Algerian-American blogger The Moor Next Door has reported on a campaign set up by Moroccans to encourage President-Elect Barack Obama to make his first speech abroad in Morocco. The blogger states:
This clever Moroccan site -- Obama to Speak in Morocco -- is marketing that country as the best candidate for Obama's proposed Islamic world speech. They've even drafted my post on the issue to their cause. Note that I have no realtionship [sic] with "Obama to Speak in Morocco," whatsoever, and operate this blog and write on my own behalf and no one else's, and recieve no financial or material gifts or compensation from any individual or organization.
In the comments section of his blog, Tidinit responds to the claim:
Interesting. Have not read your post on Obama, but I will now, because of its implications for our "waring" countries. Don't worry if you are accused to take side. We know you are not and you are giving us some food for thought on issues pertaining to the region. I appreciated very well your past posts on Turkey and the new OPEC gas consortium. Among others, of course: Ya Khattou, Al Majlissi and your excellent post that I responded to. That is why I m checking almost every morning or night. Keep it up. We need you and you are opening our eyes on some key issues no one is talking about.
The petition for Obama to speak in Morocco originated with The Moroccan American Board, an organization based in Washington, D.C.
The campaign's major talking points follow:
Here is why it should be Morocco:
What do you call an Arab, Muslim and African country which was the first to recognize the United States independence?
Kingdom of Morocco
What do you call a moderate, tolerating, peaceful country which is the strongest ally to the United States in the region?
Kingdom Of Morocco.
What do you call Obama's first speech in Morocco after his inauguration?
A historical moment.
Although only time will tell, thus far the campaign has been successful; the petitioners have even signed Washington D.C. Mayor Adrien Fenty on to endorse it at his own birthday party:
Among the invitees and contributors were Washington Moroccan Club members and friends-of-the-mayor that chatted with the mayor and informed him of the ongoing campaign to entice President elect Barack Obama to make his first foreign policy speech from Morocco. Mayor of Washington, Adrien Fenty, said " it is a good Idea, Morocco is an ideal location for that speech" In a subsequent encounter with Jan and Phil Fenty, the mayor's proud parents who were on hand for the mayor's 38th birthday bash. They run their Fleet Feet running shoe store in Washington for over 24 years, while Jan Fenty , the mayor's mother, worked as a DC public school teacher. His father, Phil Fenty, informed the Moroccan Community members present that his own grandfather is from Morocco. the Group members were startled by this unexpected piece of information and promptly admitted the mayor and his family to the Moroccan American community since the mayor's own great grand father was Moroccan and celebrated the event with a well deserved glass of fresh mineral water.
This blogpost is cross-posted from Voices Without Votes, a Global Voices project that aims to enable readers to experience American events through the eyes of ordinary citizens from outside the United States.