khSSna b3diyatna (we need each other)

 

Morocco isn’t the United States. This is clear from the first step off the plane where the efficient and lifesaving line is completely disregarded. People don’t form lines here, not even going through customs. Crushing ensues, and lives flash before eyes.

It’s not just the lack of lines that makes Morocco dramatically different from the U.S. Morocco as a whole faces many challenges. The economy is growing, but remains bound up in other countries’ interests. Bureaucracy warps and impedes the process of governance. This leaves many youth inspired to take up political action and involvement, yet they find themselves stalled by the lack of work opportunity. Young men can’t find jobs and young women in many rural parts of the country do not even have opportunities to learn. The Moroccan government struggles in remedying these complex issues, and the Moroccan people know that.

Morocco isn’t the United States. Still, Morocco’s attempt at change is admiral. It is advocating the importance of education and there is a large movement present working on girls’ and women’s empowerment, recently backed by the First Lady Michelle Obama. Slowly but surely, it is addressing the lack of environmental awareness rampant in much of the developing world. For the first time Morocco hosted Cop22, the UN climate change conference, in Marrakesh this November. The government may be clogged with bureaucratic constipation, but the people of Morocco want to improve the standards by which the government and the country operate. It is a place not just of economic development, but a place of human creativity and growing opportunity.

The U.S., on the other hand, is stumbling. There is a discrepancy in focus, and America now relates safety with isolation based in prejudice. Americans have lost sight of international cooperation with this last election. The frustration with the status quo of bureaucracy and the media’s love for pointing out otherness has left Americans with a President elect unfamiliar and unlearned in international relations.

There remain two hopes. The first hope is that the President Elect establishes a strong and knowledgeable cabinet and state department that recognize the complexities and interrelated nature of the current international community. However, it appears as if the President Elect is set on closing off America’s borders for the benefit of a short-term façade of safety. The second hope is that Americans both at home and abroad take an active part in their government and their communities to effectively influence the democratic system. That can be a difficult and wildly difficult thing to ask of people, but ultimately, things rarely change overnight. Instead, it is the grassroots work many citizens participate in that brings about influential change.

Comparing these two states is unfair in many ways. They are economically, religiously, politically, and regionally dissimilar. Almost everything in comparison shouts different. What if, though, the U.S. could learn something from Morocco? Maybe the U.S. can pause and consider lessons from a nation still developing. Political systems are a dynamic and shifting entity. People shape and design them and as such they are fundamentally incapable of being perfect. Still, it is the job of the government and its people to implement change and growth on behalf of the whole. IF that change limits the rights and value of some of the state’s peoples, then that is a change in the wrong direction. Change should not limit the opportunity of others for the benefit of some. Change should strive to benefit and care for the whole. For the nation is not just one group of people, but groups of people that make up the whole.

Morocco has plentiful space to grow. It has the potential to influence the West and its own region in ways other states cannot. The work being done here by the Moroccan government, NGOs, and other government agencies is a long term engagement. The same could be said about the U.S. Though America is older and bigger, it is still growing. It takes all groups represented in a government to insure the growth and empowerment of the nation as a whole. No one would claim Morocco is done growing and developing as a nation. In many and still very important ways, the United States is still developing as well. Political systems are essential to human order. They can be abusive, powerful, cruel, generous, just, democratic, authoritarian, merciless, and on and on. They are human extensions, not independent creations. As such, let the developed world, seen as the pinnacle of human civilization, take a lesson from the developing world. No one nation ever stops developing.

 

keep on keeping on,

J

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