Between Morocco and France, the great disenchantment

“I felt humiliated. » Hennou Allali Maamar, an octogenarian with a noble bearing, glasses in necklace on an immaculate blouse, still has emotion in her voice when she recounts her repression of French soil. She is there, a bit distraught, wedged on the sofa in the living room of her house in Rabat scented with lemongrass and rosemary, the pride of its garden. Around her, the Louis XV style armchairs testify to a taste, references, a link with France which were hardly useful to her, this September 12, when the policeman at Montpellier airport threw her “I have the right to refuse you access to French territory. »

Mme Allali Maamar was keen on this two-week stay in France. She wanted to see the Faculty of Medicine of Montpellier, city ” Dear to [son] heart “, from which she graduated in 1971 and which made her one of the very first Moroccan doctors. It was a project of “pilgrimage” affective, a desire for a nostalgic getaway to the places of his youth and to old friends. The ace ! When the officer on duty asked her for her accommodation certificate, she was dumbfounded. The presentation of this document, certainly a legal requirement, had never been requested of him during his previous entries into France. Above all, it is the tone “disrespectful” and ” arrogant “ of a policeman treating her “like a stowaway” which seemed unbearable to him. “It is not the France that I have known”, she added bitterly. A few minutes later, she re-embarked on the same plane for an immediate return to Casablanca, anger suppressed.

This incident caused a stir in Morocco. The press published a open letter from the son of Mme Allali Maamar to Emmanuel Macronexpressing the” goodbye “ of his mother to France after such an affront. The affair occurred in an already poisoned climate between the two countries over the visa restrictions imposed by Paris. If she was the holder of a visa in good and due form, her deportation is the result of a zealous application of the rules of admission to France – the certificate of accommodation was missing – illustrating a determination to hinder arrivals, at all least from North Africa. The big turning point dates from September 2021, when Paris announced a drastic reduction in the granting of visas to nationals of Maghreb countriesa retaliatory measure in the face of the unwillingness attributed to the consular authorities of these States to readmit their irregular migrants on French soil.

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