From Tangier with Love

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

“I am giving an art session for single mothers”, my friend said. I immediately knew I needed to be there.

“100% Maman” was born of a desire to protect and give a chance to women pregnant outside of marriage. If you are not married and you get pregnant what happens is very simple; you hide the growing belly as long as possible because as soon as your family discovers it, you are pretty sure they will kick you out of the house with nothing. If you are about to deliver your baby, the hospitals might not even look at you. If your baby survives, it will have no official name, so no access to school, to work, to healthcare… that baby doesn’t exist in the system and the mother is a shame.

In the sewing classes, cooking classes, jewelry making classes and art sessions, my eyes saw ladies of different ages, most of them were a little shy but very sweet, welcoming, and most of all doing everything they can to build a future and cast away the fear that is so obvious.

My session with them was very simple, we taught them to fold little paper boats. Their paper boats will become a part of a big sculpture that will be exposed here in Tangier in May. For an hour or so, their minds are away from the tremendous pressure they live to concentrate on one fold at a time.

To be a part… They just have been rejected, first by men who don’t want to take part in their lives and the life of their child, rejected with disdain from their moms, their dads, their brothers and sisters, crossed off from all possibilities to get a job, ejected out in the streets to beg for food or to really become prostitutes… and now, they are invited to be a part of a community that believes they can define their own path and believes they can offer something good to their kids.

I felt I could learn and be inspired by all these women, the ones that are teaming up to offer juridic services, sanitary services, shelter and education, and the women that are taking that decision to live another day against the stream. I am planning on going back to be with them and live something with them. I hope I can bring some joy, but I know I will receive a lesson of courage.

– Miss Isabel

Don’t hesitate to like their Facebook page and to support their actions!
https://www.facebook.com/centpourcentmamans.tanger
http://www.centpourcentmamans.com/

From Tangier with Love: A meaningful talk with…

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

My friend: “You know, I think a society, or a group of people, a family, even a couple, stops evolving and living when you stop talking about problems, issues and challenges. Naming real problems by their real names allows us to discuss about it all together, in order to find solutions, otherwise, we’re creating hopelessness, being the mother of all evil. We should never fear problems, but we should fear when no one wants to talk about real issues! Don’t get me wrong, I really love Tangier and Morocco, but it’s about time we sit down and talk about reality.”

Jeff: “It’s always easy to act as a victim, and to blame others, the system, life and even God for inequalities we often see and witness, not even seeking to understand why this is a reality for some and how we can shape this world differently.”

I have the privilege of enjoying breakfast almost every day with this amazing Moroccan friend of Alex, which I have the privilege of discovering more and more! This is a glimpse of an awesome conversation that lasted more than an hour. Very inspiring moment.

We would like to share more short stories with you based on moments lived with someone in the streets, or within a band conversation, around the table, in a coffee shop, etc. We will do so on a weekly basis and will call those posts “From Tangier With Love”! Being here is a real privilege for us all, and to share it with awesome people like you will simply make those little moments eternal..!

See you next week!
Jeff

FROM STRANGERS TO FRIENDS

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

Walking in the medina is an incredible blend of colors, fragrances, and sounds… So much that it feels like my eyes aren’t big enough to capture it all. I must have looked like I was overwhelmed or confused because an older man gently told me: “You don’t need to understand it all, just enjoy the simple moments with a smiling heart” as he handed me a rose from his stand. He was so right and made me smile right away! This man’s eyes were sensitive enough to see me in the dense crowd and his heart sensitive enough to teach me how simple it can be to be someone’s friend. One minute a stranger, the next minute a friend. – Miss Isabel

MLK Day

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

In the wake of the recent statements hovering between nations, we notice once more how much power words have, either to build or to destroy, to unite or to divide, to affirm or to discourage.

And on this day honoring a man that left a living legacy through his words and actions confessing hope, may we be the ones pursuing the fulfillment of this dream. Let us remember and honor the march of a man who risked his life for a dream, where “one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” – MLK

May we be the ones standing up in our own ways, making this world a better place to commune all together.

FROM STRANGERS TO FRIENDS

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

Because human rights are more than a date on a calendar, and that we believe it starts within us and around us, we decided to introduce you to a few people we’ve met since we’re in Tangier, and who make a difference around themselves…

About the picture of Sef & Rachid:
“Being in the crazy circus of Your Favorite Enemies has brought me to discover so many powerful and beautiful things in life. For me, the most significant journey is outside yourself, where you have the opportunity to connect and bond with people. The man with me on the picture is Rachid. He’s the one taking care of everything related to the house we live in! I’m blessed to be able to connect with this humble and generous heart. And for me, human rights start with this… Differences give us the opportunity to redefine our perspectives and conceptions, to open our eyes to what we can offer to the ones around us!” – Sef

Human Rights Day

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

What are human rights to you?

From Strangers To Friends

Ever since we gave birth to Your Favorite Enemies, human rights have always been part of the band’s core values. It has always been a matter of heart, not some “good conscience” promotional campaign. So for us, Human Rights Day doesn’t have much to do with December 10th; it’s a daily invitation to go beyond fear of differences and incomprehensions. Living in Tangier teaches us the importance of those little moments of human wonders, of blessed day-to-day connections. So we decided to present you some of our neighbourhood friends, those with whom we laugh and commune for the pure reasons of a smile and a hug. We believe that human rights start within ourselves…

-Alex

About the picture: Farid is a greengrocer who lives right in front of our studio. He’s never short of a smile and always laughing, Farid is well known in our neighbourhood for being a man who takes care of others and who offers food to those who can’t afford any. We are proud to be considered Farid’s friends.

After the Manchester Bombing…

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

A text by Alex in answer to the Manchester events:

Every morning following such a horrifying display of disasters, might they be perpetuated in familiar places or far away, reminds us how fragile gathering peace and communal empathy look like before the implacable nature of hatred… How the price for forgiveness and love seem to be more and more difficult to pay for people of good will… as we are to be facing the most horrible fears and dreads there is, which is to become the same monsters we are now so deeply despising… At least that’s always my personal decision to make.

Read more

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

To deny anyone’s rights is to deprave everyone from their rights. We might not understand, we might not be comfortable, we might not even agree, but one thing is for sure; the moment we deny equality based on our beliefs or on other people’s differences, we become accomplice of the hatred that each and everyone of us had to face, are facing or will face one day for simply being who we are. By acknowledging who we are, whatever it might be or not, it is to assume what others might be or not as well. Want it or not, we’re all strange, weird or wrong for at least another one. And this is what makes the world a far more captivating place to evolve in than any homogenized dictature created by our fears and what we rebuke. At least, true or not, that’s where I stand… Human rights for all… no exception!!!

– Alex

Love sees no color…

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

That’s the type of world we want to live in. Let’s end racism. 

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination highlights the issue every year, though it’s an every day battle that needs to be fought with eyes wide open, acknowledging the different colors of this world and allowing the diversity to empower us and unite us. Difference is not the enemy, fear is. 

#InternationalDayAgainstRacism #EndRacism

International Women’s Day

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

When some of the most important things feel broken,
when fundamental rights and human values are torn apart,
let’s remember that we have the power to restore everything.

Happy International Women’s Day.