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The King's Speech

Like so many people, The King's Speech, the movie, moved me on many levels. It brought to reality the humanity of a distant figure, a man's simple struggle to rise to the occasion, to stretch himself for his people. To do the right thing. Earlier this week, like so many others, I continued my search on Facebook and Twitter to stay abreast of all the momentous change raging across the Arab world, I stumbled across another King's Speech that also moved me to tears.

Throughout North Africa and the Middle East, many people are rightfully demanding greater political freedom, economic opportunity, the rule of law, transparent government and reform in a rush to greater quality of life in a modern world. Many women are finally making their voices heard in the tumult of this new history and another King is listening to them. King Mohammed VI of Morocco began the challenge of moving his people and country forward since assuming the throne as a young man more than ten years ago. The changes announced by His Majesty this week are a further step in the right direction toward democracy and a better life for all Moroccans.

There is a balance to tradition and modernity than can be mirrored in tolerance and compassion. As we watch the region roil, we wonder why the 'Mubaraks' are blind to the needs of their people, how the 'Ghadaffis' can be so cruel. The speech of this King, who has already brought about positive change, including a new Family Law that protects women and children along with other reforms that put his people first. His speech outlined his pledge for ongoing democratic development through constitutional, judicial and political reforms. This is a moment of profound change in the region. His contrast to the other so-called leaders is breath-taking and provides a model for the world.

The King's response to demonstrations was to set up a new body to defend human rights in a more direct and meaningful way. The new National Human Rights Council replaces an existing organization which had a more consultative role. The new Council will be made up of representatives of public authorities, non-government organizations, political parties and independents. The contrast to the on-going tragedy in Libya is more than significant. It is worthy of a Nobel Prize. We should be helpful in our support for this government and the people of Morocco. Here is a man and a government that is capable of both human rights and responsibilities.

As we consider the will of a young King to move forward the reforms he started ten years ago, his actions show his commitment to a continuation of reform in Morocco. As blood flows in the region because of intransigence and greed, a man who stretches a little taller to help his people, both male and female, move into the modern world deserves our thanks and respect. While Colin Firth's King's Speech won an Oscar and our hearts, this King's speech shows us how a better world can really be -- and we haven't found an award for that yet.

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