Jun 25, 2012
There’s a scene in the movie The Matrix when the character Neo (the One) downloads a program to his brain and in almost an instant, unplugs from the computer and says… “I know Kung Fu!”
Well, I don’t know kung fu but this does sum up my experience so far here in Morocco this past week–the consumption of so much information in such a short period of time. In five days, We’ve been able to visit four cities and meet with numerous civic organizational leaders, community activists, media professionals, government officials, mayors and many friendly people in general. Myself along with my fellow travelers Erin Stephens of the Lakeview Food Pantry, Lawrence Benito of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Whitney Woodward of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform have been managing about three hours of sleep each night but have managed to find some time for leisure (bit of advice if you’re a nostalgic American in Casablanca… go hang out at Rick’s Cafe).
It is a very exciting time for the Moroccan people. Last year, hundreds of thousands of Moroccans took to the streets along the tides of the Arab Spring and demanded change. Since then, and in order to stabilize and respond to demands, King Mohammed VI ordered to initiate constitutional reforms to allow more freedoms, including Articles 27 and 28 which will guarantee certain press freedoms. Many here have been active playing their role in seeing genuine democratic reforms and understand that their process is unique. Although many look to the U.S. as an example, many more understand that democracy in Morocco will take on its own character and will be self-determined.
Check back here on the Nonprofit Communicator blog as I will be sharing stories about the people and organizations I’ve met while here in Morocco, including an artisan cooperative and nonprofit of blind weavers, a community center in the working poor area of Sidi Moumen and much more adventure stories like our train ride across the countryside to Tangier. For now, make sure you check out my public photos on Facebook. Tell me what you think.
– Demetrio P. Maguigad
The Professional Fellows Program for Egypt and Morocco is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, and implemented by Heartland International, a nonprofit in Chicago, and its partner organizations, El Sadat Association in Cairo, Egypt and IDMAJ in Casablanca, Morocco.