May 07, 2020
The leading Arabic electronic newspaper Hespress recently published an editorial by Anouar Majid, Ph.D., vice president for Global Affairs and founding director of UNE’s Center for Global Humanities. In the piece, titled “Triumph After Tragedy: The Corona Crisis Unites Efforts and Strengthens Love of Nation,” Majid calls on Moroccans to build a new spirit of unity and nationalism amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Majid argues that aside from preventing the spread of the disease, Moroccans’ first priority should be education. He explains that the country’s educational system is a hodgepodge composed of public and private Moroccan schools as well as expensive European and American schools and says the result is an upper class that is culturally divorced from the national spirit of its country. “I know many people who have studied in the foreign school systems who can’t read Arabic. Some even can’t speak our own darija,” writes Majid, using the Arabic word to reference colloquial dialects. “How will rich children who study in foreign schools know their history if they can’t read Arabic?” he asks.
Majid advocates for “one public system for all,” claiming that such a system would inculcate patriotism, strengthen bonds of affection among Moroccan citizens, and ensure that proper amounts of time and money are invested in the schools in order to make them modern and clean and to properly compensate teachers.
Like teachers, Majid says that professors at universities as well as physicians must “live up to their sacred national duties” and strive for excellence. “Professors must give their best at teaching and research” and, in turn, be well respected and well paid. Physicians, he notes, should be primarily motivated by their ability to heal and save lives.
“If we were driven by a strong patriotic spirit, we will strive to excel in all fields, treat all our fellow Moroccans like family, be proud of our country, and enjoy the best life has to offer,” Majid writes. “A culture of high expectations will become the norm and, soon, our pride in our country will have no limits.”