New blog: Amina Talhimet

If you read French and are interested in Morocco, take a look at Amina Talhimet's new blog. She's a journalist at the French left-of-center daily Liberation and already has a few interesting entries.

Yesterday she reported that Morocco voted in favor of the abolition of capital punishment at the UN Human Rights Commission, and the day before she has a quite moving post on social inequity in Morocco. Here's a small excerpt:

A few days ago I met three cleaning ladies in one of the Kingdom's upscale hotels. Three young women, all of them graduates in law and younger than 30. It made me feel ashamed. Rarely has such a moment been so intense for me. For here are young women from some of the poorest background in the country that we made believe that studying and success at school and then university would then allow to have a better life, but the result is a social nightmare. Lucid? -- yes, I am. Morocco is a poor country, I am well aware of it... Especially because I know that in our country a quasi-feudal tradition is perpetuated that blocks social ascension for thousands of people because they do not bear the "right" name or come from the "proper" social background.


That applies to a lot of places in the Arab world, but it is something I see in Morocco more than most other countries. Good to see some quality Moroccan blogs out there.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.