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‘Un Si Long Chemin’ stories of refugees in Morocco


In partnership with the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) and the publishing house La Croisée des Chemins (The Crossroad), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) presented on June 16 in Rabat, Jalil Bennani’s ‘Un Si Long Chemin, Paroles de réfugiés au Maroc’, the Crossroad. The ceremony was held in commemoration of the World Refugee Day (June 20).

The book (A very long journey- stories of refugees in Morocco) tells the stories of some 30 refugees living in Morocco (Rabat, Casablanca, Kenitra, Oujda, Marrakech, Azrou, etc.); 20 men and 10 women, from 16 different countries and regions (Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Iraq, Liberia, Mali, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).

The book tells their stories, sufferings, joys, adventures and integration into Moroccan society. These stories “will certainly help us reflect on what we are in a new geopolitical configuration marked by several crises: asylum crisis which is exacerbated since the amplification of conflicts in the Middle east, the fate of immigrants and refugees in Europe, climate refugees, a crisis that is so far less visible, and south-south migration” said CNDH President Driss El Yazami.

Environmental migrants and refugees, Mr. El Yazami added, are even more vulnerable, given that their rights are not internationally protected.

“A migrant always has the opportunity to return home” said Mr. Bennani, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, author of the book. “A refugee, on the other hand, is forced to leave his country with one unique concern, staying alive”; he added.