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Morocco Week in Review 
May 1 2021

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Empowering Women in the Moroccan Economy, DIHIYA, Reusing Secondhand Clothing, Jellaba Bags (Video)

Empowering women in the Moroccan economy by reusing secondhand clothing. DIHIYA reuses Jellabas, fishing nets, Moroccan rugs, and other artisanal crafts to make one of a kind bags, pillows, and accessories. With a strong foundation of empowering women in the community of Agadir to take pride in their crafts. Dihiya was born in Aourir when three neighbours combined forces and expertise to help relieve the impact of COVID on Moroccan tourism. These three women living in Morocco are making a positive change of cooperation and education to create something unique and beautiful. Dihiya Inspired, with love from Morocco from our heart to yours With the introduction of COVID-19, overnight in Morocco, artisans no longer had an audience to sell their products to, as visitors rushed to get back to their homelands, families struggled to put food on the table. We wanted to help – to empower local families, generating a fair income for their art – to protect our planet by up- and recycling, providing education and creation of awareness And so Dihiya Inspired was born. Our Mission is to empower and provide a sustainable living for local families. By valuing their art and giving them access to a global market. At the same time, we want to raise awareness of the plight of the ocean, and how every day the actions we take lead to the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife. We upcycle Kaftans, Djellabahs, and jeans and turn them into drawstring daybags, and Tote Bags. We use fishing net which would normally be left in the sea by the fishermen, as a symbol of change. In the hope that we might all become conscious and aware so that together we might conserve and protect our oceans. We support Moroccan women, who traditionally make Berber carpets, Boucherouite Rugs (made from recycled clothes) and beautiful cushions. All of our products are handmade, each little detail is thought about by our team, to make sure that our products are truly unique and special. You can browse our range, follow us and order online.
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Morocco’s Ambassador to US Urges Solidarity Against Regional Challenges

Morocco’s ambassador to the US highlighted the Abraham Accords as an example of “what we can achieve together for the greater good.”

By Staff Writer -  Apr 29, 2021 Rabat

The Abraham Accords are a “shining example” of solidarity in the face of regional challenges, Morocco’s Ambassador to the US Lalla Joumala Alaoui said Wednesday in Washington at the fifth Sedona Forum. Speaking at the event, which the McCain Institute hosted virtually, the ambassador called for greater regional solidarity “to overcome the current pandemic and put us back on track for growth and progress.” In the face of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and of a pre-existing context of complex security and humanitarian challenges that plague the region as a whole, “it has become clear that the regional status quo does not serve the interests of peace or development of our countries,” she noted. “There is today an urgent need for synergies and cooperation to address the multidimensional threats facing our region,” Alaoui added………………

Pikala Bikes: Moroccan NGO Using Supply and Demand to Spark Social Change

At a time when most businesses are shrinking, this Marrakech-based non-profit organization is expanding its operations---and in contrast to its booming-peer Amazon, the goods Pikala supplies are free, charitable, and sustainably delivered by bike.

By Aine Donnellan - Apr 24, 2021

“We saw people starving on the streets and knew we had to act,” says Khaoula El Haidi, the project’s 24-year-old manager, referring to Moroccan NGO Pikala Bikes’ proactive COVID-19 response. The team normally runs bike tours, repairs, and classes, but had to swiftly change gear as the pandemic struck. To mitigate hunger, Pikala has delivered 250 food packages to families in need, each week since September last year. The initiative is a collaboration between local cafes, funded by independent donors, and Pikala’s long-standing partner Tui Care Foundation—an independent entity focusing on the “sustainable development of holiday destinations.” 

Henna Cafe — a local non-profit organization normally providing free education programs, but currently operating as a soup kitchen — is one such collaborator. Sara Shaygani, lead manager at Henna, says that, for many, this parcel contains the only food they’ll eat that day: “The joy and appreciation in people’s faces when they receive a package says it all – there’s widespread hunger in our community and we’re doing our part to decrease it.” Morocco’s tourism sector is the fourth most impacted in the world by the pandemic, according to an International Monetary Fund’s report published in August 2020. This has created a surge in youth unemployment, with rates in the country reaching 31%, according to Trading Economics, an online platform that provides historical data, economic forecasts, and trading news…………………….

‘English Is The Future’: Young Moroccans See Rapid Shift in Morocco

Young Moroccans increasingly see English as a key skill to access education and career and cultural opportunities, according to a new study by the British Council.

By Jasper Hamann -  Apr 24, 2021 Rabat

A new report by the British Council in Morocco is highlighting young Moroccans’ opinions on learning English as a way of social advancement.  On April 23, the British Council is marking UN English Language Day 2021 by releasing its “Shift to English” report, for which it surveyed 1,211 young urban Moroccans. Omnibus Marketing Research, a research firm based in the UAE and Morocco, performed the study.  The British Council is an organization tasked with promoting the United Kingdom and the English language and receives its funding from the UK Foreign Office. Its new report aims to provide an insight into the opinions on English as a language as held by young urban Moroccans…………………………….

Morocco Invested Over $3 Billion in Reducing Social, Territorial Disparities

Launched in 2017 by King Mohammed VI, the PRDTS scheme involves a four-year action plan currently being implemented and another launched for 2021.

By Youssra El Badmoussi  -  Apr 28, 2021 Rabat

Morocco mobilized MAD 27 billion ($3.034 billion) to reduce territorial and social disparities in rural areas under the 2017-2020 Program for the Reduction of Territorial and Social Disparities (PRDTS) action plans,  Delegate Minister for the Interior Noureddine Boutayeb said on Tuesday.  Under the 2017-2020 plan, 6,500 km of rural roads have been built and 4,200 km maintained, in addition to the completion of 6,855 km of tracks, said the minister. In the education sector, Boutayeb said the implementation of the plan entailed building 1,313 educational establishments and funding 2,786 projects for the reconstruction of other establishments.  A sizable part of the fund went into 1,021 operations for the acquisition of school transport vehicles and 165 operations for school equipment, the minister explained. For the health sector, the minister reported projects for the construction of 440 centers, dispensaries, and staff housing, in addition to 674 projects for the rehabilitation of medical establishments……………
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Survey: COVID-19 Left Lasting Impact on Moroccan Consumer Behavior

The survey will serve as a reference for advertisers, companies, and media given the factual details it brings to the table.

By Hamza Guessous -  Apr 29, 2021 Rabat

The Group of Advertisers of Morocco (GAM) and the Interprofessional Center for Media Hearing (CIAUMED) have tracked the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Moroccans’ purchasing power and consumer behavior in the post-pandemic context. The two parties conducted the study through a survey on a sample of 2,600 Moroccan households. They announced the findings during a videoconference on Wednesday, which Morocco World News attended. Hosts held the conference under the theme “COVID-19, a year later… Which impact on the consumers’ habits and its relation with brands and the media?”………………………

CNN: Morocco’s Startup Culture an ‘Emerging Economic Force’

By Toms Dumpis -  Apr 29, 2021 Rabat

Morocco is making its mark on the international stage as its pandemic recovery efforts continue to receive attention, with US news agency CNN running a story on Morocco’s rapidly emerging startup ecosystem. “It’s a bustling modern day metropolis, a port city that serves as Morocco’s economic centre,” opened the segment, calling Casablanca a “business powerhouse” and “a place where some of the world’s biggest corporations have set up shop.”
But more importantly, “these days, smaller players are making their move as well.” One of CNN International’s longest running shows, Inside Africa, highlighted Morocco’s startup success stories, both from local entrepreneurs as well as those who have expanded their business from abroad……………….

Morocco Has Highest Population Without Access to Banking Institutions

By  Toms Dumpis  - Apr 27, 2021 Rabat

Even as Morocco attempts to make strides in general modernization and the digitization of its economy, the North African country has the lowest percentage of population that has access to banking institutions. According to a study by the British research platform Merchant Machine, Morocco has proportionally-speaking the largest population of unbanked citizens, standing at 71%.  The study takes “unbanked” to mean any individual who does not have access to the services of a bank, or other similar financial institutions. By this metric, approximately 26.2 million Moroccans do not currently have access to a bank account. Other countries with extremely high numbers of unbanked citizens are Vietnam (69%), Egypt at 67%, the Philippines at 66%, and Mexico at 63%. All the ten countries with the highest unbanked populations have at least half of their population without access to a banking institution…………

Morocconia, Nipponia: Bridging Cultural Gap Between Morocco, Japan

As someone hoping to become a bridge between the two cultures, Rifki moved to Japan in 2018 to seek a PhD in Media and Governance at Keio University.

By Gosuke Kawano  - Gosuke Kawano is a Morocco World News Correspondent based in Japan. Apr 25, 2021

Casablanca native Hafsa Rifki is working to build intercultural understanding between Japan and Morocco, as manager of Japan-based organization Morocconia and Morocco-based organization Nipponia. As someone hoping to become a bridge between the two cultures, Rifki moved to Japan in 2018 to seek a PhD in Media and Governance at Keio University. Rifki became interested in Japanese culture through the language, as she watched anime in Morocco. The interest led her to take Japanese language courses, and her teacher introduced her to Japanese culture.  “We had a friendly community where we started to gather, organize workshops and cultural events inspired from Japanese culture,” she tells me.  One of the activities in which Rifki involved herself later developed into the cultural circle, eventually called “Nipponia,” based in Rabat. Nipponia has been active in helping people see the connection or make the bridge between Japanese and Moroccan culture. ……………………………….

Inspired by Morocco: “Flower Power” Art Exhibition in Latvia

By  Toms Dumpis  - Apr 27, 2021 Rabat

The Latvian artist, Moroccan resident, Auce Biele has traveled back to her home country to open her Morocco-inspired exhibition “Flower Power,” in Latvia.
Biele will open her exhibition at the “Dubulti Art Station” gallery, which will run from April 30 until June 6. A total of about one hundred works have traveled from Morocco to Latvia, all of which the artist created in the North African country between 2014 and 2020. This will be the first time the works will be exhibited in the Eastern European country……………………

Youness El Mouaffak: Morocco’s Olympic Breakdancing Candidate for Paris 2024

As he prepares to represent Morocco at the premiere breakdancing Olympics in 2024, Youssef El Mouaffak seems contagiously down-to-earth and passionately attached to his origins.

By  Dina Toum-Benchekroun  - Apr 26, 2021 Miami

London-based Moroccan Youness El Mouaffaq has been nominated to represent the Kingdom of Morocco in the first-ever segment of breakdancing at the 2024 Paris Olympics.  Born and raised in Fez, Morocco, El Mouaffaq started breakdancing during his early teenage years, promptly getting recruited by the city’s well-established breakdancing club.  As he performed in local dance offs, the young talented dancer’s  moves gradually caught the attention of international spectators. Then came the litany of invitations to take part in a plethora of international dance competitions. ………………………………

CRAZY STREET FOOD IN FES - Camel Kebab BBQ in Morocco

We travelled to Morocco with "Moroccan Food Tour" - They have amazing food tours and cooking classes across Morocco (Marrakech, Rabat, Casablanca, Fes and MORE).

MOROCCO STREET FOOD - North African Food + Moroccan SEAFOOD in Chefchaouen (BLUE CITY)!!

Local people & culture in Morocco (video)

Local people & culture in Morocco, Moroccan People, Customs and Traditions in Morocco, Morocco travel guide, Morocco tourism & vacations, Morocco travel vlog

Ahmed Assid: Inconsistency in Moroccan Judiciary’s Verdicts on Illegitimate Children

Ahmed Assid, the Moroccan intellectual and political activist, believes that the time has come to reform the judiciary, and the laws Family Code rulings are based on, that conflict with the commitments of the Moroccan state as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

By Hamza Guessous - Apr 28, 2021 Rabat

Tangier’s Court of Cassation ruled that biological fathers are not responsible for children born out of wedlock and only the mother has a legally binding relationship with the child. The Moroccan judiciary’s inconsistent, controversial ruling, appears to differ from one court to another. “The ruling is contradictory to science, to reality, to the human logic, and to the commitments of the Moroccan state with regards to the convention it has signed including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC),” the prominent Moroccan intellectual and political activist, Ahmed Assid, stated in an interview with Morocco World News. The Moroccan judiciary first signed the UNCRC in 1993, however, Family Code is the legal reference in these types of cases. In this case, the judge disregarded the Family Code only referring to the Moroccan constitution……………………

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