: “I made revolution, too.” If I were young, I would want to be there making revolution with you.
But, if you will let a wizened old man have his say, this is what I would advise you: 1) when you make revolution, think first of what you are doing—because a lot of revolutions are regrettable affairs; 2) there is more than one thing about which to make a revolution; and 3) there is more than one way to make a revolution.
Let’s start with the first point. The first Arab revolution of modern times was the Great Arab Revolt of 1916. This was a revolution against the arbitrary and corrupt rule of the Ottomans. Arab youth then joined with the British and French who were at war with the Ottoman Empire because it was allied with Germany in World War I. Arab youth and their allies won. But what was the result? It merely allowed the British and French to carve up the Middle East with arbitrary lines and establish their colonial rule over it. Most of the rest of the 20th century has been spent on trying to throw off the results of the Great Arab Revolt of 1916. 
The next great Arab revolution was the revolution of nationalism led by Gamel Abdel Nasser in the 1950s. That revolution was sparked by the dream of Arab unity that seemed to be well on its way with the joining together of several states into the United Arab Republic. But the revolutionary dream led to humiliating defeats in the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, and the end of the dream of Arab solidarity. Instead of Arab unity, it eventually led to the regimes of Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algeria, and Muammar Gadaffi in Libya—all the regimes that today’s youth are revolting against.
So, this crotchety old man has this piece of advice to today’s Moroccan youth: Don’t go off digging a revolutionary hole that you will regret. Remember that when you dig a revolutionary hole, you drag the whole country into it with you. So, think before you make revolution: Don’t condemn several future generations of Moroccan youth to trying to dig themselves out of the hole you might be digging now.
This brings me to the second point, which is that there is more than one thing about which to make a revolution. Reading over a multitude of press reports, opinion pieces, and blogs, this old man is impressed with the paucity of reasons and goals for revolution in Morocco. They seem to come down to one single goal—get rid of the king’s powers—and one simple demand—turn those powers over to elected politicians.
Now, if Morocco’s king were as tyrannical as Ben Ali, Mubarak, Bouteflika, or Gadaffi, I would certainly applaud your goal—and even wish that I were young enough to join you. But Mohammed VI is not a tyrant. In fact, he has been a reforming king, and his goal all along is to make the country into a modern and democratic nation. There will be more reforms and changes to make Morocco more democratic, just, and respectful of rights. That has been his policy since becoming king, and he proved it again on March 9th. While to the rest of the world, “The King’s Speech” refers to a movie, in Morocco it means the speech in which the King said he meant what he has been saying since 1999. It isn’t often that a nation gets a leader who actually means what he says.
Therefore, the fact is that Moroccan youth have little but an entirely abstract argument to make to justify their revolution to take away the power of the king in favor of elected politicians. Yes, there is also a serious corruption issue, and it has to be addressed. But, the naïve assumption—that getting rid of the king’s powers and turning them over to politicians will solve the problem—is ridiculous. While the idea—that democracy will be less corrupt than monarchy—may have been a tenable hope in the long-ago 18th century American and French revolutions, experience since then amply proves that even the best democracies refuse to take second place when it comes to corruption.
Remember: Ben Ali was elected president of Tunisia five times, and Hosni Mubarak was elected president of Egypt in democratic elections four times. Merely being able to vote for them was no defense against tyranny and corruption. But let’s look not only at democratic tyrants to prove that corruption is endemic to all systems. Just take a look at the corruption of American democracy by Wall Street and foreign lobbies (to mention only two sources of corruption). That makes all the corruption in Morocco that has so far been brought to light by WikiLeaks, etc., seem pretty petty by comparison. 
So, the advice of this old American on my second point is that, if the revolution is about corruption, don’t allow it to be sidetracked into a revolution about dividing up the king’s powers. I can assure you that democratically elected politicians are just as easily corrupted as the king’s advisers—maybe even more so. Rather, use your revolution to aim directly at the corruption—naming the corrupters and how they are stealing from the government or the people. Attack the corruption, not the king. For, if you simply aim at the king, the corrupters will still get their way with the democratic politicians you elect after the revolution is over.
Finally, we come to my third point, which is that there is more than one way to make a revolution. The old idea of revolution had just one goal: “throw the bum out.” Unfortunately, that is about all that the revolutionary youth of Morocco seem to be demanding—at least as reported in the press and stated in the blogs. If the king gives up a substantial amount of power—i.e., removes himself from the picture by becoming merely a ceremonial king—the revolution will be deemed a success.  Speaking bluntly, (after all, that is what crotchety old man do best), this is so petty that I can confidently predict that you will be ashamed of it in future years.
“But if we do not demand more powers from the king, how shall we have a revolution?” I hear you ask.
Well, this is where we have to get beyond the idea of simply shifting the distribution of power at the top. All that that kind of revolution accomplishes is to exchange one set of bums for another set of bums. In the end it is purely negative and only benefits politicians and journalists.  If there is only change at the top, the revolution may as well never have happened—at least as far as ordinary people are concerned.
What is needed, therefore, is a positive revolution. What I mean by a positive revolution is this: rather than following the course of the Great Arab Revolution of 2011, by blindly demanding a change of government, why not try to lead the Arab Revolution? If Moroccan youth take this approach, you will have much to offer other Arab nations and peoples struggling to find their own path to: freedom under law, economic growth, and societal stability. For, if Moroccan youth think about it, Morocco is a great model for other Arab countries to follow. For the past dozen years,
➢    Morocco has been following a path of increasing respect for human rights, democratization, and economic growth;
➢    Morocco has a stable society that neither wants nor expects disruption;
➢    Moroccans have strong national feelings while at the same time reaching out to Arabs everywhere to increase economic, social, educational, and cultural ties;
➢    Moroccans have a strong sense of personal dignity, respect for Muslim values, reverence for tradition, and societal purpose.
These are exactly the values, goals, and personal dispositions that Arabs in other states, such as Tunisia and Egypt, who have just toppled their tyrannical leaders, will need in order to establish stable and free societies in their stead. Moroccan youth should be saying to them: “Come, look at the Moroccan experience: we have something good to offer you on the way to the future we all desire.”  Now, this would be a real contribution to the Great Arab Revolution of 2011. It would also be real and useful leadership that the Great Arab Revolution of 2011 desperately needs in order to not go the way of so many previous revolutions.
So, what is this old American’s advice to Moroccan youth? Be leaders not followers. 
If you will look upon your own country, its history, its traditions, and your own characters a little more honestly, you will find much more to offer other Arab peoples than just copying the them in toppling governments. Think on just this one thing for a minute:  Is it not true that if any of the leaders toppled in North Africa in the past few months had followed the example of Mohammed VI over the past twelve years, would there not have been a greater revolution without all the violence?
I know that this sounds so contrary to most assumptions that it will shock many young Moroccans. But, really, does not the history of Morocco over the past dozen years, present the best example of what other Arab nations and peoples should follow—after they come out of their own  “years of lead”? Of course, there have been mistakes, and maybe it could have gone quicker. But there are many lessons Morocco has learned, and it is these lessons that your fellow Arabs in other nations most need today.
If the revolutionaries of Tunisia, Egypt, and all the other Arab nations undergoing revolution right now are ever to get the kind of jobs they want, they will need peace and stability, investment, and economic growth. Big ideals are nice, but what is most valuable are the lessons learned in real efforts to achieve them. That is what Morocco has to offer.
So, here is your opportunity, Moroccan youth. Stop complaining about what you have, and start leading with it. Don’t just ape the others—prepare yourselves to help them when they need it most—after the revolutions are over.
Moroccan youth can—and should—be a light to the Arab world, not a shadow. 

 



Author: Ben Novak is editor-in-chief at Marcopolis.net.

 

Comments (30)  

 
Mo Bouras
0 #1 Mo maroqueMo Bouras 2011-03-21 13:51
This is great great Article! This Article should be translated to arabic and french for all Moroccans to read....
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sahrane
0 #2 dictator or notsahrane 2011-03-21 14:47
Well Mr Novak,it's my second response to you,the first one abruptly disappeared,is it a keylogger in the backrground?who knows?this out of the way.let's discuss your advice to the young,is prudent but not wise,cause by your admission you never lived or been in morocco,so when you qualify the king as democrat by comparisson to (ben ali,moubarak,ha ssan2....)well you can agree the flaw is the generation component.so the jerk comparison is always with the worst to make it look not that bad after all,if you qualify the king as a democrat when he is sucking half a billion a year from the country coffers(more than a million$ a day),while 45% live on two $ a day
and worst than that he take the money from the budget before any ministry does (health ,education..)an d nobody can say a word if not you'll be in the gulag,and sir if you're calling him a democrat, what's a dictator look like?yes sure the smoke screens are costing nothing (a hundreds of so called parties,a law for women protection ,ask women if that helping in the real world)in the meantime the royal family is living high on the hog more than dozen palaces not counting villas,while more than 15% living under poverty line.and the corruption is the elephant in the room ,and the so called ministers all they are business men what you think the laws they create and put on the books (not vote for)so,mr novak i hope these arguments help you put your advice in perspective.
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Svay
0 #3 EducationSvay 2011-03-21 15:26
A message to all Moroccans: seek education (ilm) and a lots of it!!! Fear Allah and make do3aa. You'll go very far!

Salam,
Morrocan,
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Zaid Ali
0 #4 COMMENT_TITLE_R E To Moroccan Youth: Be a Light to Arab World—Not a ShadowZaid Ali 2011-03-21 18:04
To start with, neither Hussni Mubarek nor Zin Alabidin were democraticlly elected! We all know that the 99 per cent vote they get each term is not a real number. As far as Morocco is concerned, you are right in many aspect except that change does not come with autocratic systems. Name a country that has an autocratic state and considered democratic and/or prosperous. Know, that the king's family are tyrant just like the trabelssi's of Tunisia. One example to mention among many, Alyaakoubi, a kings' relative, has shot a poiliemen two years ago because the latter dared to stop him while driving! You may think Alya3koubi is in jail, naaaaaah, he is out there free, Enjoying his Morocco!!!!
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borsa
0 #5 COMMENT_TITLE_R E To Moroccan Youth: Be a Light to Arab World—Not a Shadowborsa 2011-03-21 21:32
Wise words and certainly a voice of reason, hopefully this message is not drowned out by delirious shouts of "Revolution!". Morocco has been on the path of change and evolution for at least a decade, so we should see these revolutions occuring in other Arab countries as a catalyst not as a signal to erupt in Revolution which will cause more harm to Morocco and certainly strengthen the hand of our enemies the Algerian Mafia Generals and their proxy Polisario.

In these tumultuous times we Moroccans need to keep a cool level head more than anything.
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Rod
0 #6 Morocco foreverRod 2011-03-21 22:20
Mr. Novak,

I was chocked and dismayed to read your article, it's an insult to any Moroccan who aspires to freedom and democracy, you stated that we have only two choices:
1- We need to keep all powers with the king in an absolute monarchy system ( even the king does not agree with you) with the argument that he will do a better job than politicians.
OR
2- Give power to corrupt politicians who will do a worst job running our affairs.
Your argument does not hold water, it's bogus at best and in bad faith at worst, let me explain it to you:
1- In a democratic constitutional monarchy, power will be in the hands of ELECTED and ACCOUNTABLE to the people politicians, unlike now where they are appointed and not accountable to the people, if they do a good job they get to be reelected, and if they do a bad job they will not be reelected, in the case they break the law, they will be prosecuted.
2- No people in the world want to be ruled by non elected, non accountable Person ( King- president...)
Also, I researched the company that you work for as editor-In chief " Marcopolis" and found out a link to the status -quo crowd (elite) in Morocco, you should have clarified your connections for the benefit of transparency, there is a conflict of interest here or worst a deliberate attempt to manipulate Moroccan public opinion, here is the proof from your company's website (Client in this case refers to a Moroccan Business and politician group):
Marcopolis Business Facilitation
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MarcoPolis business model is based on meeting and understanding the needs of elites from business and political sphere. Through meeting the most influential people and partnering with the most respectable institutions MarcoPolis is creating strong relationships. We can capitalize on these relationships to provide added value to our clients, partners and other institutions. Marcopolis is performing following activities:


• Facilitating business collaboration

• Putting in contact businesses with investors, suppliers with clients

• Seeking out opportunities and partnership and connecting needs with wants

Manage Events, Campaigns, Special Promotions



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


MarcoPolis other activity involves actively providing valuable and niche focused industry insights to clients and partners and brings B2B buyers and sellers together at conferences and events. Special targeted promotional and communication campaigns custom tailored to marketers specific needs.

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karim Addoukkali
0 #7 There is no exception in the Arab worldkarim Addoukkali 2011-03-22 00:11
The same mess everywhere and this has been going for more than 600 years.Illiterac y, misunderstandin g of religion and its bad transmission, lack of critical thinking, ignorance. Corrupt politicians with no vision and no sense of historical responsibility.
Now we are experiencing a transition from a static KOs to a dynamical one.
For your information: Tunisia has a larger income/inhabita nt and less illiteracy than Morocco.
Moroccans are not looking for a revolution but for a soft and real change. The king has a major role to play like in Spain. Sweden, England, Belgium......
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Rod
0 #8 Morocco boardRod 2011-03-22 00:38
"marcoplois" where Mr. Novak work signed a nice contract on behalf of different Moroccan business groups, the main "job" of Marcopolis is to promote business and poltical views of its clients. they have business interest in the status quo, so any talk of "change. eveolution, revolution..." goes against keeping things as they are for the benfits of their clients, their clients are elite established businesses in the Agro industry and tourism in Morocco, Bahrein,Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait and UAE.
Mr. Novak was just doing the bidding of his clients and care less about democracy.
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Abou Mehdi
0 #9 Thanks Rod & SahraneAbou Mehdi 2011-03-22 01:12
I didn't even bother to complete reading the propaganda by this so "concerned" gentelman.

Mr. Ben please get your facts straights first before you advice others what or what not to do. Or should I say look at the mirror?
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Amine2905
0 #10 Now is better than later !Amine2905 2011-03-22 01:39
Some of what said Sir Novac is true but to build our future we must evolve not revolve. So balancing power between the king, politicians and the people will be benficial for moroccans. But, things will not change positively in a day. We should learn how to control politicians. Our journalists should learn how to make sound investigations. Our justice should be more fair. Counterbalancin g powers is the core of democracy. this is what Morocco is trying to do. the way will be long, with many obsatcles, but we have to start. and better now than later.
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Casaoui
0 #11 MarocCasaoui 2011-03-22 03:27
Amine,

We can have a constitution in less than six months that enshries the separation of powers, institues checks and balances and meets our other democratic demands, no reason to kick the can down the raod, our chance is NOW and not in the "future", we already wasted fifty years and fell behind other nations, nothing that you mentioned can't be achieved right the way, look at happened in Spain when King Juan Carlos was honest about moving his country towards democarcy and hand over his powers to the people (Spain is run by elected and accountable to the people polticians), it was achieved in a matter of months not years, Spain took off to become a major economic and political power, we are at the bottom with other miserable third world countries.
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Hassan7777
0 #12 Thank youHassan7777 2011-03-22 04:14
Thank you very much for your wise words. The so called "youth" here don't know what they're doing. Just cause their neighbors are up to something great, they're jealous and want to do the same thing.
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Marroqui
0 #13 Why can't I post?Marroqui 2011-03-22 05:41
Is there a reason why every time I post...it goes directly to la la land?
Anyway and in brief, I totally disagree with you and question your motives!
I am neither polisario nor an islamist but take a look at this recent testimony about torture in Morocco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzY2if4LWdQ
Wake up people and drop the fear factor!
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man en blanc
0 #14 COMMENT_TITLE_R E To Moroccan Youth: Be a Light to Arab World—Not a Shadowman en blanc 2011-03-22 05:59
Although some Mr Novak's ideas are debate-worthy, the fact remains, and by his own admittance, that he has never visited the fatherland.
It tends to undermine his core point.
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Noureddine Boutahar
0 #15 Well SaidNoureddine Boutahar 2011-03-22 07:13
Wow! My granddad was my model. He always told me great wise things. Your words remind me of him. Thank you, and may he rest in peace.
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najib karam
0 #16 Mr Novak really !!!!!najib karam 2011-03-22 10:03
If you are so passionate about the king why don't you get one of your own with advisers and its government or better still get M6 as your head of family i am sure he will run your shopping as efficiently as our country's economy.
Mr Novak your interest is dubious and outdated. Morocco is right to ask its leader to be accountable. he is after all the CEO of Morocco PLC. when things go wrong you need someone fired or you go bankrupt.
GOD HELP US IN OUR PATH TO FREEDOM
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HamidChef
0 #17 Mr. Wiseman is wiseHamidChef 2011-03-22 10:35
Thank you old man for the time you took to write this posting, it's indeed inspiring.

Some of the comments below seem harsh and I believe that the questioning of your motives is misplaced. Few days ago, Ahmed Benshemsi, an experienced Moroccan journalist, posted an article on this forum and no one questioned his motives, and we all know that he has plenty of motives to trash the Moroccan system to satisfy his beloved ego.

It makes me wonder if the new so-called democrats are not that democrat after all. It seems like it must be their way or a highway. And that is scary!

Anyway, out of the 3 options you listed, I prefer a blended one. A decade ago, I read about the Quebec quiet revolution** or “La Révolution tranquille”. In the 1960s, the province of Quebec found itself sinking socially, economically and financially. The people then, as a society which included the political parties, NGOs and the government, decided to act by defining their course of action to modernize and level up with the rest of the North American society. The revolution happened with a plan and a commitment of the population as a single society. The results were great, the benefits were quantifiable. Quebec was able to attract many investments, the civil society flourished and became creative, the province was able to organization the international expo and the Summer Olympic games of 1976, etc…

I would like almost the same thing to happen in Morocco, we need that new constitution to inspire people to be honest, equal, brave, hard worker, accepting one another, focused on results. This new constitution doesn't need to resemble Spain's or Sweden but it should be a genuine Moroccan constitution with inputs from all of us.

I would like to see everyone involved, king, government, political parties, NGOs, in the cities, rural areas, mountains, Sahara, etc…This is our chance in history to shape our future with civism, growth and pride.

I would like to define a person as a citizen not a subject, and see us as leaders not followers (as you well mentioned).

I would like to see that quiet revolution, the Moroccan “Révolution tranquille”

**For more information you can google on "quebec quiet revolution"
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Morokkan
0 #18 Thanks!!!Morokkan 2011-03-22 13:39
Thank you for your input, that is your opinion and your free to express your views, how ever here is quick reality check, i think by now you should realize a couple of thinks are hapenning on the ground:
1) the king is for the change and his speech proves that he wants to move along.
2) the islamists, leftist (Moroccans in general) have decided to agree on one thing, and ONE THINK ONLY ...that is a change in the constitution.
So Mr Novak, i think we are living historic moments in Morocco and for Moroccans that is great news.
So let me tell you this Old wise men, the MOROCCANS have spoken, and you should wisen up and listen!!
Thanks for your concerns about Morocco, but i guess we Moroccans will take it from here.
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Hassan Media
0 #19 You Can't Observe Morocco From AfarHassan Media 2011-03-22 21:54
Your comments made it clear you have never set foot in Morocco. You cannot “know” this country surfing the web any more than you can know America by watching movies. You have to know Morocco’s history by living it and the people by living among them. I adopted this wonderful country 35 years ago when I returned to Islam and have spent a lot of time here. I have seen so many acts of kindness by its people. I have seen the poorest sharing what little they have with an even poorer neighbor. I have seen so many good changes that occurred once Morocco was able to overcome the legacy of French colonialism. The infrastructure changes (roads, ports, trains, phones, utilities etc.), new housing and TV reporting are obvious. You can go to a government office and get something done without paying a bribe or pleading for days (weeks) for service. The new generation of officials are polite, educated and efficient. Records are computerized. You are no longer hassled at the ports of entry.
The king has worked so hard to modernize this country. Unlike other Arab leaders, his goal is to advance the country and its people, not build palaces and steal the country’s wealth. He and his family are caring and known for being personally involved. He has fired officials on the spot for mismanagement. His has deserves the respect he has earned.
Morocco’s greatest challenge is employment of its young, educated population. These young people are not asking for handouts, only the opportunity to earn a living. I know young men with college degrees selling fruit from a cart or mixing cement and laying brick for a few dollars a day. Sometimes the wages barely pay for the bus ride to the job and food. Before the bad economy young Moroccan’s had the hope they could go to Europe or America to work and send money home. That hope is gone.
The young people in Morocco are asking for the opportunity to work, own a home, get married, and support their family while being treated with respect. I too am a “wise old man”, wise enough to know the difficulties in Morocco are not the same as those in Tunis, Syria or Egypt and to know that a sudden, radical change in government will not solve the youth unemployment problem.
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Aliali
0 #20 ThanksAliali 2011-03-23 06:19
Dear Mr Novak,
I approve some aspects of your paper in particular the idea that we should be cautious with the notion of revolution (thank you). The argument is very persuasive (perhaps the most persuasive in the current web literature) but I must disagree with the general conclusion. In fact, I disagree with your main assumption that the king has good intentions. To give you an example, let me mention education. The king gave a very ambitious speech on improving education in 1999 and yet today (11 years later) essentially half of the population does not know how to read or write. The illiteracy rate is probably one of lowest among all Arab countries and most certainly lower than the neighbors. In a centralized political system, the king must hold the responsibility for this failure. One could even argue that the current regime has instituted bad education as a deliberate policy (something inherited from the father) because it is easier to govern uneducated people. Pushing for good education is the minimum that a country should have and the king has clearly failed this objective.
More fundamentally, I know in my heart that the king is not well intentioned. This is someone who claims to be the religious chief (Amir Almouminine) and yet holds shares of beer brewer and casinos. This is someone who goes on a private trip of 40 days abroad without news to the people (give me an example of a single head of state who can do this). This is someone who predates all the business opportunities through a network of family/friends. This is someone who likes expensive cars sent by military jet to be repaired in London.
Morroco’s future is not very bright if the core values of the main political figure are so distorted. Morroco will benefit from a more balanced political system where the king has a minimal level of accountability. I agree that there are risks, in the sense that it can be worse perhaps with another king. But those risks are worthwhile to take and Morrocan people know that in their heart because there is no future with the current political system. Also, a last point about the idea that the king for Morroco is like Wall street in the US. I have seen this argument in many places and strongly disagree with it. It is all about feeling. In the US there is hope, in Morroco if you are born in a slum in Casablanca’s suburb, there is no hope. I do not know how to phrase this exactly but I really encourage you to go to Morroco and visit the slums to feel people’s perspective.
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Aliali
0 #21 COMMENT_TITLE_R E To Moroccan Youth: Be a Light to Arab World—Not a ShadowAliali 2011-03-23 06:54
Dear Mr Novak,
I approve some aspects of your paper in particular the idea that we should be cautious with the notion of revolution (thank you). The argument is very persuasive (perhaps the most persuasive in the current web literature) but I must disagree with the general conclusion. In fact, I disagree with your main assumption that the king has good intentions. To give you an example, let me mention education. The king gave a very ambitious speech on improving education in 1999 and yet today (11 years later) essentially half of the population does not know how to read or write. The illiteracy rate is probably one of lowest among all Arab countries and most certainly lower than the neighbors. In a centralized political system, the king must hold the responsibility for this failure. One could even argue that the current regime has instituted bad education as a deliberate policy (something inherited from the father) because it is easier to govern uneducated people. Pushing for good education is the minimum that a country should have and the king has clearly failed this objective.
More fundamentally, I know in my heart that the king is not well intentioned. This is someone who claims to be the religious chief (Amir Almouminine) and yet holds shares of beer brewer and casinos. This is someone who goes on a private trip of 40 days abroad without news to the people (give me an example of a single head of state who can do this). This is someone who predates all the business opportunities through a network of family/friends. This is someone who likes expensive cars sent by military jet to be repaired in London.
Morroco’s future is not very bright if the core values of the main political figure are so distorted. Morroco will benefit from a more balanced political system where the king has a minimal level of accountability. I agree that there are risks, in the sense that it can be worse perhaps with another king. But those risks are worthwhile to take and Morrocan people know that in their heart because there is no future with the current political system. Also, a last point about the idea that the king for Morroco is like Wall street in the US. I have seen this argument in many places and strongly disagree with it. It is all about feeling. In the US there is hope, in Morroco if you are born in a slum in Casablanca’s suburb, there is no hope. I do not know how to phrase this exactly but I really encourage you to go to Morroco and visit the slums to feel people’s perspective.
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Jamal Mouhtadi
0 #22 Mr Novac thank you for your wisdomJamal Mouhtadi 2011-03-23 08:08
Mr Novac some people know what time it is some other don't, it seems like the mojority of the participants missed your point or they must belong to some political parties that are under question. I want just to say thank you again for your great understanding of the situation in our beloved country.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong
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maroc29
0 #23 COMMENT_TITLE_R E To Moroccan Youth: Be a Light to Arab World—Not a Shadowmaroc29 2011-03-23 10:16
"You have a remarkable country and therefore I care very much about the future of your revolution"

Thank you to those who did the research - "I researched the company that you work for as editor-In chief " Marcopolis" and found out a link to the status -quo crowd (elite) in Morocco, you should have clarified your connections for the benefit of transparency, there is a conflict of interest here or worst a deliberate attempt to manipulate Moroccan public opinion". I would opt for the latter motive.

This certainly expains why Mr Novak "cares so much about the future of the revolution" - he, like the rest the elite, have much to gain by maintainence of the status quo and much to lose by a Morocco which is fair and socially just. Rather than present a sound argument, all Mr Novak does via his lack of transparency and accountability, is highlight exactly why the people of Morocco are calling for fundamental change.
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Casaoui
0 #24 Maroc uniCasaoui 2011-03-24 00:14
For the benefit of giving credibility to the constitutional reforms process, the committee in charge of consulting with political parties, NGOs and syndicates, needs and must give seat on the table to the February 20th representatives , they need to be heard, it serves many purposes:
1- it will show that every voice is heard
2- it will avoid radicalization
3- the committee will get a fresh point of view and probably some good ideas
4- the end product will be "owned" by everyone involved in the process.
I have also a suggestion for the February 20th movement, they need to choose one spokesperson, draft a list of their desired changes, in a clear and precise language, far from slogans and vague demands, such as shedding some light on how they see the role of the prime minister, the role of the parliament, how to establish separation of the branches of the gov and how to set up a system of checks and balances, the procedure for the set up and composition of the independent judiciary, what's their view in regards to term limits.
I know it sounds like a lot of work and harder than just chanting slogans, but if you do it, you will gain credibility and avoid being marginalized, you might want to get yourselves copies of the US, French, Spanish and Japanese constitutions, their is no shame in getting some ideas from some other great established democracies, the French and English did it, why not us Moroccans. Good luck.
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aloha from hawaii
0 #25 moroccan youth is on the right track to be the leaders in the arab and the muslim worldaloha from hawaii 2011-03-24 14:12
god willing, i'm so proud of all my moroccan poeple , the good , the bad and the ugly for a simple fact that our history is proven solid.see you guys don't get it ,the light is out and it's time for all these corrupt puppet arab leaders , kings or presidents to face the new bright day, for what they did to all arabs and muslims around the world for slavery, humiliation, ignorance , torture , killing of the inoncents and corruption.
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mbt
0 #26 Bad examplembt 2011-03-24 20:30
I am in Marrakech and all I see is what I have witnessed before, people are saying yes we suffer we have no jobs, if you are not connected to palace you have nothing, bribery is the entry to many doors.

People here would like to raise their voices but there is an atmosphere of dictator regime with voices silenced by the secret police.

The youth are subdued by their parents, the parents accept the way it is.

Morocco is not an example of a good Arab country, it is a bad job by the occupier of the golden chair, like all of their ilks it will end.

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Salma
0 #27 A lot of good intentions, I assume.Salma 2011-03-25 10:36
Just out of curiosity, were your parents in Morocco? they were from Pensicola FL?? Sara and Jaja Novak (missionaries/church??.)
You are analyzing Morocco the same way we"Moroccans" would analyze USA. We look at the same mirror in two diferent department stores: makes us look thiner (at least from a woman's point of view)
I do aggree with you regarding the concept of being followers, the majority have no clear vision of the real intentions of those big bulldogs. I mean the real organizers of the so called revolution. People don't realize that a radical change comes with a price: blood and more dictatorship. We will need to learn how to really vote, and not sell our vote or pick the color purple just because was my grandma's favorite color.
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Wasirawasir
0 #28 Thanks but no thanksWasirawasir 2011-03-25 22:19
I found Mr Novak's essay insulting when I first read it two days ago. Today, I'm pleased to read many of the responses that confirm what I believed all along about Moroccans. Moroccans know very well what they want and are not merely following some trend. If you think that this is the first time Moroccans go on a demonstration, or protests then you really don't know anything about Morocco. The gentleman says that "the king is not a tyrant" and that has been on the path of reform...That may be right, and I too heard positive things about the king as nice person with good intentions etc. BUT, what happens when he dies. Do we just sit and pray that his son would turn out to be as nice. Come on sir, you know better than that.
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aukezan
0 #29 another old (Dutch)manaukezan 2011-03-26 04:04
When young, in 1960s and early 70s, I spent of lot of time in Morocco. Loved country and people, not so much the goverment. spoke up and was thrown out. Came back cpl of years ago. Saw more wealth, but much much more poverty. politically is seems to be a bit better, but far from good. A bit more freedom to speak up doesn't help if nobody listens, nothing changes. I was really shocked and sad about the almost total lack of perspective with practically all young people I met. And I wonder: are these 'brigade touristique'peo ple really to protect tourists or are they to avoid people getting in touch?
A probably impopular view: Surely HassanII made a mastermove to unite the people in the conquest of WestSahara, but I cannot understand how almost nobody sees the similarity to what happens in poor Palestine.
Sincerely hope for the best, for all, Tamaziq, Arab, Saharan and whoever.
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A Bpuskouchi
0 #30 COMMENT_TITLE_R E To Moroccan Youth: Be a Light to Arab World—Not a ShadowA Bpuskouchi 2011-03-26 11:53
Thanks Mr Novak!
I could not have put it better myself.
You are avery wise man. The only thing I have against you is you keep mentioning your age. You are not that old Mr Novak. Your advise and opinion is younger and healthier than any of this negative demostrators of the 2011 revolution.

You are right about Morocco is very lucky to have such a reformest and young king. He is well ahead of this called Arab revolution. If all these Arab leaders copied his example, they would have had this mess that they find themselves in.
As far as Morocco is concerned the 'improvement and purge on corruption started 11 years ago when the Monarch got rid of Basri'. That was the turning point for the suffering of the wonderful and patient people of Morocco. God has rewarded them for their patience and prayers in the form of Mohamed VI. From the first instant he concentrated on the poor. He decided to reduce the appauling and embarrasing poverty of Morocco. He has touched mentally and physically the heart of every decent citizen of this great nation. He has, in the the 11 years, worked tirelessly to bring Morocco out of a very desperate dark an oppressed hole. We had the gap between the reach and the poor much longer than the North and South pole and nothing but empty space in between. Thank God the gap is getting a bit shorter thanks to his leadership and guidance. May Allah Bless him and give long life and insperation to guide the youth even further. My only wish is that, if his supposed to be helpers, should do more work than just the chair and air a lot of hot air. If they took more care of the people than taking care of themselves, Morocco would have come out this rut long time ago.

Morocco is blessed with very hard working and inventive people. We are selfsufient people as far as food is cncerned but the wealth distribution is so unjust that it has been strangling the majority of these decent human beings. If this was just, thre would have been no poor in Morocco for he last 2 decades.

I'll stop now Mr Kovak. It is 03.40 AM and like you I am old and very tired. I am going to sleep and write some more tomorrow after I have red all the previous comentaries on your sound advise.
Thanks once again and God Bless.
ABAB
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