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On my return to my homeland, I remembered why I left

Coming back to my homeland after several years in France was a difficult decision. Coming over the dilemma of the stay-go back was even harder! Taking drastic and irrevocable decision to join the homeland I left behind. Forgetting about the comfortable life I had in France. I did make it! I should admit here that the timing to take such decision seems to have speeded up things: a cold evening in December with a dramatic music… the 8pm news bulletin where words such as “Euro, Greece, unemployment, the crisis and immigration…” are news that I constantly heard.

Full of enthusiasm, I came back to my homeland where I was born and raised, where no one dares question my presence, where the sun shines every day and where people like me are needed to contribute to the country development with their qualifications, experience and dynamism isn’t it? Without any claim, I only repeat the words said in an employment forum devoted to Moroccan students living abroad.

After a while, something happened! Why I do no longer want to stay here? The sun is chinning every day (unfortunately the draught too), the city where I was raised has not changed either, or let’s say it has changed but to the worst, the streets were dirty, anarchic and particularly more dangerous …suddenly I remembered why I left my country!

Yes, the streets were dangerous, I am exposed to different types of aggression from the first moment I walk without a car, without masculine accompany and without coins to pay the sellers of chewing-gum or Kleenex. Here there are some attitudes that I have had to adopt following the advices got from many people: don’t answer the phone when it rings (oh really?!) don’t open the car’s window when someone comes close to you, don’t turn back when someone talks to you (this may be interpreted as a positive sign to his compliments about my butt shape) and the worst: don’t go to police if you don’t know a well-ranked officer! Do you know that security is the prime criterion of evaluation in the “world happiness index”? that’s why the happiest region in Europe is a small village in Denmark where the lowest rate of aggression is recorded and where people may go to their work without locking their house’s door. I challenge you my dear fellow countrymen and women to do the same thing when you go shopping.

I will share with you here the problem of insecurity and other concerns that seem to be of equal importance; the health (dare you break a leg during a hike away from the city!) much fear haunts me to live back in Morocco. According to a friend who is preparing her Ph.D. on hybrid culture and identity in an American university, I certainly came to the Phase 2 of the adaptation process in the context of a culture shock.. uh .. But still? She sent me an article to read to shift the focus from my narcissistic-ego-centric crisis and she decided to do something more interesting...

The article explains that the cultural shock is reflected through an anxiety in the individual who will lose all the familiar signs and symbols of social relations they know. The adaptation process is described in four phases: - The Honeymoon: Period of enchantment, curiosity and interest for the new country. - Clash: The disappointment and frustration caused by the cultural differences. - The Adaptation: Integration, by accepting the new lifestyle (or waiver if applicable) - The maturity: Total control of social and cultural differences.

The article calls for a better understanding of these four phases to enable immigrants to better anticipate them. These eminent scientists have well said "Immigrants"? A Foreign person who land in a new country must adapt himself to its codes since they can NOT change them. But I am not an immigrant dear sirs, I am a citizen, I was born here, I want to live here. Then, what should be done? Buy a car and a Taser? Abandon definitely the pleasure of walking up to forget the main use of my legs? Limit my outings to luxurious places? I refuse to believe that we can do nothing; I say that because I feel that I am not alone having this problem of insecurity, otherwise there would not have three queues of parking in front of bakeries.

Most of my friends told me that they took their car for any trip because they were haunted by the feeling of being exposed to danger! The greatest hypocrisy in these forums, where we celebrated a flourishing country and ready to welcome the fresh young minds to contribute to its development, is that we lack a clear visibility on our daily life. For that reason, new forums should have been organized in parallel to encourage community services and private initiatives and to urge us to heal the country from these kinds of illnesses which empoison life, because "as you make your bed you must lay," this is our country, its problems and its solutions too.

Some will say that it is the role of the state to ensure the safety of its citizens; it is up to the government to ensure social cohesion through the taxes on income and through wealth redistribution? Yes, but we all know we live in a state of "Fantomas" rather than a state of "Robin Hood" and until Robin finds a way to take from the rich to give to the poor and solve all social problems arising from poverty and insecurity, it is up to us if we want to live happy in this country. Because unlike developed countries we cannot pretend that these offenders are the result of a poorly managed immigration, or that we are victims of a wild exodus of ungrateful refugees, we cannot argue as our own illness is a bacteria exclusively linked to our body and not a virus got by contagion. We must face the harsh reality where two-track development (morocco mall / slum of Sidi Abderrahmane) will do but harm our society and we must act to rebalance our society. There are plenty of associations working in community service, yet the means to do their job are short!

We the "qualified" are familiar with the planning and long-term prospects. Every penny injected in social action is an investment, a benefits of that will be reaped sustainably, each child received in a nursing home is a guarantee to not find another one in the street selling chewing gum in the best case or something else (drugs, sex, fight criminals & other services). So give away our money, this is the easiest of all gifts, God will reward us and the country too.

I have a dream ... I dream that one day I will walk 50 meters on the streets of Casablanca without being threatened by a thief or harassed by a sexual pervert, without hearing a miserable child begging or a neurotic conductor insulting me, I will walk with my high heels without tripping in a hole on the floor or in a garbage bag, I have a dream ... Inshallah.

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