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Morocco Week in Review 
August 28 2021

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

The Significance of the New Signage at the Ouarzazate Tree Nursery in Morocco

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir Thursday, 19 Aug 2021  By Yossef Ben-Meir, Marrakech

Twenty-seven years ago, I lived in a village called Amsouzerte in the Tifnoute Valley, the south side of the High Atlas Mountains, closeby to the burial location of the Moroccan-Hebrew saint David-Ou-Mouche. The Tifnoute community and its region long desired for the building of a fruit tree nursery so that they could move away from subsistence agriculture. They struggled with the risk of giving over portions of their farmlands to the venture.

The Saint’s tomb, which belongs to the Moroccan Jewish community, is surrounded by empty mountainsides that they knew, if terraced, could be the site of the sought-after tree nursery. With 60 percent of funding provided by the Moroccan government’s National Initiative for Human Development (NIHD) and the remainder from private donors, and with the local Jewish community’s gift of land, they were able to build that nursery. In addition, the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Program played the important role of providing technical capacity-building with neighboring cooperative members, who assist in the implementation and maintenance of this nursery initiative……

"Merci dix": A swansong for Morocco's Mercedes Grand Taxis

By John Silcox & Sam Christmas21st August 2021

In Morocco, people don't call for an Uber; instead, they pile into Grand Taxis – battered but colourful old diesel Mercedes that are North Africa's answer to Cuba's vintage cars. This morning, Hassan Mesfar is late for work. In the blue light before dawn, he emerges at the wheel of his car through a cloud of dust and bounces off the pot-holed road leading into Essaouira's Place des Grands Taxis. After nonchalantly avoiding a collision with an orange vendor's cart and a skinny stray dog, he speeds through the square's gate before finding a space to park at the back of the high-walled yard.

Sunrise in Essaouira
Mesfar is a well-known and much-loved character in the picturesque and ancient Moroccan seaport, instantly recognisable by the car he drives: a 1974 Mercedes Stroke 8. In the UK, such a vehicle would belong in a classic car collection but in Africa it's just another rolling ruin. Nevertheless, it has the dubious honour of being the oldest taxi in Essaouira – but not by much, as there are plenty of other battered and bruised diesel vehicles long past their sell-by date.
Indeed, in this city like all over the North African kingdom, many diesel Mercedes (especially the W123 240D model) from the 1970s and '80s have spent their twilight years as Grand Taxis in the sun, after being shipped over when deemed too old for the European market. Here they have become part of the fabric of society, providing an essential long-distance travel link for locals as well as a colourful snapshot for tourists, much like the old American cars in Cuba. But not for much longer, as the Moroccan government is keen to rid them from the country's roads...

Novelist Yassin Adnan and translator Alex Elinson discuss "Hot Maroc" with Laila Lalami

Wednesday, August 18 at 4 p.m. PDT

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company Moroccan author Yassin Adnan, translator Alexander Elinson, and longtime Elliott Bay friend and noted, award-winning author Laila Lalami are all set to virtually be on hand for this program centered around the U.S. publication of Yassin Adnan’s spirited novel, Hot Maroc (Syracuse University Press). "Finally, the vibrant work of Yassin Adnan is available in English. Alexander Elinson's playful translation of Hot Maroc brings us into the heart of today's Marrakech, an ancient city weathering the rapid changes brought by modernization, globalization, and, most importantly in this book, the Internet. At once a commemoration of the past and an insightful look at our influence on the present, Hot Maroc expands our ideas of a country that has been woefully underrepresented in English-language literature, while taking us on a wild ride through an anonymous online world that holds the power to reveal our true selves."—Emma Ramadan."A witness to his age like any true writer, Yassin Adnan paints a complex and forceful portrait of a Morocco where so often, reality exceeds fiction. Fluidly and beautifully written, this novel is a superb addition to a youthful new wave of Moroccan creative work."—Tahar Ben Jelloun. If we have people properly ‘situated’ for this evening which the zoom era makes possible, author Yassin Adnan will be joining us from Marrakech (where he has long been an esteemed prose writer, poet, and journalist), Alexander Elinson from New York (where he is head of the Arabic program at Hunter College, CUNY, and has written his own books and translated works by Youssef Fadel), and Laila Lalami, serving as interlocutor and guide here, joining us from southern California, teaching there at the University of California, Riverside, and writing several acclaimed novels, with her most recent book being a timely book of essays, Conditional Citizens……
Novelist Yassin Adnan and translator Alex Elinson discuss "Hot Maroc" with Laila Lalami - YouTube

The constants of Morocco’s political approach - opinion

During this speech, the Moroccan scene, internal and external, is reviewed with the frankness and transparency that his majesty has become accustomed to having toward his people. King Mohammed VI’s speech to the Moroccan people on the occasion of the Throne Day, was a synthesis of all the concerns of the internal and external policy of the sister kingdom, Algeria. This annual speech has become an important national occasion for communication between the people and the leadership. During this speech, the Moroccan scene, internal and external, is reviewed with the frankness and transparency that his majesty has become accustomed to having toward his people. The king made a point of recalling in the introduction that the celebration of Throne Day represents more than an occasion to celebrate the anniversary of our accession to the throne.
It embodies the bonds of sacred allegiance and the strong cohesion that has always united the kings and sultans of Morocco with their people, regardless of the circumstances. The speech was strong, full of meaning, connotations and a deep desire to start from the constants of Morocco. "As a centuries-old country, Morocco is a united nation, shaped by a common history. It draws its strength from the national cohesion and the unanimous adhesion of its components around its sacred symbols. It also draws its power from its institutions and its citizens who work, through their skills and initiatives, to develop, to advance their country and to defend its unity, its stability.”

These characteristics were considered by King Mohammed VI as a “human and civilizational capital in perpetual renewal,” playing a key role in meeting the challenges and overcoming the difficulties facing the kingdom. His majesty addressed a word of thanks to the actors of the health sector and all the authorities for meeting the challenge of the COVID-19 epidemic……

Eating with NOMADS in the SAHARA DESERT Medfouna (Berber Pizza) in Morocco!!

We’re in the Moroccan Sahara, far from the lush green forests and vibrant Atlantic coastline that we saw in previous episodes. The Sahara Desert stretches over one third of the African continent, spanning the borders of 11 countries. Being the largest “hot desert” in the world, the scorching heat, arid landscapes and sparse vegetation make it a challenging place for humans to inhabit; yet it is home to two million people, most of which are nomadic. In this video, we want to highlight what life is like for these Amazigh nomadic people living in the Moroccan Sahara. Step back in time with us at a local souk (Marché Central Rissani), where nomads bring their products from surrounding villages by donkey. We will be stopping by a street food stall that makes the most DELICIOUS Medfouna (Berber Pizza). We ordered beef and also a vegetarian Medfouna. We will show the full preparation of this stuffed Moroccan pizza, and enjoy it with Moroccan Mint Tea. We will also visit a camel farm that produces fresh camel milk, and try it straight from the camel!!! …

Moroccan Village Food - PRIMITIVE COOKING in Rural Morocco!! RARE Home-Cooked Amazigh Food! - YouTube

Welcome to the Dadès Gorges, a rugged and dry valley in Central Morocco. It is known for its fascinating Kasbahs, its local produce like figs, and incredible rock formations that dot the massive valley, making for an impressive hiking destination. But what is lesser known in Dadès Gorges are the Nomadic people of these mountains, what they eat and how they survive living off the land. We are meeting up with our local friend Larsson Ezzaytouni from Dadès Valley Sightseeing ( and his family for an unforgettable experience through the Moroccan mountain-scape, where we will be meeting with real nomadic cave-dwellers for a traditional meal. We are starting at Larsson’s family home and farm (Le Maison La Vallée des Figues). The Ezzaytouni family typically cooks with products that they produce on their property. This includes milk, eggs, butter, and fresh fruits like oranges. We enjoyed different flatbreads, donuts, jams, and other side dishes that are quintessential to breakfast in Dadès Valley……

Government Passes Law Allowing Foreign Doctors to Practice in Morocco

The law aims to the simplify administrative and legal procedures regulating foreigners’ right to practice medicine in Morocco.


The Government Council on Monday passed the law regulating foreigners' right to practice medicine in Morocco.  The initiative aims to address the human resource shortage in the country’s health sector, enrich the healthcare workforce, and expand the pool of medical expertise. It includes a pledge to reconsider the conditions that have long prevented the recruitment and attraction of foreign medical skills and Moroccan medical skills residing abroad. As part of a socially-minded policy of guaranteeing Moroccans’ right to treatment and health care, the decree is intended to amend existing legislation pertaining to the practice of medicine by foreigners. Its implementation will include the simplification of administrative and legal procedures regulating foreigners’ right to practice medicine in Morocco.  Under the new decree, a special commission will be set up to supervise the practice of medicine by foreigners in Morocco. 
This decree aims at providing a set of incentives aimed at making Morocco………………………

Royal Speech Reaffirms Morocco's Development Efforts, Regional Commitments

Morocco wishes to develop better relations with France and Spain after the end of the crisis, based on trust and mutual respect

Moha Najji Aug. 21, 2021

The royal speech delivered by HM King Mohammed VI, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 68th anniversary of the King's and People's Revolution on August 20, 2021, was very honest and clear. It reaffirmed the royal will to improve the quality of Morocco's relations with its allies and traditional partners, notably France and Spain. Morocco wishes to develop better relations with France and Spain after the end of the crisis, based on trust and mutual respect.
The King referred to the hostile attacks on Morocco linked to the fact that it has been “a fully constituted state for more than twelve centuries, in addition to a great Amazigh history,” and Morocco is today “targeted for its security and its stability, these particularly precious goods in these times of convulsions and upheavals which shake the world. "…………………

Yoga in Morocco: Peace, Strength, and Connection to Self

A greater understanding of the mental and physical benefits of yoga contributes to the practice’s increased popularity throughout Morocco.

Sabrina Allen, Aug 15th, 2021

When Moroccan Yoga teacher Zineb first took a yoga class she hated it. In Paris at the time, Zineb felt confident that yoga was “definitely not for [her].” However, a chance visit to Thailand with a friend following a knee injury brought Yoga back into Zineb’s life, this time for good.  Now reflecting on her experiences nearly four years later, Zineb recalls that by her third yoga class in Thailand, something just clicked - she found stillness in her final resting pose and she wanted to dig deeper. And so, she did. After returning to her home in Casablanca, Morocco, Zineb continued to practice yoga daily, eventually receiving her yoga teaching certification in September 2020. 

In an interview with Morocco World News, Zineb enthusiastically described the ways in which yoga, and yoga coaching, has positively affected her life. The practice has helped her find stillness in her daily life,  improve strength and flexibility, relieve pain, and gain greater self confidence. Now using her experiences to teach and help others, Zineb is one of the many yoga coaches that have established themselves in Morocco in recent years, representing both the cause and effect of yoga’s relatively new rise in popularity within the country. …………………………

A Divided Maghreb Faces a New Common Enemy in Climate Change

Morocco and Algeria’s rivalry cannot withstand a new common threat.

Jasper Hamann, Aug. 18th, 2021 Rabat

Devastating wildfires in Algeria and Morocco have shown that political divisions are hindering what ought to be a united front against the effects of climate change. As fires ravaged Algeria last week, Moroccan firefighting planes were ready to be deployed to assist in battling the deadly blaze. They remained grounded however, as the geopolitical rivalry with Morocco meant Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune refused to accept Moroccan assistance. While two idle Moroccan Canadair planes stood ready to help, Tebboune instead asked for European assistance…

The Myth of the ‘Developing Nation’ is Falling Apart

A decades-old tale of development-based progress to reach a state of equality is crumbling before our eyes.

Jasper Hamann, Aug. 14th, 2021 Rabat

After decades of considering some countries as “developed” while others remain “developing,” the myth of development is coming undone as previously poor countries increasingly claim their stake. For decades, the prevailing narrative for the disparity between rich and poor countries has been explained by the concept that the less-fortunate countries are on an inevitable path to eventually become “developed” nations themselves.  The global pandemic has shown that the majority of the world has been left to fend for itself in order to protect the profits of Western multinationals. Western nations have used their centuries-old economic advantage to spend trillions on their own economies while curbing foreign assistance.  The WHO’s COVAX initiative has been shown to be more Western window-dressing than a genuine effort to realize global vaccine equality. Citizens of formerly colonized countries are again facing the stark reality of being at the back of the line when it comes to medical and financial support. …

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