The following article was put together by three students from the spring 2019 class of SIT: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media and was published in U.S. News and World Report in October 2019. Text is by Lauren Goldfarb (Skidmore College), photos are by Catherine Brewer (Providence College), and audio is by Giulia Villanueva (Ithaca College).
TANGIER, MOROCCO — High above the sprawling concrete landscape of ships, trucks and docks of the Tangier Med Port are the words “God, Nation, King,” laid out in massive white Arabic letters on a mountainside. As the sun sets on the port, the letters become illuminated, glowing and shedding bright white light on the surrounding hillsides. On those hillsides, beneath the glow, are boys curled up asleep, with trash bags as their only covering.
“There is no place for us to sleep among a lot of other things,” says Ayoub, a small 13-year-old boy on a particularly windy day last April. Ayoub — and other children interviewed for this article — refused to share their last names, saying they live in fear of the police. Ayoub says he’s been living at the port for 15 days with very little money or food. He has no phone or way of contacting his family.