my report: working for transparency in Morocco

Rabat Airport. Somehow just another airport, a very small one maybe. I am missing the time when you were travelling and arriving slowly, when you had time to prepare yourself while travelling. Now: Some shimmering lights in the dark. I walk from the plane to the immigration building. I arrive in Rabat, Morocco to put my feet on African soil for the first time in my life. (…)

The report on my time in Morocco is online. Read it here. It is difficult to summarize, select experiences and get a grip on my time in Morocco. Here’s my try. And as mentioned in an earlier post, it will evolve with time.

To discuss our CrossCulture Internship in Morocco, I will sit together with Lena, who did the same programme in Rabat, on a panel at the book fair in Leipzig on Saturday, 14 March, 2pm. The panel is  called “Germany, Morocco and back” and will be moderated by Judith Schulte-Loh from ZOOM Europa/ARTE .

It’s great,  as while I am sure we will have a good time to reflect our experiences, I also have never been on a book fair. I love reading, especially as it allows me to submerge myself into a different culture. In Morocco, I read one of the national classics by Driss Chraïbi “Le Passé simple” (The Simple Past), published in 1954, and I still owe you a review.

The Leipzig fair will be a great opportunity to find some promising German authors for a change.

Luttons la corruption

Luttons la corruption

Working in Rabat

As I have been telling you all the other things that I am doing here so far, let me tell you a little bit on what I am working on these days in Rabat and what is something like my day-to-day. Both equally important bits to understanding as you might well imagine.

Here I am working for Transparency International’s national chapter Transparency Maroc. The chapter also runs the Observatoire de la Corruption, a project that, in short, monitors national news stories on corruption to identify key areas where the national integrity system fails, and makes recommendations on how corruption in different sectors can be tackled. My main tasks until now have been mostly related to the Observatoire, but also included preparations for the upcoming launch of the national Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre, a centre “providing assistance to witnesses and victims of corruption and provide valuable information about corruption hotspots to drive the advocacy efforts of the anti-corruption movement”. See more detailed information here. For the launch, I am working on the communications strategy.

I don’t really have daily tasks and do mostly individual projects, as well as learn how different a national chapter of Transparency International is structured and works. While there is a surprising amount of awareness and understanding for the need and benefits of professional communications, there are still some  issues that remain to be done. So I am engaged in rather conceptual work, as well as a couple of little things where I can help out, for example with preparing an interactive cd-rom presentation for journalists.

my desk and view

my desk and view

So, a normal day starts with getting up at 8am and getting to the office at 9am, pretty much as I do in Berlin too. Only the way to work is shorter, about 2-3 minutes walking, about two blocks and I am there. When the sun is shining, I stand a couple of minutes standing in the sun before crossing the street. Lately, this moment of my day has turned out to be a little difficult, as it’s been cloudy, cold and rainy. Lunch is around 1pm (as everyone else does), but we don’t have lunch together, so either I go to one of the many places close by to have some French fries and a sandwich, a tajine (to be explained in a later post on the culinary delights), or couscous, on Fridays, or sometimes I pass by the flat to have lunch with Saâd, my room-mate and volunteer for Transparency Maroc. And back home around 6pm or a little later, but usually not as late as in Berlin.

To finish this little post, here’s my working space, an empty table, in a white room. A lot of space for re-thinking approaches.

That’s because the offices have just been moved into and will host the ALAC starting in January, as well as the Observatoire.