Moroccan publishers promote reading as ‘act of resistance’

In addition to commemorating the Green March, the initiative hopes to contribute to efforts aimed at shoring up Morocco’s struggling book industry.
Wednesday 28/10/2020
A customer browses books at a bookshop in the Moroccan capital Rabat on August 9, 2018. (AFP)
A customer browses books at a bookshop in the Moroccan capital Rabat on August 9, 2018. (AFP)

RABAT- The Union of Moroccan Publishers will launch an initiative titled “reading is an act of resistance” on November 6 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Morocco’s Green March.

The Green March is a mass demonstration organised by tens of thousands of Moroccans in November 1975 to call on Spain to return the Western Sahara to Moroccan sovereignty.

“Publishers, readers, writers and everyone who is interested in books and reading are invited to participate in this initiative that will last until December 20,” the Union of Moroccan Publishers said in a statement.

In addition to commemorating the Green March, the initiative hopes to contribute to efforts to support Morocco’s struggling book industry.

“This cultural event, the first of its kind at the national level, derives its philosophy from the resistance represented by the Green March, and aspires to form a solidarity act that brings together all those involved in the book industry,” said Abdel Qadir Ratnani, president of the Union of Moroccan Publishers, MAP news agency reported.

Morocco’s ministry of culture, youth and sports has lent support to the initiative, which will bring together publishers and librarians from 12 regions of the country for 45 days, in reference to the 45th anniversary of the Green March.

Abdel Qadir Ratnani, president of the Union of Moroccan Publishers (MAP twitter)
Abdel Qadir Ratnani, president of the Union of Moroccan Publishers (MAP twitter)

Ratnani, driven by his belief “that the book will not die,” expressed hope that the solidarity campaign will help revive the book sector, which has suffered a 70% decline in revenue since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“The last months have been difficult for all sectors, in the cultural field as in other fields. We are convinced that we shouldn’t give up, but rather try to be optimistic by focusing on collective participation,” he said.

The initiative also drew support from international publishers’ associations, notably in France, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Tunisia and Egypt.

To encourage reading, the union announced that special discounts will be granted to those who buy books during the initiative, which will follow strict health guidelines to help curb the spread of COVID-19.