Morocco Win Brings Cheers Heard Across Africa and the Middle East

4:19 AM Aida Alami 0 Comments

Just after Achraf Hakimi dinked a penalty kick into the net in Education City Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday evening, capping a major upset that made Morocco the first majority Arab team to qualify for a World Cup quarterfinal, a Moroccan journalist in the press box burst into tears.

A Moroccan security guard at the stadium hid his face in his hands. A roar went up in Casablanca, in Cairo, in Gaza City, in Algiers, in Riyadh, in Sana, in Paris, in Turin, and even in Madrid, the capital of the country that was supposed to win not only this match, but maybe even the whole tournament.

But it was Morocco that had won instead, sending millions of Moroccans at home and in the global diaspora into a lung-emptying, horn-tooting, flag-waving frenzy. Their joyful yells were amplified by those of Arabs across the Middle East and beyond, whose Pan-Arab solidarity, if sometimes absent or muted when it comes to political matters, has thrived on a series of shock wins by Middle Eastern teams this tournament.

read the rest of the story on the New York Times website.


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