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The King and I: Dispatches from Morocco

April 2, 2012

Rapper El Haked, or The Spiteful One, with translator Maria Karim in Casablanca

Last month, I spent a fortnight in Morocco speaking to people about the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The Moroccan establishment has spoken often of “The Moroccan Exception” – where the King acted quickly to usher in reforms and  defuse the protests.

Yet, many – such as the two young people in this photograph – feel that the reforms were largely superficial.

El Haked – or The Spiteful One – is young rapper from Casablanca’s working class neighbourhood of Oukacha. He was arrested yesterday for singing and uploading songs critical of the King and the establishment. My article on him, His songs on Youtube

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