Facebook January 2018, posted in the North African dance group

"Hello everyone I am Soumaya MaRose. I am sorry to come very late in that post and thank you for mentioning me. I decided to take the time to share my experiences with you I was borne and raised in Brussels Belgium by my two parents coming from Morocco. I grew up in a Neighborhood where the community was almost only Moroccan and just next to me we had Turkish people. So I am child issue of the diaspora of Moroccan people from the 70. I was Moroccan citizenship to my 13 when I get the Belgium citizenship (this is a very important thing to mention for the construction of my identity). So I am Moroccan and Belgium. As Leï TheNight mention; the Moroccan diaspora is huge in Europe and particularly in France, Belgium and Netherland. The situation in Brussels is very special because there is more then 300000 Moroccan for 1 million leaving there. My generation and the older then mine grew up in a Moroccan gettho in Brussels and with very conservative family. The only exposition to the Belgium culture were at school with our teacher that were not from the culture and TV. Beside that everything we do even the way that my neighborhood looked were Moroccan, turkish or muslim culturally speaking. So I start really to be exposed to Belgium's culture when I was 18."

"I grew up learning arabic (that's my mother language), Moroccan wedding and also everyday life Moroccan. Add to that, going since very little to Morocco visiting family and my gran parents. Our relationship to morocco is very special (we are considerate as MRE: meaning Moroccan leaving outside) since we still have heritage there. When I was very young, I started to play and sing at wedding and become a professional drummer (bendir, darbuka and battery) in my 13 and played in France Germany and Netherland. In Brussels, Moroccan people were very active culturally and had several girls band {anachid} and orchestra that weren't offer in our neighbor countries. This is explain why we get invited to travel in those countries to play. I learned suffi music from Morocco (Issawa style and played with el Housna Women Moroccan BAnd too my 29, just before I came to Boston). About the dancing it was everyday life. I mainly learned on wedding. The Moroccan wedding is an institution very important and very fascinating. I had the chance to be exposed to a lot of different region and style of Moroccan folklore and chaabi. I also learned to play the music for the different style to be able to satisfy the client for who we worked. Beside that, My parents are from North Morocco. So we visited Tanger, Tetouan (Andalous style) and my village (where the population is Jably with Amazigh -chlouh heritage). Why I am explaining all of that? Because I think is important to understand how a children coming from the Moroccan diaspora can built his identity and authenticity. My exposition to the music was 100 % Moroccan, sharki music and Arabic. I want to mention that the sharki is also a part of Moroccan culture. We always have a moment for it for example in any hafla. During my time it was a taboo. So my identity and exposure built my dance and they always called me "shataha "(dancer)."

"Now When I come back to Belgium I can see that the Moroccan culture still well implanted although some knowledge are lost for the generation after mine but still very strong culturally. In New England and New York, I had the chance to teach and give workshops about a lot of different style and topic. I teach the dance and the rythm and the singing. My main associate is Boujemaa Razgui with who we create a show called "Moroccan night experience" in 2017 where we introduce some different styles in a very special way. We invited Mohammed Mejaour to be part of it. I also introduce the Moroccan style in my regular sharki show. Today I am exploring the new music pop too, Melhoune and Jewish Chaabi. I create my own style that I fusion with other folklore from middle east that I study as the dance on Qaalbi Mo3ade and Gzal fatma. I also create the " The a l'orientale" event where there is audience participative discussion about Middle eastern and North Africa culture. I am beside that writing a book or essai called "Pensee de femme arabe: My journey as a dancer". And many other project coming soon inchallha."

Soumaya MaRose : "Also I would like to say that I am very proud and happy to be part of this discussion and I am very proud of each of you to have the courage to learn, study and teach, you can be coming from North Africa Culture or not. This is not my style to give my opinion or ideology on social network but I will do an exception this time. My story and biography explain my decision to take the direction of being and artist "shataha". And we all know how not easy and difficult it is for a women of the culture to be "shataha". But I took the risk. Why? Because growing up in Belgium a discrimination again Moroccan people is real. The identity problems are real and conflict between generation are real. The gettho are real and the chance to succeed without loosing a part of you are more then real. I love my culture, I think it's reach and beautiful and I am very proud of it. When I come to America I found that I could express this identity and I was saying to my husband :" it's the first time I can be Moroccan and is not like I am carrying a weakness". So I decided to express my Moroccan art outside of my community and I hope that it's gonna touch some young people lost in their identity conflict to find the peace inside them and the way to be proud of it. And I hope it's gonna touch some people not from the culture to understand it, appreciate it and see the beauty of it. And I thank Belgium to made me what I am today bc being between two culture make all of us translators and bridges. So Thank you all of you and you have all my admiration, support and love. Thank you for reading me."