To laugh with others is an infallible way of strengthening friendship. Anyone seeing this image would have given anything to listen to the joke made by Mohamed VI that stirred Hillary Clinton’s elegant laughter.
Could it be that he told her that November 6th was the thirty-fourth anniversary of the Green March, while Morocco continues unpunished and the UN does not give a damn? Impossible, it is hard to imagine that the Secretary of State has the slightest clue about old outrages committed by minor powers.
It will be necessary to look carefully at the picture in order to hazard a conjecture. The matching handkerchief in the king’s pocket and the badges adorning his tie and lapel, the right hand index finger that seems to point to his interlocutor. Both the inevitable pearls and the well rehearsed head inclination in surreptitious sympathy denote Clinton’s noble background. The receiver and the headsets for simultaneous interpretation threatening to slide are the evidence that he speaks English, but she doesn't understand Arabic.
I can guess at a few possible motives for the laughter: the Nobel Peace Prize given to Barack Obama; the brand-new foreign policy of a government unable to abandon realpolitik; Clinton's diplomatic miscues; the fools-gold of the recent visit by the UNHCR to the Saharan population who took refuge in Algerian camps; Felipe González’s lies regarding Western Sahara; the cheeky complicity between the Alaouite sultanate and the Spanish monarchy or even the long tentacles linking the Spanish, French and Israeli States.
None of it would trigger laughter though, but indignation, to a human being with a minimum of ethics. But EFE agency puts the picture in context: in the framework of the international summit, “Forum for the Future,” Morocco presented a project for the construction of five solar power stations, thanks to a consolidated strategic agreement with Spain and Germany. The idea will be a reality by November 2010 and two of these power stations will be in Western Sahara under Moroccan military occupation. Surely, when Mohamed VI explained to Hillary Clinton that one of them will be built in Aaiún, the Secretary of State unsuccessfully tried to pronounce the name of such an exotic city and the king put out his index finger to help her vocalize. She laughs at her own stupidity, he smiles with chivalry.
I breathe a sigh of relief: luckily, they are simply two people comfortably installed in the opulence of power, meeting at an official act with the objective of celebrating projects and common alliances. Thank goodness.
Source: The author
Original article published on 6 November 2009
About the author
Atenea Acevedo, Machetera and Manuel Talens are members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, translator and editor are cited.
URL of this article on Tlaxcala: http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=9223&lg=en