Wafi Abdouss: Becoming The “IT” Guy

Ifrane- When I first came to Al Akhawayn University, I thought that I’m going to study in a Haravrd-like, Beverlyhills-looking university where everything is possible and where vice overshadows righteousness.

So I came in with a really negative view, I mean really negative, and my dream at that time (4 semesters ago) was to become famous. I dunno why, but I just wanted to be known, loved and followed. You can say its a kid’s dream, a superstars syndrome or an odd version of OCD. Becoming the point of attention has been one of my biggest defects, and as of this writing, I still suffer from it because as you might notice, I’m trying yet again to grab the attention of the reader with a sort-of catchy tittle (I guess) and a heart-felt (not really) article or post. So, back to my little story, I decided to start my own reality show in my first semester and you might say, wow, what a nice idea! WRONG! it was the worst, although I had lots of fun recording it and editing it alongside my two best friends, it gained me nothing but sarcasm, laughs and odd-looks. Maybe I was mistaken, or maybe its just not the right place and the right time. No one can deny that my show (if you can call it a show) was a joke as there was no story, no plot, no good or even decent acting HOWEVER, it gained me a certain percentage of fame. People started to recognize me (In a negative way).

By summer 2012, I became a love-to-hate guy, people just wanted to hate me for no obvious reason. Presuming I was this silly, stupid, Not funny, annoying guy which I WASN’T! The big blast came in August 2012 when I group called Gossip Boy (Yes it is similar to GG in concept) was created, people jumped to thinking I was behind it and it soon went VIRAL among the whole university community. And like that, I became one of the most recognizable faces, one of the really most despised faces. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it at first, especially when girls used to come up to me and ask me not to write about them but when real problems started poring in like heavy rains, friends ignoring me and even unfriending me I started to feal all alone, sad, heartbroken and mad. You know that feeling when someone accuses you of something and no matter what you say or do no one believes you had nothing to do with it? I felt it each day.

The bright side was that I came to know who my real friends are, and who my fake friends are. Gossip Boy made me infamous, but you know what they say, bad publicity is publicity and publicity is a good thing….wanna know how I changed it all? See you in part 2.

P.S. I’m the guy dancing in the video, which also brough me A LOT OF ATTENTION! I had to delete my video but someone copied it before I took it down, guess they though it was funny, I think it was! 😉

The 7th Day of Ramadan: People Finally Coping

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Saidia – Today is the 7th day of Ramadan here in Morocco and people are back to their pre-first-day-Ramadan energetic although fasting. 

Unlike what many westerns think, Ramadan of 2013 isn’t Ramadan of 665 because people always find a way to cope with the very special Ramadan routine and soon get back to being energetic and seemingly not fasting. The reasons vary from house to house, family to family and person to person. Most young people spend the day sleeping and wake up only 4 to 3 hours short from the Maghrib (time to break the fasting), while other young people who need to work, cope with each passing day as job-related issues takes their thinking away from food. For older people, most of them work and therefor, must cope with daily Ramadan activities. Normally by the 7th day, a Muslim gets used to the Ramadan routine and at times, favorites it from the ordinary routine and starts fasting Mondays and Thursdays (Preferred yet not Forced by Islam).

Ramadan’s first couple of days always bring much confusion for family members, especially women who find themselves wondering about what to cook next.

Trending on Twitter: #MoroccoNeedsOneDirection

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Saidia – And so Moroccans are getting addicted to twitter with each passing day. Now, Moroccans are joining the trending trend and the ost recent attempt is #MoroccoNeedsOneDirection!

Millions of Moroccans (or at least tens of thousands) of twitter users are coming together to send a message (although based on twitter) to the A-list One Direction boy-band.. Why exactly, we don’t know but as one twitter using Moroccan puts it: Morocco wants One Direction to notice them!

Good luck..

Ramadan: The Month Of Delicious, Tasty Food

Saidia – Back i the day, Ramadan’s arrival was largely attached to embracing god and the religion along with experiencing the feelings of poorer people who are unable, throughout the year, to find something to eat whenever they want.

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However, people alienated Ramadan from its religious and holy form and into a month of tasty delicious food made exquisitely for visiting family and loved-ones. I won’t lie, I personally enjoy Ramadan, hankering for its arrival along with its blessings, religious atmosphere, and I won’t lie….The food and series are AMAZING! Yes it has become the month of series and delicious food, the same way the new year celebration, Christmas and thanksgiving diverted from their original forms. However, on a little bit optimistic stance, Muslims (myself included) are still attached, at least for now, to the larger and clearer parts of their religion, and although we can’t change what we have become, we sure can’t forget who we are, we can’t forget our Islamic origins and roots.

I love Ramadan, I love its smells, I love its theme, I love its routine, I love its food, I love its family gatherings but more importantly, I love its spirituality and holiness.

Maroc Telecom 3G: From Bad To Worse!

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Saidia – Maroc Telecom fancy itself as the leading communication company in Morocco and has been keen to sustain those claims with multi-million dollar advertising campaigns showcasing how family-friendly and affordable it is.

No one can deny that the ads are very impressing, especially the ones with A-list celebs dancing around and smiling with the company’s logo everywhere –> after all they’re paid to do so, but Moroccans with limited sources, unable to pay nearly 400 Dhs a month to acquire a faster internet connection, find themselves with the option of 100 Dh/month 3G connection and they would be lucky if the internet actually works let alone fast enough to watch videos.

The depressing reality is the fact that Maroc Telecom is yet to add a 4G connection while many Arab communication companies intiated it years ago! And the image gets even bleaker as the current 3G connection used to be faster just one year ago say Facebook-based young Moroccans who are outraged by what they called “lies and fabrications” made up by Maroc Telecom.

But to be honest enough, Maroc Telecom isn’t the only one with this problem as both Inwi and Meditel face the same problems along with the same absence of a near solution.

Historic Relations Between Morocco and Saudi Arabia: Saving Morocco

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Saidia – Morocco and Saudi Arabia have been close allies for decades and decades as both have proven to be loyal allies to one another throughout the years.

The royal families of both countries are reported to share the same ancestors and the same blood running in their veins and to say the least, it defiantly came in favor of both kingdoms. When Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait back in the 1990’s, Morocco decided no to participate in actions against Iraqi forces but announced the kingdom’s unflinching support to Saudi Arabia and sent 10000 soldiers from its best trained brigades along with heavy weaponry to be stationed near the borders, the capital and major oil fields. Most recently, Morocco expelled Iran’s ambassador in responses to the latter’s government hostile actions against Bahrain and the Golf countries. Morocco also stood with Saudi Arabia’s stance in the Syrian Civil War which showed the amount of coordination, cooperation and mutual support.

Saudi Arabia has been vividly supporting Morocco financially through providing Morocco with grants, zero interest loans, investments and even providing funds for the Moroccan military to enhance its capabilities and thus being able to keep up with neighboring oil-rich Algeria. History shows that Saudi Arabia’s financial support was crucial in Morocco’s ability to face the Polizario front in the war of sands back in the 1960’s along with all the financial burdens a war brings.

So we can easily say that even though Morocco has been there for Saudi Arabia for a long time, the latter’s political and financial support has been and still is playing a major role in helping Morocco’s financial and political stances.

Spanish Helicopter Enters Moroccan Airspace….for weeks!

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Saidia – According Hespress, a Spanish helicopter has been entering Moroccan airspace for the past few weeks near the occupied city of Melilla searching for sub-Saharan immigrants trying to sneak into the city.

The website although confirming the operation is being coordinated with Moroccan authorities, is to say the least, a disgrace to Morocco, government and people, for giving permission to a former colonizer to disgracefully disrespect Morocco’s sovereignty even more than it already is. We can admit that taking back Ceuta and Melilla won’t happen as long as we’re a weak, developing country. That doesn’t mean its ok to given in to Spanish bullying.

We are big fans of Spain, we hail the economic relations between Morocco and Spain, we appreciate the Spanish culture and history but we love our country way more than staying silent for such outrageous acts done under any circumstances.

Morocco’s “Rebel Movement”: Lacking public support?

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Saidia – Following the success of Egypt’s Rebel Movement in toppling President’s Morsi from power, movements bearing the same name spread swiftly in other Arab countries with Islamist governments, including Morocco.

So how much support does enjoy in Morocco? We tried to find out through searching for any page, group or even website named after this movement, but besides being mentioned by Moroccan news websites, we failed to see any strong support for this “movement” besides 220 likes in what looks like their official Facebook page. What struck us the most is how the epidemic of “copying and pasting” is spread in our Arab culture, alongside what should be called “cancer” of the Arab nation ….. enlarging small news stories.

As both Libyan, Tunisian, Syrian, Yemeni and Egyptian subjects are getting boring, news outlets throughout the Arab world are trying to search for new “subjects” to highlight and gain more views –>more money.

Ramadan Is Here: From Fez …. With Love

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Saidia – Walking in the warm alleyways of the ancient city of Fez, my hands feeling the old walls of the ancient city and my eyes watching that old Jewish man in his store congratulating his Muslim neighbors for the arrival of Ramadan and if only he wasn’t wearing his trademark Jewish hat, no one will able to see any difference between him and his Muslim neighbor.

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Ramadan in Morocco has a different taste, a different flavor in each city, village and douare (Small village). It might be due to the fact that Morocco is such a diverse country but today I’ll focus on the imperial city of Fez with its old riads, houses, smells, people and mosques. Entering from one of its grandiose gates, one might feel humble, at awe and obviously proud to be in a country with one of the oldest and most ancient civilizations in the world. Hearing a mom shouting at her son not to forget picking the best bread from the bakery at the end of the alley…all of this is happening, you see the granddad walking out of the mosque with his white Djellaba, red Taboush and aged yellowish Belgha (traditional Moroccan sandals). Continue walking in the old city gets more and more interesting as smells of food coming from houses with open doors taking a person in a journey from the present day to a time when security was not a concern and the neighbors were a one big happy family.

All of this beauty might be overshadowed by the negligence the old city of fez is suffering from, especially that the mayor of the city is busy securing himself a better position in the governing body of Morocco and soon, negligence will reach even the center of the old city that is if….modernity didn’t hit first….but Fez will survive as long it continues conceiving loyal citizens defying the impossible. My small story is finished and the only thing left for me to say is: From Fez….with love.

Diary #4: Finally Home ……. Berkane City Secret

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Hello world, hello Morocco!

Today I write from the capital of orange, Berkane city, my hometown and my proud and joy! I can’t imagine I’m finally here in the most beautiful city in Morocco. Although many people in Morocco enjoy joking about it and laughing at its residence I personally believe that they only don’t see what lies behind the curtains of their ignorance. Berkane is a beautiful city, surrounded with lush gardens and orange orchards..The breathtaking gold sand beach of Saidia is few minutes away while the sprawling forests of the Tafughalet Mountains can be found just few kilometers from the city. However if you are into the Sahara’s beautiful landscapes and oases you can find them at your disposal just 70km south of the city.

Few people know about Berkane City Secrets, but if you up to adventures remember that the key to forever remembered memories is at your reach if and only if you visit Berkane City.