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Morocco Week in Review 
August 4, 2018

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

The Making of a Water Crisis

How a colonial dream ran Morocco dry.

Alexander Jusdanis August 1, 2018

Last fall, the residents of Zagora, a Moroccan city on the edge of the Sahara, decided they were fed up with the watermelons. Plagued for years by water shortages, they pointed a finger at the prosperous, export-oriented fruit farms outside the city for hogging their wells. In what became known as the “thirst protests,” people from throughout the region rallied in Zagora to decry the shortages. They were met by police, who cordoned off the city, broke up the crowd, and arrested twenty-three of the demonstrators. “Are we really human beings,” asked one activist, “if we’re being treated this way?”…..

Alon Ben-Meir On the Issues Episode 42: Yossef Ben-Meir

Check out this podcast episode of - On the Issues - where HAF's president Yossef Ben-Meir is interviewed. It is interesting and fun because it is a conversation with his father, Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, who is a professor of international relations at New York University. They talk about sustainable development, Morocco, and project experiences. Enjoy.

============================================================== - Description: Applauds King Mohammed VI’s Efforts to Promote Religious Tolerance

By Safaa Kasraoui -  August 1, 2018 Rabat

US President Donald Trump has joined the list of the world leaders who sent their congratulations to King Mohammed VI on the 19th anniversary of his accession to the throne.
In his message, Trump lauded King Mohammed VI’s leadership in “international efforts to promote religious tolerance and fight against extremism.”

Moroccan Female Entrepreneurs Tackle Misconceptions, Challenges Head On

By Morocco World News -  August 1, 2018  By Renee Sang Rabat

In Morocco, entrepreneurship has been on the rise as an economic survival tactic for those seeking to escape the reaches of the country’s high unemployment rate. Although the government has taken initiatives to assist young start-ups and improve the economy, it is still difficult to compete and thrive as an entrepreneur, especially for women. Making the decision to be self-employed is already a brave choice in itself without having to also compete in a male-dominated field. It can often be intimidating for women to challenge the status quo and have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously.

World Hepatitis Day: Moroccans Ask Government for Low-Cost Treatment

By Ahlam Ben Saga -  July 28, 2018 Rabat

The Moroccan Association for the Fight against AIDS (ALCS) has called for the government to accelerate its efforts to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) by providing the latest treatment drugs in public hospitals. In Morocco, 400,000 people, representing 1.2 percent of the population, suffer from HCV which causes inflammation and damage of the liver.

Moroccan Universities Produce More Graduates without Jobs

By Ahlam Ben Saga -  August 1, 2018 Rabat

The unemployment rate of students with higher education degrees has doubled since 2013, according to Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi. As the number of higher education students increases each year in Morocco, unemployment remains a challenge. According to El Khalfi’s recent press statement, the percentage of unemployed university graduates is over 22 percent, a figure that has doubled over the last five years and is expected to keep increasing in the coming years to reach 50 percent.

Morocco Needs more Economic Investments, Head of Bank Al Maghrib Tells King Mohammed VI

By Safaa Kasraoui - July 29, 2018 Rabat

On the eve of Throne Day, King Mohammed VI received on Sunday Governor of Bank Al Maghrib Abdellatif Jouahri and Head of Auditors’ Court Driss Jettou, and both presented the monarch with their annual reports. During his meeting with the King, Jouahri discussed Morocco’s financial situation in 2017, emphasizing that the domestic economy grew at a rapid rate last year. The local economy expanded by 4.1 percent, owing to good climatic conditions for agriculture and overall economic recovery.

Morocco king criticises social programmes

Says they are overlapping, uncoordinated and missing target populations
Rabat- Moroccan King Mohammad VI has criticized the North African kingdom’s social development programmes as overlapping, uncoordinated and missing target populations, in a speech from a northern town that has been the epicentre for social unrest.
The king’s remarks on Sunday during the annual Throne Speech has special significance because he spoke in Al Hoceima, where the Hirak Rif social movement was born and a month after 53 activists were given tough prison sentences.

20 Moroccan Schools win International School Award

By Safaa Kasraoui -  July 20, 2018 Rabat

The British Council Morocco hosted 20 English teachers today, each of whom represented a Moroccan school that won the 2018-2020 International School Award (ISA). ISA rewards schools “having an outstanding level of support for nurturing global citizenship in young people and enriching, teaching, and learning,” according to a statement from the British Council obtained by Morocco World News. Mohamed Hassim, a trainer at ISA with British Council Morocco and a teacher supervisor at the Taroudant directorate, told MWN that ISA “started in Morocco in 2009 and this is the third generation that we have of the International School Award winners.”

El Othmani Calls on Citizens to be ‘Proud’ of Moroccan Public Schools

By Safaa Kasraoui -  July 24, 2018 Rabat

While social critics have called on the Moroccan cabinet to improve the education system, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani has said, “We should stop underestimating the role of Moroccan public schools.” El Othmani made his remarks during a parliament session at Morocco’s House of Representatives on Monday, July 23.“Education is our special concern, we are proud of it,” said El Othmani.
============================================================== Ghamid: ‘Violence Against Children Persists Despite Legal Reforms’

By Tamba François Koundouno -  August 1, 2018 Rabat

Fatiha Ghamid, the public prosecutor in charge of women and children’s affairs at the Oujda Court of Justice, has urged Morocco to “invest more efforts and energy” to guarantee the rights of at-risk women and children, especially minors or children from low-income backgrounds “in need of special attention” from authorities. Ghamid, who recently addressed an audience of legal authorities, government representatives, and international partners (mostly an EU delegation), noted Morocco’s recent efforts to protect the rights of women and children facing violence and related treatment both domestically and outside their homes.

El Othmani: No ‘Suffocating’ Economic Crisis in Morocco

By Tarek Bazza -  July 27, 2018 Rabat

Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani has denied the existence of an economic crisis in Morocco while highlighting the government’s achievements in promoting the automobile industry and attracting foreign investment. El Othmani answered questions during a House of Representatives session on Monday, July 23.
The second session (April session) of the legislative year in Parliament closed its work on Tuesday, July 24, with disappointing results in terms of the government’s response to questions.

Video: Fall in Love with Morocco in Under 5 Minutes

By Morocco World News -  July 26, 2018  By Salihah Evans Rabat

Filmmakers Jacob and Katie Schwarz have captured Morocco’s beauty in a stunning 4:55 panoramic video of Morocco that has Moroccan nationals falling even more in love with their country and foreigners seriously considering booking a trip to experience the magic of Morocco themselves.

Is it safe to travel to Morocco in 2018?

Aug 1, 2018

Tourism to the North African country reached an all-time high in 2017. In the current security climate, some holidaymakers considering North Africa over a European summer holiday may have been put off by stories of gun violence, civil war and terrorism. However, with endless beaches and dramatic mountains, Morocco has remained a consistent go-to for British sun-seekers. In fact, while the tourism sectors of neighbouring Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt have suffered badly in the wake of multiple revolutions and deadly terror attacks, the number of tourist arrivals to Morocco jumped last year to 11,349,347 - an all-time

El Othmani: ‘Morocco Loses 7% of GDP to Corruption’

By Tamba François Koundouno -  July 31, 2018 Rabat

Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani has said that corruption wastes approximately 7 percent of Morocco’s GDP every year and claimed that the most effective way to deal with Morocco’s enduring economic and social problems is to fight corruption in public administration. El Othmani, who is also chairperson of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), made his remarks at a meeting of PJD-linked engineers and youth on Sunday, July 30, in Rabat. The country’s incumbent party had summoned the meeting to appraise Morocco’s economy and propose “a new development model” to meet the various challenges of the North African kingdom. In what seemed to be a direct response to King Mohammed VI’s Throne Day speech which called for immediate action to solve Morocco’s social and economic issues, El Othmani said that Morocco’s economy is suffering from dysfunctional public services and an ineffective redistribution of national resources.

Ongoing Reforms for Prosperity and a brighter future for Morocco

July, 29/2018

His Majesty King Mohammed VI has made continuous reforms to Morocco’s political, economic and social fields to ensure the prosperity and welfare of Moroccan citizens. — Photo courtesy of the embassy The celebration of the Kingdom of Morocco’s National Day marks the date of the accession of His Majesty King Mohammed VI on July 30, 1999 to the throne of the Alaouite Monarchy. As Morocco celebrates the 19th year of his reign, Azzeddine Farhane, Ambassador of His Majesty of the King of Morocco to Việt Nam, sends a message to Việt Nam News readers.

Morocco: The Casa challenge

By Jon Marks in Casablanca and Honoré Banda 30 July 2018

Can the Moroccan commercial capital make it  as a continental leader? A recent boycott of companies run by the elite shows that the city has a long way to go to become a haven for both the financial industry and the people it benefits, and the many thousands of others aspiring to a better life. The social-media phenomenon that started in April with a hashtag, #boycott, has since embarrassed Moroccan political and business elites as the turnover and profits of three major groups linked to the Makhzen (the ruling establishment – the name comes from the Sultan’s ‘storehouse’) have plummeted. Anecdotal and some empirical evidence suggest the boycott has been more widely observed in ‘marginalised’ regions, like the north-east, but its impact on the commercial capital is tangible, showing the fragility the fragility of even the most powerful titans among the ranks of Casablanca’s business elite. The boycott targets three major players: the Afriquia gasoline chain, owned by Aziz Akhannouch, petroleum products billionaire, minister of agriculture and key palace ally; the Oulmès mineral-­water brand founded by Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, the queen of the Casablanca business elite and boss of outgoing Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc; and iconic French-owned yogurt brand Danone.

Why you should visit the Majorelle Garden, a center of peace and serenity in Marrakesh

The Majorelle Garden, bought by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980, is an exotic wonder which attracts crowds from all over the world to see its collection of huge plants and the Moorish style house. The must-see attraction in Morocco this summer.
============================================================== Tangier: A Cross-Cultural Nexus

By Morocco World News -  July 30, 2018 By Alexandra Gritta Rabat

Tangier, nestled in the Strait of Gibraltar, is nicknamed the “Gateway to Africa” for its proximity to Europe. The city is a popular destination for cruise ships and is foremost a port city. It is connected to 174 ports from 74 countries on 5 different continents. One of Tangier’s appeals is that there are ferry rides from Morocco to Spain. In fact, you can see the edge of Spain from Tangier’s Cape Spartel, a promontory (and popular viewing point) located 300 meters above sea level.

A Weekend In Essaouira Morocco's Hidden Gem.

Bridget Arsenault Contributor

To travel to Essaouira is to travel back in time. On Morocco's Atlantic coast, this is far removed from Marrakech's rakish La Mamounia or Royal Mansour. Essaouira means "little picture" in Arabic and when you step inside this secluded medina it's immediately clear why. Picturesque but unusually so. In a world where it's difficult to find a view with any originality - just think of every UK high street with its Costa Coffee, Boots and Pizza Express,  a carbon copy of the town it flanks. But here in Essaouira you'll find hundreds of blue boats bobbing by the port, crashing waves, buttery sand and a maze of shops and restaurants within the city walls. A fortress town dating back to the 18th century, the entire surrounds are UNESCO World Heritage listed. Only a three-hour flight from London, this was once a getaway for the likes of Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix, a fact that any local will proudly tell you, and it's easy to see the charm and energy that enticed such legends here.

Book review: A Morocco Anthology: Travel Writing through the Centuries

In this new anthology, editor Martin Rose collates accounts of various travellers through the centuries, but it skims the surface rather than being genuinely educational, writes Lucy Scholes

Lucy Scholes July 28, 2018

Ali Bey e l Abbassi was a Spaniard from Barcelona, born in 1767, who claimed he was a descendant of the Abbasid caliphs. He made his name as an explorer and spy in the Islamic world, ­travelling and behaving in every way as a Muslim , who visited Morocco between 1803 and 1805. Although he was apparently ultimately denied Muslim burial when he passed away in Damascus in 1818 because a cross was found on his person. On 23rd June, 1803, he crossed the Strait of Gibraltar – a mere fourteen miles, ­Martin Rose, A Morocco Anthology’s editor, points out, but in every other way a gulf between two completely different worlds. El Abbassi sailed into Tangier, “the gateway” of Morocco for Europeans in the era before air travel. Rose describes it as a “strange and perhaps unique place,” one that for 23 years in the late seventeenth century was actually in the possession of the English crown, having been part of Catherine of Braganza’s dowry when she married the English monarch Charles II in 1661.

El Malki: Tamazight Law May Cause ‘Serious Complications’ in Morocco

By Ahlam Ben Saga -  July 28, 2018 Rabat

Morocco’s speaker of the House of Representatives, Habib El Malki, has said that the reason the government has been slow to implement the Tamazight (Berber) language law is that the government is worried over “complications” it may pose in the future. In a press conference on Thursday, El Malki asserted that the government does not want to rush the launching of the Tamazight law, which calls for the language to be integrated into public administrations and services.
============================================================== Foster: Camel trekking in Morocco

Marilyn Foster July 27, 2018

According to Trip Advisor, the top 10 "most excellent cities in the world" are Key West, Florida; Reykjavik, Iceland; Edinburgh, Scotland; Marrakech, Morocco; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Dublin, Ireland; Bali, Indonesia; Krakow, Poland; Glasgow, Scotland, and New Orleans, Louisiana. The Chamber Travel Club has conducted — and continues to conduct — tours to include all those cities, except Key West and Bali since most tour operators don't offer tours there. Traveling with a group of like-minded folks from our region is a great way to travel for those who prefer not to travel alone and prefer to know the cost up front. The tour operator takes care of just about every detail and you just sit back, relax, and take it all in.

Can a Wind Farm Help Morocco Become the Next Bitcoin Mining Paradise?

A remote location in Morocco has become a strategic spot to build a 900-megawatt wind farm as bitcoin miners look for cheap electricity in order to set up their computing centers. The spot south of Marrakesh is likely to turn into a cryptocurrency mining hub as the ecosystem favors renewable energy rather than utility grids fed by traditional fuels like coal.

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