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Friends of Morocco
January 2017 E-Newsletter

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Calling your attention to events, groups and information of possible interest to Friends of Morocco in the Washington, DC area

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star   NPCA Next Step Travel to Morocco: From the Desert to the Sea - The Medinas, Mountains (and more) of Morocco

Time to go back to Morocco with family or friends?

The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) Next Step Travel program coordinated in collaboration with Friends of Morocco has organized two 14 day trips across Morocco exclusively for RPCVs and their guests, and especially Morocco RPCVs. Travelers will leave Morocco with an understanding of the scale and impact of Peace Corps in Morocco.

Walk again the medinas and souks of Fes, Meknes and Marrakesh
Wander through Ait Ben Haddou, the UNESCO World Heritage site (and site for so many famous films)
Learn about local industries with visits to a women's coop, Berber villages and artisan factories
Spend a night by the desert dunes
Drive an ancient caravan route across the High Atlas Mountains
Travel in the company of Morocco RPCVs and other RPCVs from across the Peace Corps world and meet with serving PCVs and Peace Corps Morocco staff

See the itinerary for circuit, accommodations and some restaurants

Trips scheduled for April 30 - May 13, 2017 and October 8 - 21, 2017. Learn more and make reservations at http://bit.ly/2inWUI9. Questions? Contact us!

Land cost: $2,750 pp/dbl.  Airfare to Morocco extra.  Single supplement ($460) unless room sharing
Minimum group size: 10 Maximum group size: 30

Tour operator and tour leader is Kristy of Moroccooperated by Kristy Larson, Peace Corp Volunteer in Essaouira Morocco from 1982 to 1984 and Morocco resident and tour leader or operator in Morocco for almost 35 years. She has led more than 200 trips throughout Morocco.

This exclusive opportunity is open to NPCA members and their guests only.  The majority of expected travelers would be Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) – mostly from other Peace Corps countries as well as Morocco - and their family members.Not yet an NPCA member? Join now for free!

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star   Charitable Giving
The below organizations, with a Peace Corps connection and active in Morocco, depend on charitable contributions and would welcome your support. 

http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif      CorpsAfrica will provide young adults across Africa the opportunity to serve as “Peace Corps Volunteers” in their own countries and help drive solutions to poverty at the community level (like “AmeriCorps” for African countries).  We will recruit men and women to move to high-poverty communities and initiate projects that fulfill key needs and whose impact and success can be carefully measured and monitored. CorpsAfrica is starting a three-year pilot phase to focus on creating and perfecting the organization’s model in Morocco, Senegal and Malawi, before scaling up to the rest of Africa.

http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     High Atlas Foundation works to establish development projects in different parts of Morocco that local communities design and manage, and that are in partnership with government and non-government agencies. HAF uses a participatory development approach that includes beneficiaries as active partners in every step of the development process - from prioritizing development goals to project implementation and management to monitoring and evaluation.

 http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     Tangier-American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM) is the only historic landmark of the United States located abroad and now operates as a museum and cultural center. Through its grants, conferences, research library, public visitor and social outreach programs, TALIM provides a bridge of communication and understanding between the U.S., Morocco, and countries around the world. TALIM Director's Blog: Behind the scene at the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies

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star       Peace Corps-managed projects in Morocco

http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     Peace Corps Partnership including
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     Morocco Country Fund
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     Model United Nations Youth Conference 2017
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens The Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Fund was established to honor the memory and service of former United States Ambassador and returned Peace Corps Volunteer, J. Christopher Stevens, who served in Morocco.

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star   The Stevens Initiative is a multilateral public-private partnership designed to increase people-to-people exchange between youth in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa as a lasting tribute to the legacy of Ambassador Chris Stevens. The Aspen Institute Stevens Initiative opened October 26, 2016 the second in a series of competitions to fund virtual exchange programs in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa that improve understanding, respect and dialogue across cultures and equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in a global economy.  The submission deadline for the letter of interest for organizations based in the Middle East or North Africa is December 21 at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time.
In the first round, the Initiative made awards to 10 U.S. organizations in 2016, reaching more than 21,000 students in 25 U.S. states and 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. 

In Morocco:

http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     Chicago Sister Cities International, will connect students in Chicago and Casablanca to build a digital museum. “The STEAMuseum, a virtual museum focusing on the STEAM disciplines, will allow students on opposite sides of the globe to share ideas, collaborate, and learn from each other as they work together to create a new kind of digital cultural space that is appealing to their generation. 

http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     Global Nomads Group’s Campfire will connect secondary students in Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia, to complete an online project-based curriculum focused on global citizenship and 21st-century skills in communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. 

http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     The Christopher Stevens Global Ambassadors - building on UC Berkeley's existing Stevens Scholars program - will provide an opportunity, via vlog and virtual meeting environments, for Berkeley undergraduates to interact with a diverse group of peers in rural Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Jordan.

http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     The SUNY COIL Center will launch pilot virtual exchange courses connecting SUNY campuses with counterparts in Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco, and will offer in-person professional development workshops.

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star   The Moroccan NGO Dar Si Hmad’s work is focused on the southwestern region of Morocco, where the organization was born. A territory rich with history and remarkable adaptations by its inhabitants to varied climates and conditions, southwestern Morocco is a geographical area marked by the presence of mountain ranges, spacious plains and the Sahara. Notable for possessing very ancient vegetation including the unique Argan tree, it is a region of many resources and dazzling beauty.  Initiatives are focused primarily in rural, mountainous areas of the province of Sidi Ifni, a province with an abundance of fog.  Yet the ancient villages suffer today from precarious social and economic conditions as a side effect of climate change.

Established in November 2015 and based in Denver, Colorado, Tifawin Institute is Dar Si Hmad’s 501c3 non-profit partner in the United States. Like Dar Si Hmad, Tifawin is committed to environmental stewardship, durable development, women’s empowerment, integrated natural resource management, climate resilience, and education.  Contact Leslie Dodson Tifawin Institute 3558 Nyland Way Lafayette, CO 80026

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star   The  Project Soar Flagship Program operates out of its headquarters in Douar Ladaam, a semi-rural community a half hour outside of Marrakesh in the commune of al Ouidane.  We provide programming to the immediate village, as well as the surrounding villages of Douar Taaonia and Dour Ahmed Bel Haj. After three years of successful programming, Project Soar is preparing to expand to satellite locations, the expansion program is called Project Soar in a Box, which will bring the curriculum, supplies and support of Project Soar to adolescent girls and communities in need throughout Morocco. Project Soar is a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, registered in the U.S. and in Morocco. The organization was co-founded in 2012 by American social entrepreneurs, Maryam Montague and Chris Redecke, who live in Marrakesh.

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star   Morocco Library Project develops English libraries in under-resourced communities of Morocco, in partnership with teachers and students. Together, we're helping teachers inspire a love of learning, giving a boost to rural and female populations with historically low literacy rates, and building a bridge of friendship felt across the world. In the Winter of 2016-17, we hope to launch libraries in several new locations, including Zagora, Goulmima, Laayoune, and Erfoud (map). These are towns where libraries are a rarity and children grow up without books at home — and yet the students here are so eager to learn. We develop English libraries in under-resourced communities of Morocco, often where there have been no libraries before. We collaborate with teachers to understand the local need, and then curate and ship a high-quality collection of books and other materials (like games and puzzles) appropriate for that context. Students often do the hard work of transforming an old space into a welcoming new library.

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star   Facebook page called RPCV Friends of Muslims
The goals of the Facebook page are to increase intercultural understanding about Muslims, the traditions of Islamic nations and the religion of Islam itself. The ultimate goal is to decrease instances of active Islamophobia, specifically online, by sharing the contributions and stories of the vast variety of cultural variation within Muslim communities and their members. Since its creation, four RPCVs who served with Muslims in communities around the globe have come together to use the existing network of RPCVs online to tackle Islamophobia through sharing and spreading positive media including articles, videos, photos, podcasts, memes and other digital content. The page is open to anyone with a Facebook account and all posts are sharable. 
It is more than just a Facebook page. Collectively, we are trying to represent the varied voice of RPCVs who have served alongside Muslims around the world, and use our voices to increase support and understanding of Muslims everywhere. This project would not be possible without my fellow administrators: Jane Bardon (RPCV Turkmenistan), Alan Toth (RPCV South Africa) and Nicole Anderson (RPCV Morocco).

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star   News from Morocco
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     12/17 Week in Review: News clips about Morocco
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     12/10 Week in Review: News clips about Morocco
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     12/03 Week in Review: News clips about Morocco
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     11/12 Week in Review: News clips about Morocco
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     11/05 Week in Review: News clips about Morocco

http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     Morocco World News   
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     Morocco on the Move an initiative of the Moroccan American Center, a group of three NGOs – The Moroccan American Center for Policy, The Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center, and The Moroccan American Cultural Center. 

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star   Peace Corps Volunteer Openings in Morocco
The Peace Corps class of 2016 to 2018 of 106 volunteers started their service December 9, 2016.

2017 recruitment for Peace Corps Morocco is now closed.  Applicants will know by March 1st, 2017 and depart by September 19th, 2017.  Positions recruited were Youth Development Volunteer  80 positions and Secondary Education English Teacher  30 positions

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star   Al Belbahri, now with the EPA in San Francisco, originally from Morocco and who worked for the Peace Corps in the mid-70s, is looking a good friend, Frank Murphy, who was in the Peace Corps from 1972 to 1975.   Frank was from New Jersey and middle name might be Joseph.  Mr.  BelbahiI tutored Frank and two other PCVs in Khouribga, Morocco. Friends of Morocco does not have contact information for Frank.  If you do, refer him to hbelbahri@gmail.com

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star   AramcoWorld in the February 2017 has an article Malika VI: Sayyida Al-Hurradescribing the reign of Ruler and defender of Morocco’s coastal city-state of Tétouan, Sayyida al-Hurra was a woman of many identities. Her name—really a title—loosely translates “an independent noble lady,” but to her detractors she was a “pirate queen.” Hasna Lebbady, author of Feminist Traditions in Andalusi-Moroccan Oral Narratives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), counts her among the Andalusi-Moroccan heroines who populate the nation’s history and folklore.

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star   Peace Corps Week will be February 26 - March 4, 2017. Commemorating President Kennedy’s establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, this year the Peace Corps Week theme is Highlighting Hospitality: How does your Peace Corps Country Make People Feel Welcome? In 2017 there are many ways you can join in the celebration. Learn more

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star   Looking for a gift that celebrates the Peace Corps experience? Check out new Peace Corps logo merchandise and order yours today! 

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star   Thank Director Hessler-Radelet
We would like to express our deep appreciation for all that Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet has done for our Peace Corps community. Together, let's share with her our special moments and best wishes, which NPCA will compile and present to her as a community farewell gift. Please submit your memories and photos.

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star    Peace Corps Connect Conference 2017 will now be held August 4-6, 2017 in Denver, Colorado hosted by the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Colorado (RPCVCO) and the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA). The event will highlight the growing collaboration between the Peace Corps and Rotary communities, while addressing key issues such as the future of the Peace Corps in the emerging political landscape, our response to the refugee crisis at home and abroad, advancing the Third Goal in our communities, and confronting climate change. Associated with the 2016 Conference in Washington, DC, Friends of Morocco hosted a Country Update, a Dinner at a Moroccan Restaurant and a pot luck lunch after a march to Capitol Hill. We also had a footprint in the Conference with speakers, exhibit hall and at the march.  We would like to do similar activities in Denver.

Now Accepting Applications! 
For over 55 years, the greater Peace Corps community has contributed immensely to addressing global challenges. As we look to the future, we chart the course for continued and heightened impact.  Sessions will be forward-looking and inspire conversation on how Peace Corps and our communities can continue to be an influence in these areas and increase our global impact. 

Sessions must address one of the following topics:

  1. Global Health: ensuring healthy lives for all ages worldwide
  2. Environment: protecting our planet and building resilient communities
  3. Economic Development: achieve sustained and inclusive economic growth
  4. Equality & Justice: promoting equality and empowerment of marginalized populations
  5. Education and Youth Development: enhancing opportunities to positively impact communities

Before applying, review the Session Application Guidelines.

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star   Friends of Morocco and the National Peace Corps Association are now dues-free (contributions welcome)

One can join NPCA and Friends of Morocco at the NPCA membership page. Membership in the NPCA is complimentary for everyone in the Peace Corps community – serving Peace Corps Volunteers, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, current Peace Corps staff, former Peace Corps staff, host country nationals and anyone who shares Peace Corps ideals, so long as we have accurate service and contact information for you. If you are a part of the Peace Corps family, then membership in the National Peace Corps Association is important for you! Alternatively, one can fill out the Friends of Morocco Membership Application and email it to timresch@gmail.com.

The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is connecting and championing Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Peace Corps community. It provides service and education opportunities that build on the Peace Corps experience, and is also the longest-standing advocate for an independent and robust Peace Corps.  The National Peace Corps Association is a nonprofit organization encompassing a network of over 50,000 individuals and more than 140 member groups. The NPCA and its member groups produce global education programs and advocacy campaigns, and provide community, national and international services. Friends of Morocco (Social Networkgroup website), the High Atlas Foundation (Morocco) are affiliate groups of NPCA.  Read the NPCA Annual Report for 2015

Become a Mission Partner
 by contributing $50 or more and you’ll automatically receive a one-year subscription to WorldViewYour contribution to NPCA’s Community Fund supports our core programs. You’ll be helping to increase our community’s development impact, provide transition assistance to recent RPCVs and advocate for a bigger and better Peace Corps. You can also get WorldView on a subscription-only basis for $25 per year.

Not sure when your membership is due for renewal? Check out the new National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) website to find out - and then to easily renew NPCA (for free!) and all of your affiliate groups in one easy step. While you are logged in, update your profile, sign up for NPCA e-newsletters and support the Community Fund campaigns. On your profile, you can add a photo, share your story and send messages to your Peace Corps friends. Visit the events calendar to find community programs near you.
Signing in for the first time? Go to www.peacecorpsconnect.org and click "log in." Type in your preferred e-mail address associated with your NPCA account and click "Forgot password." Then simply follow the prompts from the sent email to activate your account.

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star   As a special thank you for being part of the Peace Corps community, National Peace Corps Association has partnered with The New York Times to share eight free weeks of unlimited digital access to the Times — no credit card required. 

How to Sign Up:
Log in to your NPCA profile
Option 1: Forgot your password? Use your e-mail to create a new password.
Option 2: New to NPCA? Create a free profile! 
Once logged in, click here to go to the exclusive New York Times page. 
The Sign Up page will display a code to redeem your complimentary eight week digital access to The New York Times. 

Don’t miss out — this opportunity ends on January 31, 2017.

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star   Global Professional Search
NPCA has partnered with Global Professional Search (GPS). GPS connects global talent—candidates with language and overseas experience—to jobs that require global skills. GPS is FREE for candidates. Create your profile today.

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star   Friends of Morocco (FOM), active since 1988, is an organization of Americans, mostly returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs), with experience in Morocco, Moroccan-Americans and Moroccans in America united with an interest in promoting educational, cultural, charitable, social, literary and scientific exchange between Morocco and the United States of America.
FOM seeks to:
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     unite Americans with experience in Morocco, Moroccan-Americans and Moroccans in America;
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     improve the awareness of Americans regarding the culture, needs and achievements of Moroccan peoples;
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     keep members and others current on events in Morocco;
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     organize and implement development education and outreach activities;
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     support projects of the U.S. Peace Corps and private charitable organizations in Morocco;
http://friendsofmorocco.org/public_html/images/fomstar2.gif     fund and support scholarship on Morocco and Moroccans.

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star   This message is sent BCC to Friends of Morocco members for whom we have email addresses.  BCC to prevent well-intentioned (or malicious) SPAM.  Feel free to forward onward to your friends who might appreciate knowing about these events and who may not be on our email list.  Have them contact us at timresch@gmail.com if they would also like these periodic updates.   Advise if you would NOT like to receive these infrequent email alerts. 

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Tim Resch, President
Friends of Morocco
PO BOX 2579
Washington, DC 20013-2579

http://friendsofmorocco.org
timresch@gmail.com 
skype:  tim_resch
Twitter: @timresch
C 703 470 3166

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