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Best employer in Morocco
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 972
Location: Home

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, Africaexpert, give me credit where it's due. I've never ever whinged about the money in Morocco on here. If anything, I was overpaid.

This gentleman below knows the score. He doesn't waste money on flashy apartments and such unnecessaries. C'mon Africaexpert, even you will be grinning a bit when you read this one.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6718249.stm



A family living in a public toilet in Morocco have spent seven years requesting more hygienic accommodation.
Their pleas fell on deaf ears, and Aze Adine Ould Baja has had to endure the ignominy of having "toilets, Sidi Ahmed Hajji district" as the official address on his identity papers.


Desperate to do something about their plight, Mr Baja and his wife Khadija Makbout recently went to a local newspaper with their story.
"I was fed up with the situation and I was becoming more and more ill," Mr Baja explained.
"There were lots of vermin in the toilet. My little boy is only seven months old but he is also a Moroccan citizen and deserves better."
But a few days later the local authorities moved in to block up the toilet's entrance with cement and concrete.
Mr Baja, his wife and three children now find themselves barred from the only home they had.
Health fears
In a narrow street of the old medina in Sale, the city across the river from the capital, Rabat, Mr Baja explained how he fell into poverty and ended living in the public lavatory, where he was the attendant.
He worked at the toilet for 23 years, where he earned less than $1 a day.
"How can a married man feed his children on a dollar a day?" he asked.
But with no help from the local government and no money to rent anywhere else they ended up staying.
"My children and I have suffered a lot," Ms Makbout told the BBC.
"Rats and mice were eating and tearing our clothes and I was afraid that they would harm my baby boy. I was sleeping near the drain.
"I asked the authority for a place where my children could live but they did nothing."
Squashed
Mrs Makbout said the she hated seeing her children grow up in this situation.
"When my son went to school, the other children would tease him and call him 'the boy from the toilet'.
"When he came home he would cry and asked me why we lived in the toilet."
At one stage the family were offered a place to live but it had no roof.
For the moment the family are squashed in with Ms Makbout's mother. They have been promised somewhere else by the authorities but so far nothing has happened.
Now destitute, without a job or home, Mr Baja despairs of his situation.
"My children are tired of getting hungry."
"I have health problems and poor blood circulation, so I have to go to hospital about three times a year. I could die at any time."
All these troubles make him consider emigrating.
"When I feel myself dying of hunger and I can see that my children are dirty and suffering - I no longer want to stay in Morocco."
"I think I may find a boat in Tangier and take my wife and children away.
"Maybe we will die in the middle of the sea. Maybe it will take us to a place where it is easier to get something to eat.
"But we would find it hard to leave Morocco, because we are proud of it."
Detained
While investigating the story a police officer came up to me and asked for my identity card.
He took it away and detained me briefly in the local police station.
I also tried to speak to a local government representative about the family's situation, but no-one was available for an interview.
Although this family's story is unusual, it is not altogether surprising.
Hundreds of thousands of Moroccans live in abject poverty in slums and shanty towns.
Some of those slums have produced the recent waves of suicide bombers.
It reflects the huge gap between rich and poor in Morocco: some people live in luxury, others live literally in a toilet.
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Africaexpert



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old news.

No one forced him to live in the toilet.

TC, I know many ESL teachers who worked on much less than 20K DH. Of course they went to work in Morocco for the experience - no one goes to Morocco to get rich. I did not work in Agadir but attended a few conferences there. I worked in Rabat and Ifrane, didn't make a pile of money, didn't feel the need to escape to Spain every weekend, just managed my money well.
Why live somewhere you feel a need to escape every weekend? You can't really say you lived there in that case, can you?
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steady



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 72
Location: Morocco

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Africaexpert wrote:


No one forced him to live in the toilet.



Being an expert on Africa, maybe you would like to comment on what other accomodation options were actually open to this family?
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Africaexpert



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you've spent any time in Africa, perhaps you would already know the answer to this question.
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Africaexpert":

On how many African countries are you an expert?
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steady



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 72
Location: Morocco

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Africaexpert wrote:
If you've spent any time in Africa, perhaps you would already know the answer to this question.


I take it then that you do not wish to comment on the family's other options.


It would be interesting if you could answer Henry_Cowell's question.
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 271
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Africaexpert wrote:
Why live somewhere you feel a need to escape every weekend? You can't really say you lived there in that case, can you?


Simple answer, I don't.

What's wrong with going to Spain every weekend? I like Spain, what's the big deal? That is 5 on 2 off, sounds fair to me.

BTW, we met at the MATE conference lol?

On another point, actually, I did go to Morocco to get rich! And I did.

And, I can most defo say I lived there, my bank account says so.
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steady



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 72
Location: Morocco

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RICH?Getting rich teaching EFL in Morocco. I know that 'rich' is all relative, but you're stretching it a bit, surely? RICH! An abundance of money kind of rich?
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 972
Location: Home

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was rich too.

But I'd willingly donate a huge chunk of next month's salary to a worthy cause just to hear Africaexpert actually answer a question on here.

I even think that poor guy living with his family in cubicle 3 of the Sale public toilets is in fact our very own ElMaghrebi who asked and asked on here about getting a decent teaching gig, but where oh where were you AE?
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Africaexpert



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geez - look at Egypt - far more densely crowded urban areas than Morocco - yet they find places to live even if it is in a cemetery.
He could have, as many Moroccans have done, dragged a pile of bricks, some old aluminum, etc. and made himself a shanty on the hillside next to all the others, on almost any hillside near a town or city. Occasionally the government tears these bidonvilles down and puts all the people in proper government housing. This is something akin to winning the lottery for these poor folks. Legends and scams abound of course. There's the one about the millionaire who amassed his fortune by simply waiting patiently in his bidonville shack until he gets government housing, then turns around and sublets that, and goes to another bidonville only to repeat the process. You can hire a bidonville sitter if you like. God knows there is a lack of jobs for the unskilled/uneducated.
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steady



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 72
Location: Morocco

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You really don't have idea at all, 'Self Appointed Expert on Africa'.
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3351
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But she's an expert on all of Africa. So please cut her a little slack for not knowing the details in one particular country.
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Africaexpert



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't think I have an idea, prove to me what I have said is wrong. But you can't can you?
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steady



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 72
Location: Morocco

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Africaexpert wrote:
Legends and scams abound of course. There's the one about the millionaire who amassed his fortune by simply waiting patiently in his bidonville shack until he gets government housing, then turns around and sublets that, and goes to another bidonville only to repeat the process.


Legend, of course.
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Africaexpert



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is it they say? There's a little truth in every legend.
If there's a way to scam someone, a Moroccan has probably figured it out.
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