The mineret that takes you home

About Membership Volunteer Newsletters Souk Links

Morocco Week in Review 
May 30, 2020

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Rape Culture and Press Freedom: Stakes in Soulaiman Raissouni’s Case

International organizations have remained silent on the case, but online commentators are debating whether it is an example of rape culture or lack of press freedom.

By Zuza Nazaruk - Zuza Nazaruk is a Rotterdam-based journalist who focuses on social inclusion and climate emergency. May 25, 2020 Rabat

It all started with a series of Facebook posts on May 17. A young man under the pseudonym “Adam Muhammed” revealed he experienced a sexual assault by Soulaiman Raissouni, the editor-in-chief of the daily Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Alyaoum, in Raissouni’s apartment in 2018.  “Today, I want to expose the issue of sexual and physical harassment and an attempted sexual assault that I was exposed to by the end of 2018,” Muhammed wrote.  “The assailant is a well-known figure, the founder of a well-known news site. I was invited by his wife to work on a project dealing with LGBT in Morocco. This lady was a friend of mine and I did not know her intentions before the start of the project,” the post continued.  Following Muhammed’s post, Moroccan prosecutors ordered an investigation of the allegation. Casablanca police summoned Muhammed on May 21 to give an account of what happened two years ago. The police arrested Soulaiman Raissouni a day later, on May 22.

LGBT Groups Call for Abolition of Law Against Same-Sex Relations in Morocco

“This is not a political case that should affect freedom of journalism but a case of a victim who was subject to sexual assault,” the associations’ statement reads, referring to the accusations against Soulaiman Raissouni.

By Safaa Kasraoui - May 26, 2020 Rabat

The case of Moroccan media figure Soulaiman Raissouni is causing a national debate involving public figures, LGBT community members and allies, activists, and journalists. Raissouni, who is the editor-in-chief of Moroccan newspaper Akhbar al Yaoum, is facing “violent indecent assault and detention” charges after a gay man claimed the journalist sexually assaulted him in 2018. The case also brought the attention of LGBT community members, some of whom targeted those people who support Raissouni and believe he is innocent……….

Send Nudes or Suffer Shame: Moroccan Women Face Cyber Bullying.

By Kristen Gianaris - May 23, 2020 Rabat

By all appearances, a teenage Moroccan girl was flirting with men over social media and requesting cards Moroccans use to recharge phone credit. Those paying to top up “her” internet data did not know that their exchange was deceiving. The men also did not realize the nude photos from the internet enticing them were illegitimate. Instead the interested men were buying into a case of Moroccan cyber bullying in the form of extortion.  A perpetrator stole photos from the teenager’s social media page to create a fake account, impersonate her, and handle transactions. The perpetrator reached out to the teenager and demanded she also send him phone recharge cards or else he would further destroy her reputation. Women and young girls in Morocco are coming out in force to share their experiences of cyber bullying and shaming

Morocco’s Cadi Ayyad University, NASA Explore Extrasolar Planets

Scientific teams from a university in Marrakech and an observatory in the Atlas Mountains collaborated with NASA and Harvard University to examine planets outside the solar system.

By Zuza Nazaruk - Zuza Nazaruk is a Rotterdam-based journalist who focuses on social inclusion and climate emergency. May 3, 2020

Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech, in collaboration with NASA and Harvard University, has recently furthered scientific research by exploring extrasolar planets. 
The Moroccan-American scientific team consisted of Cadi Ayyad’s Laboratory of High-Energy Physics and Astrophysics and Oukaimeden Observatory, the NASA Virtual Planetary Laboratory, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The international team studied the climate of extrasolar planets.  The results of the research will appear in a prestigious scientific journal, “The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.” The Oxford University Press-owned journal has been a leading astronomy journal for more than 190 years.

Rights Organizations Partner to Combat Child Marriage in Morocco

UNFPA and CNDH are teaming up in an effort to abolish underage marriages in Morocco, where the number of girls marrying below the legal age is rising.  

By Kristen Gianaris -  Apr 30, 2020 Rabat

The National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are making a collaborative effort to end child marriage and promote sexual and reproductive health in Morocco.  The two humanitarian-oriented organizations signed a partnership agreement on April 29 in Rabat signifying their mutual objective of strengthening and promoting best practices regarding the interrelated issues. The partnership comes after the CNDH’s national awareness campaign, “Marriage of Minor Girls: Abolish the Exception…Restore the Norm,” shared relevant data. The campaign calls on judges, journalists, civil society, professors, and lawyers to actively participate in the cause.

Professor: Morocco’s Economic Recovery to Require More Fundraising

In a post-COVID-19 context, Omar Kettani projected a large rural exodus and an increase in urban unemployment. 

By Hamza Guessous - Apr 30, 2020 Rabat

Following Morocco’s strong efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on its most vulnerable people, the professor deemed a second fundraising campaign necessary for the recovery of the Moroccan economy. This is the post-COVID-19 plan of Omar Kettani, a professor of economics at the Mohammed V University in Rabat, for a fast recovery of the Moroccan economy.  “We have quickly mobilized funds which have reached the equivalent of $9 billion, or almost 8% of the GDP. It is, therefore, feasible to relaunch the same mobilization in a second phase after the coronavirus,” said Kettani in an interview with Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

Morocco to Develop Recovery Plans Tailored to Each Economic Sector

With the numbers of new COVID-19 cases starting to decline, Moroccan decision makers are brainstorming solutions to redress Morocco’s economy.

By Yahia Hatim - Apr 30, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Economic Monitoring Committee (CVE) is set to develop sectoral recovery plans that will support the Moroccan economy after the COVID-19 crisis.
The CVE, created to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Moroccan economy and society, held its sixth meeting on Wednesday, April 29 to implement new economic support measures. The committee’s members discussed Morocco’s overall economic and financial situation, based on the most recent economic indicators. This allowed them to make forecasts about the country’s macroeconomic and trends in the main economic sectors.

Morocco’s Storytellers Go ‘Live’ During COVID-19 Pandemic

Seasoned performers describe how social isolation is reshaping the dying art of storytelling in Morocco.

By Kristen Gianaris - May 1, 2020 Rabat

There was nobody present in the room to engage with aside from his newborn son. There was only the silent notification on the screen which indicated someone new was listening in. Dressed in the traditional Moroccan jalaba in his home in Fez, Brahim Dalwali describes his first Instagram “live” storytelling session as stressful, but fun.  In the wake of COVID-19, the global pandemic which has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and caused countries worldwide to follow stay at home orders, Brahim and other storytellers are tailoring the notable norms of storytelling to social media and reshaping tradition.

M Voice Radio Launches as Platform for Moroccan Diaspora in US.

“We hope to support a whole new generation of Moroccan-American talent and serve as a bridge between USA and Morocco.”

By Taha Mebtoul - May 26, 2020 Rabat

The city of New York saw the launch of the new station “M Voice Radio” on Saturday, May 23, inspired by a group of Moroccan-American entrepreneurs.
M Voice Radio is multi-platform news organization, diffusing content in both English and Arabic for the Moroccan community, in addition to other languages to attract more communities. The Moroccan-American station also provides services through its website, mobile applications, and most social media platforms.
For effective transmission and quality content, M Voice Radio collaborates with a network of international entities and several news sources. It focuses on various aspects of life for the Moroccan diaspora community, aiming to develop and deploy the capacities of local talents………

EBRD Director: COVID-19, Drought Provoke Economic Crisis in Morocco

Last week, the European Bank provided a loan of €145 million to BMCE Bank of Africa to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

By Hamza Guessous - May 1, 2020 Rabat

The director in charge of Morocco at the European Bank for reconstruction and development (EBRD), Marie Alexandra Veilleux-Laborie, declared that Morocco’s economy expects an exceptionally difficult year, reassuring that the EBRD will provide the necessary support for a proper economic revival. “We can expect an extremely difficult year economically and socially, not only because of the consequences of the health crisis, but also of the rainfall deficit impacting the agricultural sector,“ said Veilleux-Laborie in an interview with Maghreb Arab Press (MAP). The balance of payments will be consequently strongly impacted, notably due to the loss of tourism revenue, the drop in remittances from Moroccans Residing Abroad (MREs), and exports, mainly to Europe, according to the EBRD official.

IMARC: Morocco’s Couscous Market is Growing

Between 2014 and 2019, Morocco’s couscous market grew by 5% and is expected to continue an upward trend.

By Kristen Gianaris - May 9, 2020 Rabat

According to the latest report by the IMARC Group, a leading international market research company, Morocco’s couscous market saw a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% between the period of 2014 to 2019.  The report predicts the couscous market will see significant and continued growth over the next five years.  Many attribute the rise in Morocco’s consumption to healthier consumer values. Couscous is a healthier alternative to rice or pasta, containing fewer calories and higher protein and fiber content. …………………

Your Guide to Shopping for Enchanting Souvenirs in Morocco

Having some basic knowledge about traditional and practical Moroccan items might just help you make up your mind on what to buy as a souvenir.

By Jihad Dardar - May 24, 2020

Morocco is arguably one of the world’s most beautiful countries due to its rich and unique history, culture, and traditions, from its Atlas Mountains to its Sahara desert. With its stunning architecture, colored cities, diverse beaches, and high hills, Morocco’s varied beauty and landscapes are among the wonders that attract tourists most. Moroccan artisans are famous for their beautiful and creative works, handmade with intricate skills often passed down through generations. Their use of locally-sourced raw materials such as leather, ceramic, silk, glass, silver, brass, and yarn make the country a premium destination for “magical” shopping…………………..

COVID-19: Foreign Students Donate Food to Moroccan Families in Need

What was meant to be a donation of two bags turned into packages of food products that will benefit at least 30 families.

By Taha Mebtoul - May 25, 2020 Rabat

While stranded tourists and students around the world live in fear and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis, a group of foreign students in Rabat managed to look beyond the lockdown trauma and donate food packages to help Moroccans in need. The International Campus in Rabat hosts students from many nationalities and backgrounds. Some managed to catch the last planes before Morocco’s decision to postpone international flights, while others remained and are now sharing Morocco’s lockdown experience. The Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI) is the entity supporting foreign students in terms of scholarships and other affairs. AMCI has been present for international students during the special circumstances of COVID-19, providing them with food products every 15 days.

Official report: 50% of students do not take distance learning lessons

By Younes Benbrik -  May 22, 2020 Rabat, Morocco

The High Commission for Planning published a study conducted between 14-23 April on Moroccan families in order to track their lifestyle adaptation under the quarantine. The research targeted a representative sample of 2350 families belonging to the various social and economic classes of the Moroccan population, according to their residency (urban and rural). The research revealed that at the national level, 36% of families have children pursuing their studies in primary school, 20% in middle school, 12% in high school, and 8% in higher education. All of them were forced to adapt to the requirements of distance education.
The HCP said school children do not benefit from distance learning, in 20% of the cases.

Morocco Wins three Gold Medals, Knight Order at Romania’s Euroinvent 2020

This is not the first time Moroccans have brought home prizes from the science fair.

By Morocco World News - May 24, 2020 Rabat

Morocco won three gold medals at the European Exhibition of Creativity and Innovation (Euroinvent) held remotely in the city of Iasi, Romania from May 21 to May 23. The Moroccan School of Engineering Sciences (EMSI), representing the country at Euroinvent, received three gold medals for its flagship inventions “Genius water pipeline for buildings,” “Smart Micro-wind for Highway,” and “Smart Hospital Management,” announced EMSI in a press release on Saturday, May 23. The “Micro Hydro-Aeolian Production for a Position Energy building” invention provides electrical energy at highways or other roads through a creative two-type wind turbine system. “An Intelligent, Efficient, and Digital Hospital Management Ecosystem” put together a secure digital medical system to ensure proper follow-up with patients and efficiently archive medical reports for healthcare workers. “A Smart Micro-Wind System for an Auxiliary Electrical Energy Production” is a micro-wind system providing an auxiliary source of positive electrical energy in buildings exploiting hydraulic or wind energy.

In Photos: Why You Should Go Surfing in Morocco

The Moroccan coast attracts surfers and travelers with the beauty of its landscape, the perfectly breaking waves, and the bohemian vibes.

By Zuza Nazaruk - Zuza Nazaruk is a Rotterdam-based journalist who focuses on social inclusion and climate emergency. May 23, 2020 Rabat

If you worry that you lost your chance to visit Morocco this summer, here is some good news: The best season to visit the “surfing coast” of Morocco is October to April, although the waves charm surfing enthusiasts all year round.  The Moroccan coast captivates visitors with its landscape and beautiful beaches while being one of the world’s top surfing destinations.  Morocco has a long surf history: Taghazout and Essaouira, coastal cities west of Marrakech, have been on surfers’ radar since the 1960s. The area transformed to accommodate the international, multicultural community and is now radiating with bohemian vibes from every surf camp, hostel, and cafe. Their variety allows every traveler to find venues that suit them, both ambiance- and price-wise.

These postings are provided without permission of the copyright owner for purposes of criticism, comment, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and may not be distributed further without permission of the identified copyright owner.  The poster does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the message, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Return to Friends of Morocco Home Page

About Membership Volunteer Newsletters Souk Links