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4/13/09 Word of the Day: Mrkub

I haven't learned this word from my tutor or anyone who speaks good English, so I'm giving you the meaning purely from context and usage. I don't even know if it's Tam or Arabic, though I'm leaning towards the latter because it sounds more like Arabic in some undefinable way.

Mrkub means strike. As in, "We can't go on strike. We don't have a union." "Yeah, but if we go on strike, then we are a union." "No, we're just a bunch of angry kids with no money." (From Newsies, my favorite strike-themed movie)

So who's striking now? Nearly everyone in the Moroccan transportation industry, as far as I can tell. Taxi drivers, tranzit drivers, semi-truck drivers, bus drivers... The strike began early last week, but was originally restricted to the bigger cities (as most strikes are, in my experience). Each day, though, more and more regions joined in. My province jumped on the bandwagon over the weekend. Saturday, all five tranzits were running. Sunday, one ran. It left SouqTown at 7:30am, got to Berberville around 11, then doubled back. (That's the regular route.)

Today, no tranzits ran. Zero. Wallu. So I'm stuck in SouqTown for another night. Lhumdullah, one of my colleagues is driving into Berberville tomorrow, so I'll get a ride home with him. The current rumors say that the strike will go until Thursday, but there's no way to know how accurate that is.

Until the mrkub ibbi - until the strike is broken - I'll be stuck in Berberville. That's not a problem, except for the fact that the truck drivers are striking, too. If they don't bring the food, there's no food in the souq. Fortunately, I have enough food in my house to live for a month, between all the care packages and my last big souq run, but I'll run out of fresh veggies in a week or so. If the mrkoub does lift on Thursday, hopefully the trucks will load up and be there by Friday, Berberville's souq day. Inshallah...

UPDATE 4/14: I was wrong. Mrkub means transportation. The word for strike in both Tam and Arabic is idrab. That's why I kept hearing the phrase "mrkub ibbi" - it means the transportation is cut/broken. That's what I get for trying to glean meaning from sentences like "Can you believe all these problems? Darn mrkub." Also, I discovered that the strike began last Monday, in Rabat (the capital), which means that it's now on its 9th day. And things are getting worse...but that's a topic for the next post.

1 comment:

  1. Mrkub: 1st meaning in Berber is transportation.
    2nd meaning is (money for transportation). "I am walking because I don't have Mrkub even though the strike is over".


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