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Morocco Week in Review 
April 7, 2018

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Permaculture removes a village from poverty in Morocco

Published on November 27, 2017  in Permaculture  by The Newsroom  (Courtesy of PCV Tristan Menachof)

In Brachoua, Morocco the locals just wanted to meet their food needs but, in the end, they did much more than that: a wonderful example of collective will which inspired photojournalist Stéphane Ferrer Yulianti. It is a story rooted in reality, and one that would not exist without collective will and action! Located at 50 km from Rabat, the villagers of Brachoua lived for a long time without running water or electricity. The precarious situation of the 60 familiesliving there was made even more difficult by the lack of economic resources. This has pushed the villagers to regroup within the “Agriculteur moderne” (Modern Farmer) Association and to seek solutions that work. Assisted by the Association Ibn Albaytar (AIA), they embarked on the adventure at the end of 2013…………

Women’s Unemployment Hampers Economic Progress in Morocco

By Morocco World News April 4, 2018 By Hajare El Khaldi Rabat

Seven out of ten women are unemployed in Morocco, most of which are housewives, two-thirds of are non degree holders, and over a million are fit to join the workplace.  Ten million women remain outside the labor market in Morocco, with a participation rate of 22.4 percent, compared to the 45 percent in other emerging countries, according to Moroccan francophone newspaper L’Economiste, in its April 2 edition. L’Economiste compared the North African country to Turkey, where women’s employment increased from 20 percent in 2000, to 30 percent in 2014. ……………….

How to Boost Gender Equality in Muslim Countries

By Moha Ennaji March 31, 2018 Rabat –

This year is crucial for women’s rights as global movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp are paying particular attention to the discriminatory rules and behavior that relegate women to a secondary status at home and in public spaces. Yet, while women in the West are struggling against gender bias, in Muslim countries they remain entangled in subsistence problems. One should not overlook the fact that in the poorest communities, poverty, unemployment, violence and prejudice against women are prevalent barriers to gender equality.

I have studied gender and development in the MENA region for 19 years. My research, which has included a myriad of interviews with women from Morocco to Niger, has focused on one question: How can the national governments and international community improve the welfare of the world’s poorest women? The answer is simply to help them overcome gender inequality at all levels. There are three main reasons for this. First, this momentum creates several opportunities for the international community to support women and further their empowerment, as women now attempt to not only join but instead transform the patriarchal systems in the region……………….
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Agriculture Drives Moroccan Economic Growth

By Morocco World News April 3, 2018  By Hajare El Khaldi Rabat

National economic growth mainly driven by agricultural activity stood at 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to only 1 percent during the same period of 2016, according the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) report. After a sharp decline of 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, the added value of the primary sector (extraction of raw materials), increased by 10.9 percent during the same period of 2017. “This development is the result of a 13.1 percent increase in agricultural activity against a 13.7 percent decrease a year earlier, and a decline of 10.5 percent [in the fourth quarter] against of 1.3 percent,” explained HCP………

The Moroccan Exception: Fact Or Fiction – Analysis

By Dr. Mohamed Chtatou
Morocco is viewed by many as an exception to the norm of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The extent to which this claim is asserted varies, but one thing is certain, Morocco is at the very least unique in the region in its governance and culture. In order to understand the claim of exception, a definition of the norm must first be established, so what is that norm and how is Morocco different?

What Is That Norm And How Is Morocco Different?

Students Like Me Have a Voice, Morocco Needs to Listen

By Morocco World News April 4, 2018 By Zaina Dali Rabat

One student reflects on citizen responsibility and taking initiative at the 1st International Conference on Education Equality. As I walked up to the stage and took a seat on the Student Ambassadors Scheme roundtable discussion during the 1st edition of the International Conference on Education Quality, I looked at the audience and saw the keynote speakers, professors, researchers, government stakeholders, and students. At that moment, I thought to myself: “This isn’t merely a conference where students hear what older people have to say about us and to us, but a celebration of young people and an acknowledgement of the crucial role we play in the betterment of quality in education.” Being on stage gave me and other student ambassadors the power to speak our minds and talk about issues in education that matter to us. Over the course of the conference, we discussed issues like overcrowded classes in higher education, special needs education, the privatization of education, infrastructure, job market needs, student orientation, and unemployment. However, the highlight of this experience was that we knew that we were heard and that the audience now knows what students are really capable of……………..

Nearly 700,000 Moroccans Suffer From Epilepsy

By Sana Elouazi - April 2, 2018 Rabat

Morocco counts approximately 700,000 citizens who suffer from epilepsy, a chronic nervous disorder, in which brain activity is disrupted by electrical activity, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness. This finding was presented during a training session on semiological crises, electroencephalography (EEG) and epilepsy surgery, held in Rabat from March 26 to 30, with the participation of specialists and experts at the national and international level. The event was organized under the initiative of the Center for Rehabilitation and Neurosciences and the Departments of Clinical Neurophysiology and Neuroradiology at the University Hospital of Rabat (CHU), as part of a collaboration between Morocco and India in the field of health. One of its major goals was to introduce Moroccan surgeons to the technique of hemispherotomy ……...
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Morocco heads for a thirsty future

March 31, 2018, by Kieran Cooke RABAT, Morocco,

Despite ambitious efforts to cope with the effects of water shortage and climate change, Morocco faces a dauntingly dry century. Morocco, host of the 2016 United Nations conference on climate change and widely seen as one of the more enlightened among North African and Middle Eastern nations on environmental issues, is facing a number of problems associated with global warming, including ever-increasing water shortages……………

These Moroccans are turning foggy days into a solution to their water crisis

PRI's The World March 29, 2018 · By Rebecca Rosman

For billions of people, opening a tap is a mundane task. But not for Nsoda Bokhilfa. That’s because until recently, she and hundreds of other women living in the Ait Baamrane tribal region of southwest Morocco didn’t have running water. Instead, they had to walk up to three hours a day to fetch water from local wells. Even with all that effort, it wasn’t always safe to drink. But now all 1,200 villagers living there have access to safe drinking water.  This isn’t thanks to the rain gods. The region, only 20 miles from the Sahara, receives just about five and a half inches of rain a year — barely 10 percent of the global average. Instead, the water here comes from the territory’s bountiful source of fog — an average of 143 foggy days a year in the nearby mountains.
“On a really good day, you feel like you’re walking in a cloud," says Mounir Abbar, the fog technician for the NGO Dar Si Hmad.  ………………
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Street food in Morocco

Saturday 31 March 2018

Many tourists visit Morocco in search of a new cultural and culinary experience. But the tagines and curries served to tourists are not necessarily what the locals are eating. Annie Hastwell took a trip around the chaotic winding streets of the ancient Medina in Fez, and found that street food was a great way to better understand a culture……….
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In Morocco, residents never know when water will flow so they leave the taps on

Sophie Nunnally, Round Earth Media April 5, 2018 ZAGORA, Morocco

 When Rkia Ouabi steps past the stark walls of her house to do her shopping, she makes sure to leave the water tap open. That's the only way to know whether her one source of water — a small hose poking out of a muddy hole in the ground — has come to life. Nearly every one of the 600 households in her parched neighborhood here in Zagora do the same. If she returns and sees water pooling in front of her house, she rushes to fill plastic buckets and basins with enough for her daily chores. But her worries don’t end there……….

From Street Vendor To PhD in Civil Engineering: Success Story of A Moroccan in Italy

By Morocco World News March 29, 2018 Rabat

There is a reason that success stories are among the most compelling human stories: they humanize life and remind us of the essential truth that it is possible to beat the odds, to rise above one’s socio-economic condition. In a way, success stories that are truly compelling are also truly humane because they’re a constant reminder that we can, by way of perseverance, be “the heroes of our stories.” Such is Rachid Khadiri Abdelmoula’s incredible success story….

Moroccan-style slow-roasted lamb leg with eggplant

by Neil Perry

This dish is full of flavour already. However, if you add an orange and fennel salad (or a date and orange salad), plus a bowl of couscous or rice, then you have the perfect meal. As for leftovers, the lamb is awesome for sandwiches and I like the eggplant served on toasted crusty bread with garlic rubbed on it and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Alternatively, you can dice the lamb, fold it through the eggplant and spoon it on penne……….

‘Ahwach Jazz’: Artist Revisits Morocco’s Past with Modern Musical Fusion

By Morocco World News April 1, 2018 By Sarah Goodman Rabat

Moroccan musician Abdelhak Mabrouk debuted his latest music video, “Ahwach Jazz,” at a press conference at Marrakech’s La Mamounia Hotel on Friday, March 23. Approaching the hotel’s entrance, Mabrouk invited an ahwach group to inaugurate the event, offering the audience an introduction for those unfamiliar with the traditional music, dance, and poetry collective performance.
Mabrouk released his eponymously titled album in March 2017. The 10-track compilation is the fruit of Mabrouk’s decade-long project: to forge a new kind of music by fusing jazz with Morocco’s ahwach tradition…..
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Morocco finally rolls out red carpet for crowdfunding

Morocco has a startup culture but there is more to be done to spur entrepreneurship environment in the country.

April 1, 2018 By Arturo Garcia

Morocco recently introduced crowdfunding to its people with a bill to regulate it. The draft was spearheaded by Ministry of Economy and Finance and signed by Minister Mohammed Boussaid. This is a continuation of steps that the government has taken to improve entrepreneurial spirit in Morocco. According to Yabiladi, the bill details regulations and how crowdfunding will be implemented in the country. Morocco has no bill like this before. Early this year, a total of nine startups from the country participated in 2018 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It was also the first time for them to join such event…………….

Education in Morocco: A Plea for a Middle Way

Ursula Lindsey / 06 Apr 2018 RABAT, Morocco

The debate over the right to free education resurfaced in Morocco recently, just as it does periodically in many countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Free education for all is theoretically a right in Morocco. Nonetheless millions of young Moroccans either never attend school; drop out along the way; or study for years only to graduate still functionally illiterate. Instead of fixing the public school system, the government has been moving towards privatization as a solution. Morocco’s parliamentarians and teachers’ syndicates have objected to a proposed new law that would charge some fees to higher-income families for secondary school and university. The law does not specify what that income would be, which has caused alarm among many students and their families.

A foodies' guide to Marrakech

Morocco's most popular destination has made serious strides beyond its already famous street food scene. We look at the latest batch of fine dining restaurants and cooking schools in the city

John Brunton April 1, 2018

As the sun slowly sets over Marrakech, like most visitors, I am magnetically drawn to the bewitching spectacle acted out every night in the ancient Medina’s immense Jemaa El Fna square. Crowds form circles around bands of musicians, dancers, snake charmers and storytellers, while all around, waiters and cooks of 100 food stalls almost as miraculously set up makeshift kitchens billowing smoke, with tables, chairs and serving counters groaning with delicious street dishes.

But this is just the tip of Marrakech’s vibrant dining-out scene, where sophisticated restaurants prepare local dishes such as tagine and couscous to a gourmet level, and young local chefs, inspired by the likes of London-based Palestinian Sami Tamimi, daringly reinterpret both Moroccan and French cooking. Renowned French chef Yannick Alléno, who has helmed more than one restaurant with three Michelin stars, tells me of the haute-cuisine restaurant he oversees here in the sumptuous Royal Mansour hotel, and whets my appetite with enthusiastic descriptions of locally sourced produce: black truffles, plump oysters, lobster, fragrant saffron, quince and juicy oranges……………….
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Spanish Authorities End Moroccan ‘Women Mules’ in Sebta

By Morocco World News April 3, 2018  By Hajare El Khaldi Rabat

The Spanish authorities have prohibited the passage of Moroccan women carrying heavy loads on their backs through the Sebta (Ceuta) border starting April 2. Henceforward, women who transport counterfeits will have to use rolling carts.Mule women are Moroccan women used by merchants to transport up to 100 kilograms of goods from the tax-free Spanish protectorate through official entry points to Moroccan territory, typically for a meager pay that varies from MAD 50 (USD  5) to 100 (USD 10), depending on the nature of the goods……………….

What Lies Within: The hypnotic beauty of Morocco’s stunning sand dunes

by Arefa Tehsin April 1, 2018

The need to look beyond Morocco's derelict palaces.The kingdom of Maroc, enveloping in its fold mud castles, epic mountain ranges, a part of the largest hot desert on earth, wind-blown beach towns and Arabian Nights’ bazaars makes your imagination stretch like the sands of Sahara. An eclectic mix of Africa, Middle East and Europe, Morocco is as spiced up as its tagines. When you roam this fairytale land on the back of a camel or on your own two feet, be prepared to encounter Aladdin’s lamps and flying carpets, ancient fossils and veiled wizards and sometimes, even yourself…………..

New tech turns wind into water

April 4, 2018

Canadian-based Rain Maker World Wide has presented Morocco with a technology that can produce drinking water from wind energy.  The company announced that it plans to install a pilot unit to demonstrate the effectiveness of its systems on the territory. Explaining how this technology works; the company stated that the turbine blades of the wind turbine operate a compressor connected to a refrigeration system installed in the pylon. During this time, the air is sucked down through a fan that leads through this system, causing water condensation in the air…………………..

Mimouna sweets, a Moroccan tradition, herald the end of Passover

Florence Steinberger, Special to the Journal Sentinel April 3, 2018

For most Jews, Passover ends with barely a whimper. Bread and other leavened products regain the spotlight and matzos are relegated to the back of the cupboard. For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover ushers in Mimouna, a time to celebrate. To learn more about this festival, I joined Dorit Hershko and her husband, Avi, in their sunny Fox Point kitchen on a snowy January morning. Although Dorit was born in Israel, both of her parents were born and raised in Morocco, and Dorit grew up celebrating Mimouna much as it was practiced in their community in Morocco. Her parents, she said, “…are very proud of their roots and shared their stories with us.”…………………

Morocco Government Is Trying To Avoid A New Water Crisis

by Erin VanDyke March 31, 2018

In Morocco, 40 large dams are affected, of which 11 have lost more than 20% of their capacity. To fight against this scourge, the Department of Tutelage deploys a series of preventive and curative measures. Too expensive, dredging is the last resort to restore the holding capacity as the Morocco government is trying to avoid a new water crisis in the country, after the drought of 2015 due to climate change. Morocco is frequently facing water crises. Actions like overexploitation of water resources and drought but especially the climate change, and now this event increase the risks of a severe water stress in Morocco…………….

Mountains to medina: the enduring appeal of Morocco

On a first-time trip to the country, The National's travel editor looks at the legendary old city of Marrakech and the nearby Atlas Mountains
Rosemary Behan April 1, 2018

I sit down at the back of the herbalist’s shop and dab the sample of argan oil that Afaf Hargmane has given me on my forehead.“Do you have a headache?” she says, clearing aside the shelf of teas in front of me and assembling her potions. She massages my temples and sprinkles rosewater on my hot head; it drips down, but she’s already sifting crushed nigella seeds through muslin and having me sniff the pungent dust, before dissolving eucalyptus drops in water. By the time I have inhaled its nuclear mist, she’s sprayed me with orange blossom extract and the headache has gone. But I could have sat there forever. How well destinations absorb mass tourism are a mark of their character, and I had been pessimistic about what I would find in Marrakech. Low-cost European airlines have been flying there too long and there are simply too many of the world’s biggest hotel chains; this combined with the much-lamented hassles from shopkeepers…………..

Independence of Justice, Bedrock of the Rule of Law -Morocco’s King.

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018 | Posted by Jaber Ali

King Mohammed VI has stressed the importance of the independence of the judiciary system, saying it is the bedrock of the rule of law and the main driver of development.
In a message addressed to participants in a high-level conference, convened Monday in Marrakech under the theme “The independence of the judiciary: guaranteeing the rights of litigants and upholding the principles of justice”, the Moroccan Sovereign said justice independence safeguards rights and freedoms, promotes development and protects society……………

Holidays in North Africa: Escape to Essaouira - Moroccan magic that won't break the bank

Deirdre Mullins April 2 2018
From designer goodies to kite-surfing, Morocco’s windy city is worth the trip.

My biggest regret going to Essaouira is that I didn’t bring an empty suitcase. The walled medina in this brilliant Moroccan city has a smorgasbord of shops with hand-crafted and stylish interior goodies. I would have filled that empty case with woollen carpets, light fixtures and hand-painted ceramics for a fraction of the price you’d pay at home.
Of course, there’s more to these spice-scented lanes than shopping. The medina is the buzzy heart of Essaouira, retaining a traditional Arabic character. But beyond it, a long, sandy beach is a playground for kite- and wind-surfers.
Known as the ‘Windy City of Africa’, the lashing Atlantic wind can make sunbathing uncomfortable, but the beach, and its colourful sunsets, can be enjoyed on horse or camel back.
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Grand Opening Schedule for Mawazine 2018

ByMorocco World News March 30, 2018 By Ahlam Ben Saga Rabat

Martin Garrix, Kadim Al Saher,  Ebo Taylor, Ara Malikian, Aminux, Ihab Amir and Salim Bennani will be the names to mark the grand opening for the 17th of Mawazine Festival Rhythm of the World on June 22. In its latest press release on March 29,  Maroc Cultures association in charge of cultural and artistic creation, presented the scheduled concerts for the opening day of Mawazine festival’s 17th edition whose stages in OLM Souissi, Nahda, Sale, Bouregreg venue, and Mohammed V National Theater will witness the rebirth of the legendary festival starting June 22-30, 2018………….

A Designer Discovers the Enchantment of Morocco

Text by Janie Molster March 30, 2018

This is part of AD PRO's Designer Takeover, in which working designers contribute stories to the site. Here, Janie Molster recounts her first trip to Morocco, where she quickly realized why it's a favorite place of many a designer………………

On her first trip there, Janie Molster quickly learns why its a favorite for designers

Traditional Moroccan Dance Troupe Wows Audiences in France and Holland

ByElisabeth Myers March 30, 2018 Rabat

Moroccan dance group Tizwit Ahidouss Imgoune, from Klaat Mgouna in the southeast of Morocco,toured internationally sharing Morocco’s cultural heritage in a series of concerts in France and the Netherlands in January in celebration of the Amazigh New Year 2068. ……………….   
More information about the group is available on Facebook at “Amazigh TV-Events” and “Anzar Arts Manager” and on Youtube by searching “Amazigh TV-Events.”  Twitter: Amazigh TV-Events.Email:

Morocco's Economic and Social Progress is an opportunity for the West.

Morocco's star in Africa is rising; but can it overcome economic stumbling blocks and European skepticism to become the regional leader it aspires to be? Much of the Western Sahara controversy that is used by Morocco's enemies to attack its national sovereignty is based in old policies, which predate the ongoing peace process and recent investments into the region, as well as the economic shortcomings resulting from underdeveloped infrastructure outside the main cities, and lack of foreign investment into the far ends of the country. ……………

'Migrants don't exist': Morocco struggles with migration issues despite reforms

Gillian Coyne Sunday 1 April 2018 OUJDA, Morocco

EU-funded reforms encouraged to keep migrants in Morocco are making conditions much more dangerous for them, say aid workers. A failed attempt to reach Spanish territory from this border town left Mamadou Sidy Diallo in the clutches of traffickers who tortured him and left him for dead on a trash pile."Four days of sexual, physical, mental violence. They tortured us to the point of death," said Diallo. "It's a miracle that I'm still breathing." The 25-year-old Guinean hadn’t planned to be one of the thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa desperate to reach European soil.
After studying in Morocco, he was preparing to head home to Guinea and launch a business. But at the last minute, he decided to join a friend trying to reach the Spanish territory of Melilla, which is situated behind six-metre-high fences on North Africa's Mediterranean coast…………..

Study Finds that Morocco Hosts More Europeans Than Sub-Saharans

By Tamba François Koundouno March 31, 2018 Rabat

Although the public fuss about immigration in Morocco generally foregrounds sub-Saharan migrants, a recent survey by the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) has found that there are actually more European migrants in Moroccan workplaces. The survey was conducted earlier this month and sought to collect substantial data to facilitate the integration and immersion of migrants in the professional opportunities available in the North African country………………………….

Casablanca still an Eldorado of counterfeiting and piracy

By: Saad Guerraoui April 01, 2018 CASABLANCA -

Counterfeiting and pirated products in Morocco are worth $1.27 billion, which represents more than 1% of the country’s GDP. A Gucci belt costs $20, a Nike tracksuit goes for $25 and Calvin Klein trunks for $2.70. The prices are too good to be true because the products are fakes. Casablanca has become the Eldorado of counterfeiting and piracy. The overwhelming majority of the fake items come from China but some are made locally. Most customers would not notice the difference between counterfeit and genuine goods because even the makers’ labels look authentic. Shops in Loqria, Derb Ghellef and Old Medina markets are proof of the magnitude of this underground industry………………

Morocco meal means moolah for Mwandi

April 3 2018

The Rotary Club of Naracoorte held a very successful dinner at Murray and Julie Burdett’s home to raise funds for the Mwandi Water project.The weather was perfect for the “indoor-outdoor restaurant” setting and the 60 guests were in a happy and generous mood. The “Mostly Moroccan Menu” prepared by Rotarians, their partners and friends and served by volunteers including Rotary youth exchange and Rotary National Youth Science Forum participants, was very well received……………….

The Art of Friendship: Berlin Offers Morocco a Buddy Bear

By Morocco World News April 4, 2018 By Zoubida Senoussi Rabat

Berlin’s colorful life-size Buddy Bears have been on tour around the world, as Germany’s ambassadors of goodwill since 2002. These bears are meant to promote tolerance and peace amongst the world’s many different religions and cultural groups. The original Buddy Bears are posed standing with both arms up in the air as a symbol of kindness and optimism. Finally, Berlin has offered one Buddy to Morocco………...

American TV Host Ryan Seacrest Vacations in Morocco Amid Sexual Harassment Accusations

By Morocco World News April 4, 2018 By Zoubida Senoussi Rabat

Ryan Seacrest is spending some time in Morocco with his girlfriend, model Shayna Taylor, to take his mind off sexual harassment allegations made by his former stylist, Suzie Hardy………

Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere to Shoot a TV show in Ouarzazate

By Morocco World News April 4, 2018 By Zoubida Senoussi Rabat 

Ouarzazate continues to attract productions all over the world, thanks to its breathtaking landscapes and booming film industry.
“The Moroccan Hollywood” has welcomed the adventure TV show “Off Roads” and one of its participants, Miss Universe 2016, also crowned Miss France the same year, Iris Mittenaere, as reported by 2M. The 25-year-old model already visited other Moroccan cities, such as Essaouira and Marrakech back in 2016.

Churchill’s Paintings of Marrakech to be Displayed in San Francisco

By Morocco World News April 4, 2018 By Zoubida Senoussi Rabat

Winston Churchill once said that Marrakech was “the loveliest spot in the whole world.” The British politician spent the winter of 1935 painting while vacationing in Morocco.

Travel: An escape to Fez, Morocco’s timeless city

4th April 2018 by Spear's
Fez is a bustling, car-free metropolis that never stops — but centuries of history open up when you take a walk through its narrow streets, writes Alba Arikha 
Driss, playwright by night and tour guide by day, suggested we drive to the top of the hill, above the great walls of Fez, in order to get a panoramic view of what awaited us below. The city, with its patchwork of minarets, madrasas and satellite dishes, glittered in the hot sun. The Atlas mountains loomed in the distance…………

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