The Moroccan national football team has proven that the world is experiencing an exceptional World Cup and a tournament that carries sublime Arab and Islamic values and messages.
Qatar World Cup is unique in nature and character, not because it is the first version hosted by the Arab countries, but rather for the messages it spread about the collective awareness and common feeling in multiple circles of affiliation in the region and after the moral values that express the spirit of the East and its religious and cultural background, which can be traced through several indicators.
Unprecedented achievements were recorded in Qatar also, with the arrival of the Atlas Lions to the golden square, as the first Arab and African team to make this success. The victory of the Moroccan national team was accompanied by messages, and values conveyed through many scenes and images that roamed the world, and millions of social media pioneers interacted with them.
Gratefulness to parents, strong faith, family, and humanitarian work were part of the spiritual elements promoted by the Moroccan national footballers before and during the Qatar World Cup. These symbols were a beacon illuminating their path.
In an interview with Al-Estiklal, football expert Mostapha Khattabi said: “The collective prostration of Moroccan players to God after all matches had a great symbolism in showing the Muslim’s close relationship with his Lord, throughout a prostration of gratitude and love to God with pride in front of the whole world. Despite the gesture’s simplicity, it was able to convey an image of Islam that contradicts what the Western media is keen to promote as if Muslims are strange and aggressive beings.”
He added: “The prostration showed that the Muslims share many patterns of thinking and life routine with the Westerners, but they seek to live these details with a spiritual and emotional state that connects them with the Creator.”
After Morocco-Croatia’s opening match in the World Cup, Morocco’s coach Walid Regragui went out in front of the journalists and said his famous phrase “Diro al-Niyyah,” which colloquially means “good faith and trust in God,” in response to the great criticism he received because of his defensive approach in front of the colleagues of Luka Modric.
The victories that followed made the phrase “Diro al-Niyyah” a secret to all the successes the Moroccan national team achieved, as the players repeated it after each victory.
The second message that the Moroccan footballers were keen to transmit was to show respect and gratitude to their mothers in their traditional dress and their Arab-Muslim appearance.
They were eager to kiss the heads and hands of their fathers and mothers and to honor and appreciate them in front of the world cameras, referring to the centrality of the family in our Arabic-Islamic values rather than sexuality that often prevails.
In Moroccan popular culture, the mother is associated with a collective mental image based on great respect, kissing her hands, and giving her priority in all aspects of life. Behind the success story of a number of stars of the Atlas Lions prevails the bitter struggle of many Moroccan mothers who migrated to Europe to provide a decent life for their children. They raised and supported their kids, who chose the football game as a gateway to salvation from failure, deviation, and addiction during the harsh immigrant conditions.
The star of the Moroccan national team, Sofiane Boufal, stole the spotlight after defeating Portugal, as he chose to share the joy of the historic achievement with his mother. Thousands of social media users around the world transmitted pictures showing the Moroccan star dancing with his mother, who was wearing a simple Moroccan “djellaba.”
Before Boufal, the image of the star Ashraf Hakimi kissing his mother after the Belgium match topped the scene on the group stage, and it received great interaction from the media and on social networking platforms. The Moroccan star published it on his Twitter account and commented on it, saying, “I love you, my mother.”
Many Moroccan stars were keen to go to the stands to hug their mothers and fathers after each match, in remarkable scenes in this global event.
The Qatari Minister of Social Development, Mariam bint Ali al-Misned, tweeted about the pictures, saying: “The heart rejoices with the historical scenes of family bonding in the Qatar World Cup 2022. The family is the first secret of success after God’s grace.”
تقرُّ العين ويسعد القلب بالمشاهد التاريخية للترابط الأسري في مونديال #قطر2022، فالعائلة هي سر النجاح الأول بعد توفيق الله. pic.twitter.com/zcPjCGQ9Tv— مريم بنت علي المسند (@MANAlMisned) December 11, 2022
Many observers believe that these images have restored family values in light of campaigns trying to market concepts and ideas that contradict the traditions and customs of the region.
What is the cultural load carried by the pictures of kissing the heads of fathers and mothers? What kind of societal values do they express?
The Moroccan coach is Moroccan, imbued with Moroccan culture and values. He speaks the Moroccan dialect, and his motto is trust in God, kindness to parents, and benevolence to people.
The wonderful goalkeeper Yassine Bounou had previously angered the journalists at the press conference at the beginning of the year because he did not want to respond except in Arabic, despite his knowledge of English, French, and Spanish. Moreover, he was born in Montreal, Canada.
Bounou said publicly, “It’s not my problem that you don’t speak Arabic and didn’t bring translators.”
The Moroccan national team players showed great combativeness on the field, and a number of them could not stop their tears after each match and victory.
The Atlas Lions unanimously agreed on their desire to bring joy and happiness to 40 million Moroccan people, stressing that they are driven by this desire to make all Arab and African people Happy.
The stars of the Moroccan national team confirmed that the task entrusted to them had become great, going beyond representing Morocco to representing all Arab peoples who support them.
The Moroccan national team players were also keen to carry the Palestinian flag in every celebration after the matches, along with the Moroccan flag and the Qatari flags.
Raising the flag of Palestine has its symbolism in expressing the support of the Palestinian cause but also the pride in belonging to the Arab nation and adhering to its biggest cause.
Through this step, Moroccans seek to confirm their adherence to the cause that grips their hearts.
Moroccan star Abdelhamid Sabiri also published his picture holding the Palestinian flag after the Portugal match on his official account on Instagram, a picture that received wide interaction on social networking sites.
Parental satisfaction and work with intention.. This is how the Moroccan national team was distinguished by its “spiritual strength” in the World Cup in Qatar [Arabic]
Intention, parental satisfaction, and the Palestinian cause… Positive messages and values carried by the Moroccan national team in the World Cup [Arabic]
Morocco’s victory.. The clash of cultural values and symbols and the unity of the common Arab feeling [Arabic]