The following is a series of 10 videos from a recent Town Hall meeting organized in DC by Moroccans living in the district (I think MoroccoBoard.com to be more precise) to discuss yet another association. This time it is the mother of them all, literally. Meet MAC, the Moroccan American Coalition. Big words, and will it stand, and will it walk. Let's watch our brethren and sisters discuss how to organize a community. I have to give it up for the DC folks. The studio idea is fantastic! They must have spent a good amount to organize and get this worked out. Hopefully this will continue. And as always, I have to say that there is usually someone who is there to say something awkward, and another to say something brilliant. So everyone should look at it as a learning process. After all, I don't think ALL Moroccans grew up in an environment that fosters two-way open and transparent communication. I want to see more of these, and hopefully even in a less formal manner. Just a bunch of couches in a semi-circle or something, and everyone gets a chance.
Overall, I found the moderator straight to the point which is always good, some of the panel members repetitive, while I picked 4 very interesting and sharp people to be the highlight of the show. One was a woman from the panel. Another woman from the audience. Two men were from the audience, one was a dark skinned brother, the other a young man who ended up revealing the URL of the mother association when not once it was mentioned by the founding fathers.
But I just couldn't understand why most of the panel would answer the moderator in Arabic, and some in Moroccan dialect when he is clearly opening the meeting and asking them in English, and when they are well aware there are some Americans watching. The town hall meeting is meant for Moroccans in America, who better speak and understand basic English, not in Dubai, Paris or Rabat (or is it??)! English please!
I think this a great initiative, and I look forwards to seeing more of these recorded meetings available for us online. Communication is not an easy thing to develop, but practice will perfect it. I hope next time the moderator constraints the language to either all English, or all Darija, not even Arabic if it would take 5 minutes to utter 10 words in classical Arabic. Speak what the layman understands.
And finally, I want to connect the dots and test my understanding with you folks. What we have here is an association that aspires to act as a yellow pages for Moroccans in America, or as someone put it: 911 for Moroccans (why, are we in a crisis?). This association has subscribed local associations. The idea is to facilitate the exchange of skill set, experience, aid, help, culture and movement of ideas, people and money across the Moroccan community via the local subscribed associations. A Guild. A coalition. An information hotline. I don't know, whatever you'd like to call it.
Well! It sounds all great and useful. I just hope that the real focus, energy and effort is put on the local associations. That's the bread and butter. I see MAC as the icing on the cake.
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 1
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 2
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 3
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 4
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 5
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 6
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 7
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 8
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 9
TOWN HALL MEETING: PART 10