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Morocco Week in Review 
June 20, 2020

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

US Commends Morocco’s Leadership in Fight Against COVID-19

The US ambassador to Morocco has repeatedly expressed satisfaction with the US-Morocco cooperation and the North African response to COVID-19.

By Safaa Kasraoui - Jun 15, 2020 Rabat

The United States has joined the list of countries welcoming Morocco’s initiative to support fellow African states in combating COVID-19. The US embassy in Morocco tweeted today its appreciation for the Moroccan government’s initiative, stating that the US welcomes Morocco’s “leadership in the fight against COVID-19.” We commend Morocco’s leadership in the fight against COVID-19 and applaud its work supporting fellow African countries through donations of crucial PPE and medical supplies. The United States will continue to partner closely with Morocco to address global health challenges. https://t.co/1cGjzdhw5P
— U.S. Embassy Morocco (@USEmbMorocco) June 15, 2020
More here: https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/519511575/UIko6-e_AsbA3b6V?n=2&code=I5p3xRh7196OtpCd&utm_source=NewsletterNews&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morocco+Or+%28+Peace+Corps+Morocco+%29+Or+%28+Peace+Corps+%29+Search+Results&utm_content=article
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Dr. Moncef Slaoui Offers Lessons to Youth on Moroccan TV

“Morocco is my country, my origin, and I’m always proud of it, and when people ask about my nationality, I say that I’m Moroccan.”

By Taha Mebtoul - Jun 13, 2020 Rabat

Moroccan-born expert in immunology and vaccinology Dr. Moncef Slaoui was the main guest of the popular television program “Rachid Show” on Friday.
Television channel 2M diffused the virtual interview which gathered host Rachid El Allali and Dr. Slaoui. The show was an opportunity for the Moroccan public to discover more about the personality of the internationally-renowned scientist. The show also featured inspirational advice from the 61-year-old for youth viewers. Slaoui began by apologizing for some minor struggles with Arabic. “It’s been 44 years since I left Morocco, so I don’t speak Arabic or Darija very well, I might use French or English along the interview, so forgive me.” However, Slaoui maintained Darija perfectly throughout the entire show…………..

Lessons for the youth
When the Rachid Show host asked the expert about his engagement of young people in his scientific missions, Slaoui revealed that his background inspired a philosophy regarding opportunity.“I always try to help young people as much as I can, because remembering myself when I was young, a great professor helped me! And that’s exactly why I succeeded,” said Slaoui. “It is fundamental for people who are in position to help, to inspire young people.” Professionals should make young people believe that “they can achieve bigger things than they think they could achieve. I have never imagined that I [would] stand where I am today, or what I did in universities and international companies.”………………..
Learn more here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305718/dr-moncef-slaoui-offers-lessons-to-youth-on-moroccan-tv/
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Julie R. Dargis’ (RPCV Morocco) book of poems SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS

May 30 2020
Julie R. Dargis (Morocco 1984-87) works internationally, supporting refugees and local communities affected by war and natural disasters. Her first book, Pit Stop in the Paris of Africa (2013), is a collection of narrative essays and verse, highlighting the profound personal connections she experienced overseas. She is also the author of White Moon in a Powder Blue Sky (2016), a book of poetry that includes “thought experiments” on the nature of reality. Borderland: An Exploration of States of Consciousness in New and Selected Sonnets (2018) explores how nature and science collide to create our collective consciousness…….
More here: https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/julie-r-dargis-book-of-poems-see-you-in-my-dreams-morocco/?fbclid=IwAR16a5u-8J6faONQdp0v3wkVNdikIsYd_vsmbp5-C1udKQGKrlMpkZv3qWA
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ACA-American Cultural Association is with Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies.

June 4 2020

John Davison has been Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies’ Director since July, 2014. Prior to that, he was an accomplished diplomat and negotiator for the State Department with nearly 30 years of global experience in macroeconomics, conflict resolution, good governance, sustainable development, trade policy and education. Much of it being in North Africa and the Sahel, beginning with his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer English teacher at Lycée Laymoune in Berkane Morocco. As TALIM Director, John has built on a solid program of neighborhood literacy outreach to women living in the old Medina of Tangier, and through expanding education and cultural outreach programming to target Tangier public school students and youth.
Check it + Video: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanCulturalAssociation/videos/vb.100482601639112/546114962936318/?type=2&theater
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Indian Embassy Invites Moroccan Yoga Enthusiasts to Virtual Sessions

The UN declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga in 2014 after the proposal received a record-high number of co-sponsors in less than three months.

By Morgan Hekking - Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Jun 16, 2020 Rabat

The Embassy of India in Rabat is set to launch a week-long series of meditation activities from June 16 to 21 to celebrate the International Day of Yoga (IDY).
In December 2014, the United Nations declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga, recognizing that the activity promotes a “holistic approach to health and well-being” and that disseminating information about the exercise is beneficial to the global population.  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea, believing yoga inspires lifestyle changes that can help the world face challenges such as climate change. ………..
Follow it here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305963/indian-embassy-in-rabat-invites-yoga-enthusiasts-to-virtual-sessions/
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Morocco Meets US 2020 Fiscal Transparency Requirements

The 2020 annual fiscal transparency report measures the degree to which key budget documents are made publicly available, substantially complete, and generally reliable.

By Kristen Gianaris - Jun 16, 2020 Rabat

The United States’ released its annual fiscal transparency report on Monday, June 15, revealing which countries meet minimum requirements of public oversight following US financial aid. The review lists Morocco among 76 countries out of 141 that meet the minimum requirements deemed crucial for economic stability and public financial management.  Over the past decade, to better align itself with internationally accepted accounting principles, Morocco has made strides to strengthen budget transparency and modernize the management of its public finances. ……
Check it here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305988/morocco-meets-us-2020-fiscal-transparency-requirements/
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Moroccan Artificial Intelligence Experts Feature in EU Research Event

Moroccans have been active in the deployment of Artificial Intelligence against COVID-19.

By Taha Mebtoul - Jun 15, 2020 Rabat

The General Directorate for Research and Innovation of the European Commission organized an international networking event which spotlighted Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations by two Moroccan researchers. The June 10 event saw the participation of researchers from all over the world. It aimed to facilitate the creation of a worldwide network to share scientific information and experiences of international teams working against COVID-19, according to a press release by the Moroccan Ministry of Education on June 15. Among the 70 Moroccans who participated in the event, two researchers, Professor Asma El Hannani from the University of Chouaib Doukkali El Jadida, and Professor Zohra Lemkhenete from the Ibn Zohr University of Agadir, garnered particular attention and were invited to present their work………….
Check the link here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305907/moroccan-artificial-intelligence-experts-feature-in-eu-research-event/
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A Model to Achieve the Model for Development in Morocco

By Our Reporter Tuesday, 16 Jun 2020 By Yossef Ben-Meir (RPCV Morocco)

There may be irony in Morocco now reconsidering and revamping its development model, which is its national guiding frameworks for social and environmental fulfillment. I have long been and remain a believer in Morocco’s existing frameworks for the people’s development. There is, after all, a lot to like. Municipalities are to create development plans made from the participation of all communities and groups. Environmental management is understood to integrate the local people. Agricultural programs seek to achieve the value-chain with communities of small landholders. Morocco is committed to the goals of decentralization, renewable energy, liberation of women and youth from social and economic hindrances, and well-established southern unity. Multicultural preservation is a non-equivocal national choice.

Furthermore, there are a lot more to these initiatives when we consider the innovation within each, and the extra value that can be accomplished when these frameworks operate well in tandem. For example, the Decentralization Roadmap designates the local communities as planners and implementors of development projects, to be buttressed by national level, private, and public support. Decentralization is made even more viable because also part of the Morocco model is its national Municipal Charter, which requires locally elected officials and civil society to plan alongside all community members in the creation of their human development plans. In the model design, this means that the participatory community work of municipalities and their forming of partnerships toward creating projects managed by and for the benefit of the people, contribute to the emergence of a decentralized system. This would have public administrations considerably more aware and directly supportive of the people’s priorities………….
More here: https://www.maravipost.com/a-model-to-achieve-the-model-for-development-in-morocco/===========================================

Universal Music Expands MENA Presence with First Office in Morocco

“Within Morocco and their immediate neighbors, there is a wealth of untapped artist talent and we are excited to introduce these unique sounds to global audiences.”

By Taha Mebtoul - Jun 16, 2020 Rabat

American music corporation Universal Music Group (UMG) has opened its first office in Morocco with the aim of discovering and promoting new talents.
In addition to setting up shop in Casablanca, UMG also opened its first office in Tel Aviv, Israel, with the objective of expanding its network in the North Africa and Middle East (MENA) region. The inauguration in Morocco comes one month after UMG opened its first Southeast Asia office in Singapore. …….
More here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/306026/universal-music-expands-mena-presence-with-first-office-in-morocco/
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Morocco World News Recaps the Black Lives Matter Panel Discussion

We recap the thought-provoking discussion with special guests in the US, shedding light on the history and current politics surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.

By Kristen Gianaris - Jun 12, 2020 Rabat

On Wednesday, June 10, Morocco World News hosted a panel discussion with three special guests to discuss the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the United States. As the United States remains gripped by protests and in the midst of a revolution, aimed at transforming the systemic racism that has plagued the country since its founding, I would like to recap the panel discussion for further reference on the topic. As the moderator and host of the discussion, I had the privilege of gathering insight and opinions from Greg Hill, human and world geography teacher in Texas, Mohamed Brahimi, humanities professor in Boston at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and discrimination and employment, civil rights lawyer, Bill Day. We began our talk by addressing the underlying causes of the protests, sparked by the murder of George Floyd in the custody of police on May 25, and how the Black Lives Matter movement has spread worldwide.
More here: https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/519300135/b7_jW1SIDjpNsoDx?n=2&code=I5p3xRh7196OtpCd&utm_source=NewsletterNews&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morocco+Or+%28+Peace+Corps+Morocco+%29+Or+%28+Peace+Corps+%29+Search+Results&utm_content=article===========================================

Religious Freedom in Morocco: A Regional Paragon-in-the-Making

“The constitution guarantees freedom of thought, expression, and assembly, and says the state guarantees every individual the freedom to practice his or her religious affairs.”

By Madeleine Handaji - Jun 12, 2020

Morocco hit international headlines in 2019 with the visit of Pope Francis and loud pledges promoting interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance. But how much religious freedom does the Moroccan state really grant? The US State Department’s 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom in Morocco, a document that analyzes the constitutional rights to religious freedom and how this translates in practice, came to mixed conclusions……….
The rest here: https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/519319347/tskslcqPEg2QJ1H5?n=2&code=I5p3xRh7196OtpCd&utm_source=NewsletterNews&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morocco+Or+%28+Peace+Corps+Morocco+%29+Or+%28+Peace+Corps+%29+Search+Results&utm_content=article====================================================

Chabad’s 70 Years In Morocco

By Rabbi Shmuel Butman -20 Sivan 5780 – June 12, 2020

As we celebrate 70 years of the Rebbe’s leadership, we also mark the 70th anniversary of the launch of Lubavitch activities in Morocco. Shortly before the passing of the Rebbe Rayatz on the 10th of Shevat, 1950, he indicated that Morocco’s Jewish community – then numbering 350,000 – urgently needed spiritual aid. Morocco’s Jews were overwhelmingly Torah-observant, but they were spiritually threatened by poverty and efforts by progressive French Jewish organizations to secularize them.

Moroccan Jewry dates back 2,000 years and has produced some of our greatest Torah luminaries. The Rif (Rabbi Yitzchak Al-Fasi) flourished there in the 11th century, the Rambam lived there during his teens and wrote his earliest works there, and the renowned Or Hachayim (Rabbi Chayim ibn Atar) lived there in the 18th century before leaving for Jerusalem. Moroccan Jewry dates back 2,000 years and has produced some of our greatest Torah luminaries. The Rif (Rabbi Yitzchak Al-Fasi) flourished there in the 11th century, the Rambam lived there during his teens and wrote his earliest works there, and the renowned Or Hachayim (Rabbi Chayim ibn Atar) lived there in the 18th century before leaving for Jerusalem.

Moroccan Jewry dates back 2,000 years and has produced some of our greatest Torah luminaries. The Rif (Rabbi Yitzchak Al-Fasi) flourished there in the 11th century, the Rambam lived there during his teens and wrote his earliest works there, and the renowned Or Hachayim (Rabbi Chayim ibn Atar) lived there in the 18th century before leaving for Jerusalem……….
More here: https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/519290091/RV_RMNNA8K2lsd4p?n=2&code=I5p3xRh7196OtpCd&utm_source=NewsletterNews&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morocco+Or+%28+Peace+Corps+Morocco+%29+Or+%28+Peace+Corps+%29+Search+Results&utm_content=article===========================================

‘Hit the Road Music Studio’: A Traveling Bus Records Morocco’s Rhythms

“Most of the time we don’t need translation. Music is a beautiful and easy language to work with.”

By Anika Reker - Anika Reker is a TV and radio journalist from Germany with more than 10 years of experience. Jun 13, 2020 Rabat

A 30-year-old campervan, a German-Polish couple around the same age, and a load full of microphones, mic stands, amplifiers, and professional recording equipment comprise the “Hit the Road Music Studio.” Founded by audio engineer Adrian Parzentry and artist Kasia Pisula, the project grants talented musicians access to high-quality music recording equipment, especially those who are not able to afford it otherwise. In the past year, the mobile studio has featured approximately 50 musicians and bands and reached over half a million listeners with their productions. As a traveling journalist from Germany in Morocco, I found out about “Hit The Road Music Studio” by coincidence. I checked out their YouTube channel and got in touch via Instagram. Adrian and Kasia were based in the desert village of Tagounite at the time, working with the band Daraa Tribes. In the middle of February this year, we finally were able to set up a meeting when my route led me through nearby Zagora……
Check it here + Video: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305376/hit-the-road-music-studio-a-traveling-bus-records-moroccos-rhythms/===========================================

Morocco Launches Exceptional Support Program for Artists, Authors

The ministry will start acquiring artworks to enrich its collection and to encourage young talents.

By Safaa Kasraoui - Jun 15, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports, Othman El Ferdaous, has announced the launch of an exceptional program to support cultural actors from the worlds of art and books amid the socio-economic crisis due to COVID-19. El Ferdaous detailed the ministry’s decision on his social networks, including Facebook and LinkedIn. The minister said his department is aware of the national contributions of creators such as artists and writers and their efforts to promote social cohesion and unity.

To support the sector during the coronavirus-induced economic crisis, the Ministry of Culture launched the “exceptional program to support cultural actors from the worlds of arts and books, individuals, associations, and businesses, to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the state of emergency,” El Ferdaous announced. The exceptional program includes the pre-distribution by the Moroccan Copyright Office (BMDA) of all the remaining distributions scheduled for the 2020 fiscal year, starting June 15.

The BMDA will distribute MAD 35.4 million ($3.65 million) in favor of “adhering authors and creators in particular, the 2019 collections of copyright and remuneration for private copying for the three categories: Lyric, dramatic, and literary in accordance with the recommendations of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and UNESCO ResiliArt P program.”. The program also includes the launch of a call for artistic projects for MAD 39 million ($4.02 million) in five main areas including theater and national tours (MAD 20 million or $2.06 million); music, song, performing arts, and choreographic arts (MAD 12 million or $1.24 million); and plastic arts exhibitions or visuals carried by galleries (MAD 2 million or $206,323). The fourth area concerns the acquisition of works of plastic or visual art from artists for a budget of MAD 3 million ($309,485), at MAD 5,000 to MAD 30,000 per work ($516 to $3,095), to “enrich the collection of the ministry and encourage young talents.”…………………..
More here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305851/morocco-launches-exceptional-support-program-for-artists-authors/===========================================

University of Fez Highlights Resilience of Medina Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Historically speaking, the medina of Fez was remarkably clean and beautiful, the speakers said, adding that the city was a hub of scientific and commercial activities.
By Morocco World News - Jun 14, 2020 Fez

Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University (USMBA) in Fez organized an online conference on June 12 to discuss the impacts of the pandemic on the Moroccan cities, highlighting the city of Fez as a hub of growth and sustainable development. Titled “The City Under the Test of COVID-19, Diversified Perspectives,” the virtual event hosted distinguished speakers working in Morocco and abroad. Dr. Abdesalam El Khanchoufi, director of the Training and Certification Center at USMBA, moderated the discussion.

Speakers included Mohamed Metalsi, urbanist; Brahim Belgaid, Fez Business School Director; Pr. Mustafa Akalay Nasser; Luc Gwiazdzinski, a university professor and research scientist (MCF) in urbanism and geography from France; Pr. Ahmed Laaroussi; and Younes Saad Alami, a reporter for “L’économiste” in Fez.
The speakers covered several topics from different angles, focusing on how the city of Fez will overcome the pandemic and return to normalcy.
Historically speaking, the medina (old city) of Fez was remarkably clean and beautiful, the speakers said, adding that the city was a hub of scientific and commercial activities………………….
Check it here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305817/university-of-fez-highlights-resilience-of-medina-amid-covid-19-crisis/===========================================

Ten Important Movies and Documentaries About Racism You Need to Watch

Educating yourself about important issues such as racism is the first step to make a change in the world. Movies, shows, and documentaries are a tool to learn more about the issue.

By Jihad Dardar - Jun 14, 2020

As protests against police brutality and racism spread across the US and the rest of the world after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, it is time to educate ourselves about racial injustice. One way to learn about racism and the Black Lives Matter protests is by watching movies, shows, and documentaries that tell real stories and reflect the reality of the injustices of modern society. It is not too late to fight against discrimination and hate directed at someone because of their color, ethnicity, or origins. Educating ourselves is the first step: Racism is not just the act of abuse and harassment.
Not all racism is obvious. Implicit and unnoticed racism happens every day deep within institutions and societal systems and it is more than words and actions. What we need to understand is that no one is born racist, it is not an innate trait, it is learned and acquired in homes, society, and even schools. It is our job to unlearn it and educate others and the next generation about the dangers and impacts of racism.

These movies and shows are some of the helpful resources and a good first step to learning more about the inequality and systemic racism throughout American history.
‘When They See Us’
The four-part Netflix series is based on the true story of five teens from Harlem; four are black and one is Hispanic. The teens were falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The series starts as the five kids, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, and Korey Wise, hang out on an April night when a female jogger named Trisha Meili is beaten, raped, and left for dead.
Police are quick to accuse the five teens of the heinous crime. They face arrest, harassment, and coercion into admitting involvement or implicating each other in the crime. The court then sentences the kids to years of prison. 
The series addresses the institutional racism that surrounded the case as well as how systemic racism within the US allows such miscarriages of justice to happen.
‘The Hate U Give’
More here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305565/10-important-movies-and-documentaries-about-racism-you-need-to-watch/
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Empathy and Optimism: How to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

Knowing how to develop emotional intelligence is key to success and achieving career and relationship goals.

By Jihad Dardar - Jun 14, 2020

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a crucial skill to have, whether in a professional environment or in one’s personal life.  In a competitive workplace, major companies are starting to prioritize hiring employees that have high levels of emotional intelligence over those who do not. Fortunately, unlike IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EI is something that can be learned and developed. Emotional intelligence helps you recognize and understand your emotions and the emotions of others, effectively express your feelings, use them to guide your thinking, and adopt a positive attitude that will help you achieve success in your professional and personal life……………
More here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305648/empathy-and-optimism-how-to-develop-your-emotional-intelligence/===========================================

The Personal and Professional Importance of Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent people believe that they are in control over their own lives. They are often optimistic, hard-working, and driven by a sense of ambition to be successful, no matter what obstacles they may face.

By Jihad Dardar - Jun 13, 2020

In a hectic world where technology is evolving at a faster rate, where artificial intelligence (AI) and robots are able to handle basic humans tasks, where conflicts and wars routinely break out, and where long-term relationships seem to be harder to maintain, emotional intelligence is more important than ever.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ) refers to an individuals’ capability to understand, manage, and use their own emotions and those of the people around them in positive ways. Emotional intelligence is the ability to distinguish between different feelings and identify and understand them to communicate effectively, empathize with others, relieve stress, conquer challenges, and defuse conflict……….
Check the link: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305235/the-personal-and-professional-importance-of-emotional-intelligence/
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Retrospective: Three Years On

Exactly three years ago today, I arrived in Morocco at the beginning of my tour as Ambassador.

By Thomas Reilly - Thomas Reilly is the UK Ambassador to Morocco. Jun 12, 2020

Exactly three years ago today, I arrived in Morocco at the beginning of my tour as Ambassador. I was really excited. I remembered the Morocco I had travelled around 20 years before. I remembered how beautiful it was.  How varied its geography was.  How extraordinary its cities were. How entrancing is landscapes were. I remembered the generosity of warmth and hospitality of its people. And how delicious its food was. 
But I had never worked, much less lived here. 

I knew what my hopes and dreams were – nothing less than a wholesale transformation of the UK-Moroccan relationship into a genuine strategic partnership.  I wanted to ‘normalise’ the UK presence here. To bring British culture sport music academics art to Morocco and to introduce Moroccan Culture in return to the UK.  I was very clear about my priority: to improve educational links between our two countries. For me education is the beginning the middle and the end of the developmental path of any country. …………………….
Follow it here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305627/retrospective-three-years-on/===========================================

Buying Moroccan Handicrafts, Artisan Weavers and Embroiderers in Tameslouht

by Lynn Sheppard

Morocco is famous for its artisan handicrafts and as you wander the streets of any Moroccan medina (old city), you will see stunning examples of local leatherwork, carpets, tasseled baskets, and blankets, soft furnishings, babouche slippers, carved wood and much, much more.  Moroccan style, textiles, and handicrafts have influenced major design houses and retail fashion outlets for many years, but these items have gained unprecedented popularity more recently – from the glossy pages of interior magazines and the profiles of Instagram influencers to the floors of houses and apartments across the globe.
A trip to Morocco is the ideal opportunity to source your own Moroccan handicrafts. You might want something for your homes, such as a rug or embroidered bedlinen, or something beautiful to wear, such as a bag or kaftan. The choice can, however, be overwhelming and the prospect of haggling for a good price in the souk where shops are packed floor to ceiling with beautiful items can be daunting for even the most enthusiastic shopper! …………..
More here: http://moroccotravelblog.com/2020/05/14/buying-moroccan-handicrafts-artisan-weavers-and-embroiderers-in-tameslouht/
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Two Meteorites Land in Southern Morocco

On May 9, 2020, The American Planetary Meteoritical Society (MetSoc) published a report about two meteorites that landed in Southern Morocco in 2019. The official validation came almost a year after GAIA laboratory workers from the Hassan II University analyzed the meteorites discovered in Southern Morocco. The researchers named the meteorites crashing into the Guelmim-Oued Noun Sahara region “Wad Lahteyba” and “Al Farciya. According to a press release issued by the Casablanca Institute, they were observed by locals and described as a “luminous streak of yellow grading that turned to red.”  Witnesses further explained that the falling stars calmly moved across the sky from southwest to northeast and left no explosion. Remnants of the meteors in the Sahara were picked up by collectors and the data was shared with the University. Professor Hasnaa Chennaoui and her Ph.D. student Fatima Ezzahra Jadid utilized the civilian descriptions and the leftover matter to access the mineralogical and petrographic details of each meteor. In addition to the GAIA laboratory, Professor Carl Agee, a world-renowned for his research on extraterrestrial matters in New Mexico, received some samples. He analyzed the minerals by electron microprobes……..
More here + Video: http://moroccotravelblog.com/scalia_news/two-meteorites-land-in-southern-morocco/
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Swiss Poet Bruno Mercier Releases Illustrated Poetry Book with Moroccan Publishing House

Swiss Poet and humanist Bruno Mercier completed his seventh publication with the Moroccan publishing house “Les Infrequentables.” The collection of 82 poems entitled “Graines de Corona” or “Corona Seed and Other Travel Pollens” is a collaboration between Mercier and his longtime friend and Moroccan publisher Abdelrhaffar Souiriji.

The two men shared interest to create an illustrated book of poetry as a response to COVID-19. For the illustrations, Souiriji introduced Moroccan painter Dea El Foutayeni into the team. Utilizing tools like WeTransfer and email, the trio brought their vision to reality. El Foutayeni’s beautiful illustrations were able to add sensitivity to Mercier’s words. They allowed for themes like frustration, loneliness, longing, and confinement to be artfully communicated to global audiences. The book displays geographically diverse watercolor images, including a coastal scene set in El Jadida including a village in Switzerland and Creating art in a time where creativity has been stifled by a lack of freedom to go outside or interact with society was challenging for Mercier. He expressed the frustration of feeling trapped with thoughts like the economic effect on the art sector. “Many artists are unsure if they will even be able to buy food in this time,” said Mercier. The poems express a sense of freedom by diverting from the standard poetry structures………………                            
More here: http://moroccotravelblog.com/scalia_news/swiss-poet-bruno-mercier-releases-illustrated-poetry-book-with-moroccan-publishing-house/
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Seven Vegetable Couscous Recipe with Chef Choumicha Chafa.

While a large portion of the world was panic buying toilet paper through Spring 2020, the North African continent was experiencing a similar movement with couscous. Morocco’s celebration of the Friday meal dates back centuries and signifies how an authentic Taste of Morocco is a cultural constant. During the start of the COVID-19, Morocco’s neighbors Tunisia and Algeria began to purchase couscous in a bulk best described as a fear-driven reaction. Fortunately, Morocco managed to offset this “fake news” and keep the staple grain off the black market.

Couscous is one of Morocco’s most revered crops. A look into the nutritional properties of couscous and its societal role makes it easy to understand why the grain is treasured and was nominated in 2019 by UNESCO to achieve world heritage status. The Berber dish is profiled as tiny durum wheat semolina grains that contain balanced levels of protein, fiber, and are rich in the essential minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and traces of B and E vitamins. Furthermore, couscous is a beloved Moroccan Friday meal that brings family and friends together. It is often eaten after the midday prayer.

Over the past few years, the Magrehbi favorite has been gracing the tables of health-conscious consumers worldwide. They appreciate it as a digestion-friendly alternative to pasta or bread. Although many westerners only know couscous from its instant box method – prepared in under ten microwaveable minutes, true couscous enthusiasts understand it is a sacred dish. An authentic couscous is steamed and can take up to seven hours to simmer in a comforting broth that is finally topped with vegetables and meat. This is the most delicious and tastiest method of preparing couscous…………..
More here: http://moroccotravelblog.com/scalia_news/seven-vegetable-couscous-recipe-with-chef-choumicha-chafa/
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A Virtual Tour of the Top 8 Secret Places in the Marrakech Medina

by Marina Solovyov

While travel to Morocco has come to a near standstill during the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible to visit Marrakech, one of the country’s most sought after cities, within mere seconds. Our Marrakech Virtual Tour enables you to become an armchair traveler with the blink of an eye while exploring the Marrakech medina and its’ hidden treasures. You may use the map of the Marrakech Medina and our Top 8 Secret Places as your guide, then click on the images for a virtual video tour. The UNESCO certified Jemma El Fna Square situated in the Marrakech medina is a destination on every traveler’s list visiting the Red City. In addition to the snake charmers, musicians, storytellers, henna artists, and food sellers filling Jemma el Fna, the site is connected to hundreds of fascinating artisan shops, cafes, historical sites, and other hidden gems. Enjoy a virtual tour of the top 8 sites not to miss in the Marrakech medina………….
More here: http://moroccotravelblog.com/2020/04/30/a-virtual-tour-of-the-top-8-secret-places-in-the-marrakech-medina/
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Vogue Arabia May 2020 Cover Features Moroccan Models Nora Attal and Imman Hamman

Spring 2020 called on the world to become more creative and resourceful. As a result, businesses, designers, and brands of varied calibers stepped up to the plate to inspire their audiences. Among the brand’s redefining the moment and embarking into unchartered territory is Vogue Arabia. Their May 2020 cover featured Moroccan models Nora Attal and Imman Hamman in a fresh edition entitled “Do It Yourself”. To capture the beautiful images for Vogue Arabia when nearly all productions had been suspended due to the Coronavirus distancing measures was not easy, however, Editor in Chief Manuel Arnaut thought outside of the box. He asked his models to style themselves, do their own makeup, and provide the viewer with an authentic look at how they looked during confinement.
More here: http://moroccotravelblog.com/scalia_news/vogue-arabia-may-2020-cover-features-moroccan-models-nora-attal-and-imman-hamman/
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Minister: Morocco’s New Generation IDs Seek to Fight Fraud, Identity Theft

The Minister of Interior said the new bill allows minors to obtain the new generation of National Electronic Identity Cards (CINE).

By Safaa Kasraoui - Jun 18, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Minister of Interior Abdelouafi Laftit introduced the bill on the new generation of National Electronic Identity Cards (CNIE) on June 17 at Morocco’s parliament. Lafit presented bill 04.20 on the CINE before the committee of the interior, local authorities, housing and urban policy at the House of Representatives. The minister said the new ID generation, which consists of advanced standards, seeks to fight fraud and identity theft. The CNIE also aims to integrate new functionalities in line with Morocco’s vision for digital development. The national electronic identity card will constitute a “fast and secure bridge” to digital services, guaranteeing Moroccan citizens the possibility of secure success to digital services from public and private institutions, while protecting their personal data……….
More here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/306162/minister-moroccos-new-generation-ids-seek-to-fight-fraud-identity-theft/
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Interior Commission of Morocco’s Upper House Adopts Social Support Bill

Bill 72.18 aims to modernize Morocco’s social support programs through the establishment of two digital population registers and a management agency to effectively identify those who qualify to receive social benefits.

By Morgan Hekking - Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Jun 17, 2020 Rabat

The Interior, Local Authorities, and Infrastructure Commission in the House of Advisors, or upper house of Parliament, adopted Thursday Bill 72.18 related to beneficiaries of Morocco’s social support programs.  Morocco’s state news agency reported the bill received 11 favorable votes, no votes against, and two abstentions during a June 17 meeting held in the presence of the Minister Delegate for the Interior, Noureddine Boutayeb. The Commission made a series of amendments to Bill 72.18, aiming to set up a national registration system for individuals and households wishing to benefit from Morocco’s social support programs that are supervised by public administrations, local authorities, and public bodies………..
More here: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/306128/interior-commission-of-moroccos-upper-house-adopts-social-support-bill/
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Brooklyn’s Muslim Presence Goes Back Centuries. Here’s Proof From 1643.

The Brooklyn Historical Society acquires the deed giving 200 acres near Coney Island to Anthony van Salee, the first known person of Muslim origin to settle in America.

By Jennifer Schuessler Dec. 3, 2019

Anthony Jansen van Salee, better known as “Anthony the Turk,” was one of the most colorful characters in New Amsterdam, the Dutch colony that later became New York City. The son of a Dutch pirate and a Moorish woman, he fought constant legal battles with his neighbors, one of whom denounced him as “a rascal and a horned beast.” In 1639, after an ill-advised feud with the religious leader of the fledgling settlement at the tip of Manhattan, he and his wife — a reputed prostitute known for her salty tongue (and her habit of measuring clients’ endowments with a broomstick) — were banished. Like others pushed out of Manhattan in later centuries, Anthony — considered the first known person of Muslim descent to settle in America — just moved across the East River, and before long had secured a grant of nearly 200 acres of farmland near the wilds of Coney Island. And one afternoon last month, the recently rediscovered deed for the mother of all Brooklyn real-estate scores came home……………..
More here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/arts/design/Brooklyn-Historical-Society-deed-muslim.html
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