Sunday, April 8, 2012

Why Aljazeera Arabic is despicable!

It has been a long time since I've watched Aljazeera, so I've forgot the kind of skewed treatment it applies to many many stories in order to advance its agenda. I have no problem with that, just don't pretend to be the paragon of fair and independent journalism.

See how this story about the campaign to repel the article 475 of the penal code goes:

First, they went out of their way to point out that it originated in a French law in the sixties. Common sense tells me that the practice is older by centuries, but who knows, I'm no legal expert.

Second, in a room chock full of Moroccan women from NGO leaders to lawyers to the very mother of the victim who's death propelled this issue forth, they chose to interview a foreign activist. That's fine, she says the usual stuff, good sentiment and all, nothing new.

Until this point there is nothing wrong with the reportage, other than being very short and thus very superficial. But then, the journalist says:
In such cases, doubts appear over the intent of foreign compassion, that often finds a way in, only when a society fails to handle its victims by itself.   
Really? That's your summary? This is what you think it all boils down to?

This is despicable. Ok, we get it, you thrive on conspiracy theories and the "foreigners" that are responsible for every problem, drive every protest and keep everyone backwards in the "Arab world". This is your bread and butter, and if someone is stupid or paranoid enough to believe you, they deserve your insidious coverage. But this is crossing a line. It's insulting to the late Mina, to her family, to the activists who raised hell to get this story to the public, to everyone who were moved by this tragic story and the injustice that is being perpetrated, from wherever they might be. It's insulting to every Moroccan, and I'm proud that in all the coverage that this story got, not one, not a single one article or comment I came across alleged to "foreign hands" or a "conspiracy to smear the country". I'm very pleased that there is still enough common sense and decency in this country that outrage was directed to the real culprits, us. Our society, our institutions, our government and representatives. This was truly beautiful, something to kindle again my faith in our ability to confront problems and advance.

So, dear Aljazeera Arabic, screw you!  

Friday, April 29, 2011

A kick to the groin...

When I think of the tragic catastrophe of yesterday in Marrakesh my heart aches. The loss of all these lives, the wounded... It fills me with rage. I revised my stance on capital punishment. If the monster is not already shredded to pieces, and I really hope he's alive, I want him caught, and I want him executed in public. Some people just don't deserve the air they breath.

The amount of damage a few, or maybe just one deranged individual can bring to a whole country is staggering. I have cold sweat thinking of the situation this act of savagery is putting us in. Not only the dead and the wounded, may be maimed and scarred to life, this is going to affect the lives of thousands of people in Marrakesh, Essaouira, Ouarzazate and even the countryside. Hard times are ahead. Friends tell me people are packing and leaving on the first opportunity, not only tourists but residents too, and reservations are being cancelled en masse. What has taken so many years to build has been shattered, and it will take years to mend. In the meantime, people will lose jobs, income, and there is no other real alternative. That's a real kick to the groin.

Those who did this should hang. To hell with human values.

Monday, January 3, 2011

God: So, what was your best deed below?
Bomber: Well, that would be the last thing I did down there. I rid the world of a bunch of villains. Bad people. I didn't stick around long to count but I'm sure that was big... surely, you must know about it!
God: Villains you say? Nothing of the sort recently.
Bomber: Oh they should be coming any time, just a second or so behind me I imagine.
God: And what unspeakable thing were these people doing?
Bomber: Worshipping...
God: What? The devil? Human sacrifice?
Bomber: No... You

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Origami Izimer

Since you can't escape sheep whatever you do for a day or too yet, how about making a little Origami ram? You'll need to concentrate, but it's not that hard, and I found it to be very relaxing...

The artist is Hideo Komatsu, who has an impressive bestiary, and you can find detailed instructions here:
Hideo Komatsu - Sheep
The wolf is here if you're interested

And a late Eid Mubarak to everyone!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vandalism skirmishes

One fine day, whoever it is manages traffic signs saw it fit to finally put a left-turn prohibition sign in the chaotic intersection. Anything to mitigate the chaos in the busy thoroughfare was welcome, it was very inconvenient to some people though, but no one could deny it was the sensible thing to do.
After some days of orderly fluid traffic, under the watch of an agent there to assist the sign imposing its presence and be respected, the new road sign was finally left alone to do its job. It lasted exactly three days.
The sign disappeared in the wee hours. Chaos resumed first thing Monday morning. No sign, no interdiction, right?
Where id the sign go? Was it someone strongly objecting to being denied a short-cut? Equally plausible is simple theft. Stop signs are notorious for their input as sardines fry pans, other signs have been spotted contributing to various other culinary enterprises such as the Koubal au feu de bois.
The sign guys came and inspected the scene, but there was no trace, not even a note. The naked pole stood there, completely ignored in its silence for a day or two, no more. A shiny new interdiction sign took its rightful place again.
By next Monday, it disappeared too.
Now, that's no simple theft! It's clearly premeditated, an act of resistance! The sign guys will not suffer being wronged so! A sign will be put again, and this time, it will be fused to the pole.
It worked too...for a time.
Sign number3 fulfilled it's duty, braving incredible violence. It withstood its paint being scraped, graffiti (everyone knows now Souad and Amine are in love, but seriously, blanco?)... someone even managed to bend a corner, the savages!
However, the Anti-sign guy (it must be a guy, too much testosterone in the air) was brewing something more radical. By a Monday, again, the chaos diligently filled the void, and many people got to school or work late. The sign was still there, securely fused to the pole, but it was the latter the victim this time. By bending the pole so severely mere centimetres separated the sign from the soil now. No one acknowledged its authority any more...
The sign guys were now honour bound to react, but budget isn't infinite. It took a lot of work to unbend the pole, but it was worth it. The sign was still serviceable after all it endured. It was a bit skewed, but still there for everyone to see.
Then the anti-sign guy stroke again, without delay. Now, a crater stands in place and around where the sign stood. He extracted and took the concrete foundation as well as the bent pole and battered sign.
Budgets can't keep with such determination, hundreds of people still occasionally arrive late, tempers still flare regularly, someone has his beloved short-cut, until the next supply of poles and left-turn prohibition signs that is...