In 2012, three of us students were renting an apartment in the Areeda residence in the Oulfa area. As Africans, we quickly became the target of threats from residents who didn’t want to have us as neighbours.
One day, when we came home from university, we came across this poster. At first, we didn’t know it was aimed at us, but then someone translated it for us. We were really shocked.
Poster photographed at the end of 2012 by Nafissa at the Areeda residence. “It is strictly prohibited to lease apartments to Africans in this building. Signed: all the apartment owners.”
After that, we got even more threats than before. Our apartment’s landlord did everything he could to help us, but under growing pressure from the other apartment owners, he had to order us to leave, which we refused. On January 1, 2013, the police came to force us to leave. We were taken down to the police station. My friend was slapped by an officer. We still don’t know what legal basis the police acted on.
I haven’t been back to our old building since, but my friends tell me that the poster is still there. I’d like to say it’s an isolated case, but my experience makes me think otherwise. From the first day at my new apartment, the residents have been asking the landlord to kick us out. But we’ve signed a lease, which the landlord has so far refused to terminate.
Discrimination against Africans has been firmly rooted here. Not all relationships with Moroccans are this confrontational, but life is definitely more unpleasant if you’re black. Personally, I’ve had stones thrown at me on the street several times, sometimes even fruit, depending on the person’s mood.