A video showing an old man in Marrakech being humiliated has gone viral on social media in Morocco on Sunday October 6, stirring immense denunciation.
The video shows a man counting bank notes and a poor man named Mohamed beside him waiting for him to give him the money. Accounts say that the man counting the money had called Mohamed and told him that another person had sent him an amount of MAD 1200 ($120).
Pretending that he would give him the money, the young man asked Mohamed what he would do with it. The poor man started mentioning all the bills he has to pay. Then he asked him if he had children, to which the Mohamed said no. The young man said jokingly, “well, then we will deduct 200 dirhams from the money because you have no children.”
The man shooting the video told his friend, “give the guy the money, we need to go now,” his friend then started cursing at the old poor man.
As the humiliation video was being massively shared on Facebook, Moroccan social media users loudly voiced their indignation at the humiliating act.
One user said “How shameful! Nobody is forcing you to give him the money if you don’t want to. But to pretend you will give him money and make him wait and then humiliate him is utterly shameful.”
Social media users went even further and demanded the arrest of the young man in the video. Facebook posts were shared widely demanding Abdellatif Hammouchi, the General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance to take action and arrest him.
When a Joke Costs a Job
According to the Arabic language news source Alyaoum24, the young man was sacked from the hotel where he worked as a driver. The source did not mention the name of the hotel but described it as a “prestigious hotel”, and revealed that his client at the hotel recognized him and flooded the hotel with calls denouncing what he did. This lead the administrators at the hotel to sack him immediately.
The young man apologized for his act after the immense uproar it created: “I ask all my Moroccan brothers and sisters to forgive me. I am really sorry,” his post on Facebook reads.
Soon after the video went viral, the Arabic-language news source, Aloula24, interviewed Mohamed, the victim of the humiliating joke. During this interview, Mohammed recounted the story in details and spoke about his hardship as an unemployed person. Asked about what he would want happen, Mohamed said he wanted democracy. “I want democracy, the government of the people, for the people,” Mohamed stated.
Ezzoubeir Jabrane is a writer, teacher and entrepreneur. He holds a Master’s Degree in Linguistic and Literary Studies. He has written a number of journalistic, analytical and academic articles in different fields. He’s worked as a teacher of Academic English at Hassan II University in Casablanca and a teacher of English for Engineering in the National Higher School of Arts and Craft (ENSAM), in addition to a number of other private institutions. Ezzoubeir is a founding member of International Morocco and the founder of Exchange Lab, a language center that offers online English courses for individuals, companies and associations.