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Morocco Week in Review 
July 21, 2018

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web Girls Pass Morocco’s Baccalaureate than Boys: Ministry Statistics

By Safaa Kasraoui -  July 18, 2018 Rabat

The Ministry of Education has released statistics on students who obtained their Baccalaureate in the 2017-2018 academic year. Girls account for 53.73 percent of the students who passed the exams. The ministry said in a statement that a total of 238,550 students enrolled in both private and public schools, passed the Baccalaureate exams. The number represents a graduation pass rate of 71.91 percent, an increase from 65.20 percent in 2017.

69 Year-Old Moroccan Passes Baccalaureate Exam

By Morocco World News - July 17, 2018 Rabat

An elderly Moroccan has shown that it is never too late to finish school after he earned his Baccalaureate in the June exams. The 69-year-old, named Lahcen Chakiri, passed with a mark of 11.26. With help and support from teachers at Youssef Ibn Tachfine high school and Boumalene Dades high school, Chakiri was able to pass the rigorous test.  Chakiri was forced to drop out of the Boumalene Dades high school in 1967. He returned to the same school this year to pass the Baccalaureate…..

Baccalaureate Exam: Moroccan Special Needs Student Conquers Disability

By Ahlam Ben Saga -  June 25, 2018 Rabat

Nothing could drive Z’hour Ansar away from achieving success in her baccalaureate exams, not even the fact that she does not have hands. Ansar’s courage and positive attitude have inspired Moroccan social media users. In an interview with Moroccan news site Hespress, Ansar described how she passed the baccalaureate exam, then spoke of her dreams and ambition to succeed in life and not allow her disability to get in the way. Ansar could have relied on the help of an assistant based on the Ministry of Education’s new initiative to adapt baccalaureate exams for special needs candidates.

Morocco’s Education: Private Schools Receive Only 14% of Students

By Tarek Bazza - July 17, 2018 Rabat

Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, and Scientific Research Said Amzazi has presented figures of the 2017-2018 school year at the 14th session of the Higher Council of Education. Of Morocco’s 7,031,355 students, 1 out of 7 are enrolled in private schools. Although many Moroccan parents enroll their children in private schools, there are still more students in public schools. While over 6 million students go to public schools, just under 1 million go to private schools. …………
============================================================== the Seeds, Not the Weeds

By Katherine O’Neill  HAF Intern / Student at Claremont McKenna College

Last week, from June 21st to June 24th, 2018, the High Atlas Foundation facilitated a four-day women’s empowerment workshop in a village outside Essouaira called Izourane. The Imagine workshop was designed by the Empowerment Institute in New York for the purpose of fostering self-discovery and independence. HAF has been conducting Imagine workshops for rural and urban Moroccan women since 2012 as part of its Women’s Empowerment program. HAF’s workshops integrate Moroccan family code (Moudawana) with self-reflection and international human rights principles to give oppressed women a voice to discover their social and economic goals.

On the first day of the workshop, the women are asked to consider their visions for the future. Most often, the women have to response to this request; they have never had the opportunity to consider their own goals and desires. By discussing the following seven areas of life: Emotions, Relationships, Sexuality, Body, Money, Work, and Spirituality, the workshop aims to help the women develop their self-perception and broaden their horizons for future plans….
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Investment in Sami’s Project Swiftly Transforming Communities

By Julia Al-Akkad  HAF Intern

The High Atlas Foundation’s initiation of Sami’s Project in 2011 led to remarkable success throughout the rural communities of the Kingdom of  Morocco. The sustainable development project seeks to improve the education system by creating green spaces through distributing and planting trees at local schools. The green spaces encourage the transformation of students into environmental agents, in which they develop an appreciation for their surrounding environment, while building innovative agricultural techniques to aid students in the future. Inspired by Sami, who passed away at five years old amidst his struggle with cancer, the project upholds his admirable devotion and gratitude for the environment around him. His story empowers students across Morocco to transform into environmental stewards. Through cooperation of the organizers, volunteers, teachers and students, Sami’s Project instills the core values of fellowship, mutual respect, trust and dedication. …..

Artistry, flavor blends are marks of Moroccan.

By Daniel Neman  / St. Louis Post-Dispatch /  July 10, 2018

Morocco travelogues of the 1940s and 1950s were inevitably titled “Morocco: Land of Mystery” or “The Riddle of Morocco.” But surely you can learn all you need to know about any country just by cooking and eating its food. Much Moroccan food is cooked slowly, methodically – even thoughtfully. The flavors have a long time to build and meld and blend together until they become a singular taste; you can no longer distinguish the individual ingredients. There is an art to making many of the classic Moroccan dishes, almost a ritual. Couscous – the tiny pasta that acts like a grain – is perhaps the defining dish of the country, where it is eaten every day. It is prepared with much effort in a special pot called a couscoussier and is steamed three times before serving………..

The next step for cooperatives is certification

By Amy Zhang Marrakech

This week we celebrate the United Nations International Day of Cooperatives, commemorated every year on the first Saturday of July. Cooperatives’ success in sustainable development, wealth creation, and poverty alleviation give many hope for an equitable future. As we commend cooperatives, it is important to recognize and understand how they function.
Cooperatives are largely based on the Rochdale Society in 1844 from England. In a time of terrible working conditions and low wages, this group of poor, English weavers  struggled to buy basic goods, like flour. Without a rich, capitalist donor, the members all pooled their money to collectively purchase necessities. Their contribution earned them a say in the management of the association, and an equitable distribution of the net profits.
============================================================== Transit to Integration: A Moroccan Initiative for Community Development

By Nathan Park  HAF Intern

International migration from sub-Saharan Africa towards Europe and the United States has significantly increased over the past decade. These migration trends, especially towards Europe, directly influence migration patterns to other North African countries. The specific migration pull and push factors vary depending on each country and individual, but economic reasons remain a primary factor. According to Pew Research Center, in 1990, 40 percent of sub-Saharan African migrants moved for economic reasons, by 2013, this number had increased to 90 percent.

In 2015, the UNHCR gathered that over 1 million refugees, displaced people groups, and migrants fled to the EU in order to escape conflict or seek better economic opportunities. This resulted in further militarization of EU borders in attempts to manage what the European Commision called an “unprecedented displacement crisis.” They confirmed that EU’s stricter border control initiatives have lowered the number of irregular migrants (those without legal paperwork) entering and have made “transit countries” more permanent residences for many migrants.
The Kingdom of Morocco is one such country.

According to Mehdi Lahlou from Istituto Affari Internazionali, an estimated 5,003 irregular migrants in 2010 used the western Mediterranean route, primarily Morocco, to access Europe. In 2014, this number increased to 7,842. The number of illegal entrances into Europe has decreased since 2015 due to these border restrictions, but migration flows to and from Morocco continue.

Fascinating! Goats are acrobatically climbing Argan trees in Morocco

by Adedeji Ademola, July 17, 2018

The Argan tree, botanically referred to as Argania Spinosa in all sense is a rare and special tree popularly found in the semi-deserts of southwestern Morocco. Although the Argan tree can also be found in Algeria, some parts of Israel and Jordan, it is in Morocco that the largest chunk of this protective tree covering about 800,000 hectares in the country can be found. Apart from the multiplicity of its uses, the Argan tree is particularly a sight to behold thanks in large part to the hordes of goats that normally dotted the trees especially during the late spring and early summer period…
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MENA Youth and Women Most at Risk from Job Crisis

By Morocco World News  - July 16, 2018 By Maria Kuiper Rabat

The looming growth of unemployment has menaced the Middle East and North Africa since the beginning of the Arab Spring in late 2010. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), headquartered in the United States, recorded the region’s unemployment rate at 25 percent—the highest in the world—before the Arab Spring began. The International Labour Organization (ILO) ranks North Africa as having the worst regional unemployment rate in the world, with women and youth especially at risk. ILO states that in 2018, North Africa will “remain at a steady 8.7 million”. It also mentions that
five million Middle Easterners will face unemployment and one-third of those unemployed will be women. People aged 15 to 30 in the Middle East and North Africa make up 60 percent of the region’s entire population, according to IMF……

Improvement of Preschool Education in Morocco Requires Annual Budget of MAD 3 Billion: Minister

By Safaa Kasraoui - July 13, 2018 Rabat 

The Minister of Education, Vocational Training and Scientific Research, Said Amzazi, said that the development of preschool education necessitates an annual budget of MAD 3 billion.
In his presentation held on Thursday, July 12 in front of the Government Council, Amzazi said that his ministry will launch a national program of generalization and reform of the pre-primary education in Morocco. According to Amzazi, the ministry will launch the program on July 18 to include the 2018-2019 academic year and will run to 2028……………..
============================================================== Struggle for Democracy in Morocco

07.15.2018 An interview with Maati Monjib

Morocco saw only modest change during the Arab Spring. But a series of pro-democracy movements has shaken its repressive regime. spite of its liberal image abroad, Morocco tolerates little dissent at home. On June 27, fifty-two activists tied to recent protests in the state’s northern Rif region were sentenced to prison terms. Those convicted included the leader of the so-called Al-Hirak movement — Nasser Zefzafi, handed a twenty-year sentence for “plotting to attack national security.” From October 2016 to summer 2017, the Rif — especially the Mediterranean coastal city of Al-Hoceima — saw unprecedented protests centered around regional identity and economic justice. The movement was the country’s largest since 2011, when Morocco’s version of the Arab Spring ushered in modest constitutional reforms. The nation remains a hereditary monarchy ruled by King Mohammed VI….

New Voices to the Old: Sprouting Progress in Marrakech’s Mellah

By Aichatou Haidara & Aanya Salot HAF Interns

On the 24th of May, the office of the High Atlas was brimming with a total of 91 people as the High Atlas Foundation staff and the people of Marrakech’s Mellah gathered for Iftar, the breaking of fast. Marrakech’s Mellah proves to be a religious and geographical testimony to the historic coexistence of the Jewish minority within the Muslim community, in an economically vulnerable setting. These members of the community who attended the event were divided into three rooms, each, equipped with at least one High Atlas Foundation staff member that lead the project prioritizing sessions….
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