Rabat- Hisham sat in the simple café with cold, rickety iron chairs, waiting for the sunset call to prayer in order to perform the prayer in the nearby mosque and return to his place and order a cup of coffee while waiting for the evening prayer.
This is his daily routine that he is accustomed to as a simple craftsman who spends his day working hard, and devotes the period between sunset and dinner to some entertainment with friends before returning home. What has changed today is only the touch of sadness that covers his face, and his long silence that no one has ever seen from him.
Hisham refused to play cards with his friends in this café, which seemed like a deserted place due to the lack of patrons. He refused to watch the Champions League matches, and preferred to sit and sip a cup of coffee in silence, contemplating what would smell and come in this cold atmosphere.
“How can I play cards, or watch matches while our brothers are being slaughtered in Gaza?” This is how Abdullah answers when asked about the reason for the change in his circumstances, adding, “I no longer have any desire to obtain any kind of entertainment. I feel that I am betraying the tragedy of the brothers in Gaza “Slaughtered.”
The situation of Hisham, the crazy fan of the Spanish team Barcelona, is hardly different from the situation of many café patrons these days, as a conversation between two people is hardly devoid of developments in Gaza, whether it is related to the ongoing occupation massacres in the besieged Gaza Strip, or the shameful positions of the Arab and Western regimes regarding what is happening. .
It is not at all surprising to see football-obsessed fans rushing between halftime to ask the waiter to switch to Al Jazeera – which has made a strong return to cafes – or any other news channels, in order to follow the latest developments in Palestine.
Indeed, many people can barely put down their phones, and from time to time they follow the developments of the Israeli aggression – supported by the West – on Gaza, through social media platforms, especially Facebook, which is the most popular platform among Moroccans.
“For my beloved, Palestine”
“The keenness of football fans to follow the matches of the teams they love does not make them forget the most important issue of Muslims, which is the issue of Palestine, which is always present in their hearts,” explains Mohamed Belaudi, a Moroccan sports journalist, adding that Palestine for everyone is “an issue that will not die.”
Belaoudi continued that some people used to describe football fans and fans of sports teams with various descriptions, including hooliganism, superficiality, and weak affiliation to major issues, but events soon proved the opposite, and the greatest evidence was the songs created by fans of Raja Casablanca and Wydad Casablanca, of songs in support of Gaza and love. Palestine.
Just as Al Jazeera, along with the sober news channels, returned to popular cafes after a long absence, football fans returned to remember the song “Rajawi Palestinian” after the outbreak of “Al-Aqsa flood“, which is a song created by “La Voce Della Magana”, the lead team of the Moroccan team Raja Casablanca, in 2019, and it enjoyed widespread spread locally and in the Arab world.
A song with which Raja fans renewed their support for Gaza and the Palestinian cause a few days ago – inside Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca after the beginning of the recent Israeli aggression – as the stadium shook with this anthem, which was chanted by thousands during a match with the Moghreb Tetouan team in the national championship competition for the first league teams.
Thousands of voices chanted, “We will not allow you (I will not abandon you), O Gaza, Malikri (despite) Ali being far away, O Rafah and Ramallah, our nation is sick, they have made it sick with problems and government corruption, and the Arab is living in woe, and the future is all darkness.”
Tears soon poured from the hearts of those who listened – via internet platforms – to tens of thousands chanting this anthem in these atmospheres and under these circumstances, but the condition of those inside the stadium was almost indescribable.
A permanent moral commitment
Abdel-Jalil Al-Bogdaini, director of the Ansar Raja Sports website, “Dima Dima Raja,” says that the success of “Rajawi Felistini” and its touching the hearts of people inside and outside Morocco stems from the sincere spirit it carries.
He continued that the matter is related to a permanent sense of moral responsibility towards Gaza and the Palestinian issue that has always been expressed by this football-loving public, and it is not limited only to the time of bombing, assault and aggression. “It is a permanent moral commitment.”
This song, which begins by addressing Palestine with “Oh you who has a sad heart, these are years that bring tears to your eyes, for my beloved Palestine, oh where are the Arabs sleeping, oh you who adorn the countries, resist, may God protect you,” its words and melody were created by the music group of the Raja Casablanca terrace.
Al-Bogdaini explains that, although writing and composing are the work of individuals, according to the logic of the Ultras, everything is attributed to the group, and therefore it is difficult for any fan to give his name as the author of the words or the melody, out of respect for this collective spirit that distinguishes the fans of Raja, and the ideology of the Ultras in general.
Land and width
Sports journalist Mohamed Belaudi, for his part, confirms that the fans’ doctrine is clear and impeccable in that the issue of Palestine is not “political entertainment,” but rather an issue of land and honor, an issue of right and wrong, and the issue of a people seeking freedom and liberating the land, against an enemy that seeks in every way to kill this desire. .
The values and sentiments of the “Palestinian Rajawi” campaign were therefore, Belaudi continues, facilitated such great spread, as people found in them a spontaneous and sincere expression of the feelings they had for Gaza and the Palestinian cause, just like the famous “Tivo” for the club itself, which carried the slogan “Until Victory.” In the middle is “Handala”, the famous symbol of the late Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al-Ali.
The Raja Casablanca basketball team also carried a banner in support of Gaza from Casablanca during its match this week. The banner, which was decorated with the symbols of the Palestinian keffiyeh and the Palestinian flag, says: “From Casa Al Khadra to Free Gaza.”
It is as if the “Winners Ultras”, fans of Wydad Casablanca, the rival team to Raja, where the local “derby” matches between them are always the event in Morocco, did not want the Eagles Ultras to be “alone” in supporting Gaza with words and melodies, so after the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa flood, they created the song “Palestine, the Land of Resilience.” They gave it to Gaza and Palestine.
Belaoudi explains that the Ultras Winners song is a renewed expression of the youth’s close connection with the Palestinian issue, which is not the issue of Palestinians alone, but rather the central issue of all Muslims.
He explains that the creativity of Moroccan and Arab youth confirms that the nation’s youth, despite their daily problems, continue to prove to everyone that their feelings about Palestine are firm and solid, and they express this in every possible way, whether it is songs, banners, or slogans during sporting events, or even By participating in protests against the crimes of the occupation.
“We all pray”
The Ultras Winners’ rousing song begins by declaring that “Palestine, the land of the Muslims,” and addresses Saladin Al-Ayyubi, saying, “Oh Saladin, we will walk on your path. We will die tenderly and long live Palestine.”
She added, “Jenin, Hebron, and Gaza. God willing, we will liberate you, O Al-Aqsa. Jerusalem, my beloved. You have been absent for a long time. O Lord, preserve it for us, and we will pray there together.”
A wish for a collective prayer in beloved Jerusalem, which has been “absent for a long time”, so that the fans of Wydad Casablanca will agree with the fans of Raja Casablanca, who expressed their certainty that Al-Aqsa will be liberated, and their desire to travel there, saying, “Rajawi is Palestinian, I wanted to walk, who will take me?” .
Perhaps it is a wish that will come true, and Hisham will regain his smile, as will the football fans, after their brothers in Gaza and Palestine regain their land, their freedom, and some of their smile.