Challenging the Narrative: Is the West Really Better Than the East?

The article delves into how the West's dominance has shaped the way the East, especially developing countries like Morocco, is perceived. The author questions the notion of the West being inherently superior and challenges the notion of a simplistic East vs. West divide. She recognizes the difficulties faced by developing countries, but also acknowledges their strengths and unique contributions to the world. The article emphasizes the need to address the unequal distribution of power and privilege and urges readers to value and preserve their own cultures and traditions.


Majda EL Bermaki

4/8/20235 min read

Growing up in a third-world country like my dear Morocco, you grow up with the influence of the West looming over you. Everywhere one looks, it seems like the West is portrayed as better, more advanced, and more desirable. The message is clear: the West is superior, and the East is inferior and has a lot of work to do to catch up, and probably will never catch up.
As a child, I often found myself comparing Morocco to the West, particularly to France, our former colonizer. I felt like we were always one step behind, maybe two or more steps behind, always struggling to keep up with their level. The West had all the latest technology, the best education, the best healthcare, and the most prosperous economy. Meanwhile, here in Morocco, we were seen as a struggling nation, plagued by poverty, corruption, and underdevelopment in many areas.

While our struggles regarding education, healthcare, corruption, and many more are still ongoing, it wasn't until I grew older that I started to question this narrative, especially regarding ourselves and our potential. How did we come to accept that one part of the world was superior to the other? Was it really so clear-cut, or was there more to the story? And most importantly, was it worth sacrificing our own culture and identity just to be more like the West? Are our local brains and potential really inferior to those in the West? Is the West really as perfect as it was portrayed to us, and are they truly this democracy in this world trying to spread the good and the best human advancements?

For me, these questions took on a personal dimension. As a Moroccan, I felt torn between my love for my own culture and the pressure to conform to Western ideals. I struggled to find my own potential and intelligence in a world that constantly told me I probably didn't have a good education or opportunities because I grew up in a developing country, and that, by default, wouldn't make me level up to someone similar to me but in a developed country.

Despite these thoughts, I've come to realize that there is so much to love about the East and my country in particular. Our culture is rich and diverse, and our traditions have been passed down for generations. We have a strong sense of community and hospitality that is hard to find elsewhere. We do have our issues and our demons, a lot of them, but we also have a lot of potential and intelligence that can do wonders with the most mundane and simple means. I've crossed paths with incredible beings from my community who can compete with the best in different industries in the world and make their community proud.
Of course, there are also many challenges that we face in the East. Poverty, corruption, and political instability are all too common. But these issues are not unique to the East; they exist in the West as well, albeit in different forms.
It's important to recognize that the idea of the West being better than the East is a false dichotomy. This power dynamic is rooted in a history of exploitation, in which the West has taken advantage of the East's resources and labor for their benefit. This has created a narrative that suggests the East is inferior, but this couldn't be further from the truth.
Many of the problems we face in developing countries are not solely caused by the West, but rather by a complex web of economic, social, and political factors. However, it's also important to acknowledge that the West has played a significant role in perpetuating these issues, both historically and in the present day.
For example, colonialism and imperialism have had lasting effects on many developing countries, including Morocco. These practices were used to extract resources and exploit labor, often with little regard for the well-being of the local population. As a result, a legacy of inequality and poverty has been created, which is still felt today.
Additionally, many Western corporations continue to exploit developing countries for their resources and labor, leading to environmental destruction, human rights abuses, and economic exploitation. While not all of the problems faced by the East can be attributed to the West, it is evident that the power dynamic between the two is far from equal.

It's crucial to recognize that the East has its own strengths and contributions to offer the world, and the West is not inherently superior. By challenging the false dichotomy of the West versus the East, we can start building a more just world. This means acknowledging the ways in which power and privilege have been unequally distributed and working to address these issues.
The concept of the West as a dominant cultural and economic force has been challenged in recent years, as we witness the rise of other regions and cultures such as China, India, and other developing nations. With the increasing interconnectedness of the world through technology and travel, we are seeing a greater exchange of ideas, goods, and services between cultures and regions, contributing to a more multipolar world.
As a result, many are questioning whether the West will remain the dominant force in the world, or if it will be overtaken by other regions and cultures. For instance, China has made significant strides in economic growth and development, and is projected to become the world's largest economy in the coming years. This trend is challenging the traditional Western dominance in the global economy and raising questions about the future of the West's cultural and economic influence.
However, it is important to note that the West still holds a significant amount of power and influence in the world, particularly in areas such as technology, finance, and culture. The rise of other regions and cultures should not be seen as a threat to the West, but rather as an opportunity for greater collaboration and exchange.

So, the question of whether the West is truly better than the East is a complex and nuanced one. While the West has made significant advancements in technology, education, and healthcare, it's crucial to recognize that the East has its own strengths and contributions to offer the world.

Ultimately, the decision to live in the East or the West is a personal one. For me, despite the challenges I face as a Moroccan, I choose to stay in my dear country, I have grown on so many levels by being here my whole life, I learn and challenge myself every day by being here. I never know what the future holds for me or what kind of life-altering opportunities can come my way and will make me leave my home, but for now, I choose to stay here. I have considered going abroad to a more developed country many times, but as I grow older I feel more connected to my country as imperfect as it is, now than ever I have a deep love and appreciation for being born and raised here. I believe that our culture and traditions are worth preserving, and that we have much to offer the world. And while the West may seem more glamorous and advanced, I know that there is so much to love and appreciate about the East as well.