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Morocco Week in Review 
May 18, 2019

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

WB Loans Morocco $55 mln to Develop Youth Employability


The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a $55 million loan to develop youth employability programs in the Marrakech-Safi region of Morocco. The Supporting the Economic Inclusion of Youth project will finance an innovative approach that combines training for lower skilled youth, support for potential entrepreneurs and investments in local businesses in promising value chains, the World Bank Group said in a press release.
The project will draw on lessons learned from past programs aimed at developing the capacity of local authorities to address unemployment by connec

US Green Card Lottery Results Are Out

Results of the electronic Diversity Visa Lottery are currently available at the official website starting May 7.

By Morocco World News - May 8, 2019 Rabat

Results of the Diversity Visa Lottery, or the Green Card Lottery, for immigration to the United States, for the year 2020, are currently accessible at the US State Department’s website. The results of the 2020 lottery will remain available on the website until September 30, 2020, according to the US Department.

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. ======================================

In Morocco, can education stem undocumented migration?

By Rebecca Root// 13 May 2019 MARRAKECH, Morocco

While the Moroccan government looks to Spain to provide education programs in hopes of stemming the flow of migrants and retaining its young people, sector professionals question whether the plan can work. Last year, 62,000 arrivals made it to Spanish territory, 21% of whom were from Morocco. A further 13,721 attempted to enter Spain but were unsuccessful. Some cross the Strait of Gibraltar in inflatable boats; while others climb fences in an effort to reach the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla, which have a land border with Morocco.

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.”

To be in Marrakesh on that morning in late February was to feel the nearness not of the Sahara but of Stansted and Orly. The “great nomad camp” of the south — which had once attracted the Tuareg, the West African tribe who had plied the caravan route through the Sahara since at least the fifth century B.C. and were known as “the blue people” of the desert because of their indigo-dyed robes — was awash with the tourist trash of Europe — the EasyJet set. This was a city where glamorous European families, such as the Agnellis, owned houses, where the name of the garden designer Madison Cox, the widower of Pierre Bergé (Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Bergé, had fallen in love with Marrakesh in the 1960s) was whispered like a holy name among the demimonde. It was impossible now to smell Timbuktu in Marrakesh. Colonial

A glimpse of Berber life – trekking in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains

A short drive from Marrakech lies a heavenly retreat, stunning views and . . . tough climbs

Sat, Apr 27, 2019 Catherine Mack

The heart of a walnut is a delicious, nutritious and surprisingly beauteous thing. Such are my musings on a trekking tour of the High Atlas Mountains where, in the midday heat, I value the shade of the walnut trees on the arid red sandstone slopes. This inner beauty within a hard shell is a feature of Morocco: the Tardis-like riads of Marrakech that open into colourful lodgings; the centuries of artistry hidden behind the hard-core haggling of the souks; and here, in the High Atlas Mountains, the inner beauty and innate benevolence of the Berber people. Or the Amazigh, meaning “free people” as they prefer to be known. Mike McHugo has known all about these Berber qualities since the 1970s, when he first came trekking here. An adventurous traveller from England, his mountain guide back then was a Berber, Omar Ait Barmed, with whom he became good friends and went on to restore a ruined kasbah 20 years later.

Moroccan Rose Festival Celebrates Roses’ Economic and Cultural Value.

Morocco is the third biggest perfume rose producer in the world. The annual rose festival of Kelaat M’Gouna celebrates the flower’s important economic and cultural value.

Apr 29, 2019 Rabat

From April 24 to 28, the remote town of Kelaat M’Gouna in central Morocco hosted the 57th annual Rose Festival. The event, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, celebrates the region’s famous perfume rose industry. The annual festival draws industry professionals and tourists to the area, also called “the valley of the roses.” It includes scientific seminars and roundtables on the perfume rose industry as well as cultural and artistic activities showcasing the Amazigh (Berber) culture of the region.

It Isn’t Ramadan in Morocco Without Chebakia and Sellou

On Fridays, the majority of homes in Morocco serve couscous after afternoon (dhuhr) prayers. But some foods during the month of Ramadan are just as important as the famed Friday couscous.

By Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. May 11, 2019 Rabat

With Ramadan already here, and affecting everyday life in Morocco, Moroccans, especially women, are mobilizing to prepare delicious foods everyday to treat themselves and their families after a long fasting day. Two of the most common and special foods that make Ramadan a unique event at every home across Morocco are “chebakia” and “sellou.” While the holy month brings believers closer to God, it is also a special event that brings families together.

Archeologists Uncover Ancient Roman Moat Near Tetouan, Morocco

Archeologists from the University of Cadiz in Spain have discovered an ancient Roman moat near Tetouan, the first of its kind to be discovered in Morocco.

By-Margot Eliason is a writer at Morocco World News. May 9, 2019 Rabat

Archeologists from the University of Cadiz in Spain have discovered the ruins of a Roman moat at Tamuda, an archeology site near Tetouan in northern Morocco. The Spanish team has been excavating the Tamuda site for a decade. The research was primarily funded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and private Spanish organization Palarq.

Moroccan Scientist Develops New Cancer Treatment

Moroccan scientist Amin Hajitou has developed a new cancer treatment based on “virotherapy.”

By Margot Eliason is a writer at Morocco World News. May 8, 2019 Rabat

Moroccan scientist Amin Hajitou and his team at the Imperial College of London have developed a new cancer treatment based on “virotherapy.” The treatment involves using bacterial viruses that have been genetically modified to attack and destroy cancerous cells. These viruses are hypothesized to be able to attack all types of tumors, including brain tumors that are extremely aggressive and often considered incurable for a majority of patients a year after diagnosis.

Bonuses Bring Doctors to Rural Province of Tiznit, Morocco

The Provincial Council of Tiznit, a town about 90 kilometers South of Agadir, has launched a new bonus program to encourage medical professionals to work in the remote region.

Margot Eliason is a writer at Morocco World News. May 15, 2019 Rabat

On April 11, Abdellah Ghazi, president of the Tiznit provincial council, launched a new bonus program to bring private and public sector health professionals to remote parts of the Tiznit province in Southern Morocco. Funded by the Tiznit provincial council and the Joud Foundation, a charity set up by the Moroccan political party National Independent Group (RNI), the new program will provide MAD 8 million in bonuses to more than 160 medical staff in the Tiznit province, over a period of four years.

The Arab Spring Is Not Returning to Algeria and Morocco.

The uprising in Algiers matters to its nation neighbors, but it does not mean the country is on a path toward a regional revolution.

by Ahmed Charai May 7, 2019  

City quare-choking protests in Algiers and smaller parades of protestors in Morocco’s capital of Rabat had led some foreign observers to conclude that a new “Arab Spring” will soon topple governments in Algeria and Morocco. In reality, Algeria and Morocco are more different than their banal similarities—neighboring north African nations that were once ruled by French colonials, who practice Sufi or “moderate” forms of Islam—would suggest. These nations have made very different political choices over the more than half-century since colonialism ended, established different institutions and reacted to the dual crises of urban and rural unrest quite differently.

More Than 800,000 Moroccans Addicted to Cannabis, Opiates.

The Ministry of Health announced in January that 27,620 Drug Addicts Receive Treatment in Moroccan Rehabilitation Centers.

Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. May 8, 2019 Rabat

Moroccan experts have shared alarming statistics on addiction rates in Morocco. At an addiction conference held recently in Morocco, panelists announced that more than 800,000 Moroccans are addicted to cannabis and opiates. Shared by Moroccan newspaper Al Massae, the statistics show that such an issue also causes the spreading of several diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis and tuberculosis. Al Massae said that the experts collected the statistics from data  between 2003 and 2006, when 800,000 addicted people were identified.

Investing in aromatic roses in Morocco

The production of aromatic roses rose from 2,500 tonnes annually before the introduction of the Green Plan in 2007 to about 3,350 tonnes a year the past three years.


Figures indicate that Morocco’s rose-growing industry is reaping the benefits of the country’s Green Plan. Production and prices paid to producers have increased in recent years and are expected to grow further this season. The figures were revealed during the International Salon for Aromatic Roses in Morocco, which met in Kalaat M’Gouna.

Land of contrasts: Bustling cities give way to deserts, mountains in Morocco

NORMA MEYER San Diego Union-Tribune May 12, 201

In dizzyingly exotic Morocco, I'll scurry past snake charmers and lurching cobras, hang onto a bouncy camel for dear life and haggle for bargains in mysterious carpet-swathed ancient medinas. And now, in the serene far-flung mountains, I'm stooped inside a cubbyhole limestone cave watching a crouching 75-year-old Berber nomad named Ahmed hospitably brew mint tea for me while his baa-ing sheep graze nearby. A father of five with a weather-beaten, lined face, he's cloaked in a traditional beige djellaba robe and tagelmust turban wrapped on his head and under his chin's graying beard. Although he speaks no English, he welcomes a dozen of us who are on a rugged half-day hike in the spectacular sheer-sided Todra Gorge when we stumble into his rocky makeshift camp.

Mawazine 2019: Chellah Stage Will Celebrate Music of ‘Roma People’

The second largest festival in the world will gather 8 international artists to perform at its Chellah stage this year.

By -Juliette Owen-Jones is a journalist and editor at Morocco World News. May 13, 2019 Rabat

 Mawazine festival has announced that its Chellah stage “will pay tribute to the great musical traditions of the Roma people.” The stage at the Chellah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will “invite fans to explore the rhythms of the Roma people: from the confines of India and Afghanistan, its musicians migrated to Iran, Turkey and more to the east, through the Balkans and Andalusia, giving rise to the repertoires kathak, flamenco, gypsy and klezmer.” The festival will kick off at the Chellah stage on Saturday, June 22, with the Hindustani classical music group Kawa Generation. The group is a family ensemble, bringing together three generations of great musicians.

Morocco is a trove of Jewish history if you know where to go

By Leanne Italie, Associated Press  April 28, 2019 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.

Saint Veneration Among the Jews in Morocco

Saint Veneration among the Jews in Morocco, the only book in English on this topic, contains essential information about Moroccan Jewry not ...

Casablanca Fight Club

A parking attendant and former champion runs a boxing school for youngsters dreaming of being the next Rocky

Morocco, like much of North Africa, has often been portrayed in the West as mysterious and exotic, a land of belly dancers, enticement and Arab enchantment. This outmoded stereotype is firmly laid to rest by the country's burgeoning combat sports scene. In Casablanca Fight Club, the regional qualifying stage of the Moroccan amateur boxing championships is just weeks away and the young boxers at the Bateha club are training for the biggest fights of their lives. It's here that a 75-year-old parking attendant and former Moroccan featherweight champion, Saleh Rouman, mentors fresh young boxing talent.

A bittersweet defense and a reflection

May 11, 2019 by anny

kitchening modernity in north africa    scraps for dissertation stock
This has been the most bittersweet week of my life. At some point last Sunday my nerves and jitters about my dissertation defense dissipated into a warm appreciation for the long expanse of my graduate career: since 2010 I’ve been lucky to have a deep bench of mentors, advisors, and friends who played a role in my formation as a scholar and who supported my work unequivocally.
The day I defended my dissertation, one of the most important of my many teachers, role models, and supporters, my godmother Tona, died. I’ve taken the past several days both to grieve the loss and to reflect on the impact she had on my life. As horrible as the timing has been, the one advantage is that Tona’s death comes at the exact point in time I am best able to reflect on the work I’ve done over the past decade –– and as a result, her influence on me has never been clearer. To think through my dissertation is to take a tour through the role Tona played in my life and the many gifts she left me with.

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