T Nation

The Prince of Facebook

I have an aversion for people who use those hyped services. I also have have little sympathy for plagiarizers and other crooks, but this story got to me really bad.

Why? Because it’s the first case ever of a person jailed for creating a fake Facebook profile. The lad is a 26 years old engineer from Casablanca who created a profile for the prince Rachid, brother of Mohamed VI - king of Morocco. He was abducted from him home by officers in plainclothes, taken to a police station where he was beaten and tortured till he lost consciousness several times. Then to have an expeditive trial where he was sentenced to 3 years of prison plus a fine.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7258950.stm
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080310/lalami
http://helpfouad.com/

Now I know, the guy usurped an identity and he deserves to be smacked for it. But anything beyond getting dragged in courts and a symbolic dirham is simply unacceptable.

I am ashamed of my country, the image it’s having in the world, and for the first time, am reconsidering my plans to go back home once I finish my studies here. I’m not fond of Sweden what with all the cold, weird food and Big Brother, but I wouldn’t mind relocating to central or southern Europe. I have always believed that I might positively contribute to achieving a democratic Morocco where freedoms and the judicial are in par with…well, at least Algeria or Mauritania. People are mad, but everyone I contact gives me a fatalist line. Shit, if that happened anywhere else, people would spontaneously create thousands of Facebook profiles of the prince, his mother, his sister and every last one of them. Or at least, take it to the streets. What did they do? A few bloggers (most of them hosted abroad) have suspended their activity, as if it did anyone any good.

This is a reality check from the monarchy for anyone who was pushing for progress in Morocco. Every good intention I had is now to be reevaluated. You may recall that we had elections a couple of months ago, and that voter turnout was the lowest in the history of the country. Less than 35% people showed up. People aren’t even trying anymore. It’s really pathetic.

There is no hope to change the system “from within”; that much I know. So, I’m asking this in all seriousness; what would you do in my place? I’m an idealist but my survival instinct starts kicking in. I know many brilliant people who left the country for whatever reason, but I was always predominantly optimistic. Now…well, not so much.

P.S: Yeah, I know, I vowed to never start threads on this forum, but I hope you can have the class to overlook that.

HH, I think he is asking if you will adopt him.

[quote]lixy wrote:
… I’m an idealist but my survival instinct starts kicking in. I know many brilliant people who left the country for whatever reason, but I was always predominantly optimistic. Now…well, not so much.

[/quote]

Friends on the PWI Forum,

Perhaps Lixy should consider moving to Israel:

No, really, Israel has some distinct advantages over Morocco:

–he already know his cousin’s in-laws who “moved” there…migrated there?–were chased from Morocco to there.
–it respects education and has put to work thousands of engineers, even electrical engineers, expelled from other countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Maghreb, Iran, Iraq)
–it has an active, secular society, nevertheless respecting freedom of religion, and also tolerates dissent of government practice.
–it has full citizenship for its minorities, with equality under parliamentary law
–he could enjoy freedom of speech and share his many valuable opinions with his new neighbors.

Just my helpful suggestion

That is a big ask, but for starters, what are you trying to accomplish specifically? What individual rights do you want to see, what laws would you wish passed/repealed, etc?

Consider listing these from the least dramatic and we can look at how these have been accomplished in the past.

[quote]will to power wrote:
That is a big ask, but for starters, what are you trying to accomplish specifically? What individual rights do you want to see, what laws would you wish passed/repealed, etc?

Consider listing these from the least dramatic and we can look at how these have been accomplished in the past.[/quote]

The constitution gives unlimited powers to the king. He is designated as a “sacred” institution (Louis XVI style) and is not subjected to any form of oversight.

Thanks for any input.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
lixy wrote:
… I’m an idealist but my survival instinct starts kicking in. I know many brilliant people who left the country for whatever reason, but I was always predominantly optimistic. Now…well, not so much.

Friends on the PWI Forum,

Perhaps Lixy should consider moving to Israel:

No, really, Israel has some distinct advantages over Morocco:

–he already know his cousin’s in-laws who “moved” there…migrated there?–were chased from Morocco to there.
–it respects education and has put to work thousands of engineers, even electrical engineers, expelled from other countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Maghreb, Iran, Iraq)
–it has an active, secular society, nevertheless respecting freedom of religion, and also tolerates dissent of government practice.
–it has full citizenship for its minorities, with equality under parliamentary law
–he could enjoy freedom of speech and share his many valuable opinions with his new neighbors.

Just my helpful suggestion[/quote]

Yet would be considered moral suicide.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
lixy wrote:

Perhaps Lixy should consider moving to Israel:[/quote]

My suggestion is Dubai.

Similar climate and advantages as Israel, especially for one with Lixy’s technical background, but I imagine it’s quite a lot easier to be an Arab Muslim in Dubai than in Israel. The tax climate is more favorable, as well.

[quote]lixy wrote:
will to power wrote:
That is a big ask, but for starters, what are you trying to accomplish specifically? What individual rights do you want to see, what laws would you wish passed/repealed, etc?

Consider listing these from the least dramatic and we can look at how these have been accomplished in the past.

The constitution gives unlimited powers to the king. He is designated as a “sacred” institution (Louis XVI style) and is not subjected to any form of oversight.

Thanks for any input.[/quote]

I’m having trouble finding details but where I’d start is looking at when these sort of powers have been removed in the past without coups or revolutions. Whatever methods you find getting the people to care more about their political situation would probably be the first step, so you’d have to research how to raise interest in that sort of thing [methods that wouldn’t lead to you being beaten and jailed preferably].

Sorry my advice is so vague, my experience is mostly with Lebanese and Australian politics where there’s a fair bit of interest in politics and monarchy is either not there or mostly symbolic.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
DrSkeptix wrote:
lixy wrote:

Perhaps Lixy should consider moving to Israel:

My suggestion is Dubai.

Similar climate and advantages as Israel, especially for one with Lixy’s technical background, but I imagine it’s quite a lot easier to be an Arab Muslim in Dubai than in Israel. The tax climate is more favorable, as well.[/quote]

Abu Dhabi has a much lower cost of living, relatively light traffic and comparable incomes.

[quote]Molotov_Coktease wrote:
DrSkeptix wrote:
lixy wrote:
… I’m an idealist but my survival instinct starts kicking in. I know many brilliant people who left the country for whatever reason, but I was always predominantly optimistic. Now…well, not so much.

Friends on the PWI Forum,

Perhaps Lixy should consider moving to Israel:

No, really, Israel has some distinct advantages over Morocco:

–he already know his cousin’s in-laws who “moved” there…migrated there?–were chased from Morocco to there.
–it respects education and has put to work thousands of engineers, even electrical engineers, expelled from other countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Maghreb, Iran, Iraq)
–it has an active, secular society, nevertheless respecting freedom of religion, and also tolerates dissent of government practice.
–it has full citizenship for its minorities, with equality under parliamentary law
–he could enjoy freedom of speech and share his many valuable opinions with his new neighbors.

Just my helpful suggestion

Yet would be considered moral suicide. [/quote]

No morals here, no loss.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
DrSkeptix wrote:
lixy wrote:

Perhaps Lixy should consider moving to Israel:

My suggestion is Dubai.

Similar climate and advantages as Israel, especially for one with Lixy’s technical background, but I imagine it’s quite a lot easier to be an Arab Muslim in Dubai than in Israel. The tax climate is more favorable, as well.[/quote]

V,

Of course…and then there is that nasty problem for the true revolutionary, “the weird food.” Such discomfort should ne’er be endured, although I bet there is a good Moroccan restaurant within view of the third holiest sight in Islam.

No, V, you are right. Might I suggest…

Beautiful Jersey City, New Jersey! It is…
…practically under Sharia law already, a mosque on each corner with a half-blind sheik in attendance,
…so close to lower Manhattan that it is within range of Lixy’s shoulder-mounted Stinger missile, and
…no problem with “weird food.” One can order a pizza and an armed assault on a military facility, to go.

Focus, please people.

I’m not asking about suggestions where to go. I’m young, unattached and - dare I say - qualified. So, the world is my playground.

What I asked about, is what you would do in my shoes? Now you may not have enough elements to gauge the situation, but it should be clear that my fate there (as a vocal critic) could be far from enviable.

For now, I’m on 50/50. Before the “Faceboo verdict” fell, I was predominately in favor of going back to my family and friends, because there were some nice signs of the country moving in the right direction.

Damn. I was seriously focusing Lixy. I don’t know where you belong. Do you only strategically place yourself with places that agree with who you are and your opinions? I ended up where I am. My father at least and his family before,settled here where I live. I find myself very attached to where I am, but not for that simple fact. It is more for what my father did here, and the accomplishments that were possible. He had about zero education and yet, ended up the editor of the SF Chronicle. I want to believe those things are still possible. I’ll probably die still believing it. You don’t have to be a stranger in a strange land… and your own may repel you, but that’s no excuse in my book.

Iran.

Morocco has been fucked up as long as I remember. My understanding is that it is a nice place to visit ,but it is corrupt as hell, just like New Orleans. Follow your heart.
Or travel the world. You can settle where you want after wards. Why not? Have some fun. Visit America at some point, perhaps it may help to ease some of your intense hatred for our country. Or increase it depending on where you go. I’d skip Mississippi and Alabama, and probably Louisiana. Go to Florida, New York, Boston, Maine, Alaska, California. The mountains out west are breath taking. See the world and have some fun…I can’t find a down side to it.

A piece by tech guru Richard Stiennon:

Get a clue Morocco

[i]Do you ever get the feeling that the people around you are missing out on a major shift in the way the world works? Try explaining lolcats to your grandfather for instance. I feel sorry for the powers that be in Morocco who have sentenced Fouad Mourtada, a guy with a clue, to three years in jail for spoofing a Facebook site for a member of their so-called royalty.

I feel sorry for the backward thinking elements of the world as we enter an accelerated phase of how humans communicate and works. Let Fouad go. Hire him to instill cluefulness in your government.

What�??s next? Arresting somebody for Leroy Jenkins syndrome?

I am compiling a top ten list of government stupidity when it comes to the Internet. This qualifies.[/i]

[quote]Molotov_Coktease wrote:
He had about zero education and yet, ended up the editor of the SF Chronicle. [/quote]

Now I know where your “coolness” comes from.

[quote]will to power wrote:
Varqanir wrote:
DrSkeptix wrote:
lixy wrote:

Perhaps Lixy should consider moving to Israel:

My suggestion is Dubai.

Similar climate and advantages as Israel, especially for one with Lixy’s technical background, but I imagine it’s quite a lot easier to be an Arab Muslim in Dubai than in Israel. The tax climate is more favorable, as well.

Abu Dhabi has a much lower cost of living, relatively light traffic and comparable incomes.[/quote]

And it’s not Disney World East.

[quote]lixy wrote:
will to power wrote:
That is a big ask, but for starters, what are you trying to accomplish specifically? What individual rights do you want to see, what laws would you wish passed/repealed, etc?

Consider listing these from the least dramatic and we can look at how these have been accomplished in the past.

The constitution gives unlimited powers to the king. He is designated as a “sacred” institution (Louis XVI style) and is not subjected to any form of oversight.

Thanks for any input.[/quote]

So here are my thoughts so far as far as affecting change in your country. Unless you want to wait for a really kind and reformist King to take the thrown, the three main ways that change like this has occurred is from revolution, which I doubt is under consideration here, pressure from the the aristocracy, or popular demand inspired by the words of respected intellectuals. So unless you are incredibly wealthy, I’m thinking considering writing extensively on the issue, trying to bring media attention etc to raise internal and external pressure. It sounds completely unfeasible but think long term, starting to get people to care about the issue is what I’m really talking about and the results may not happen in your life time but you want to pave the road for them.

Hope that’s helpful.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Focus, please people.

I’m not asking about suggestions where to go. I’m young, unattached and - dare I say - qualified. So, the world is my playground.

What I asked about, is what you would do in my shoes? Now you may not have enough elements to gauge the situation, but it should be clear that my fate there (as a vocal critic) could be far from enviable.

For now, I’m on 50/50. Before the “Faceboo verdict” fell, I was predominately in favor of going back to my family and friends, because there were some nice signs of the country moving in the right direction.[/quote]

First off any country that still believes in the birth right belongs in the stone ages. I was born in England and will never return until the monarchy is dissolved, fat chance. A person can not combat such an archaic system with out major signs of unrest in the people. The very thought that someone can believe they were born better than me is insulting at the least. Respect SHOULD be earned through education and experience. Which never really happens. Power corrupts and ultimate power ultimately corrupts.

So I guess it all depend on what type of life you want to live. The live of a martyr is usually a dead one or at best an exiled one. Personally I prefer a live with as much personal freedom as possible and I believe that is just what I have. One can wage war with a pen from near or far, for the tip of a pen has no limit. I wish much success with your situation.