Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in...
Betty Vo's insight:
Secret Son by Laila Lalami is a tale based on contemporary Morocco that goes depth into the conflicts of Casablanca; privilege vs. poverty, western ideologies vs. traditional ways, government vs. religion. Trust and loyalty also becomes a continual theme as well. The story follows a boy named Youseff El Mekki who is born into a poor neighborhood, but secretly hopes that one day he can be a part of the rich society. He eventually gets this opportunity when he later discovers that his father was Nabil Amrani, an extremely rich businessman. After meeting his father he becomes sucked into the life of the prosperous, and leaves behind his old one. Once he’s part of this life he realizes that he never belonged there in the first place. Apart from Youseff’s personal issues, Hatim, a religious party leader tries to influence the citizens of Casablanca to side with them to overthrow the government. Matti and Amin, Youseff’s friends, eventually become associated with the Party as well. The government at first appears to be idle in the book, but by the end we come to realize that they had their own nerve wrecking conspiracy.
This documentary explains the political situation in Morocco from the perspective of ordinary citizens.
Betty Vo's insight:
The documentary “The Truth about the Arab Spring” travels through the core of contemporary Morocco. It is taped from the perspective of the Moroccan citizens and goes through their unbelievable experiences in Morocco. Throughout the documentary you will come to see a lot of protest, violence, and death. This documentary shows you just how unstable Morocco really is. The main controversy in the documentary surrounds yet around the disapproval of the Moroccan government lead by King Muhammad. The Moroccans biggest problem in the video is the fact that they have no voice, can't be heard to the point that they have to burn themselves to be noticed. The Documentary later showed the February 20 protest and how motivated the people were with ridding the government, and how much they wanted it. The video also showed how the government uses propaganda to convince citizens to support them and children to parade around the streets cheering them on.
“Morocco's Weakened Reform Movement Hopes to Rebound” article talks about the Morocco's February 20 movement. The February 20 Movement, born during the Arab Spring uprisings and highly marginalized in the later years since then, was acted upon in hopes to rebound discontent from the government. Thousands of Moroccans took to the streets on February 20, 2011 after protests had already over thrown dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt. Since then, new government, constitutions and laws have been placed in order to enhance the powers of the government. From then, the number of people involved with the movement had decreased. Oman says “The movement questions the extent of progress made over the past two years and calls for "genuine democracy"”. Oman claims that Morocco doesn't have a real organization, political strategy or communication with the people. The movement is now hoping to ride on what it sees as unjust with the government and the slowly progressing economy.
Every day, women in many of the world's toughest places are left out of school, left vulnerable to attack, left to fend for themselves through violence and disaster.
Don't let them get left behind
Betty Vo's insight:
Mercy Corps is a help organization that helps bring education, protection, jobs, and healthcare to women around the world. People are encouraged to donate money to this charity to help fund these women’s recovery process. Mercy Corps creates opportunities like women’s literacy classes, counseling, and business support so that women can have the opportunity to care for them and their families, to improve the community, and change the world.
In the article, “Gender: Gender and the Economy” by Khaled Islaih, it is said that gender bias remains the highest in Morocco. This article brings attention to, according to (Islaih, Gender) how the invisibility of women’s economic activities, and low wage, menial jobs in farming activities are due to their lack of equal education and training. It also states how women in Morocco have a low percentage access to assets, land, property, and credit. With women that actually get the opportunity to work in factories, it was reported (Islaih, Gender) that female workers in Morocco are exploited in their garments, and owners will not hire married women. The article then, shows how in the early twentieth century, modernization and urbanization helped to improve conditions for women because they had access to stuff like education and health care. This article ends with Islaih saying that in order to reduce gender imbalance and empower women in the region, various initiatives are currently being implemented in the region by civil organizations, governments, and international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Bank.
In the article, "Determinants of Child and Forced Marriage in Morocco", it talks about how the ideas of gender and marriage have changed especially with the placement of the new Family Law (Moudawana). The law higher the age for marriage for girls and stipulates equality in the family. Even with this law, one problem is brought up in the journal, the cultural widespread act of forced marriages. The journal shows research that explains contributions to forced marriage in Morocco. According to (Sabbe, Determinants) they are: (1) the legal and social divergence in conceptualizing forced and child marriage; (2) the impact of legislation; (3) the role of education; and (4) the economic factor. The researchers believe that the law indeed did help women’s right increase a low percentage but isn't that big of an impact on society because final choices are up to the family and other influences.
Morrocco is located Northwest of Africa. Depending on where you go, you will either see nice towns of the wealthy or shantyhomes of the poor. There are often alot of protest and police seem around the streets of Morocco. If you ask citizens what they think about the government, you are unlikely to get a positive response.
In Morocco there are occasionally numorous amounts of protests occuring. The citiznes protest because they are unhappy with the way the government functions and how little they contribute to the people. These protest can sometimes get so violent to the point where people die, either by suicide, or killed by police. I honestly am shocked at how people don't have a voice to the extent where they have to light themselves on fire to be heard.
For fans of Half of a Yellow Sun, a stunning novel set in 1930s Somalia spanning a decade of war and upheaval, all seen through the eyes ...
Betty Vo's insight:
I would definitely consider reading this book because it seems somewhat similar to Secret son, which i loved. This book seems interesting because it goes through the tragedies of a boy who's mother dies, so he goes on a journey to find his father. It seems like it will have alot of action and adventure to it which i can't wait to read about.
Worldwide humanitarian organization providing assistance without discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.
Betty Vo's insight:
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest network of humanitarian and developmental work. They have millions of volunteers in their various societies. IFRC came up with Strategy 2020, which they (IFRC) state as a collective plan of action to tackle the major humanitarian and development challenges of the present decade. They plan on saving and changing people by focusing their work on 3 factors which they (IFRC) states are 1) disaster response and recovery, 2) development and 3) promoting social inclusion and peace.
Morocco is highly unsupported by the government. There is such a high number of moroccan people that are in poverty. These people live in shantyhomes, are uneducated, and unskilled. When you look at Morocco i can't belive how different the wealthy/government's homes look compared to the poor's.
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