Maghreb bloggers gather in Morocco for 10 tactics

'10 tactics' was screened at a workshop for Maghreb bloggers, bloggers from the five countries that constitute North Africa, in Rabat, Morocco on 16 February by the Talk Morocco project,an online forum which brings together bloggers and journalists on subjects related to Morocco, from inside and outside of the country.

This event was initiated by Talk Morocco co-founder, Hisham, a Moroccan doctor who is also very committed blogger, which he perceives as a means to bridge gaps between people of different backgrounds. He has his own blog, The Mirror, and writes for Global Voices Online, where he monitors and covers the Moroccan blogosphere.

Hisham first saw '10 tactics'  when he attended the second Arab bloggers conference in Beirut in December last year. He found it “an impressive, easy-to-understand and ready-to-use guide for grassroots activists and netizens, many of which may lack the knowledge to make their campaigns successful while protecting themselves and their sources.” While in Beiruit, he also had the opportunity to speak to the narrator of 10 tactics who explained the philosophy behind the project.

When he was invited to attend the workshop for Maghreb bloggers in Rabat, Hisham immediately felt that this would be a good context in which to share '10 tactics'. He explains: “In a region of the world (the Arab region) where people suffer a great deal of lack of freedom and lack of access to information, the Internet has proved to be a blessing for the millions of persecuted and disenfranchised. It is definitely a place where the film will be having the greater impact."

After the screening to the Maghreb bloggers the participants started to talk spontaneously and positively about the film and overwhelmingly welcomed “10 tactics” and embraced the idea behind the project. The participants enjoyed the sharing of the different examples and experiences showcased in the film especially the showcasing of the “Targuist Sniper” who captured videos of Moroccan police corrupton and posted them to YouTube. One particular example caused considerable uproar when 10 tactics revealed how Geobombing techniques exposed abuses of public money in Tunisia to finance private flights by the President's wife. For many in the audience this was a revelation, especially the Tunisian viewers, most of whom were hearing about it for the first time even though this is widely believed to be the reason YouTube is banned in the country.

Hisham says the audience responded well to the content. They were interested by the innovative uses of digital tools, however Hisham felt that some of the examples might have left the Moroccan audience with feelings that some of the tactics were technically intimidating or too expensive. Hisham explains: ,"in a country suffering from poverty and massive illiteracy, acquiring a laptop or even a camera is sometimes beyond reach.”

Some of the participants involved in this screening were eager to organise a screening of their own to share '10 tactics' with other individuals and organisations known to them working in rights advocacy in Morocco. For example a journalist knew about an NGO who are trying to help alleviate poverty and raise awareness about problems relating to illiteracy and wanted to screen the film for them. Also Khalid Jamaï, an active member of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH), and veteran journalist was very interested in organising a screening of the '10 tactics' in the headquarters of the organisation in Rabat.

Read Hisham's full interview with Tactical Tech on his blog.

Photos by Hisham: Particpants watching the screening of 10 tactics.