Hassan II Carved Out the Memory of a Remarkable Reign
When King Hassan II of Morocco passed away on 23rd July 1999, both the political class and the diplomatic community inside Morocco and from all over the world were stunned by his departure. No doubt, his many, remarkable and abiding achievements prove to be deeply rooted legacy that remained until today useful and known specifically as Hassanism in the political parlance of Moroccan and French Media.
Since Morocco gained Independence and throughout all his brilliant crown prince years, Hassan II with a rare resourcefulness had blended mellifluously his Arab-Islamic background and culture with the extolled virtues of Western civilization especially that he profoundly comprehended the canons of law, history and geopolitics sometimes better than his Western peers among statesmen and rulers especially when it is a matter of addressing his people, giving interviews to journalists of high calibre and sometimes sharing the debate with the savvy society of politicians and intellectuals via the media moguls as he had on several occasions done with Arnaud De Borchgrave,a seasoned journalist of the once prestigious Newsweek Magazine and at present editor-in-chief of the Washington Times Daily and with whom he had quick overall look at the international scene and always Hassan II’s geopolitical assessment and forecast were always incredibly accurate.
He has even the exceptional honour to address French political class on his regular State visits to France whenever invited to the podium of the French Parliament to do so.
In what regards the Arab-Israeli conflicting relations and the often stalemated peace process, Hassan II impeccably had used his skills of a practised peace-maker and a reasonable resolver of armed conflicts in the sole aim of achieving a rapprochement, then reconciliation between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Late leader Yasser Arafat himself recognized his incomparable and far-reaching mediations for the sake of the Palestinian cause and Arab conciliation whenever the atmosphere of dialogue and negotiations were favourable. He devoutly used to address the abiding antagonists as the “sons of Abraham”. Being absolutely impartial, he managed to bridge the growing gap among the big belligerents in human history and even achieve unexpected masterstrokes.
Throughout a series of engaging interviews he gave, the magnificence of the monarch was not only expressed by the stately regal attire as King Hassan II said “the man is the style”, but he succinctly and successfully had succeeded to couple it with a regal rhetoric smacking simultaneously of fluency, eloquence, erudition, universality and outspoken wisdom.
At the apex of his glorious reign, King Hassan II accepted to give a series of interviews with the well-connected heavyweight journalist Eric Laurent with whom Hassan II published a contemporary classic in French under the title of Le Génie De Modération (Hassan II, The Genius And Exponent of Moderation).already preceded by another masterpiece entitled “ La Mémoire d’Un Roi ( The Memoirs of A King) interviewed by the veteran journalist and editor-in-chief of Asharq Al Awsat Othman El Omeir.
In both works, Hassan II expresses his powerful perceptions about kingship, statecraft, legislation, constitution, constitutional monarchy, democracy, political security and his yearly meetings with geopoliticians and intelligence chiefs of key western democracies at the apex of cold war as he was according to Eric Laurent “a very passionate man for intelligence and geopolitics”. Also Hassan II reveals within his capacity as a revered commander of the faithfuls, from his published interviews, the undeniable truth and wisdom about Islam and its adaptation and flexibility to the solid standards of modernity and moderation all in stressing on the sacredness of the Koranic texts and managed to create a constructive convergence and harmony among monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Since the early sixties when he ascended the throne, King Hassan II had worked tirelessly and comprehensively to build Moroccan infrastructure such dams, hospitals, schools and universities. Such exceptional accomplishments paved the way for the State-building and elevated Morocco’s international stance among civilized nations of the world.
On the diplomatic front, he braces thriving neighbourly relations with both Spain and Algeria and extended the network of fruitful ties with traditional allies from the West like France, Britain and the United States as he knew the strategic significance of such strongly established nations. Innovatively, he contributed to enlarging cooperational frameworks with many continental unions, ideologically neutral movements, religiously-oriented and committed blocs such the Organization of African Union, the runner of African Unity, The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Pan-Arab League of Arab States (LAS) and ultimately the European Economic Community (EEC), the runner of the European Union (EU). Undoubtedly, he laid the foundations among charismatic Third World leaders like Egyptian President Nasser of most of the aforementioned organizations.
Being politically charismatic and culturally cogent, King Hassan II was admired by both his friends and foes and had continued over the years to leave his marks on many areas of Morocco and the world. At the climax of his reign, he was fairly lauded by the Western media as a “Renaissance Man” for working out suitable solutions to many complicated problems of the contemporary world. Concerning domestic affairs, he propounded the Green March in 1975 after diplomatic arrangements with the UN and technicalities with Spain of Caudillo Francisco Franco and the young king Juan Carlos I and Algeria of Houari Boumediene. At the foreign level, he smartly managed many crises in the Middle East, Bosnia-Herzegovina and earlier in Central Africa.
Today, his achievements remain monumental in what regards state-building and peace-making and on his valedictory speech, he promised affably to his Moroccan people great prospects respecting major economic transformations Morocco was going to undergo in the reign of his worthy successor and son Mohammed VI who contributed to deepening, enlarging and enriching his father’s visionary and basic reforms to give full legitimacy and longevity to centuries-old but modern monarchy that has known how to channel its powers, privileges and pageantry into durable social peace and pedantic prosperity to achieve permanent political stability and exceptional economic liberalization that enabled the country to create more jobs for the country’s unemployed and underemployed youth.
King Hassan II’s dream of developing and promoting a solid and safe State bequeathed to him from his noble Alawite ancestors as he is deemed the 22nd worthy and direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad became a liveable reality. This made of the Alawite Kingdom of Morocco an exemplary exception in both Africa and the Arab World. That source of strength and sovereignty come unquestionably from the pioneer state-builder Hassan II who had known how to reconcile the monarchy with its former foes embodied by the left wing opposition that assumed itself the rule and ensured a solidarity transition beside King Mohammed VI under the premiership of its leader Abderrahmane El Youssfi from 4th February 1998 to October 2002. This enabled the new sovereign to make a rupture with the abuses and human rights violations committed by the police state that was the very design of the once all powerful minister of the interior Driss Basri Mohammed VI dismissed unceremoniously and ironically on 8th November 1999, Basri’s anniversary.