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Zineb Benhssein
Rabat Morocco
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Migrants' stories
07:15:03 AM Friday Feb 6, 2009

Hello guys! I am new on this blog. I will be pleased to share ideas and comments with you and learn from you. I don't know about all the notes already written in here. Maybe the subject I am interested in has already been addressed. If so please give a link or give the address.

I am interested in stories told by migrants,especially those who have settled abroad for work, their own stories as migrants, their living conditions, their successes and their failures, their relationships with the host communities, integration, xenophobia, acceptance, denial, ....

Can you please provide me with your insights?

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3:45 pm    February 7, 2009

Salem message
9 years ago, 18 December was proclaimed International Migrants Day by the United Nations General Assembly. A year earlier, the Assembly had adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

3:09 pm    February 7, 2009

Zineb Benhssein message
hi! salem you are so brief but I apreciate

3:04 pm    February 7, 2009

Zineb Benhssein message
hi adnane ! I m glad to join this forum and also glad that you did give me an over view, I really like the way you say things and will be pleased to read more from you on this issue

2:58 pm    February 7, 2009

Zineb Benhssein message
hi rima! I am very much interested in friends living abroad precisely USA and ENGLAND, to know about these unknown places to me. Infact I am facinated by their integration in these so developped countries and

1:09 pm    February 7, 2009

samir a. message
Sorry... my message was meant for


1:08 pm    February 7, 2009

samir a. message
Great link! thanks...

10:47 pm    February 6, 2009

Adnane Ben. message
Like Baba Salem said "only those who went through such an experience can say..." I'm an observer at heart and denier of the immigrant force that tries to take over my existence. While I sit 5000 miles away from where I grew up, I am neither an immigrant nor a settler or a drifter. I'm just someone putting God's creation to the test to see if the creation can adapt, excel, influence and move on.

Immigration is by definition a one-way inward movement of a bunch of people to another populous area. The word one-way means different things from individual to another. Immigration is a difficult thing to cope with for people who come from distant, ancient, exotic, unique and rich cultures such as Morocco. For example, a British or Irish will almost feel at home in Boston, Massachusetts. A Moroccan from mellow Oujda who ate Karane after school, played soccer in the streets, simmered in the Mediterranean waters and broke the Ramdan fast with zlabiya over la sirene will always feel stripped naked of his cultural glamor in America. And it doesn't matter how many Moroccan music concerts are organized or how frequently he calls home. Although I do not consider myself a hardcore immigrant I have observed Moroccan immigrants, including the breed of passerbys like me. I will comment briefly on your prompts. I would have wished if my answers were more complete, objective and accurate. They are essentially subjective. You asked about:

Their living conditions: excellent (yakdeb 3lik alkadeb). Even those who do less than average jobs do well.

Their successes: US facilitates education through pragmatic state and federal programs and those who manage their time well earn advanced degrees. Jobs are available and some work two jobs if they need. Pseudo-independence from Morocco's dogmas prevalent in both government and the street. Taste of an orderly freedom of expression and opportunities for critical thinking. Renewal of strong emotional bonds with Morocco thanks to nostalgia, yearning for parents and family and marvel appreciation for the simplest of all things Moroccan.

Their failures: Weak community mobilization until recently. The Highlander movie effect is still prevalent sometimes, which means that Moroccans can recognize each other in the streets but rarely greet each other to initiate networking and socializing. The Mosque seems to be the element that brings Moroccans under one roof. Somehow Moroccans are friendly in the mosque. Few maintain that level of friendliness and enthousiasm outside of the mosque. Following the thread of the mosque, Muslim identity always seems to provide the common ground ontop of which Moroccans build a group attempting to mobilize. In Boston Al-Huda society majorly fills this duty founded by individuals from an Islamic group background: Adl wal I7ssan in Morocco. Al-Huda does a good job despite the clear lack of resources, visonaries and novel leadership. I'm hopeful it will continue to improve.

Their relationships with the host communities: The US is a wonderful host country for immigrants, and Moroccans should be grateful. Moroccans are treated well. Those who have had bad experiences ought to be examined on a case by case basis.

Integration: Young Moroccans are fast to integrate into the lifestyle of college casual partying, sex and night clubs in America. Adults with advanced degrees integrate well into corporations and start contributing immediately to the economic apparatus. Some older Moroccans take a step back and find it their duty to dedicate much of their time to civic and Moroccan community work. In general, Moroccans seem to be slow at integrating into the American fabric possibly because they feel adrift, or in continuous denial.

Xenophobia: I haven't sensed any. Americans love to entertain guests, and appreciate the art of small talk discussions especially about cultures and religions. Small talk is a foreign concept to Moroccans who love to indulge in lengthy discussions. New immigrant Moroccans who are not acclamated enough to American etiquette may feel offended when an American cuts them short. In the long run, they will come to learn how to live in diversity, another foreign concept.

Acceptance: This is a though one to put fingers on. My accumulated experience tells me that Americans accept diversity, yet it is possible for them, like any human, to be angry at an illegal, obnoxious, ridiculous or immoral act performed by a foreigner. Some of them might condemn immigrants collectively but they usually come to senses after the dust settles down. Foreigners are expected to assimilate by contributing to the economic apparatus, abiding by law and exhibiting moral and civic behaviour. They are not expected to change their identities and cultural outlook in order to fit in. They are encouraged to maintain and nurture their heritage and to showcase it to Americans whenever possible. Americans who don't accept immigrants are free to protest and express their opinions as allowed by the first ammendment of the US constitution as long as their methods do not cause applied violence against immigrants, in which case justice will be served.

Denial: All men (male and female), white, black, Arabic and 3ajami are treated equal in America. No denial.

I believe that fair justice is key to any successful society. America tries its best to maintain a fair and progressive judicial system. By doing so, it will keep on attracting flocks of Moroccans who starve to live in a society governed by justice. Moroccans feel that American justice is the closest to Muslim teachings putting aside all complicated matters regarding economics. So they love it here, except if anyone objects, please speak up :)


7:18 pm    February 6, 2009

Salem message
Hi Zineb, you're welcome.

Migrants would tell you:

"Purpose is what our migration is all about. We want to give our children future. We 're looking for new opportunities, new ways of life. We're looking for a new sense of community..."

But how many among those who left a lot behind and dared to face the unknown succeeded in reaching these objectives and how many of them failed? only those who went through such an experience can say...


1:58 pm    February 6, 2009 message

1:14 pm    February 6, 2009

rima raider message
hi zineb i just wonder if you are preparing a licence monograph (with professor GRAIOUID in mohamed V university) coz the subject seems familiar to me

Zineb Benhssein's notes (2)
Eid El Fitr..
Migrants' stories..


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