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Sidi Mohamed, I think you got your point accross. I congratulate you for that and hope that the Moroccan American Community will soon have a place in the sun and have its voice heard through solidarity and hard work. I am convinced that the Moroccan genius will prevail. The presentation of Jim McDermott displayed the successful case of the Irish Community.
The video below (8th post) shows Mohamed Brahimi speaking in the Moroccan American Coalition (MAC) 3rd Annual Convention in Denver where MAC elected an Executive Bord including Mohamed Brahimi (Massachusetts) as one of 3 Vice Presidents; the elected President being Mr. Driss Temsamani (Florida). I thank Morocco Bord for having sent to a News Release that gave me the opportunity to watch the full coverage of the election process. Mr. Brahimi made this good speech in perfect beautiful Arabic, the "Charming DaD language" as he described it. I also was amazed by the eloquent speech of Mr. Mekouar, Ambassador of Morocco to Washington and I liked the speech of Congressman Mr. Jim McDermott as well. From this forum, I would like to congratulate our friend Mohamed Brahim and the Moroccan American community for this amazing democratic achievement. click here to see full coverage
Thank you sidi Adnane and sorry for the long post. I am hereby inviting everyone on thsi Forum who can make to Malden ,MA this saturday the 13th to join us for a community Iftar where member of all different faiths will be invited including those who subscribe to any particular faith. I commend you for attending most of our event and I count on you to invite your family and join us thsi saturday inshallah Check out our web site for further details www.maccaonline.org
Mohamed, thanks for taking the time to elaborate on your ideas. I read all of it just so that you're assured.
When I asked you about measurements, I was expecting something similar to what you answered. So you do have results and measurements by which you can gauge the work that you folks do. You're listing them when you said "I am happy to report to you that...." so I'm not sure why you believe that you "chose to take one that can't easily be measured". It is measurable and you just listed the results so far. I am not aware of it because I did not receive any communique. I believe everything needs to be communicated to an extent to a larger public, not just a selected board or individuals. Celebrate your success.
The next step probably is to measure the results themselves. To check a year or more from now, what beneficial policies the active members influence in their city, county or town? are you really making an impact? or are you just serving as an idle member so that the cities can check the mark that says, we have minority representation.
I feel that your association has taken the path of extroversion for the most part. An organization that focuses on introversion will be beneficial to the Moroccan community and will complement your work. What I mean, is that the first moves around outside of the community trying to get the community noticed by others, the latter looks inside the community to renew and develop concepts like: trust, esteem, teamwork, politeness, respect, and knowledge.
AA Sidi Adnane I will never get you wrong, I happen to know you on a personal level and I truly know how much of a kind hearted person you are Sidi Adnane, I think that your response was very substantive and was music to my ears. I loved it mainly because it had no point for me to refute. We actually agree on the fact that action is needed and that someone has got to do it. However, action takes many forms. We chose to take one that can’t easily be measured nor can you timetable it down like you would do working on a project at your place of employment When I first started MACCA and started talking to people about it. People I talked to were two kinds: 1- Those who looked at me as though I had three heads and thought that I had lost my mind. I will never forget this Moroccan gentleman who kindly asked me to rethink what I was doing and instead focus on taking care of my family. This guy’s heart was definitely in the right place; I know that because he obviously cared about my family and wanted me to devote my time and money to my family as opposed to allocating some of that to others. But, there was no evidence that I was not wisely doing both. 2- There were also those who, to this date, can’t fathom that there are actual people in this world that have none other than altruistic motives fueling their actions. I am sure Elias himself has come across people like that, who doubted him and their only contribution was to try to diminish him and cast doubt in other people’s minds about the work that he was doing. It is quite clear that the only that makes Elias tick is to see a smile on kids faces and do what he can to alleviate their pains and suffering. However, I am willing to bet everything to my name (no much) that there plenty of those who think Elias is either nuts or has some stealthy, subtle, self serving motive that gives him energy to act. Going back to the very poignant point that you raised in your post; I will have you know that we do realize that this kind of work was never meant to be a sprint; it is rather a marathon where the finish line is no where in sight. It is my kids and your kids who are supposed to measure the success of this operation NOT me or you. I will be more than willing to sit down with you and talk to you about what it means to aspire to have a spot in mainstream society. Civic engagement is as much a philosophical issue as it is a practical application. Needless to say that when we started there were no takers; people either did not understand what we were doing, doubted what we wanted to achieve, or just did not care about it. The latter case was pretty more likely. I am reading a book titled “All Souls” by Patrick Michael Mc Donald, a fellow who grew up in what was and still is a tough neighborhood of South Boston. He talks about the desperation in people life, lost youth, and growing about on welfare and food stamps. The Irish experience in America was no walk in the park. Look around you now and tell me that the Irish are not running the show in town, and deservedly they are. Being part of the establishment and affecting change from within is the kind of charitable work that the Irish worked so hard on. I worked on social initiatives with Haitians and was amazed at how many educated Haitian we have here in metro Boston alone, I can’t tell you how many Haitian Americans are working the hall of the State House given their high level of education. Raising awareness and talking to their community members about the importance of education was the kind of charitable endeavor that took the front seat to all in the life of the community. They teach that in churches and community picnics. I have attended leadership classes with Vietnamese Americans and I can tell you that Sam Yoon was not a charity case, he was not elected because there are lots of Vietnamese Americans living in Dorchester and Quincy. I know Sam; he is a well accomplished Harvard grad and a determined public servant. Being involved in policy making was the only way Vietnamese American could gain a foot hold in this country. It didn’t happen over night, they have been at it for 3 or 4 decades before they could get one of their own into office. Community organizing is the kind of charity work through which Vietnamese Americans sought respect and inclusion. So basically the only beef I have with your analogy is that you want to instant gratification in what we do; I am sad to tell you that this is a different beast all together. Interfaith Gatherings, feeding the homeless and other events are a first tiny step in a long and arduous process of telling the community at large that we are here and that our Muslim Identity and Moroccan heritage is part of the narrative of this nation. We realized that we are going to be counted if we keep in acting as though there is a back pack strapped to our backs. I am very satisfied to tell you that many of the Moroccans that we came in contact with have retired their camping logic, I am happy to report to you that Muslim are now part of the visioning council for the city of Malden, I am elated to tell you that Arabic is now one of five official languages of the city’s community liaison office. I am also happy that major Organization are now taking notice and are asking us to sit on their board of directors and be part of the policy making, let me know ]if you want to join one. I am also glad to tell you that we are now part of the selection process in Massachusetts civic leadership program, a tribute to MACCA’s solid community involvement. Are we satisfied with our work? Do we think that our job is done and it is time to take a bow? ABSOLUTELT NOT!!! My kids, your kid will be entrusted with this and what a heavy burden that is!! I would not want to be in their shoes, as I know first hand what that job entails, but I am confident that inshallah they will deliver. The Italians, the Jews, the Irish, the Haitians, the Vietnamese were never handed anything, they fought and fought and were able to carve out an existence in a country that values hard work like America Does. Thank you Nota Buena: I now have access to the leadership program if of anyone want to be part of it Let me know, It is a 16 weeks training on how to become one of the builders of representative Democracy
Mohamed, don't get me wrong, I didn't mean to undermine your efforts and the efforts of Moroccan associations. But it looks to me that the ROI (return on investment) is low. From your end, you justify that by a lack of vision and volunteers. I think you got that partially right. I think that is mainly due to the lack of a relevant vision. Because a relevant vision will attract volunteers.
When you say: Other organizations like ours chose to delve into matters of civics and raise awareness about the importance of becoming part of mainstream society.
I never totally grasped this concept and mission. What does it mean to become part of mainstream society? What makes one think that Moroccans are not already exercising civic behavior? any anecdotes that prove this? any real life stories out there? what makes one think that an association is the engine that will propel civics in Moroccans? I really don't get the concept, therefore I don't see why build an association based on the concept of civics. If the association is not attracting enough volunteers, have you pondered that maybe it is due to lack of prioritization of issues, and irrelevant mission statement?
I believe that an association can be successful only if it is Relevant to the time, place and people. Only if it is born out of a need, only if it offers a solution to a tangible problem. This way, the progress and results of the work it does can be measured.
Have you measured the progress and results of your association from quarter to quarter? year to year? both quantitatively and qualitatively?
Elias started as a one-man association. One that has no title, no name, no color, it has just a simple mission. He's not really just focusing on charities and sick people. He was able to bring to the press the story of a bunch of laid off people from a hundai car company. He was able to put pressure and get the CEO of the company to negotiate a deal with the company's veterans. He was able to bring to the press and ultimately to the minister of transportation, the case of an high-ranking corrupt official responsible for the Algerian airline in London's Hethrow airport. The official was eventually suspended. I am not saying that your association should mimick Elias. What I am pressing is that the ROI needs to be quantifiable and qualifiable and in proportion to the association.
You've done interfaith dialogues ~ great you've served soup in shelters ~ great you've hosted mobile consulates ~ great you've planned a sid miloud night ~ great
I've been to a few of these events and given you my feedback then. My feedback continues, and I think that what is missing is continuity and consistency. It is better to have small tiny continuous and consistent events, than an event once in a long time. The small tiny events should be as simple as informal community gathering potluck, or tea time or tea party. It could be a small debate about a relevant topic, it could be a team-building game. It could be a free mic event, someone speaks of a subject they enjoy, tells a story, tells a joke, presents what they do at work, what they're studying at school, how they started a business in the states. I feel that we Moroccans are not as close as we think we are. We tend to undermine our people and our abilities.
I could be missing the point. Because I admit I do not get involved with associations as deeply as others. So maybe Moroccan associations are really doing a great job after all. But the fact that I am aware of is that I do not feel a great impact. So either I am numb or I am right.
Sidi Adnane, An organization, any organization , given its limited and scant resources can only be one dimensional. This Algerian brother chose to engage fully in acts of charitable nature. Other organizations like ours chose to delve into matters of civics and raise awareness about the importance of becoming part of mainstream society. That one activity alone would already stretch organizations resources and capacities too thin, and you would not want your volunteers- who are the back bone of any organization; to run out of steam and just quit all together. The most important thing is that we all do our part in any kind of organization that we feel could propel us to the levels of self actualization. In juxtaposition, the worst thing is NOT to do anything and just pontificate about things and give our opinions on what ought not to be done. I have redundantly spoken about how badly we need people with vision and a marathon spirit who can jump in the middle of it all and roll their sleeves up and tell us what to do. I, for one, will be ready to wear my apron and rally around her or him Thank you Brother Adnane for the visibility that you give these issues in this pivotal time in our lives.
Oui Mohamed, no problem ~ I'm just trying to keep the story alive. My contributions are zilch in comparison with Elias, Dr. Stambouli and others.
This is the type of genuine, down to earth, practical and though work I wish Moroccans in America can focus on. It's good to have associations, organizations, and other associations that govern associations, but it will be the saddest day if at the end of the day, Moroccans in America find themselves stuck in a cul de sac of associations, logos and names, without any results, meaningful work.
Yallah assidi, faut apprendre des gens comme Elias, de nos freres et soeurs les Algeriens, who in my opinion can reach a higher level of community conscience, pride, practicality and urgency.
Thank you so much Brother Adnane for the update That Video was a tear Jerker, I am most impressed with the mother who mever showed a sign of weakeness in all the videos that watched her speaking about her son THank you