I did not experience the Agadir earthquake in 1960, but I did experience the one in Al Hoceima in 2004. And I still remember that feeling of nausea and that contained anger, at what seemed to me a sinister injustice of fate, and it reminds me that it is always the Those who pay the price are poor. Television delved into the wound, showing the pain of the survivors ad nauseum; a pain contained by a dignity that blushes us, the lucky ones who have been saved, guilty of forgetting even the existence of these damned of a land that roars especially against the disadvantaged.
And lo and behold, the earth does its thing again and begins to roar again, causing pain and driving people out of their shelter. Men, women, children, prisoners of panic, lost under a sky indifferent to the misfortune that surprised the country in the early hours of the night. I knew that the images would flood mobile phones and that WhatsApp would be the chorus of a kind of demiurge chorus, which would distribute horror and misfortune with images stolen by those whose neighbor or friend may be among the victims. Sad use of progress.
Enough of the misfortune that always stalks the poor, the unfortunate and those who have no future; those towns on the banks of the oueds (rivers), the slopes of the mountains and the saturated peripheries. And not because we end up getting used to everything can we confuse fatality and resilience.
And then, we calm down a bit, without being ashamed, hiding behind the resilience of the Moroccan people, as if that simple per diem could absolve us of our daily indifference to the fate of these rural populations, often deprived of the essentials and clinging to life. in huts, made of mud and saliva, built with their calloused hands, and ordered to resist as best they can the fury of the floods of the oueds or, paradoxically, the drought.
We know that, after the disaster, the number of dead and missing will increase hour by hour, day by day, as the rubble is removed, and that all eyes will turn very quickly towards that deep country, in what remains of the adobe shanties and disappeared villages. We also know that the entire country, with the proverbial solidarity that characterizes it, will do everything possible to calm the immense pain. But we also know that once the tears dry, the survivors will rebuild other adobe houses with their hands, hoping that the skies will be a little kinder and that the sun will finally rise for them.
In a land of Islam, nourished for centuries by the promises of legal solidarity, we sometimes continue to ask ourselves, when men fail: “And where is God in all this?”
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Mahi Binebine is a Moroccan writer based in Marrakech.
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