Thursday, April 28, 2011
What are they trying to achieve?
Initially I was focused on tomorrow's wedding between Prince William and his Kate earlier today. I was excited about going round to my friend's where we were going to be suckers and watch the event live on tv. Then with a loud bang that all changed. I was in Dar Fakir with some visitors that had come round to take a look at a riad (they were staying in a normal hotel in the new part of town) when we heard the sound, that was definitely louder than your normal medina noise. Karim & I looked at each other, I was quick to respond "It must be a gas bottle at a neighbours". Little did I know what sounded like a small gas bottle exploding right next door would turn out to be a big gas bottle further away and as it now even seems...a terrorist attack. Even writing this write now I still don't quite understand why someone would do this and what they are trying to achieve? The annoying thing is if it was a suicide bomber as the foreign press have started saying then this person is now no longer alive and we will never be able to find out what his reasoning for it was. Tourism, political, what? For sure all eyes are now on Marrakech. Sadly for all the wrong reasons.
Anyway, shortly after explosion and the riad staff not being able to see anything from the roof terrace we let it go until the sirens started sounding. First one, then two and they just became more and more. Knowing that cars can not access further than onto Djema el Fnaa it soon became clear that the sound was not a small sound near by but a large sound further away, probably directly on the square so I decided to head over and take a look. Afterall I have guests to look after and for sure they would have questions if they had heard it too.
Already on the way there I had rung my boyfriend who had already heard that the problem was at Argana...probably a gas bottle (I remember thinking "just as I thought" just in a different place). Cafe Argana is a popular tourist stop off esp round lunch time. When I had walked round the corner onto the square by Cafe de France it was busy and for sure many people had been drawn there but all the cafes were still open, shop sellers were sitting outside their stalls, nothing seemed majorly bad until you walked onto the large section of the square and saw Cafe Argana itself. My first reaction was "Boy, if a gas bottle can make this kind of damage I better head straight home". (I had left my hot water gas bottle open at home.) At the same time something was saying this has got to be more, but at the same time not wanting it to be. Because then sadly it would just confirm what all the sceptics have been saying and asking about Morocco for a while since the problems in North Africa began...Is it safe? And seeing this, how would I be able to say "yes it is"? Even if I still whole heartedly feel for me personally it is!
Throughout the day the news dripped in that it seems confirmed that it was an attack of some sort. Possibly even Al Qaeda. The question remains what were they trying to achieve? What they will have damaged the most is the local people trying to earn a living off tourism and it will give Islam a bad name. In a country where people have been proud about not having problems with large demonstrations and riots as in neighbouring countries, the last thing they need is people to be saying...but you have terrorism instead.