Refugees or Migrants?

Difficulties of West Africans in Morocco

by Parastou Hassouri | published September 12, 2017

Much of the media attention on global displacement currently focuses on the Syrian refugee crisis and refugees’ attempts to enter Europe through Eastern Mediterranean routes. Certainly, the large scale of displacement that has occurred as a result of the war in Syria (the number of registered refugees has surpassed five million), and the rise in number of asylum applications being made in Europe, merit our attention. However, Syrian refugee flows in the Eastern Mediterranean are only part of a larger picture of forced migration.

The Moroccan Prison in Literature and Architecture

by Susan Slyomovics
published in MER275

In seventeenth-century Morocco, the scholar Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan Ibn Mas‘ud al-Yusi admonished the reigning Sultan Mawlay Isma‘il in writing. His much quoted letter, the “short epistle” or al-risala al-sughra, instructed the ruler to avoid injustice and oppression. Mawlay Isma‘il was second in line as sultan following the establishment in 1664 of the ‘Alawi dynasty, whose descendants Hassan II (1961-1999) and his son Mohammed VI (1999- ) have ruled as kings of Morocco.

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Center-Periphery Relations in Morocco

by David McMurray
published in MER272

In Nador, a regional capital located on the Mediterranean Sea at the eastern end of the Rif Mountains in Morocco, coffee shop talk often turns to the relationship with the capital city, Rabat, a five-hour car ride or a nine-hour train or bus ride to the west. Nadoris are sensitive about their status as residents of an underserved province that they believe the government disdains. But recent, locally driven economic development is also a source of pride for the region.

Hodges, Western Sahara

by Tami Hultman
published in MER127

Tony Hodges, Western Sahara: The Roots of a Desert War (Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Co., 1983).

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Seddon, The Peasants; Munson, The House of Si Abd Allah

by James Paul
published in MER127

David Seddon, The Peasants: A Century of Change in the Eastern Rif, 1870-1970 (Folkestone: Wm. Dawson & Sons, 1981).

Henry Munson, Jr., The House of Si Abd Allah: The Oral History of a Moroccan Family (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984).

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Trade Unions and Moroccan Politics

by Jean-Francois Clement , James Paul
published in MER127

Morocco is unusual in the Middle East for its extensive civil society -- social institutions which are relatively independent of control by the state apparatus. A complex relationship exists between the absolute and repressive monarchy of King Hassan II on the one hand and the powerful opposition institutions on the other. Among these institutions are the press and the political parties, but over the years the most impressive and most notable have been Morocco’s trade unions.

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Letter From Madrid

by Fred Halliday
published in MER127

Many European countries claim a special relationship with the Arab world. The English see themselves as having some unique affinity for Arabs, because of their colonial role in developing Egypt and the Anglo-Bedouin fraternizations of Arabia. The French vaunt their cultural impact upon the Maghreb, Lebanon and Syria. The Italians point to bonds of Mediterranean communality, the Germans stress their lack of colonial involvement, the Greeks evoke their role as the yefira, the bridge, between Europe and the Arabs. Even the Irish have their version of this vocation, based on a history of anti-colonial struggle. The Spanish are no exception.

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Winter of Discontent

Economic Crisis in Tunisia and Morocco

by David Seddon
published in MER127

Nineteen eighty-four began in a bloody fashion in the Maghreb. Violent demonstrations erupted in the impoverished southwest and south of Tunisia at the very end of December and spread throughout the country during the first week of January. These followed the Tunisian government’s introduction of measures to remove food subsidies. Bread prices suddenly doubled.

States of Emergency

The Riots in Tunisia and Morocco

by James Paul
published in MER127

A crisis had been building in Tunisia for many months. By the end of 1983, the economy was in serious trouble, support-for the regime had been eroding and the International Monetary Fund had proposed austerity measures. Within the government, corruption and personal luxury were rampant. President-for-life Habib Bourghiba was intent on preparations for a lavish celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ruling Destourian Socialist Party, while ministers vied with each other over the succession to the 81-year-old leader.

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Jordan, Morocco and an Expanded GCC

by Curtis Ryan | published April 15, 2014 - 4:04pm

A recent report suggests that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) may be looking to expand…again. The report says that, during a March summit, the group of six Arab petro-princedoms extended invitations to both Jordan and Morocco to join a pan-monarchical military alliance. And there is a chance, at least, that the GCC states would include a nominal republic, Egypt, in a broader regional military and defense pact (although it is not clear if Jordan, Morocco and Egypt would need to join the GCC or the military bloc would be a separate entity).