Elaine Byrne, Sunday Times, 4 September 2011
My photos of Morocco
‘Power is like being with a woman for the first time. You always want more.” Over our third pot of Berber herbal tea, the male elders of a small village in central Morocco are doing their best to explain the nature of political power to me.
The liberation of Libya has reawakened a political consciousness of events beyond its borders in a people that had grown accustomed to assuming nothing would ever change. “Gadaffi is gone because the people did not want a person who thought he was the country, they decided they wanted just a country instead,” was the verdict of Mohammed, a Berber farmer who said he was 50. Harsh mountain life has aged him by another 20 years.
Personality politics and terms of office being notched on bed posts are characteristics of Middle Eastern as well as northside Dublin politics. The unintended consequences of Gadaffi’s collapse have yet to be fully appreciated, but they may be consequences which Ireland can legitimately support, given our shared historical experiences with North Africa’s Berber people.