September 05, 2007
After Leb tarts and March 14, Moroccan babes and the PJD
Many Western bloggers were struck by the beauty of some of the female supporters - Leb tarts to cut it short - of the Lebanese March 14 movement. In a moment of human weakness a few of them admitted to letting their newly found sensitivity to gender issues determine their support for the Hariri/Ja'ja/Jumblatt block, in view of the perceived lack of competitive edge from the Hezbollah camp.
It took ulterior Hezbollah/Aounist demonstrations to prove that the babe factor was fairly roughly divided in half between the two opposing camps - although I confess a certain fondness for Strida Ja'ja.
The islamist PJD, poised to come out on top of Morocco's forthcoming elections, seems to have taken a leaf from Hezbollah's book. For the French-speaking lot of you, I've had some additional thoughts on the perceived cultural divide in Morocco, between the Marock part of the country (Marock was a 2005 college movie by Moroccan director Leïla Marrakchi with ideological and sociological pretensions, and that described the lives of some privileged youths of Casablanca's francophone élite) and the more traditional rest of the country, on my blog, photo included (hat-tip: Myrtus). Reality is of course more complex than mere reliance on outer appearance, as you have avowed secularists intending to vote for the PJD on account of its clean hands and professional image, while pious and sometimes even fundamentalist Moroccans wouldn't touch a PJD voting slip with a ten-foot pole.
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Good note mate, and sorry for the slip up, I was flying into Ajmal bled. Which brings to mind the corporate driver picking me up had quite the rant -despite himself being normally anti-PJD and anti-Islamist- about how he was going for the PJD since they're the only ones with their acts together.
Given what I have been reading, and given what I know about the parties from past exposure, hard to disagree.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at September 5, 2007 12:52 PM
My own father is rabidly anti-islamist, but couldn't help being impressed after reading their propaganda material - btw, I have commented - en français - a few of the different parties' election material here - http://tractotheque.blogspot.com/ (I made a terrible mistake though in one of the posts, hope no one will spot it...). La Vie économique, business weekly whose editor signed the rather shrill "appel au pacte démocratique" ( http://pactedemocratique.casanet.ma/ ) last week (see http://www.blog.ma/obiterdicta/index.php?action=article&id_article=15296 ) had a long article many months ago on the different parliamentary groups' record during the past legislature - the PJD came easily ahead of the rest of the bunch. Being a commie - (c) Shaheen - I'm fond of the extreme-left PSU, but they do not compete in the same league...
Posted by: Ibn Kafka at September 5, 2007 01:39 PM
I picked up La Nouvelle Trib mate at the airport (yes, Fahd Yata is a bloody thin-skinned loon and a boot licker, but his paper has decent financial articles) and I noted a typically boring screed about PJD and something about unifying against (although perhaps I missed the details, I am unable to read his artys).
They'd hardly need the bloody whinging on if say, just for the sheer novelty value maybe some started copying the tiny modicum of competence displayed by the PJD, eh?
BTW, Ittihad ad-doustouri always amuses me because their symbol reminds me of the No. 2 bank in the country.....
I'd read the tracts but even my home country tracts bore me...
[editing me own comment due to own stupidity]
Posted by: The Lounsbury at September 5, 2007 01:59 PM
La Nouvelle Tribune? They used to publish a weekly digest of the Washington Times - in English - as a supplement, presumably as gesture towards the expanding neo-conservative segment of the Moroccan readership... I suppose that syndicating the Jerusalem Post was too expensive.
Posted by: Ibn Kafka at September 5, 2007 02:36 PM
Oh, I am sure because The Washington Times whorishly offered it more or less free.
But in truth their technical articles in financial matters are far better than most. Of course the minute the slightest controversial angle arises one can count on pure unadulterated mendacity (e.g. AWB and Ouadghiri), but a profile of venture capital [leaving aside cheating on figures, but no one catches that since I don't believe there is one of your Moroccan journos who can add and subtract properly, let alone do financial maths], well there they're okay. Unless the Turkish Moustache gets his pen on things.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at September 5, 2007 02:46 PM
By the way, am I the only person who found Marock really quite irritating, tedious and boring? I was rather hoping the flighty little bitch would get creamed by her brother.
On the other hand it did capture well enough the irritating little gits who I run into all the time.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at September 5, 2007 02:59 PM
It was a teen movie, so expectations should be set accordingly.
Objectively, the movie was poorly realized, with a shallow storyline and no real entertainment to compensate. It also isn't clear to an outside viewer who or what it represents relative to Moroccan society despite targetting international audiences.
Subjectively, I liked it because it reminded me some aspects of my own youth.
I had trouble to understand what all the fuss was about: no naked flesh, unfortunately. It was a college movie, with the only exception that I knew many of the places and have been to some of them - I've even known a muslim teenage girl dating a jewish guy (Ari Azoulay, if you read me...). She very disingenuously said that she just wanted to film a piece of reality, but as the controversy went on she went more and more into the anti-islamist discourse - which is her absolute right, but don't get upset when islamists criticise your movie. There was a period where criticising her movie would put you in social quarantine, at least in the Marock parts of the country...
Btw, I've seen truckloads of anti-islamist movies, and also a few communist (The Potemkin by Eisenstein) or nazi (Triumph des Willens by Leni Riefenstahl) - it would be fun, for once, to see an islamist mega-production...
Posted by: Ibn Kafka at September 5, 2007 08:08 PM