This morning on my 45 minute taxi commute I was struck by something…
First let me say this, Muslims pray facing towards Mecca. In Morocco that means facing East.
What I noticed was that on the tops of every apartment and house in Morocco are satellite dishes and what struck me was that each of them are firmly pointed towards the West (Casablanca).
I know, it’s tired old shrift to say that television has destroyed society, but in Morocco, the implications are more profound than in non-Muslim countries.
Prior to the satelite television age here, people would gather together to sing, tell stories, eat, drink tea, and play games. While there is still eating and drinking of tea, the others have all but disappeared from family life. The reason? Television.
Remember that this is not a country with pubs or drinking holes, it is not a country where women can go places at night, and it’s a country where people vastly prefer to eat in their homes than to go out for dinner. By a television appearing in each salon, the old stories and songs are disappearing. The games of yesterday have disappeared. People sit in the salons and watch television and exchange tidbits of conversation during the commercial breaks. There aren’t really places to go other than that. There are cafes but these are the incredibly boring domain of men and guess what each one of them usually has blaring in the corner…a television.
Pray to the East and sadly, worship to the west as well. God damn television.