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Letter from... Rabat

29 April 2020

By Driss Benhima, Managing Director, Cambre Associates (Part of SEC Newgate)

The weather is beautiful, it is sunny during the day and it rains nicely at night which is always good news in our part of the world. Locked up at home, my wife and I live like a single couple on a desert island and so far, so good…

We are one month in from the start of our strict confinement and the Government has decided to extend it by a month until May 20th.

The fasting of Ramadan, which also lasts one month, began on 25th April, and everyone is apprehensive about the effects of the deprivation of tobacco, coffee and especially water for fifteen hours each day amidst forced inactivity and proximity. But the Moroccan social fabric, which has held up so far, will be resilient, or so everyone is convinced.

The solidarity values of Muslim society have allowed it to behave unanimously and with good discipline in the face of the constraints imposed by the social distancing program.

But these same values have perverse effects on how the restrictions bypass containment barriers.  The strength of family ties are stronger than the instructions of social distance and despite themselves, many of those breaking the rules to see their family forget the danger of the situation we are in.  

As we enter the second month of economic shutdown, we cannot imagine and truly hope that this situation will not be extended beyond that.