Saturday, 30 September 2023 00:58

Moroccans living abroad and the future : Which image and which culture?

Friday, 14 February 2020

The CCME’s Agora of thursday 13 febuary raised the issue : « Moroccans living abroad and the future : Which image and which culture ». The round table gathered Mrs Wahiba Rhouzli, assistant of the mayor of Saint-Ouen, Mr Mohamed Cherkaoui, professor of international conflicts at the George Mason University of Mrs Fauzaya Talhaoui, Belgian female politician, Mr Jean-Marie Heydt, professor at the Haute Alsace University and author of the book du livre « Mohammed VI. A King's vision : actions and ambitions » (published at the Favre editions in 2019) . This meeting was moderated by Mr Mohammed Moussaoui, member du CCME.

Mohamed Moussaoui

In his speech, Mr Mohamed Moussaoui said « the vision of the host countries related to the image of Morocco determines how Moroccans living abroad are perceived. It has also an impact on the political space and is prisoner of an untrue image” . Religion is also one of the components of this image since « Islam crystalyses unfounded fears stereotypes, besides the culture which « tends to change this image through Art or litterature which can play an important but limited role».

Jean Marie Heydt

Mr Jean-Marie Heydt, for his part, said constructing an image « is experiencing the otherness because reflecting an image is better it’s position in relation to others” The Image is dynamic. It’s a « portrayal of a non static ideal since it depends on an environment and living conditions”.

Fauzaya Talhaoui

Speaking about Moroccan in Belgium, Mrs Fauzaya Talhaoui said « 200.000 flemish citizens have a moroccan origin and in Brussels, 600.000 belgian citizens have a moroccan background ». She added, their ties with Morocco have grown substantially since the community got involved in associative and institutional actions following the twinning between the University of Antwerp and the University Mohammed 1st of Oujda.
She also said : for the newer generations, the question of the image of Morocco is more complex : « Our parents are more familiar with Morocco’s while the younger aren’t as well aware about their history and heritage which makes it difficult for them taking on arguments when charged about serious issues like terrorism and jihadism”.

Wahiba Rhouzli

In the same vein, Mrs Wahiba Rhouzli, the French-moroccan economist spoke about the key role of the Moroccan diaspora in the construction of a positive image of Morocco. She also raised the question of the possible complementarity between culture and policy.
In France, the promotion of French culture and language is done through agencies and the numerous French cultural centers in the world. Without making any comparison, said Mrs Rhouzli, this example should inspire us because we he to intensify Morocco’s cultural diplomacy through a similar concept because the image of a country depends on the power of the culture ”.

Mohamed Cherkaoui

Mr Mohamed Cherkaoui, spoke about the popular, cultural and political issues related to the image of Morocco in the United States. The expert said among other things, that the image of Morocco in the American collective imaginary is "complicated": it feeds itself from cinematographic works, stereotypes like the 16 may terrorist attacks of Casablanca, etc… the expert also explains, that the cultural image of Morocco changed positively in 2011, since de Moroccan diplomacy brought to the fore the Moroccan exception.


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