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Morocco Week in Review 
October 3 2020

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Morocco, UNDP Launch Tablet Crowdfunding Campaign for Rural Students

The crowdfunding campaign is part of the UNDP’s commitment to assist Morocco in its development reforms.

By  Safaa Kasraoui  - Sep 21, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Education and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced the launch of a crowdfunding program to assist students facing challenges with COVID-19 distance learning. A statement from the ministry said the campaign seeks to finance the purchase of electronic mobile devices, specifically tablets, for children in disadvantaged areas across Morocco. Morocco’s government announced several measures to limit the spread of the pandemic among students and teachers with the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

The measures included the adoption of full time distance learning for students, whose parents choose remote classes instead of in-person education. Parents also have the right to choose in-person education for their children, which requires signing a commitment form.
Remote education was an unprecedented strategy for Morocco when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in March. Morocco decided to shut down schools on March 16, introducing online classes that the Ministry of Education launched on learning websites and television channels.
The strategy was challenging for some, especially students who live in remote areas and lack resources to buy the necessary equipment, including computers, phones, and tablets, as well as internet access.
Several NGOs launched initiatives to assist disadvantaged students but the challenges persist among rural pupils.

In response, the UNDP and the ministry announced collaboration to raise funds to help the students through their “Bringing school back to children” campaign.
According to the ministry the initiative seeks to “reduce inequalities between students in terms of access to distance learning.”
The UNDP and the ministry seek to use the collected funds to buy electronic devices with pre-installed educational material and internet access for students in disadvantaged areas in Morocco.
“The amount collected via the crowdfunding campaign will complete the resources allocated by the kingdom of Norway, UNDP’s partner,” to promote efforts seeking to assist students pursuing their studies despite the COVID-19 pandemic………………………..
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Minister Welcomes Morocco’s Efforts Against Domestic Violence

Morocco has certainly improved its approach to the issue of domestic violence, but statistics suggest the issue requires further social change and support from policymakers.

By Morgan Hekking -  Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Sep 23, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s minister of solidarity is satisfied with the country’s measures to protect women and children from domestic violence, especially during the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown.  The Minister of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality, and the Family, Jamila El Moussali, highlighted these measures during a video conference on Monday.  The EuroMed Feminist Initiative organized the video conference with Jordan’s Ministry of Development to open regional dialogue on efforts to end violence against women and children. 

Morocco’s efforts, El Moussali outlined, include a national digital awareness campaign and the establishment of 65 centers to receive victims of domestic violence. Both measures consider how to help victims while maintaining preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19.  The “Kolona Maak” platform has also been an essential element of Morocco’s anti-domestic violence campaigns. The National Union of Moroccan Women (UNFM), chaired by Princess Lalla Meryem, launched the digital platform in January. The platform’s call centers are open 24/7 and are dedicated to listening, supporting, and guiding women and children in precarious situations. The initiative directs victims to the competent authorities and offers them advice on employment, training, business creation opportunities, and income-generating projects…………………………
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We Must Act Now: COVID-19 Could Kill 40,000 in Morocco By December

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts thousands in Morocco could die this year alone if citizens do not improve their COVID-19 habits.

By Jasper Hamann  - Sep 14, 2020 Rabat

Between 22,000 and 40,000 people could die of COVID-19 in Morocco before the end of the year. We must act now to save the lives of our countrymen. Projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) have revealed the catastrophe that can occur if people in Morocco do not improve their personal efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. The IHME uses these forecasts to show when hospitals are likely to become overwhelmed and large numbers of people may start dying.  Mask use and social distancing are the key factors that can save us, according to IHME’s projections. Ignoring these measures can spell disaster and kill thousands. Every day, on average, between 1,000 and over 2,000 people become infected with COVID-19 in Morocco and over 39 people die. These are not mere numbers, they are our family and our friends. We need to stop this trend, and we need to stop it now, before it is too late………….
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Spinosaurus: Fossils Confirm ‘Enormous River Monster’ Roamed Morocco

Researchers discovered 450 dinosaur teeth belonging to the Spinosaurus in a prehistoric river.

By  Morgan Hekking - Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Sep 27, 2020

Paleontologists continue to piece together the mystery of the Spinosaurus, the biggest predator to ever walk the planet. The dinosaur roamed Morocco’s southeastern Kem Kem region 95 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. Researchers at the University of Portsmouth in England who are investigating the Spinosaurus published their latest findings in the Cretaceous Research journal last week. The researchers discovered 1,200 dinosaur teeth in a prehistoric river, of which 45% belonged to the Spinosaurus. The findings prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the dinosaur was an “enormous river-monster,” the paleontologists argue…………………..
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Travel to Morocco: The Five Must-Visit Medinas in Morocco

By  Jihad Dardar  - Sep 27, 2020

Morocco is one of the wonderful countries that any world traveler should visit at least once, with its rich history and culture, renowned heritage sites, diverse landscapes, and, of course, the colorful markets of its old medinas. “Medina” in Arabic means city or town, and Morocco’s medinas are some of the most interesting sites in the country. They are many tourists’ favorite places to explore culture, traditions, lifestyle, and history while enjoying the colorful open-air bazaars, or souks. Using the term “medina” in English generally refers to ancient walled cities. Morocco’s medinas were built centuries ago in order to hold off invading armies. Ancient yet solid, towering walls surround them, and they feature narrow streets and small alleyways. Medinas are the place to visit for a souk shopping experience, where Moroccan artisans work and sell their various handicrafts such as pottery, leather clothes and furniture, zellige tilework, Amazigh (Berber) carpets, metalwork, and much more. The fascinating medinas are situated at the heart of almost every Moroccan city and where you will be able to visit authentic riads (courtyard houses), palaces, mosques, old schools, and monuments. 
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Morocco Devotes $18 Million to Funding Research, Development Projects

The initiative seeks to boost research and development in priority areas, including the health, environment, aeronautics, and automotive sectors.

By Safaa Kasraoui  - Sep 28, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Education along with a group of Moroccan institutions are launching a multi-thematic initiative that seeks to boost research and development. The “APR & D2020” initiative is set to finance research and development projects in priority fields, such as health, environment and quality of life, agriculture, agri-food industry, fishing and water, natural resources, and renewable energy. 

The multi-thematic initiative also seeks to boost other key pillar fields, including the aeronautical and automotive industries, transport, logistics, advanced technologies, education and training, and even human sciences or contemporary challenges in Moroccan society. The education ministry, the OCP Foundation, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, and the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST) launched the call for projects.  The initiative has a budget of MAD 170 million ($18.27 million) to finance the projects.

The joint statement from the partners of the initiative said they aspire to create a new dynamic at the level of national research through encouraging applied research and collaboration between researchers. The partners will host a webinar on September 30 to introduce the multi-thematic initiative. Pre-project submissions are open from September 28 to November 23.
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Sustainable Urban Development: Morocco Looks to Intermediate Cities

The housing and urban policy ministry follows the royal instructions of setting up an approach of solidarity.

By Taha Mebtoul -  Sep 22, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Minister of Housing and Urban Policy, Nouzha Bouchareb, said today in Rabat that intermediate cities constitute important strategic links that contribute to the structuring of the national urban framework. The minister’s statement took place during the second workshop on intermediate cities under the theme: “The role of intermediate cities in the post-COVID.” The event falls under the National Strategy of Intermediate Cities in articulation with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the World Urban Agendas.

The intermediate cities of tomorrow must be “an engine of economic growth, creativity, innovation and attraction,” the minister stressed. Intermediate cities are provinces with a population of between 50,000 and one million inhabitants.
The minister underlined the need to build these cities in a manner that embraces diversity and cohesion and facilitates a resilient economy. She emphasized the growing capacity of intermediate cities to enhance organizational expertise.
Bouchareb highlighted Morocco’s strategy for intermediate cities that the ministry aims to set up in coordination with various stakeholders in the domain. Commenting on the strategy, the Moroccan official said it will be based on strengthening the resilience of the urban network, supporting territorial equity and territorial development, setting up a mode of governance, and identifying funding and support mechanisms………………………….
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Fez Art Lab: Supporting the Artists of Morocco’s Cultural Capital

By creating a space where traditional and contemporary visions collide, the Fez Art Lab hopes to nurture a community of global visionaries and local actors.

By Jihad Dardar -  Sep 22, 2020

The Fez Art Lab, an event that seeks to promote art and support the artist community in Fez, is set to begin virtually this year on September 23.  The goal of the Fez Art Lab, according to organizer Omar Chennafi, is to assist the local artist community in Fez, particularly given the economic hardships incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Supporting the community by providing a diverse space for collaboration and innovation is at the forefront of this mission,” Chennafi explained in an interview with Morocco World News. 

This mission is made possible with programming and projects that are designed to be accessible to all members of the public.  In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fez Art Lab will take place online this year. Chennafi told MWN that the program has adapted its planned activities to focus on the current global crisis, its impact on the Fez community, and the role of cultural actors.  The Fez Art Lab also aims to inspire ideas for upcoming projects that support the changing role of art in the local community in a time of revolving social norms…………………………..
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Morocco’s Favorite Sweets: Soft Coconut Cookies With Apricot Jam

Unless you hate one of the ingredients, the taste of these coconut cookies will make you fall in love from the first bite.

By Safaa Kasraoui -  Sep 20, 2020

Moroccan sweets, especially cookies, complete the extraordinary structure of Morocco’s cuisine. The list of recipes for Moroccan sweets is full of wonderful treats—and these soft coconut cookies with apricot jam could be just what you are looking for.

When my sister-in-law once served the coconut cookies on one of Morocco’s holidays, I did not think I would be fond of them from the first bite. Before digging in, I told myself nothing could beat the taste of chocolate cakes and chocolate-based cookies—but I must admit I was wrong. With a busy work schedule, I hardly prepare anything out of the ordinary. But the straightforward ingredients and preparation procedure definitely help even the laziest cook follow through.
I could write a full article about how I feel when I take a bite of my favorite sweets, but instead I will show you the easiest way to make it happen.
Ingredients for Morocco’s favorite cookies
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Morocco Launches 100 Subsidized Investment Projects in Various Sectors

Morocco’s Ministry of Industry aims to launch over 500 projects by the fourth quarter of 2021.

By  Taha Mebtoul  - Sep 28, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Industry has announced a set of 100 subsidized investment projects in several fields including transport, construction, electronics, textiles, food, mechanics, and metallurgy. The ministry issued project sheets for every investment to reveal opportunities to accelerate Morocco’s market. The sheets share a general perspective based on public data and interviews with experts and manufacturers in each sector, said the ministry in its presentation. The sheets offer the investment’s expected profitability based on data on the market’s growth prospects.

The subsidy parties include the Industrial Development and Investment Fund (FDII) which will support investments for material and non-material resources that could account for up to 30% of the investment amount. Grantmakers also include Morocco’s National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (Maroc PME), which pledges to support growth and technological investment of up to 30% of the investment project. Maroc PME’s support concerns very small enterprises (VSEs) that achieved a turnover of less than or equal to MAD 10 million ($1 million) at the end of the last financial year…………………
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Morocco to Invest $1.4 Million Into Souss-Massa Aquaculture

The Souss-Massa region has more than 20 aquaculture projects in development.

By  Staff Writer  - Sep 27, 2020

Souss-Massa officials met last week in Agadir, southwestern Morocco, to discuss a new aquaculture project.  The new project involves the establishment of a packaging factory and valuation units for aquaculture products in Imi Ouaddar. The project would require an overall budget of MAD 13 million ($1.4 million) and produce more than 9,000 tons of shellfish and seaweed per year, creating some 25 direct jobs.

The new project is in line with Morocco’s national strategy to promote and develop aquaculture, a growing industry in Souss-Massa. The region has more than 4,000 hectares dedicated to aquaculture production spread across four zones.  Souss-Massa currently has around two dozen aquaculture projects in development, notably shellfish farming in Imi Ouaddar, Imsouane, and Tifnit, and with seaweed farming in Sidi Rbat.

Aquaculture in Morocco dates back more than six decades.  In 1956, a French oyster farmer created the first oyster park in Oualidia, 176 kilometers from Casablanca. Since then, Morocco has invested in the sector. ……………….
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Pirates of the Mediterranean: The Tale of Dutch-Moroccan Murat Reis

How a shipwrecked Dutch sailor became a Moroccan admiral and governor in a four-centuries-old tale of rags to riches.

By Jasper Hamann - Sep 26, 2020 Rabat

I have long found inspiration in the tale of Dutch sailor Jan Janszoon, who became the respected Moroccan admiral and governor Murat Reis over four centuries ago. To me, his tale is a testament to the deep ties between my country of origin and my new adoptive homeland.  In the ultimate story of “rags to riches,” my countryman followed the same path southward as me within a very different context. The story of Janszoon is a story of piracy, multiculturalism, overcoming odds, and the deep historic ties between the Netherlands and Morocco.

Murat Reis’ humble beginnings

Jan Janszoon’s life began in tumultuous times. He was born in 1575 in Haarlem in the Netherlands. Jan entered the world in the midst of what would become an 80-year war for independence from the Spanish. The country was in chaos. Much of the country had been purposefully flooded to block the Spanish and refugees roamed the countryside in search of shelter.

In the midst of a long and bloody independence war, Jan learned the way of the world. Small Dutch ships, known as the Geuzen, or “sea beggars,” heroically fought against the might of the Catholic Spanish at great cost. Jan grew up in a country devastated by marching armies and protruded sieges of Dutch cities. Amid the chaos of a bloody independence war, the Dutch state was born. The Dutch received crucial support from the Islamic world in their independence struggle. The Ottoman Empire’s Suleiman the Magnificent supported their Protestant uprising. One year before Jan’s birth, the Dutch attacked the Spanish at Leiden bearing Ottoman flags to terrify the Spanish forces. Meanwhile, the Ottoman navy attacked the Spanish in the Mediterranean to divert Spanish attention.
Jan grew up in the age of piracy. It was a time of lawlessness on the seas. It was a time of state-ordained pirates, known as privateers, who played a significant role in the Dutch independence struggle.
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Morocco’s Small Businesses Need Access to Banks’ Cheap Credit

With the central bank's interest rate at a historic 1.5%, small businesses need access to cheap credit to survive the pandemic.

By  Jasper Hamann  - Sep 21, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s small businesses need urgent access to the cheap credit the central bank offers to banks. As the economic consequences of the pandemic became clear in the spring, Morocco’s central bank, Bank Al Maghrib (BAM) provided the banking sector with ever cheaper loans. These loans were meant to allow banks to provide small businesses in Morocco with affordable loans to weather the crisis. Months later many small and medium-sized businesses (SME) are struggling to survive or have shut their doors. While government-guaranteed loans have increased, private loans have seen only marginal improvement. It appears the banking sector has used the cheap credit available for private loans to make larger profits instead of supporting SMEs.

What do central banks do?

Morocco’s central bank controls the national money supply as the only bank permitted to print or destroy bank notes. In turn, commercial banks rely on the central bank to borrow money that they can then loan out to customers. Central banks steer monetary policy by setting the interest rates that commercial banks pay to loan money from the central bank. Furthermore the central bank sets the minimum deposit banks must pay in order to get new loans. In order to borrow a certain amount from the central bank, a commercial bank agrees to pay interest and shows it has capital to back up the loan.

Bank Al Maghrib loans money to commercial banks at lower rates in order to incentivize them to loan to customers, which are both large and small businesses as well as households across Morocco. Since the crisis started Morocco’s central bank has twice cut interest rates for commercial banks, providing them with cheaper money and requiring less capital as deposits for them to loan the money from BAM. These central bank interest rate cuts are different from the successful state-guaranteed loans in that they aim to stimulate regular private loans to bring more money into circulation…….
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Morocco Projected To Have Achieved 52% Renewable Energy by 2030

Within a decade Morocco is set to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and generate a majority of its own power using renewable energy.

By Jasper Hamann -  Sep 18, 2020 Rabat

Data analytics company GlobalData is predicting that Morocco will produce 52% of its energy through clean renewable energy by 2030. Within a decade, Morocco will produce a majority of its energy at home, reducing its dependence on oil-rich countries. The trend is a hopeful sign as countries face increasing pressures due to climate change and its attendant effects. Morocco boasts sufficient quantities of hydropower, wind and solar energy.  Meanwhile, the significant changes and reforms the country made in recent years could result in thousands of new jobs, cheaper energy and increased energy sovereignty. From small towns to sprawling cities across Morocco, green energy is experiencing rapid growth as the government aims to address future climate vulnerabilities.

GlobalData found that in 2019 Morocco generated 34% of its energy through hydropower alone. The technology uses dams to generate power in a sustainable way. Although the construction of dams has a significant environmental impact, once built the dam is a long-term source of cheap and clean energy.
The International Hydropower Association (ILA) estimates that Morocco generated 3,689 Gwh of energy in 2017 alone. Major investments in the technology mean the country’s capacity to generate hydropower as part of its total energy production is set to increase from 19% in 2010 to 42% in 2030……………………..
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Morocco’s Benguerir, Chefchaouen, Laayoune Join UNESCO Network

The UNESCO network welcomes cities that make inclusive education a focal point of development.

By Morgan Hekking -  Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Sep 23, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Benguerir, Chefchaouen, and Laayoune have joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).  The three cities joined GNLC because they are “outstanding examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at a local level,” according to a press release from the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).  Benguerir, Chefchaouen, and Laayoune demonstrate how effective learning policies and practices can support the development of inclusive, safe, and sustainable cities.  To join the UNESCO network, a city’s mayor and administration must display a strong commitment to lifelong learning. The city should have a clear vision for providing lifelong learning opportunities for everyone in the community……………………………
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The Moroccan Moorish Movement: A Revival of Moroccan Identity

Moroccan youth are looking back to their history for guidance on how to achieve a better future.

By  Reda Benmaloum  - Sep 19, 2020

Social media is like the Agora of ancient Greece, a space – though virtual – where anyone interested shares and discusses diverse ideas freely. This creates an atmosphere where like-minded people of all walks of life can stand on equal footing and express opinions about matters they consider relevant to their own lives.
It was in such an atmosphere that the idea for a movement emerged, aiming to re-acquaint the Moroccan people, especially youth, with their national identity, history, and traditions. It also came to instill in them a new sense of pride to motivate them to be more productive, more creative, and to serve their country in any capacity. The name the originators chose is the Moroccan Moorish Movement.

Tough beginnings and a solid foundation

The exact origins of the movement are difficult to pinpoint, but it is possible to trace back forms of it over the past few years. It began featuring in private Facebook groups and blogs focused on the unique Moroccan culture and its continuity throughout the ages. These early efforts aimed at exploring Moroccan origins in light of empirical and scientific disciplines such as anthropology, archeology, and genetics, in addition to history, linguistics, mythology, etc.
These early attempts remained confined to small groups and resurged every now and again, without any exact defining shape. In time, the various currents converged on one point, and coalesced into one stream with Morocco’s best interest in mind.

In mid-2019, an image of the movement began to materialize with the new purpose of reaching a wider audience. The Moroccan Moorish Movement started to gain traction on Facebook pages. It published news about Morocco’s progress, current and future development projects, diplomatic events, and political developments, sometimes in Darija (Moroccan Arabic).  The effort aimed to spread a positive outlook to dispel the skepticism prevalent among some Moroccans concerning these matters, and spur a reaction from the average citizen in regard to the situation of their country.
By the time a large enough audience became interested in such content, pages such as Al-Mohaid, meaning “neutral,” and Moorish History gradually diverted portions of their efforts towards a wider scope of publications. These efforts included posts on well-known Moroccan historical figures and their achievements, historical events and their significance, and discoveries pertaining to Morocco.
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Museum in France Exhibits ‘Jews of Morocco’ With Historical Photography

The exhibition, running until May 2021, offers artistic visual content to celebrate Jews in Morocco, their culture, and their customs.

By Safaa Kasraoui -  Sep 25, 2020 Rabat

Museum of the Art and History of Judaism (mahJ) in Paris is offering art enthusiasts the opportunity to explore its “Juifs du Maroc,” or “Jews of Morocco” exhibition, which celebrates the culture of the Jewish community in the North African country. Running since June, the exhibition includes black-and-white photographs demonstrating the depth of Jewish culture and customs through attire. The collection features the work of late French photographer and painter Jean Besancenot, who did not miss the opportunity to take notes and photographs during his visits to Morocco during the French protectorate.
“During a trip to Morocco in 1934 he took photographs of traditional dress. With a grant from the Foreign Ministry, he stayed there again in 1935 and 1936, photographing men and women in different communities and carefully documenting their ceremonial dress,” mahJ wrote. The photos, now treasured pieces of art, show women and men from rural Jewish communities posing with unique clothes………………

Paris Photo Exhibit Offers Rare Insight Into Morocco's Jewish Lives in The 1930s

September 26th, 2020
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Tighalin: Archaeologists in Morocco Discover Remnants of Underwater City

The coast of Safi, a historic trading hub, boasts a rich underwater archaeological heritage.

By Morgan Hekking -  Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Sep 25, 2020 Rabat

Moroccan archaeologists have made new underwater discoveries off the coast of Safi, a city along Morocco’s Atlantic Coast.  The Moroccan Association for Underwater Archaeological Research and Protection made the discoveries. Founding member and Vice-President Redouane Bourga told Morocco’s state media that the findings could date back to the 2nd century B.C. or even between B.C. 2700 and B.C. 900, during the Bronze Age.  The Safi-based archaeological association hopes the discoveries will bring light to the lost city of Tighalin. Archaeologists aim to determine the borders of the centuries-old submerged city and how its inhabitants used to live. 

Bourga explained to the press that the coast of Safi is teeming with a varied archaeological heritage and underwater archaeological treasures. Archaeologists in Morocco have already explored the region extensively, but are still working to make new discoveries related to the underwater city of Tighalin. The Moroccan Association for Underwater Archaeological Research and Protection has numerous discoveries under its belt. The association discovered an underwater military shipwreck off the coast of Safi and a wrecked British steamboat submerged near Agadir. The association believes the British “Baynyassa SS” ran aground in the summer of 1918 off the beach of Sidi Toual, 15 kilometers south of Agadir. The association also discovered the cannons of the Sekkala de Safi and the place where the ship “Nicolas Paquet” ran aground at Cape Spartel, near Tangier…………………..

Travel to Morocco: 5 Best Hammams to Visit in Marrakech

Visiting a traditional hammam is an essential to-do in your travel to Morocco, to help you relax and revitalize for the rest of your adventure.

By Jihad Dardar -  Sep 26, 2020

In the bustling medina of Marrakech, amid the colorful souks and palpable cultural heritage, are some of the best hammams in Morocco. Here, you will get to relax and rejuvenate during your exciting adventures in a foreign land. Morocco is a top travel destination in North Africa for tourists around the world. Its diverse culture, history, and landscapes, its Roman and Islamic architecture, as well as its traditions and art, are all attractive to anyone wanting to explore a different world.

Among these draws for travelers are the traditional hammams that Moroccans visit weekly to bathe and relax. Beyond hygiene and social connection, hammams are also important for Moroccans because they are connected to water and purification, which are essential in Islam. This is especially true before performing Friday prayers. Originating from Roman bathhouses and steam rooms, traditional Moroccan hammams have been in the country for centuries. The adopted bathing tradition became an essential ritual in Moroccans’ life. 

A traditional hammam visit in Morocco includes many rituals, especially for women. They cleanse, scrub and treat their skin and hair with several traditional and natural Moroccan beauty products. These include beldi soap (Moroccan black soap), ghassoul (Moroccan clay), kess (a scrubbing glove), henna, rose water, and argan oil.  Both women and men can get a professional massage in hammams, but it will be unlike any other you’ve ever experienced. There is quite a bit of scrubbing involved, and you will leave feeling as clean as a newborn baby…………………

The Traditional Moroccan Hammam: History, Steps, and Benefits

Traditional Moroccan hammams are bath houses Moroccans frequent to clean their bodies, purify their souls, and truly be themselves.

Forests of Morocco 2020-2030” strategy


The “Forests of Morocco 2020-2030” strategy was presented Friday at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome during the preparatory meeting of the 25th Conference of the Committee on Forestry of the African Regional Group, in the presence of the organization’s Assistant Director General, Hiroto Mitsugi…………
Briefly presented here:

FAO Appoints Morocco’s Ismahane Elouafi as First Ever Chief Scientist

FAO’s director general announced in June plans to restructure the organization “for optimal cross-sectoral collaboration.”

By Perri Huggins -  Perri Huggins is an editor at Morocco World News. Sep 22, 2020 Rabat

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has appointed Moroccan Ismahane Elouafi to the newly-created post of Chief Scientist. FAO Director General Qu Dongyu announced Ismahane Elouafi’s recent nomination at the 35th regional conference of the FAO for the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region. The conference took place virtually on Monday and Tuesday, September 21-22 under the theme: “Transforming Food Systems to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

According to FAO, the creation of Ismahane Elouafi’s role, chief scientist, will further strengthen the technical and scientific dimension of FAO’s work.
Additionally, “Elouafi’s background and extensive knowledge of the NENA region will be an asset to respond to the challenges facing Near East and North Africa countries,” FAO wrote.  Elouafi’s other recent appointments include as a member of the Scientific Group for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and as a member of the CGIAR System Management Board. The Moroccan scientist has over 21 years of experience in agricultural research, and has led the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture since 2012. Elouafi received the National Medal of Excellence from King Mohammed VI in 2014, and the Excellence in Science Award from the Global Thinkers Forum the same year.

Also in 2014, the Arabian Business Magazine listed Ismahane Elouafi as one of the 50 most influential Arab women. The same year, Elouafi featured among eight scientists under the “Shapers” category in Arabian Business Magazine’s list of the top 20 most influential women scientists in the Islamic World. She was the only North African woman included in the ranking………………
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Hicham Lahlou: ‘Morocco’ Porcelain Collection, Strategic Value of Design

Moroccans know the designer as an “ambassador” for representing their country in the international art scene.

By Taha Mebtoul -  Sep 23, 2020 Rabat

Moroccan designer Hicham Lahlou recently debuted his latest creation, his “Morocco” porcelain collection, in collaboration with French porcelain giant Haviland.
Porcelain is present in nearly every culture around the world, and Lahlou’s “Morocco” collection is a unique representation of the medium in his own country.
Hicham Lahlou signed and created “Morocco” for Haviland, the leading porcelain manufacturer in France. Haviland presented the “Morocco” pieces during Paris Design Week from September 9-18…………………………..
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I’m a Muslim and Arab American. Will I Ever Be an Equal Citizen?

Nearly 30 years after arriving from Morocco, after building a life and family here, I still hear: “Go back home!”

Farah Al Qasimi for The New York Times By Laila Lalami Published Sept. 17, 2020

“Go back home!” the note said. As it happened, I was already home, curled up on the sofa and scrolling through notifications on my mobile phone. Earlier that day, I tweeted a snapshot of a handwritten index card someone handed me at a lecture I gave in upstate New York in 2016, asking me what advice I would give to young Muslim Americans who did not feel safe in their communities after that year’s election. I wasn’t sure I had much advice for how to handle that feeling, because at times I struggled with it myself. Perhaps, I thought, others on social media might have something useful to contribute. Instead, a stranger gave that short, blunt reply: “Go where you feel safe. Go back home!”

The sentiment wasn’t new to me. I’d heard it before, and not just from online trolls who believed they had the supreme right to decide who belongs in the United States. Last year, I recoiled in alarm when I watched footage of a protester in the crowd outside a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, yelling at Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan to go back to her country. Tlaib was part of a congressional delegation visiting the detention facility to learn more about the treatment of migrants and asylum seekers under the Trump administration’s family-separation policy. When the representative came out to speak with reporters, someone shouted at her, “We don’t want Muslims here!” That same xenophobic impulse finds its voice each time the president fires another salvo in his ongoing conflict with Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. In the last few months, he has called her “a horrible woman who hates our country” and a “hate-filled, America-bashing socialist.”…………………..
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Morocco Clarifies Environmental Assessment of Larache Sand Dredging

The clarification comes after an MP questioned the energy minister about the ramifications of delivering an environmental approval certificate to a port dredging company.

By Taha Mebtoul -  Sep 25, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Energy, Mines, and the Environment issued a press release on Wednesday to clarify the environmental impact evaluation of a marine sand mining project in Larache, northern Morocco, following “erroneous” claims from politicians, NGOs, and the press. The misinformation demonstrates a need to elucidate Morocco’s legislative framework for environmental impact assessments, according to the statement.

Many know sand mining as a practice that can cause serious environmental destruction.  The sand mining project in the commune of Sahel falls under law 03.12, which frames the basis for an environmental impact study, in addition to law 27.13 related to quarry exploitation, and law 81.12 relating to Morocco’s coast line.
The project underwent evaluation as per law 12.03 relating to environmental impact studies, for the first time after many years of sand mining in the region. The law also defines the procedures of law 03.12 about environmental impact studies. The ministry revealed that local authorities had conducted a 20-month study to gather input from locals, especially residents and NGOs, before announcing the project.
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FM: Morocco Promotes Tolerance Between Nations, Religions

Bourita called for a revival of the global commitment to the Responsibility to Protect project, which seeks to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.

By Morgan Hekking -  Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.
Sep 24, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita reiterated the country’s commitment to tolerance and coexistence during a conference at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.  The virtual ministerial conference on “The Responsibility to Protect” welcomed the attendance of foreign ministers from various countries across the globe and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. In his statement, Bourita emphasized King Mohammed VI’s peaceful vision for Morocco. 
Morocco earned its reputation as “an exception in the Arab world” by promoting tolerance and coexistence between nations and religions, embracing cultural diversity, and conveying messages of peace and respect.

To attain UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions, Bourita continued, multilateral cooperation is essential.  Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “we have a particular responsibility to join our efforts,” he stressed. He called on the international community to revive its attachment to the Responsibility to Protect project, which the UN adopted at the 2005 World Summit.  The global political commitment received the endorsement of all UN member states. The project has four key concerns: Preventing genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity……………..
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Moroccan Student Wins Medal at International Olympiad in Informatics

Mohammed El Khatri scored 260 points out of the 580 points the national team earned during the competition.

By  Safaa Kasraoui  - Sep 21, 2020 Rabat

Moroccan student Mohamed El Kahtri won the bronze medal in the finals of the 32nd International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), held remotely from September 13-19. The Ministry of Education announced the news, saying four candidates represented the North African country. The Moroccan national team earned a score of 580 points, of which El Khatri alone secured 260. The ministry described the news as “very honorable” for Morocco and its education system. El Khatri represented the regional academy in the Casablanca-Settat region. The four-member Moroccan team also includes Nabil Boudraa, Ayman Moutii, and Ayman Riad Essouhl, who represented the regional education academy of Rabat-Sale-Kenitra. The ministry conveyed its congratulations to all members of the national team and their parents. The informatics field knows IOI as the “most prestigious computer science” contest for secondary and high school students across the world.
Moroccan students have taken part in several annual International Olympiad in Informatics competitions. The main objective of IOI is to encourage students to explore their talent in the field of informatics.
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Morocco at a Crossroads: The Time Is Now

Tuesday, 29 Sep 2020 ByYossef Ben-Meir and Ellen Hernandez

Harnessing the experiences and the history of religious and ethnic groups in Morocco must be a priority before the holders of that knowledge are lost to time. Moroccan-based civil associations, with the right support, are in an ideal position to gather and disseminate this knowledge for mutual understanding and human development…………………………
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Recipe: Road to Morocco


Vegetables mixed with fragrant spices of cinnamon, ginger and turmeric make a savory Moroccan tagine. A tagine is a dish made in a glazed earthenware dish with a conical lid, which is also called a tagine. Steam gathers at the top of the lid and falls on the food, keeping it moist. Any type of skillet or casserole can be used for this quick dish. This recipe captures the flavors of a Moroccan tagine without the usual hours spent cooking one. To speed the cooking time even more, the sweet potatoes first cook for a minute in the microwave oven…………..

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