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Morocco Week in Review 
June 1, 2019

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

US City Alexandria to Host Second Phase of Morocco Day in June

The first phase held in Washington D.C was dedicated to business.

Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. May 14, 2019 Rabat

The city of Alexandria in Virginia will host the second phase of Morocco Day, an event to pay tribute to Morocco’s culture and diversity in the US. The cultural symposium, which will be organized by the Moroccan American Network,  will take place on June 8-9. The Moroccan American Network is an organization dedicated to creating business opportunities for Moroccan small enterprises in the US and were responsible for the Morocco Day event held in Washington March.

Revere, Massachusetts to Host Third Annual Moroccan Cultural Day

The event will highlight the culture of the Moroccan population in the area, which is estimated to account for at least 10% of Revere’s population.

Rural uliette Owen-Jones is a journalist and editor at Morocco World News.May 17, 2019Rabat

Moroccan American Connections in Revere Association (MACIR), a nonprofit organization which aims to empower the local Moroccan American community, will host its third annual Moroccan Cultural Day on Saturday, June 22.The event will be held in collaboration with the city of Revere, 5 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, and aims to highlight the culture of the growing Moroccan population in the area, which is estimated to account for at least 10% of Revere’s population.The festival, which is free and open to the public, will feature Moroccan food, live music, henna tattoo art, and local Moroccan vendors.

Moroccan Women Contribute to the Dior’s Cruise 2020 Show

Dior requested 250 pieces of pottery for their show, which required the work of four rural tribes and several months.

By -Juliette Owen-Jones is a journalist and editor at Morocco World News.May 6, 2019 Rabat

Iconic French fashion house Dior chose Marrakech’s historic 16th century El Badi Palace as the backdrop for a fashion show in honor of its Cruise 2020 collection on April 29.
In an Instagram post, the brand explained that creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri chose Marrakech as a location because “the city across centuries has drawn a stream of influential travelers, artists and creatives, from former Dior Creative Director Yves Saint Laurent to novelist and philosopher Albert Camus, photographers Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn, and more.”

Why do Moroccans Tell Foreigners to Fast?

For expats, Ramadan is a month of invitations to iftars but also invitations to fast.

By Morocco World News - May 15, 2019 By Teresa Lynn Hasan-Kerr Rabat

Morocco has a large expat population. Many foreigners call it a “transit country” or, in traveler lingo, an ideal place to visit en route to another destination. That is not to say that Morocco doesn’t have its expat nesters who leave behind their old country to build a life in Morocco. For those who choose to call Morocco their home, Moroccan practices steadily bleed into their own lifestyle ‒ seeing time as an endless resource is just one example. However, some traditions are not easy for an expat to adopt. For example, to fully experience customs revolving around food, such as couscous every Friday, depend on having a family there to share it with, when many expats in Morocco are without family ‒ myself included.

Ramadan is Not About Boulimia but About Caring and Sharing

Islam is a communitarian and collectivist religion that cares very much about the welfare of the individual within his social group and the solidarity of society and its inclusiveness.

By Mohamed Chtatou - Dr. May 14, 2019 Rabat

It prescribes good relations between members of society because if society is strong and healthy, the Ummah, or community, will undoubtedly fare well. It also prescribes respect for other religions and cultures and the search for peace and brotherhood between humanity worldwide. ======================================

Five Descriptions of Morocco in Contemporary Online Literature.

Here is a list of contemporary essays which guide the reader to the Moroccan streets

By Teresa Kerr - May 25, 2019 Rabat

While it’s possible to explore Morocco in person, an alternative is traveling through literature. Online literary magazines are some of the best places to find current stories about experiences in Morocco, an ancient nation, in the 21st century. Below is a list of contemporary nonfiction that take the reader through Moroccan streets. Items on the list are organized first by title, then excerpt, summary, and finally info on the writer.

‘Win-Win:’ France to Support Morocco’s Tech Industry

France says it will help build-up Morocco’s tech industry through training and development, ensuring a “win-win” for both countries.

Margot Eliason is a writer at Morocco World News. May 20, 2019

The French State Secretary for Digital Affairs Cedric O has stated that France will offer support to Morocco’s tech industry, helping build the capacity of Moroccan start-ups through training and development. O addressed the Moroccan Press Agency (MAP) at the annual Vivatech conference in Paris, a technology exhibit bringing together together more than 9000 start-ups and 1900 investors from all over the world. Sixteen Moroccan start-ups attended Vivatech this year, raising Morocco’s international profile in the tech industry.

New Survey Shows High Rates of Violence Against Women in Morocco

Government survey reveals 52.5%% of married women in Morocco have experienced domestic violence.

Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. May 15, 2019 Rabat

 The Minister of Family, Solidarity, Equality, and Social Development Bassima Hakkaoui shared alarming data on Tuesday, showing that violence against women is still prevalent. The data is collected from preliminary results of the second National Survey on the prevalence of violence against women in Morocco. The findings of the survey show that the rates of violence against women stand at 54.4% nationwide. Hakkaoui said that the rate of violence against women in urban areas is 55.8 % in rural areas, while the rate of domestic violence in rural areas was slightly lower at 51.6 %. The ministry conducted its nationwide survey between January 2 and March 10.

Behind the Books: Rabat’s Only All-English Bookshop

For more than three decades, Mohammed Belhaj has been taking the same hour-long walk to his all-English bookshop, the only one of its kind in Morocco’s capital city.

Anton interned with Morocco World News as a news correspondent and staff photographer from March 2019 to May 19, 2019 Rabat

If you don’t have wrinkles on your forehead, says Mohammed Belhaj, the books you’re reading aren’t making you think enough. This is one of the many book-related life mottos the owner of Rabat’s only all-English bookstore lives by. On most days sunlight streams into Belhaj’s narrow shop as he affectionately dusts off spines and meticulously checks that each book is placed on the right shelf. The wrinkles on his forehead are accentuated by the beams of light reflecting off the glasses perched on his nose. “These are all of my children,” Belhaj told Morocco World News, gesturing at the—by his own estimation—10,000 books in his store. “They make me feel all the emotions between happy and sad. They shape my personality every day.”

Ministry of Culture Announces Expansion of Theaters Across Morocco

Theater spaces will be improved in 14 cities by the end of the year, according to the Ministry of Culture.

By-Juliette Owen-Jones is a journalist and editor at Morocco World News.May 17, 2019 Rabat

In honor of National Theater Day on May 14, Morocco’s Ministry of Culture announced it will widen the network of theaters across the country and improve infrastructure. In a statement, the Ministry of Culture said it is actively working on improving theater spaces in the cities of Al-Hoceima, Zmamra, Tamesna, Sraghna, Chichawa, Rissani, Taroudant, Ifrane, Taounat, Tetouan, Tangier, Debdou, Khémisset, and Sidi Slimane by the end of the year. On National Theater Day, the Ministry consulted with regional and provincial governments as well as civil societies to put into place a national program of activities which “cover all of the Kingdom’s cultural centers, theaters, and entertainment venues.” ===========================

Four Must-See Sites in Fez, Morocco’s ‘Cultural Capital’

Fez is Morocco's oldest imperial city, making it home to some of Morocco's historical mosques and madrassas. Here 4 of some of the most fascinating sites in Fez and the stories behind them.

Juliette Owen-Jones is a journalist and editor at Morocco World News.May 17, 2019

Fez is famed for its tanneries and for good reason. The rows and rows of symmetrical holes filled with dye are mesmerizing and make for an amazing photo. To access the view, one must pass through one of the shops selling leather goods made at the tannery to get to a viewing terrace. It is recommended you keep your wits about you while passing through as to not get scammed, because this is a highly touristic area. The shopkeepers will beckon you in to view their terrace, and you must always ask what it costs before agreeing so you are not shocked when you are asked for an exorbitant fee on your way out.

Low Students’ Participation in EFL Classrooms: Causes and Suggested Solutions

In the context of learning English as a second language, active verbal participation on the part of the students is essential.

By Aziz Ghannaj - May 19, 2019 Rabat

It is widely believed that when students are encouraged to speak the foreign language in the classroom setting, either with their teachers or classmates, they find themselves participating in the “negotiation of meaning.” In other words, they are forced into clarifying their thoughts, intentions, and opinions by expressing them. As a teacher, I have observed many students abstaining from active class participation. This phenomenon in EFL classrooms is widely recognized by teachers and practitioners. Opinions vary but many teachers agree that the reasons for this phenomenon are complex and multi-faceted.
====================================== STEM Summer Camp

Campaign Objective: Help empower 100 girls from 10 villages across Morocco with STEM skills during Summer camp!
Read more here:!/

In Pictures: Hiking to the Summit of Morocco’s Mt. Toubkal

Standing at 4,167 meters, Mt. Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, is Morocco’s top hiking destination and considered to be one of the world's most beautiful places.

Anton interned with Morocco World News as a news correspondent and staff photographer from March to May 2019. May 25, 2019 Imlil

Considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, Mt. Toubkal dominates the skyline of the small village of Imlil, located in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The mountain’s summit is at an altitude of 4,167 meters, which makes it the largest peak in North Africa. The second tallest mountain in the region is Mt. Ouanoukrim (4,089 meters), which is also located in Morocco. Mt. Toubkal’s first recorded ascent was on June 12, 1923 by European mountaineers Marquis de Segonzac, Vincent Berger and Hubert Dolbeau.

French TV Channel TF1 Highlights Beauty of Fez’ Old City.

The television channel dedicated a six-minute segment to a week-long trip through the ancient city of Fez, highlighting some of the city’s cultural and historical landmarks.

Mohammed Amine Benabou is a BA holder in English Studies and an MA student majoring in Cultural Studies and Linguistics at the English Department, Ibn-Tofail University. Apr 30, 2019 Rabat

The French television channel TF1 aired a six-minute segment on Morocco’s cultural capital of Fez, called “A Weekend in Fes: Exploring the Largest Medina in the World,” on Saturday, April 27.
Presented by Audrey Crespo-Mara and narrated by Pierre Gallaccio, the segment takes viewers on a journey into the heart of the city, navigating its narrow maze-like alleyways and lively souks.

The Challenges of Morocco’s Many Languages Lead to Academic Debate.

The Moroccan language debate over Darija, Amazigh, Arabic, French, and English asks which ones should be prioritized for new generations of Moroccan students.

Morgan Reisinger is a soon-to-be-graduated history and international studies dual major at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts. May 5, 2019 Worcester, Massachusetts

 During an informative lecture in Morocco in November 2016, respected Kuwaiti businessman and scholar Tareq Al-Suwaidan became frustrated when he found only French instructions as he tried to set up his microphone. He condemned the language for its uselessness in the contemporary world and insisted that Moroccans quickly make English a priority.

Saffron: The World's Most Luxurious Spice | Recipe Friday

March 1, 2019 Africa, Culinary, Europe Gillian Salerno-Rebic

What adjectives come to mind when you think of spices? Earthy. Bold. Hot. Peppery. What about expensive and delicate? Saffron, sometimes called Red Gold, is the most expensive spice in the world and not many people know how to cook with it or even why it is so expensive. One of Morocco’s leading exports, saffron is actually the stigma, or female flower organ, of the crocus sativus, or the purple Crocus flower.

Where to Buy a Magic Carpet.

March 27, 2019 Kylie, Africa Kylie Chenn

When I was a young girl, I was fascinated with the story of a boy named Aladdin, a genie, a princess, and a magic carpet. These stories captured my imagination even though I knew that magic carpets didn’t exist. Or do they?
While visiting the beautiful country of Morocco, I stopped into a local Bedouin's (textile) shop and purchased a carpet. A carpet which the shopkeeper said was special from all the other carpets in his store. He explained to me that this carpet was magic. Now I don’t believe in magic, but this carpet is pretty extraordinary. Let me explain why...
I bought this rug 3 years ago and flew it over 5,000 miles home with me to Los Angeles, USA. Right away  I sent it to the dry cleaner to have it cleaned.

Ten Things to Know Before Traveling to Morocco

February 27, 2019 Africa, Tips Preethi Chandrasekhar

Morocco is a North African country that borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It has long been on my bucket list and I am fascinated with the myriad of cultural influences that have shaped this country. I hope to explore Morocco this year, and in anticipation of this trip I have put together a list of things one should know before traveling to Morocco.

Marocopedia: The Mini-documentaries Safeguarding Moroccan Heritage

Marocopedia website publishes free mini-documentaries about Morocco, sharing the unique and often untold stories that shape the country’s heritage. Morocco World News learns more.

Margot Eliason is a writer at Morocco World News. May 18, 2019 Rabat

Every October, high in the Anti-Atlas mountains of Morocco, the women of Amalou village prepare pomegranate molasses, using an ancient technique handed down through generations. Grinding the ruby fruit by hand in a stone mill, they collect the pink juice in big terracotta jars, then cook it for 24 hours over a wood fire. The molasses, or “amaghouss” in Tamazight (Berber), was used as a natural medicine, Soltana and Meriem tell us in a two and a half minute documentary. You can learn about amaghouss, and hundreds of other unique cultural, historical and natural features of Morocco on “Marocopedia”.

Associations Plant ‘Fraternity’ Trees in Houses of Worship in Morocco and Abroad.

20 Moroccan associations engaged in a tree-planting initiative in holy places to commemorate victims of the Casablanca terrorist bombings.

By -Mohammed Amine Benabou is a BA holder in English Studies and an MA student majoring in Cultural Studies and Linguistics at the English Department, Ibn-Tofail University. May 18, 2019 Rabat

On Friday, May 17, a number of associations launched an environmental initiative in Morocco’s economic capital, Casablanca, where young people honored three places of worship of the three monotheistic religions with trees. Themed “the Olive Tree of Fraternity,” the initiative involved planting three olive trees in the Zaouia Harakia Kadiria mosque in the old medina, the Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes Catholic cathedral, and Neve Shalom Synagogue.

Charif Al-Idrisi: Revisiting the Biography of the Greatest Geographer

Among the Moroccan historical figures who contributed to globalization and science, and developed the way we understand philosophy and politics, is the geographer and traveler Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani as-Sabti. Also known as Charif al-Idrisi, the Moroccan explorer is renowned for his relationship with the king of Sicily, Roger II.

By Abdellah Boussouf - May 29, 2019 Rabat

King Roger II invited Charif al-Idrisi to his kingdom and gave him a high ranking in the kingdom’s scientific circles. He also named  Charif al-Idrisi as head of a group of scientists, scholars, historians, and geographers to establish a world map with new scientific specifications, benefiting from the experience of seasoned travelers and the knowledge of traders, sailors, and explorers. The Moroccan geographer’s scientific and cognitive input, which span over 15 years of work, investigation, and scrutiny, key to the development of the world map which was engraved on a large silver plate and in a book called “Nuzhat al-Mushtaq Fi Khtirak Al Afaq.” (The Excursion of the One Who Yearns to Penetrate the Horizons — Library of Congress translation).

Start-up Business Campus Coming to Morocco

The Moroccan Minister for Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy has stated that he intends to set up a start-up incubation campus in Morocco, inspired by Station F in Paris.

Margot Eliason is a writer at Morocco World News. May 23, 2019

Station F in Paris is the largest campus dedicated to start-up businesses in the world, fostering innovation and supporting entrepreneurs with their projects through its acceleration programs. The campus covers an area of 34,000 square meters, and includes over 3000 workstations as well as conference spaces, cafés and restaurants. Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy wants to bring a similar innovation hub to Morocco. “The National Digital Agency will look in to this project with those in charge of Station F in Paris,” Elalamy stated at the annual Vivatech conference in Paris last week.

Hasan al-Wazzan: Leo Africanus or the Oppressed Legend

History has taught us about the contribution of many Moroccan figures to influencing the course of our country’s past. Amazighi Yuba II, an ancient king of Morocco, the globetrotter Mustafa Azemmouri, Ibn Battuta, and Moses ben Maimon, commonly known as Maimonides, among others have left a lasting impact on Moroccan history.

By Abdellah Boussouf -May 23, 2019 Rabat

Other historical figures have been sadly left out of the limelight, leaving us ignorant of their stories and lasting influence. One such legend is Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Wazzan al-Fasi. Al-Fasi was welcomed by Pope Leo X at the Papal headquarters in Rome, having been captured in 1518 while returning home from Pilgrimage. “A man with art and knowledge is always welcomed among us, not as a servant but as a protector,” said Pope Leo X to Hasan al-Wazzan as a welcoming speech.  The description paints Hasan al-Wazzan as no average man, bestowing on the traveler his widely famous family name, Leo de’ Medici, as a show of respect and acceptance. The globetrotter name, thus, became ‘Leo Africanus.’

The Quranic Calls for Inter-faith Dialogue

Dialogue gives us the opportunity to listen to, to argue, agree to disagree, negotiate, and explore almost anything without losing self- confidence, temper, patience, and dignity. It is the only peaceful, civilized and humanistic approach towards negotiation and allows us to find the solutions for all divergent issues, conflicts, and disputes, and confrontation within various religious groups.

By Meraj Ahmad Meraj - May 18, 2019 India

Inter-faith dialogue addresses all these issues and tries to find amicable solutions to them. Interfaith dialogue is a creative encounter. It is an attempt to understand the people of other faiths.
Interfaith dialogue tries to harmonize the religious groups in such a way that their common features such as brotherhood, love, compassion, tolerance, and mutual respect can be shared. Interfaith dialogue promotes intercultural values and peace-building initiatives to lay the foundation for peaceful coexistence, harmony, and brotherhood.

Moroccan Researcher Wins Prize for Science Progress in Romania

Moroccan scientist and researcher, Kamal Daissoui, has been awarded the Knight of the Order Prize for Progress in Science in Romania.

By Morocco World News - May 20, 2019 Rabat

The Head of the Moroccan School of Engineering Sciences (EMSI), Kamal Daissaoui, received the Knight of the Order prize for science and invention progress in Romania on Saturday. “It is a great honor for Morocco and a pride for me,” he said. Speaking about the award, Daissaoui said that the prize was awarded to him as part of the  European Exhibition of Creativity and Innovation (Euroinvent) held from May 16-18 at Palace of Culture Iasi.

56% of Americans Don’t Want Kids Taught Arabic Numerals

A study carried out by CivicScience Inc., a research firm based in Pittsburgh US, has revealed that 56% of Americans ‘don’t want children taught Arabic numerals’ in American schools.

By Morocco World News - May 19, 2019 Rabat

The poll was put to 3,200 Americans, who were asked whether or not they think the Arabic numeric system should be used in the US. Fifty-six percent of participants said no. Seemingly an education-related question devoid of controversy, the poll highlights the bias – unconscious or otherwise – of Americans against Arabs. The statistics show the ignorance of many Americans, as well as bigotry that is found increasingly throughout the US.

World Bank to Establish a Private Medical Faculty in Marrakech

Since 2010, the IFC has allocated $125 million to educational projects in the Middle East and Africa.

By Morocco World News - May 12, 2019 Rabat

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a loan agreement with KMR Holding Pedagogique to provide €14 million to establish a medical faculty at Marrakech Private University (UPM) and to expand medical training in both Morocco and Senegal to increase the number of health professionals. “The investment from IFC will help us grow into a leading pan-African education player, particularly in the healthcare,” said Mohamed Kabbadj, founder and CEO of KMR. He added, “It will also help up address fundamental educational issues, such as affordability and employability.” According to an IFC press release, KMR will also use the financing to expand the Saint Christopher Iba Mar Diop University of Medicine in Dakar, Senegal, and to provide it with a 250-bed student dormitory.

Moroccan Director Touzani Explores Social Stigma in New Film at Cannes

Adam, a film directed by Maryam Touzani from Tangier, screens at Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 21 and 23 to standing ovations.

By  Teresa Kerr  - May 21, 2019 Rabat

Moroccan director Maryam Touzani’s film, Adam, is about the reality of having a baby out of wedlock in Morocco. The story was inspired by a pregnant woman who was going door-to-door asking for work. “She was from a village and she was heavily pregnant. My mother had no work for her but was afraid to let her go… she wasn’t in a good way and had clearly nowhere to go,” Touzani said.”The girl had been going door-to-door, so my mother took her in for a few days until we worked something out.”

Morocco to Host 2nd Annual Interdisciplinary Summer School.

The 2nd annual interdisciplinary summer school in Morocco will take place from October 6-14, 2019 with the theme Identity in Transition.

By  Teresa Kerr  -May 21, 2019 Rabat

The Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Practical-Wisdom Society are holding a summer school consisting of a series of workshops on the concept of identity from a scientific viewpoint.
The organizations encourage international candidates from diverse fields to apply to their sessions, which offer a “stimulating, interdisciplinary exchange of research ideas and approaches.”

Morocco Working Towards University Scholarships for All Students.

With current statistics showing that 95% of Moroccan students receive scholarships from the Ministry of Education to attend university, the Government hopes to increase this number to 100%.

Margot Eliason is a writer at Morocco World News. May 21, 2019

The Government is working towards ensuring 100% of Moroccan students receive a university scholarship, the Moroccan Minister of Education Said Amzazi told Parliament on Monday. In response to a question about broadening scholarship eligibility in Morocco, Amzazi noted that 95% of students attending university currently receive a scholarship. Maghreb Press Agency (MAP) reported that, according to Amzazi, 382 000 students received a university scholarship during the 2018-2019 academic year.

How Morocco is already living in the future.


Brilliant achievements in sustainability in Morocco show that soon, the rest of the world may be looking to Africa to learn how to survive.

The media is littered with tired (and often Orientalist) stereotypes about Morocco, and headlines espousing doom and gloom predictions of climate change’s catastrophic impact on the world’s hottest continent. But in reality, the African country – situated on the north-western border – has single-handedly become a defiant beacon of hope. According to the 2019 Climate Change Performance Index, which ranks a country’s efforts to prevent climate change by a combination of factors (greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy) Morocco is the only country in Africa to have achieved a ‘high’ ranking (the highest score possible), making it the second best performing country in the entire world, beaten only by Sweden.

In Search of Ancient Morocco

South of Marrakesh, the Draa Valley still exerts an indefinable pull, retaining traces of its now almost-vanished Berber kingdom.   

By Aatish Taseer May 15, 2019

THE SHAMROCK GREEN of Casablanca graded into a flat plain of beige. From the tarmac itself, I could see the beige run into a towering wall of white — the Atlas Mountains. Edith Wharton, in her 1920 travelogue, “In Morocco,” had felt herself fall under the spell of the Atlas and the desert beyond as well. “Unknown Africa,” she writes, “seems much nearer to Morocco than to the white towns of Tunis and the smiling oases of South Algeria. One feels the nearness of Marrakech at Fez, and at Marrakech that of Timbuctoo.”

Drought sharpens Morocco nomads-farmers dispute

Ismail Bellaouali AFP May 18, 2019 Tiznit (Morocco)

"We refuse to be confined to a cage," declares nomadic herder Mouloud, asserting the rights and customs of his kin as they graze livestock in Morocco's southern expanses. But the herders' determination to roam freely has brought them into dispute with crop farmers in the region of Souss. In the village of Arbaa Sahel, arable farmer Hmad and many of his peers are enraged by herds stomping through wheat and corn fields. Drought has turned parts of these plateaus arid, and when water becomes scarce, tensions rise -- several clashes have been reported by local media in recent months, as the herders seek pasture.
The battle is also playing out on social networks.

Morocco: A trove of Jewish history if you know where to go

May 22nd, 2019 by Associated Press NEW YORK

With its mountains and desert, beach resorts and Berber villages, Morocco is a feast for travelers of all kinds, including those who want to explore the kingdom's deep Jewish roots. The presence of Jews in Morocco stretches back more than 2,000 years. Before the founding of Israel in 1948, estimates put their number as high as about 275,000, which was considered the largest Jewish community in the Muslim world, said Roy Mittelman, director of the Jewish studies program at The City College of New York. Today, after vast waves of departures over the years, only about 2,000 Jews remain in Casablanca and about 500 elsewhere in Morocco, but the Jewish presence is still alive in a variety of sights. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism in suburban Casablanca, for instance, is the only museum on Judaism in the Arab world.

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