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Morocco Week in Review 
July 7, 2018

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Coco Says ‘Hello’: The First American Woman to Host a Moroccan TV Series in Arabic

By Abigale Belcrest- July 4, 2018 Rabat

In her new television show, “Hello, Maroc!” American lawyer, MENA consultant, and religious scholar Courtney Erwin demonstrates her mastery of Modern Standard Arabic through storytelling that bridges her experiences between Morocco and the US. Featured on the television station Télémaroc, “Hello, Maroc!” is the first Moroccan television show written and hosted by an American woman in Fusha, or formal Arabic. In 10 episodes, Erwin, or “Coco,” as she’s called in the program, discusses subjects ranging from dreams to violence, gender to heroes. The most striking aspect of the show is its total focus on Erwin; she is the cast, narrator, subject, and oftentimes, the only person seen onscreen. Erwin’s day-to-day life is revealed in sweeping shots of her wanderings—pondering natural expanses and Arabic novels, buying vegetables in the souk, preparing soup in her kitchen ……………
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Passion for Politics, Love for Languages Lead Walsh ’18 to Peace Corps

Maggie Denoon '20 June 20, 2018

Interest in the study of Middle Eastern politics, love for learning different languages, and a passion for volunteer work led Morgan Walsh ’18 to volunteer for the Peace Corps in Morocco. “I had thought about the Peace Corps intermittently for some time,” said Walsh. “I specifically applied to Morocco because of my prior interest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.” …………….
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Gnaoua Festival Attracts Visitors from around the World to Morocco’s Essaouira

By Lameese Madi -  June 26, 2018 Rabat

Taking place in Essaouira, Morocco, from June 21st to the 23rd, the Gnaoua festival brought musicians from across the globe. An estimated 500,000 participants attend annually and flock to the medina (old town) of Essaouira. From artists such as Snarky Puppy, Shabaka Hutchings, Africa United, and Maâlem Hamid El Kasri, this year’s three-day event brought together music and people from different cultures, traditions, and races. Walking around the streets, chill vibes and peace signs seemed to fill the air as Moroccan locals played covers of The Tide is High and One Love. Crowds formed around local Gnaoua groups, dancing and playing their local music by cafes as people sipped tea.

French, Arabs, Americans, Italians, and others, gathered in groups, and a mix of languages seemed to culminate the festival’s theme of sharing cultures from different parts of the world.
Her friend Raashnie Gopalrai is an American Peace Corps worker who came for the festival’s historical presence and international aspect. “I like the history behind Gnaoua fest. It goes way back to the days of slavery and also, I just wanted to meet a lot of my friends that are here from Peace Corps. There’s a really good vibe around here and it’s awesome!” ………….
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SeedStars Startup Competition to Come to Casablanca

By Morocco World News -  July 4, 2018 Rabat

Moroccan startups will soon have the chance to compete on the world stage. The SeedStars World Competition will come to Casablanca on July 6, 2018. They will host 10 of the best startups, who will pitch their ideas to a panel of investors. Featured on Forbes and Le Monde, SeedStars World is part of the Swiss SeedStars group.
The startups will have to present in English or find a translator in order to pitch their ideas to the panel. The startups will have five minutes to present their ideas and plan and then five minutes to answer questions from the panel…….

U.S. Department of State News: Joint Press Availability With Foreign Minister Bourita


DEPUTY SECRETARY SULLIVAN: Good afternoon.  I am delighted to be here in Rabat, honored to stand here with my dear friend and esteemed colleague His Excellency Foreign Minister Bourita.  I thank him for his kind hospitality. It’s been a very busy week for the Moroccan government, for the Foreign Ministry.  He has been a most gracious host.  And for that I am most welcome….

Morocco: Advancing women's rights

Written by Jeanne Laperrouze on 28 June 2018 in Opinion Plus

Morocco’s willingness to tackle gender equality is setting an example for the EU’s southern neighbourhood, writes Jeanne Laperrouze. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has long been a region with the fewest laws on gender equality and violence against women. It seems however that this trend is changing, as illustrated by the recent law adopted in Morocco criminalising female harassment, or in Tunisia last week, where a presidential commission put forward a draft of liberal reforms that includes equal inheritance rights for women…………….
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‘The Arab’s Ox: Stories of Morocco’ by Tony Ardizzone

Dunia El-Zobaidi Sunday 01/07/2018

Ardizzone’s artistry in depicting the beauty and flaws of Arab culture introduces a new lens for Westerners to see Morocco in another way than what they have seen already.

Marrakech is the eighth most popular tourist destination in the world, TripAdvisor says. It is known for its warm, friendly people, delicious authentic cuisine and its rich culture, heritage and traditions. Folktales and music have been passed on for generations. Award-winning author Tony Ardizzone presents a new collection of short interwoven stories of Morocco in “The Arab’s Ox: Stories of Morocco.” The accounts are of three travellers and their experiences in Morocco. The first story “The Arab’s Ox” is the richest and most dramatic. It describes the reactions of Moroccans when an ox is hit by a shuttle bus from the Casablanca airport……………..

The mosque that powers a village.

By Sandrine Ceurstemont  27 September 2017

The village of Tadmamet is just an hour’s drive south from the bustling city of Marrakech in Morocco. But it’s a world apart. Nestled in the High Atlas mountains, its 400 inhabitants here are 40km (25 miles) away from the nearest village and live a simple, rural lifestyle. Crops like barley, potatoes and apples are the main source of income. Most people don’t have cars. There are no smartphones to be seen and no internet connections. Even access to electricity can be a struggle, especially during the harsh winter….

‘Morocco Should Uphold Inclusiveness, Justice, and Human Rights’: El Youssoufi

By Tamba François Koundouno -  July 4, 2018 Rabat

In a hot political climate characterized by popular uproar over the harsh sentences handed to Hirak activists, veteran Moroccan statesman Abderrahmane El Youssoufi has suggested that Morocco’s future hinges on a “sincere and responsible dialogue” about the country’s most pressing issues. A veteran figure of Morocco’s recent political history, the Tangier-born statesman made his comments during a ceremony in his hometown as he presented his three-volume memoir published earlier this year. Although Youssoufi truly gained center stage in Morocco after he led the government—as prime minister—from 1998 to 2002 , the 94-year-old politician and former leader of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (UFSP) is also known for his left-leaning militancy  and resistance efforts during the late years of French colonialism and the early decades of Moroccan independence…..
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The threat to Morocco’s Fes from tourism surge

Kieran Cooke Sunday 1 July 2018

Authorities are concerned about the impact of tourist numbers on buildings such as the ancient Qarawiyyin library. The tall, cedarwood door is slightly ajar, allowing visitors a quick look into an entrance to one of the most historic and beautiful buildings in the Islamic world. The Qarawiyyin Library, in the heart of the teeming medina in the Moroccan city of Fes, is one of the oldest in existence. Its stacks and shelves of precious manuscripts include a ninth-century Quran, written on camel skin in elaborate Kufic script - the oldest form of Arabic calligraphy. Outside, an elderly man bobs along on his donkey as a coppersmith hammers a giant cauldron for wedding feasts into shape. ……………
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Fez city guide: Where to eat, drink, shop and stay in Morocco’s cultural capital

How to make the most of a trip to the Moroccan second city

Sarah Gilbert

At the heart of Fez is the world’s largest living medieval medina district, a car-free jumble of souks, palaces, mosques and monuments, and more than 9,000 alleyways to get lost in.
Morocco’s oldest and arguably most fascinating imperial city may have lagged behind Marrakech when it comes to boutique riads and stylish eateries, but there’s a subtle transformation underway. Ancient buildings are being restored, designers are breathing new life into age-old crafts and chefs are turning market produce into gourmet fare…………..

Moroccan Researchers: ‘Persisting Social Inequalities Impede Economic Growth’

By Tamba François Koundouno - July 3, 2018 Rabat

The Centre Marocain de Conjoncture (CMC), a Casablanca-based economic research institute, has revealed in its latest annual report that “persisting social inequalities” are hurting Morocco’s economic growth, barring the country’s ultimate dream of asserting itself as a developed country. Titled “Persisting Inequalities: An Impediment to Growth,” CMC’s 2018 report presents Morocco as a country of persisting socio-economic disparities. According to CMC researchers, while the North African country’s economic path has gained international praise from investors and financial institutions, the gap between poor and rich Moroccans has “considerably widened” in the last decade………….
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Discovering the breezy Moroccan beach town of Essaouira

travel  By Amy Laughinghouse - Special to the American-Statesman  Saturday, June 30, 2018

While the sun, sand and surf remain constant, Essaouira has changed over the years.
Baked by the North African sun and buffeted by a persistent ocean breeze, the Moroccan coastal city of Essaouira lies about three hours west of Marrakesh. But its wave-lashed walled medina, wedged between the wild and windy Atlantic and an arc of modern suburbs, seems to exist in a parallel universe that transcends geographical boundaries. Essaouira is an improbable mishmash of ancient Arabic and Berber culture, groovy surfer dude vibes and 21st-century Boho chic. It’s a mix of bustling souks and high-end art galleries, fishing shacks and sushi bars, traditional hammams and detox yoga retreats. The sort of place where you can take a camel ride on the beach in the morning and visit the organic Val d’Argan winery in the afternoon…………

Morocco: Lose yourself in Marrakech.

By: Kate Haywood

Lose yourself in the colour and charm of this ancient city, writes Kate Haywood. Alcohol is not readily available in Marrakech. No matter, because this chaotic and exotic melting-pot of civilisations is still completely intoxicating. Here's how to fill your cup and drink it up in the Jewel of Morocco……………..

Business Brief: Diversifying Mix Tops Morocco’s Energy Strategy – Wants US Investors – Jean R. AbiNader

On April 19, the US State Department hosted the second US-Morocco Strategic Energy Working Group meeting bringing together Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy Sandra Oudkirk and Director General Amina Benkhadra, of Morocco’s National Bureau of Petroleum and Mines. Benkhadra has previously served as Minister of Energy in Morocco, has participated in numerous international conferences on energy issues, and is credited with being a major force behind Morocco’s progressive energy policies…………… ==============================================================

It’s more than just a game: How golf and the film industry are improving Morocco’s economic landscape.

Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.)

NBC Universal’s Golf Channel recently produced a special on Morocco, Golf Gaining Popularity in Morocco, and has conducted a number of interviews this week during the Hassan II pro golf tournament, the Trophée Hassan II, hosted in Morocco’s capital city of Rabat. The American public is learning more about Morocco’s half-century love affair with golf thanks to recent headline articles in the Wall Street Journal and this week’s special programming on NBC’s golf channel. Golf in Morocco had been fairly limited since its beginnings in Tangier in the 1920s until it caught the attention and great interest of King Hassan II, becoming his favorite sport, and since the 1970s has taken off in Morocco. The country now boasts more than 30 world class golf courses, some with top ten rankings and pro tour quality, and several of the King’s palaces throughout the country house private courses within their walls. Today, golf in Morocco accounts for hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue from tourism and related services…………………

Brazil’s Television Series Jesus Filming in Morocco’s Ouarzazate

By Morocco World News -  July 2, 2018

The rich elegance of Morocco serves as design inspiration for home goods

By Diane Cowen June 27, 2018

Rich colors, hints of gold and exotic shapes define a style we think of as Moroccan inspired. Whether or not you've visited the North African nation, its beautiful style blends with American tastes. Imagine a metal lantern on your patio; a curvy, gilded mirror in a bathroom; or a glittery pendant light in a hallway or foyer. Moroccan style brings elegance and just a touch of mystery….

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