The mineret that takes you home

About Membership Volunteer Newsletters Souk Links

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web
Morocco Week in Review 
February 17, 2018

25% of Moroccans will be Over 60 by 2050: Study

By Sana Elouazi February 16, 2018 Rabat- According to a study by the Ministry of Family, Solidarity, Equality and Social Development, the number of people aged 60 and over will almost double by the year 2050, to an estimated 10 million. The over-60 population by then will represent 25 percent of the nation’s population. The study entitled, “The new life of elderly people in Morocco in the face of social change,” revealed that aging and the elderly will be a principle component of the kingdom’s future demographic profile…………….

Tree of the Month: Atlas Cedar

by Tim Purtell
Latin Name: Cedrus atlantica
Location: A dense, multi-branched Atlas cedar thrives on the Shelter Island School grounds next to the vegetable garden. The specimen is most likely the cultivar “Glauca,” also known as the blue Atlas cedar.
Tree stats: Native to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria, Atlas cedar is an evergreen conifer that can reach up to 120 feet. The pale blue needles of Glauca are arranged in small bunches along the branches like tiny shrubs. Male and female cones are produced on the same tree. The smaller male cones release their pollen in the fall; the three-inch female cones take two years to develop. A popular landscape tree in Europe and America, Atlas cedars grow in various soils, including dry and sandy. If you’re thinking of planting one, give it room to spread. Aside from Glauca, other cultivars exhibit slightly dwarf or weeping habits………….

Morocco among Countries Facing Water Scarcity

By Hamza Guessous February 15, 2018 Rabat

Morocco is now among 45 countries facing water scarcity, according to World Resources Institute water scarcity map, which reveals Morocco’s critical situation. Although Morocco is still far from the “extremely high” ratio of water withdraw to supply, as the case in many Middle Eastern countries, the kingdom is still considered in water deficit. Morocco’s volume of water has dropped by 80 percent to reach 500 cubic meters per inhabitant per year, against 2,500 cubic meters in 1960, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations data.……………

The higher education trap

Author: Martin Rose is a Visiting Fellow at the Prince Waleed bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge

Expansion of opportunity in higher education is a good thing, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple, and North Africa provides a chastening example of why: a lot of money is spent on education, universities are proliferating and student numbers ballooning. But graduate unemployment is rising fast.  Every country in North Africa offers shocking figures, but as The Economist noted of Egypt in 2016: ‘The more time you spend in school, the less chance you have of finding a job.’ It is this perverse truth that undermines the explosive growth of higher education in the Middle East and North Africa region. …………

A spiced lamb tagine for a (non-authentic) taste of Morocco

Stephen Harris, Cookery Writer of the Year See more from this author
17 February 2018
I often get asked to name my favourite piece of kitchen equipment, and I always struggle for an interesting answer. I’m not keen on having lots of gear, as I never want to be “that” person who has everything but ability. There is something to be said for keeping things low-tech generally. I preferred to be the kind of cricketer who scrounged some gear from his team-mates but might score a century, rather than have a bag of the latest kit but be clueless on the field………….

My friend is asking about the crisis of Islam and Muslims

By Abdellatif Zaki February 14, 2018 Rabat

A friend to whom I can refuse nothing wrote to me asking my opinion about what he called the degradation of the notoriety of Islam. The question took me by surprise. In fact, the impression I had was contrary to his perception. For me, Islam was making a strong come back, a surge unprecedented since the first centuries of its advent. I thought that fewer Muslims were challenging the foundations of their faith. I was thankful to my friend for his question because he gave me a new perspective. I decided to review the dominating religious discourse. I analyzed the data based on how rational, coherent, historically sound, and objective it was. This was especially important considering the “faithful” who are making news promoting, fighting, dying, killing, and seeking political power through Islam.

“I Am Gay and I Have the Right to Live in Morocco”: The Shy Coming Out of A Gay Moroccan Man

By Morocco World News February 15, 2018 Rabat

“At the age of 14, my brother broke my two front teeth because he didn’t like the way I walked,” recalled Hamza, a gay man from Fes. His years of suffering was filmed in a 4 minute video, painting in broad strokes the discrimination he faced from his parents, siblings, schoolmates and teachers. Hamza’s first encounter in a lifelong series of oppression, harassment, and abuse was with his mother. “My mother would put hot pepper in my tongue so that I would behave like the boys from my neighborhood, like a man,” he said while walking in the Medina of Rabat, his back facing the camera.……………

“Allah Islah” Theater Piece on Moroccan Patriarchal Families

ByMorocco World News February 14, 2018 Rabat

Theater piece, “Allah Islah” written by Youssef Lahrichi and performed by 19H THÉÂTRE troupe addresses women’s situation in patriarchal families of Morocco through satire embodied in comical acts.
Lahrichi’s theater piece, “Allah Islah”  had a successful start on January 26, with another impressive showing on February 10. It is to have its third and last performance on February 23………………..

Hidden treasures of Morocco:

Feb 11, 2018 Ronan O'Connell

The capital city of Rabat may be overshadowed by more famous cities such as Marrakesh, but its sights are no less stunning. Oddly overlooked by many travellers, Rabat, the national capital of Morocco, is a metropolis laden with inspiring historical sites. Despite being the political and administrative hub of this nation of 34 million people, Rabat is overshadowed by Morocco's many tourist magnets. It receives far fewer travellers than the market-strewn metropolis of Marrakesh and the seaside resort town of Tangier. It is less known than Casablanca, the city made famous by cinema, or Fez with its labyrinthine walled city……………..

Morocco’s rich Jewish history

by Lori Silberman Brauner NJJN Staff Writer January 31, 2018

Will the community’s legacy ensure its future? Morocco’s Jewish community has declined from its heyday of 250,000 people in the 1950s to a few thousand today, but its vibrant past continues to be a draw for Jewish visitors and a selling point to encourage tourism….……………

Banning Smartphones in Classroom: Regression or Reform?

By youssef El kaidi  January 31, 2018 Fez

Without a doubt, technology has permeated every aspect of our daily lives. The leap has been so giant going from smart TV, to smartphones, smart recording contact lenses, tiny spying cameras, nano devices and robots, artificially intelligent human-like beings, and even emotionally intelligent sex dolls! What the near future of AI will unveil would be way more astounding! Whether we like it or not, the age we live in today is by far the most technologically advanced era in human history (unless the advocates of ancient nuclear and space technology come up with strong evidence). Facing the twenty-first century challenges and embracing the radical changes that they impose on our way of life (rather than evading them like an ostrich with its head in the sand) is what can make us immune and in line with the technological evolution of humanity.

Discover Morocco's Breathtaking Hidden Treasures

Text by Kathryn Romeyn January 30, 2018

Beyond Marrakech, the country is abundant with sublime tucked-away spots and and enough visual inspiration for a lifetime. Here's where to exploreIf a person has visited New York City, have they really seen the United States of America? A trip to Rome certainly doesn’t mean someone knows what the whole of Italy is like. Likewise, Marrakech, while vibrant, exotic, and exciting, is not all there is to Morocco. There are lists of reasons to go—the new and spectacular Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech is one, and fantasy-fueling hotels such as the minimalist-Moroccan Amanjena, ornately maximalist and palatial Royal Mansour and La Mamounia, and elegant-African Villa des Orangers are others. Just don’t stop there. Morocco, as anyone who’s experienced a good part of it can attest, is an exciting and inspiring study in contrasts.……………

History : When the world saw Morocco through the eyes of Delacroix and Matisse

Eugène Delacroix and Henri Matisse have both found refuge in Morocco, in an artistic journey that led to the birth of a number of iconic paintings. Their trips introduced the culture, beauty and simplicity of the Kingdom in the 19th and 20th centuries. Morocco has been, since forever, a source for inspiration to artists, especially those who were untiringly searching for exotic aspirations. Painters were among the celebrities who opted for the North African Kingdom. They grabbed their brushes, canvases, stretchers, and paints to journey there. Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix is one of these adventurous painters who arrived in North Africa and Morocco in particular to paint. Born in 1798, the French artist known in Europe as the founding father of the Romantic school, traveled to the Kingdom in the beginning of the 19th century in a diplomatic mission that was marked by his paintings.

Tin Mal Mosque

The remains of a magnificent medieval fortress that was the capital of a vast empire. In a small village, deep in the High Atlas mountains, lie the remains of a medieval Almohad fortress that once was the capital of a vast empire stretching from Mali to Tunisia and Spain. The city of Tin Mal was established by Ibn Tumart, the founder and mahdi (spiritual leader) of the Almohads, around 1124, and was the cultural and religious center of the empire until the city’s destruction by the rival Merinid dynasty in the 1270s. All that was spared, apart from a few fragments of wall, was the monumental mosque constructed in 1156 in honor of Ibn Tumart, according to official Almohad doctrine. The mosque was abandoned for many years, but restored in the 1990s. It stands prominently on a hill overlooking the rural village that Tin Mal (also called Tinmel) has become today. Unlike most Almohad mosques, non-Muslims are allowed inside, although you may have to phone the guard to open the door.……………

Why Marrakesh is the Africa’s Newest Art Hub.

Melissa Twigg

Two exciting contemporary art openings this month are putting the Moroccan city firmly on the maparrakech looks like it has been coloured-in using a child’s paint box. The winding medina streets are a dusky pink, and jasmine, cactus and bougainvillea-filled courtyards shimmer under the deep blue sky. But while the Moroccan city has been attracting and inspiring artists for centuries, it is only now becoming a key stop on the art market’s endless parade of international gatherings. And this February is its debutante ball, as the renowned African art fair, 1:54, and the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (Macaal) both launch in Marrakech the same week……..

Morocco: It's not just about leather

February 14, 2018 by Indranil Chowdhuri

The Kingdom of Morocco, the most westerly of the North African countries, is known as the Maghreb – The Arab West. It has the Mediterranean and the Atlantic as coastlines, bordered by mountains, a dry and rugged interior and not far from the Sahara Desert. With its capital at Rabat, the kingdom is a harmonious blend of Arab, Berber, European ,and African cultures. With iconic cities, a cornice in Casa that can compete with the French Riviera, and being host to the who’s who of the planet for many years, Morocco remains a gem of Africa.……………

History : When tribesmen sat for Irving Penn’s camera in Guelmim

With his top model wife, Irving Penn photographed the blue people in Guelmim in an extraordinary exhibition. Meanwhile, Peter Fordham preferred to keep his visit to Morocco a secret that was later discovered in an antique shop in England….
...More :

Lalla Suleika, the tragic end of a forbidden love story

Killed for love, Lalla Suleika was a charming Jewish lady who tormented the hearts of many Muslim men in the 19th century before and after her death. Too much love can kill you, is a title of a song written by British guitarist Brian May of Queen, Frank Musker and Elizabeth Lamers that matches the tragic end of a Moroccan love story. And as the west had its Romeo and Juliette and the East its Layla and Majnun, the North African Kingdom witnessed the story of Sol Hachuel, aka Lalla Suleika and her alleged beloved….
...More :

It’s snowing on the palm trees in Morocco. That hasn’t happened in at least 50 years.

By Angela Fritz  Capital Weather Gang January 31

It snowed in the lowlands of Morocco for the first time in 50 years. Record-keeping is tricky in North Africa simply because of the sparse population, but the Morocco meteorology agency appears to have confirmed that, yes, this is a very weird thing.……………

Fez Pays Tribute to Moroccan Author Mohamed Choukri

By Morocco World News February 8, 2018 Rabat

The literary heritage of Mohamed Choukri, author of the acclaimed al-Khubz al-Hafi (For Bread Alone), will be the focus of a retrospective and panel discussion in Fez on March 15 and 16. Organized by the French Institute, the tribute, under the theme “Mohamed Choukri, in the present time”, will include an introductory screening of the documentary, “Choukri, a Sincere Man”, directed by Driss Deiback. The 48-minute film serves as a biographical tribute to the life and work of Mohamed Choukri, starting with the exodus of his family from the Rif to Tangier, the violence of his father, his adolescence spent on the streets, and his life lessons and literary career.

Throughout Morocco, 16,000 Historic Sites Enrich the Country’s Heritage

By Morocco World News  January 31, 2018 Rabat

Appreciation of Morocco’s collection of intangible cultural heritage is steadily growing. The country is home to an impressive 16,000 historic sites, Minister of Culture and Cooperation, Mohamed Laaraj, said Tuesday in Rabat. Morocco’s cultural heritage is spread across all regions of the Kingdom, said the minister.……………

The Female Quran Experts Fighting Radical Islam in Morocco

Dina Temple-Raston Feb 12, 2018

“The women scholars here are even more important than men.”Morocco is in a region vulnerable to terrorist recruitment, but it hasn’t had a significant attack on its own soil since 2011, when terrorists bombed a Marrakesh café. Yet ethnic Moroccans have been at the center of ISIS attacks in Europe. The only alleged survivor of the 2015 Paris rampage is a Frenchman of Moroccan origin; his trial began last week. The men behind the Brussels airport and tram bombings that happened months later were also ethnic Moroccans. The suspected driver of the van that mowed down shoppers in Barcelona was Moroccan-born……….

Moroccan Traveler Shares her Traveling Experience Through ‘Yallah M3aia’ Online Show

By Safaa Kasraoui February 3, 2018 Rabat

Najlae Bellouri is a passionate 25-year old traveler and up-and-coming TV presenter from Morocco. She hosted an online travel show called “Yallah M3aia” (Come With Me) on ALTV (an online television station) which recounts her travels in Turkey. Najlae Bellouri was born and grew up in Safi, at the well-known port city on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, famous for its pottery. She has a Master’s degree in Social Economy and Sustainable Development from Cadi Ayyad University in Social Economy and Sustainable Development and she currently lives in Marrakech.  
She chatted with Morocco World News on January 4 about her travel show and love for her home country.……………

There is More To MENA Than Islamism: Casablanca’s Book Fair and Future of Cultural Diplomacy

By Irina Tsukerman February 8, 2018 Rabat

One of the most exciting developments in the field of cultural diplomacy is taking place between February 8-18 in Casablanca. The 24th annual Casablanca book fair is bringing together over 700 book vendors, and will have a special focus on the “guest of honor”, Egypt. Morocco and Egypt have had a tense relationship in recent years. Since President Al Sissi’s rise, Egypt has been growing closer to Algeria, a sore point for Morocco due to Algeria’s ongoing diplomatic attacks against her regional rival, as well as the funding of the separatist group Polisario. The distancing is said to have been precipitating by a media brawl, during the course of which two Moroccan video channels referred to the overthrow of Morsi’s government as a “coup.”………….

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