The mineret that takes you home

About Membership Volunteer Newsletters Souk Links

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web
Morocco Week in Review 
October 16 2004

UNIDO to open office in Rabat
Rabat, Oct 8 - The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
(UNIDO) is to open an office in the Moroccan capital Rabat, pursuant to an agreement signed, here on Friday, between Morocco and the organisation.

The inception and the running of the office will be jointly financed by Morocco and UNIDO. UNIDO Director-General, Carlos Magari?os (Argentine), appointed French Alain Louis Villard as the organisation's representative in Rabat.

The agreement will contribute to upgrading cooperation between Morocco and UNIDO and enhancing relations between the two parties.

Morocco and UNIDO also signed another agreement on the creation of a special fund providing that the Moroccan governement is to extend to the organistation an annual contribution, while the latter shall create and manage the fund.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) helps developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their fight against marginalization in today's globalized world, says the organisation's web site.

It mobilizes knowledge, skills, information and technology to promote productive employment, a competitive economy and a sound environment.

UNIDO was set up in 1966 and has become a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1985. As part of the United Nations common system, UNIDO has responsibility for promoting industrialization throughout the developing world, in cooperation with its 171 Member States.

Its headquarters are in Vienna, and it is represented in 35 developing countries. This representation and a number of specialised field offices, for investment and technology promotion and other specific aspects of its work, give UNIDO an active presence in the field.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Creation of the Centre on information, documentation and studies on Women Rabat, Oct 11 - The Moroccan centre on information, documentation and studies on Women was dedicated here on Sunday in the presence of Mrs Zoulikha Nasri, adviser to HM King Mohammed VI, and Mrs Yasmina Baddou, secretary of state in charge of family, children and disabled people.

The centre, that cost 724.000 Euro, will collect and process population data and statistics relating to women, conduct studies and reflection works on women, as well as carry out training programs to the benefit of women.

The CMIDEF will also work to support public decision-making, coordinate the whole of national and local actions taken in favour of women and create synergies of the civil society actors.

The institution was set up by means of a partnership between the state secretariat and the European Commission as part of the project on human development and social integration of the MENA programme.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/news/spo_cult/spor101gree.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------Heart-rel
ated diseases 1st cause of Moroccan adults mortality since 1994 RABAT, Oct.08 - Heart-related problems represent the first cause of mortality of Moroccan adults, with a 22.1% rate, since 1994, said experts in a symposium on Atherothrombosis in Casablanca.

Atherothrombosis has been in progress for years, and is due to many factors including obesity, hyperlipemy, hypertension, diabetes and smoking.

According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of heart diseases depends on the countries' development level. These diseases are the cause of 10 percent of 40 million annual deaths in developing countries.

WHO expects heart-related diseases to become a major cause of the degradation of world health conditions by 2010.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/news/economy/h_deplocusts.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------Japan
donates nearly $49,000 for potable water project in Morocco Rabat, Oct. 14 - The Japanese government has granted a donation of US
$49.699 to "Association Ait Ouassou" to fund a potable water project in the rural commune of Tassegdelt (in the southern province of Chtouka Ait Baha).

The convention on the donation was signed Thursday in Rabat in the presence of Japan's ambassador to Morocco, Seigi Hinata.

The project is destined to supply 12 small villages, i.e over 1,770 inhabitants, with potable water, the Japanese embassy said in a release.

Since 1989, 245 projects in Morocco have been funded thanks to the non-repayable aid program to local projects, granted by the Japanese government for a total amount of over US $9.7 million.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------Japan
donates nearly $82,000 for social-economic projects in Morocco Rabat, Oct. 08 - Japan has donated US $81.900 for social-economic projects in Morocco, manned by two Moroccan NGOs part of non-repayable aids for local micro-projects.

Representatives of the two NGOs signed Friday the convention on the donations with Japan's ambassador to Morocco, Seigi Hinata who said it will benefit to development projects and equipment of vocational training centers for women and young girls in Rabat-Salé region.

Since 1989, 244 projects have been funded in Morocco by non-repayable aid to local projects granted by the Japanese government for a total amount of over US $9.7 million.

Early this week, the Japanese government also decided to donate nearly
193.827 US dollars to NGOs operating in rural roads development in Morocco.
The donation is aimed at improving roads and living conditions in rural areas.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/news/economy/eco_f111.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Morocco posed to quasi-lastingly eradicate illiteracy by 2015, minister Rabat, Oct 14 - Morocco is posed to quasi-lastingly eradicate illiteracy by the year 2015, ensure all children are schooled and no child drops out by 2010, Secretary of State in charge of literacy and non-formal education, Anis Birou said.

Birou said his department envisages to reduce the overall illiteracy rate to 20 pc by 2010 and to 10 pc among the active population.

Speaking Wednesday at a meeting in Rabat on his department strategy on literacy moves, Birou said efforts will focus on children aged 9 to 15 in rural areas and children facing problems, as well as adults below 45, with particular emphasis on women.

He explained the focus was justified by the fact that in 2001 close to 32.43 pc of children aged 9 to 15 were not schooled, which is one child out of three.

Out of this rate 80 pc lived in rural areas, including 58.4 of girls, he said adding 76.2 of these children belonged to the 12-15 age group.

On the programme on non-formal education, incepted in 1997, Birou said the programme covers 141,525 children, including 41,346 working children, 1,708 living in protection centres and 1,503 street children.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------King of Morocco inquires about anti-illiteracy programs in mosques. Education,
10/14/2004
Morocco's King Mohammed VI, visited Wednesday Mohammed V mosque in Tangier to inquire about the anti-illiteracy program organized in several mosques in the kingdom, under the aegis of the Habous (endowments) and Islamic Affairs Ministry.

The visit of the sovereign, Amir Al Mouminine (commander of the faithful), coincides with the national day to fight illiteracy.

Since this program was launched in 2000, it benefited to 56.539 people, including 39.025 women.

Some 8.283 people, including 5.283 women (71pc), enrolled for the 2004-2005 program, that is supervised by 200 teachers in 101 mosques.

Mosques' anti-illiteracy program was launched at the initiative of King Mohammed VI to rehabilitate mosques and bolster their cultural role.
http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/041014/2004101424.html
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------Morocco-U
S FTA Does not Overshadow Moroccan-EU relations, EU representative Rabat, Oct 14 - The Moroccan-American free trade agreement (FTA) is by no means overshadowing the privileged relations between the European Union and Morocco, Sean Doyle, EU representative in Rabat, told "Aujourd'hui le Maroc"
daily.

In a story ran Thursday by the daily, Doyle said the European Commission is itself currently negotiating FTA with several countries and groupings like Mercosur, adding « we back the recommendations of the WTO and Doha and consequently encourage Morocco to open on other markets ».

He said the American market gets only 3.5 pc of Moroccan exports, while the EU market gets 70 pc of Moroccan commodities ». If Morocco succeeds in exporting textile to the American market, this « is wonderful », he went on to say.

The EU ambassador said the union seeks through an FTA with Morocco to "free resources and make them grow », adding the concern of the union is to have a stable neighbour. There are many partnership opportunities with Europe "which are not cut down by the FTA" between Morocco and the USA, he said.

Doyle said his representation, along with the World Bank and the European Commission, is working out a programme to support administrative reform in Morocco and which is expected to be signed in three weeks.

He said the programme will cost some 80 million Euros, adding other fundings are scheduled in 2005, including 90 million Euros for housing, 30 million Euros for road construction in the Rif, Northern Morocco, and 30 million Euros for water facilities reforms and other projects, including the family code and human rights.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/home_dep/forest_fire.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------
Morocco examines monk seal protection
Dakhla, Oct 13 - The task force on the protection of monk seal is convening (Oct. 12-13) in the Southern Moroccan town of Dakhla to consider a mechanism on the implementation of recommendations of the Action Plan on the safeguard of this endangered species of seals.

The third session of the task force, is held under the Bonn convention on the preservation of migrating species as part of the UN Environement Programme.

The Action Plan provides for the coordination and the funding of the activities to protect the Monk seal (Monachus Monachus), as well as collection of data on this sea mamal.

Speaking at the opening of the session, attended by experts from Spain, Portugal, Mauritania and Morocco, Rhanimi Tijani, Moroccan Secretary General of the fisheries department, said of the importance his country gives to the protection of the Monk seal and praised the efforts made by other countries to the same end.

The seal used to be an abundant species. Its former range extended from the coasts of the Black and Adriatic Seas through the entire Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean and the northwest coasts of Africa as far south as Senegal. Hunting for its skin prior to this century reduced the population considerably.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/news/general/gen-fires.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cleansing campaign covers 44 beaches in Morocco Rabat, Oct. 12 - "Clean beaches 2004" campaign, carried out in partnership with 24 public and private companies, has covered 44 beaches in Morocco with an investment of 21 Million Dhs (nearly US $2.3 million).

Princess Lalla Hasna handed Monday trophies to parties that contributed to the success of the campaign, initially launched in 1999.

The trophies went to the national railways office (ONCF) and DRAPOR company for their efforts to protect environment. The innovation trophy was handed to the national airliner (RAM) and the urban commune of Marrakesh.

In addition, the Royal Federation for Yachting was hailed for the positive results of its caravan, dubbed "sailing for environment," organized in different beaches to sensitize people on environment protection.

President-delegate of Mohammed VI Foundation for Environment Protection, Lhoucine Tijani, also lauded the generalization and rationalization of swimming water analysis methods and the supervision of water sports to guarantee swimmers safety.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/news/general/gen-poverty.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moroccan movie featured at the Arab film festival in Washington DC Washington, Oct 12 - Moroccan « In Casablanca, Angels do not fly » movie is featured twice at the ninth edition of the Arab film festival to take place in Washington DC on October 15 through 24.

The movie, by cineaste Mohamed Asli, will be presented among a series of recent best Arab films dealing with social, political and religious issues and other problems in the Arab region.

The Festival features films by Arab movie-makers, including "White nights"
by Hani Khalifa (Egypt), "Door towards the sun" by Yousri Narrallah (Egypt), "Our auditor's request" by Abdullatif Abdulhamid (Syria), "The villa" by Mohammed Damak (Tunisia), "Olive crop" by Hanna Elias (Palestine), "Women on the other side of frontiers" by Jean K.Chamoun (Lebanon), "Rods man" by Amer Alwan (Iraq) and "About Iraq" (USA), collectively produced by Sinan Antoon, Bassam Haddad, Maya Mikdashi, Suzy Salmy and Adam Shapiro.

"In Casablanca, angels do not fly" was awarded the Gold Tanit at the 20th session of the Carthage "journées cinematographiques" held in Tunis on October 1-9.

The Moroccan movie also grabbed last September 15 the first prize of the 20th International Cinema Festival of the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria after a unanimous vote of the Jury.

The movie tells of villagers coming down from the Atlas Mountains seeking jobs in Casablanca and experiencing the hardships of the big city.

It was also presented in several festivals, namely in Cannes, Asilah (Northern Morocco) at the South-South festival, as well as in the First International Festival of Sale (twin city of Rabat) held in September that awarded Abdessamad Miftah Elkheir, starring in the movie, best masculine actor.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------Prince
Moulay Rachid presided over agreement signing on HM King Mohammed VI Fellowship at Oxford.
Rabat, Oct 12 - Prince Moulay Rachid, Brother of the Moroccan sovereign, presided, here on Monday, over the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement between the Moroccan-British Society (MBS) and the Oxford University, providing for the creation of a Fellowship at The British University to be named after HM King Mohammed VI.

The King Mohammed VI Fellowship in Moroccan and Mediterranean studies aims at furthering understanding of Morocco and the Mediterranean region as well as enhancing knowledge sharing between Morocco and Great Britain.

The agreement was signed by MBS chairwoman, Lalla Joumala Alaoui and dean of Saint Antony's College, Sir Marrack Goulding.

Lalla Joumala expressed satisfaction at the creation of the fellowship that will conduct research in issues on politics, political economy and international relations regarding Morocco and the Mediterranean.

"Following His Majesty's directives, The MBS will be working towards the objectives of enriching and reinforcing the friendly ties that have existed between Morocco and Britain for centuries », said Joumala.

Oxford University president, Chris Patten said it is an honour for his institution « that the new Fellowship bears Your Majesty's name and will do so in perpetuity. The kingdom of Morocco and Great Britain have enjoyed close diplomatic relations for more than 400 years. That long friendship is a secure foundation which enables us to work together to create new bounds between our two countries."

In a message read in his name, British Prime Minister, Tony Blair said he was delighted « to have this opportunity to pay tribute to His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the occasion of the establishment of the first Fellowship for Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies at St Antony's College, Oxford. »

At the end of the ceremony, Prince Moulay Rachid awarded honours to Sir Goulding, Derek Conway, president of the Moroccan-British parliamentary friendship group, Antony Bailey, adviser to 10 Downing Street political unity, Foulad Hafid, researcher at St Antony's College and Frank Law, commander of the British Empire.
© MAP 2004
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/home_dep/h_depAlquds.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------------Zoellick
lauds Morocco's initiatives benefiting women, workers, investors Washington, Oct.08 - US trade representative, Robert Zoellick, lauded, here Thursday, the political and economic reforms instituted by Morocco, and the Kingdom's initiatives in favour of women, workers and investors.

Speaking at the launch ceremony of the coalition of support to the US-Middle East Free Trade zone, Zoellick cited Morocco at the top of moderate, tolerant Arab countries.

The reformist and tolerant vision of Morocco, Jordan and Bahrain was concretised by the holding of free parliamentary elections, the privatisation of public enterprises, the encouragement of foreign investments, and oriented towards the protection of women and workers'
rights, said the U.S. official.

Morocco and Bahrain are integrating the free trade agreements signed recently with the United States in their development processes, he went on, stressing the benefits Jordan drew from the FTA with his country.

The free trade cascade will expand progressively to include reform-committed countries, he said, recalling U.S. measures to enhance trade with Arab countries.

The coalition, launched by President George W. Bush in June 2003, is meant to support the creation a free trade agreement with the Middle East (MEFTA) by 2013.

Morocco and the United States, signed the free trade agreement in June 2004.
It was first announced during a visit of king Mohammed VI to Washington in April 2002.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------Bold
decisions needed to address challenging economic and social issues, says King Morocco, Politics, 10/9/2004 King Mohammed VI of Morocco has called on the Government to make appropriate and bold decisions to address the difficult economic and social issues facing the country, in a speech before Parliament that resumed, here Friday, after recess.

"I believe the general climate is more suitable than ever for achieving economic take-off and strong, sustainable growth, which provides productive jobs for our youth," said the monarch urging the government and all the actors concerned "to seize this historic opportunity and to build on our resolve as much as on our assets in order to succeed in our endeavours and to meet challenges."

"We realize the current national and international situation - with its difficulties and uncertainties - leaves us with no other option but to rise to the occasion and take up this crucial challenge," the King noted before calling upon the government to step up efforts in order to "remove all the obstacles which hinder greatly-needed productive investment and which prevent optimal use of all our resources and energies, inside as well as outside the country."

"It must also make appropriate, bold decisions to address the difficult economic and social issues facing the nation," he insisted, adding that the government must also take into account the need to preserve financial and social balances, while accommodating the constraints of consumption and operating costs as well as the requirements of financing productive investment."

"The government is also called upon to reconcile the dynamic of extending public and individual liberties with the need to preserve public order, thereby avoiding any gap between democratic development and social reality,"
the King went on.
http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/041009/2004100922.html
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------New book on Morocco's royal family.

10 October 2004
Three Kings, the vociferous story of the Alaway dynasty since the end of the French mandatory rule in Morocco in 1956.
The book gives a detailed and critical synopsis of half a century of the kingdom's history.
Dal, the journalist at AFP who worked as correspondent in Rabat (1992-1996), describes the position of the king in Morocco, where he represented a "double personality", who could, according to circumstances, symbolise the holiness or could become a source of violence. The double character, Dal said, moved between the two roles immediately and without showing any clear contradiction.
The 819-page book dedicates a large portion to King Hassnii, who remained on the throne for 38 years, and strived more than the other kings in firmly establishing the monarchy.
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2004/Oc
tober/middleeast_October273.xml&section=middleeast&col=
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Number of Arab tourists in Morocco on the increase Arab tourists to Morocco generate MD 3.2 billion ($355 million), i.e 17 percent of Morocco's overall tourism revenues, said Monday regional director of Morocco's national tourism office (ONMT), Taibi Khattab.

The Moroccan official told MAP there is a constant rise in the number of Arab tourists to Morocco.

According to Khattab, the Arab world is the second source of revenues after Europe. The Arab market, he added, posted an average growth rate of 2.16 % compared to 2.4% for Europe.

He said Casablanca is ranked first in terms of Arab tourists guest nights with 41%, followed by Agadir (30%), Rabat (10%), Marrakesh (8%) and Tangier (4%).

According to Khattab, Morocco attracts just 1.11% of Arab tourists at the world level, 1.6 % of Arab tourists visiting the Middle East and 11.36 % of Arab tourists visiting the African continent. (menareport.com) http://www.albawaba.com/headlines/TheNews.php3?sid=286843&lang=e&dir=busines
s
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------
Rural Drinking Water Project Dedicated in Benslimane Region Rabat, Oct 14 - The drinking water supply project to the Benslimane rural region, South-East of Rabat, carried out thanks to a Japanese contribution was dedicated on Thursday by Abdelkebir Zahour, Moroccan Secretary of State in charge of water and Seigi Hinata, Japanese ambassador to Morocco.

The 20 million Dh project, about 2 million dollars, will supply some 12.000 people with drinking water in the rural areas of Benslimane increasing the population water access from 52 pc to 60 pc, a communiqué of the water department said.

The Water department conducted drilling and engineering works that cost 12 million Dhs, while the Japanese party made a 8 million Dh donation to purchase pumping equipment and water quality analysis devices.

Japan already made five donations to Morocco part of the programme on rural grouped water supply (PAGER) amounting to 160 million Dhs to provide drinking water to some 300.000 people in the rural regions of Agadir, Guelmim, Ouerzazate, Taroudant, Tata and Tiznit in the South and Sidi Kacem and Taounate in the North.

Moroccan efforts within PAGER have enabled increase water access from 14 pc in 1994 to 55 pc by the end of 2003.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------
Confusing Islam with terrorism is "dangerous simplism," Moroccan official Brussles, Oct. 12 - Confusing Islam with terrorism is a "dangerous simplism," said Moroccan minister-delegate in charge of expatriates, in an interview published Tuesday in the Belgian daily "Le Soir".

Chekrouni made this statement answering a question on a statement of interior Belgian minister, Patrick Dewael, who presumably said "not all cultures are equal."

"I have the impression that the Arab world is imprisoned in an amalgam of simplism," she said, noting that "the political world should make a huge effort to dissipate such prejudices."

The Moroccan official deplored that a "new ignorance" might appear in Western countries, that is the ignorance of the North on what is going on in the South.

"It is too simple to label people without having genuine knowledge," she pointed out.

"People who criticize the Islamic world should see changes taking place there. What should not be done is making a hierarchy between cultures," she noted.

"Every culture is different, but each deserves respect." Chekrouni stressed.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/news/general/gen_0119.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------French
Development Agency loans 75 Mn Euros to Morocco Rabat, Oct. 14 - Morocco and France signed Wednesday two conventions on a loan of 75 million Euros allocated by the French Development Agency (AFD) to fund rural electricity projects and a health program.

The first convention allocates 50 million euros to supply 1500 villages with electricity.

This project will benefit to 90,000 homes, i.e 585,000 inhabitants. It is part of the 4th phase of the global rural electricity program (PERG) that is aimed at providing 17,500 villages with electricity.

Director of the National office for electricity (ONE), Ahmed Nakkouch, said in addition to AFD, other groups are participating in funding the program, namely the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Japanese bank for international cooperation (JBIC) and the Arab Fund for economic and social development (FADES).

The second convention allocates 25 million Euros to finance a program for the decentralization and reinforcement of basic health care (REDRESS). The project is designed to improve the quality of health services and make them accessible for about 5.1 million people in seven Moroccan provinces.

The two conventions were signed at the presence of Moroccan Finance and Privatisation Minister, Fathallah Oulalou, Energy and Mining Minister, Mohamed Boutaleb, and France's ambassador to Morocco, Philippe Faure.

AFD engagements in Morocco are estimated at over one billion Euros.

Boutaleb paid tribute to AFD's "constant support" to programs and projects of economic and social development in Morocco.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/news/economy/eco_003.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------Times
Elects Champion El Guerrouj Best Athlete London, Oct 13 - The British Times newspaper elected Moroccan double Olympic champion Hicham El Guerrouj best athlete of all the history of world track and fields.

Sport expert, Alastair Campbell conducted a poll on legendary sportsmen saying El Guerrouj distinguished himself with an exceptional list of medals and performances, including the two gold medals at the Athens Olympic games.

The two Athens gold medals played in favour of El Guerrouj in the poll, Campbell said adding the first list comprised Ethiopian Haile Gebreselassie, American Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson, Czech Emil Zatopek, British Sebastien Coe and Hicham El Guerrouj.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------
Ramadan Tastes Special in Morocco
<<...OLE_Obj...>>
Moroccan mosques usually teem with worshippers for the Night Prayer and
Tarawih
By Abdul Hafez Al-Seretti, IOL Correspondent RABAT, October 14 - Ramadan tastes special in Morocco, as the bliss of Islam's holiest month extends to include all walks of life in the Arab Maghreb country.
The well-established tradition of inviting Muslim scholars from across the Arab and Islamic countries to Morocco during the month leaves mosques teeming with attentive worshippers and brings in a unique spiritual atmosphere.
During the dawn-to-dusk fasting month, mosques receive large numbers of worshippers for the Night Prayer and Tarawih, reciting Qur'an and getting religious lessons.
The scholars give series of lectures on Islamic teachings, allowing many Moroccans to beef up their knowledge during the holy month.
"We hope the mosques would carry out their main roles, as was the case at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as a place for getting lessons on science and making consultations by Muslims, not just for performing prayers," said one worshipper.
This aspired-for role of mosques, another citizen said, could also affect Moroccan youths by boosting their morality.
"If the mosques continued to play their role during the whole year, there would be no vice among Muslim youth," he said.
Traditional Wear
Markets in Morocco also witness an unusual vitality, with many Moroccans seeking to buy dates and other dry fruits such as almond, usually eaten during the fasting month.
<<...OLE_Obj...>>
A traditional Moroccan meal during Ramadan
Moroccan families also spare no efforts in preparing the most delicious banquets such as "Al Harira" for Ramadan. The meal could take as many as three hours for housewives to make.
Many Moroccans are also keen to wear traditional clothes during the holy month, with men preferring to be in Jalabiya and tarboosh and women in traditional wear.
Cloth shops are usually packed with visitors choosing their preferable clothes.
A Moroccan cloth maker said they do their best to meet the demands of all Moroccan customers.
Tolerance
Many charities also offer aid to thousands of poor families during the holy month, another indicator of social integration in the country.
They set up Mawa'ed Al-Rahman (Iftar dinner occasions) in which food is given for free to poor Muslims and passersby to break their fast.
The charities also distribute food supplies to the poor and needy in a demonstration of tolerance among Muslims during Ramadan.
Ramadan is also marked by the appearance of the Musaharati, a man charged with waking people up for suhur -- a meal Muslims have before they fast every day.
http://www.islamonline.org/English/News/2004-10/14/article06.shtml
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------
Western NGOs Take Over Northern Morocco
By Abdel Hafiz Al-Sarity, IOL Correspondent RABAT, October 11 (IslamOnline.net) - In view of conspicuous absence and widespread apathy of Arab and Muslim help, western non-governmental organizations are mushrooming in northern Morocco, playing on the area's sluggish economy and the people's poor living standards.
There are no ill intentions if one sees through the eyes of lay people, who appreciate the effort to improve health and education conditions.
But analysts and even local activists believe that there is more to this than meets the public eye.
"Of course there is a hidden agenda for these NGOs when they finance social micro and medium-scale projects," Abdul Salam Akrio, a chairman of a local NGO, told IslamOnline.net.
"Spreading foreign languages and western values are at least the obvious agenda."
New Colonization
But Faeza Al-Shibly, the head of another NGO, is confident that the mind-boggling money lavished upon some local organizations is a new shape of colonization.
"A new phenomenon is gaining momentum here in the north is that Spaniards are buying homes and old buildings," Al-Shibly told IOL.
She added that the western NGOs operating in the impoverished north were focusing on women's rights, literacy and foreign language classes.
"They are setting up sanctuaries for battered wives," she said.
Nagiub Boulif, an economic analyst, said the north used to be a Spanish colony, which made the job easier for such NGOs to reach out to the community.
Arab Apathy
Nadia Salami could have not published her 24-book children series had it not been for the French Embassy's support.
"I pinned high hopes on help from the Ministry of Culture but to no avail,"
Salami told IOL.
She, however, says she has no doubt that the French support is basically motivated by the desire to spread the French language.
"I'm in no way against learning foreign languages, but priority should be given to Arabic."
Amina, head of a NGO in southern Morocco, does not mind cooperating with Arab or Islamic NGOs, but if they proffered a hand in the first place.
"I really don't know who shall take the blame. Is it because of a weak civil society or economic reasons?"
But Boulif blames stringent security measures for the passivity, especially in the wake of the deadly Casablanca blasts May 16, 2003.
"Even the small organizations were not allowed to pursue their activities due to security crackdowns."
The people of the north, however, still stand a glimpse of hope to put a stop to drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
The government is establishing a new harbor 35 kilometers east of Tangier, which will generate thousands of job opportunities.
Expected to complete in 2007, the one-billion-dollar project will play a key role in developing the north and putting them back in the national spotlight.
http://www.islamonline.org/English/News/2004-10/11/article05.shtml
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------
Morocco Surf Guiding with Animal team riders Alan Stokes and Lee Bartlett Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 October 2004: - - Following a successful launch in Polzeath this summer, the Animal Surf Academy, operated by Wavehunters UK, has expanded it's horizons to provide guided surf tours in Morocco - home to some of the best waves and culture rich surf destinations in the Northern Hemisphere. The ASA was created to demonstrate Animal's commitment to UK surfing and to provide a base for surfers of all levels - the Morocco camp has been set up to provide a guide to surfing point breaks and reefs.
The surf trips are operated by Wavehunters UK, who have been surf guiding in Morocco for 2 years and have built up a good local knowledge and respect for the area.
The West Coast of Morocco is a European surfer's dream destination. With a non-stop source of Atlantic swell, favourable winds and a constantly changing shoreline of points, reefs and beach breaks, you're never more than a few miles from great surf. The Morocco trips are based in the picturesque and culture filled village of Taghazoute, base camp to a choice of world class surfing breaks. With villa style accommodation overlooking the famous right hand break of Anka point, you won't be further than a stone's throw away from the action. There are breaks to suit everyone from mellow beach breaks for first time surfers to world famous breaks such as Boilers and Killers for the more advanced. Taghazoute is a classic Moroccan fishing village with friendly people, a laid back pace of life and restaurants serving great local food.
Be the first to join the Animal Surf Academy on an epic surf trip to Morocco and escape the 5mm, Michelin man clad winters in the UK to explore a range of warm water breaks.
For the week of 2nd - 9th February, the Animal Surf Academy is offering you the chance to spend a week surfing Morocco with Animal team riders Alan Stokes and Lee Bartlett, who will be on hand to give you advice and guidance and maximise your time in the water.
The trips cost £255 (+ flight) and run from mid November 2004 to mid February 2005.
http://www.globalsurfnews.com/news.asp?Id_news=14634
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------
Dubai and Moroccoto develop Tangier free zone project

12 October 2004
TANGIER - Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defence Minister General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, joined King Mohammed VI of Morocco to witness here yesterday the signing of a partnership agreement between the Jebel Ali Free Zone International JAFZI and Morocco's Tangier Mediterranean Special Agency (TMSA), on the Tangier Mediterranean free zones.
The two leaders, accompanied by a number of senior officials from both sides, made a tour of the Tangier Mediterranean free zones project, which oversees the Strait of Gibraltar, during which they were briefed by officials and experts working on the project, which include a big sea port, a free zone and infrastructure that links the port to various parts of the country and to the outside world.
The project aims at to serve more than 600 million people in Western Europe, west and north Africa and North America. It will have the capacity to handle three million containers by 2020 and would attract investment of about one billion euros, in addition to providing 145,000 jobs.
The project is being implemented in a strategic partnership between the Jebel Ali Free Zone International (JAFZI) of the UAE and Morocco's Tangier Mediterranean Special Agency (TMSA). It is a 10-year agreement.
The Dubai crown prince witnessed the signing ceremony of the cooperation and partnership agreement between the JAFZI and the TMSA. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the Dubai Ports and Customs and Freezone Corporation (PCFC) signed for the JAFZI, while Moroccan prime minister, Driss Jettou, also signed for the Moroccan side the signing ceremony was attended on the UAE side by Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Department and president of the Emirates airline, Shaikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash, Minister of State for Financial and Industrial Affairs and a number of officials. it was attended on the Moroccan side by Prince Maulay Rashid, (brother of King Mohammed VI) and a number of senior moroccan officials.
The port and the free zones are expected to be operational by September 1, 2007.
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/business/2004/Octo
ber/business_October239.xml&section=business
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------
Morocco not considering ''full economic liberalisation''
A full liberalisation of the Moroccan economy "is not on the agenda and even international institutions see that the level of our liberalisation is quite good," said Mohamed Bougroun, director of "l'Office des Changes".

"In any liberalisation process, including in exchange regulations, the point is not speed, but its irreversible nature", Bougroun told La Nouvelle Tribune.

According to him, the liberalisation process is not a goal in itself, but a means to lure foreign investments to Morocco and promote its exports, goods and services. (menareport.com) http://www.albawaba.com/headlines/TheNews.php3?sid=286645&lang=e&dir=busines
s
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------
Morocco's citrus fruit production expected to rise.
Morocco's citrus fruit production for the 2004-2005 season is expected to hit 1,286,000 tons compared to 1,137,000 in 2003-2004, say a 13% increase, the citrus fruit producers association (ASPAM) has announced.

According to ASPAM, 2004-05 production is still tributary of weather conditions for the weeks to come, deeming that milder temperatures and early rainfalls can improve the produce caliber.

Some 521,000 tons of citrus fruits are due to be exported, versus 437,000 tons in 2003-04, say a 19% rise, MAP reported. (menareport.com http://www.albawaba.com/headlines/TheNews.php3?sid=286569&lang=e&dir=busines
s
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------
Maghreb tourism rising
Oct 12, 2004 (Al-Bawaba via COMTEX) -- There are indications that the Maghreb tourism industry is growing rapidly after being hit by post September 11 fear and the implication of North Africans in international terror attacks. Major travel companies are already registering considerable increases in tourism to Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Before the recent Sinai attacks, Egypt has been described as "the fastest growing holiday hot spot for 2004."
Tunisia did not suffer the major downturn in its tourist industry suffered by other countries in the Middle East and is recovering to pre-September 11 levels. Morocco, on the other hand, has been blighted by terrorism as a series of attacks on Casablanca made world headlines. Moroccans were implicated on the mega attack on Spain's train system.
The three North African countries yet have to present their own, national statistics on this summer season's developments in the tourism industry.
Local media reports however suggest that the results presented by TUI are a good indication of trends this year. (menareport.com) By Mena Report Reporters
(C) 2004 Albawaba.com, All rights reserved.
http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm?id=286w9983&section=Countries&page=Morocco&ch
annel=All%20Morocco%20News&objectid=22403786-8F1A-11D4-867000D0B74A0D7C

#########################################################

These postings are provided without permission of the copyright owner for purposes of criticism, comment, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and it may not be distributed further without permission of the identified copyright owner.  The poster does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the message, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.


Return to Friends of Morocco Home Page

About Membership Volunteer Newsletters Souk Links