The mineret that takes you home

About Membership Volunteer Newsletters Souk Links

Morocco Week in Review 
September 18 2021

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

A Brief History of the Peace Corps at the Tangier American Legation

This 15 minute TALIM Video presentation by John Davison (Berkane 1983-85) and Director of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM) which premiered at the 50th Anniversary Reunion of returned Peace Corps volunteers starting service in 1969, 70 and 71 on Saturday September 18, 2021 is now available on youtube at

Douglass Teschner: Peace Corps at age 60 needed more than ever

Sep 7, 2021 

ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the law creating the Peace Corps, sending Americans to work, learn, and build friendships across the globe. Ten years later, just out of college, I made a two-year commitment, as a forestry volunteer in the North African nation of Morocco. Joining the Peace Corps was one of my best life decisions, a defining experience that set me on a path to where I am today.

More than 240,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps over these past 60 years, nearly 2,000 from New Hampshire. Granite State participation ranks 7th-highest in the country on a per-capita basis. Peace Corps has educational partnerships with University of New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University, and Antioch University in Keene. Dartmouth College recently ranked 2nd among small colleges and universities nationwide in sending Peace Corps volunteers overseas…

Former US Ambassador Fischer Applauds Morocco’s ‘Most Successful’ Elections

Although Fischer served as ambassador in Morocco for only one year, he was able to leave a mark in the history of Morocco-US relations.

Safaa Kasraoui, Sept. 12, 2021 Rabat

Former US ambassador David Fischer expressed pride to see Morocco have its “most successful elections to date.” Fischer praised Morocco’s elections for having reached a record turnout, lauding King Mohammed VI’s leadership. “Congratulations to His Royal Highness, King Mohammed VI, for his wisdom, his guidance, and his passion for the democratic process of general elections,” Fischer wrote in a letter that was posted in a tweet. Fischer also shared a photo of him with King Mohammed VI. He said that it brings him “so much pride” to see Morocco experiencing its “most successful elections to date, with record turnout.”………..

US Donates Mobile Isolation Units to Treat COVID-19 Patients in Morocco

The donation, which is worth $1.5 million, seeks to assist Morocco in strengthening its COVID response.

Safaa Kasraoui, Sept. 12, 2021 Rabat

The US has donated a mobile isolation unit to Morocco, with the aim to help the country’s efforts in combating the COVID-19 crisis. The US inaugurated the 30-bed medical unit on Wednesday in Sale, Rabat’s twin city. The donation, which is worth $1.5 million, seeks to assist Morocco in strengthening its response to COVID-19. It also aims to serve as an emergency plan in case of a deterioration of the epidemiological situation. The head of the security and cooperation office at the US embassy in Rabat, Lieutenant Colonel Termura Shamel, said that the donations are part of the cooperation and the “long-standing partnership between the two countries.” He explained that the unit can be used wherever medical aid is needed…

US Donates Vehicles, Lab Test Equipment to Morocco’s DGSN

Morocco and the US have driven up their collaboration in different fields, especially including security and counterterrorism.

Safaa Kasraoui, Sept. 08, 2021

The US has announced the donation of several vehicles and forensic lab test equipment to Morocco’s General Directorate for National Security (DGSN). A statement from the US embassy in Rabat said today that the gesture is part of the strong US-Morocco security cooperation and seeks to facilitate drug trafficking investigation and other security operations in the North African country. The donation is part of a “joint effort between the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement (INL),” the embassy added. The statement quoted US Charge d’Affaires David Greene as expressing his satisfaction with the donation and recalling the bilateral security cooperation between Rabat and Washington……

New Study Reveals Youth’s Pessimism Over Climate Crisis

A new study has confirmed the depth of climate crisis-induced anxiety and pessimism among youth worldwide.

Khouloiud Haskouri, Sept. 15, 2021 Rabat

A new study has confirmed the depth of climate crisis-induced anxiety and pessimism among youth worldwide. The study surveyed 10,000 young people aged 16-25 across ten different countries. The report, currently under peer review in the scientific journal Lancet Planetary Health, says that 75% of surveyed youth believe “the future is frightening.” Unsurprisingly, the study found that 59% of young people are very or extremely worried about the climate crisis, while 84% are “moderately worried.” Over 50% of the respondents reported feeling sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty in the face of the current global climate urgency, with 45% saying their feelings about climate change actively negatively affects their daily life…

Moroccan-British Entrepreneur Launches Initiative to Support Amazigh Women

After moving to the UK, Sarah Allaoui decided to begin a business to support Moroccan women.

Shaquile Goff, Spet. 15th, 2021 Denver

A Moroccan female entrepreneur living in the UK has launched a new initiative to support Amazigh women through textile manufacturing. 29-year-old Sarah Allaoui originally left Morocco to attend university in the UK. After finding imitation Moroccan handicrafts in shops around the United Kingdom, Allaoui decided to start a brand of authentic textiles, enlisting the help of Amazigh women.  Allaoui said the death of her grandmother was a turning point in her determination to materialize the project, as it motivated her to create a brand that would help her “reconnect” with both her Moroccan and Amazigh heritage.  Many in remote Amazigh towns and villages have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Amazigh women in most of these villages and towns rely on tourism for the bulk of their textile sales, but this has considerably stagnated with the COVID-19 pandemic……

Sustainable Development: Japan Donates €122,583 to two Moroccan Associations

The donation is part of a joint Japan-Morocco commitment to strengthening ties.

Safaa Kasraoui, Sept. 13th, 2021 Rabat

The embassy of Japan in Morocco has signed two contracts with two Moroccan associations as part of a bid to solidify Japanese presence in the North African country, especially in terms of sustainable development initiatives. The contracts are in the form of a €122,583 worth donation from Japan, with the aim of helping the two Moroccan associations complete their sustainable projects, according to a statement from the Japanese embassy. Shinozuka Takashi, the ambassador of Japan in Morocco, signed the contracts with the two Moroccan associations, and he suggested that the donation is part of Tokyo’s commitment to boosting relations with Morocco. Ambassador Takashi told Morocco World News that Japan is “so happy to be able to launch these projects as Morocco opens a new era after the elections last week.”………….

Young Moroccans To Participate in COP26

Youth involvement in climate-related policy discussions is likely to ensure more innovative ideas for tackling climate change with a wider, more effective reach.

Oumaiam Latrech, Spet. 09th , 2021 Rabat

The British Embassy in Morocco on September 9 hosted a Watch party in collaboration with the British Council, UN Morocco, and the Italian Embassy to mark the global online launch of the Global Youth Letter. The event comes in preparation for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November under the presidency of the UK, and the Pre-COP preparatory meeting in Milan starting on September 30.  According to the British embassy, the Watch party was mainly aimed at celebrating young Moroccan activists and the delegates selected to represent Morocco in Glasgow and Milan. COP26 President Alok Sharma attended the Watch party with a global audience of 2000 to add their names to the Global Youth Letter……

From Carlton County to world's forests

By Lydia Stone July 9, 2021
Also during his senior year, Hagen learned of a three-way Peace Corps program through the university's forestry campus, the Peace Corps and the Moroccan government. Through this program Hagen worked as a Peace Corps volunteer and arboretum manager from 1970 through 1973. With no electricity, Hagen was immersed in the local culture, and became quite fluent in the Moroccan dialect of Arabic. "[The Peace Corps] was a life-changing experience," Hagen said. "That's what got me started."

Hagen recalled a few attempts to overthrow the government while he was there, with one happening only six miles from where he lived at Oued Cherrat, when the opposition attacked King Hassan's birthday party. He also experienced a "bloody coup" during a consulting job in Ouagadougou. "I was one of the first to drive the road from Rabat to Bobo-Dioulasso, and passed through several checkpoints manned by teenage kids who had just been given Kalashnikovs and made members of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution - that was a bit scary," he said.

After returning from Morocco, Hagen pursued his master of science at the U of M in forest resources with an emphasis on ecology, statistics, and remote sensing, the process of detecting and monitoring an area's physical characteristics by measuring its reflected and emitted radiation at a distance, typically from satellite or aircraft. When Hagen wasn't studying, he spent his time mapping wetlands at the university's remote sensing lab. During his time at the lab, three employers looking to recruit a French-speaking forester with a remote sensing background to work in Africa approached Hagen. He was hired by the third employer, and spent close to three years in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, West Africa…..

Can elections change the balance of power in Morocco?

Voters in Morocco will head to the polls to elect a new parliament and local councils on Wednesday. On Wednesday, voters in Morocco will go to the polls to choose a new legislative body. It is the third time they’ve voted since a new constitution was created following the Arab Spring more than a decade ago…..

As Moroccans prepare to vote, what are the key challenges?

About 18 million people head to the polls on Wednesday to choose new members of parliament and regional councils. People in Morocco will cast their ballots on Wednesday amid an economic crisis deepened by the coronavirus pandemic and a sense of frustration over the lack of political reform promised a decade ago.
About 18 million people are expected to vote in the pivotal legislative and regional elections, the third since the Arab Spring, while following strict safety guidelines imposed due to COVID……

Morocco’s Education Ministry To Broadcast Review Classes on TV

The school year is expected to start on October 1.

Safaa Karaoui, Sept. 13th, 2021 Rabat

The Ministry of Education in Morocco has launched preparatory courses ahead of the 2021/2022 school year. The on-air courses, which will be launched on national television, seek to serve as a review for the students on the topics covered during the previous academic year. The classes are targeted for the  primary, middle, and high school students. Starting today, September 13, national television channels Al Amazighia, Laayoune and Thaqafia will broadcast the courses……

Study: Only 2,000 Jews Live in Morocco

Before Israel became a state in 1948, Morocco was home to at least 200,000 Jews.

Safaa Kasraoui, Sept. 07, 2021 Rabat

Many Jewish families have emigrated from Morocco in the past decades, leaving the North African country with only 2,000 Jews out of the 15.2 million living across the world, according to new data compiled by the Jewish Agency. On Sunday, the agency said that around 27,000 Jews live in Arab and Muslim countries.  Turkey is currently home to 14,500 Jews, while Iran hosts 9,500, according to the same data. 

Before Israel became a state in 1948, Morocco hosted as many as 200,000 Jews. However, after Morocco gained independence from France in 1956, 8 years after the creation of Israel, most of the North African country’s Jewish population emigrated to Israel, Canada, and France. Despite the heavy emigration of Jews from Morocco, the Jewish Agency’s figures show that the North African country is still home to the largest Jewish diaspora in North Africa. Tunisia, for example, currently hosts 1,000 Jews out of the total.

Thousands of Jewish diaspora members also visit Morocco annually to celebrate Jewish holidays, such as Mimouna. With the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel, projections are that the number of Israeli tourists visiting Moroccan cities will double in the coming months.  With the opening of direct flights, Morocco expects the number of Jewish tourists to reach 200,000 per year……

How Morocco's king dealt a blow to political Islam

By Magdi Abdelhadi North Africa analyst Sept. 16th , 2021

Morocco's governing Islamist party has suffered a shocking defeat in recent elections - a turn of events reverberating across North Africa given its pioneering role for political Islam amid the Arab Spring. The Development and Justice Party (PJD), which was the first Islamist party to come to power in an election in the region and the wider Middle East, found its share of the vote was decimated from 125 to a mere 12 seats. Back in 2011 the sense of a new beginning for many in Morocco was real. The rise of the PJD chimed with the times. The protests that erupted first in Tunisia, later known as the Arab Spring, were in full swing. Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya were all toppled that year. Islamists parties were poised to win elections in Egypt and Tunisia and to change the course of history, as many had hoped….

Student Voices from Morocco: The 2020 MLP Short Story Competition by oliveseed - issuu

Student Voices from Morocco: Selections of 2020 Moroccan Library Project Short Story Competition Check the complete short stories here:

Tangier’s new dawn – how Morocco’s dissident dive got its mojo back

The bad boy of Morocco is cleaning up its act thanks to a wealth of new investment, writes Lorna Parkes

Wednesday 11 August 2021

It’s a crisp winter’s day with wood smoke clinging to the air, and high in the Kasbah of Tangier, Cafe Baba is busy. A knot of teenagers has blocked off a corner of the balcony in pursuit of a board game. A lone smoker stares out to sea through tall horseshoe windows that skim white rooftops. If it weren’t for the flatscreen TV pumping out hip-hop you could say this Tangier coffeeshop……………………….

The Bad Boy of Morocco is Cleaning Up its Act

Top 10 News / September 13, 2021 / 1 minute of reading

Like so many establishments in Tangier, Cafe Baba is legendary for its back catalogue of visitors. First came the Beat writers, then the hippie generation and musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Santana and Sting. A black-and-white photo on the wall shows the bleary-eyed Rolling Stones lounging here in 1967 with cafe owner Hnifza. Hnifza is still around, but these days it’s his grandson Mohamed who manages the flow of mint tea at Cafe Baba. Crowing over the tip of Africa just 35 miles from Spain, Tangier has always had a reputation for being different. Between 1912 and 1956, the city was an international zone that belonged collectively to Morocco, France, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, England, Italy and Spain. It became a place where artists, misfits, libertarians and dissidents came to lead freewheeling lives, in a stop-gap between the Moroccan French protectorate and the corseted powers of Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar……

Former Pastoral Nomads Considering In-Place Farming

By Jacqueline Skalski-Fouts The writer is an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia. VIRGINIA, USA (IDN)

North African pastoralism, an agricultural method used for centuries by nomadic people in the steppe highlands, is on the decline. Facing limited grazing land due to overuse and drought, pastoral nomads are favouring more sedentary farming methods like growing fruit or nut trees and crops. Developmental non-profits in the area have begun working with communities facing scarce economic prospects in the face of “extreme” climate events like drought, which occur in Morocco every two years. The High Atlas Foundation (HAF), working in part with Farmer-to-Farmer, a USAID program, creates tree nurseries in areas of the lower mountain regions. Some communities from the higher pasturelands have voiced their interest in these projects. This follows a trend within the past two decades of nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralists seeking out additional or alternative forms of agriculture. Since 2004, the number of nomads in the Maghreb region has declined by more than 60 percent. As of 2014, only 25,300 remain……

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

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……

Mike McHugo: A Pragmatic Pioneer of Sustainable Tourism

For Mike, sustainability is not about perfection, nor about winning awards or showing off flashy innovations - it’s about using your common sense and being a good neighbour.

Aine Donnellan, Sept. 12, 2021

Sustainable tourism has become a buzzword in today’s increasingly climate-conscious discussions among friends and policy debates on the world stage. In the 1970s, not so much. Here’s the story of a man, who acted as a catalyst for this transformation; here’s the story of Mike McHugo, who brought sustainable tourism to life, on the slopes of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains.

“He does not always get everything right, but his heart has always ruled his head, which is why, after forty-two years he is one of the only three close friends I have,” says Trevor Rowell who, together with Mike, established Hobo Travel, the company that is now Discover Ltd., back in 1979. With £1000 each, the two young men with big dreams and an even bigger appetite for adventure, bought and rebuilt an old Land Rover aiming to offer tours of Morocco from it, once it had been refurbished. 

Many muddy miles and countless memories later, Mike and Trevor’s Morocco tours has evolved from being purely adventurous, to include education and leisure. As Trevor went back into full time teaching, Mike, alongside family and friends, purchased the ruins of an old mansion, the country home of a once-feudal lord, overlooking Imlil in the foothills of Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. The idea was to turn it into an eco-lodge and share it with the world. Mike’s older brother Chris loved the idea, jumped on board, and quickly became an integral player in the project…………………..

Jidar Street Art Festival Returns For Its Sixth Year

20 local and international street artists will decorate nine building facades in Rabat for 10 days to celebrate the sixth Jidar Street Art Festival.

Oumaima Latrech Sept. 14th, 2021 Rabat

After 2 years of continuous lockdowns in Morocco, Street Art Festival “Jidar” returns for its sixth year, and the festival is scheduled to take over the streets of Rabat from September 16 to 26. Organized by the Artistic and Cultural Education L’Boulevart (EAC-L’Boulvart) Association, the festival’s program is expected to adhere to the preventive measures set due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be respecting social distancing measures. The festival will host 20 street artists such as Imane Droby and Omar Lhamzi from Morocco, as well as other international artists representing Japan, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and France. The festival intends to utilize Rabat’s facades as open-air canvases for large-scale murals to provide a showcase for contemporary and urban art. In partnership with Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary, “Outdoor Museum” is a concept created by the festival, which allows artists to paint the six facades of the museum…………………………………..

Nabila Rmili, Asmaa Rhlalou, Fatima-Zahra Mansouri: Morocco’s Female Mayors Take Over

The current tri-party coalition has a comfortable majority to elect their candidate with little to no difficulty, following this election’s results.

Khouloud Haskaoui, Sept. 12, 2021 Rabat

Nabila Rmili will become the first female mayor of Casablanca, succeeding Abdelaziz El Omari at the head of the City Council of Morocco’s economic capital. Rmili, whose candidacy was highly favored, was selected as part of a coalition of the three highest-ranking parties in the September 8 elections in Casablanca. The election of Nabila Rmili will be formalized during a session scheduled between September 16 and 25, in accordance with the provisions of the organic law No. 113.14 on municipalities. Rmili, who is also the regional director of health for the Casablanca-Settat region, is not at her first participation in the management of the affairs of the municipality of Casablanca.  Under El Omari's mandate, she served as vice-president of the city council, in addition to her position as elected councillor for the district of Sbata. Dr. Nabila Rmili is also the president of the organization of health professionals of the National Rally of Independents (RNI), the winner of Morocco’s 2021 general elections……

Two Moroccan Students Win Gold Medals At IMC

The two students, Issam Tauil and Aymen Echarghaoui, are pursuing their studies at the Ecole Polytechnique de Paris.

Salah Eddine Mazouz, Sept., 07th, 2021 Rabat

Two Moroccan students, Issam Tauil and Aymen Echarghaoui, won two gold medals at the International Mathematics Competition (IMC). The two students are pursuing their studies at the Ecole Polytechnique de Paris (also known as the X). It is supervised by the French Ministry of Defense. In the ranking of individual results, Issam Tauil, a student in the third year at the X, managed to place 97-102. Aymen Echarghaoui, meanwhile, ranked 68-82. Both students have competed in the category of university students under the age of 23. The competition took place from August 2 to August 7 with only two days of contesting; August 3 and 4. During the contest, the participants were required to solve 4 problems for 4 hours each day………………. 

Meteorite Hunters in Morocco  (video)

Moroccan nomads meet a geologist and a rare stone dealer as they search for meteorites, elusive extra-terrestrial rocks. Meteorites may be the only truly extra-terrestrial items it is possible to find, buy or own on Earth. Their rarity has created a global trade, fed by a fascination with these dark rocks from outer space. Most meteorites on the market come from Morocco, where the inky-black rocks are easier to spot in the arid mountain landscape. Nomads welcome these “gifts from the sky” and sell them to dealers and researchers. However, the prices obtained  by Moroccan nomads in the High Atlas Mountains are a fraction of those in the fashionable rock and crystal shops in Europe…
Watch the video here:

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