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Fatema Mernissi

Wafae Guessous

Wafae Guessous has a magic gift. She is the only creature in Casablanca who manages to get hold of the ex-political prisoners who are now extremely busy pursuing their civic agendas and force them to agree on a specific date and plan a meeting which will be attended by everyone. I have given up trying myself because attempting to fix an appointment with them is a costly exercise which forces me to pay huge sums to Maroc Telecom. Now, what is Dr. Wafae Guessous' secret? The answer is simple: She goes many times a week to contribute as a doctor in the prisons where they have civic initiatives.

Wafae Guessous was born in 1957 in Fez and studied medecine in Rabat and Casablanca universities before starting her career in 1990. Today, she is the head of one of Casablanca's community Medico-Social Centers and one of the city's army of doctors and lawyers who contribute without fee to civic initiatives. One of the reasons for their success. She also manages to contribute as a writer to the ex-political prisoners workshops.

How can she manage to do all this, I wondered. And guess what? She has a fantastic husband, El Krafess, a businessman who is so in love with her that he takes care of their three teen-age children (two daughters and one son) and never makes any angry remark when she comes just when the dinner is about to finish. Where on earth does this woman get this incredible power? After three years of watching her and interviewing her entourage, I found only one likely explanation: Like myself and most Moroccan women whose mothers' crafts is embroidery, Dr. Guessous makes her own necklaces, but while I use local Berber silver pieces, she uses Indian silver pieces she buys secretly in a Casablanca cosmopolitan Joutiya (flea-market). I think the Indian stuff has magic. But my investigation of her power is to be continued, and I will update you on my latest findings.

Fatema Mernissi, June 2003

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Wafae Guessous

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Jamais sans mon fils

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