Corruption, Human Rights, Moroccans For Change, Morocco, Youth

Zakaria Moumni and The Moroccan Dream

If you wonder who Zakaria Moumni is and why we are writing about him, please read this Human Rights Watch Report, watch this youtube video, and listen to what Zakaria has to say here and here.

On April 9th, M4C tweeted the Minister of Youth and Sports, @moncefbelkhayat, to request more information about the case.

The story of Zakaria is not a unique one. He dreamed big and worked hard to achieve his dreams. Zakaria’s perseverance and dedication were rewarded when he won the title of World Champion in kick boxing.  He was the youngest man to ever hold the title. Proud of his achievement, he turned to his home country for recognition, support, and endorsement.

In his youtube video, Zakaria explains that he reached out to the Moroccan Ministry of Sports in order to claim a remuneration that (according to Zakaria) is granted by Dahir (Royal Decree n°1194-66). His claim was rejected. However,  Zakaria decided to persevere with the hope that he would prevail and that his rights will be granted.

It is not clear to us what exactly happened to Zakaria, or whether he is guilty or innocent. But his story raises at least two fundamental issues: 1) The corrupt Moroccan judiciary system that expedited his trial without a due process of law, and 2) The meritocratic deficit and the treatment reserved to qualified human resources in Morocco.

Zakaria’s story is also the story of those Moroccans who put their heart and soul into their work, aim for excellence, and strive for meaningful impact. It’s the story of outstanding Moroccan engineers, intellectuals, scientists, athletes, who oftentimes become the victim of a system that mocks meritocracy, applies rules and laws arbitrarily, turns rights into privileges, and raises personal interests above national ones.

Who amongst us doesn’t know a Zakaria Moumni? Who doesn’t have a story to share about brilliant, one of a kind Moroccans who felt compelled to leave their home country after constantly being exposed to widespread injustice, harassment, and deceit?  How many have left their homeland in search of opportunities elsewhere, but mostly to find dignity?  These Moroccans end up paying the emotional price of exile, but their nation pays the highest price of all: that of the continuous loss of its most valuable human resources. Yes, it’s called “brain-drain”, a terrible price to pay for a country in vital need of all its best talents.

Zakaria, you may say is no brain-drain…he is a boxer. And that’s another kind of talent! Imagine what Zakaria could have represented for the millions of young Moroccans who love sports and who seek national role models to look up to and emulate. In a country plagued with poverty, illiteracy, and street children, why don’t we glorify our champions, artists, scientists so that our children can dream big and feel that “Yes, they CAN too!”? Zakaria’s career achievement is a perfect example of the merits of hard work and discipline. It could be included in civic education curricula and taught to every Moroccan child and in every Moroccan school. Heck, we could have had our own Mohamed Ali! Could we have used his championship achievement to provide our children with a picture of hope, and show them that if one Moroccan can be a world champion, all Moroccans can dream big?

Or, are we even allowed to have a Moroccan dream?

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Discussion

One thought on “Zakaria Moumni and The Moroccan Dream

  1. Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this website wants way more consideration. Ill probably be once more to learn way more, thanks for that info.

    Posted by news article | February 11, 2013, 2:09 am

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