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The New Arab

Quarantining Moroccan's share their own beautiful 'religious rendition' of Italy's singing neighbours

The videos were widely shared across social media [Twitter]

Date of publication: 23 March, 2020

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Thousands of Moroccans took part in communal prayers from their balconies and homes this week, replicating videos of singing neighbours in Europe.
Moroccans isolating at home amid the global coronavirus pandemic this week provided their own rendition of viral videos filmed in Italy and Spain that showed residents singing from their balconies.

In videos that have since surfaced online, Moroccans can be seen reciting prayers in unison from their balconies and windows as a way to combat the deadly disease.

Thousands of voices could be heard repeating "Allahu akbar", translated in English as God is greater", for hours in the night, the videos showed.

One young boy was even brought to tears during the recitals.

The communal act of worship was widely praised by social media users, with many commending the faith-based rendition of videos from Italy, Spain and other European countries.

"Masha'Allah these are the people of Morocco amidst the quarantine. They were asked to sing and play music from their rooftops, like the Italians & Spaniards, but this is how they chose to respond instead. Thikr [rememberance] in unison," one social media user said.

"On lockdown and self-quarantined, a whole neighbourhood in Italy doing balcony singing. Meanwhile in Morocco they're remembering our Creator. The one, and only. May Allah protect us all," another added.

Earlier this week, groups of Moroccans went out to pray and protest on the streets at the weekend, defying orders to stay at home to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Images shared on social networks and broadcast by local media showed people chanting "God is greatest and only he can help us", in cities of Tangiers, Fez and Tetouan.

Read also: Qatar announces $150 million aid package to help Gaza fight coronavirus

Some spoke of the virus as a "divine test".

Mosques in Morocco are closed and religious authorities have told the faithful to pray at home.

A public health state of emergency went into effect in the Muslim-majority country on Friday evening, and security forces and the army have been deployed on the streets.

The military deployed armoured vehicles in the capital Rabat, an AFP journalist said, as well as in other cities, according to local media.

People have been ordered to stay at home, and restrictions on public transport and travel between cities are also in place. Images circulating on social media showed the sometimes heavy-handed arrest of those not abiding curfew orders.

The DGSN security force said an individual had been arrested in Casablanca for selling movement permits, and a policeman in Marrakesh was under investigation on similar accusations.

Around 20 people have been arrested in recent days for spreading false information or calling for civil disobedience, the DGSN added.

Morocco last week suspended all commercial international flights "until further notice", although special trips were authorised to repatriate stranded foreigners.

The COVID-19 virus, which was first detected in China's Wuhan in December, has killed more than 14,925 people worldwide, while over 345,289 infections have been confirmed.

As of yet, there are no known treatments for the virus, though more than 99,541 have already recovered from the infection.

Morocco has reported a total of 122 cases and four deaths from the novel coronavirus.

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