During the second half of the twentieth century, a shortage of labour workers in Holland caused the Dutch government to attract so-called guest workers from countries such as Morocco and Turkey. The majority of the first Moroccans to arrive in the Netherlands during the sixties and seventies initially wanted to earn some quick-money before returning to their homeland. However, when the Dutch government closed the borders for new guest workers in 1973, a lot of them decided to stay.
Due to a high birth rate, the amount of Moroccans in Holland has grown rapidly in recent decades. Even though nowadays you can’t think of the Netherlands without its Moroccan citizens, a lot of Dutch people do not embrace their presence. This year is a special one for Moroccans in the Holland. Whilst the Netherlands did not succeed, Morocco qualified (after 20 years of absence) for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Despite there being seven Dutchmen included in Morocco’s squad for the tournament, a large group of the Dutch population will sadly not be cheering for the North-African country. In a society where an unfairly negative portrayal of Moroccans is dominant, it’s time to make a different voice heard. With this release, we honor all Moroccan Dutch players who have made the qualification possible and we call on the rest of Holland to cheer for the country and the group of people that as a nation, we often make it so difficult for.
Photography by Gilleam Trapenberg