Monday, June 20, 2005

Realities that hurt

Statistics published by the United Nations have revealed that illiteracy among women in Morocco who are not less than 15 years old is at 64 percent, in Algeria 43 percent and in Tunisia at 39 percent. As for illiteracy among men, it is as follows Morocco 38 percent Algeria 24 percent and Tunisia 19 percent.
All in all, in the Middle East and North Africa, there are 75 million illiterates, and the fast increase in their populations causes a corresponding increase in illiteracy, poverty, ignorance, and backwardness.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Red and green

Today, I saw what a real graduation was. Not that the one we had at the J-school was not good. On the contrary. It's just that for undergrads, dimensions are much bigger, especially at UCLA. I thought it was very touching and the organization was almost perfect. I was amused to see two faculty members singing for the audience. The ceremony was long and the families impatient. Emotion was palpable everywhere, in the smiles of the Bachelors, their parents' pride and the thousands of pictures taken everywhere. UCLA's campus is beautiful, especially when it's sunny. A lot if girlies in Dior accessories at the Anderson school but one unique thing: a Moroccan flag.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Blague à part

Quand le bébé est arrivé, il était heureux. Heureux comme personne. En plus, c'était un garçon. Puis, avec les nuits blanches, les pleurs, les biberons, il a aimé beaucoup moins être papa. Et avec sa cellulite, ses cernes et ses cheveux, il a aimé beaucoup moins être mari.
Maintenant, le petit garçon a grandi, mais son papa s'enferme à double-tour dans sa chambre à coucher et écrit dans un blog les aventures qu'il aimerait vivre sur l'homme qu'il aurait aimé être.

Doughnuts craving

Si tu étais là, on aurait marché...Jusqu'à la voiture.


Quelle couche du noir veux-tu voir?

La métamorphose

Et pourquoi je me casserais le c** à faire le boulot correctement, rester le dernier au boulot, de me griller en même temps que mes clopes, de m'énerver à ré-expliquer des évidences à ces imbéciles de collègues? Après tout, on n'est qu'au Maroc.
Et le lendemain, au réveil, il était fonctionnaire.

Gnaoua mood

Des murs jaunes; des marches colorées de mosaïque et; en haut, une petite terrasse. On traverse la terrasse aux transats vides et vue sur une ruelle de la médina. Une porte, au fond. Une porte verte en fer. "Chambre pour trois", sourit l'hôtellier moustachu.
Et puis, rien. Que des sourires, des regards et des promenades dans le vent. Les vagues, les Alizés, la musique en fond toute la journée, toute la nuit, les after dans les riads assis sur les tapis, avec des dizaines d'étrangers juste contents d'être là et se passant la Siniya de thé.
Dans la petite boutique "au petit bonheur la chance", je trouve le pendentif que j'ai toujours voulu. Il est resté pendu à mon cou pendant plus d'une année. Puis, un jour, il a disparu avec mes souvenirs.


I wish I could stop thinking.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

J- 7

In exactly one week, I'll be home. The notion of home is arguable, I agree, but still. I can't wait to see my dad's face among people waiting at the airport. My mom will already be in the US. Her being here will take away half of the happiness to be in Morocco (and 99% of the good food I was fantasizing on). Of course, I have a lits of things I HAVE to do, people I HAVE to see but, often, I surrender to only seeing people I WANT to see and doing things I WANT to do.
I'm excited to work although I don't know yet how, why, when and who with.
I have this bittersweet feeling. And I hate it. I wish I was more simple.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005



Et je me souviens de cette affiche un peu partout en Californie, montrant Arnold "he wheels and he deals" puis une infirmière "she heals". Je n'ai jamais eu autant de respect pour les infirmières que depuis que je passe mes journées à l'hôpital. C'est fou. Quelle gentillesse, quelle amabilité, quelle présence. Un sens de la communication et du réconfort que nos meilleurs médecins n'ont jamais eu. Une efficacité qui m'a laissée béate. Et ces sourires, mon Dieu...
Bref, j'ai dépassé ma phobie des hôpitaux au Scripps Memorial.
Et je ne parle même pas de ces volontaires, de 17 à 92 ans, qui passent leurs journées à tricoter des bonnets, à faire de la lecture, marcher avec des patients...
Et last but not least, tous les dons que reçoit l'hôpital, de millionnaires mais aussi de gens aisés qui partagent, financent, soutiennent.
"De vrais anges", dixit Tant Nadia ".

Friday, June 03, 2005

Home bitter Home

I have to admit it: I miss the Bay Area. I think about it, all the time. I don't know what exactly: my studio, the J-School or some special people. Maybe a little bit of all.
The more I go, the less I miss home. This is very dangerous, it never happened. One thing keeps me obssessed by Morocco: blogs and people's lives back home and, of course, news.
I imagine myself in Casa, or Marrakech. I close my eyes, I think of my friends, then I remember Rabat, the boredom, some other things I don't wanna talk about. I open my eyes. I'm scared of next year.

Auntie Najlae

Adam added his crying symphony to the cacophony of this world on June 1st, 2005 at 3:32 pm.
I held him in my arms today with so much emotion and a lot of love.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Stairway to heaven

I'm watching Traffic. I love Soderbergh's movies but I find this one so well-made, so well thought. I can't help thinking about Morocco. Drugs, like coke and ecstasy, have more and more fans. I talked yesterday for a moment with somebody who spent quite some time immersed in an environment he was never supposed to know. I mean, in Morocco, families are quite careful about where the kids go and who with. Obviously, the "busy parents" or "cool parents" side is taking over. The guy, let's call him Amine, saw kids of 15 years old sniffing coke, buying grams for 1000 dh (100 bucks) and diving into a new trip. According to him, we're not only talking about kids going to French or American schools but also public schools.
What's wrong?
I've seen haschisch all my life, everywhere, but I've never been even tempted to try. Education you say? Well, even if I had been tempted, it's candy compared to ecstasy or coke.
Kids are bored. Kids are lost. Parents are worse.
How can a 15 years old regularly get a hundred bucks to buy drugs? Do parents realize? The guy, who recovered from a bad, bad trip, said dealers started to sell half-grams for 50 bucks to make the merchandise accessible to all. In Traffic, the anti-drug leader discovers that his own daughter is an addict. Depressing. Awakening.