Casablanca, Morocco

  • Date
  • 27 February 2000

Young people aged 30 and under make up 70% of Morocco’s population (same statistic in Iran). Presently 50% of the government budget is spent on government employees and another 33% on paying back debt. I wonder how long the young people will allow only 15-20% of the government budget to be invested on education, medicine, infrastructure etc. Newly crowned King Sidi Mohamed VI (born in 1963) has a tough job before him.

We passed a movie theatre today (showing ages-old ‘Ronin’) with about 100 male and female teenagers hanging around outside. None of the well-turned-out, young women wore scarves over their heads or caftans over their bodies. The notion that women in Morocco are forced to cover is a myth. Continuing religious customs – not a decree from the government or Islam – plays the biggest influence in the traditional dress of women. Quite often we see young females in jeans or pants walking with other young women covered from head to toe. Choices exist.