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Morocco Week in Review 
July 31 2021

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

US To Donate a $1.5 Million Field Hospital to Morocco

The US invested over $15 million in support of Morocco’s pandemic response.

Safaa Kasraoui, July 25th, 2021 Rabat

The US administration announced today that it will donate a $1.5 million field hospital in Morocco. The US embassy issued a press release today, announcing that the new hospital will seek to help combat infectious disease outbreaks in Morocco. The statement also included the US announcement to donate over 300,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines to Morocco. Johnson & Johnson vaccines only require one shot for complete inoculation, the embassy said. The donation is part of the US engagement in the COVAX program, a global initiative that seeks to ensure equitable vaccine distribution…

Morocco To Launch Radio Broadcast for English Learning

The program is the fruit of an agreement between the Education Ministry, SNRT, and the British Council.

Safaa Kasraoui, July 26th, 2021 Rabat

The Ministry of Education announced today that it will launch a radio broadcast for English learning. Called “English Time,” the program consists of 43 episodes of 15 minutes each. It will premiere in September, and is designed to serve as a platform to offer children and parents the opportunity to practice English.  The program is a joint project between the education ministry, the British Council, and the National Broadcasting and Television Company (SNRT). “The new program is part of a set of educational initiatives implemented jointly by the three parties, over the past two years, with the aim of offering digital resources for teaching and learning English for teachers, pupils, and Moroccan students,” said a joint press release……………………………….

Moroccan Judge Forces Parents To Enroll Daughters in High School

The judge called the families by phone, verbally alerting them to the seriousness of the matter.

Khouloud Haskouri, July 26th, 2021 Rabat

A Moroccan judge in the Ighrem region of the Taroudant province in southern Morocco, sent official correspondences to parents of 24 female students, who were preventing their daughters from continuing their high school education.  The judge delivered the initial order in the form of a verbal instruction to the parents. The students’ parents have failed to respond to the verbal warning, thus, they were given 48 hours to comply with the law and allow their children to continue their high school education, otherwise they are to face serious legal consequences. Local authorities had given the parents 48 hours to deliver an initial written approval to the office of the commanding officer and the judge, so that the female students could complete their studies……

Foundation Provides Mental Health Assistance to Moroccan Rural Women

Morocco’s mental health challenges are exacerbated by a lack of adequate infrastructure, insufficient personnel and rampant misinformation about mental disorders.

Khouloud Haskouri, July 22nd, 2021 Rabat

Morocco’s Zakoura Foundation launched a pilot project aimed at helping rural women gain access to mental health assistance, in partnership with the International Federation for Psychotherapy. The initiative started with a trial in 2019, which provided psychological support to women from rural areas over the span of 24 months. The targeted beneficiaries of the trial project were rural mothers over the age of 16, living in Douars, a North African term designating a small village.

A Successful Trial
The trial project included free consultations and regular follow-up sessions for pregnant and breastfeeding women suffering from depression, in addition to regular educational sessions on psychological disorders and mental health. Following the success of its 2 year trial, the foundation has stated that “partnership negotiations are underway to extend the project to other provinces and to include training for general practitioners.” The total number of beneficiaries was 307 female patients, and the most successful awareness-raising visits were the ones dedicated to pregnancy……

MAD 130 Million Loan Kickstarts Fez-Meknes City of Trades and Skills

The Fez-Meknes City of Trades and Skills intends to offer courses in fields such as industry, digital and AI, management & commerce, tourism and hospitality, personal and community services, agriculture, and crafts.

Michael Sauers, July 22, 2021 Rabat

The Fez-Meknes regional council contracted a loan of MAD 130 million ($14.5 million) from the Municipal Equipment Fund (FEC) last week to finance the building of the region’s City of Trades and Skills (CMC). The loan will disburse MAD 70 million ($7.8 million) in 2021 and MAD 60 million ($6.7 million) in 2022.  Both the regional council and the FEC signed an agreement to open a MAD 2.2 billion ($245.7 million) line of credit. The agreement seeks to fund infrastructure projects within the Fez-Meknes region. In total, the project has a maximum budget of MAD 370 million ($41.3 million). The FEC has allocated MAD 188.5 million ($21.05 million) for construction costs, MAD 159 million ($17.7 million) for equipment, and MAD 22.5 million (2.5 million) for planning and research. ……

Moroccan Medinas: How to Navigate Them and What to Watch For

The Fez medina has more than 9,400 alleyways, making it the largest medina in the world.

Michael Sauers, July 27th, 2021 Rabat

Morocco is known for its enormous medinas, which date back to as early as the ninth century. The large, labyrinthian old cities can be daunting for outsiders as they often feature hundreds of small breezeways in between the thousands of shops, street food vendors, and homes that fill the medina.  The medina in cities such as Fez and Marrakech are nearly impossible to navigate alone without a guide or some previous knowledge of the area. Here is a guide on how to explore Morocco’s medinas with minimum hassle and maximum adventure. 

Hire a guide
Although it may sound like the most obvious option, finding a guide can be a challenge without the proper contacts and cultural understanding.  First, avoid picking up a guide after having already arrived at the medina. Grifters wander and wait for deep-pocketed tourists to seek their guidance and expertise. Although the majority of people in the medina that approach you are harmless, the trade negatively impacts tourism as many tourists feel uncomfortable with the pushy approach of unofficial tour guides. …

Eight Summer Dream Destinations in Morocco While on a Budget

Morocco’s natural wonders makes it an extremely affordable summer vacation destination.

Michael Sauers, July 24th, 2021 Rabat

Summer in Morocco is famous for sun-filled beach days and endless travel. Morocco’s extreme affordability makes it a must-see destination for a summer vacation. Here are the top 8 destinations for an affordable, breathtaking summer vacation in Morocco.

Morocco’s Gnaoua music capital lies just 180 kilometers to the west of Marrakech along the Atlantic Coast. Despite the city’s status as a tourist hub, the locals of Essaouira treat everyone the same. Due to the city’s design, one can spend days wandering around Essaouira’s hotspots such as the Old Medina, the fishing port, and the beach. For just MAD 50 ($5.58), two people can enjoy a freshly-caught seafood lunch next to the ocean. Those wishing to enjoy a sit-down experience at a restaurant can enjoy large portions and a chill, beach vibe at The Loft. The restaurant’s owner, Othmane Chic, has turned the place into a neo-Moroccan paradise, filled with artwork and traditional Moroccan crafts……

Five Must-See ‘Off the Beaten Path’ Places in Morocco

Rather than visit Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca or Jemaa El Fnaa in Marrakech, Morocco World News recommends these five amazing sites that are off the beaten path.

Michael Sauers, July, 20th, 2021 Rabat

Although Morocco is a land full of breathtaking attractions and historical sites, many tourists often feel restricted to visiting only the most notorious areas of cities. Places such as Marrakech, Casablanca, and Tangier are stunning and capture the essence of Morocco. However, Morocco also has millions of hidden gems that lie away from the tourist trail. ……

Morocco’s Many Modes of Transportation and How to Use Them Like a Native

Morocco World News has provided you with a comprehensive guide on traveling within Morocco like a native.

Michael Sauers, July, 19th, 2021 Rabat

Morocco is a diverse country whose borders extend from the northernmost coasts of Tangier to the southern Saharan sands of Dakhla and transportation is not always straightforward. Moroccans utilize a wide array of modes of transportation to traverse the vast countryside.  The most prominent modes of ransportation for inner-city travel in Morocco are petit taxi ( taxi saghir), grand taxi (taxi kabir), Careem, the city bus, and even a tramway system in Rabat and Casablanca. As for long distance travel, Morocco offers an extensive train system as well as regional bus routes, grand taxi routes, and a growing domestic air travel industry. ………

'The Alchemist,' One of Several Films to be Shot in Morocco During Summer

Morocco is poised to host the biggest film production this summer with the filming of The Alchemist, which is budgeted at over MAD 200 million.

Toms Dumpis, July 28th, 2021 Rabat

As COVID-19 swept across Morocco in early 2020, it had a negative impact on numerous local industries, including the North African country's growing film industry. Despite the recent resurgence of cases, a variety of local and international productions have received approval to shoot in the country……

Boulfaf: The Traditions of Morocco’s Eid al-Adha Delicacy

Moroccans aim to consume the entire animal following the Eid al-Adha slaughter.

Michael Sauers, July 22nd, 2021 Rabat

Muslims around the world celebrate the sacrificial holiday, Eid al-Adha, by praying, gathering with family, and in some countries, slaughtering an animal. In Morocco, the holiday is extremely traditional as Moroccans purchase an animal to slaughter at home. Due to the traditions and deep, cultural roots of the holiday in the kingdom, there are countless recipes and delectable dishes that can only be perfected in Morocco. One of the most unique Eid al-Adha dishes in Morocco is lamb liver wrapped in caul fat, also known as boulfaf. ……

Eid Al-Adha Dishes Across The Muslim World

As Muslims around the world prepare to celebrate Eid Al-Adha this week, Morocco World News highlights customary dishes from various Muslim countries.

Kouloud Haskouri, July 19th, 2021 Rabat

Eid Al Adha is Islam’s most sacred holiday, and will be celebrated this Wednesday in Morocco. As is customary, Muslims households are to slaughter a sheep, goat, or cow for the occasion. This often leads to an excessive amount of available meat, despite having to donate a third to those in need. MWN would like to remind its readers of the ample dish options you can try this holiday. We selected the most popular Eid dishes around the muslim world………….

Stone Age axe dating back 1.3 million years unearthed in Morocco

Researchers find North Africa’s oldest Stone Age hand-axe manufacturing site, dating back 1.3 million years.

28 Jul 2021

Archaeologists in Morocco have announced the discovery of North Africa’s oldest Stone Age hand-axe manufacturing site, dating back 1.3 million years, an international team reported on Wednesday. The find pushes back by hundreds of thousands of years the start date in North Africa of the Acheulian stone tool industry associated with a key human ancestor, Homo erectus, researchers on the team told journalists in Rabat………

Morocco to Reform Compensation Fund, Lift Butane Gas, Sugar, Wheat Subsidies

Morocco’s 2022 budget may lead to a 3.2% growth of the national economy.

Michael Sauers, July 28th, 2021 Rabat

Morocco’s Minister of Minister of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform, Mohamed Benchaaboun, announced on Wednesday that the government intends to begin gradually lifting subsidies on commodities such as sugar, wheat, and butane gas. he minister made the announcement before the Finance Committees of the Parliament as the Moroccan parliamentarians discussed the government’s budget for 2022.  In April 2021, the Compensation Fund stated that it would decrease subsidies for the products. However, Benchaaboun’s statement is the first official announcement in parliament. ………….

Seven Day Travel Guide to Exploring Morocco from North to South

Allow Morocco World News to plan your week of travels in Morocco

Michael Sauers, July 28th, 2021 Rabat

Morocco is an expansive country with all four distinct seasons and over 2,000 kilometers of shoreline. However, some tourists often only visit the famous red city of Marrakech or the Hollywood classic of Casablanca. Here is a guide on how to get the most out of your week long trip to Morocco.
Day 1 - Casablanca
As most tourists coming from the US or Europe often find themselves in Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport as an initial point of entry, we will begin our trip in Morocco’s economic capital of Casablanca.  The city is home to more than 3.7 million residents and provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to explore Morocco's rich culture. Depending on your severity of jetlag, a stay in Casablanca should not exceed two days if you wish to see Morocco in all of its glory. ……

OCP Calls For Public-Private Ties to Build Sustainable Food Systems

OCP Africa’s CEO Mohamed Anouar Jamali spoke at an event held in advance of the UN Food Systems Summit.

Jasper Hamann, July 28th, 2021 Rabat

OCP Africa’s CEO Dr. Mohamed Anouar Jamali advocated for stronger ties between the public and private sector to enable small farmers to build sustainable food systems. Dr. Jamali spoke at a session themed “creating 100% living incomes and wages in food systems,” as part of a series of sessions focusing on private sector solutions and actions. The series of talks, organized by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, is organized in the run-up of the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS 2021). Food securitysustainable farming, and ensuring a living wage for smallholder farms was a main point of discussion. A living wage refers to an individual earning enough to live off and provide for her or his family, while sustainable food systems refer to building environmentally friendly, and economically beneficial farming that benefits local communities and small-scale farmers………

100th Anniversary of the Battle of Annual: A History of Moroccan Resistance

Today, July 22, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Annual, in which Moroccan tribesmen defeated an army of 20,000 Spanish troops.

Safae Daoudi Sanae Ziadi, July 22nd, 2021 Rabat

On the occasion of the commemoration day of the Battle of Annual on July 22, Moroccans ought to celebrate the memory of Abd El Krim El Khattabi, the heroic leader who fought against colonial expansion. The history of resistance and resilience in the face of colonialism is an essential facet of our history and should be remembered and celebrated. Since the signing of the treaty of Fez in 1912, which established Morocco as a French protectorate. As per the protectorate, Morocco was under the control of both France and Spain. However, Spanish presence was more felt in the northern region of the Riff, where Spain sought to broaden its influence.  Morocco gained its independence from France in 1956. But the still unresolved question of Western Sahara and Spain’s continued presence in Ceuta and Melilla have created political rifts between Morocco and one of its former colonizers. 

The battle of Annual: a struggle against colonial oppression
The Battle of Annual was a military confrontation between Riffian tribesmen (The Rif refers to the northern region of Morocco) and Spanish military forces. Spain suffered a humiliating defeat: around 14,000 Spanish soldiers died, including their general Sylvestre.  The battle took place in Annual, a region in northeastern Morocco, on July 22, 1921. It was the first of many subsequent confrontations between inhabitants of Northern Morocco and…………

High-Tech Trash Cans and Public Toilets Showcase Moroccan Innovation

by Austin Bodetti | Jul 24, 2021

Little by little and below the radar, solar-powered dumpsters and intelligent public toilets have appeared across Morocco. These little-publicized examples of entrepreneurship offer critical public services in an intriguing, innovative package. Have you ever needed to throw something away, walked up to a waste bin, and thought, “I wish my trash can had WiFi and was also powered by the sun”? If not, I sincerely hope you’re enjoying your life in the 19th century. To be fair, I too used to dwell in the Dark Ages. In December 2020, though, I moved from the United States to the Moroccan capital of Rabat, in search of the culinary marvel dubbed “French tacos.” Little did I know that I’d also make the greatest technological discovery of our generation……

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