2018-05-18 By Hyon O'Brien
We just returned from a two-week tour of Morocco in North Africa. Seventeen of us traveled. All of us were American citizens who came from different states and different backgrounds. However, we all had one thing in common: the Peace Corps. Four had served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco, two in Tunisia, others in Malaysia, Belize, Costa Rica, Korea, Brazil, Mali and Jordan at different times. The remaining four are spouses of those who served: interestingly, these spouses represented four countries, Turkey, Korea, Australia and America………….
May 6, 2018
After the Hirak i (uprising) of the Rif and that of Zagora and recent the one of Jerada, the needy of Morocco are resorting to another form of civilian resistance to fight those who, literally “own the country,” and, ultimately, hit them where it hurts the most: their businesses, pockets, gains and political standing.
The prices of consumer goods have been going up at an alarming rate in the last five years while the salaries have not increased a bit, in the least. As a result, the grassroots are the most hit in their tiny budgets. They are living in total squalor with no hope of improvement in sight for the time being.
The government is unable to scrap the remaining subsidies of such foodstuffs as: bread, oil, sugar and butane, for fear to face a popular uprising, is resorting to dirty tricks such as increasing prices of other products including petrol.
Two Moroccos, Two Different Speeds
In the past, right after independence, there were three social classes in the country: upper class, middle class and lower class.ii Today things have changed tremendously, there are only two classes left, miles apart from each other: the very rich made of the Makhzeniii families, military top brass, co-opted politicians and nouveaux riches, who made their wealth from corruption and embezzlement, and on the opposite side, the class of survivalists comprising the old middle class, the poor and very poor. As a matter of fact, since the beginning of the third millennium, Morocco has duly split into two Moroccos, cruising at different speeds:
The Morocco of the Golden Triangle, is made partly of the colonial Maroc Utile (Useful Morocco) which has extended in territory lately. It starts in Tangier and goes all the way to Laayoune, on a north to south axis, and from Casablanca to Fes, on a west to east axis, and beyond is rural hinterland and the Amazigh mountains where poverty reigns extreme: no decent infrastructure, very high illiteracy, no means of subsistence and rampant poverty and despair. In the past these regions used to survive thanks to employment in Europe, but since the mid 80s of the last century Europe closed its frontiers to migration and people of these regions have fallen into total squalor: no jobs for the adults and no future for their young siblings.
The Morocco of Despair is made of the hinterland and the periphery. It comprises the Amazigh/Berber mountains, the plateaus, the semi-arid and arid areas. In these areas people live off the land when the land is generous in humid years. In years of drought, they live off remittances of their families living in Europe. As for those who do not have this possibility they migrate to big cities with the elusive hope to find a job and survive and end up living in squalid conditions in slums in the belts of poverty. The successive governments since independence in 1956 have been unable to devise development programs to improve the lives of the people……………….
More here: https://www.eurasiareview.com/06052018-the-rise-of-cyber-political-activism-in-morocco-analysis/
Surfer Meriem: In the summer we suffer a lot of harassment, that's why we pay attention to what we wear.
Wednesday 23/05/2018 RABAT
Moroccan women surfers have become a common sight as they skim the waves off the coast of the capital, Rabat, but they still can face prejudice and harassment back on land. "It's easier in the winter because the beaches are empty," said surfer Meriem, 29, who, like most of the women surfers, wears a wetsuit. "In the summer we suffer a lot of harassment, that's why we pay attention to what we wear." The engineer, who took up the sport four years ago, said she's lucky to have grown up in a "tolerant" family.
For many Moroccan women from conservative backgrounds, such activities are off limits. "Some families are ashamed that their daughters practise water sports," said Jalal Medkouri, who runs the Rabat Surf Club on the capital's popular Udayas beach…..
By Hamza Guessous May 19, 2018
The online boycott has called into question the amount of profits and the quality of the products provided by the three “monopolizing” companies in the Moroccan market: Sidi Ali-Oulmes, Centrale Danone and Afriquia gasoline. The bottled water sector has significantly evolved in recent years. Experts explained the growth by the emergence of new services, such as hotels, restaurants, and cafes that have grown popular among Moroccans. Differences in the taste and mineral content between bottled water and public tap water is also a factor that has contributed to increased consumption of mineral water, because many Moroccans believe that it can be used to get rid of kidney stones. But doctors recommend using a filter with tap water rather than buying bottled mineral water……….
Follow it here: https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/447792035/NfL5t-Y7CO4tDSUU?n=1&code=F0A6UI8SDeLVJB2O
THE Emerging Economies Summit hears senior university leader call for reform to address nation’s graduate employment crisis
May 10, 2018 By Jack Grove Twitter: @jgro_the
Morocco’s deepening graduate unemployment problem could be eased if fewer university courses were taught in Arabic, according to one of the nation’s senior university leaders.
In an interview with Times Higher Education at its Emerging Economies Summit at the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Wail Benjelloun – a former head of Morocco’s Conference of University Presidents and current leader of the Mediterranean Universities Union, which represents 84 universities across 21 Mediterranean countries – said that he wanted to see more non-science courses taught in French, Spanish and English, reflecting the country’s proximity to Europe, which is just eight miles away by sea………..
Follow it here: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/more-non-arabic-degrees-will-ease-moroccos-graduate-unemployment
Zachary Burt May 10, 2018
Pilot programs in Morocco and California are rewarding people financially for conserving water, rather than charging them for excessive consumption.
From Sao Paulo and Cape Town to Beijing and San Diego, water demand in cities around the world is outstripping supply. Urbanization, developing economies, and shifting precipitation patterns are some of the causes, all with the same result: diminishing water availability in cities all over the world. We need a global rethink, one that starts with turning markets upside down.
A group of university and private partners is working with two water utilities, one in Sonoma, California, and the other in Marrakesh, Morocco, to pioneer a new approach, based on rewarding conservation, rather than charging for consumption. Water markets are hardly new. Farmers trade water in Chile, Australia, and California—revealing the worth of this liquid asset. These markets encourage conservation and ensure that water flows to its highest value crop, whether berry, dairy, barley, or wine. If this is true for farmers, why would it be any different for cities? ………………..
Saad Guerraoui Sunday 06/05/2018 CASABLANCA
Street vendors fill popular neighbourhoods’ streets, offering dates, traditional pancakes, handmade orange juices and fried fish. Every year before the holy month of Ramadan, the government seeks to reassure Moroccans about prices of heavily consumed products. But as price hikes are seemingly inevitable this time of year, the Interior Ministry has also set up a 24-hour phone line to receive complaints from traders and consumers regarding prices and supplies……..
By Moha Ennaji May 16, 2018
As a whole, the work of Tahar Ben Jelloun sparks intense debates, as it pours into the tale, the legend, the Maghreb rites, and ancestral myths.
However, its originality lies in its art of grasping all aspects of the North African traditions and cultures in a very singular symbiosis. Ben Jelloun is the most famous Moroccan writer both in the Maghreb and worldwide. He is very well known since the 1987 Goncourt Award. His audacious writings have sparked debates. His works are taught in universities throughout the world and remain in many respects a reference of Francophone literature……………
Read more here: https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/447254375/st8AX8duBzKA-rbS?n=1&code=F0A6UI8SDeLVJB2O==============================================================
Shannon Lewis - Leadership - May 04, 2018
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Bouregreg River, Rabat is Morocco’s capital city. According to World Population Review, there are only two cities in Morocco with over a million people: Casablanca, with a population of 3.14mn in 2018, and Rabat, with 1.66mn. Although only about a third of the size of Casablanca, Rabat is the economic centre of Morocco. Put together, the Rabat and Casablanca regions make up nearly half of Morocco’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Where the Casablanca-Settat region brings in 32% of Morocco’s GDP, the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra region isn’t far behind, accounting for 16.3% of Morocco’s wealth. Morocco’s total GDP is of $101.45bn, according to Trading Economics, meaning Morocco represents 0.16% of the world’s economy. In 2016, Rabat was ranked by Mercer as 168th most expensive city for newly relocated people, up seven spots from its 2015 rank of 175th………………
In a press conference held at Mega Mall Rabat, the comic duo composed of Amine Belghazi and Obeid Allah Hlal, announced the line-up for the 4th edition of 'Aji Tehdem (Come and Digest!)', which will take place in several cities (and countries) during the holy month of Ramadan.
This year, the event will become a humorous traveling festival that will bring together comics from all horizons such as the iconic Abdelkader Secteur, Winner of the 'Comedia Show'; Bassou, the actor of 'Lahbib'; Haytam Miftah; and humorist Youssef Ksiyer, among other prominent names on the Moroccan stand-up scene.
Speaking to Morocco World News, the comedian Bassou has expressed his joy at being a part of such an 'entertaining festival that gives to the stand-up comedy more visibility.'
In a press conference held at Mega Mall Rabat, the comic duo composed of Amine Belghazi and Obeid Allah Hlal, announced the line-up for the 4th edition of 'Aji Tehdem (Come and Digest!)', which will take place in several cities (and countries) during the holy month of Ramadan. This year, the event will become a humorous traveling festival that will bring together comics from all horizons such as the iconic Abdelkader Secteur, Winner of the 'Comedia Show'; Bassou, the actor of 'Lahbib'; Haytam Miftah; and humorist Youssef Ksiyer, among other prominent names on the Moroccan stand-up scene. Speaking to Morocco World News, the comedian Bassou has expressed his joy at being a part of such an 'entertaining festival that gives to the stand-up comedy more visibility.'
By Rachel Fogle De Souza BookTrib (TNS) May 22, 2018
This novel came out back in March, but it’s still one of the most talked-about books. “Tangerine: A Novel,” the psychological thriller by debut author Christine Mangan, is not only beautifully written prose, but electric in imagery. Taking place in Tangier, Morocco, in the 1950s, the novel is vivid and full of heat, winding the characters up tighter and tighter as events around them begin to fall apart, only adding further to the feelings of claustrophobia and anxiety that are the hallmarks of every great thriller.
Alice and Lucy used to be best friends and roommates, practically inseparable. But after an accident, the two haven’t spoken in over a year. Alice is so startled when Lucy shows up on her doorstep in Tangier, trying to return to their old friendship and act like nothing happened. For Alice, this is something of a double-edged sword. She hasn’t adjusted well to living in Morocco, and Lucy is energetic and outgoing, helping her adjust and feel more settled; at the same time, that familiar feeling of being controlled and restrained starts to creep back into Alice’s life. Then, when Alice’s husband goes missing, she’s forced to question her reality — and her own mind………….
By Moha Ennaji May 20, 2018
The curtain fell last Sunday on the 14th annual International Festival of Amazigh Culture in Fez. Organized under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI by the Association Fes Saiss and the Center South North organization in partnership with the region of Fes-Meknes, this festival was marked by its vibrant homage to the great writer Tahar Ben Jelloun and several tributes to prominent Amazigh musical figures. A dozen concerts at the historical site of Bab Makina set the tone for a colorful event, as varied programming attracted lovers of Amazigh and “popular” music……………
Updated May 17
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.
For me, Marrakech is the jewel of Morocco with its colorful souks (markets), old storytellers, artists and performers in the Jemaa el Fna town square, a western night life rare in the Middle East, and a very special people – the Marrakchi – who are fun loving and mystical. The town is draped by the snowcapped High Atlas Mountains, towering to nearly 14,000 feet, and a climate like Palm Springs California.
Two important considerations in Marrakech are what to do and where to stay. I’d like to offer my top three favorites…………..
Read more here: http://moroccoonthemove.com/2018/05/17/magnificence-marrakech-ambassador-edward-m-gabriel-ret/#sthash.0WEurgbl.rhaH2t3H.dpbs
During her stay in Morocco, American novelist Edith Wharton was hosted by resident general Hubert Lyautey, a man who inspired her account «In Morocco». In her book, Edith praises the French government and glorifies imperialism……...
More : https://en.yabiladi.com/articles/details/65102/morocco-edith-wharton-s-book-praising.html
May 20, 2018 By Said Temsamani
Every year in Ramadan King Mohammed VI presides over a series of highly important religious lectures known as Al-Dourous Al- Hassaniyah. A Ramadan tradition that started in 1963 by the late King Hassan II of Morocco, hence its name. For over 50 years, this forum has hosted prominent Muslim scholars and jurists from diverse sectarian and ideological backgrounds to discuss issues and concerns of the Muslim ummah. The Dourus are attended by the Moroccan King, the royal family, religious scholars, high-ranking state officials, and members of Muslim countries’ diplomatic missions to Morocco…………………
Rabat - Morocco's Ministry of Education and the NGO Injaz Al-Maghrib have signed a partnership to instill entrepreneurial skills in students from primary school to university. Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research Said Amzazi and Chairwoman and CEO of Injaz Al-Maghrib NGO Laila Mamou signed the agreement earlier this week to facilitate young people's entrance into the labor market and business world………….
Morocco was honored Thursday evening in Washington, DC, at the 10th edition of the DC Embassy Chef Challenge, which nominates the best chefs of diplomatic representations in the US federal capital, says chef Faiçal Zahraoui on his Facebook page.«I had the great honor to represent Morocco at this competition and the Kingdom Embassy in Washington». Faisal Zahraoui
More : https://en.yabiladi.com/articles/details/65062/moroccan-gastronomy-faisal-zahraoui-awarded.html
By Morocco World News May 18, 2018
Tilila Rabat will brighten Rabatis’ Friday nights this Ramadan by screening four Moroccan Movies. “The Governor General of Chakerbakerben Island” will be projected today at 9:30 PM at L’Kwan.
The number of movie theaters is decreasing year after year. However, even those who are lucky enough to be living in a city where there is an operational multiplex or cinema have very limited movie options.Yet no one can deny the fact that during the last 5 years, Moroccans have shown a rising interest in cinema.
By Valeria Cardi Sidi Ifni
The world's largest functioning fog collection project is setting an example for other projects globally. 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.
By Morocco World News May 21, 2018 By Sarah Goodman
When Oussama Skali, the director of the Fez Festival of Culinary Diplomacy, entered the event’s kitchen, he was greeted by Chef Najat Kaanache, arranging and rearranging her kitchen utensils like army battalions on a strategy board. “I’m going to change your life,” she reported brightly, a twinkle in her eye. “Just kidding.” Yet, underlying the three-day Festival of Culinary Diplomacy, there was a palpable sense of the transformative power of food. The weekend, April 19-22, created a space where the officials and politicians left the real diplomacy to the kitchen.
It’s late afternoon on the forested slopes of Mount Selouane. In single file or knots of friends, young West African men are trudging down the hillside to the dusty, dishevelled outskirts of the Moroccan village of Shadia. Nearly everyone is carrying an empty water bottle, part of their daily routine to fill them for free from standpipes outside the few general stores. They come as well to get a better network connection, to check their Facebook, make calls home, or catch up on friends who have made it to Europe.
By nightfall, the growing agricultural village of half-finished apartments – and watchful local men – will transform once again. The West Africans will be gone; back in the relative safety of the forest, where more than 1,000 irregular migrants are camped………….
Read it here: http://world.einnews.com/article/447925508/4JMiaOZrNRJtevkw
By Sana Elouazi May 4, 2018
In its latest economic analysis report, BMI Research asserted that Moroccan authorities will remain committed to maintaining the country’s currency liberalization, which will only happen very gradually to avoid a rapid depreciation of the dirham and associated imported price pressures. After Morocco’s Ministry of Finance officially announced the dirham liberalization a few months ago, the move has prompted public fears of a similar scenario to that of Egypt. In this sense, BMI Fitch Group Firm, echoes reassurance from Bank Al Maghrib, stating that Morocco’s move to liberalize its currency sharply contrasts with Egypt’s situation in November 2016, when economic pressures forced the government to suddenly release the currency peg, causing a sudden spike in the price of imported goods………….
May 4, 2018 12:19 pm
The 30 imams who have signed a letter against antisemitism and extremism in France are graduates of a special training program for imams in Morocco. Created in 2005, the Institute Mohammed VI de la Formation des Imams Mourchidens et Mourchidates now boasts of approximately 1,600 graduates — more than 1,000 male, and 800 female imams. Indeed, while women imams may be a novelty in the United States, where many mosques are sponsored by states with Islamist ideology or Muslim Brotherhood-linked conservative organizations, the Moroccan training is focused on preserving the Moroccan tradition of tolerance. This training also focuses on streamlining the traditions of imams all over the country, as well as from Africa, and European countries, such as France………….
By cce news May 21, 2018
According to the BNC Network, there are over 200 active mega construction projects in Morocco with a combined estimated value of just under $50bn.
by Mildred Europa Taylor, May 04, 2018, Women
For some weeks now, hundreds of Moroccans have been intensifying their demand to have the country’s inheritance rule repealed. The rule, known as Ta’sib gives the rights to the men closest to the family of the deceased or distant relatives, even those not known in the family, to share the inheritance with female orphans who do not have a brother……………….
04 May 2018 New Staits Times
WE are still talking about yesterday’s desert excursion when our coach starts to leave the compound of the four-star hotel in Erfoud, the oasis town at the edge of Sahara.
The image of the camel at sunset trekking to Erg Chebbi, the sand dunes of Sahara, was the highlight of the first leg of our 10-day Discover Morocco Tour that kicked off from Casablanca five days ago. We have already visited Marakech — the city that gave the country its name, Ourzazate — a city located 1,151m above sea level at High Atlas Mountains and finally, Erfoud…………..
Photos of Moroccan food in US
By Marc Martin May 03, 2018
The Titan Desert 2018 is a 385-mile mountain bike race that navigates between the Atlas Mountains and the Merzouga Dunes in the Sahara Desert. The race takes place over six days with 612 cyclists representing 22 nationalities.
Photos here: http://www.latimes.com/visuals/la-fg-titan-desert-2018-morocco-unfurled-2018-htmlstory.html
May 22, 2018 Modern Diplomacy By Modern Diplomacy By Jamal Laadam*
Back in the year 1958, the kingdom of Morocco become the second African country to recognize the People’s Republic of China. Basically, bilateral ties between the two countries set up last year when King Mohamed VI made an official visit mainland China. It was the second trip to China during his reign in 2006. The royal visit to China resulted in signing up very important treaties and agreements especially the agreement named “China-Africa Investment Fund” and plans for a $10 billion industrial city to be located and built in Tangier, Morocco’s North Hub.
Indeed, China looks at Morocco as fruitful opportunity area to develop factories for export to the European Zone, and easy up way to the other African State especially across Gibraltar………….
In 14 years, only 58 cities out of 85 at risk
22 May, 2018 (ANSAmed) - RABAT
The Moroccan government's plan to rid the cities of its slums, called 'Villes sans bidonvilles' and launched in 2004 following the terrorist attacks in Casablanca, was slated to end in 2012.
Instead, 14 years later, only 58 cities out of 85 have been targeted by the clean-up programme that provides for demolishing the most broken-down neighbourhoods and trasferring residents to newly built public housing, as part of a wider programme in the fight against terrorism….
May 21, 2018 by Julia Hofmann MOROCCO BLUES Photos and Words by Carlos Blanchard
Guitars, drums, the clapping hands…. It's like the blues, sounds like it at least, feel like it too. Those are my first thoughts the moment the driver turns on his radio and puts the volume high. “What is this?” I ask him. “It's Tuareg music,” he answers. The conversation does not go for too long since his English is quite broken, and I start trying to remember the name of a musician I once heard that played exactly that kind of music. The name does not come to me though and I lose myself in the surrounding rhythms. I was unable to communicate with the driver with the language barrier comes, but the music builds a bridge.
While the driver moves with the wave of sounds that fill our car, I dig myself deeper and deeper in the soft seat, trying to digest the number of different sounds that the radio is throwing at us. It's overwhelming! I'm just hoping that the drive to our hotel today is really long! I want to enjoy this moment, probably the only one each day in which we are more or less relaxed, where we have some time to think about our day, what we see and what we do here. I think the music is the greatest way to dress up all the thoughts that come to my head, right here, right now, in Morocco. Its roots are close to the feelings of the people here. They talk about their fears and hopes. It goes back generations, and its traditions grow in value every time. Its meaning, I will never really understand, but it is captivating……
Check the photos here: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/music-and-mountain-biking-overcome-language-barriers-on-an-adventure-in-morocco.html==============================================================
By Hamza Guessous May 22, 2018
Ramadan is the favorite month of the year for Muslims around the world. This year it coincides with the last month of spring.
In addition to the spiritual aspect of fasting and its health benefits, Ramadan brings an exceptional atmosphere. People engage in multiple special activities during the holy thirty days of fasting. This is the month when mothers indulge their family members with succulent and special dishes.
As the time of breaking the fast approaches, many people, especially men, are drawn into sports and other leisurely activities such as playing cards with friends in the neighborhood………
By Morocco World News - May 22, 2018 Rabat
Morocco’s Minister of Education Said Amzazi has unveiled his ambitious new national education plan to address infrastructure, pedagogy, and violence in schools. The minister presented his plan, which projects through the 2021-2022 school year, to the Committee on Education, Culture, and Communication in the second chamber of Parliament on May 16. The new education plan largely continues and builds upon the former education minister’s program, which targeted the expansion of school facilities and infrastructure and the early integration of an increasingly Francophone pedagogical approach………………
Read the rest here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/05/246895/minister-education-national-education-overhaul/
By Hicham Zerhouni May 22, 2018 Rabat
Since the beginning of the boycott crisis in Morocco four weeks ago, the political meter seems to be swiftly ticking towards the expiration date of the current Justice and Development party (PJD) cabinet and the coalition parties.
The massive boycott is threatening the future of three large Moroccan multinational corporations: Centrale Danone, Eaux Minérales d’Oulmès (Sidi Ali), owned by Holmarcom, and AFRIQUIA GAZ, owned by the Akwa Group. The boycott that was launched on social media has quickly spread across Morocco. It caused the loss of millions of dirhams for these companies and tarnished the reputations of their brands, products and executives.
Hadiqa executive chef Danny Sanchez’reflects on his time to Morocco.
Published on 23 May 2018 by Martin Eade
Hadiqa in Hibernian Place is the latest addition to Perth bar-mogul Andy Freeman's portfolio that includes The Flour Factory, Varnish on King and Caballitos. Enter the bar and the expanse of greenery, wicker chairs and intricately decorated tiles screams Morocco, however the original concept was a little more generic. “We decided on Middle Eastern, which was confusing,” says Hadiqa executive chef, Danny Sanchez. “Somebody said Greek, somebody said Lebanese. We were going to go to Turkey but there was a travel ban, we tried to go to Lebanon but it was dangerous. So I went to Morocco.”
Sanchez spent a month eating and photographing his way around Morocco, spending more time than planned in the mountains after being stranded by unexpected snowfall. “It was a good thing, because we had to spend time with the families who lived in the area,” he says. “I learned a lot about why they cook the way they do. That was more important than the flavours.”
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