On 30 September 1999, two months after his accession to the throne, the new Moroccan king, Mohammed VI, announced his decision to permit political dissident Abraham Serfaty's return to the country. After 17 years of imprisonment, torture and isolation in a Moroccan prison and eight years' exile in France, the most celebrated political opponent of the recently deceased king, Hassan II (1961-99), became a free citizen. King Mohammed VI allowed Serfaty to return from exile, a gesture his father refused to make, just two months after he acceded to the throne. It was an important poltical act, a powerful symbolic gesture, and a precusror of other, equally spectacular political decisions, beginning with the new king's dismissal of Driss Basri, interior minister for 20 years and dreaded strong man of Hassan II's regime. This is a story of "homecoming", beginning with Christine Daure-Serfaty's accounts of friend's re-found after many years, of places in memory brought back to life, of remembrances resurfacing to sweep over her emotions and overwhelm her consciousness. Her husband, Abraham Serfaty, is honoured, celebrated and invited to travel throughout the country as a hero.
But for her, bits and pieces of the past suddenly and unexpectedly appear, bitter memories of lives lived "before" haunt her, memories of the prison, of the ongoing struggle to let the world know, memories of the injustice of their imprisonment,and of the waiting, always the waiting. Daure-Serfaty also discusses contemporary Morocco, analyzing the most significant problems that face Mohammed VI if he is to retain the good will of Morocco - a politically stable nation with a strong economy and a well-developed social structure. Finally, she addresses some of the more basic issues that may play themselves out in the Morocco of the future: democratization, the status of women, poverty and finally the "Morocco of the past".
Publisher: Michigan State University Press