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Morocco Week in Review 
October 13, 2018

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

US Peace Corps Celebrates 55 Years in Morocco

By Susanna Spurgeon October 6, 2018 Rabat

US Peace Corps Celebrates 55 Years in Morocco

With the arrival of the US Peace Corps’s 100th group of volunteers in Morocco, the organization celebrates “55 years of friendship.” Peace Corps Country Director Sue Dwyer noted, “These milestones are a testament to the strong friendship and partnership between the people and government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States Peace Corps.” The Peace Corps is a US organization that promotes peace in the world through a volunteer program. According to a press release from the US embassy in Rabat, Peace Corps volunteers serve Moroccan youth in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Volunteers seek to help youth become “productive and civically engaged adults.” Volunteers also learn about Morocco. Sofia Ashooh, serving in the Fes region, told Morocco World News, “Peace Corps has provided me with an outstanding opportunity to learn about Moroccan culture. I discover something new every day as I carry out my daily life with neighbors, friends, and work partners.” The Peace Corps’s newest group of volunteers in Morocco, the 100th to come to the kingdom, arrived September 11. The 110 volunteers will spend 11 weeks studying the culture and Darija (Moroccan Arabic).

After training, Peace Corps volunteers will be sent primarily to rural areas in six regions of Morocco. There, they will work in youth and women’s centers “to strengthen youth life skills through participation and leadership in classes, clubs, camps and mentoring.” The volunteers commit to serving two years in their sites assigned by the Ministry of Youth. The experience can be life-changing. “In Morocco I’ve learned how to be truly generous from the selflessness of my neighbors. I’ve become more patient and understanding as well,” Ashooh reflected. “I will always be grateful to the Moroccan people for welcoming me into their lives, and I strive to be a better person every day because of them.”

Although Peace Corps volunteers serve across the globe, Morocco is “one of the most highly sought after” countries. Morocco received 900 applications from Peace Corps candidates this year.
Morocco invited the Peace Corps in 1963, and since then, 5,052 volunteers have served in Morocco. For many volunteers, Peace Corps is a springboard to distinguished careers as diplomats. The late US Ambassador Christopher Stevens to Libya, killed by militants in Benghazi in 2012, served in Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer in the early 1980s. The US Chargé d’Affaires at the US embassy in Rabat, Stephanie Miley, also served as a Peace Corps volunteer, in Ecuador. The Peace Corps mission is to provide social and economic assistance for communities abroad through training. The organization also promotes mutual understanding between Americans and their host countries.  As Sofia Ashooh put it, “I now consider Morocco a second home, and I am lucky to do so.”

Lalla Joumala Celebrates Morocco’s Rich Heritage in Florida

By  Morocco World News - October 5, 2018 Rabat 

Morocco’s ambassador to the US, Lalla Joumala Alaoui, has asserted Morocco’s determination to preserve its centuries-old history in Florida. In a debate hosted Thursday at the University of Central Florida, the ambassador spoke about Morocco’s openness to the world at all levels. The debate, under the theme “The Business Climate in Morocco and the Socio-Cultural Environment,” gave the ambassador an opportunity to explain Morocco’s commitment to progress and prosperity, owing to the political stability in the country.

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US Diversity Visa Lottery Opens, Thousands of Moroccans to Apply

By Morocco World News -  October 5, 2018 Rabat

The US Department of State has announced the opening of the registration period for the diversity visa lottery for US permanent residence in 2020. The US grants 50,000 immigrant visas through the diversity visa lottery each year to foreign citizens of eligible countries, including Morocco, who have applied and qualified. Eligible countries are those that have sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the past five years

Florida Hosts ‘Moroccan Village’ for the First Time

By Morocco World News - October 6, 2018 Rabat

Orlando, Florida, is hosting a “Moroccan Village” for the first time to encourage US tourism to Morocco. The “Moroccan village,” according to the state-owned news agency Maghreb Arab Press, displays attractions, shows, culinary stands, crafts, traditional products, art exhibitions, and conferences. The village is open October 4-7, promoting Moroccan culture and heritage.
The village’s purpose is to present Morocco’s highlights to increase understanding and exchanges between the countries. The initiative also aims to attract investors through presentations on Morocco’s advancement and innovation in various sectors, including renewable energies, real estate, agriculture, and sustainable development.   
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How The Digital Dating Revolution Is Changing Morocco.

Social media and dating apps have revolutionized the way young people live, and given women the right to seduce.

Ghalia Kadiri LE MONDE 2018-10-04 CASABLANCA

Facebook is the only place Nadia* is allowed to go out in the evening. From her tiny, windowless bedroom, with the fan on full blast, she allows herself a breath of fresh air. Social media has revolutionized her life – that of a young bank employee who, at 23 years of age, has led an unremarkable life, suffocated by the traditions that her parents still adhere to. In the room next door, they have no idea what is happening inside Nadia’s head, beneath the multicolored veil which covers her long, brown hair. It is made from “high quality silk from Saudi Arabia,” boasts the pretty Moroccan with large, black eyes.

Teenager’s Gang Rape Claim Inspires #MeToo Movement in Morocco

By Souhail Karam October‎ ‎04‎, ‎2018

Khadija Ouqrou was outside her aunt’s house in the central Moroccan town of Ouled Ayad when a man dragged her off at knife-point. The teenager says she was gang-raped and abused for two months then dumped home after her father promised not to tell the police.
In a rare break with conservative mores prevalent in most Islamic countries, where families tend to hush up rape to avoid stigma, the 17-year-old insisted on pressing charges. She spoke of her ordeal on camera, leading to the arrest of 12 men…………….
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British Ambassador: New University in Agadir Prison Gives Hope to Inmates

By Ahlam Ben Saga -  October 5, 2018

After visiting a Moroccan prison, the British ambassador, to Morocco, Thomas Reilly, has drawn attention to the importance of reintegration. Reilly recently attended the inauguration ceremony of a university within the walls of the local Ait Melloul prison in Agadir. The purpose of the university is to “give prisoners hope of a different, better life after jail,” Reilly stated……………..
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World Bank ‘Concerned’ about Morocco’s 2018 Economic Outlook

By Tamba François Koundouno -  October 4, 2018 Rabat

The economic and political transformations Morocco has experienced in recent years have not been enough to change the World Bank’s mixed outlook on Morocco’s growth potential. In its latest bi-annual report on Morocco’s economic performance, the Washington-based institution offered a relatively bleak reading about the capacity of Morocco’s economic model to absorb the kingdom’s level of unemployment, poverty, and socio-structural disparities. Moroccan news outlet Aujourd’hui le Maroc wrote in an October 4 editorial that the World Bank is “particularly concerned about the vulnerability of Morocco’s economic model.”………

Scientists Find Oldest Bone-Knife in North Africa in Morocco

By Ahlam Ben Saga - October 4, 2018 Rabat

Scientists have discovered a 90,000 year-old bone-knife made from an animal rib in Morocco. The bone tool, recovered in 2012 in the Dar es-Soltan 1 cave south of Rabat, is the oldest tool to have been shaped and used as a knife by the Aterian culture from the Middle Stone Age in North Africa, announced the Ministry of Culture and Communication on October 3.
According to Natural History Museum, the bone, 13 centimeters long, came from a large mammal and had been shaped and sharpened for cutting soft material……….
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Morocco to Host International Female Writers Conference for First Time

By Morocco World News -  October 9, 2018 Rabat

Morocco will host the 13th International Female Writers Conference in seven cities across the country. Typically held on the American continents or in Spain, the conference will be hosted in Morocco for the first time in the northern cities and towns of Tetouan; M’diq on the Mediterranean; Chefchaouen, 50 kilometers inland from the Mediterranean; and Larache on the Atlantic coast from October 25 to 28. The conference will move to Tangier, Fez, and Rabat on October 29. ================================================

Moroccans protest over ‘poor education conditions’

October 8, 2018

Hundreds of trade unionists and teachers demonstrated yesterday in front of Morocco’s Ministry of Education in the capital Rabat, demanding better education conditions. The protest was called by the National Federation for Education.
Protesters called for “real education reform” and rejected the “privatisation of education and the cancellation of free education.” They also called for improved employment terms and conditions for teachers.

A Skier’s Discovery in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains

Words by Karina Schwartznau Photography by Daniel Rönnbäck

In Morocco, sand is everywhere: in your clothes, in your teeth, in your ski boots. When the western shore of Morocco first came into view, I saw sunbaked sand stretching long and far. I expected dirt--dirt in the streets, dirt on clothes, dirt in the soles of my ski boots. I did not expect the narrow paved roads that twisted up the hillside out of the city, children who sprinted and waved behind our car with excitement as we passed their village, or donkeys that hauled straw piles twice their height.

Bring it on home: Morocco

By Amy Bertrand St. Louis Post-Dispatch  Amy Bertrand Oct 7, 2018

Who and where • Tina Crouppen of Frontenac in Marrakesh, Morocco. The trip • Crouppen and her husband, Terry, traveled to Morocco in January.

Morocco’s Second Energy Transfer Pumping Station to See Light in Agadir

By Morocco World News -  October 9, 2018 Rabat

The minister of energy has launched the Pumped Power Transfer Station Project in Abdelmoumen dam, 70 kilometers northeast of Agadir. As Morocco increases its development of renewable electricity, Minister of Energy, Aziz Rabbah, launched the building of a second energy transfer pumping station (STEP) on Monday, October 8. The project is part of Morocco’s development plan and integration of renewable energy. The total cost of the project is MAD 3 billion. Construction is expected to last 3 years, and the total installed capacity will be 350 megawatts.

Morocco’s Atlantic Andalusia Festival to Promote Muslim-Jewish Exchange

By Morocco World News -  October 9, 2018 By Oumaïma Fassi Fihri Rabat

The coastal city of Essaouira will host the 15th annual Atlantic Andalusia Festival from October 25-28 to promote Muslim-Jewish intercultural exchange. “Andalousies Atlantiques d’Essaouira,” as it is called in French, will host twelve concerts featuring international and Moroccan Muslim and Jewish artists.

Morocco Wins Spain’s Best International Gastronomic Destination

Morocco World News - October 3, 2018 Rabat

Morocco has won the prize for best international gastronomic destination in the third “Gastro y Cia” award of Spanish newspaper La Razon. Morocco received the award at a ceremony Monday, October 1, in Madrid, represented by the delegate of the Moroccan National Office of Tourism (ONMT) in Spain, Mohamed Sofi. According to the organizers, the award is a tribute to Moroccan cuisine, characterized by quality and slow-cooked dishes known throughout the world.

Women Adoul in Morocco: The Not So Modern Legal Dilemma

By  Morocco World News  - September 30, 2018By Ihsane Elidrissi Elhassani Rabat

“The adoul (notary) examination results for the year 2018 were unveiled July 21; 299 women candidates passed, making up 37 percent of the 800 successful candidates.”
Behind this seemingly anodyne announcement hides one of the most controversial and bold decisions of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, a decision made on January 22, 2018, in his religious capacity as the commander of the faithful to allow women to become adoul. The profession until then had been reserved to men.
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Morocco to introduce Holocaust studies into ‎country's education system

"The history we teach our children must ‎present humanity's greatest moments as well as its ‎darkest moments," King Mohammed VI says • UNESCO Director Audrey Azoulay: To address anti-Semitism is to defend ‎dignity for all human beings.

Moroccan Coalition Calls for Abolition of Death Penalty

By Ahlam Ben Saga -  October 9, 2018 Rabat

The Moroccan Coalition Against the Death Penalty has called for a demonstration in front of Parliament to demand the abolition of the death sentence.  To bring awareness to its campaign, the coalition organized a press conference alongside the Moroccan Prisons Observatory (OMP) on Tuesday in Rabat. The coalition seeks to lead a demonstration to ask MPs to vote for the UN resolution for a “moratorium on the use of the death penalty” which the country had abstained from in 2016.

The food of champions: Masterchef 2012 winner Shelina Permalloo's Moroccan lamb tagine with safforn and ras el hanout.

By Shelina Permalloo For Weekend Magazine 5 October 2018

More dishes created by the cooks who dazzled John and Gregg, from a new recipe book that celebrates a decade of MasterChef winners. This tagine is made extra special with the addition of ras el hanout, a North African spice mix available from supermarkets, and saffron, which is ground with water in a pestle and mortar to extract as much flavour as possible. 
It is traditionally eaten off a shared platter as a celebratory meal, especially at weddings….

Youth in Morocco: Rebels without a Cause? Youth Violence, Social Media, and the Discontents of the Moroccan Consumer Society

By Younes Yassni October 6, 2018

Abstract: Recently the Moroccan public had to grapple with what was perceived to be a worrying upsurge in youth crime related to Tsharmil or (cyber) bullying in the Moroccan vernacular. Mainstream media coverage of this issue ushered in an overwhelming sense of panic towards “deviant” youth that pose a serious “threat” to public law and order. By addressing the issue of Tsharmil, this article aims to go beyond the infotainment and politics of fear that have informed mainstream Moroccan media reports, which have failed to capture the complexities and ramifications of this phenomenon. Far from being a sudden, unwarranted outbreak of violence instigated by youth bullies, it is a strong indication of the emergence of a youth subculture where new modes of “marginal” practices, identities, solidarities, and visibilities have become inextricably woven into a rising consumer and brand culture. By looking specifically at Facebook pages devoted to Tsharmil and conducting formal interviews with members of the Tsharmil movement, this article argues that social media has provided youth with possibilities for the articulation of new practices, imaginaries, and identities in the face of a marginalizing consumer culture that has pushed youth to the ranks of flawed, disenfranchised, and frustrated consumers unable to fully partake and indulge in consumerist lifestyles.

20 best riads in Marrakesh, Morocco

From chic but cheap hideaways in the medina to stylish bolt holes with pools — we pick the best places, Staying in a riad is a uniquely Moroccan experience. Hidden away in the labyrinthine streets of the medina, these townhouses have rooms around a courtyard filled with plants, trees and running water. The number of riads has exploded in recent years, with more than 1,000 to stay in, from opulent palaces to simple five-room B&Bs. What they all have in common, though, is a wonderful sense of peace and escape from the chaotic medina just outside the door.

Moroccoʹs Jewish legacy: The Rabbi of Essaouira

The presence of Jewish tradesmen helped shape the character of Essaouira in Morocco. Traces of the portʹs Jewish heritage are evident to this very day. Every year Jews from all over the world make a pilgrimage to Essaouira, keeping memories of the city’s Jewish character alive.

By Claudia Mende

At the old Jewish cemetery, all is quiet. A tranquil melody wafts on the breeze. A small group of worshippers prays at the mausoleum in the centre of the burial ground, a man sings. An old lady dressed from head-to-toe in black explains that this is the grave of Rabbi Pinto. She says she comes here every year from Paris to pray at the mausoleum of the venerated Rabbi. And meets other Jews from all over the world.

The Jewish cemetery lies directly on the coast, outside the historic old town. Just a few minutes' walk from the Christian cemetery. There's a guard at the entrance, but no police. The gravestones are strewn at random, with weeds growing in between. The Hebrew inscriptions are severely eroded, because this final resting place is so often flooded by sea water.
A banner on the cemetery wall bids worshippers welcome to Hilloula, on the pilgrimage for Rabbi Haim Pinto, buried here in 1845. To this day, the Rabbi is revered as a just man who had the ear of God. Those who make the pilgrimage to his grave every year are for the most part Jews, originally from Morocco, who were forced to leave their childhood home following the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948.

MK Oren Praises Morocco for Introducing Holocaust Education to Fight Anti-Semitism

by Staff | 10.05.18

The decision of Morocco’s King Mohammad VI to incorporate Holocaust education in the nation’s high-school curriculum has drawn praise from Israeli MK Michael Oren, The Jerusalem Post reported Friday. A Moroccan news site, Le Desk, reported that the king’s decision was initially publicized at a high-level meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last week by Morocco’s Education Minister Said Amzazi.

Morocco To Upgrade Vocational Training To Prepare Youth – OpEd

October 3, 2018 Said Temsamani

Undoubtedly, Morocco has the potential to benefit from its young population. However, what is lacking nowadays is a coordinated strategy to give Moroccan youth employable skills. There is absolutely a major need for a more coordinated planning for the production of a skilled workforce required for economic growth. Vocational training centers in Morocco offer non-formal trainings beyond the formal educational system under the Ministry of Education. As such, the qualification needs of disadvantaged persons can be fulfilled very flexibly. However what is missing is an institutional framework to organize, articulate, integrate, regulate and ensure the quality of training interventions and programs to suit demands and needs of potential employers.

“Sweet potatoes from Morocco year-round”

“It’s very much possible to grow sweet potatoes in Morocco year-round. In summer, regions near Larache on the north coast of Morocco are suitable, and in the winter period, the region around Agadir is suitable for the production,” says Ton de Leeuw of AGF Fresh. This is the conclusion he came to after careful research of the options in Morocco. “The country has plenty of good soils, average annual temperatures are high enough, and irrigation is always possible. Moreover, manual labour is still affordable in Morocco.”

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