By Iqbal Tamimi
Every single day we watch ceremonies on Arab television channels glorifying and idolizing members of royal families and rulers of states in the most disgusting way. Arab media is the main arm that tame people and shape their feelings of fear and inferiority especially where the rulers are and members of royal families.
One of a series of such disgusting episodes was a televised report, during an inauguration of a Zoo at the city of Rabat in Morocco, which became a sensational subject on television shows, online forums and news websites on the 15th January 2012. Where a boy who is not yet 9 years old, leads an inauguration ceremony, where high rank officials older than his own father bowed to kiss the little boy’s hand in a degrading manner; their noses almost touching his knees. The almost 9 year old was addressed during the report by a fellow Arab broadcast journalist, over and over again by words of exaggerated glorification … ‘my Lord his highness my master Crown Prince of Morocco Alhasan’.
The boy’s father, Mohammed V, adopted the title of king of Morocco in 1957 to become, which was also adopted during the drafting of the Moroccan Constitution of 1962.
The Zoo opening is not the cause of the controversy, but the fact that such acts and rituals enforcing and reflecting dictatorship and tyranny are still happening after the wave of revolts that swept across the Arab region. The fact that there is still a boy who is not even 9 years of age yet, treated like a God, reminds us that the ‘Arab Spring’ is not going to blossom soon, or at least not as long as there are nations still treated like slaves and brain washed to behave as such. The above mentioned report is a reminder of how tyrants are still made in other parts of the Arab region.
According to Arab traditions, the young usually bow to kiss the hands of the old such as parents and scholars or teachers as a token of respect and recognition of the wisdom they acquired by age and experience, but when it comes to Arab rulers and their family members, traditions and respect calibres are set aside and new set of rules are created where the young look down on the old who are worthy of respect.
The worrying thing is the fact that the little boy is supposed to show at such early age some signs of discomfort for being with so many old people bowing for him, kissing his ---. But that did not happen. He has behaved with total arrogance as if it is quite normal to be treated like a God, and as if this ritual of humiliation is part of his every day procedures that he went through all that with total confidence that they owe him such display of deep respect. The boy who was addressed by the broadcaster over and over again as, ‘My Lord his highness my master Crown Prince of Morocco al Hasan’, has not shown any signs of embarrassment or remorse as expected of children of his age.
It has been an extremely distressing experience to hear a fellow journalist humiliating himself in such degrading manner, and I am sure the rest of the crew who were filming and editing were feeling subordinates as he was.
The concept of the Fourth Estate that refers to the Press, seems not to apply in the Arab World. It has been almost 225 years since the term originated by Edmund Burke, who used it in a parliamentary debate in 1787 on the opening up of Press reporting of the House of Commons of Great Britain, yet this term has not arrived at the Arab states yet.