Wednesday 22 April 2015

I wish …

I wish …

I wish there was a secret army of fish with magical powers near Lampedusa that saved our brothers and sisters when drowning.
I wish there were ghosts springing from these dead-underwater bodies that first fly to EU politicians and border police to sprinkle horrific pain on them and then past Katie Hopkins where they lift and swing her into the North Sea in one smooth move, where she will be eaten by smelly water creatures, before they continue their journey to heaven.
I wish my heart and arms were big enough to comfort and hold all those families and friends left behind.
I wish our side was strong enough to dismantle all the borders and fences.
I wish I wish I wish…
I wish I didn’t just realise that my father took a similar journey 50 years ago and could have been on such a boat if time was not chronological. Indeed, we are all refugees under capitalism.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Social Media as Damocles Sword: The Internet for Arab Activists

Unlike Us #3 - Social Media: Design or Decline 

Miriyam Aouragh (UK): Social Media as Damocles Sword: The Internet for Arab Activists
Conference Day #2 (23 March 2013)

Saturday 25 January 2014

Patrice Lumumba’s legacy

Last Friday marked the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba.

Miriyam Aouragh looks at his legacy and western complicity in his murder:

 In Une Saison au Congo (A Season in the Congo) from 1966, Aimé Césaire tells an unapologetic story about brutal colonial exploitation and the subsequent transformation of the Belgian Congo into place of bloody civil war. It is first and foremost a tale about the time after the murder of Patrice Lumumba and western complicity in his death. In the play, Césaire narrates how US collusion with Belgium goes back to 1885, being the first country to recognize King Leopold’s claim of the Congo as his personal property. Une Saison au Congo should be read again, as we remember Lumumba’s assassination.

Patrice Lumumba was the first democratically elected leader of Democratic Republic of Congo, which declared its independence from Belgium in 1960. Barely in his mid-30s, he was an inspiring, principled, charismatic and intelligent leader who had warm relationships with other independence figures such as Ben Bella and Nkrumah. He represented the MNC (Mouvement National Congolais) in 1958 at the All-African Peoples’ Conference in Accra, Ghana.

One of his most memorable speeches was during the independence day ceremony, attended also by Belgian King Boudewijn.

Thursday 16 January 2014

Tangiers 'Africanos': Racism and violence in Morocco

Tangier's racist realities

For L'Association Marocaine des Droits Humains.

By Miriyam Aouragh (December 2013)

Toussaint Alex, Moussa, Cedric, these are the names of some of the migrants who travelled across Africa to reach the port, the last transit before Europe.Some have been taken back home,after their embassies intervened or the local churches helped raise money in order to fly the bodies homes. 

Who are these generally nameless people from Cameroon, Congo, Senegal, Togo, Guinee, Djibouti, Mali, Benin, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and even Somalia making it all the way to Morocco?These three names are known about bymore people in Tangier because they are no more, the last thing they saw was the Moroccan police.

They came to Tangier, full of dreams and plans, and like most of their brothers and sisters still here they lived spread across four places in Tanger: Boukhalef, Mesnana, Plasatoro and a smaller number in the old city [medinaqdima] down-town.

As their communities are growing in Morocco, the discourse is changing; and as the political barometer of Morocco is changing, the‘African people’s’ relevance to a language relying on political populism is increasing too.They are mostly and simply referred to as '3wazza' [blacks], the old term used to demarcate black Moroccans. Itself a legacy of a longer history of black-white relations in the Maghreb, as for instance debated and illustrated in a unique issue of the critical history journal Zamanelast year. 

Friday 27 December 2013

Racism and Police oppression in Tangier (M Aouragh)

« العنصرية و عنف الشرطة في طنجة ؛ « فرق تسد

مريم اوراغ – ترجمة ممفاكينش
توسان أليكس، موسى، سيدريك، هاته أسماء بعض من المهاجرين الذين قطعوا مسافات كبيرة دخل القارة السمراء قبل أن يصلوا إلى آخر ميناء في رحلتهم نحو الحلم الأوروبي. هاته أسماء بعض من لم يكملوا الحلم/الكابوس وإضطروا للعودة في تابوت إلى بلدهم الأصلي بعد أن ساهمت قنصلياتهم أو بعض الكنائس المحلية في توفير مصاريف رحلتهم الأخيرة.

من هم كل هؤلاء المجهولين من الكامرون، الكونغو، السنغال، الطوغو، غينيا، جيبوتي، مالي، البنين، كوت ديفوار، بوركينافاسو وحتى الصومال، الذين تمكنوا من الوصول إلى المغرب؟ أما الأسماء المذكورة أعلاه، فهي معروفة في طنجة لأن من حملوها يعدون من الأموات، وآخر رؤياهم كانت الزي الرسمي للبوليس المغربي.
see more in the article originally published in

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Racism as Divide and Rule in Morocco

الاربعاء 18 كانون الأول (ديسمبر) 2013
مريم أوراغ

فيما يلي روبورتاج عن معاناة المهاجرين بتراب المملكة بعيون باحثة بجامعة لندن ورفيقة ماركسية ثورية، ننقله عن موقع مامفاكينش ، تعميما 

Published by Al Monadila

Saturday 2 February 2013

New Publication - Tweeting like a Pigeon: The Internet in the Arab Revolutions

Tweeting like a Pigeon: 
The Internet in the Arab Revolutions 
Miriyam Aouragh 
CyberOrient, Vol. 6, Iss. 2, 2012 


The extraordinary uprisings since December 2010 represented the long-prepared transformation from fatalism to people power. The online–offline dialectic allowed the revolution to be mediated with global ramifications - from Wisconsin to Barcelona to Athens. This techno-social nexus forms a crucial element of the overall push and pull factors and this contribution reassess the "Net Worth" from a critical perspective. The fetishizing flora and fauna labels from earlier hyped political-techno events --"Cedar", "Green", or "Orange" revolutions-- that coincided with particular geo-political algorithms, were initially copied and pasted as emblematic solicitations. But whether Wikileaks or the Palestine Papers, and YouTube videos or blogs disclosing practices of torture and corruption—opinions have been shaped and decisions were mediated by online technologies. This piece demonstrates the overflow of YouTube music clips through the prism of the Tunisian revolution. I will look at these dynamics through the lens of Palestine as an informative ethnographic comparison because it helps indicate the power structure behind technology and allows me to assess the multiplicity of internet politics and argue that online activities and offline power structures do not exist in isolation and are unequally mediated. Keywords: music, Arab Spring, social media, communication studies, censorship, Tunisia, public sphere, cyberactivism, civic engagement, activism, Palestine, Egypt