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A television series shown during Ramadan in Morocco caused anger and tension among the country’s education sector, prompting one of the most prominent unions in the Kingdom to write to an official institution to stop the series.

The series “Welad Yazza” (Sons of Yazza), which was shown on Channel One, dealt in a comical way in its first episode with teachers, where an actress described her colleague, who played the role of the teacher, as “the stickiest professor in the state.”

This was attached to a picture of education staff during one of the protests bearing the slogan “The image of the teacher in the media is exposed by his prestige in the field.”

The National Education Syndicate sees the image of the teacher in the series as an intentional “insult and humiliation” that reduces the status of teachers, and has filed a complaint with the head of the Supreme Authority for Audiovisual Communication to stop the series.

The union affirmed that it “protests against the continued targeting of the teaching profession by official public media channels, by presenting productions that insult women and men in education, and deliberately demean and insult them and degrade their status in a systematic and intentional manner.”

The union considered that what some Moroccan series and films are circulating regarding professors is unjustified, neither technically nor objectively, and demands that an apology be made to the men and women of education.

Mohamed Khofifi, deputy secretary-general of the National University of Education, says there is a “degrading stereotype that the series presents of the educationist.”

In an interview with Al-Hurra website, Khofifi pointed out that the image in which the education man was presented in the series is a far cry from reality and is derogatory at a time when the value of the teacher should be raised and honored.

The series attempts to present the teacher as a miserable person with inconsistent clothing and how his wife controls him, according to the speaker.

Censorship of creativity?

The company that produced the series “Sons of Iza” denied any insult to the education man, and considered that the depiction of the education man in the series comes within the framework of humor and does not aim to demean the education men.

The critical writer, Aziz Koukas, believes that it is difficult to impose certain images on a film director to take as a model in his artistic work, because artistic works must deal with whatever they want with the vision that the director sees, provided that the production represents real cinema and has the elements of cinematic creativity.

In an interview with Al-Hurra website, Kokas rejects calls to depict proverbs in cinema as educational tools.

Kokas believes that the controversy over the series does not mean a desire to censor artistic works, but rather it is a controversy that expresses the vitality of a society. Defenders of a certain social group express their denunciation of what is described as distorting the image of a man of education, while the creator is doing his part and is not a spokesman for a particular social group.

Kokas concludes in his speech that no party should impose limits on what should be eaten or what should not be eaten, because creativity breathes the scent of freedom, provided that there are elements of a creative vision for any production that aims to enlighten and reflect reality with all its contradictions according to a purposeful artistic vision.

Ramadan series often spark controversy in Morocco because of images they present in professions or because of what are said to be negative messages that are promoted in society.

Last Ramadan, the “Maktoob” series, in its second part, sparked controversy because of its story, which revolves around a “dancer,” a profession popularly called “sheikha” in the Kingdom.

A Moroccan cleric launched a major attack on the series and accused its makers of trying to push Moroccans to “normalize with the sheikha” and portray it as a profession like other professions. On social media, many Moroccans joined the cleric, accusing the series of trying to present “sheikha” as a normal profession.

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