After the fall of France in 1940, the poet George Faludy escaped to Morocco. Walking by the sea, he saw some cliffs high above the shore. They seemed picturesque but inaccessible. An old Arab was passing with his donkey and Faludy turned to him. “How do you get up there?” he asked, pointing to the cliff.
The old man stopped and spat on the ground. “You can’t get to those cliffs,” he replied, “because the accursed French never built a road.”
In 1940 Morocco had been a French protectorate for 28 years. The seashore below the cliffs had been inhabited by human beings since the Stone Age. Blaming the French for not building a path in 28 years that the inhabitants hadn’t built throughout the millennia before, summarized the region’s political culture.
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