To begin with, our project is structured around the study of the experiences of two persons that have a strong link with Morocco, although they are currently living in Spain. More precisely, the main focus of the project is the study of how migratory experiences affect the creation of an individual identity, specially taking into account factors such as language, religion, gender and heritage. To do so, we have had two persons that bear a strong link with the Moroccan culture and country talk about their experiences as immigrants in a foreign country, and how they have been able to use their links to both Morocco and Spain (concretely Catalonia) to shape and build up their personal identities. Thus, our first interviewee is a 23 year old boy who was born in Morocco but came to Barcelona at age 12 . In contrast, our second interviewee is an 18 year old girl born in Barcelona, although her 5 younger brothers are all Moroccan, just like her parents and grandparents.
However, in order to provide the interviews with a consistent framework, we have decided to adopt a journalistic approach. Indeed, we have tried not only to provide two consistent, meaningful interviews but also to contextualize and analyze them from a critical perspective. In addition, this portfolio also includes a set of documents that help to support and frame the context for and the content of both interviews. Each of these documents is formed by two parts; first, a first-source document such as a piece of news, a documentary, photographs or statistics about Morocco, and second our comments about each document, including positive and negative critiques, analyses, contributions as well as an explanation of how do they relate to the interviews. By adopting this perspective, we aim at comparing and contrasting approaches from the inside (the interviews) and the outside (the complementary materials), so as to account for the complexities and difficulties of identity construction in a foreign country.
Regarding the aims of this project, one of its major aims is to get to know more about an African country (Morocco, in this case), and concretely about the Moroccan experience in Barcelona and the construction of identities of first and second generation immigrants. However, the process of construction of this portfolio and the problems that we have had to face until we were able to carry out the two interviews that are now the center of our work have caused a broadening of the focus of the project. Indeed, with our work we have tried not only to account for the reality of some migratory experiences from Morocco to Catalonia, but also to illustrate the diversity existent in the African continent and the differences and similarities that currently separate and link African countries. Thus, although the interviews and the complementary materials and documents are structured around Morocco, with the description of the process and the steps followed before establishing Morocco as the center of our research we have also tried to express the duty to acknowledge the current situation of other African countries, as well as their representation in our own country.
However, as regards Morocco, it is a country located in Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara, and its capital is Rabat. It has a population of 32.987.206 inhabitants (data from July 2014), and the 99% of them are from Arabic and Berber origin. The official languages are Arabic (taught at schools) and Tamazight (Berber dialect), while French is often used as the language of business, government and diplomacy. However, Moroccan Arabic (Darija) is also widely spoken. In Morocco, 32.9% of the population is illiterate, the literacy rates being higher for males than for females. As regards religion, 99% of the population are Muslims (Islam the country’s official religion), and the resting 1% includes Catholics, Jews, and Baha’is).
Morocco’s government type is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, the chief of state being the King Mohammed V since 1999. Moreover, since 2006 the state’s Prime Minister is Abdelillah Benkirane, who belongs to the Party of Justice and Development (PJD). Indeed, the PJD advocates Islamism and Islamic Democracy. Some significant cities in addition to the capital, Rabat, are Tangier, Casablanca, Marrakech, Nador, Agadir and Kenitra.