Note: This an article from a new blog. by one of my best friends.
She is Dutch/Venezuelan. For me it is interesting to read about someone else's perspective of morrocans in the Netherlands.
"Today I was in my Intergration Dutch class in which we read texts which are meant to teach foreigners about the Dutch culture, its society, as well as the issues we face here in the Netherlands. The text made me realize how media can play a significant role in how indigenous people are perceived and treated nowadays.
The passage in the book talks about how Hasna El Mouradi, a 20 year old student of Moroccan descent, was threatened with her life after writing a controversial column in the NRC newspaper about the relationship between Arabic and Berber people in Morocco. However, before getting into the topic as to why she cannot walk the streets safely, it is important to point out what the Berber culture consists of.
Berbers are the indigenous groups of people who live primarily in North Africa, however, Berber people can be found all over Africa. They are mainly concentrated in Morocco and Algeria and smaller groups can be found in Tunesia, Libya and Egypt (www.al-bab.com). They, as most indigenous folk, have their own language, music, artifacts and traditions. Regrettably, a divide has come to exist between the early Berbers and the Arabic people in the past 100 years, mostly due to different political traditions and opposing beliefs about heritage and language.
This division is echoed in modern-day society in articles such as the one written by El Mouradi. Writing from a "modern Arabic Moroccan" point of view, says the following:
"The Berbers used to be the bosses of Morocco and because of that, they hold resentment that we took their land. We find the Berbers to be under-developed and primitive because, for example, they bring their mountain goats to the Netherlands. The Berbers are the ones that choose the criminal path and for that reason they're the ones giving Moroccans a bad name." (Spunk.nl, 2005)
*please note, this is my own translation of the text!!
As you can tell, this is definitely a text that may make a few angry, if not furious! However, what I am trying to get to is not the content of the text, nor the message behind it. The point of this analysis and comparison is not to point a finger, nor deny someone's freedom of speech. The purpose behind this is to figure out whether this mentality, the power of media and the strength of word of mouth are the reasons for misunderstandings, conflict and rejection of indigenous people?
The two Moroccan colleagues in my class (one Arabic and the other Berber) stated that there absolutely wasn't such an issue, nor did they treat or write about each other in such ways in their country. So my questions is: why did this columnist have to paint this picture in this light? Is there a prejudicial factor because of her own background/experience? Can she really give herself credit for speaking for all Arabic Moroccans or was this just an opinionated, self-prophesysing rant?
Most importantly, though, is: May this kind of writing and perception be one of the reasons for discrimination and prejudice against indigenous people nowadays?
And, if so, how can we start using media/opinions.stories to actually help indigenous people rather than portray them as 'insignificant, backwards'?"
also check this one about buffalo field campaign:
Just as I always try to be myself: Objective, it's not primarely to choose one side or another (liveleakstyle) So it's is not a reflection of my opinion or her's. You like it? subscibe to her blog.
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