“Speak like the people speak, so that you can become close to us, and so you do not differ from us in anything except in what is demanded by your status, which you only hold for our sake.”
These words are allegedly written by the infamous Saddam Hussein in his novella, Zabiba and the King. It’s an allegorical love story about the relationship between Saddam, the Iraqi people, and the United States. It hasn’t been proven that Saddam actually wrote the book, but he did have a great influence in its production, and it offers a considerable insight into his life and convictions.
In the story, Zabiba, a commoner, offers this advice to her beloved King right before he learns of an impending rebellion. It’s interesting that regardless of the illicit Qur’an composed of his blood, Saddam Hussein might have shared valuable wisdom. At this time, when leaders such as the spineless Ben Ali of Tunisia, or the callous Mubarak of Egypt are being protested against, Hussein’s words do not ring any truer. These nations need leaders who will empathize with the burdens of the people, and provide basic human rights for them.
Here in Morocco, I’ve talked to a number of people about the region’s recent events, and the responses are varied. There is the theory that Israel and the US incited the Tunisian revolution in order to get rid of Ben Ali to replace him with someone a bit more complacent to thier desires. Since Ben Ali lacked a strong network, and since there was an absence of legitimate political parties, it was easy to let these events play out. The protestors were just a gift for the media.
There are others who are extremely proud of thier fellow Maghrebis, and Arabs, and look forward to further progress in the rest of the region. It seems that everyone here already has the answer to the question of whether these protests will spill into Morocco or not. Not gonna’ to happen.
Morocco has already experienced its era of revolt and protests during the Green March and the Lead Years. Also, King Mohammed VI is appreciated around here despite what he has or has not accomplished. His extreme populairty is relative to the extreme dislike that his father, the previous king, recieved from his subjects. In fact, many young Moroccans have taken to posting photos of Mohammed VI on thier Facebook pages to show their support of his regime.
I truly believe that Morocco will not experience a Jasmine Revolution of thier own anytime soon, but I am extremely proud of the citizens of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Jordan (Lebanon as well), for standing up for their rights. Even Saddam Hussein would agree that thier leaders were not very good at thier jobs. Well, that might be a stretch.