The mineret that takes you home

About Membership Volunteer Newsletters Souk Links

Morocco Week in Review 
May 19, 2018

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

How Much Do You Know About Morocco?

Compiled by MICHAEL GONCHAR MAY 14, 2018
Visit our Country of the Week collection to find more geography and culture quizzes based on New York Times reporting.

U.S. - Morocco Plan of Action Promotes Innovation in Waste Management and Pollution Mitigation

Written by State Department  Category: World News  14 May 2018 Washington, DC

On May 11, the United States-Morocco Working Group on Environmental Cooperation convened in Rabat, Morocco, to review achievements from the 2014-2017 Plan of Action and put forward a new 2018-2021 Plan of Action outlining areas for future environmental cooperation to focus on water, air, and waste technology solutions, and efforts to combat environmental crimes. The 2018-2021 Plan of Action aims to create opportunities for innovation and technology solutions in areas such as solid waste management, recycling, and pollution monitoring and mitigation. Planned technical trainings will aim at reducing coastal pollution, marine debris, and mercury contamination. The Plan of Action also prioritizes cooperation to combat wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and fisheries issues through training and consultations.

The Alluring Doorways of Morocco

Morocco's intricate and beautiful entryways are as captivating as the mystery of what lies behind them. Morocco is filled with places whose names evoke the glories of North Africa: Casablanca, Tangier, Fez, Marrakesh. And across the country, in major cities and small towns, a traveler will encounter beautiful, intricate doorways whose colors and designs are influenced by local culture and religion (primarily Islam), as well as colonizers from Europe and the aesthetics of sub-Saharan African nations. Pictured: The main doors of the Royal Palace in Fez…….

Morocco to encourage the use of local wheat.

Ecofin Agency)

Moroccan government will grant various bonus to mills that will source soft wheat on the domestic market for the yield campaign which begins tomorrow May 16 and ends next October 15, Reuters reports. This bonus measures include a reduction by MAD10 per 100 kg of soft wheat, from the MAD280 usual price. In addition, a MAD2 premium on the same quantity will be offered to stockholding agencies every 15 days. This government charm offensive is part of Morocco’s policy to promote locally produced wheat. In this context, the government raised wheat imports’ customs duties from 30 to 135%, a tariff measure which will run till next October 31. ……….

Morocco’s dream of being energy producer takes one step closer.

May 18, 2018

It seems that Morocco’s dream of becoming an energy-producing country has taken a step closer to becoming reality after two international companies announced the discovery of several natural gas fields in the North African kingdom’s territorial waters. Last month, Britain’s SDX Energy announced a new natural gas field at a depth of 1,158 metres to the north of Morocco. A few days earlier, another British company, Sound Energy, announced huge gas discoveries in the Tandarra area covering more than 14,500 square kilometres. The Moroccan National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, however, has not issued any official statement about the two announcements. Indeed, such announcements by foreign companies, said government spokesman Mustapha Al-Khoufi, do not represent the state’s position. “Official matters related to gas exploration are announced by the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines,” he pointed out.

The good, bad and ugly sides to Marrakech, Morocco for tourists

By Tim Pile 18 May 2018

Snake charmers, acrobats and fortune-tellers enrich an already exotic destination but keep an eye on your wallet and dine with the locals. Marrakech marches to its own beat. The former imperial capital is as manic as Mardi Gras and as hip as Hollywood. Throw yourself in at the deep end by exploring the twisting alleyways of the medieval medina, a fortified city within a city. From glassware to brassware, silverware to lacquerware, the souks (markets) brim with a bewildering array of handicrafts – but you’ll need to haggle hard. Apothecaries tout herbal remedies and heap coloured spices into perfectly shaped pyramids while, in the main square of Djemaa El Fna, the pyramids are comprised of humans…………..

Morocco agribusiness gets EUR 200 million

Agribusiness May 17, 2018 newbusiness

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved EUR 200 million loan to support inclusive and Sustainable Development of Agricultural Value Chains in Morocco.

Morocco: The Magnificence of Marrakech

By Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (Ret.) Moroccan American Center for Policy (Washington, DC)

Morocco is unlike any other country I've visited and, having had the fortune of being US Ambassador there for over three years, I learned much about the people and the country. It is unlike any other in the world. Although the majority of Moroccans are Arab and Sunni Muslim, it would be incomplete to call Morocco an Arab country. And although it's part of Africa, it would not be accurate to simply refer to it as an African country, with its indigenous Berber and Jewish roots. King Hassan II once compared Morocco to a giant tree, with its roots in Africa, its trunk in the Arab and Muslim world and its branches in Europe, denoting its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic aspect. It is so unique that it should be on every American's list for must see destinations.

The fog catchers conjuring water out of Moroccan mist

Valeria SIDI IFNI, Morocco, May 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Growing up on Mount Boutmezguida in southwest Morocco on the edge of the Sahara desert, Khadija Ghouate never imagined that the fog enveloping the nearby peaks would change her life. For hours every day and often before sunrise, Ghouate and other women from nearby villages would walk 5 km (3 miles) to fetch water from open wells, with girls pulled out of school to help and at risk of violence on the lonely treks. But with groundwater levels dropping due to overuse, drought and climate change, the challenge to get enough water daily was becoming harder, and almost half of people in the local area sold up and quit rural life after generations for the city.

Morocco’s Oasis Festival adds Ben Klock, Damian Lazarus, Stephan Bodzin & more to its already fervent fourth edition

by: Grace Fleisher May 17, 2018

Morocco’s medinas get a facelift

ANSAmed) - RABAT, MAY 16

Last phase of restoration gets underway. Morocco's medinas are being given a facelift. Rabat, Marrakech and Fes are involved in a restoration project that is now in its third phase. King Mohammed VI has signed the last procurement contracts extending the work to the historic centre of Casablanca at a cost of approximately 30 million euros. The work has included consolidating buildings that were at risk of collapse, restoring historic neighbourhoods and bringing to light forgotten pathways and streets. In Rabat the restoration intercepted the plan for a renaissance in the city that is set on becoming Morocco's 'Ville lumière', involving valorisation of the ancient city gates, mosques and traditional foundouks (hotels). In Marrakech over 4,000 buildings have been restored and the Jewish quarter of El Mellah has been given an overhaul.

First-person: Casablanca and Rabat

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Rachel Hoffer | Special to the Jewish News Jewish

Rachel Hoffer, a board adviser with Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s NowGen program, traveled through Morocco and Spain with Danielle Gross, a first-year member of Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and a participant in NowGen.Hoffer, who is also the NYL Cabinet Israel and Overseas co-chair, joined Gross on the mission, which allowed cabinet members to experience the diversity of Jewish communities abroad, see Federation programs at work and engage with the people affected by Federation-funded programs. Both Gross and Hoffer wrote daily roundups of their time on the mission. Over the next few weeks, Jewish News will publish these dispatches. Here, Hoffer describes the group's second day in Morocco….

A Solo Sojourn Inspired by Edith Wharton’s ‘In Morocco’

The author’s classic travelogue unfolds in golden Marrakesh, and takes shape here in adventure-ready khakis, creams and camels.

By Thessaly La Force May 17, 2018

In 1920, Edith Wharton published “In Morocco,” a detailed account of her time spent traveling through the region with Hubert Lyautey, who served as the resident general of French Morocco from 1912 to 1925. By the end of the First World War, Morocco was still a colonial entity, divided between French and Spanish powers (the country would claim independence in 1956). There were no English-language guidebooks and few accounts from those who had traveled past the international port city of Tangier (“frowsy, familiar Tangier, that every tourist has visited for the last forty years,” Wharton complained in her book). It’s difficult to imagine a Morocco so unknown to such fashionable Western society — Wharton, who kept company with dukes and duchesses and Teddy Roosevelt, and who ran in the same circles (and traveled through much of Europe) with her dear friend, the American writer Henry James, was not writing about the same place that has become so well exoticized since by everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Marella Agnelli….

Morocco and the U.S. sign an agreement to preserve the Judeo-Moroccan heritage

The Archives du Maroc and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have signed an agreement in Rabat allowing the two institutions to exchange archives related to Maghreb Jews during the Second World War, says MAP news agency.The initiative aims to further enrich the national historical records and preserve the Judeo-Moroccan heritage, allowing Archives du Maroc to become a research center for countries in the region, stated head of the Moroccan archives, Jamaa Baida.The Archives du Maroc and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum of Washington DC, now partners, will work together to promote human values, recognizing differences and fighting against obscurantism and radicalism, says the same source………..
...More :

Plural Morocco: Citizenship, Multiculturalism, and the Democratic Challenge.

When Moroccan sociologist Abdelkebir Khatibi wrote his sociological essay, 'Maghreb Pluriel' (Plural Maghreb) in 1983, he sought to put forth a vision of a society built on the notion of multiplicity and 'hybridity.' For Khatibi, Morocco and Moroccanness cannot be explored or conceived in fixated and monolithic terms. As Khatibi would later write in various other works (e.g. 'La mémoire tatouée'), Morocco is essentially a site of multiplicities: it is plural, diverse, and chaotic; it has never been either monocultural or monolingual. So, too, thought the majority, if not all, of the participants in the fourteenth International Festival of Amazigh Culture which took place last weekend at the Merinides Hotel in Fez. The festival, which kicked off on Friday, April 11, seeks to celebrate Amazigh identity and popular culture, in relation with Morocco and the notion of Moroccanness amidst today's changing and shifting notions of citizenship and nationality. On the second day of the festival, on April 12, a wide-ranging panel of experts—including historians, poets, anthropologists, political scientists, and activists—gathered to explore Amazigh culture and the ways it can serve as an incubator for a more inclusive, egalitarian, and democratic Morocco….

5 cultural must-visits in Fez, Morocco

by Femina Travel | May 14, 2018,

Art Naji: Love ceramics? Well, you’ll find loads of them in Fez, Morocco. From distinctive blue pottery to the gorgeous ceramics, you’ll fall in love with all of them. Visit Art Naji, the ceramic hub of Morocco, where you get the opportunity to see the whole production process (which includes pot-throwing, hand-painting and tilework) via free tours.

When Rogue American Flyers Bombed a Moroccan Holy City

By Lee Ferran CHEFCHAOUEN, Morocco

Chefchaouen, the Blue City of Morocco, bears few scars of the mostly forgotten controversy. It was only after the bombs fell on the picturesque northern Moroccan village of Chefchaoen that Capt. Paul Rockwell’s conscience betrayed some mild misgivings. “The city looked lovely from the air, hugging its high mountain and surrounded with many gardens and green cultivations… I looked down upon the numerous sanctuaries, the six mosques, the medieval dungeon, the big square with its fountain playing and fervently hoped none of them had been damaged,” Rockwell is reported to have written a few years later. “I regretted having to attack a town that always had maintained its independence except for a few years of Spanish occupation.”……………….

Where To Shop And Sleep In Marrakesh

Addie Wagenknecht Contributor

I made a promise to myself when I started to really travel a little over a decade ago, that I would not return to the same place more than once. I needed to go to every place 'on my list' but then I found Morocco. If you are lucky enough to be based in Europe, you might consider heading there if you haven't already. Discount airline flights from most major European cities are cheap and quick. For the price of a massage you can book a flight and within about three hours can be anywhere within Morocco. Once you land, it's like being transported to Arabia meets France meets Indiana Jones, in all the best ways.

I love exploring Marrakesh. I always recommend you start here. The Medina is central to Marrakesh with miles and miles of covered markets with thousands of different sellers and a maze of color. You never need to walk the same way twice when you enter into its maze. Often I walk in and try to get lost, this is when I find the best treasures and friendliest of locals. One of the best tips I can give you before going to Marrakesh and even before you even read any further, is to get an off-line map app on your smart-phone. These apps allow you to have maps accessible and searchable without relying on cellphone service or wifi access internationally and domestically. They allow you to get lost and find your location within seconds. I use CityMaps2Go!. I lost track of how many times these apps have saved me. From being stranded in Sri Lanka at 3am, to navigating the labyrinth of the souks.

Fez - Morocco's Best City

Francis Tapon Contributor

According to Morocco's Ministry of Tourism, 11.3 million tourists visited Morocco in 2017. Most did not visit the nation's best city.
Morocco was the first African country I visited. I spent two months there before spending the next 5 years driving overland to the other 53 African countries.
I wanted to see Morocco's overlooked corners in addition to its well-known destinations.
I had read that Casablanca disappoints many travelers, which is why it didn’t disappoint me: it’s as mediocre as I expected it to be. Unlike most Moroccan medinas, Casablanca’s medina is filthy and uninviting

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