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Morocco Week in Review 
January 25, 2020

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

An Arabic Adventure (RPCV Adriana Curto)

 By Alison Rooney January 17, 2020

Cold Spring resident returns from Peace Corps assignment in Morocco taking an interest in the Middle East in college, Adriana Curto wanted to improve her shaky Arabic language skills. She thought a two-year assignment in the Peace Corps would help, but its programs in Jordan and Tunisia had been discontinued for security reasons. That left her with one Arabic-speaking option: Morocco. “I clumped it in with the Middle East, not realizing how North African it is,” says Curto, who was known as “AJ” while growing up in Cold Spring. “I don’t think I’d ever met a Moroccan.”

Curto’s interest in the region was sparked during her freshman year at Syracuse University, where she lived in a “learning community” with a number of international students. She also took a class called Representations of the Middle East and, as a senior, spent a semester in Istanbul and later worked as a volunteer for five weeks at a refugee camp in southern Lebanon. “People were living at minimal standards,” she recalls. “I became enraged and confused over the situation. You watch the news and so much is displayed as negative and traumatic and a place of war and sadness. I knew going forward I wanted to be an advocate.”

After returning to Cold Spring, she applied for the Peace Corps, which sent her to Rabat, Morocco’s capital, for training, which included eight hours of daily lessons in Arabic. “We had a Moroccan facilitator who helped with anything and everything — how to eat with our hands, or how to use a public bathhouse where you’re scrubbed down for four hours by a group of women! It was incredibly structured, and exhausting. I never felt comfortable, but being comfortable in the Peace Corps doesn’t exist,” she says.

The next step was more challenging. Curto was assigned to Talmest, a town about an hour from the coastal city of Essaouira, where she moved in with a family with three children. “The dad was working in Mauritania and not in the house,” she says. “My host mom was illiterate because she never got to go to school, and she worked hard. She took it as her mission to make me feel comfortable in her home. If you looked at her, you would think we had nothing in common, yet she’s one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met.”

Curto said her presence in the rural village initially caused a stir. “One day this 23-year-old American girl shows up,” she says. “People were curious. You cannot jump right into work. People in that culture strongly emphasize their relationships. It was so important to become respected and trusted, and to explain why I was there. This meant going to houses six times a day, invite after invite.” During that first year, volunteers are instructed to “find out what the community needs, not what you think it needs.” The second year is for a project. “I put pressure on myself, thinking ‘I’ve been here six months and I’m not working,’ but I learned that my concept of work was not the Moroccan way,” Curto says. “It’s more about sitting down at a family meal, eating couscous, telling them about America. That’s work.”

Curto says she fell into a funk at the start of her second year, when faced with finding a project. She found strength in an unusual place: an aerobics class at a local gym. She was able to build relationships with a different group of Moroccans and the male instructor, a hiker and outdoorsman, had ideas for her. The project that resulted was an outdoor leadership program for men and women  that included eight trips all over Morocco, including to the highest peak in North Africa…………..
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Helping youth in Morocco surmount the steep hurdles they face in the country's competitive labor market is a core element of AMIDEAST's mission of expanding opportunity. Our employability training programs draw on our Skills for Success® curriculum, designed to help recent graduates gain English language and other transferable skills valued in sectors of the region's economy linked to global trade.


With the support of international and regional partners, we are pleased to offer the following programs. Please keep checking this page for other opportunities.


AMIDEAST/Morocco is pleased to offer the Education and Training for Employability Program, an initiative that aims to improve the employment prospects of hundreds of Moroccans. The new program is funded by Morocco’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a bilateral foreign aid agency of the U.S. government. Partners in the project include MCA Morocco (the Moroccan arm of the MCC), Morocco’s Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training, and ANAPEC (National Agency for Promotion of Employment and Skills). AMIDEAST/Morocco’s goal is to help job candidates improve their employment prospects through training and match them to jobs, while assisting private sector companies and organizations in meeting their hiring needs in 2020.


Beginning in January 2020, AMIDEAST will select hundreds of beneficiaries from the Casablanca region to participate in tailored training programs related to employment sectors that are in demand. recruitment will focus on individuals who are currently unemployed and not in training, with an emphasis on women.
AMIDEAST will identify and analyze a company’s recruitment needs and, based on these needs, pre-select candidates with an appropriate background and provide them free support and training in soft skills and life skills, as well as tailored training to meet the requirements of each position.

The Diplomatic Intrigue That Gave Morocco a Cameo Appearance in the U.S. Civil War

Confederate agents seeking European support were imprisoned by the U.S. consul, which ignited international protest

By Graham Cornwell  January 21, 2020

n the winter of 1862, Union troops occupied Fort Henry and Fort Donelson on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as President of the Confederacy. Two ironside battleships, the Monitor and the Merrimack fought to a stalemate off Hampton Roads, Virginia. And on the coast of North Africa, 40 U.S. Marines landed in Tangier, Morocco, to help quell a riot and take possession of two Confederates who had been arrested by the U.S. Consul.

This bizarre Civil War episode came about mainly because of the infamous exploits of the C.S.S. Sumter, a Confederate blockade runner commanded by Raphael Semmes that had been terrorizing the U.S. Navy and Northern merchants throughout the Atlantic. On January 18, 1862, the Sumter docked in Gibraltar in need of fuel and repairs. Through clever persistence, the U.S. consul in Gibraltar, Horatio Sprague, had successfully kept the Sumter there by pressuring the town’s merchants to refuse the Confederates all necessary supplies. Without coal, they were stuck.

Across the Strait of Gibraltar in Tangier resided the U.S. consul to Morocco, James DeLong, himself a former judge from Ohio and abolitionist who freed two slaves traveling through his jurisdiction in 1854. Prior to his posting, DeLong had never left the country; he knew little of diplomacy and nothing of Morocco. Upon arrival, DeLong had pledged to fight Confederates wherever he encountered them, to which his colleagues in the consular corps had politely informed him that he would have little chance to do so in Tangier.

DeLong had been in the job for one month when, on February 19, two Confederate rebels, the Sumter’s paymaster, Henry Myers, and Thomas Tunstall, the former U.S. Consul to Cadiz, Spain, arrived in Morocco on a French ship en route to Cadiz. Once DeLong caught wind of their arrival, he moved quickly to hire a cadre of Moroccan soldiers, arrest the Confederates, and lock them in chains in the Legation, a mansion gifted to the U.S. by the Moroccan sultan in 1821. The controversy that ensued offers a compelling snapshot of how diplomacy, commerce and imperialism all intersected as the U.S. and the Confederacy jockeyed for support abroad………….
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King Mohammed VI ًWelcomes Foreign Ambassadors to Morocco, Including US Envoy

The King chaired an audience to receive a group of foreign ambassadors in Morocco, including the new US ambassador.

By Safaa Kasraoui - Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. Jan 22, 2020 Rabat

King Mohammed VI received the newly appointed American ambassador to Morocco David Fischer at the royal palace in Rabat today, January 22.
The US diplomat met this morning with Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, who received his credentials to officially begin duties in Rabat. “US- Morocco relations are historic, strategic, and growing,” the ambassador stated. Fischer added that he looks forward to strengthening the  partnership between Morocco and the US in order to enhance the prosperity and security of the two countries.
In addition to the US ambassador, the King also received credentials from other foreign envoys.

US Embassy in Morocco Publishes Guidebook for Moroccan Handicrafts

While Moroccan traditional crafts are known around the world for their quality, Moroccan artisans lag behind in exports.

By Yahia Hatim - Jan 19, 2020 Rabat

The United States Embassy in Rabat has issued a guidebook for Moroccans on how to export their artisanal products to the US in order to benefit fully from the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement. The document, published on Thursday, January 16, is an exhaustive guide on the standards and requirements of American imports. The 102 page-manual explains how Moroccan artisans can best export their products to the US. The embassy published the guidebook in partnership with the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) and the US-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
The book stresses that “the handicraft sector does not only preserve the rich heritage of Morocco, but also employs about 20% of the country’s workforce, encourages the growth of small and medium enterprises, and encourages regional development in the sector that currently represents 7% of Morocco’s GDP.”

Relations between Morocco and the US are unique, with a focus on trade and tourism, and are expanding to cooperation in the fields of diplomacy and security, says David Greene, Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy, in the book’s introduction.
Greene emphasized that the sector of handicraft plays an important role in creating job opportunities and reviving regional development.
The US has been working to support Moroccan traditional craftsmen for years through the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) programs. Traditional handicrafts are a “rich tradition, dating back centuries,” concludes the American official……
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When American Football Becomes Part of Morocco’s Culture

American football is not as visible as other sports in the country. It is, however, on the rise, with a few teams and players who are determined to do anything to achieve their goals.

By Safaa Kasraoui - Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. Jan 19, 2020 Rabat

“It is a real challenge. But determination and hard work always pay off.” Morocco’s “Jaguars” make up one of the few teams in the North African country. They have great ambition but minimal resources. American football emerged in Morocco in 2012. The sport, however, does not yet hold a place in Moroccan society as strong as soccer and basketball. The Jaguars hope to change that. With a population of more than 34 million people, Morocco has only eight men’s teams and around five women’s squads who practice the sport.

Morocco World News selected one of the female squads to spotlight the sport and the challenges that the small community of American football in the country face. MWN sat down with the founder of the Jaguar squad, Fouzia Madhouni, who shared her team’s ambition and talked about the hurdles the women’s team faces. Besides her role as the founder of the Jaguar association, Madhouni is also a key player in her team. Her role is not only to play the sport but also to empower passionate women like her. For Madhouni, American football is not just a sport but the path to achieving her dreams……….
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Morocco’s Medi1TV Gives Entrepreneurs the Chance to Win MAD 100,000

Medi1TV is launching the new program in partnership with the Banque Populaire group.

By Morocco World News - Jan 17, 2020 Rabat

Moroccan television station Medi1TV announced the launch of a new reality television show in the form of entrepreneurial competition. “Dir Mechrou3ek,” or “Do Your Business,” aims to target talented and innovative young Moroccans with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship in the North African country.  The show pits the best of Morocco’s young business talent against each other for a cash prize of MAD 100,000. …………..
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World Bank grants Morocco 275-mln-USD loan to fight natural disasters

17 January 2020

The World Bank on Thursday granted Morocco a loan of 275 million U.S. dollars to support the country's disaster risk management, said the Moroccon economy and finance ministry, Trend reports citing Reuters. The loan was designed to help Morocco strengthen its capacity to manage financial impact of natural disasters and climate-related shocks. The agreement about the loan was signed on Thursday by Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Benchaaboun and Jesko Hentschel, director for the World Bank's department of the Maghreb and Malta. The loan will be used to cover catastrophic risks, as Morocco has recently established a regime to tackle the consequences of catastrophic events, Benchaaboun said during the signing ceremony. Hentschel said the loan is an insurance for Morocco against catastrophic events, adding that the World Bank is providing support to Morocco to face up to future risks linked to natural disasters………..
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Moroccan Consul in Spain: Morocco Prioritizes Women

The consul refuted the idea that Morocco has a chauvinist culture.

By Madeleine Handaji - Jan 16, 2020 Rabat

Speaking to local press, Saloua Bichri, the Moroccan consul in Tarragona, Lleida, and Aragon in Spain, underlined the progress Morocco has made in gender equality.  The consul, who was born in Rabat in 1966, emphasized that fair representation for women is a priority for King Mohammed VI. 
“I don’t know how people can think that Morocco is a chauvinist society,” Bichri said in a January 15 interview with Spanish regional newspaper Diari Tarragona. “Women are a priority [in Moroccan society], even for his Majesty the King.” ………………….
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Sexual Violence: Morocco’s Victim-Blaming Culture Impedes Progress

In May 2019, the Moroccan government released the results of a survey showing that over 50% of Moroccan women have experienced sexual or gender-based violence (SGBV).

By Madeleine Handaji - Jan 12, 2020 Rabat

In 2017, a UN survey asked men across Morocco if “women who dress provocatively deserve to be harassed.” Seventy-eight percent of Moroccan men agreed with the statement. Heading into 2020, little has changed, and Moroccan media outlets, social media users, and even judicial officials still comment on what female assault victims were wearing or doing, rather than unequivocally condemning the attack.  Following a recent viral video of a young woman, initially reported being a Moroccan citizen, screaming for help as a horde of Egyptian men grabbed at her, shouting insults, and tearing her clothes, an alarming number of Moroccans took to Facebook to the blame victim. Citing her choice of clothing, the social media users slut-shamed the young woman, rather than condemning her attackers.  Both men and women responded on Facebook to the video, originally posted by Al Yaoum 24, saying that the young woman in the footage deserved the attack. “The outfit she is wearing is the problem and is the reason for the harassment,” one male social media user commented. A woman responded to the comment saying: “Why is she outside at night almost naked? She deserves this, she is asking for it.”…….
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Morocco’s 2020-2027 Water Plan Kicks Off at Full Speed.

The region of Essaouira is the first beneficiary of the program, with projects worth more than MAD 1.38 billion (around €128 million) aiming to secure access to drinking water.

By Yahia Hatim - Jan 17, 2020 Rabat

Just two days after the official launch of Morocco’s 2020-2027 water plan, King Mohammed VI inaugurated several hydraulic, hydro-agricultural, and drinking water projects in the province of Essaouira, about 190 kilometers west of Marrakech, on Thursday, January 16. The newly opened projects include the “Moulay Abderrahmane” dam, on Oued (river) Ksoub, a hydro-agricultural development project on the downstream of the new dam, and other projects relating to the construction of a water treatment plant and strengthening access to drinking water in the region.

The new dam cost a budget of MAD 920 million (around €86 million). The hydro-agricultural development project, meanwhile, had a budget of MAD 238 million (about €22 million), while the other projects aiming to strengthen access to drinking water had a total budget of MAD 227 million (around €21 million). The projects are in line with the objectives of the 2020-2027 National Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation Program, launched on Tuesday, January 14, with the aim of consolidating and diversifying the country’s drinking water supply. The plan aims to ensure water security and combat the effects of climate change ……………….
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New Report Ranks Morocco as Most Expensive Country in North Africa

The report found that five Swiss cities top the rankings of the most expensive countries worldwide.

By Hamza Guessous - Jan 17, 2020 Rabat

Numbeo, the world’s largest database of user-contributed data, has released its cost of living index for the year of 2020, listing Morocco as the most expensive north African country for the cost of living. The website took several indexes into consideration to prepare the report, including restaurant prices, transport, and consumer goods. The indexes determine living costs in major cities and capitals and compare them to the cost of living in New York, USA as a baseline. The website ranked Morocco as the most expensive country in North Africa and 104th worldwide with a living cost index rating of 34.32 out of 100. The website notes that in order for an average family of four to live in Rabat, MAD 14,989 ($1400) would cover monthly needs, excluding the rent.
Rabat occupies the 337th position on a list of 440 cities worldwide, scoring 36.53…………….
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Moroccans Expect Deterioration in Quality of Life in 2020, Says HCP

The majority of Moroccans are pessimistic about their finances, education, and employment prospects in 2020.

By Hamza Guessous - Jan 20, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s High Commission for Planning (HCP) has published a business survey outlining that the majority of Moroccan households are pessimistic about their quality of life in 2020. HCP conducted the survey based on Moroccan households’ expectations about unemployment, the cost of living, and the ability to save money.  Roughly 43% of households stated that they experienced a deterioration in their quality of life over the past 12 months, 34% maintained the same level. However, 23% said their quality of life has improved.  Meanwhile, around 28.8% of households expect a decline in quality of life in the coming year, 44.5% expect a stagnation, while 26.7% await improvement. In 2020, around 79.5% of households expect a rise in the unemployment rate, while 7.9% expect a drop……………..
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King Mohammed VI‘s Combating Illiteracy in Mosques Program Continues to See Results

Since its launch in 2000, 3,300,000 Moroccans have benefited from the program.

By Hamza Guessous - Jan 17, 2020 Rabat

The highest achieving students from Morocco’s 2018-2019 program to Combat Illiteracy in Mosques received, on Friday, January 17, the King Mohammed VI’s Award for excellence. The hard-working students from the program’s class of 2018, accepted the award from King Mohammed himself during Friday prayers at the Lalla Amina Mosque in Essaouira.   Recipients of the award in the women’s category included Naima Amine from Beni Mellal, Nabila El Khabchi  from M’Diq-Fnideq, and Khadija Id Abdellah from Agadir.

Prize winners in the men’s category were Mbarek Id El Mehdi  from Boujdour, Abdelmalek Al Merdi from Errachidia, and Abdelkarim Kaaouas fromTaza.
In his speech on the 47th anniversary of the King and People’s Revolution (20 August 2000), the King ordered that “mosques should remain open to provide literacy courses and religious, civic and health education according to a well-developed program”. The Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs launched the program in 2000, benefiting 3,300,000 people, with 314,854 registered for the 2018-2019 school year alone. ………..
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A Moroccan Abroad: The Paradox of Coming Home

A member of the “brain drain” generation, returning home to Morocco after a term studying abroad gets more and more complex with every visit.

By Rim Belkouadssi - Jan 19, 2020

It seems every time I come back to Morocco, my home country, so to say, I feel a certain kind of reverse culture shock. While everything is still familiar, I always have the impression that I have matured and changed. Lately, however, I have been pondering whether the underlying reasons for this shock go beyond the simple answer of me having changed. The more I think about it, the more it seems that the problem lies with the familiarity of the place. In a certain sense, I think the discomfort that I feel comes from the stagnant nature of life in my home country.

Initially, I found this stagnation comforting, even relaxing. Nothing really changes, at least superficially. And, after a year of having to worry about my own wellbeing, my finances, my grades, coming back home to my family who will take care of me feels like a time where I can take a breath and recharge. Yet, every time I come back, it takes less than a week to find myself nostalgic for my adventures abroad and eventually bored out of my right mind…………
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More Balanced and Good Quality: Rabat Tallies the Cost of Free Trade

Lower prices, increased market efficiencies—a proverbial win-win situation. The global ecosystem of international trade has been one of the key components of a relatively prosperous post-World War II era.

By Mark Mahon - Mark Mahon served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer near Errachidia (2013-15). Jan 19, 2020 Washington DC

As American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin said in 1774, “No nation was ever ruined by trade, even seemingly the most disadvantageous.”
But markets, technology and national moods change. Morocco and Turkey currently find themselves in a free trade reset, perhaps a trend that will grow as the trading system matures. Structural and evolving economic challenges like high unemployment in particular sectors and increased automation in manufacturing are combining with political factors to shake up the collective wealth of nations.

Morocco and Turkey signed their free trade agreement (FTA) in 2004 with its terms coming into effect in January 2006. Moroccan Trade and Industry Minister Moulay Hafid Elalamy tweeted on Jan. 15 the need for a comprehensive restart between the two nations: “We agreed to … review the conditions of the FTA for more balanced trade.” He said that Morocco currently loses $2 billion annually in its trade relationship with Turkey and that it was “necessary for us to defend our interests when the job creation market and Moroccan businessmen are affected.”
Morocco’s yearly trade deficit—about $21 billion—has been steadily rising, up 5% during the first half of 2019 alone………..
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How the Criminal Code Represses the Freedom of Moroccans

By Anwar Bougroug - Anwar Bougroug is a Norwegian-Moroccan fashion designer, stylist, and writer. Jan 18, 2020

The criminal code’s provisions about sexual acts are suppressing Moroccans, especially the poor, and prevent us from empowering our people.Oslo – Morocco is still feeling the affects of one criminal conviction for abortion, a conviction that sparked mass protests and drew condemnation from human rights groups. On August 31, 2019, police officers stopped journalist Hajar Raissouni outside a clinic in Rabat. They questioned her about having an illegal abortion and sex outside marriage. Soon after, a court sentenced Raissouni to one year in prison. Journalists, human rights activists, and ordinary citizens called the trial unfair and demanded freedom for Raissouni and everyone involved in the case. No matter the number of secret abortions performed every single day in Morocco, the penal code states that abortion is illegal, unless it is necessary to save the life of the mother………..
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Discover the World’s Largest Traditional Bee Yard at Morocco’s Inzerki Apiary

With its rich biodiversity and tangible cultural heritage, the Inzerki apiary and its surrounding villages are a must-see for visitors interested in exploring Morocco’s rural traditions. With its rich biodiversity and tangible cultural heritage, the Inzerki apiary and its surrounding villages are a must-see for visitors interested in exploring Morocco’s rural traditions. The population living around the apiary is only in the hundreds, and most of them are beekeepers. The collective apiary belongs to around 250 holders who each possess 15 to 20 hives within the massive structure, similar to how collective granaries hold the harvests of multiple farmers.  With at least 3,700 hives, the Inzerki apiary welcomes tens of thousands of bees. The bees are a North African subspecies of the Saharan yellow bee……….
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FAO Names Argan Water System in Morocco as Global Agricultural Heritage.

The designated system features a rainwater reservoir dug into a rock.

By Morocco World News - Jan 9, 2019 Rabat

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) designated an agricultural system based on argan in Morocco as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) site, in November. The decision came following a proposal by Morocco’s Oasis and Argan Zones National Agency (ANDZOA). The agro-forest-pastoral system of Ait Souab-Ait Mansour, in the southern Chtouka Ait Baha province, relies on the “metfia,” a rainwater reservoir dug into a rock. Locals have been cultivating argan trees in the region for centuries.

FAO previously designated as GIAHS another site in Morocco, the oases system in Imilchil-Amellago, in the central Midelt Province. The system uses the “khettara” technique to drain groundwater through tunnels by gravity. FAO’s World Agricultural Heritage Network includes 57 sites in 21 countries. The GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group designates sites based on global significance, public good, agricultural biodiversity, knowledge systems, adaptive technologies, and outstanding landscapes…………….
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British Billionaire Sir Richard Branson Reveres Moroccan Storytelling Traditions

The entrepreneur and owner of Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains believes that you can’t underplay the value of listening and storytelling.

By Morgan Hekking - Jan 19, 2020 Rabat

While reflecting on his recent visit to the luxury Kasbah Tamadot, Sir Richard Branson expressed his love for Moroccan storytelling traditions.
The co-founder of the British multinational venture capital conglomerate Virgin Group Ltd. and philanthropist published a blog post on Friday, January 17, detailing the highlights of his latest visit to Kasbah Tamadot, where he sat down with Mohammed, an employee of the hotel since 2005.
Perched on a colorful spread of Amazigh carpets and leather poufs, Branson and Mohammed shared tea and exchanged stories under an orange tree in the kasbah’s quiet courtyard.  “I’ve known Mohammed for nearly 15 years now, but it was wonderful to learn more about his life and talk about the importance of storytelling,” the Briton wrote.  Branson explained that Mohammed spent 11 years managing the restaurant at Kasbah Tamadot before retiring in 2016.  “However, he soon found himself missing the Kasbah Tamadot family so we were only too happy to welcome him back as our Master Tea Maker,” Branson beamed……….
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Morocco’s First National Photography Museum Opens in Rabat

The first museum dedicated to photography, Morocco’s National Photography Museum, provides a space for young artists to express themselves. 

By Henry Hylbert - Jan 18, 2020 Rabat

As Fort Rottemburg withstands waves battering its coastal side, it protects the artwork that adorns its interior. The newest addition to the Moroccan Museum Foundation, the National Photography Museum opened this past Tuesday, January 14th, with the Sourtna exhibit, a curation by Yassine Alaoui Ismaili, known in the art community as “Yorias.” 

Fort Rottemburg /  Borj El Kebir

The museum showcases photography in a beautifully renovated 19th-century fort, complementing the artwork that hangs inside.  President of the National Museum Foundation, Mehdi Qotbi, thanked the Rabat Region Developments for the restoration as part of the project “Rabat city of light and Moroccan capital of culture.” The fort’s first name comes from the German engineer, Walter Rottemburg, who built what was at the time the first cement building in Morocco in 1894.  In 1912, the French renamed it “Fort Hervé,” but to many Moroccans, it has always been “Borj El Kebir” or “the Big Fort.” The cannons that ornament the entrance to the fort were gifts from Germany to Sultan Moulay Hassan (1873-1869). 

Role in Moroccan Culture

Qotbi, told the press that the National Photography Museum serves to enrich the array of Museums in Rabat while also giving a space for young people to express themselves.  Qotbi stressed the importance of the museum’s location in the city district L’Ocean, as a symbol that art should be accessible to all the residents of Rabat……………..
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Argan Oil, Morocco’s new ‘gold’ targets global market.

Jan, 19, 2020

Morocco, one of only three countries, alongside Spain and France, to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, has for long been a classic delight to tourists from different parts of the world. Perhaps, nothing less is expected from a country that has about 1,835 km coastline.
The Djemaa el Fna, described as one of world’s most existing town squares; the Sahara Dunes; and Draa Valley, a unique, beautiful landscape, are just few of the tourist sites ……………….
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Morocco site hails Jewish-Muslim closeness


In the old Jewish quarter of the coastal city of Essaouira in Morocco, a newly opened “House of Memory” has been dedicated to the historic coexistence of its Jewish and Muslim communities. Nestled in a narrow alleyway among labyrinthine lanes, Bayt Dakira (House of Memory) is situated in a former family home of wealthy traders, who added a small synagogue decorated with woodwork and carved furnishings. The restored building “testifies to a period when Islam and Judaism had an exceptional closeness, complicity and intimacy,” said Andre Azoulay, an adviser to Moroccan King Mohammed VI. Azoulay, himself a member of Essaouira’s Jewish community, launched the project in partnership with the Moroccan Ministry of Culture……….
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Morocco Vows to Boost Handicraft Sector, Promote Local Artisans.

The handicraft sector in Morocco employs about 20% of the workforce. However, it has not yet reached its full potential.

By Yahia Hatim - Jan 22, 2020 Rabat

Around 1,200 Moroccan artisans from across Morocco are showcasing their traditional craft products at the 6th National Handicraft Week in Marrakech. The annual event represents a platform for artisans to meet, exchange experiences, and promote their work. Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, Handicraft, Air Transport, and Social Economy, Nadia Fettah, paid a visit to the exhibition, on Tuesday, January 21. During her visit, the minister discussed the handicraft sector with several exhibitors and visitors. “This year’s event covers 10 types of Moroccan traditional crafts. The goal of the event is the exchange of experiences and creative ideas between artisans from the same sector,” Fettah told the press. The National Handicraft Week will continue for two weeks in order to attract more visitors. The second week of the event coincides with school holidays in Morocco. “The event will last two weeks so students can visit it during the holidays. Our goal this year is to reach 500,000 visitors,” concluded the minister.

2019 saw more than 30,000 requests for marriage to minors in Morocco

January 22, 2020

The Minister of Justice in Morocco announced that 32,000 requests for marriage to underage children were submitted last year, 81 per cent of which were approved. The alarming stats reveal only 19 per cent of the total applications were refused by the judges in charge of the permits, which indicates that marriage of minors under 18 years is still prevalent in the country, and can no longer be considered an exception, stated Mohamed Ben Abd El-Kader in the House of Representatives.

Morocco had hoped to curb child marriages by raising the legal age to 18 from 16 in 2004, yet numbers since then are still soaring and this remains a persistent problem in the country, one with social, psychological, physical and economic costs to both the women affected and Moroccan society.
According to the government data, 98 per cent of the requests were submitted by the unemployed from rural areas, where families are often satisfied with a religious commitment and thereby escape the legal provisions on age.
WATCH: Morocco’s rural women more vulnerable to dropping out of school
Widely condemned as a violation of human rights, child marriage is associated with negative health outcomes – both physical and psychological. ======================================

The Journey of an Average Student to Become Best Arab Inventor

admin Dec 14, 2019 

“Never let the fear of wealth stop you from following your dreams. Always have humility when approaching a potentially novel idea. Never stop asking questions, because the first step to knowledge is the good question. Ideas don’t fall from the sky, they come from the passion to investigate and search for the truth.” These inspirational […]
The post The Journey of an Average Student to Become Best Arab Inventor appeared first on Morocco World News.

The City of Essaouira, a Witness to Morocco's Diversity and Plurality of its Cultures that Make up its Richness: UNESCO DG

Essaouira - The city of Essaouira, where HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, visited, on Wednesday, "Bayt Dakira", in the old medina, is a witness to the diversity of Morocco and the plurality of its cultures that make up its wealth, said Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.

Through the Sovereign's visit to "Bayt Dakira", this spiritual and patrimonial space of preservation and enhancement of the Judeo-Moroccan memory, Morocco sends today from Essaouira a very strong message that shows that the Kingdom claims its diversity and the plurality of all its cultures that make up its wealth, said Azoulay in a statement to the press on this occasion.

D. Stenner: Globalizing Morocco

Title: Globalizing Morocco. Transnational Activism and the Postcolonial State
Rezensiert für H-Soz-Kult von
Ana Moledo, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1199), Universität Leipzig

North Africa has witnessed a series of socio-political convulsions over the last decade. The winds of the Arab Spring that swept across the region in 2010 and 2011 led to armed revolts and significant regime changes in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. More recently, Algeria has known its share of popular unrest, which ended with the resignation of President Bouteflika after twenty years in power. In this maelstrom of protest and violent uprisings in its neighborhood, Morocco stands out as the only country that has not succumbed to the winds of change.[1] Part of the answer seems to lie, according to David Stenner’s Globalizing Morocco, in the sophisticated public relations network that the Moroccan monarchy has succeeded in weaving since the years leading to independence in 1956. Central to these strategic maneuvers is the transnational anticolonial activism that crafted the unique transition from colonial rule to the Moroccan post-colonial kingdom, which constitutes the core of Stenner’s book.

Globalizing Morocco: Transnational Activism and the Postcolonial State offers an all-encompassing reconstruction of Moroccan anticolonial activism abroad over the course of a decade (1946–1956). The detailed analysis of transnational structures, actors and nodal points of Moroccan anticolonial campaigning draws from an impressive amount of official and private archival records in several languages, as well as press clippings, bulletins and memoirs.

In the introduction, Stenner makes the case for the uniqueness of Moroccan anticolonial activism. Unlike more revolutionary versions of anticolonialism in the aftermath of World War II[2], the author portrays the Moroccan activists as “Wilsonian universalists” (p. 15) that were eager to play by the rules of the nascent global order. Moreover, the anticolonialists managed to present themselves internationally as a united front fighting for the same national cause despite the division of the country into two protectorates with diverse proto-nationalist groups. Even more remarkable is the fact that they all rallied behind King Sidi Mohammed, exalted as a symbol of a united post-colonial future. These are three convincing arguments for sustaining the singularity of the activist networks described by Stenner. Nonetheless, the “innovative strategy that positioned them in the vanguard of worldwide anticolonial movements” (p. 3) is a more questionable novelty in light of previous research on transnational anticolonial activism in earlier decades of the century.[3]

The structure of the book follows the five main stages of the international campaign for independence that correspond with the geographical hubs where this unravelled. Relying on a well-established analytical tradition in the fields of global and transnational history[4], the author uses the cities of Tangier, Cairo, Paris, New York and Rabat as portals to trace the connections between the local and the global as well as between mobile agents and socio-political institutions anchored in these spaces. Although the anticolonial dimensions of some of these global cities have been previously exposed, Stenner’s innovation lies in combining the spatial with a social network approach, allowing identification of more complex dynamics of coordination between actors in different hubs – what he refers to as “triadic closure” (p. 12). This methodological choice is informed by the vast existing literature in humanities and social sciences on network theory, and the author borrows main analytical concepts from this interdisciplinary corpus of research. For the sake of historical reconstruction, such an approach seems the most suitable to cope with the extensive linkages without losing the reader in too much detail about individual actors. Above all, it enables mapping of all these connections, which translates in the network visualizations included in the appendix. This combination of digital humanities tools with social network analysis is a brilliant addition although not so much explored in terms of comparison across space and time…………
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