This blogname was derived from the novel The Secret Life Of Saeed The Pessoptimist by the Palestinian Israeli Emile Habiby: absurdism as weapon against the (ir)realities of daily life in Palestine/Israel. (The subtitle is from a book by Dutch author Renate Rubinstein. It could as well be my motto).
My real name is Martin (Maarten Jan) Hijmans. I've been covering the ME since 1977 and have been a correspondent in Cairo. I started my 'Abu Pessoptimist' blog in January 2009 out of anger during the onslaught in Gaza. The other one, The Pessoptmist, is meant to be a sister version in English. (En voor de Nederlandstaligen: ik wilde in november 2009 een tweede blog in het Engels beginnen en ontdekte te laat dat als je één account hebt, een profiel dan meteen ook voor allebei de blogs geldt. Vandaar dat het nu ineens in het Engels is... So sorry.)
Thousands have taken to the streets in Maorocco on Sunday to demonstrate for freedom, democracy and jobs. On March 9, king Mohammed VI promised in a speech a series of reforms, but this does not appear to have made much of a difference. According to Reuters, quoting a government offcial, the numbers on the streets on Sunday were 'at least as many' as those who protested on February 20. Apart from places like Marrakech, El Hoceima and the huge protest in Casablance (here on photos), there were demonstrations in Rabat, Tanger, Tetouan, Taza, Agadair an several smaller places. (For more pictures click here)