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Morocco Week in Review 
May 12, 2018

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

His parents didn't go to college. This Cougar beat the odds

By Cameron Probert

The agency offered Hernandez places in Spanish-speaking countries, but he chose a position in the North African nation where the primary languages are French and Arabic. Hernandez said he signed up to help teach people, but he expects to learn just as much when he goes because he doesn't speak either language.
Read more here:

Conserving Traditional Crop Diversity and Wild Medicinal Plants in Morocco

May 7th 2008 Abderrahim Ouarghidi, Ph.D. Farmer-to-Farmer

Morocco is a key producer of fruits and vegetables for global markets thanks to the government’s push for commercialized crop production – but at what cost? This article explores how “modern” crops have threatened not only Morocco’s agrobiodiversity and local crop varieties but also the country’s small-scale farmers, customary farming practices, community and individual economic welfare, and even cultural traditions.
The author – Abderrahim Ouarghidi, Ph.D. of Penn State University, PA, USA – also introduces the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) and the ways in which the nonprofit aims to alleviate agricultural concerns by implementing sustainable agricultural development practices throughout Morocco
The Moroccan proverb “New things have a charm and old ones should be preserved” has wide applicability in current Moroccan agricultural practices and attitudes toward conventional and local crop varieties. The revealing adage is part of the Moroccan identity and way of life. Moroccan people are committed to establishing a distinctive modernity based upon existing cultural traditions of which high value is placed……..

Cyber Political Activism is in Full Swing in Morocco

By Mohamed Chtatou May 5, 2018 Rabat

After the Hirak protests of the Rif and Zagora and more recently in Jerada, Moroccans need to find another form of civilian resistance to fight those who “own the country” and, ultimately, hit them where it hurts the most: their businesses and profits. The prices of consumer goods have been rising at an alarming rate in the last five years, while the salaries have not increased at all. As a result, the working class citizens are the most affected. They are living in total unfavorable conditions, with no hope of improvement in sight.
The government—unable to scrap the remaining subsidies of such foodstuffs as bread, oil, sugar, and butane, for fear of facing a popular uprising—is resorting to increasing prices of other products, including petrol…………..

A Menu of Moroccan Tradition, and Generosity, in Brooklyn

By Ligaya Mishan May 3, 2018

Friday is the day for couscous at Bab Marrakech in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, as it is in Morocco, where the dish — unchanged in recipe from the 16th century, according to the food historian Clifford A. Wright — follows noon prayers. The grains, as dainty as a doll’s pearls, are rinsed with olive oil and steamed, then rubbed apart and steamed again, until they swell, each a tiny held breath. By tradition, the finished couscous, heaped with whole chickpeas and great logs of carrots, is scooped from a communal plate and rolled between the thumb and the first two fingers, to make a ready mouthful……

RESTAURANTS FROM SCRATCH: How The Root Cafe got its start in Little Rock

By Brandon Riddle

This article was originally published April 26, 2018 at 1:46 p.m. Updated April 27, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

In its nearly seven years in business, The Root Cafe has planted itself as a top destination in Arkansas' capital city for fresh, regionally sourced cooking. The eatery's concept — which stresses "building community through local food" — came during restaurateur Jack Sundell's time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, he says………..

A Guide To Morocco’s Startup Ecosystem

by Team WeeTracker, May 8th 2018

Morocco’s startup ecosystem is still in its development phase but is fast approaching an inflection point to become a fast-growing tech landscape. Startup investment is making a comeback to North Africa. Morocco, along with Egypt is leading the entrepreneurial revolution in the region. According to African Funding Report 2017 by WeeTracker, Morocco saw about USD 3.2 Mn being invested, coming in at sixth place. It was ranked 65th in the world and 2nd in North Africa, scoring 29.2 points in the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI). The North African kingdom has been heavily garnering foreign investment and has made significant improvements to its infrastructure. The country is also home to startup spaces throughout the capital Rabat, the economic center of Casablanca, and even sleepy seaside towns like Taghazout………………..

No tagine? No problem — make this famous Moroccan dish in a sheet-pan

By Ricardo Special to the Star Tues., May 8, 2018

Ricardo’s Sheet-pan Chicken “Tagine” recipe incorporates zucchini ribbon, sausages and apricots for a unique, flavourful take on this classic Moroccan casserole.

What You Need To Know About Morocco (And Its World Cup Bid).

Travis Yoesting May 7, 2018

Morocco might just win the right to host the 2026 World Cup, so here’s everything you need to know about the North African nation. The biggest battle in the soccer world this summer — at least from a U.S. perspective — will take place before a ball is kicked at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Prior to the start of the world’s greatest tournament, FIFA will determine the host of the 2026 edition. And the only thing standing in the way of the U.S. (along with Mexico and Canada) winning the vote is the Morocco World Cup bid.

When Will Morocco Witness Ramadan’s Hilal Crescent?

By Ahlam Ben Saga  May 7, 2018 Rabat

Each year, Muslims around the world predict the first day of Ramadan using one of two acclaimed traditional methods: astronomical calculations and moon-sighting. The first appearance of the “hilal,” or lunar crescent, determines the beginning of the month in the Hijra Islamic lunar calendar, as Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said: “Do not fast until you see it [the crescent] and do not break the fast until you see it, and if it is covered then complete the month.” Weather conditions and the distance between the sun and the moon affect the visibility of the crescent to the naked eye. Cloud cover, in addition to the proximity of the sun and moon, can obscure the crescent sighting………….

Nargisse Benkabbou Plans to make Moroccan Food Global and Still Keep it Authentic.

Emma Henderson

The chef grew up in Belgium and studied three politics courses at university but discovered her real passion when she started blogging about the food of her parents’ home country. I felt like I was betraying my culture. I’d been served a tagine with cous cous,” says Nargisse Benkabbou. When she moved to London seven years ago, she’d gone to a Moroccan restaurant in the hope of finding something comforting that reminded her of home. But this was not how it should be served. The way a tagine should be served is with bread, she says. “I’d never seen it with cous cous, but I ate it anyway, and I actually really liked it,” she admits. “When I tell my mother people eat tagine with cous cous, she’s appalled.”

​Benkabbou is the author of Casablanca: My Moroccan Food, her debut cookbook published this week. But she only came to professional cooking three and a half years ago. Before that, she was a serial student……………

Taghia Gorge, new multi-pitch rock climb in Morocco by Iker Pou, Eneko Pou

08.05.2018 di Planetmountain

Basque brothers Iker and Eneko Pou have made the first ascent of Agar, a new multi-pitch rock climb in the Taghia Gorge (High Atlas massif) in Morocco in memory of Borja Ayed. Despite unsettled weather in Morocco’s Taghia in April, the Spanish rock climbers Eneko and Iker Pou succeeded in establishing a new route up the righthand side of the enormous Jebel Tadrarate rock face. First ascended ground-up using a mix of trad gear and, where absolutely necessary, bolts, the 10-pitch outing offers beautiful climbing but as the Basques warn "potential falls that can be extremely long and even dangerous."

Kindergarten becomes Morocco’s first refugee cooperative

By Malgorzata Bratkrajc in Kenitra, Morocco   07 May 2018    © UNHCR/Jawhar Kodadi

After Morocco allowed refugees to start cooperatives, a group of Yemeni friends opened a kindergarten for refugee and local children. A brightly painted three-storey building in Kenitra, 40 kilometres north of Morocco’s capital Rabat, stands out among its pastel-hued neighbours. It is home to the country’s first refugee cooperative, a kindergarten called “Hope”, run by a group of refugees from Yemen’s three-year war. Inside, Moroccan and Yemeni children play in rooms decorated with cartoon characters and leaf-shaped signs showing the months of the year in Arabic and French. At pick-up time, refugee and local families chat with the kindergarten’s Yemeni and Moroccan staff.“My parents chose to enrol my little sister in this nursery school since the Yemeni cooperative teaches pupils classical Arabic from an early age,” said a 16-year-old Moroccan girl, there to collect her sister. “In Moroccan kindergartens, they tend to speak Darija, our local dialect.”

Fes, Morocco | Esquire Travels

Morocco’s must-see city boasts ageless panoramas, world-heritage sites and a happening modern food scene. Marrakech may have snaffled headlines and tourist dollars for the last decade or so, but Fes should be the go-to Moroccan city break of choice for discerning Esquire readers. The former capital has existed for over 1,000 years, and is home to the world’s oldest extant library and university, as well as a car-free 860-acre medina (old town) that pretty much transports you to the medieval era. Into this time-warp town has dropped a crop of new riads and restaurants enabling visitors to enjoy an alluring blend of contemporary cool and timelessness. In short: it’s one of the world’s great urban experiences.

Casamemoire: Why Casablanca’s Art Deco Architecture Needs Urgent Protection.

Mandy Sinclair

Safeguarding the city’s 20th-century buildings is more important than ever, says Mandy Sinclair. In a downtown core jammed with architectural gems built during the French protectorate era, Casablanca serves as an open-air architectural museum. But, as with many cities, the low-rise buildings are at risk of disappearing as developers encroach to make room for larger, multistorey towers. After losing the Vox – the largest cinema in Africa – as well as the city’s municipal theatre and modern villas, one association is trying to save downtown before it’s too late. Created in 1995, Casamémoire is dedicated to raising awareness of and safeguarding the city’s 20th-century architecture. Its annual heritage days, held from 9 to 13 May 2018, provide an exclusive opportunity to step inside select buildings constructed in the early to mid-1900s and access areas that are otherwise closed to the general public.

Gallery: Cyclists tackle the Moroccan desert as Tour de France meets the Dakar Rally

Nick Lavars   May 7th, 2018

If you've ever tried riding a bike through a small patch of sand you'll know it's not the most agreeable of surfaces to pedal over. Now imagine racing across not only hundreds of miles of desert terrain, but up thousands of feet in elevation at the same time. That's the harsh reality for the battle-hardened cyclists taking part in the Gaes Titan Desert race, where the Moroccan desert provides a spectacular backdrop to an incredible off-road adventure………

Who is Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco?

Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco, nee Salma Bennani, was born in Fes, Morocco, on 10 May 1978. Her parents were El Haj Abdelhamid Bennani (a schoolteacher) and Naïma Bensouda, and she has a sister, Meryem Bennani. Born into a middle-class family, at the age of three, Salma lost her mother in 1981 and from that moment on, they were raised by her grandmother, Hajja Fatma Abdellaoui Maâne in Rabat, where Salma studied. She also lived for a time with her cousin, Saira in the city. She studied at a private school in Rabat for her primary education. In 1995, she graduated with outstanding grades in Mathematics and Science at the Lycée Hassan II, and after completing a two-year preparatory course at the Lycée Moulay Youssef, she graduated in 2000 from l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Informatique et d’Analyse des Systèmes with a major in computer science. After completing her studies, she worked for some time at the Omnium North Africa Group as an information services engineer – a company which the Royal Family has a 20% stake

One Million Students Attend Private Schools in Morocco: Secretary of Education

By Morocco World News May 9, 2018 Rabat

Around one million of Moroccan students attend private schools, making up 14 percent of the student population in the country. During a meeting of House of Representatives on Monday, May 7, in Rabat, the Moroccan Secretary of State for Higher Education and Scientific Research, Khalid Samadi, reported that students pursuing private education make up 14 percent of the total Moroccan student population.

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