Just try and stop it

The revolution continues to be blogged:

It may be a far cry from the millions of blogs active in the West, but Morocco’s blogosphere has taken off as the liveliest free-speech zone in largely conservative Muslim North Africa.

The Moroccan “Blogoma”, as it is called, is home to at least 30,000 sites.

Inspired by bloggers elsewhere in the Arab world, Moroccans quickly saw these personal websites as a way to circumvent censorship while debating taboo or touchy subjects — like the monarchy, Islam or the disputed Western Sahara.

“It is a genuine revolution because everyone can comment freely on such sensitive topics,” said veteran blogger Larbi El Hilali, who set up Larbi.org.

Moroccan bloggers have reacted positively to the story – despite the regime’s fears about freedom of speech – including Everything Morocco:

I blog from home now, on a laptop with a DSL connection, in one of the oldest fully-functioning medieval cities in the world. As I sit here typing this, neighbor women are carrying their bread to the public oven and donkeys are hauling goods down the narrow streets of the city and tourists are picking over the displays of hand-crafted souvenirs in the souks. Satellite dishes dot the surrounding rooftops where many women still wash laundry and prepare spices by hand. You are just as likely to spot a sheep or a rooster on a roof as a cat or a swallow.

Time and technology seem to be always advancing, faster now than ever, but in a comforting way, the daily routines of life stay the same. That’s especially true in Fez.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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