Is Bigger the Best Path
TANGIER, Morocco — At cafés on Tangier’s Mediterranean coast, rows of young Moroccans sit facing the hazy, yet ever present outline of Spain a mere 8.5 miles away. The idea of escaping to Spain is deep-set in Tangier. Stories often surface of overnight boats transporting Moroccan migrants. Some even attempt to swim the distance and drown. Driving this exodus is unemployment in Morocco which stands at close to 40 percent, according to the World Bank.
“I don’t have a chance to get a job here,” says Mouad Hlime, 23, sitting alone at Tangier’s Café Hafa, famous for its expansive view of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite graduating from Ista, a post-secondary school providing training in the textile business, Hlime is unemployed.
“Here in Tangier, and all of Morocco,” he says, “if you don’t know someone who works for the government, you can’t get a job.”
Morocco’s King, Mohammed VI, seeks to fix Tangier’s economic problems with the Tanger-Med project, located 25 miles east of the city, which will soon offer one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean. Tanger-Med is part of a global trend of megaprojects that pour significant money into industrializing and modernizing countries to create new centers for business and tourism. Experts, however, say that investment-heavy megaprojects fail to solve the deep-rooted problems in the economies of developing countries such as Morocco.
This extraordinarily important reporting was produced by a student on our Morocco SIT Study Abroad program with mentoring and support from Round Earth Media. Click on the photo at the top of this email to read the story, which was Tuesday’s lead in US News & World Report.
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