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The role of the media in intercultural dialogue in the countries of residence

Friday, 16 February 2018

The Moroccan Council of the Community Abroad (CCME) organized this Friday, February 16, 2018 at the Casablanca Book Fair, a round table on "the role of the media in intercultural dialogue in the country of residence" .

J9 TR 3 SIMOMr. Abdelghani Dadès, Moroccan journalist in Canada and CCME member, Ms. Fadoua Massat, Moroccan journalist resident in Washington, Ms. Rim Najmi, Moroccan poet and journalist resident in Germany, Ms. Saida Boudaghia Al Azrak, journalist researcher in the field of media in Spain, Ms. Fouzia Benyoub, a Moroccan journalist in France and Mr. Zouhir Louassini, journalist and writer resident in Rome, Italy participated to this conference moderated by Mr. Mohammed Saibari, journalist at the CCME.

Mr. Mohamed Saibari said that this meeting aims to focus on the role of the Moroccan journalist living abroad in promoting the diversity of Moroccan culture in a context of  identity tensions, Islamophobia and the rise of extremist currents.

J9 TR 3 DADESIn his statement Mr. Dadès explained that community media were found to answer to a need for representation, because "the experience of the immigrant was not a priority nor for the media of the host country for the countries of origin ".

These community media, "or ethnic" were first published in the original language, namely Arabic for Moroccan community media, but promoted and open to national languages ​​to reach "younger generations of immigrants on the one hand and the other of the Canadian society on the  and become a lever for integration ".

"There are currently some 20 websites, 8 radios and 3 web TVs," said Mr. Dadès. He added that "community media are not aimed to compete with the media in Morocco or Canada on information, but express the senivity and the characteristics of the ethnic groups, to value their success and to establish the links between the Jewish and Muslim aspects of the Moroccan identity ".

J9 TR 3 BOUDAGHYAMs. Boudaghia, said "Spain needed Moroccan journalists to express the religious pluralism personified by these newcomers."At the time, there were no structures  to reach the Spanish public and inform them on cultural specificities".

Indeed, we were able to focus on our culture because in the 90s, the Spaniards did not know us, today thanks to the media, the contact with the other is easier because we have more elements about it’s culture, it’s traditions and it’s way of being.

After the terrorist acts of 2004, the media pointed the finger at the Moroccan community and we saw racism increase and campaigned in faculties, in associations to show that we can manage our differences and spread peace she said.

J9 TR 3 BOUAYOUBAbout the language , Ms. Boudaghia said that the media in the original language are not very effective because the second generation of young people do not necessarily understand moroccan,  assuring that " since 2004 our action is successful because the Spanish citizens made the difference between terrorism and Islam.

For Ms. Benyoub, a journalist for the  website Atlas info, the challenge of community media, especially in France, is to bring together the cultures of origin, welcome and inform decision makers on the particularity of Franco-Moroccan relations , French-Maghreb and Mediterranean.

The journalist explained that, thanks to her experience, pluralism is at the heart of society, but puts the question of integration of the newly arrived migrants. Insights and questioning on the issues of Islam in France, spirituality and living together are very present in the Moroccan site in France: "350 articles were published in the religion section and 500 on the cultural life" she said.

J9 TR 3 OUASSINIMr. El Ouassini,for his part,  considered that working in a national Italian television had a significant impact on his professional experience, inquiery  to make the difference between activism and journalism "The reality of the media has become very complicated with the multiplication of media and with specificities as different  as the countries in which the journalist practices," he continued. The journalist, regretted the manipulation of the issue of Islam and migration by politicians, urging "to make more efforts to show that the Moroccan « element is an element » of peace and prosperity". Finally, Mr. El Ouassini reiterated the duty of journalists to fulfill their mission by describing the reality.

J9 TR 3 FADWAMs Fadoua Massat said: "my experience in Morocco allowed me to succeed in the United States" " When I arrived in theStates, I felt I represented all Moroccans ». Regarding the journalistic exercise, the Moroccan journalist was glad to have acquired the mechanisms and bases of professional journalism in Morocco that allowed her to succeed in her professional career in the United States. Ms. Massat explained that "Maghreb news is not a priority for the US-based media, but we have fought to show that this region deserves to be covered for its cultural, historical and geographical richness. She also said the role of social networks in the integration of foreign communities, citing the example of a Moroccan mother active on Facebook and who shares it’s daily life with thousands of subscribers of the Moroccan and American community through her videos and publications.

J9 TR 3 RIMMs Rim Nejmi said the journalist can contribute expose its culture of origin. The Moroccan journalist at Die Deutsche Welle, which has 12 journalists of Moroccan origin in its offices, for its part highlighted the linguistic challenge in the treatment of information: "the Arabic language  is different among the Arab communities in the newsroom and this has led me to ask the question of how can we engage a dialogue with communities with whom we have even fewer points in common. Ms. Rim Nejmi explained that, like many Moroccans, she felt she should devote herself to improve the image of the Moroccan immigrant abroad by demonstrating that "my country of origin was a good school for us and gave the woman the place she deserves "after the events in Köln.

She also affirmed that the  Moroccan cultural diversity is also the result  editorial choices:" when I interviewed Mr. André Azoulay for example, I highlighted the Jewish tributary in Moroccan culture.


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