Morocco, the Gulf and the media

An interesting item at Angry Arab — Aljazeera and Morocco:

"Yassine sent met this:  "So al-Jazeera decided not to air the documentary on Morocco and the 20th of February Movement (nuqta sakhina), which they had been promoting for more than a week. Why not? Again? (In November the same thing happened (back then the al-Jazeera crew was forbidden to go to Tanger and the al-Hoceima area: two centers of the Moroccan uprising).  The Moroccan king recently 'gave' the Qatari emir some 4 5.000 hectares (=450 km²) in the Guelmim area so that the Qatari emir could go hunt there. And also, these two weeks al-Jazeera has been negotiating a possible return to Morocco with the new minister of information. So I guess the negotiations are concluded. Perhaps the documentary was just a card in the negotiation-process. This is Gulf-media"""

The Emir of Qatar has a huge property in Tangier where he spends part of the summer, close to the king's own palace (and the king spends most of his summer in the north, either in Tangier or nearby Tetouan). Jazeera like other media has had trouble with the Moroccan government, but there is little explanation for the cancellation of the broadcast of this documentary (presumably as part the channel's very good series of documentaries on the Arab uprisings).

Incidentally, two members of the February 20 movement who worked for a UAE-based TV channel (Dubai TV) were fired at the request of the minister of information last year. Solidarity among absolute monarchs trumps all.

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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.