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Morocco Week in Review 
April 20, 2019

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Moonshot Morocco Youth Festival Call for Proposal

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The U.S. Mission in Morocco is pleased to announce its “Moonshot Morocco Youth Festival” open competition for awarding a cooperative agreement. The Public Affairs Office invites proposals from Moroccan associations to organize activities, including lectures and interactive programs featuring Moroccan and American speakers, workshops, demos, and competitions, for a three-day, large-scale, youth-focused festival to be held in the Rabat-Sale or Casablanca areas in November 2019. The Project Narrative, the Budget Proposal, and the other documents should be submitted in electronic format to : no later than April 28, 2019.
More details here:

MCC is proud to announce a call for projects for the Results Based Financing Job Placement Fund, in partnership with Millennium Challenge Account Morocco, the Moroccan Ministry of Labor, and Anapec.

Millennium Challenge Corporation - MCC is proud to announce a call for projects for the Results Based Financing Job Placement Fund, in partnership with Millennium Challenge Account Morocco, the Moroccan Ministry of Labor, and Anapec. MCC is looking for partner organizations to propose innovative projects to provide training and job placement programming for women and for unemployed youth, using a new approach with payments based on results.
*** The deadline for applications is April 29
More details in Arabic here: إطلاق طلب للمشاريع لاختيار المرشحين للاستفادة من دعم برنامج التشغيل المعتمد على التمويل القائم على النتائج

Last weekend, volunteer Cassandra wrapped up a four month long Girls Bicycling Workshop with seven students from her community.

They partnered with Pikala Bikes, a Marrakech non-profit that uses bicycles to educate and employ youth in the tourism and technical sector: "What started as a small project back in December, grew to include triple the amount of girls, new sessions on first aid, trust and teamwork, and practical biking tours out around the city."

Hooray for Thrums Books! Women Artisans of Morocco received a gold award in last night's Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Ben Franklin Awards. Rug Money received a silver award.

Hooray for Thrums Books! Women Artisans of Morocco received a gold award in last night's Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Ben Franklin Awards. Rug Money received a silver award. 
Congratulations to authors (RPCV/Morocco) Susan S. Davis, Mary Anne Wise, and Cheryl Conway and Multicolores Guatemala. And of course bravos all around to editor Carol Karasik, photographer Joe A. Coca, and designers Michael Signorella and Anne Clark. It's always a team effort to create these books, and our teams are the best!  Thanks Cheryl Conway for attending the ceremony and being our Thrums ambassador!

‘Morocco Day’ Festival Expands to Another US City

Last year, Washington D.C.’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, proclaimed March 29 as “Morocco Day,” a day to celebrate the pluralism of Moroccan society and culture


Likewise, starting this year, Mayor Justin Wilson of Alexandria, Virginia, has proclaimed June 9 as an annual day to celebrate Moroccan culture and history. ======================================

Morocco Day in Washington Celebrated Beauty of Zagora, Gate to Sahara

Renowned Moroccan musician Nouamane Lahlou attended the Morocco Day, where his song about the city of Zagora, the symposium’s guest of honor, was played.

By- Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News.Apr 5, 2019 Rabat

The culture and traditions of Morocco’s gate to the Sahara Desert, Zagora, charmed the attendees of the first Morocco Day in Washington, D.C. The Moroccan American Network (MAN), an organization that creates opportunities for Moroccan small businesses in the US chose the city of Zagora as the first guest of honor of the symposium, which will be held annually.

Moonshot Morocco

What is Moonshot Morocco?

On July 20, 1969, millions of people across the world watched as Commander Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon, taking “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” To celebrate the spirit of risk-taking, innovation, and achieving the seemingly impossible, the U.S. Mission in Morocco has launched a new campaign: Moonshot Morocco: #7ta_7aja_Mab3ida (Nothing is out of reach!)

Full Text of Pope Francis Speech in Morocco

The official translation of the speech of Pope Francis, delivered Saturday in Rabat before the king Mohammed VI.

By Morocco World News- Mar 30, 2019 Rabat

Pope Francis delivered Saturday in Rabat a speech at the official welcome ceremony held in his honor at the Esplanade of the Hassan Mosque, which was chaired by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful. Here follows the official translation of the speech: ======================================

Morocco's Jewish community beams quiet pride as pope visits.

The Moroccan Jewish community dates back to Roman times and for centuries Jews served the royal court as ambassadors, diplomats, ministers and advisors.


Suzanne Harroch speaks and sings in Judeo-Moroccan, a language of a once-thriving Jewish community that numbered about 300,000 - one of the largest in the Muslim world. Today, she and her husband are two of only 2,500 Jews left in Morocco, a community that is aging and dwindling even as it enjoys constitutional recognition and protection. ======================================

Everything You Need to Know About Morocco’s Compulsory Military.

The period of military conscriptions began Tuesday and will continue until June 7, recruiting a total of 10,000 Moroccans into service.

By Sydney McCourt is Politics of Media and Representation major at the University of William and Mary, currently studying media, political science, and Arabic in Rabat. Apr 10, 2019 Rabat

In February, King Mohammed VI called on the government to recruit 10,000 Moroccans into mandatory military service in 2019, to be increased to 15,000 in 2020. Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit announced on Monday that the government has finalized the list of draftees who will be obligated to fill out the census form for 2019 military service. The government will require those called to serve for 12 months, under penalty of sanctions. ======================================

Morocco’s Bank Al Maghrib to Design, Preserve Baccalaureate Diplomas.

Moroccan students need not worry anymore about their diploma certificates not being preserved properly, as Morocco’s central bank will be in charge of protecting them from now on.


Morocco’s Minister of Education Said Amzazi and Abdellatif Jouahri, the governor of Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM)— Morocco’s central bank—signed an agreement on March 29 for BAM to prepare, design, and preserve the certificates and diplomas issued by national educational institutions. Students usually keep their high school diplomas and certificates at home or their universities for preservation, but Bank Al-Maghrib has come to change that. ======================================

Morocco’s Government Condemns Contractual Teachers’ Continued Protest, Promises Drastic Measures.

The government's decision is likely to put more pressure on contractual teachers, who have been protesting for better working conditions.

By Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News.Mar 29, 2019 Rabat

The spokesperson of the Moroccan government, Mustapha El Khalfi, has expressed satisfaction with all government proposals to end the protests of teachers who describe themselves as the “forcibly contractual teachers.”

Muslim Scholars Union President Rebukes Morocco for Putting French First.

Raissouni is joining a number of scholars who strongly criticized the heads of political parties that backed a draft law allowing schools to teach scientific subjects in French. ======================================

IMF: Morocco Must Target Programs Better to Reduce Social Inequalities.

The IMF said Morocco must improve its education system, the functioning of the labor market, and the business environment to achieve its medium-term aspirations.

By Morocco World News- Apr 4, 2019 Rabat

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has praised Morocco’s improved fiscal management and economic diversification which have strengthened its economy. However, unemployment remains high, especially among the youth. The IMF published an end-of-mission press release on Tuesday of an IMF staff team visit to Morocco from March 19 to April 3. ======================================

We All Bear Responsibility for Education Reform in Morocco.

Eventually, I hope that everyone involved in education will stop blaming each other because responsibility for the degradation in schools lies with all of us.

By Nasser Abdelwahad is a high school teacher of English in a Moroccan public school. Apr 6, 2019 Safi

The great South African struggler, Nelson Mandela, once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” If we think through this proverb enough, we will surely conclude that there is no other way to achieve progress or change at any level of our life—socially, economically, politically, and intellectually. Many developed countries give education primary importance among all other sectors. ======================================

Morocco Gathers 100 Young MREs to Learn Culture at Spring University.

Under the theme “Plural Morocco, Land of Living Together,” Morocco invited 100 Moroccan youth living abroad to teach them about Moroccan culture.

By Hamza Guessous -  Apr 11, 2019 Rabat

The minister of Moroccans living abroad (MREs)and migration affairs, Abdelkarim Benatiq, has stated that Morocco is a land of co-existence between the three monotheistic religions and saluted Pope Francis’s historic visit to Rabat March 30-31. Benatiq made the remarks in his speech during the opening of this year’s Spring University, under the theme: “Plural Morocco, Land of Living Together.”
The event is being held in partnership with Sultan Moulay Slimane University in Beni Mellal, central Morocco, and meeting in a small village called Foum Joumae, April 10-14. ======================================

Morocco Institute Trains Imams To Counter Extremism

Hamza Mekouar

With its watchwords of dialogue and coexistence, the Mohammed VI Institute that trains Muslim prayer leaders to serve in Morocco and abroad was Saturday one of the first stops on Pope Francis's visit to the kingdom. Since 2015, the institute has received trainee imams from Morocco as well as several other African states and France. Under the patronage of King Mohammed, its mission is to counter "radical speech", its director Abdeslam Lazaar said. ======================================

Cigarette Prices Skyrocket as Morocco Announces New List of Domestic Prices.

Bad news for smokers after the Moroccan government announced major increases in cigarette prices.

BySafaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News.Apr 1, 2019 Rabat

Morocco’s Administration of Customs and Indirect Tax (ADII) has published the list of new prices of cigarettes. The updated list shows major increase in popular brands, including Marlboro, Winston, and Camel. ======================================

Documentary on coexistence in Morocco.

A documentary has been launched to celebrate coexistence in connection with Pope Francis’ visit to Morocco. The film focuses on the human rights activist Zacharia El Hamid. The following article has been written by the organization Youth for Peace and Dialogue between Cultures. Youth for Peace and Dialogue between Cultures in partnership with Youth for Human Rights International of Special visit of the Pope to Morocco 2019, has launched a short film titled «Human Rights Morocco». The powerful documentary celebrates Peace and Interfaith dialogue in Morocco through human rights education. ======================================

7 Things to Know When You're Planning a Trip to Morocco.

Apr 7, 2019 by Michael Fox  

Moroccan Mountain Biking Is Good, But Different

I'll get straight to the point: there is some excellent singletrack riding in Morocco. You can ride the high alpine trails in the Atlas Mountains well into late October or early November, a time when your home trails in Europe or North America are likely cold, wet, muddy, and otherwise unpleasant. There are several guiding outfits that have scouted out all the best trails, and who will also arrange all your logistics from the moment you touch down at Marrakech International. I recently did such a trip with Freeride Morocco, whose logistical support was invaluable. ======================================

Aziz Rabbah: Morocco Continental Leader in Renewable Energy.

Morocco styles itself as a continental leader in renewable energy as its investment-friendly business environment wins the trust of world-leading firms.

By  Hamza Guessous - Apr 8, 2019 Rabat

The minister of Energy, Mining, and Sustainable Development, Aziz Rabbah, underlined that Morocco has made notable development in the field of scientific research related to the energy sector, particularly renewable energy. Rabbah made the remarks during a two-day press conference at Green Park Energy in Benguerir on Friday and at the Moroccan agency for Energetic Efficiency (AMEE) on Saturday. He said that Morocco cannot keep investing in the energy field only to respond to the citizens’ needs without a national industry and scientific research. ======================================

Morocco’s National Library Embraces Solar Energy.

Thanks to this project, the library has taken a big step towards becoming green.

By Juliette Owen-Jones is a journalist and editor at Morocco World News. Apr 8, 2019 Rabat

Morocco’s National Library in Rabat inaugurated a solar power plant on Thursday, which will provide the library with up to 40 percent of its energy needs and reinforce its commitment to clean energy.
The solar power plant is the fruit of a partnership with the BMCE Bank Foundation for Education and the Environment. The BMCE Bank Foundation fully funded the project, which cost MAD 2.6 million ($270,000). ======================================

WHO to Support Morocco’s Action Plans in Health Sector.

WHO will support Morocco in the training of health professionals, universal health coverage, and sharing of good practices.

Morocco World News- Apr 8, 2019 Rabat

The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said that the organization is ready to support the action plans Morocco is implementing in the health sector. Ghebreyesus made the remarks in a working session with the health minister, Anass Doukkali, and the WHO regional director for the eastern Mediterranean, Ahmed Salim Saif Al-Mandhari, on the eve of the celebration of World Health Day in Rabat, under the theme “Health for all and by all.” ======================================

Morocco, commander of the (African) faithful?

Sarah Alaoui Monday, April 8, 2019

In the increasingly competitive market of Islamic soft power, Morocco is another regional player that deploys religion to assert its official legitimacy and position itself as a global leader of “moderate Islam.” The kingdom’s imam training programs in Europe and international conferences on promoting religious tolerance have been well publicized, but while the West is an important audience for Morocco’s efforts, the focus of its religious outreach has largely been sub-Saharan Africa. These efforts have increased with King Mohammed VI’s “pivot” to the region, in which religion has played an indispensable role in cementing economic and political relations. Given the deep, historical religious and cultural ties between Morocco and West Africa, in particular—and a mutual interest in continuing to strengthen bilateral relationships—Morocco’s export of its brand of Islam has generally been welcomed by receiving states.

Want a Job in Morocco? Here Are Morocco’s 16 ‘Best Places to Work’

A US group has ranked the Moroccan businesses that offer the best working conditions.

By -Zakaria Oudrhiri is a journalist, translator, and coder based in Rabat. Mar 28, 2019 Rabat

The Best Places to Work (BPW) 2019 program has ranked large and small enterprises in Morocco for their work conditions and presented its winners on Tuesday evening in Casablanca at its eighth awards ceremony. The event brought together representatives of Moroccan companies and multinationals based in Morocco. Morocco’s unemployed population may be in luck if they have expertise in the automotive, telecommunications, tech or banking industries, as several companies in those areas ranked as top employers.

Visit Unforgettable Places in Morocco for Trekking

March 28, 2019

Hiking is one of the adventure trips that one can opt for. The hiking can be your life time experience. This article is talking about few places to visit. There are few countries that have impressive natural beauty. Morocco is a country that has rich culture and scenic beauty. The country is rich in history. These are the reasons the country attracts a large number tourists from all across the world.  When it comes to the scenic beauty, the country has a vast coastline to the distant landscape. The country has rough mountain that beckons the tourists for trekking. The mountains are also friendly to the beginners and let them to gentle hiking. The mountains also have rough terrain that offers the experienced trekker to hike through that.

VIDEO: Exploring Morocco through Foreign Study

Your gift can help ensure every Dartmouth undergraduate has the chance to study abroad. A spring 2018 foreign-study program (FSP) in Morocco gave students a chance to live with host families, study at the Arabic Language Institute in Fez, and experience everyday life in a predominantly Islamic culture. The program is one of nearly 50 off-campus programs Dartmouth offers through the Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education in more than 20 countries on five continents.

Inside SOLSAHARA: An All-Inclusive Music Event In Morocco

Lisa Kocay Contributor

Electronic music label Sol Selectas will bring their tribal and mystic sounds to Morocco for the first ever SOLSAHARA. The curated all-inclusive event, which will take place in the Sahara Desert from April 10 through April 15, will fuse music with cultural experiences while traveling through the villages and mountains of the Moroccan countryside. Sol Selectas owner and founder William Sabatini, who also goes by his DJ alias Sabo, and the label’s creative director Helia Jamali say that attendees will see live performances by label DJs such as Be Svendsen, Goldcap and Amine K. In addition to the music, attendees will also get access to private dining experiences to indulge in traditional Moroccan cuisine, have the opportunity to get Henna tattoos, ride camels, swim in pools or bask in the sun alongside them, explore the historic town of Ouarzazate, shop in the Medina of Marrakech market and more. Sabatini and Jamali took the time to share with Forbes their inspiration behind creating this cultural, music experience in a location that they have frequently traveled to together.

Morocco: Politicians warn against passing a law targeting Arabic language

April 2, 2019

Moroccan politicians stressed that the body responsible for determining the nature and course of the “framework law” on the teaching of scientific materials in French is in the hands of the government led by the Justice and Development party. In an interview with Arabi24, the Head of the Independence party in the Moroccan House of Representatives, Noureddine Mediane, defended the government’s record Arabic language education saying, “What the former Moroccan Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, said about the Arabization of the language of education as having taken place during the Independence party rule is true, and that this party is still adhering to the defence of Arabic as it is an official language of the country according to the Constitution along with the Amazigh language.”

Morocco: Education, training and employment developments 2018

2019 Report

18 Reasons You Should Explore Morocco’s Most Underrated City

Mandy Sinclair  April 3, 2019

There’s more than one blue city in Morocco. Think Morocco only has one blue city? Guess again. The capital city Rabat, with its blue-washed Kasbah Oudaya and picture-perfect alleyways, has all the charm of nearby Chefchaouen, but without the crowds. With world-class cultural institutions, Roman ruins, touches of Andalusia, and a burgeoning arts scene it’s difficult to understand why the capital of Morocco is often overlooked by travelers. Once home to Phoenicians, Romans, Almohad and the Merenid dynasties, today Rabat is a calm city where travelers wander hassle-free. But there are a few more reasons why you’ll want to add this capital city to your Morocco itinerary.

IMF Staff Completes 2019 Article IV Consultation and First Review of the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) Arrangement with Morocco

April 2, 2019 ======================================

How pro-government media in Morocco use “fake news” to target and silence Rif activists

Jailed activist Nasser Zefzafi was smeared by Moroccan media

Posted 4 April 2019

This story is the first in a two-part series on media repression and “fake news” in Morocco. It was written in collaboration with Access Now.

In September 2018, Nasser Zefzafi, imprisoned leader of Morocco’s Hirak protest movement in the Rif region, was nominated for the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize For Freedom of Thought. The annual award was established in 1988 to honor ‘’individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights across the globe.’’ Zefazfi is currently serving a 20-year prison term for his role as a leader in the Hirak protests. The protest movement first took hold after the death of Mohsin Fekri, a fish vendor whose product was seized by authorities in the city of Al Hoceima on October 29, 2016. When Fekri tried to reclaim the fish, he was crushed to death by a garbage truck.

Live The Grandeur At Morocco

Aastha Maheshwari CEO DestinationsGlobal Opinions April 4, 2019

Morocco, a fantastic getaway in North Africa, welcomes you at its best during April-May and September-November when the weather is quite pleasant and nature exhibits lush green landscape. The city receives more rainfall in winters than in summers though it never gets too cold. The average high temperature remains 22 degrees Celcius but it does have snow (at the dramatic Atlas Mountains). The country provides enormous things to do, few of them are enumerated as follows:

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