Corruption in Morocco

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Corruption has a long story in Morocco. This latter country has been known with corruption since its beginning. After its independence, a handful of families benefited greatly due to the access of powerful inner circles of Monarchy which makes it very hard for poor people to live and pursue their dream, the Moroccan dream. The book “Secret Son” is a novel which highlights the struggle of poor Moroccan people with corruption and mistrust of the government and police. Not only the book presents issues dealing with the turmoil of Morocco, but it also presents the characteristics of identity and relationships among the Moroccan families. There are many boundaries that face young Moroccan men when it comes to education and jobs in Morocco. In the novel “Secret Son”, Youssef, the protagonist is the 19 year old illegitimate son living with his mother, Rachida, in the slums of Casablanca. He went to the university where the division of the society is apparent in the cliques he described. First the “Mercedes and Marlboro group” (Lalami, 27) are the rich kids, who “spoke French, wore designer clothes and carried patent leather satchels” (Lalami, 27; the religious kind “the headscarf and beard faction” (Lalami, 27) who were “organized strictly along gender lines, chatting about which hadith recommended which manner of eating or drinking or sneezing” (Lalami, 27; the egalitarian group “the Marx and lenin group” who “spent more of their time complaining about the conditions of the classrooms, the cafeteria, and the library, or reading the newspaper while sharing a cigarette” (Lalami, 28), and finally the "Berber Student Alliance and the Saharawis", students from distinct ethnic minorities within the country. In morocco, there is a big difference between a graduate from a Moroccan university and a graduate from universities located in the United States. Lack of motivation and jobs in this country makes it very difficult for poor kids to finish their education since they know that those degrees won’t lead them anywhere in the country of Morocco. According to the book “Real jobs were for people who went to higher institutes or engineering school, or medical school – or anywhere abroad” (Lalami, 138). Only the elite class of the country who can afford to send their kids to study abroad. “This was what people like Amranis did: they studied in private schools, went to university in France or Canada or the United States, and then came back to run the country” (Lalami, 117), as a result, most of the poor kids in Morocco drop out of school and try to get jobs such as security guards or doormen because they know that those are the jobs they would get whether with a degree or without. One of the most things that describe the Moroccan government and police to be corrupted is bribery. In fact, according to Abderrahim El Ouali’s article “Corruption-Morocco: Worries rise with it”, “In the 19th century governors of regions in Morocco were obliged to come to the royal palace to offer gifts to the king so as to strengthen their position. As compensation, they were free to do what they want with citizens. This is the origin of the problem.” (El Ouali). “Many people paid bribe to guarantee a passing grade” (Lalami, 212); people in Morocco would pay bribe to officers, policemen, and even teachers. The book states “a teenage boy lowered the window of his Range Rover, slipping a bill to the policeman who had stopped him at the red light” (Lalami, 213). The wealthy teenager bribes the policeman to avoid getting a traffic ticket. High class people seem to bribe to get anything they want including power and the government is reluctant to address these issues. In the novel “Secret Son”, without telling his mother, Youssef el Mekki locates his father, Nabil Amrani, the rich man, and is pleasantly surprised by the man’s response. Nabil bribed his illegitimate son and offered him a penthouse apartment in order to keep silent and not reveal their secret to his...
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