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Morocco Week in Review 
May 23, 2020

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

UN Appoints Young Moroccan as Youth Coordinator for MENA

UNFPA's choice was based on Aznague's experience in leading the Sustainable Development's Youth organization.

By Taha Mebtoul - May 20, 2020 Rabat

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has appointed a young Moroccan, Hatim Aznague, as regional coordinator to the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. The MGCY is an official and self-organized United Nations mechanism that enables young individuals to participate in the United Nations. The group also engages formal and informal communities in UN-related activities. UNFPA’s choice was based on Aznague’s experience leading the Sustainable Development’s Youth organization in Morocco. His work in the roles of founder and president involved simulating UN mechanisms and initiatives regarding Agenda 2030.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/303288/un-appoints-young-moroccan-as-youth-coordinator-for-mena/
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What You Should Know About Eid Al-Fitr

Astronomers predict that this year, most of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims will celebrate Eid on May 23 or 24.

By Kristen Gianaris - May 19, 2020 Rabat

Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan with the festival of breaking their fast, or Eid Al-Fitr, alternatively called by over 50 names worldwide. In parts of Europe, the holiday is commonly referred to as “Sugar Festival.” The name derives from the practice of Muslim hosts offering sweets and food to guests. In other countries, local languages directly translate the holiday to some variation of breaking one’s fast or simply “the celebration.”  After one month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, a practice that involves refraining from all eating, drinking, smoking, or sexual activity, Muslims are expected to end the holy month with a deeper understanding of their faith, personal development, and a heightened sense of empathy. ………………..
https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/517415945/n1vqhMJkHYvn-MVL?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=================================

El Othmani: Morocco Does Not Yet Meet Requirements to Lift Lockdown

Morocco extended its state of emergency and nationwide lockdown for a second time, maintaining them until June 10.

By Yahia Hatim - May 18, 2020 Rabat

Morocco will gradually lift its nationwide lockdown, scheduled to end on June 10, when the country meets a series of requirements, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani announced today. Before any attempt to ease the lockdown, Morocco’s health infrastructure should be able to deal with any “unwanted emergencies,” El Othmani said during a joint parliamentary session. In addition to the hospitals already equipped to host COVID-19 patients, Morocco is equipping 190 additional health centers with new material. One quarter of the newly-equipped facilities will host coronavirus patients exclusively.
https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/517299420/3Q4iSk9EqtZmG0Tz?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================================

Teaching Permaculture in Morocco’s High Atlas

A school in the small village of Timmit is offering a surprising curriculum that may inspire a more sustainable and inclusive future for coming generations.

By Kristen Gianaris - May 21, 2020 Rabat

Nestled deep in the High Atlas Mountains along the Ait Bouguemez valley, approximately 180 kilometers east of Marrakech, is a school in the small village of Timmit, offering a surprising curriculum — one that may inspire a more sustainable and inclusive future for coming generations.  There are a number of reasons why Ecole Vivant’e or the “Living School” is unique compared to other schools in Morocco, but what may set the school apart most from others is the surrounding garden, compost toilets, chicken coops, greenhouse, rain harvesting buckets, irrigation and drain water systems, and fenced-in land for reforestation. Another unique feature is the school’s deaf education program.  Joana Baumann, 31, and Lukas Muller, 30, first arrived in Morocco from Switzerland in 2009. Lukas, tasked with a university project to explore permaculture in different climates, originally planned to produce a small garden at his friend’s home. His plans evolved after the couple was coincidentally introduced to Itto Stefanie Tapal-Mouzoun, a German woman settled in the Ait Bouguemez valley, in the process of establishing a new school. 
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/303380/teaching-permaculture-in-moroccos-high-atlas/
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180+ Books: A Look at Moroccan Literature Available in English

ArabLit Editor Nadia Ghanem surveys the twentieth- and twenty-first century Moroccan literature available in English

By Nadia Ghanem   From the Casablanca International Book Fair.

Many readers and bookshops organize their book piles, shelves, and readings by country, loosely defined as the author’s country of origin, or else by where the story takes place. It’s an approach to fiction I always found odd and enjoyable; there is a special kind of enjoyment to be had by sticking to the fiction of a place and concentrating on it for a while. I could say that my tendency to focus on a country is how the construction of this list began, but that would be a sticky fib. Truth be told, after a deep attachment to Algerian literature, I simply felt like peeking at the neighbors to see how they fare in translation. Contrary to how I proceeded for my list of Algerian literature in English translation — for which producing a list came to consolidate years of reading, and was an attempt at understanding Algerian literary production outside of its geography — the present list is produced at the beginning of my journey, from the outside going in.

The below list gathers 172 titles. That’s 106 novels, short stories (collections or single stories), and plays; 37 poetry collections or single poems; 21 memoirs and essays, and 12 collective works (not least of which is Akashic Books’ Marrakesh Noir, edited by Yassin Adnan, a collection that makes 11 authors available in English who are not translated elsewhere)………..
https://arablit.org/2020/04/29/172-books-moroccan-literature-in-available-in-english/
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How Young Moroccans Are Leading the Fight Against COVID-19.

“I felt from the beginning of this pandemic that it is my responsibility as a young volunteer to support the brave efforts of healthcare workers.”

By Yasmine Oubahi - Yasmine Oubahi is a pan-Africanist journalist specializing in immigration issues and the press officer of the Office of the African Union Youth Envoy. May 17, 2020 Rabat

While our country is facing one of the most challenging times during the coronavirus pandemic, young Moroccans are showing resilience, intelligence, innovation, and patriotism. They are standing on the frontlines and proving that young people are central in fighting COVID-19. Today we see young Moroccans producing face masks, distributing food packages and hand sanitizers, and raising awareness through social media and volunteering. Young professionals, scientists, healthcare workers, professors, journalists, activists, artists, and many others are joining forces and mobilizing massively to serve their country as an integral part of Morocco’s national response plan. Since the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in Morocco on March 2, 2020, a youth-led association called “Madness” launched the “Frigal” initiative. The initiative’s objective is to save the lives of those most at risk of infection: Frontline healthcare workers. ………………….
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302818/how-young-moroccans-are-leading-the-fight-against-covid-19/=================================

Violence Against Moroccan Women Has Increased During the Quarantine

By Younes Benbrik -  May 19, 2020 Rabat, Morocco (TMT)

The Moroccan Union of Feminist Action (UFA) published a recent report in which it said that violence against women in Morocco has risen since the start of the quarantine. This is contrary to what was stated in the Journal of the Public Prosecution issued last April, which reported that violence against women recorded a decrease during the first month of the quarantine (from 20 March to 20 April), compared to the same period last year.
The union described the life of a number of Moroccan women inside their crowded homes during the nationwide lockdown, given the amount of violence they went through, as “hell.”

The report stated that women are subject to various forms of violence (physical and psychological,) deprivation of spending, and some of them receive death threats. The figures presented by the UFA, based on a tally gathered by its help centers across the kingdom during the period from 20 March to 15 May, indicate that the number of cases of violence against women doubled, compared to the number of cases registered since the beginning of the year till March 15. Their platforms received more than 760 calls regarding 1000 cases of violence. The UFA said that the high tally shows that battered women find it difficult to file complaints by the means suggested by the Public Prosecution Presidency in the current exceptional circumstances. More than 60 percent of callers are unable to read and write, and they cannot write an email, as they lack the technical means to do so. …………………………………
http://themoroccantimes.com/2020/05/24207/violence-against-moroccan-women-has-increased-during-the-quarantine=================================

Every Beautiful Moment in Morocco

By Emma Flodin Lahsini -  May 13, 2020

When I first arrived to Morocco from the United States, I didn’t know that this would become my home for the next few months. I imagined that after a quick trip, my husband and I would be returning to Los Angeles and would resume our daily routine. Little did I know that becoming “stuck” in this country was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. 

When we departed from LAX, I didn’t have the slightest idea of the journey that was ahead of me and how a virus would halt businesses across the world and reimagine daily life as we know it. We reserved a beach house in a very small city before the quarantine started. The city was quaint and cozy, it had small cottages with flowers and foliage growing across them. We woke up to birds chirping and drank traditional Moroccan mint tea in the morning. After breakfast, we would sit in the garden and I would reconnect with writing as I used to so often do, but unfortunately had gotten away from due to undergoing a severe accident in Los Angeles, a few months back. We spent many days in nature but more specifically by the ocean, which is one of the places that has become the most healing since I had my accident, and has been helping my recovery process. My husband and I also started vlogging to capture all of these moments here in Morocco, and also to become an outlet of support for me. …………………………
http://themoroccantimes.com/2020/05/24088/every-beautiful-moment-in-morocco
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Morocco Announces Baccalaureate, University Exam Dates.

Morocco decided to cancel all exams for primary, middle, and high school students, except for the first and second year baccalaureate and university students.

By Safaa Kasraoui - May 18, 2020 Rabat

Moroccan Education Minister Said Amzazi announced the dates for the first and second year baccalaureate exams at the House of Representatives on Monday, May 18. Second year baccalaureate students in the literature branch will sit for exams on July 3-4. Second year science and technology baccalaureate students will sit for exams on July 6-7.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302972/morocco-announces-baccalaureate-university-exam-dates/=================================

HCP: 18% of Moroccan Students Do Not Follow Remote Lessons

Moroccan families found themselves forced to adapt to the requirements of distance education, including equipping students with internet access and electronic devices.

By Taha Mebtoul - May 19, 2020 Rabat

The Moroccan High Commission for Planning (HCP) released a study demonstrating how Moroccan families have responded to remote study during the lockdown, reporting that 18% of students do not follow remote lessons. The research also sheds light on how Moroccan students are responding to remote studies, including a comparison between urban and rural areas. HCP’s assessment revealed that 36% of Moroccan families have children who study in primary school, while 20% have children in junior high school, 12% in high school, and 8% pursuing higher education.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/303123/hcp-18-of-moroccan-students-do-not-follow-remote-lessons/
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How the Lack of Modern Public Toilets Impacts Moroccan Society.

In the face of a great shortage of public toilets in Moroccan cities and villages, an “uncivilized” phenomenon has spread throughout the country.

By Abdellah Benahnia - Dr Abdellah Benahnia is an international researcher and consultant in education, training, and culture. May 17, 2020

Public services constitute one of the cornerstones of the advancement of a given country leading most importantly to its reputation, and ultimately the satisfaction of its citizens. In addition to historical and tourist sites, peace, and security, among the things that attract tourists and visitors to countries and cities is the quality of the services available in them. There is no doubt that the presence of clean hotels and restaurants, places of worship, parks, and entertainment places have a great impact on the minds of tourists or visitors in Morocco. Public services have a great impact on tourists, as well, namely infrastructure, means of transportation and communication, and even public toilets. Modern and sanitary public toilets are necessary facilities that give Moroccan cities an added value in terms of the services provided and maintain the country’s reputation and standing………………………………
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302928/how-the-lack-of-modern-public-toilets-impacts-moroccan-society/
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Muhammed Belhaj: The Man Behind Rabat’s Only All-English Bookstore.

“English is not important itself," he said. "It is also not better than any other language. It is simply a reference for human knowledge. It is a pool of knowledge.”

By Nejra Kravic - May 16, 2020 Rabat

Tucked away from the busy streets of Morocco’s capital, Rabat’s only all-English bookstore is a hidden gem. You can only really recognize the store by a discreet sign and its business hours, handwritten in both Arabic and English. It is hard to not be amazed by the sheer number of books on sale, carefully placed in categories such as fiction, women’s studies, media, or human sciences. Muhammed Belhaj opened the bookshop in 1985. Saddened by the sudden death of his father, he returned to Morocco from London, where he was completing his studies.  Belhaj, the sole owner of the bookstore, is originally from Fez. Born in 1941, his studies took him to Rabat at the end of the 1950s. At first reluctant to leave his hometown and the city’s vibrant medina in which he grew up, Belhaj said his options were somewhat limited when choosing where to continue his education. At the time, Morocco’s only modern university was in Rabat, where Belhaj studied political science……………………..
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302698/muhammed-belhaj-the-man-behind-rabats-only-all-english-bookstore/
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Morocco Should Embrace Dr. Slaoui’s Success, Value of Science.

Moroccan decision-makers should draw lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and the achievements of Moroccans such as Dr. Slaoui.

By Samir Bennis - Samir Bennis is a political analyst. May 16, 2020 Washington D.C.

Since the news started circulating about US President Donald Trump’s intention to appoint Moroccan-American-Belgian scientist Moncef Slaoui to head the White House’s COVID-19 vaccine team, many Moroccans attempted to spoil their compatriots’ joy and moment of pride by saying that Dr. Moncef Slaoui is not Moroccan, but American. These Moroccans doubled down when Slaoui said following his official appointment that he was proud to take up the task “for his country,” in reference to America. The fact he said this in front of President Trump proves to these critics he is not Moroccan, and we should not be proud of him as one of our own. These claims beg the questions: Who told them that Dr. Slaoui is not Moroccan? Did he ever renounce his Moroccan nationality? Does obtaining a foreign nationality revoke the Moroccan nationality? Did they think that he should mention his country of origin after  President Trump appointed him to head an American team to develop the vaccine? ………………..
https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/517192166/y9PtKldmGeoxNiuu?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=================================

Moncef Slaoui to Divest $10 Million From Moderna After Trump Appointed Him

Although Slaoui will divest millions of dollars from the company, Moderna said it wishes the expert well in his new role.

By Safaa Kasraoui - May 19, 2020 Rabat

Morocco-born scientist Moncef Slaoui is set to divest $10 million from Moderna, one of the leading companies seeking to find a vaccine for COVID-19
Slaoui, who is leading the US’ “Operation Warp Speed” to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, has a share of $10 million in stock options from Moderna, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Slaoui, who had been on Moderna’s Board of Directors, resigned after President Donald Trump officially appointed him to lead Operation Warp Speed on Friday, May 15.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/303105/moncef-slaoui-decides-to-divest-10-million-from-modern-after-trump-appointed-him/
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A Vibrant Celebration of Moroccan Design

In February, the hotelier Philomena Schurer Merckoll toasted her new creative showcase, Design Marrakech, with a gathering at her guesthouse, Riad Mena.  

By Paula Hardy May 8, 2020

As a few faint rain drops began to fall in the courtyard of Riad Mena, a seven-room guesthouse in the Marrakesh medina, the hotelier Philomena Schurer Merckoll looked skyward, assessing the likelihood of a downpour. This was in February, when a seasonal shower was the biggest threat to a social gathering, and at risk beneath the citrus trees were white linen sofas and red silk-embroidered floor cushions, laid out for cocktail hour before a dinner in honor of Marrakesh’s design talent. But with artworks arriving and her guests expected, she shrugged at the massing clouds, determined the evening should go on. The furniture was taken inside and then reassembled an hour later once the shower had passed. Looking back now, froma radically altered world of shelter-in-place orders and social distancing, guests fondly recall the evening as one of the last when they were able to mingle freely with friends old and new. “It’s wonderful to remember that dinner now,” said Schurer Merckoll late last month. “It feels so special because it gives me hope for more positive times to come.”……….
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/t-magazine/design-marrakech-philomena-schurer-merckoll.html
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Morocco’s progress in the last Twenty Years

By Younes Benbrik -  May 17, 2020 Rabat, Morocco

To where is Morocco heading? That is a question many people ask, one which gets contradictory answers sometimes due to a lack of perspective and shortsightedness. Understanding the question and being able to answer it from different angles would entail the one to dig deep into where the country has come from first. In 1995 king Hassan II declared in a speech in the parliament that Morocco’s economy was facing a heart attack.
Economically, Morocco had always depended on agriculture, tourism, phosphate minerals, and sales of fish products. All of the aforementioned were the main foundations of the Moroccan economy since independence. This was not enough to spare the country economic troubles and increasing debt. Morocco could not get rid of its dependence on foreign loans. Frequent droughts had a severe knock-on effect on the economy. Two successive years of drought led to a 1% decline in real GDP in 1999 and stagnation in 2000.  Foreign investment was weak. Foreign companies that operated in the country had an almost unnoticed effect on the country’s economic growth. Job opportunities were very limited. An important number of people worked in government jobs. Those latter were insufficient to satisfy the growing demand as every year more and more university graduates were looking for jobs. ……………………
Check it here: http://themoroccantimes.com/2020/05/24162/moroccos-progress-in-the-last-twenty-years
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Economy Minister: Lockdown Costs Morocco MAD 1 Billion a Day

The loss is due to the decline in revenue of both Morocco’s tourism and industrial export activities during the crisis.

By Hamza Guessous - May 19, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Minister of Economy, Finance, and Administration Reform, Mohamed Benchaaboun, stated that the country loses up to MAD 1 billion ($100 million) during each day under lockdown, noting it is expected that the two months of quarantine will cause the national economy to lose 6 points of GDP growth for 2020. “The loss would have been greater if financial support had not been provided by the COVID-19 pandemic management fund, which was created on royal instructions,” explained Benchaaboun in the weekly session dedicated to parliamentary questions on Tuesday.
On the fiscal level, he added that “the economic recession is expected to cause a shortfall in Morocco’s treasury revenues of approximately MAD 500 million per day during the quarantine period.” ………………………..
More here: https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/517415945/n1vqhMJkHYvn-MVL?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=================================

Designer Transforms Arabic Words into Illustrations of Their Literal Meanings.

By Sara Barnes on February 17, 2017

A rchitect and graphic designer Mahmoud Tammam has translated his love of word manipulation into a delightful series celebrating language. Based in Alexandria, Egypt, the creative started the project as a “personal challenge.” He explains, “I manipulate Arabic words and transform them into their meaning, and I made a total of 40 illustrated words.” In addition, the pronunciation of these Arabic illustrated words is included on every picture to help you sound them out.

Using the Arabic characters, Tammam fashions their sloping curves and dots into the bodies of animals, pieces of fruit, and distant landscapes. His pictorial manipulations are seamless and elegant, fusing words and images so well that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. This bridges the gap between language barriers—even if you can’t read the language, you can look at Tammam’s illustrations and instantly understand what you’re reading. Don’t know Arabic? No problem. Mahmoud Tammam has created a series of Arabic illustrated words that reveals their meaning……………
More here: https://mymodernmet.com/arabic-illustrated-words/
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Video: Bikepacking Racing Across Morocco's Atlas Mountains in 'Into The Rift'

Coming up: in 2 hours by Canyon  
To simply finish the Atlas Mountain Race means navigating 1,200 kilometres of the most rugged and remote roads in Morocco, riding forgotten gravel paths from Marrakech to the Atlantic coast whilst climbing a staggering 25,000 meters of elevation along the way. Riders would find themselves riding past snow-capped peaks, through scorched deserts and into palm-filled oases, all within the eight-day time limit.

To win requires riding almost non-stop, night and day, for days on end. It is a combination of strength and sleep deprivation that only a few riders in the world can manage. Riding alone, unsupported and loaded down with supplies, each competitor must constantly battle mechanicals, heat exhaustion and saddle sores to get to the finish. There is no prize, no money, simply the satisfaction that comes from pushing oneself to the limit while exploring the backroads of a beautiful country………………..
Check it here: https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/517491708/eksZpAz0BzazpLF2?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 =================================

Study Shows Morocco’s LGBTQ Community Wants to Engage in Politics

At least 70% of the LGBTQ community report experiencing some form of violence due to their sexual orientation.

By Kristen Gianaris - May 20, 2020 Rabat

A recent study shows that members of Morocco’s LGBTQ community are taking on homophobia in the North African country by engaging in national politics. According to a recent study by the Collective Against Criminalization and Discrimination Against Sexual and Religious Minorities, at least 16%  of Morocco’s LGBTQ community are active in political parties and 20% are active in numerous associations. Additionally, 6% are involved in cultural circles and 1% in human rights organizations. The research took place over a six month period and identifies the demographic and social experience of Morocco’s LGBTQ community, focusing particularly on LGBTQ identifying people in Marrakech, Agadir, Tangier, and Rabat. The community’s political and cultural activism has ensued from the general stigma and legislation against homosexuality in Morocco. Article 489 of Morocco’s penal code criminalizes same-sex relations, making it punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $120 (MAD 1200). The LGBTQ community reports that a staggering 29% of participants in the survey faced arrest or imprisonment for reasons related to their sexuality.
https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/517487547/bUTS1fdmFG_nmfW-?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=articl=================================

Morocco’s Koutoubia, As-Sounna Among World’s Greenest Mosques

The two mosques have been solar powered since 2016 and represent Morocco’s vast potential for solar energy.

By Morgan Hekking - May 20, 2020

Greenpeace, the world’s largest independent environmental organization, named Morocco’s Koutoubia Mosque and As-Sounna Mosque as two of the most environmentally-friendly mosques in the Muslim world.  Koutoubia is the largest mosque in Marrakech and one of the ochre city’s most iconic landmarks. The Islamic architectural marvel dates back to the late 12th century and boasts a minaret 77 meters tall that looms over Jemaa el-Fna.
Upon conquering the Almoravids and claiming Marrakech, Almohad caliph Abd al-Mu’min established the mosque around 1150. Almohad caliph Moulay Yacoub finalized its minaret in 1195, solidifying Koutoubia as a prime example of Alohad and Moroccan mosque architecture. 
https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/517487488/f7DeMl0CdclmoM1P?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=================================

Eid Celebrations Moroccans Will Miss out on During Lockdown

It is frustrating but at least we all get to live.

By Asmae Habchaoui - Asmae Habchaoui is a PR & Media professional with a Masters in Management & Finance. May 20, 2020 Rabat

When the Ministry of Interior announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spreading coronavirus in April, Moroccans hoped that life would return to normal by Ramadan. The second lockdown extension, announced only a few days ago, leaves no doubt that Eid al Fitr will be different this year. 
Moroccan families will still get to listen to traditional Andalusian music on national channels, they will be able to parade in their traditional outfits at home, and children will resume their standard annual argument about wanting “rfissa” or couscous for lunch before their mothers veto both. At the same time, Moroccans will have to let go of cornerstone festivities that usually mark Eid for Moroccans and Muslims around the world. Freshly showered and wearing their neatly pressed jellabas, Moroccan observers look forward to mosque prayers every Eid. After a month of pious fasting to rekindle their devotion to God, practicing Muslims head to the mosque first thing on Eid morning. But this Eid prayer, just as with Ramadan’s Taraweeh prayers, will be held in the safety of worshipers’ own homes. 
https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/517487488/f7DeMl0CdclmoM1P?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=================================

Al-Andalus Mosque of Fez: Maryam al-Fihriya’s Mark on Moroccan History.

For several centuries, the 1,160-year-old mosque was a destination for knowledge-seekers from across the Maghreb

By Yahia Hatim - May 20, 2020

Most people interested in Islamic and Moroccan histories have heard of Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque in Fez, one of the oldest mosques in the Maghreb and home to the oldest continually-operating university in the world. However, the glory of Al-Qarawiyyin may have cast a shadow over Al-Andalus Mosque, a building also of great importance in the history of Fez, Morocco’s oldest imperial city. The story of Al-Andalus Mosque dates back to the 9th century when Fez was still a young city establishing its foundations. Built in the year 860, only one year after the completion of Al-Qarawiyyin’s foundation, Al-Andalus Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Morocco and North Africa.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/303256/al-andalus-mosque-of-fez-maryam-al-fihriyas-mark-on-moroccan-history/
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UN, ICOM Reveal Museum Inequalities as Global Problem

Despite a large geographic presence, Africa and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) host only 1.5% of the world’s museums.

By Kristen Gianaris - May 20, 2020 Rabat

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) report that the COVID-19 pandemic is illuminating museum inequality.  A recent study conducted by the two organizations revealed wide regional disparities regarding the number of established museums. The inequality, further highlighted by the uneven allocation of and access to resources and artifacts, impacts specific regions’ access to education, cultural exchange, and creative economy.  Despite being the second largest continent in the world, Africa, combined with Small Island Developing States (SIDS), hosts only 1.5% of the total number of museums worldwide. ………………..
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/303247/un-icom-reveal-museum-inequalities-as-global-problem/
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NASA: Morocco’s Kamal Oudrhiri Leads Breakthrough in Quantum Physics

Oudrhiri stressed that it was “extremely difficult” and required a dedicated team on the ground and two committed astronauts.

By Taha Mebtoul - May 20, 2020 Rabat

Moroccan scientist Kamal Oudrhiri has led a successful discovery mission by the American space agency, NASA, achieving a breakthrough in the field of quantum physics. Two astronauts and three Nobel Prize winners participated in the mission, which concerns the study of the smallest atoms in the coldest environment possible. The experiences that led to this achievement took place at the Cold Atom Lab on the International Space Station (ISS), which NASA had installed in 2018.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/303228/nasa-moroccos-kamal-oudrhiri-leads-breakthrough-in-quantum-physics/=================================

The American Legation Museum virtual visit.

The American Legation Museum in Tangier, situated in the only US national landmark located outside of the United States, wishes you a happy International Museums Day. Because we’re now closed to the public due to current circumstances, we are happy to invite you to take a special virtual visit of the Legation by clicking on this link. https://bit.ly/2ycLmRf We of course look forward to welcoming you in person after we reopen.
Please share this post with your family and friends. A thousand thanks to Ayoub El Jamal for making this virtual tour in such a short time!
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10159520574832784&id=99255782783
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Imports of Cereals Into Morocco Increase 38% After Drought

The Casablanca and Jorf ports receive most of the imports.

By Safaa Kasraoui - May 15, 2020 Rabat

The National Ports Agency (ANP) has announced that Morocco’s cereals imports in 2020 reached a total of 3.5 million tons as of April 30. In a statement quoted by Moroccan television channel 2M, the agency said supplying the market with cereals has occurred under the “best conditions, thanks to the practical measures” to facilitate port activities. Morocco’s imports of cereals, such as wheat, increased 38% over the same period last year.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302667/imports-of-cereals-into-morocco-increase-38-after-drought/=================================

Morocco Sends Mobile Labs for COVID-19 Testing Into Rural Areas.

Approximately 87,665 suspected cases have tested negative since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Morocco.

By Taha Mebtoul - May 18, 2020 Rabat

The Moroccan Ministry of Health has started providing mobile laboratories that perform COVID-19 tests for the country’s remote areas. An advisor to the Minister of Health, Hafid Zahri, shared the first operation of the mobile campaign on Saturday, May 16, on Twitter. https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302988/morocco-sends-mobile-labs-for-covid-19-testing-into-rural-areas/
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University in Fez to Offer Virtual Lecture on Academic Research.

The Moroccan university has already ventured into supplemental online learning, launching a Masterclass for doctoral students on May 8.

By Taha Mebtoul - May 15, 2020
Rabat – The Moroccan Faculty of Literature (FLDM) at the Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fez is organizing an interactive virtual lecture in English about publishing in research journals.
Titled “How to Write and Publish Great Papers in Scholarly Journals: Understanding the Publishing Process,” the initiative aims to clarify the process of research writing and publication for students interested in pursuing a career in academia.
The Vice Dean of Scientific Research and Cooperation at FLDM, Professor Mohammed Moubtassime, will lead the lecture.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302787/university-in-fez-to-offer-virtual-lecture-on-academic-research/
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Morocco Approves Creation of five New Higher Education Institutions

The new establishments aim to reduce territorial disparities in terms of access to higher education.

By Yahia Hatim - May 15, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Government Council approved the creation of five new higher education institutions across the country during a videoconference meeting on Thursday, May 14. The institutions include three Higher Schools of Technology (EST) in Nador, Ouarzazate, and Dakhla, a Faculty of Economics and Management in Guelmim, and an Institute of Sports Professions in Kenitra. The Ouarzazate and Dakhla ESTs, along with the new faculty in Guelmim, will be created under the Ibn Zohr University of Agadir. The EST of Nador will be under the Mohammed I University of Oujda and Kenitra’s new institute will be under the local Ibn Tofail University…………….
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302725/morocco-approves-creation-of-5-new-higher-education-institutions/
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Six Contemporary Moroccan Artists Who Break Bounds of Originality.

Internationally recognized contemporary Moroccan artists all make Morocco a leading topic in their artistic pursuits.

By Zuza Nazaruk - Zuza Nazaruk is a Rotterdam-based journalist who focuses on social inclusion and climate emergency. May 15, 2020

Moroccan contemporary artists are diverse and original. They use brushes, lenses, and the printing press. They are abstract, realist, figurative, optical, mixed. They draw from reality, or they disguise in the dream world. Some are daring, some visionary.  All are recognized internationally as exceptional visual talents. And all come back to Morocco, their country of origin, in their artistic endeavors. 
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Hassan Hajjaj: The rockstar photographer

Hassan Hajjaj received worldwide recognition with his 2010 photo series “Kesh Angels” depicting the street culture of female bikers in Marrakech. The artist’s photographs show a colorful, playful, and undeniably hip side of Moroccan culture……….
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302684/6-contemporary-moroccan-artists-who-break-bounds-of-originality/ =================================

How Making IMF World’s Centralized Bank Could Affect Morocco.

Although big crises demand big solutions, transforming the IMF into the world’s leading fiscal body would require adjustments to ensure equity between developed and developing countries.

By Zuza Nazaruk - Zuza Nazaruk is a Rotterdam-based journalist who focuses on social inclusion and climate emergency. May 16, 2020 Rotterdam

The current health crisis has revealed the importance of coordination on a global level. COVID-19 is demonstrating that the efforts of one government can affect the health of citizens on the other side of the globe, as well as the inefficiency of national central banks’ responses. 
Times of deep crisis may be turned into times of deep reform. Some world leaders are capitalizing on the opportunity, raising their voices to call for creating a truly global, centralized, multilateral fiscal body. Transforming the International Monetary Fund (IMF) appears the leading way to achieve centralization.

Special times, special measures

Governments worldwide have already called on the IMF to make use of its Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) mechanism during the pandemic. SDRs are a “basket” of international currencies that serve the role of a reserve asset and may be used in times of crises—as SDRs were in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/05/302878/how-making-imf-worlds-centralized-bank-could-affect-morocco/
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