Morocco and censorship

It appears that Morocco has finally gone and done it - blocked blog websites, that is.  Fortunately, is not one of them, but frankly, after using Livejournal for five years, it's an incredible disappointment to find that suddenly and without warning, I can't use the site.  Alas.

I find it so tempting to make like a Moroccan and blame it all on the government - and in this case, they are of course the culprits...But nevertheless, it certainly isn't the end of the world.



As time goes on...

How is it that I can live in this neighborhood for six months, get to know my neighbors, shopkeepers, butchers, sandwich makers, co-workers then suddenly find myself being hit on by all of them in the same week?

First, a teacher tells me that "I am the most beautiful American he ever saw" (please note the grammar).  Then, whilst doing my laundry, I discover that someone has tossed me a a pen.  Wrapped around the ink barrel and shoved inside of the casing of a pen is a message: "I want to talk with you" and a phone number.  Obviously it's for me; that or the old lady next door to me secretly speaks English.  And then the Soussi guy at the hanout down the street decides to compliment my scent of all things (you have no idea how tempted I was to say odor), and holds my hand for just a few seconds too long.  Not to mention the drunk, two-toothed car guardian, but I'm not his only victim.

Frankly, I'm sick of it.  If I could sneer any more, I certainly would.  I'm doing my best, but it makes me so angry to find that, despite the abundance of scantily-clad Moroccan girls, my ability to speak passable Arabic, and my penchant for baggy jeans and Timberland fleeces, I still get hit on fifty times a day. 

"You are welcome in Morocco."


And the Moroccans win the complacency award!

While the rest of the Muslim world is screaming and blowing things up over a cartoon, Morocco has been fairly quiet.  While the Middle Eastern countries are boycotting Danish products, Puck brand cheese is flying off the shelves at Label'Vie and Marjane. 


What?  I thought a visual aid would help.

Anyhow, what I truly don't understand is this...A Danish newspaper publishes a cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet (pbuh) wearing a bomb turban (I haven't actually seen the photos here, as you might imagine).  Not cool by any standards, and totally provoking Muslims.  BUT...what better way to prove that those Danish newspapers are wrong than to...strap bombs onto yourselves.  Riiight.  I wish I knew what they were thinking.

And honestly, I'm not even arguing that this is an issue of free speech.  Of course I support free speech.  Of course.  But do I think that provoking religious people by depicting their beloved prophet as a bomb-toting maniac is a good idea?  Hell no.  I'm tired of hearing the Danish government bitch and moan and dig themselves into an even bigger hole in an attempt to separate themselves from their newspapers...Yes, I understand the state doesn't run the paper, yes I understand that you have no control.  Okay, whiny're just really not helping your situation.

As far the Muslims are concerned, well...After living here for six months (and hell, even before I got here), I can say with complete certainty that Islam is not a violent religion.  And living amongst the complacent (and almost slacker-like) Moroccans as I do, I have even less of an understanding of the rest of the so-called "Muslim world."  In particular the Middle East.  If you ask me, it seems time for a change.

I may go home for a brief respite in April.  Aside from an aching wisdom tooth that I may or may not bother to take care of, I'm itching for some good pizza, some good beer, some other unmentionables.  Some trashy magazines.  I guess one might say I'm itching for a taste of home.

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An American in Meknes
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