Morocco’s surprise string of wins at the World Cup in Qatar have stirred a joy and pride among Arab fans that have, at least for a moment, eclipsed the region’s many political divisions. Perhaps most striking is the love fest between Palestinians and the Moroccan team, despite the Moroccan government’s normalization of ties with Israel as part of the 2020 Abraham Accords. The Moroccan team waved a Palestinian flag after its victory over Spain last week, thrilling Palestinians. Throughout the tournament, the Palestinian flag has been unfurled all over, carried by Arab fans and some non-Arabs — so much so that the running joke is that Palestine is the 33rd team at the World Cup. “We are all clinging to this Moroccan team as some sort of source of hope and happiness in a time where I think we all could really use some good news,” said Danny Hajjar, a Lebanese American music writer. The excitement with each victory has crossed boundaries and political divisions.
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