In the summer of 1998, I went on my first trip outside Algeria, to a Spanish city called Villena. It is a quiet and peaceful small town in the Spanish southeast. The majority of its inhabitants know each other. I have Spanish friends there, whom I met from their visits to the camps.
One day I needed to buy tea, so I went to the market with a Spanish friend. There was only one tea shop in town.
When I entered the store I found out its owner was a Moroccan, so I told my Spanish friend, I will not buy tea from a Moroccan, even if my head would explode, for these are our enemies. My Spanish friend did not like my reaction and told me this is a grocery store, not a trench, and this is a person like you, perhaps he came here for the same reason as you, maybe you are both victims of the same system.
I used to hate everything Moroccan, as if things should be like this and everyone who says otherwise is either an ignorant who does not know Morocco, or an unstable person. I was raised on a saying attributed to one of the Algerian scholars, which says:
Cultivate goodness in a dog, but not in Morocco
Hair grows on the head, but in the palm.
It was an assumption for me that Morocco is all evil, with no good. I had to travel 30 km to another town in order not to buy tea from a Moroccan merchant.
Today most of the people who comment on my page, who hate Morocco and Moroccans Like I did, reproach me that most of my friends and defenders are Moroccans. I don’t know whether in my fifties I have still not reached the level of maturity with which to distinguish between friend and foe, or whether my Sahrawi brothers have concepts other than those humans know. They use the word “friend” for those who curse, insult and blame, and the word “enemy” for those who support and console.
If I was the one who is confused and lost the ability to distinguish, did Moroccans get lost as well? Moroccans among whom I made friends more numerous than the members of my tribe, which is the biggest tribe in the Sahara.
The Moroccans I hated have not changed. Rather, I have changed. And when I changed, I did not find anymore the Moroccan whom I used to hate and show hostility. I did not find anymore the Moroccan who was awaiting a moment of inattention to kill me.
Believe me, I was ashamed of myself. I, the wise, the intelligent, the brilliant front investigator, could not find the Moroccan whom I have been hostile to for decades. It is unreasonable for 40 million enemies to disappear in an instant !!!!
The secret is that when I changed, I discovered that I had been the Don Quixote of my time. I discovered that a PlayStation game about a war between me and Moroccans was running in my brain. I believed the events taking place in my imagination until the current was cut off and the tape in my brain stopped working, I went back to reality to find that 40 years had passed of my life and my brain was hacked, I thought I was living a real war.
I only ask my sahraoui brother who thinks I have lost my mind, to unplug the charger and cut off the power to the game that has been running in his brain since birth, for an hour. And to ask himself: What has he achieved and what does he want?
Does he have a decent home? Do his children have a proper education and healthy care system, does he have a job and an income that secures the future of his family? DO people aspire for more than this? Are those who fight for the presidency in any society more or less than 0.0000000001, is he one of this very few satiated elite that only lacks luxuries? or is he like the completely naked who’s looking for a ring?
Then he would know who is really preventing him from realizing his ambitions and who is his true enemy. His own Don Quixote self who has wrestled with an imaginary enemy for decades? Or Moroccans, mountains and oceans away, who do not know how he is called or how he looks.
Whoever wants to make sure that his battle is with himself, not with Moroccans, need not go far, they just have to come out on any page on social media, wielding their sword, calling out:
- Moroccan enemies, is there a swordsman to fight me?
And the response will come quickly:
- First, who are you?
- I am the Saharian you have displaced from the Sahara.
- Are you in your right mind? We have brought people from inside, from Mauritania, from Africa, so many companies and consulates, and we could not populate more than 6 thousand square kilometers of the Sahara. There are still 260 thousand square kilometers empty and you say we have displaced you? Oh sir, please come and bring even Algerian people with you, hopefully this will help us populate half of it.
Best wishes to my Moroccan friends, whose friendship I cherish and I appreciate their solidarity, support and backup.
The story continues….