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Morocco Week in Review 
March 23, 2019

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Morocco’s Fifth Crans Montana Forum to Focus on Youth

Hosting 5th Crans Montana Forum, Dakhla, Morocco’s Southern Pearl, has attracted a sizeable turnout of important figures.

Mohammed Amine Benabou Mar 15, 2019 Rabat

The 2019 Crans Montana Forum is welcoming high-level figures and senior government officials to Dakhla this weekend, including Liberian Vice President Joseph Boakai and a Liberian delegation. Young leaders like Khadim Diop, the president of the Senegali National Youth Council; Bitania Lulu Berhanu, founding executive director of Ethiopian Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA); and Pour Souleymane Satigui Sidibe, secretary general of the pan-African Union are among the youth representatives. The platform will open officially on March 16 in Dakhla, known as the pearl of southern Morocco. It is the fifth time Morocco has hosted the event. ======================================

In Fez, Morocco, an oasis amid the bedlam of the ancient medina

By Bob Drogin Mar 17, 2019 | Fez, Morocco

The sun was low over the souks, reflecting off the rust-colored hills, and my wife and I were enjoying a rose-dappled sky from chairs on our rooftop. Suddenly, the call to evening prayer boomed from a nearby mosque. Within seconds, dozens more muezzins echoed from other minarets, a wave of sound that washed over and around us. It was an unmistakable reminder we were in the Fez medina, the cultural and religious center of Morocco and, once, of much of the Muslim world.

Moments later, the sounds of life resumed, the tap-tap-tapping at fiery forges in the copper and brass market, the braying of donkeys (the only nonhuman transport allowed in the medina) as they clattered down stone steps, the cries of hagglers in the herb and spice stalls, and the honking horns outside the 14 arched gates and 15 miles of ramparts that long have kept the modern world at bay. Lights twinkled from the tower of Al Quaraouiyine, founded in 859 and now the world’s oldest degree-granting university. The first French pope, Sylvester II, attended in 998 and supposedly brought Arabic numerals — the digits we use today — to Europe.

Morocco's Oasis Festival is a portal to the vibrant culture of North Africa

By August Brown Mar 17, 2019

Around 2 a.m. on a balmy night in Marrakech, a hundred or so dancers at the waning end of their rave swayed in front of a tiny moonlit stage. They had found their way down a semi-secluded path toward the back of the Oasis Festival in September (Sept. 13-15 this year) at the Fellah resort on the outskirts of the old imperial Moroccan city. This corner of the 2018 fest was Moroccan fashion designer Amine Bendriouich’s personally curated stage, and the designer, dressed in flowing whites, could not stop grinning.

World Bank Puts $700 Million Towards Digital Transformation in Morocco

The project aims to increase financial inclusion by strengthening Morocco’s digital economy.

Katya Schwenk is an intern at Morocco World News.Mar 19, 2019 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Economy and Finance signed off on a $700 million loan from the World Bank on March 14, launching extensive reforms for Morocco’s digital economy. The program is the World Bank’s latest project in Morocco, part of their five-year “Country Partnership Framework,” which the two launched in February. The framework laid out the World Bank’s priorities for Morocco of job creation and human capital. The release of the plans came at a “critical juncture” for Morocco economically, the World Bank said, pointing to the kingdom’s deepening reforms and upward—if sluggish—economic growth.

Fez holiday guide: discover a car-free world of colours, culture and courtyards in Morocco’s oldest city

Explore the souks, palaces, mosques and monuments of Fez el Bali – the world’s largest living medieval medina

In Morocco, Startups Often Face a Full Stop

Despite efforts to grow tech startups, the North African country poses a variety of challenges not seen elsewhere on the continent.

By Brionne Frazier ContributorMarch 18, 2019 CASABLANCA, MOROCCO -

Ali Elouafiq sits on the edge of his chair in a cozy coffee shop northeast of Mohammed V Square in downtown Casablanca. He's taking a break from his work as a tech entrepreneur, something of a rarity in Morocco. Since 2011, Ali Elouafiq has been involved in building five different tech-based startups in Morocco, involving computer security, invoicing, and networking among other things. None lasted longer than a year - one for only three months. "We had some operational issues that made the project more expensive and we ran out of money," Elouafiq says.

El Othmani: Morocco’s New Law on Access to Information Will Succeed

Morocco is working to expand people’s access to information after the new law on access to information has come into force.

Mar 15, 2019 By Ahlam Ben Saga & Mohamed Amine Benabou Rabat

The Moroccan Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani has promised to ensure equal access to information, as per Law 13-31 on the right to access information. During the weekly government council on Thursday, March 14, El Othmani called on administrations to proactively release information citizens and businesses request and to make the documents to request information available on their websites.

Moroccan Christians call for greater religious freedom: appeal to the Pope

Fés (Agenzia Fides)

Pope Francis will visit Morocco on March 30-31. The Committee of Moroccan Christians has written to Pope Francis two weeks ahead of his visit, asking for the intervention of the Holy See on a theme which is very important to them: religious freedom in the country. The baptized represent only 1.1% of the population (about 380 thousand out of 33.6 million inhabitants, mostly Muslims) and are mostly of evangelical confession. In the open letter, published by the newspaper "Al Massae", some "violations of the religious freedom of Christians" are reported and also accuses Moroccan security forces of "playing an important role in the persecution of Christians by proceeding to make abusive arrests".

Behind the Silver Screen: A Conversation with Morocco’s Nabil Ayouch

Lead: “I love classical Arabic, ‘Fusha,’ but it’s not our language. Darija is something that defines us. And we should be very comfortable with it…. But we’re not,” said Nabil Ayouch.

Sarah Goodman is a freelance writer and photographer based in Rabat. Mar 17, 2019 Casablanca

“I decided to settle here, to participate, and to the building of a house, somehow,” reflects filmmaker Nabil Ayouch, on his decision to relocate to Morocco nearly 20 years ago. Born in 1969 to a Moroccan father and a Tunisian-Jewish mother, Ayouch grew up in a Paris suburb. It was there, during his adolescence, that he discovered cinema, an experience he describes as opening “a window to the world” and the beginning of a lifelong engagement with the art. Now one of Morocco’s foremost directors, Ayouch’s own kaleidoscopic background informs the stories he tells about Morocco’s diverse traditions, religious history, and languages. Throughout his childhood, Ayouch regularly visited his father’s family in Morocco, but it was not until 1999 that he settled here. Since then, he has established himself in Casablanca, where we spoke on a Tuesday afternoon.

Study: Rabat Has Highest Quality of Life in Morocco, Casablanca 2nd

Morocco’s capital, Rabat, made Mercer’s annual list of cities that offer the highest quality of life for expatriates across the globe.

Juliette Owen-Jones is a journalist and editor Mar 14, 2019 Rabat

Mercer, an American consulting firm, has released its list ranking the quality of life for working expatriates in 231 cities. Rabat ranked at 117th on the list, and Casablanca came in close behind at 124th. Morocco’s capital came just after Rio De Janeiro in Brazil and before Sofia in Bulgaria

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