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Morocco Week in Review 
December 13, 2014

AIDS awareness campaign targets young Moroccans.
By Siham Ali in Rabat for Magharebia 12/12/2014

Young people are at the heart of the AIDS awareness campaign running December 1st – 24th in Morocco. That focus is justified by the fact that 51% of the 31,000 people living with HIV or AIDS in Morocco are aged between 15 and 34, according to the Association for the Prevention of AIDS (ALCS). Young people comprise more than 30% of the population. Roughly 80% of the young people who are infected are unaware of their HIV status. Some 60% of people living with HIV or AIDS enter the treatment system only in the later stages of the disease. Every year, there are nearly 3,100 new infections, and 1,400 deaths linked to the virus.

The Sidaction 2014 campaign is aimed at encouraging young people to go for screening. Professor Hakima Himmich, the ALCS president, says that young people represent Morocco's future, and that it is therefore important to remain on course for an AIDS-free generation.

Sociologist Karim Touhami welcomes the contribution made by civil society to raising awareness of the disease. Targeting young people is sensible in more than one respect, he says. "A great many of them don't know how it is transmitted and how to minimise the risks; others, because they're afraid of taking the plunge and getting tested, cut themselves off and don't get medical advice, even though it's been proven that early care will enable someone who's carrying the virus not to pass it on," he says.

In addition to raising awareness, the campaign will collect funds that will be used to care for people living with the disease. "Our fundraising will enable us to develop and step up our work directly, and will therefore help us to fight this disease," Himmich says. Her association is working hard to provide medical and psychosocial care for people living with HIV or AIDS. Local prevention and awareness campaigns are taking place among key sectors of the population – lorry drivers, labourers, men engaging in sexual relations with other men and sex workers, migrants, drug users and young people – as well as the general public.
Hakima, 46, is one of those receiving care. She contracted HIV from her husband, who died 10 years ago. She tells Magharebia she did not know she was infected with the virus until her husband died. "His doctor advised me to have a test. And that's when I discovered the catastrophic news. My family turned their backs on me, and no one wanted to sit at the same table with me anymore. I had to move to another town so that I could live on my own, away from the judgmental attitudes of my family and neighbours," she says bitterly.

Ahmed, 34, also moved after he contracted the virus three years ago. "Fortunately, I had a test early on. It's not the family that's eating me up; it's the looks I get from my family and friends that haunt me. I can't live among them. I've had to go far away, where no one knows what's going on," he says with tears in his eyes. The awareness campaign is also aimed at removing the stigma for people living with HIV or AIDS. Indeed, there is still a lot of prejudice in Morocco over the way the virus is spread. "People who test positive are systematically accused of living a debauched lifestyle and people are afraid of approaching them," Touhami says. "It's high time Moroccans became aware of the different ways in which the virus is transmitted, to avoid stigmatisation."
http://magharebia.com/en_GB/articles/awi/features/2014/12/12/feature-04
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EU Donates MAD 17 Million to Help Moroccan Single Mothers.
Friday 12 December 2014 - El Houssaine Naaim Marrakech

In an agreement signed on Thursday in Casablanca, the European Union donated MAD 17 million to l’Institution Nationale de Solidarité avec les Femmes en Détresse (INSAF), the National Institute of Solidarity with Women, an organization that works to eradicate problems facing single mothers. Morocco, along with the general world community, has recently highlighted the issue of single mothers due to the dramatic increase in the number of underage single mothers in the past decade. During the agreement ceremony, European Union Ambassador to Morocco Robert Joy explained that the future is of great concern to both Morocco and the European Union. “Forty percent of single mothers under the age of 18 are violated in their work places, working in careers like housemaids,” he said. “This has a horrible impact on their future,” he added. The EU Ambassador mentioned that Morocco fully understands its responsibility for caring for its single mothers due to the issue’s relational ties to several other social phenomena. He also explained that the endowment will contribute to providing a dignified life for Moroccan single mothers.

In a statement, Chairman of INSAF Omar Kanadi said that, “The agreement on International Human Rights Day will enable our association to conduct several empirical studies concerning single women so that we have invaluable statistics about recent changes in this category.” INSAF will mainly focus on the difficulties single mothers experience with finding work, having previously highlighted many of their other problems. Kanadi explained that, “Single mothers still suffer from discrimination in Moroccan law and society.”

INSAF made several goals including the removal of Article 490 from the Penal Code. The article criminalizes extramarital relations and has had a negative impact on single women and their children, while men who engage in extra-marital relations often are not charged for the same “crime.”
INSAF has also called for a systematization of DNA testing to protect women by establishing paternity so that they are not forced to bear sole responsibility for raising children born out of wedlock.
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146695/eu-donates-mad-17-million-to-help-moroccan-single-mothers/
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Mountain Life on Mountain Day 2014.
Friday 12 December 2014 - Yossef Ben-Meir (RPCV/Morocco & High Atlas Foundation President) New York

It may be that, more than any other terrain, mountain regions exemplify a particular paradox – that of dense poverty coexisting with a special potential for transformative prosperity. The conditions that create mountain people’s impoverishment are rooted both in local and broader contextual conditions. Mountain areas are often blessed with water but have sparse areas for agricultural cultivation, limited to the terraces along mountainsides.

In Morocco’s Atlas ranges, these basic factors, coupled with two others – the low market value of barley and corn, the traditional staple crops and population growth – currently compel family farmers to purchase in the marketplace on average half or more of their staple needs.

The resulting pressure to make the transition towards cultivating cash crops, most commonly fruit trees and aromatic plants, has increased the demand and prices of these seeds, trapping farmers in the subsistence poverty state. In Morocco and so much of the world, the highest proportion of the poor thus reside among the peaks.

Five factors for transformation
Thankfully, however, this situation can be overcome and, as successful pilots have shown, there are five major factors involved.

1. The global rise in demand for organic products has created the opening for the most disadvantaged family farmers, who – fortuitously as it now turns out – never had the financial means to ride the chemical agricultural train. Merely by making minor adjustments, primarily to the handling of their product, they may step into a specialized environment that often will pay double or more than what they could hope to receive on the local markets for their yield.

2. The sine qua non for success in human development projects has been shown to be the people’s participation in achieving their future, both by determining every step of the way and managing actual project activities. Overcoming subsistence poverty requires ‘learning by doing’ in technical matters (related to agriculture as well as in other areas such as education and health), in building skills in management, consensus-building and in operations.

3. While potentially family farmers could have their products certified as organic, typically they do not possess the required market reach, that extends beyond traditional distribution channels, in order for their product to be processed and delivered to buyers around the world. This is where local cooperative building becomes essential. However, outside relationships too, make a critical difference; pilot experience with walnuts in the High Atlas mountains has shown that a combined profit-nonprofit organizational arrangements provides the flexibility necessary to support profit-making green growth that fuels broader human development.

4. Building water efficiency, mainly through water containment and by utilizing gravity flow and drip systems has two positive effects. Not only is arable land increased, often by even more than fifty per cent, but the new agricultural terraces that are built result in increased capability with regard to stemming mountainside erosion, a common occurrence that all too often carries devastating consequences. The dozens of deaths by mountain mudslides this rainy season in Morocco need not, and should not, ever happen again.

5. There are a number of fruit trees and plants traditionally cultivated in the High Atlas mountain region of Morocco without the application of pesticides. Species include walnut, cherry, fig and almond, as well as saffron, caper and oregano, along with many others. A broad range of benefits, including avoiding potential vulnerabilities in the market and ecology, come with planting both indigenous and the range of organic trees and plants that are possible in an area.

Four questions for change
Our annual celebration of International Mountain Day fundamentally intends to bring practical good to the worldwide inhabitants of this terrain. It is high time that, through public-private partnership, the people who grow the food – and who mostly wish to continue to live and work where they are – reap more of its value. This can be done by enabling them to create a complete value chain. Let us therefore ask the following frank questions:

1. How will land be granted for community-managed tree and plant nurseries, thus reducing communities’ costs to a fraction, sharing risk and creating self-reliance?

2. How will the installation of irrigation systems – typically the costliest of the initiatives comprising the value chain – be paid for?

3. Will development-implementing agencies live and be among the people whom they intend to benefit and who are, crucially, the drivers of their development and upon whom sustainability rests?

4. Will we fund, as we must, start-up value chains and not decline them outright when what they may simply need is a single component to be funded, all others being up and running?

Mountain life has a special integrity – and is confronting the seemingly inadequate rate of opportunities realized and the enormity of the potential yet to be fulfilled. Nevertheless, with proven pathways to success existing, let us see how life in this terrain appears in a year’s time…
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146594/mountain-life-on-mountain-day-2014/
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Rural Women in Morocco: a Call for Empowerment
Tuesday 9 December 2014 Amjad Hemidach Fez

Although Article 19 of the 2011 Constitution states that men and women should enjoy equal rights and freedoms in all civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental matters, Morocco is ranked 131 out of 142 countries for equal gender rights, according to the Global Gender Gap Report of 2014. The situation is even worse for rural women in Morocco.

Societal problems, stereotypes, and lack of income sources stand in the way of rural women’s path to progress. As a result, they resort to marriage at an early age and depend mostly on their husbands to survive.

Indeed, Morocco is among the worst countries for women, according to a recent report from the World Economic Forum. In rural areas, 83 percent of women marry when they are minors, and some are as young as 13 years old. These girls should be at school instead. They are neither physically nor mentally able to shoulder responsibilities such as caring for their husbands and bearing children.

Poverty and a lack of education contribute to the social degradation of women in rural areas where there is slow economy and limited opportunities. Schools are often far from home, and families are reluctant to send their daughters to study due to the high expenses. Moreover, in such areas, tradition and norms dictate women’s roles. They are to get married, do household chores, and raise kids. Frequent interaction with men in public or being single is socially stigmatized. That is why girls are monitored and raised to fit in with these socially imposed roles.

In rural areas, honor there is sanctified, and girls must show chastity. They rarely go out outdoors and they must show obedience to strict social norms. By doing this, girls brighten their ancestry and protect their ‘’honor’’. A girl who breaches these rules may bring shame to her family. As a result, families keep their daughters at home as soon as they reach puberty in order to avoid any problems that may affect their reputation.

Women in rural areas are suffering, but society is oblivious. To empower them, we have to change our habits and strengthen them socially, economically and culturally.

As a first step, Morocco must start an effective project to help involve rural areas in sustainable development, taking into consideration the exceptional circumstances of women. Lack of education further exacerbates the situation, as it promotes stereotypes and deprives women of their basic rights.
In this respect, building enough schools and facilitating access to them would guarantee a better future for girls, as it will instigate change by displaying models of successful women in the Moroccan and international context. Mass media is also invited to play its role in making people aware of the importance of women’s participation in social life. This latter should be explained through campaigns, radio programs, and short TV ads.

Muslim scholars, who find great legitimacy among the people in rural areas, can be sent on special missions to help end stereotypes. There are various convincing stories from the Prophet’s life that honor women and praise their participation in social development. Preaching such ideas is critical to decreasing gender gap and giving new impetus to gender equality.

Morocco needs each citizen to take part in developing the economy. Women are part of this project. Hence, their empowerment is a must, and it is the responsibility of all Moroccans.

Empowering women in rural areas will be effective if Morocco succeeds in changing the areas’ patriarchal way of thinking. Women should be aware that they are not under the control of men. They are independent entities that can contribute to society the same way men can. Morocco’s dream is to witness the perfect partnership of men and women.
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146449/rural-women-in-morocco-a-call-for-empowerment/
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Moroccan Economy Improved Over Past 15 Years: Al Jazeera Center.
Thursday 11 December 2014 Rabat

The Moroccan economy has remarkably improved during the last fifteen years, says a new report released on Monday, December 8th. The report issued by the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies and Research praised the kingdom’s economic policies during the last fifteen years, saying that the Moroccan economy has witnessed a remarkable progression mainly due to the economic policy pursued by King Mohammed VI, that is based on maintaining the economic balance and strengthening Morocco’s economic relations with the rest of the world.

After 15 years of the rule of King Mohammed VI, the report says, the macroeconomic level has been marked by a steady improvement, with the growth rate reaching 4%, and the unemployment rate stood at 10% in 2014. The report, conducted by researcher and academic Younes Belfelah, added that since the accession of Mohammed VI to the Moroccan throne fifteen years ago, the features of an economic policy aiming at making Morocco among the world’s emerging countries has started to become clear.

On this basis, the report highlights, there has been a focus on infrastructure and special programs directed to multiple economic sectors such as the agricultural sector, the 2020 vision for tourism and foreign trade. The report pointed out that these steps have made it necessary for Morocco to economically cooperate with various countries. This is represented in the agreements of free exchange and the advanced status with the European Union, in addition to strengthening the African dimension in economic relations which will contribute to the opening of new markets for Morocco.

The report also stressed that Morocco’s political stability has contributed to a significant jump in the investment field, adding that the kingdom was ranked 71 globally in the classification of the World Bank’s report on business environment, and this is due mainly to the block of direct foreign investments Morocco has been able to attract that is estimated at $5.3 billion in 2014.

The report, prepared based on indicators provided by international and national institutions, called on Morocco to complete the work on establishing modern institutions capable of supporting the ambitious economic strategies and to realize the development aspirations by supporting Moroccan businesses and human resources.
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146527/moroccan-economy-improved-over-past-15-years-al-jazeera-center/
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Morocco: When Bullying Turns a Female Teacher’s Life into Hell.
Friday 12 December 2014 - youssef El kaidi Fez

It’s certain that Morocco’s education is frustratingly in deep crisis ever since the country’s independence and all the reforms implemented thus far proved to be futile and useless.

The high hopes Moroccans placed on education were, unfortunately, never fulfilled because we, perhaps, loaded education with a burden it could not bear. Now we are faced by the bitter truth: mass disillusionment and despair at the whole education system not just by teachers, but also parents and students. Worst of all, those running education in Morocco keep escaping accountability and holding others (usually teachers) responsible for the crisis.

Leila (pseudonym) harboured the dream of becoming a teacher since she was a high school student. Teaching, she believed, is the noblest and most decent job for a woman. Not just that, teaching would give her the chance to inspire generations of impressionable students for positive change that she wished for her society and country. All teachers had these innocent fantasies caressing their thoughts at the beginning of their careers; changing the world to an ideal place where everyone is educated and everything is neat and well-organized and all actions are rational and mindful. But easier said than done.

After four months at school as a novice teacher, Leila couldn’t hold out with her students’ bullying and constant verbal abuse. The theoretical approaches and methods for class management she learned at her training center were worthless and inapplicable when she helplessly turned to them for help. What’s the use of squandering time and money in teaching something that is not meant for our schools? Her forty-five students precipitate her classroom into a mess right from the first minute. Some of her students reported that students’ misbehavior went that far to the extent that male students dare kiss her on the cheeks.
Leila, the miserable, finally decided to leave everything and everyone behind. She left school and never came back for four days so far. When her colleagues noticed her absence and called her, her phone kept ringing without any answer. Leila had a severe nervous breakdown for which she was hospitalized for three days. Now, she only wants to be away from the hellish atmosphere of her classroom and come what may.

Leila is only a case among many suffering souls under the dilapidated roofs of our schools. What added insult to injury and made matters worse is the recent ministerial note number 867714, dated 17th October 2014, which abolishes any disciplinary sanctions /punishments against students. This ominous note was like the green light from the ministry to more violence against teachers. In plain English, it is a blatant disgrace to encourage « tchermil » against teachers in schools instead of hard work, creativity, competition and diligence.

And always remember: « Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well » Aristotle.
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146687/morocco-when-bullying-turns-a-female-teachers-life-into-hell/
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Hard Times for the Mentally Ill in Morocco.
Friday 12 December 2014 - Amjad Hemidach Fez

The government recently initiated a comprehensive upgrade to Morocco’s mental illness treatment facilities and programs, but the sector still suffers from poor infrastructure. In a Moroccan Douar near Ben Slimane region, 58 km northeast of Casablanca, 21-year-old Soukaina B suffers from a mental illness. She is usually chained to a pole at home. This sad case illustrates the deficiency in Morocco’s mental illness treatment facilities. “We took her to the hospital more than fifty times, but they didn’t want to keep her,” says her father, Mohamed. “The drugs we give her only put her to sleep. I don’t know what to do,” he laments.

According to the latest epidemiological survey, 40% of the Moroccan population aged 15 and over suffers or has suffered from a mental disorder. In 2012, the Ministry of Health raised mental illness to a priority level, setting a goal of doubling the nation’s intake capacity for mentally ill patients by 2016.
The planned program includes the construction of three specialty hospitals starting at the end of 2014.

Jalal Toufik, head of the department of psychiatry at Arrazi Hospital in Sale (Rabat’s sister city), said in an interview to Telquel that, “Mental disorders characterized by, ‘agitation and incoherence,’ are considered, ‘curses or possessions,’ while those marked by sadness, such as depression, are attributed to a lack of faith.”

Guardians of the mentally ill that opt out of traditional medicine will send patients to Bouya Omar, a mausoleum located about fifty kilometers from Marrakech. There, the patients will undergo mass exorcisms.
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146667/hard-times-for-the-mentally-ill-in-morocco/
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Morocco student attrition worries educators
By Naoufel Cherkaoui in Rabat for Magharebia – 11/12/2014

Morocco is determined to fix the biggest problems in its educational system: unequal access to schooling and the high number of dropouts.
"Education is a fundamental right," said National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) head Driss El Yazami, whose organisation just co-hosted an international conference aimed at finding solutions. Illiteracy prevents the "spread of the culture of citizenship and human rights, and the implementation of democracy", he told attendees of the December 6th-7th event in Rabat.

El Yazami admitted that over the past 15 years, reforms to Morocco’s educational system had failed to provide universal "access to high quality education, especially for children in semi-urban and rural areas".

Many pupils in rural areas find it difficult to get to schools, which can be far from their villages. The government has made efforts to build schools in rural areas and has even launched partnerships to provide boarding schools, but these measures fall short, political analyst Jamal Farhani said.

Some 30,000 Moroccan students leave primary and secondary school every year. This degree of attrition - and the educational inequality it creates - hinders development in the kingdom, confirmed Ilham Lagrich. She heads the Rural Girls Education Supporting Committee (CSSF), which helped organise the forum.
"If we compare the index measuring inequality in Morocco with that of other countries in the Mediterranean basin, of 11countries, Morocco is lagging. Our country is ranked second to last – at the same level as Mauritania and Yemen," she said. "Morocco is considered, according to the UNESCO report on education, among the 21 countries with the worst educated students, alongside Mauritania and other sub-Saharan countries. In fact, less than 35% of students reach the fourth year of primary school," Lagrich lamented.

While Morocco has "made remarkable efforts in the last two decades to increase the number of new enrolments", the educational system "was not keen on providing quality programmes or structures", said Mohammed Dich, a member of the Regional Committee for Human Rights in Fes and Meknes.
One problem is class size, he said.

"I cannot imagine a quality educational program in light of overcrowded classrooms," he told Magharebia. "The number of pupils per class could be up to 56, and in degrading conditions," the rights activist added. "We also cannot also talk about a good school system in light of the shortfall in the number of teachers."
To minimize drop-outs, Dich said schools should "respect the dignity of students and not stifle creativity or tolerate discrimination". He also said the government should create favourable conditions for education and expand programs to help poor families and those in rural areas.
http://magharebia.com/en_GB/articles/awi/features/2014/12/12/feature-03
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Moroccan Cinema Continues to Challenge Taboos.
Martin Dale Contributor

Comedies, social dramas and neo-realist dramas challenge social mores. Over the past 10 years, Moroccan cinema has emerged as one of the most successful national cinemas, especially in the context of Arab and African cinema……………..
Read more here: http://variety.com/2014/film/news/moroccan-cinema-continues-to-challenge-taboos-1201370163/#
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Study Highlights Morocco Corruption Risks.
RABAT, Morocco — Dec 4, 2014

Morocco has been slow to implement anti-corruption measures in its new constitution and there are corruption risks at the Ministry of Foreign Trade ? the first point of contact for foreign investors ? the Council of Europe said in a report Thursday. The study, which was funded by the European Union and obtained by The Associated Press, examined the Ministry of Foreign Trade and found inadequate measures in place to stop corruption.

The report cited "important shortcomings and malfunctions" and said new constitutional measures against corruption are only being "sluggishly implemented."
"It is so far having little effect on improving public governance," added the report.

The study had picked the ministry because it is the government agency dealing with companies interested in investing. With few natural resources, Morocco is counting on foreign investment to provide jobs and growth. But it ranks 80th out of 178 countries on Transparency International's Corruption Index, which is based in part on perceptions of foreign businesses.

Critics have long complained that the Moroccan economy is concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy families with close ties to the monarchy, using personal influence to win business deals. For ordinary Moroccans, navigating the bureaucracy often involves trading on family connections and personal favors.
The report cited a low corruption conviction rate and a weak judiciary as being behind the problem as well as no national policy against corruption.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/study-highlights-morocco-corruption-risks-27358377
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Loans approved for 350 MW Morocco solar projects.

04. December 2014 By: Peter Carvill

The African Development Bank (ADB) has approved loans totaling nearly $250m for phase II of the Ouarzazate CSP solar complex project in Morocco.
Funding for the second phase of the Ouarzazate solar complex project has been secured from the African Development Bank and the Clean Technology Fund.
ACWA Power. The loans, of €100 million (US$123 million) and $119 million, will be used to develop two new power stations with capacity totaling 350 MW. Total capacity for the Ouarzazate project will be around 500 MW. Funds for the two loans will come from the ADB's own resources and the Clean Technology Fund. The Ouarzazate project is part of the Moroccan Solar Energy Program.

Alex Rugamba, director of the AfDB Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, said “The project is one of the innovative developments in the energy sector supported by the Bank, based on the technology used and the financial arrangements with the support of the Climate Investment Funds, namely a public-private partnership supported by several donors. The Bank’s participation in this second phase will support its position as a leading partner in the development of Morocco and strengthen its dominant role in combatting the effects of climate change,”

This is the second project funded by the AfDB at the Ouarzazate solar complex. The first, in 2012, involved a loan of €100 million ($123 million) from the Bank’s own resources and a loan of $100 million from the Clean Technologies Fund towards the completion of the first phase of the NOOR Ouarzazate complex.
Work on the first phase began in 2013 with the construction of the first 160 MW solar power station, which is scheduled to come into operation by the end of 2015. The project complements some of the operations currently being implemented in the energy sector in Morocco, such as the project to develop the electricity transport and distribution network, which will mostly be used to take production from the Ouarzazate complex.

The Moroccan Solar Energy Program has received praise in recent weeks, with the International Energy Association hailing its '[…] admirable determination to play to its strengths'. The scheme aims to install 2 GW of solar, 2 GW of wind power, and raise its hydropower capacity also to 2 GW by 2020.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/loans-approved-for-350-mw-morocco-solar-projects_100017397/#ixzz3LnQzRsOA
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Mountain Life on Mountain Day 2014

It may be that, more than any other terrain, mountain regions exemplify a particular paradox – that of dense poverty coexisting with a special potential for transformative prosperity.  The conditions that create mountain people’s impoverishment are rooted both in local and broader contextual conditions.  Mountain areas are often blessed with water but have sparse areas for agricultural cultivation, limited to the terraces along mountainsides.

In Morocco’s Atlas ranges, these basic factors, coupled with two others – the low market value of barley and corn, the traditional staple crops and population growth – currently compel family farmers to purchase in the marketplace on average half or more of their staple needs. The resulting pressure to make the transition towards cultivating cash crops, most commonly fruit trees and aromatic plants, has increased the demand and prices of these seeds, trapping farmers in the subsistence poverty state.  In Morocco and so much of the world, the highest proportion of the poor thus reside among the peaks.

Five factors for transformation

Thankfully, however, this situation can be overcome and, as successful pilots have shown, there are five major factors involved.

1. The global rise in demand for organic products has created the opening for the most disadvantaged family farmers, who - fortuitously as it now turns out - never had the financial means to ride the chemical agricultural train.  Merely by making minor adjustments, primarily to the handling of their product, they may step into a specialized environment that often will pay double or more than what they could hope to receive on the local markets for their yield.

2. The sine qua non for success in human development projects has been shown to be the people’s participation in achieving their future, both by determining every step of the way and managing actual project activities.  Overcoming subsistence poverty requires ‘learning by doing’ in technical matters (related to agriculture as well as in other areas such as education and health), in building skills in management, consensus-building and in operations.

3. While potentially family farmers could have their products certified as organic, typically they do not possess the required market reach, that extends beyond traditional distribution channels, in order for their product to be processed and delivered to buyers around the world.  This is where local cooperative building becomes essential.  However, outside relationships too, make a critical difference; pilot experience with walnuts in the High Atlas mountains has shown that a combined profit-nonprofit organizational arrangements provides the flexibility necessary to support profit-making green growth that fuels broader human development.

4. Building water efficiency, mainly through water containment and  by utilizing gravity flow and drip systems has two positive effects.  Not only is arable land increased, often by even more than fifty per cent, but the new agricultural terraces that are built result in increased capability with regard to stemming mountainside erosion, a common occurrence that all too often carries devastating consequences.  The dozens of deaths by mountain mudslides this rainy season in Morocco need not, and should not, ever happen again.

5. There are a number of fruit trees and plants traditionally cultivated in the High Atlas mountain region of Morocco without the application of pesticides.  Species include walnut, cherry, fig and almond, as well as saffron, caper and oregano, along with many others.  A broad range of benefits, including avoiding potential vulnerabilities in the market and ecology, come with planting both indigenous and the range of organic trees and plants that are possible in an area.   

Four questions for change

Our annual celebration of International Mountain Day fundamentally intends to bring practical good to the worldwide inhabitants of this terrain.  It is high time that, through public-private partnership, the people who grow the food – and who mostly wish to continue to live and work where they are – reap more of its value.  This can be done by enabling them to create a complete value chain.  Let us therefore ask the following frank questions:

1. How will land be granted for community-managed tree and plant nurseries, thus reducing communities’ costs to a fraction, sharing risk and creating self-reliance? 

2. How will the installation of irrigation systems – typically the costliest of the initiatives comprising the value chain - be paid for?

3. Will development-implementing agencies live and be among the people whom they intend to benefit and who are, crucially, the drivers of their development and upon whom sustainability rests? 

4. Will we fund, as we must, start-up value chains and not decline them outright when what they may simply need is a single component to be funded, all others being up and running?

Mountain life has a special integrity – and is confronting the seemingly inadequate rate of opportunities realized and the enormity of the potential yet to be fulfilled.  Nevertheless, with proven pathways to success existing, let us see how life in this terrain appears in a year’s time…
 
Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir is president of the High Atlas Foundation.
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Kasbah Films Boards Irish Psychological Thriller ‘Morocco’.
Elsa Keslassy
International Correspondent @elsakeslassy

Karim Debbagh’s Tangier-based Kasbah Films has boarded “Morocco,” a psychological thriller set against the blackdrop of the 2008 economic meltdown.
Pic is written and directed by Nicky Gogan and Paul Rowley, the duo behind the documentary features “Seaview” and “Build Something Modern.” Told over 72 hours, “Morocco” turns on Simon Collins, a wealthy Irish property developer who travels undercover to North Africa on the eve of the financial collapse of 2008 to embezzle funds from his company before it collapses. But Simon’s plans unravel as he comes across Karim, a local property developer and shrewd businessman who quickly discovers the scam and sets off to give Simon a lesson.

Kasbah, a well-established production outfit with offices in Germany and Morocco, will co-produce the film with Gogan and Rowley’s Irish shingle Still Films and Dublin-based Blinder Films.

Moroccan actor Driss Roukhe, whose credits include “Traitors,” “Babel” and “Green Zone,” will star as Karim. The producers are currently casting Simon’s character. Debbagh said the project has obtained U.K. funds and is now ready to apply for Moroccan subsidies. A German co-producer will soon join the project as well. Gogan, who worked as an editor on “Last Hijack,” said Morocco’s style is “inspired by much of the cinema of paranoia of the early 1970s,” and cited “Don’t Look Now,” “The Passenger” and “The Parallax View.” While it’s not a political film, “Morocco” also touches on white-collar crimes, deep-rooted racism and xenophobia.

Kasbah recently co-produced “A Hologram for the King” with Tom Hanks and led-produced Sean Gullette’s “Traitors” (pictured above) as well as Fyzal Boulifa’s short film “The Curse,” which won Directors’ Fortnight’s top prize in 2012.
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/kasbah-films-boards-irish-psychological-thriller-morocco-1201373149/#
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Morocco, Main Recipient of International Climate Aid: Report.
Monday 8 December 2014 - Rabat

A new report released by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) revealed that Morocco has received more than $587 million in aid (mostly in loans) from some of the world’s major climate funds. According to the ODI’s report, Morocco, along with Mexico and Brazil, are the top recipients of climate aid, receiving over $7.6 billion in loans. The report says that Mexico and Brazil are among the top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases, “and with Morocco, all have huge renewable energy potential.” According to the report, funds have helped Morocco to develop its solar energy resources.

These funds also helped Mexico drastically increase its renewable energy capacity in an energy system previously powered exclusively by fossil fuels. It also helped Brazil complete three separate projects that resulted in nearly 3,000 hectares of reforested land, benefitting some 13,000 people.
The report discovered that half of the $7.6 billion of international funding approved to date is targeted at just ten countries. The chart below shows how much each country received in financing.
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146361/morocco-main-recipient-of-international-climate-aid-report/
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Saudi-US firms to invest $1.3bn in Morocco projects.
By Staff Published Sunday, December 07, 2014

Projects include l fun city, three hotels, restaurants, hospitals and 5,300 houses. A group of Saudi and US private investors plan to channel nearly $1.3 billion to construct hotels and other tourism and recreation projects in Morocco, a Saudi newspaper reported on Sunday. The group has signed an agreement with the Moroccan government to set up the projects in the southern Taroudant town, the Arabic language daily ‘Alwatan’ said, quoting Khalid Al Dousari, who signed the agreement on behalf of the group.

Dousari, owner of one of the Saudi firms in the alliance, said Moroccan authorities have already allocated around 8.7 million square metres for the projects. He said they involve the construction of a large fun city on an area of about six million square metres, three 4-star hotels, restaurants, cafes, golf course and a tourism resort. He told the paper that the projects are expected to attract nearly two million tourists annually from Europe, Africa and the Gulf.

The projects also involve the construction of 5,300 ready concrete houses, schools and hospitals, including a health and dieting centre for women. Dousari did not identify the investors or give date for starting the project but said the group is also planning to set up a similar project in southern Saudi Arabia.

The paper quoted him as saying he would give details of the Saudi project after it is approved by the competent authorities of the country.
http://www.emirates247.com/business/economy-finance/saudi-us-firms-to-invest-1-3bn-in-morocco-projects-2014-12-07-1.572454
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The Morocco We Want: Delayed Hopes (Part 2).
Friday 12 December 2014 -Youssef Laaraj Nador, Morocco –

We are born Moroccans, whether we like or not. We feel the desire to live freely in our country. No matter how far we may travel, we hope our bodies are buried back in our homeland. The pride of being a Moroccan should make our hearts beat every time we see our flag, every time the anthem is played, every time our monarchs give a speech, every time our nation grieves misfortune, undergoes crisis or achieves victory.

The Morocco we want is a country where teachers wake up every morning and head to schools with new hopes and insightful advice from a long life of experience. And where teachers use books they’ve read to teach their students how to maintain hope in their hopeless circumstances and invest in the beauty of their dreams.

The Morocco we want is a country where patients are not left waiting at hospital entrances, but instead are examined and cured before demanding identification and upfront payment for diagnosis. It’s a country where doctors don’t leave public hospitals to bear the burden of the nation’s illness to make thousands in expensive private clinics.

The Morocco we want is a nation where graduates are able to find careers that match their interests and utilise their degree over jobs that simply pay the bills and leave passion on street. It’s a country where employees are happy, and never say things like, “I’d change this job in a second if I could, I can’t take it anymore.”

The Morocco we want is a country where national news agencies don’t broadcast Mawazine’s bikini concerts while terrifying radicalized groups take dozens of citizen’s lives across the nation. It’s a country where dances aren’t broadcast while Gaza is being bombed and Syrian refugees are being deported and their little kids are shivering in freezing temperatures.

The Morocco we want is a country where our high rank officials abandon a script when addressing the public and instead talk genuinely and honestly on what’s been achieved and what’s still to be done, and how the country is orienting it’s social, cultural, political and economic domains.

The Morocco we want is a country where parliamentary members are in solidarity with their party’s ideology and undertake its ethos to the very end rather than switching overnight to an opposing party to keep their job in office. It’s a country where the governmental opposition won’t quit on their principles the first day they take charge of the government after trying to provide a voice for the poor and underprivileged.

The Morocco we want is a country where its prominent scholars contribute intellectually and morally to the state’s scientific and educational progress and its reputation amongst the world community. It’s a country where rap and pop singers are never valued over intellectuals and prominent figures of education, scientific research, authors and politicians.

The Morocco we want is a place where we can breathe the air in deeply and feel liberty to live as dignified humans, just like our forefathers when they gained this nation’s independence in the 1950s and passed away, certain that their grandsons will live freely and willingly.
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146604/the-morocco-we-want-delayed-hopes-part-2/
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Morocco: an indispensable strategic neighbour of Europe
PR Newswire December 11, 2014 BRUSSELS, 11 December 2014 / PRN Africa

Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

This is my first visit to a Mediterranean country since taking up office last month as Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. My decision to visit the Kingdom at the very beginning of my mandate reflects the importance that I attach to the EU's partnership with Morocco.
The countries in Europe's ‘southern neighbourhood' are experiencing a particularly challenging period in their history. Each country has its own different challenges, with chronic instability, political turmoil and weak institutions particularly prevalent. There is also a growing threat from religious extremism and a tendency to backslide on reforms, including human rights.

Morocco is one of the few countries that is resisting that regional trend. So while it is vital that we in Europe devote strategic attention to the crises in our neighbourhood that are currently preoccupying us – in Ukraine, in Iraq and Syria, in Libya, there are alas too many of them to mention – we should also celebrate success stories and strengthen our ties with longstanding, like-minded partners.

This brings me to the first of my three clear messages for you today:
Morocco is an indispensable strategic neighbour of Europe. For centuries, we have been connected through trade, through culture, and through people-to-people contacts. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the very first trade negotiations between the EEC and Morocco. Our partnership has come a long way since then. More recently, the EU Morocco summit in 2010 was the first EU summit with an Arab state and another example of our solid relations.

The EU is proud to be Morocco's leading cooperation partner. We are already working with you in key areas ranging from education, health, fisheries, renewable energy and infrastructure to support for SMEs to become more competitive, boost exports and create jobs. I could go on: the list is a long one.

Our human contacts are also growing ever closer. Some 5 million EU residents of Moroccan origin have already enriched the diversity of European society. Every year Moroccans top the list of third country nationals receiving EU nationality. Growing numbers of Europeans are choosing to live and work in Morocco. Hundreds of student exchanges every year bring European and Moroccan students together. This type of mobility, especially for young people, should be encouraged further. ……………… SOURCE European Commission It continuous here:
http://en.starafrica.com/news/morocco-an-indispensable-strategic-neighbour-of-europe.html
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Journals of a Moroccan Fulbrighter in America (Last): Home, sweet home!
Friday 12 December 2014 - Ahmed Echcharfi Rabat

Finally, my stay in America came to an end and here I am in my country again, among my people. In this last episode, I’d like to share with my readers a few lessons that I’ve learnt. I don’t expect them all to agree with me, nor do I want them to, but I do wish them to stop and consider the points I’ll be trying to make here.

My first point concerns authenticity and alienation. We may be dissatisfied with many aspects of our life in this country – and yes, there are a lot of good reasons for our dissatisfaction – but I don’t think that the best alternative is to seek refuge in another world. There is nothing harder for a human being than to be a stranger in a different world. I had many advantages in America: I was respected as a scholar and appreciated, I guess, as a person. Yet, I used to count days and had a strange way of doing so: I used to look in a calendar for the end of a following week to make the remaining period look shorter, to make time run faster. I believed I was the only one to experience such a feeling until I met other Fulbrighters. I asked a Pakistani biologist about his remaining period in America and he answered immediately: 21 and 6 days, by which he meant that he was leaving on the 6th of the following month. He said he suffered from depression although he was living with his wife and his two children. He talked about other Fulbrighters who used to count days in the same way I did. Some of them even counted hours! So, here we are, stuck together on this piece of land and we have every reason to make it a better place to live in.

There are a few lessons to learn from Americans. I wasn’t very much impressed by the wealth of the country or the opportunities it provided to its citizens. Rich nations, just like rich families around the world, can afford things that are inaccessible to the poor. But people can lead a decent life without many of those things. Nor do I want to talk about the American political system or America’s international relations. These are issues that stir a lot of debate, some of which is misguided. I’ve known people with a lot of commonsense and good judgment in the management of their daily lives, but when it comes to abstract topics like politics, they yield easily to prevalent ideologies. It seems that ideology is unavoidable when approaching the abstract, and the only thing one can do is to choose between a good and a bad ideology. I don’t pretend to be able to say which is which.

Among all the things that drew my attention about Americans, education was perhaps the most salient. The English language is less precise than Arabic in this connection, for I don’t mean school education but the moral values that a child receives from the family environment. In schools, restaurants, hotels, airports and in every place I was, I noticed that people were polite not only toward each other, but also toward foreigners. I saw in the streets of Austin Arabs from Gulf countries in their costumes, their women wearing veils, and I’m pretty sure that they would have chosen other garments if they had been harassed. It seems that gazing at strangers is simply not in the culture of Americans. They may hold negative attitudes toward others, but they generally tend not to express those attitudes in terms of aggressive behavior.

It’s no wonder that I was particularly impressed by this aspect of Americans’ behavior. I’ve been a teacher for more than twenty years, both at school and university levels, and I can say that bullying is prevalent to the extent of rendering teachers’ and students’ lives a hell. In our society in general, violence seems to be gaining ground. I believe that bad education is the source of the problem. There was a time when thinkers believed that moral values and other cultural practices (generally referred to as ‘superstructure’) were generated and determined by socio-economic relations (known as ‘infrastructure’) and that if you want to change the superstructure, you must change socio-economic relations first. This position is no more in vogue today; a conviction has grown among social thinkers that culture has its own dynamics and that much of it can be acted upon independently of socio-economic factors. In simpler terms, my point is that violence in our society can be reduced through good education.

But who should be held responsible for bad education? In Morocco, media discourse tends to blame schools, and educationists respond to the blame by emphasizing the importance of some school subjects such as Islamic and civic education. Judging from my experience as a teacher and a father, I tend to point the finger to the family. Since my first week in Austin, I noticed that children were almost invisible. I never saw a group of teenagers playing in the streets or walking by themselves without the presence of an adult. I remembered complaints by Moroccans that children were more influenced by their peers than by their parents. But if parents want to have a greater influence, they will have to spend more time with their children and more money on their leisure activities or whatever that could keep them off the streets. All these responsibilities mean that parents should have less children and more work to satisfy their needs.
There remains the question of the moral values that parents should inculcate in the minds of their children. I am aware that this is a thorny issue, but I will outline here the American solution as I understand it. It seems to me that the basic principle of American education is the respect of the individual and his choices. The fact that American society is constituted of multiple ethnicities and races has made this principle almost a necessity. But that doesn’t mean that other societies can ignore it in this modern world. When you have the conviction that an individual is first and foremost a human being and should be respected as such, other social categories simply recede to the background. An individual may change social class, religion or whatever and, yet, retains the basic right to be respected. I noticed that American professors, some of whom were world-renown, didn’t wear suits or ties and I’ve come to realize that once people feel that they should respect others in the same way they are respected, they simply forget about many symbolic forms of empowerment. Even acceptance of homosexuals, which is often cited as a sign of Western degradation and decadence, seems to follow from the basic right to be respected as an individual. Everything is related in a logical way, and once you accept the premises, you cannot deny the conclusions.

In brief, here’s the lesson. When parents become deeply aware of the burden of educating their children, a number of consequences will follow. For me, the most important one among them is the public debate about the role of education in the rise and fall of nations. Civilization is basically human development, and a civilized nation is not necessarily a rich or a powerful nation but a nation that contributes to the welfare of human beings, a nation that gives as much as it takes. We cannot be such a nation while we feel satisfaction when harming each other, while we seek pleasure at the expense of others, while we try to impose our ideas and tastes on others, etc. I believe that when individuals develop a certain degree of sensitivity and always think about the harm their behavior can cause to others, many social evils can be avoided. What’s laziness in public or private jobs, what’s bribery, what’s smoking in public space, what’s using loudspeakers while others are asleep, etc. if not lack of sensitivity and respect of others? Education can change all that. Everything seems so simple and within reach, yet so remote. I think that my nation cannot move forward without the wisdom that other nations have already attained, and I believe that the key to that wisdom is good education.
Read all the articles here:http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146640/journals-of-a-moroccan-fulbrighter-in-america-last-home-sweet-home/
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Why Wearing the Veil is not Required in Islam.
Thursday 11 December 2014 - Paola Garcia New York

The universality of Islam invalidates the claim that veiling of any kind is mandatory for all Muslim women, and, for that matter, negates the notion of particular clothing requirements for all Muslims. The Quran states “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another” (49:13). The Quran recognizes and accepts cultural differences. It is hardly a controversial statement that clothing is among the most salient manifestations of culture. (Had God intended uniformity of dress upon embracing Islam, the Quran would have indicated so, but it most definitely does not.)

The majority of Muslims, if not all, firmly believe that the Quran was sent as guidance for all of humanity and view Islam as a universal and timeless religion. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is likewise considered the final messenger of God for all people, rather than the Prophet of 7th century Arabia or a Prophet sent to the Arab tribes only. The Quran states: “We have not sent thee (Muhammad) but as a mercy to all the nations” (21:107).

Similarly, the equality of all human beings, except in good character and piety, is an undisputed principle of Islam. Prophet Muhammad stated in his last sermon that “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab…” The language is clear and without room for debate: Islamically, no culture is superior to another.

It is another uncontested fact that women in pre-Islamic Arabia used to veil themselves when going outside their homes; women in several other parts of the world have never observed a similar custom. The Quran was revealed within a specific geographical and historical context and, therefore, its particulars, or its illustrations of principles, refer to the practices common to that society. However, with the spread of Islam, “each new Islamic society must understand the principles intended by the particulars. Those principles are eternal and can be applied in various social contexts.”(1)

In Arabia, before the advent of Islam, the women belonging to rich and powerful tribes “were veiled and secluded as an indication of protection.” It is important to emphasize that the veil was not an Islamic innovation; it was in use for generations before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).The Quran, instructing modesty as a principle, illustrated it with the practices that were common at the time. However, the Quran’s mandate is the general principle of modesty, rather than veiling and seclusion, which are cultural manifestations that pertain to a specific context.

Otherwise, how could it be true that Islam is universal and timeless, all humans and cultures equal under it, none superior to another, yet simultaneously true that all women, irrespective of the time and place they exist in, who accept Islam as their faith, should proceed to adopt the dress mores of 7th century Arabia? This is entirely absurd and not Islamic but rather cultural. The particular display of modesty of 7th century Arabia is not the only “right” one or the one superior to all others.

The way modesty was expressed before and during the lifetime of the Prophet is quite different from how it is manifested in other societies. Because Islam is a religion for all times, it logically does not follow that despite the religion’s universality and timelessness, Muslim women all over the world must continue to show their modesty and piety in 1400 year old Arab standards. Moreover, “Allah intends for [us] ease and does not intend for [us] hardship” (2:185).
The notion of a veiling requirement for women is based on a fundamental error of interpretation: that of confusing the general principles of Islam with their particular illustrations and it is very damaging to the religion and to the overall progress of Muslims. This style of interpretation turns Islam into a “rigid canonical religion geared towards…external matters” and makes Muslims appear to be “confusing content and form, aim and method, spirituality and ritual.”(2)
This stubborn fixation on women’s “proper Islamic attire” strips Islam of its true nature of depth and empowering wisdom.

There is no dispute about the importance of modesty or about the fact that modesty is required and central to Islam for both men and women. But claiming that modesty demands, for instance, that a Muslim woman living in New York City in 2014, wear garb that originated, was useful in, and symbolized modesty and dignity in the desert of Arabia 1400 years ago is completely ridiculous. No person, male or female, living in a modern society, let’s say, contemporary America, Europe or Asia (and even many parts of North Africa and the Middle East), would consider a woman showing her hair to be immodest. Neither are men these days particularly provoked by the sight of a woman’s hair.

Among today’s morally questionable fashions and cultural practices, a woman’s uncovered hair is hardly a temptation or a show of moral laxity. But, let’s imagine that it were in fact a ‘temptation’. Let’s pretend present-day men were somehow so weak as to be provoked by glancing a woman’s hair, still, the solution is within themselves. Modesty is also required of, and was first mandated to, men: they are ordered to lower their gaze, purify their thoughts and dress modestly too. The answer is not for women to make it their central preoccupation to ensure by all means that they do not cause men any impure thoughts. This is, again, absurd: Islam teaches that in the eyes of God, each person is responsible for his or her own actions.

So, where do the veiling notions come from? There are three Quranic verses that deal with the issue of hijab which are commonly known as “ayat al hijab”:
The first of these verses deals exclusively with the household of the Prophet and is not to be extrapolated to other people. In this particular context the Quran orders that “whenever you ask them (the Prophet’s wives) for anything, ask them from behind a curtain (hijab)” (33:53). The reason for this revelation is simple: “In Madinah, the need had arisen to protect the household of the Prophet, who had now become head of State, from easy informal access by each and everyone. This was done separating the official and the private quarters which has since become routine in official residence. This division was achieved with the aid of a screen (hijab).”

It is a major tragedy that this verse has been misinterpreted to the point of requiring women in certain countries to never leave their screened-off quarters even while out in the street. During the time of the Prophet, women were free to move around in society, encouraged to learn, invited and welcome to Islamic gatherings where they sat among men and used to pray in the mosque side by side with men. The practices of secluding women are actually un-Islamic.
The other two verses that discuss women’s dress code have a general application: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters as well as all believing women that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments (min jalabibihinna); this will help to assure that they are recognized (as decent women) and not be annoyed” (33:59).

It is of utmost importance to note that this rule does not require women to wear a specific type of clothing, such as a large headscarf, and then pull it over the breast. “The Quran assumes that women wear an article of clothing that allows the covering of their breasts, and that this is done. In ancient times, this article would have naturally been worn over the head in hot, windy, dusty countries. However, a Quranic requirement for this cannot be derived from 33:59.” (3)
The final clothing regulation that appears in the Quran discusses the protective purpose of these rules: “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not to display their charms beyond what may decently be apparent thereof. So let them draw their head coverings (which were commonly worn at the time, not implemented) over their bossoms” (24:31).

The first two injunctions of not staring at the opposite sex in a provocative manner and hiding one’s primary sexual parts are also imposed on men with the same wording (Quran 24:30). The third rule, displaying those charms that are normally visible (ma zahara minha), “is a very sensible regulation: It takes into account that from period to period and from culture to culture there are great differences in the view of what, aside from her genitals and breasts, is erotic about a woman.”

Murad Hoffman, in his book, Islam: The Alternative, cites a rector of the Great Mosque in Paris, Sheikh Tedjini Haddam, as explaining that what Islam actually recommends is that “a woman be decently dressed.” And the application of this recommendation varies depending on the social environment.
Dr. Sultan Abdulhameed perfectly explains this idea in The Quran and the Life of Excellence: “In order to benefit from spiritual teachings, it is important to separate the essential from the peripheral. We should recognize the principle of progressive change in religious as well as in cultural and social life. Truth is eternal, but the way it is expressed changes with time, and it is experienced differently by different people.”

*It is important to note that I am not opposing or criticizing a woman’s decision to cover her hair or to dress in a particular way for a wide variety of reasons, such as announcing her moral values through her attire, expressing her disagreement with the increasing pressure (at least in the West) for women to be scantily dressed or perhaps, for identity reasons, including preserving one’s cultural identity or externally communicating one’s religion to society. However, the idea that all Muslim women are required by Islam to veil themselves (in any form) is false and damaging to women, to Islam and to people who might otherwise consider accepting Islam as their faith.
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1- Wadud, Amina. Quran and Woman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 9. Print.
2- Hoffman, Murad. Islam the Alternative. Maryland: Amana Publications, 1997. 133. Print
3- Hoffman, Murad, id. p. 131
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/12/146584/why-wearing-the-veil-is-not-required-in-islam/##########################################

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