Ouled Taima, Morocco
….. We enjoyed our break. We wished we could have stayed longer, but the plan required spending the first night in the pearl of the north, Tangier. We moved to Tangier full of enthusiasm and hope looking for good things to come. Tangier is known almost everywhere in the globe. It is the first city that welcomes everybody coming from Europe to Morocco. Its gates are always left open day and night for various cultures and communities to interact and coexist. More importantly, the city has witnessed many incidents. For example, it had been considered to be an international city. We could sense that from the color and language of many people of European origins due to the proximity of the city to the European lands which can be reached in only an hour or less. A change in dialect was noticed when talking to the hotel owner. We could recognize that there was a gap between the north and the south in all respects. The linguistic aspect was but part of a whole. We booked a room in a low cost hotel to have some rest.
In the early morning, we were highly motivated to discover what was still unknown in this area. We joined some of our unexpected friends for breakfast. Together, we agreed to spend a day outdoor. Particularly, we decided to visit some well=known places, such as the Mediterranean Port. This latter had been classified, we were often told, to be one of the biggest ports in Africa. Later, we moved along the coastline. We could see the European side clearly. Gibraltar was observed standing tall in the sea. Only at that moment did we remember what we had been told about the British domination and existence in all parts of the world.
While approaching Fnidq, a nearby commercial city, we came across some sub-Saharan immigrants who chose to leave their countries for a better life in Europe. Occasionally, they discovered Morocco to be a tolerant country in which different cultures interact and coexist. It happened that they were later given advantage over the Moroccans. It hurt me seeing them begging or walking with empty bellies for many days with dirty bodies and torn clothes. Contrariwise, it hurt me hearing about some of them committing such violent and aggressive attacks against ordinary people in many parts of the country.
No more than an hour was needed to feel the warm welcome of the city of Fnidq. It was a calm and clean city. As we advanced, we spotted long fences with large gates. Police officers standing in the Moroccan free land showed no sense of welcome. Beyond the wall, Spanish security guards and police officers were scattered in every corner to prevent any potential attempt for an illegal access to Sebta. This latter was under big political quarrel for it had been occupied and colonized by the Spanish state for many centuries. Morocco still hopes for the day to restore it back to its sovereignty. Unfortunately, Spain, like many imperialist countries throughout history, clings to its claimed right to seize control of the city for the entire life. We spotted a group of women shouting at the police officers for preventing them to get into the city. Some women were carrying various packs of goods mostly imported from Spain. We were also shocked by the struggle of these women not to live but only to survive. At that particular moment, I personally felt the great sacrifice and struggle women endure at a time when local and national officials were ignorant and persistent not to offer any kind of help and assistance.