deal or no deal

March 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just had to have some harsha. If I had not insisted in going to my old favorite harsha stand, 100 meters away from my old house in the Rabat medina, I probably would not have had a run-in with my ex-host-mom. Unknowingly, as I chatted with my friend about desirable harsha condiments, I was spotted, stalked, and pounced upon. I was unprepared for a begrudingly censored attack from the recalcitrant woman.  Well versed in Moroccan salutations, I tried to deflect each insult with a polite inquiry, ça va?, kulshi muzien?, la famille est bien?, labess alek?, etc. Maybe her pride is one of things people can’t let go of, like obscure record collections or a first lost tooth. Whatever the case, the exchange between us was a winter chill’s final effort to thwart the spring.

Criticizing your neighbors is easy when it’s Qaddafi. In Libya tensions are still high. There is debate as to whether he has actually begun negotiations with the rebels or not. The deal – impunity for ceasefire- is straightforward though the effects are not. Meanwhile, badmouthing the persevering President has become somewhat of a novelty. From altered speech remixes to plays-on-words (Qadda-fou), everywhere people defame his authority and sanity. Walking back from the Human Rights Chair in Rabat, my friends joked that he was seeking asylum in Honolulu, another made us laugh by reciting exerts from the Green Book, and I provided outrageous excuses for the unrest in the country. Strikingly absent from most Qaddafi-bashing sessions, the Moroccan’s king’s speech last night. Allegedly, he claimed to give more power to certain ministers and revise the constitution. This move is not exactly like the Dalai Lama’s recent announcement to retire from political leadership and remain a solely religious authority. But in any case, allusions to power-shifts are becoming more mainstream than Chuck Taylors.  As far as protesting here goes, in recent days there have been demonstrations for the Amazigh peoples in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, and pro-government/king/current constitution demonstrations in front of Parliament.

My search for girls to interview is taking me to Meknes and then again to the mountains. Be back who knows when.

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