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Morocco Week in Review 
October 31 2020

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Morocco Launches App to Help English, Spanish Speakers Learn Arabic

The app primarily seeks to help children of Moroccans living abroad learn Arabic.

By Morgan Hekking -  Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Oct 18, 2020 Rabat

The Hassan II Foundation for Moroccans Living Abroad (MREs) has extended its Arabic language-learning app “e-madrassa” to help native English and Spanish speakers learn one of Morocco’s official languages.  The app is designed to help children of the Moroccan community living abroad learn Arabic. The platform first launched in December 2013 for French speakers to acquire basic written and spoken elements of the Arabic language.  The Hassan II Foundation for MREs has diversified the app over the years, introducing Italian as a teaching language. Now, English and Spanish speakers will be able to benefit from the program, and the Foundation plans to introduce additional teaching languages in the future. 
The “e-madrassa” program has two levels for Arabic learners……………..
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USAID to Invest $100 Million in Morocco’s Development Over 5 Years

David Fischer described cooperation between the US and Morocco as “the strongest it has ever been,” reiterating Washington’s desire to strengthen relations with Rabat in all fields.


US Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer expressed satisfaction over increasingly strong cooperation between Rabat and Washington as he announced a USAID funding package. In a recent interview with the Washington Times, Fisher described the relationship between Morocco and the US as the “strongest it has ever been.” During his conversation with the US news outlet, Fischer said that USAID is planning to invest $100 million in Morocco over the next five years.
The investment will be in close collaboration with Morocco’s government and will aim to enhance economic growth and education. The American ambassador said Morocco is the largest beneficiary of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funds to date. The MCC and Morocco are implementing a $450 million program to address major challenges, including employability and land productivity.
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American investment in Morocco continues to flourish

By Marios Tsokkos and the Mercury Global Reports team - Tuesday, October 27, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION: “The relationship between the United States and Morocco is the strongest it has ever been, and we are making it stronger everyday” said Mr. David Fischer, the United States’ Ambassador to Morocco. The close relationship between the two countries extends at all levels from economic to social and cultural. USAID and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) have an instrumental role in the country’s development as well. “USAID is planning to invest $100 million over the next five years in close collaboration with the Government of Morocco to support participatory local governance, enhanced economic growth, improved education outcomes, and community resilience” explained Fischer. “In addition, Morocco is the largest beneficiary of MCC funds to date. MCC and the Moroccan government are currently partnering to implement a $450 million compact to address two major constraints to economic growth in Morocco - employability and land productivity - which are also key concerns and priorities of Moroccan citizens” he added.
The United States government has partnered with the Kingdom of Morocco to invest more than $10 million in Morocco’s Covid-19 response. “This assistance has helped prepare laboratory systems, improve Covid-19 case detection and surveillance, and support technical experts, among other areas” Fischer said…………………
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Morocco Introduces New Generation of Residence Permits for Foreigners

By Yahia Hatim -  Oct 31, 2020

Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) has launched a new generation of residence permits for foreigners living in Morocco. The new identification documents aim to simplify administrative procedures and adapt to the ongoing digital transition of the Moroccan administration, said a press release from DGSN. The new generation of residence permits are set to replace the old identification documents provided to foreign nationals living in Morocco, as well as the movement permit given to minors. All foreigners will now have similar residence permits, regardless of their age, which would allow them to identify themselves in a “safe and secure” manner during their stay in Morocco. DGSN equipped the updated identification documents with several security functions, in accordance with international standards. The features seek to prevent their falsification and misuse.

USA Today Celebrates Charming Marrakech Souks

Marrakech is among the world 's most cherished destinations, attracting millions of tourists.

By Safaa Kasraoui -  Oct 30, 2020 Rabat

USA Today’s Lydia Schrandt celebrated the Marrakech colorful walls and souks  in a piece published earlier this week under the title “From souks to alleys: Virtual tour of stunning Marrakech.” Using a set of eye-catching photos to back the description in her story, the author invites readers to explore the iconic Moroccan city’s wealth of delights.  The article describes Marrakech as one of Morocco’s “most intoxicating destinations” which attracts millions of tourists from across the world. It also suggests that the city’s architecture and souks could be among one of the many factors travelers choose Marrakech as a destination.
From airports to the internal souks and neighborhoods in the city,  USA Today celebrates the little details about the city.
Schrandt also drew attention to the attractive design of Marrakech’s Menara Airport, which is ranked among the “most beautiful terminals thanks to its arabesques that filter the sunlight.”

Growing Youth Dissatisfaction With Democracy Requires Moroccan Approach

Young people are rapidly losing faith in democracy and government, drawing them towards populist politics, a new report shows.

By Jasper Hamann  - Oct 21, 2020 Rabat

A study by Cambridge University has unearthed a growing dissatisfaction with democracy among youth who are increasingly drawn to populists. The Bennett Institute’s Centre for the Future of Democracy on Tuesday released findings that show increasing frustration with government and the democratic system itself due to several economic factors. The centre’s Youth and Satisfaction with Democracy 2020 showed that millennials express more dissatisfaction with democracy than any generation that has come before. The report compiled data on political satisfaction since 1995 and found unprecedented disquiet. Over half of millennials are losing faith in the hallowed institution of democracy. The new data aligns with earlier findings in the centre’s Global Satisfaction with Democracy 2020 Report, released in January. The January report surprisingly showed that 57.5% of participants reported dissatisfaction with democracy. It described democracy worldwide to be in “a state of malaise.”……………………………
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Adventurer Alice Morrison Finds Dinosaur Tracks on Moroccan Expedition (+ Video)

By Yahia Hatim - Oct 27, 2020

Scottish adventurer and TV presenter Alice Morrison recently discovered dinosaur footprints in the M’goun region, southeastern Morocco. Alice made the discovery during a 1,400-kilometer expedition across the mountains of Morocco, which she finished Tuesday, October 27. “I called the expedition ‘The Quest for Dinosaurs’ more in hope than expectation,” the adventurer said. “So, it was fantastically exciting when we actually found dinosaur footprints in the area near M’goun at the very end of the exploration after nine weeks of searching.” Alice’s expedition team used climbing equipment to reach and measure a series of footprints. They confirmed that the footprints belong to Sauropods, a dinosaur species that existed more than 66 million years ago. …..
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Morocco Mulls Funding Rachid Yazami’s Electric Cars Battery Innovation

The Moroccan scientist offered his invention to Morocco with a deadline until the end of the year to take an executive move.

By Taha Mebtoul -  Oct 18, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Industry has adopted Rachid Yazami’s invention of a new battery technology for charging electric cars. Yazami first presented his latest invention on October 13 at a webinar on Morocco’s vision for education by the CDG Institute in Rabat. The technology could allow the charging of an electric car’s battery in less than 20 minutes. The ministry’s move follows Yazami’s call on Moroccan authorities to invest in his technology to make Morocco a leading country in battery technology. The ministry contacted the Moroccan scientist for extra clarification on his technology, and asked him to submit a proposal for the ministry to study it, and explore its fields of application in Morocco. The opportunity that Rachid Yazami offered to Morocco came with a deadline, until the end of the year to make an executive move. The Moroccan scientist presented his project during the webinar also as a new technology to generate job opportunities, and an inspiration for young Moroccans to explore and innovate………….
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A Conversation With Rachid Yazami: New Technology For a New Morocco

Renowned engineer, inventor, and scientist Rachid Yazami provides an in-depth look at his technology and how it could change Morocco and the world at large.

By Jasper Hamann -  Oct 19, 2020 Rabat

Rachid Yazami is a world-renowned scientist whose discovery led to the lithium battery technology that fuels the digital devices of our modern world. His work has allowed for the mass production of ever-smaller devices as well as the introduction of the electric car. Professor Yazami lives in Singapore, from where he spoke to Morocco World News about his exciting new invention. Yazami’s latest innovation can revolutionize battery charging and turn electric cars into a viable alternative to gasoline-fueled vehicles for longer journeys. The technology can help boost green energy production and change the future of transportation. The renowned engineer lifted the veil on his new technology, explaining how it works and how it could provide a technological boom for Morocco.

The problem with batteries
Current-day battery technology does not take into account the real context in which humans live. 
Accelerated charging for batteries has become a marketing technique that promises ever faster charging speeds without much real improvement. All the major brands continuously promote their battery tech, but in reality charging a lithium battery often still takes at least an hour or more.
While large brands such as Apple and Samsung promote their charging capabilities, in reality these promises often mean offering a quick charging of a fraction of the total battery capacity. “This can be misleading,” Yazami said. ……………..
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History and Civilizations Museum Exhibits ‘Morocco Through the Ages’

The exhibit will take visitors on a historical journey with relics of Morocco's ancient civilizations.

By Issam Toutate -  Oct 20, 2020 Meknes

The Museum of History and Civilizations is hosting an exhibition titled “Morocco Through the Ages,” set to run through January 2021.  With more than 450 archaeological objects, the collection retraces the 1,000-year history of Morocco, the National Museum Foundation (FNM) said Tuesday in a statement cited by Morocco’s state media. The museum will display artifacts that trace the ancient human presence in Morocco, from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Metal Ages. Of particular significance, the exhibit will include the skull of the world’s first known Homo Sapiens.  Archaeologists discovered the 315,000-year-old fossil in Jebel Irhoud, southern Morocco, in 2017. “Morocco Through the Ages” will also showcase bronze, ceramic, and marble artifacts and gold jewelry, testifying to the Phoenician presence, the Mauritanian civilization, and Roman antiquity.  The exhibit will also include objects from the “transition period, delineated between the ancient era and the advent of Islam,” according to the same source. These materials reflect religious practices of Morocco’s Jews and Christians during the period………….
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NGO Launches App to Fight Online Violence Against Women in Morocco

The Netherlands Embassy in Morocco supports the project, which seeks to fight gender-based violence.

By Safaa Kasraoui -  Oct 20, 2020 Rabat

Moroccan NGO Tahadi Asociation for Equality and Citizenship (ATEC) announced the launch of the “Stop Digital Violence” application to strengthen efforts countering online violence against women in Morocco. Tahadi Association said in a press release that the app is able to offer “practical and intelligent responses and solutions that take into account the dangerous development of the phenomenon of gender-based violence.” Emphasizing that the project is in line with the national vision to combat gender-based violence, the association termed the application “innovative, and easily accessible.” “It adopts interactive and convenient language through which women victims of online violence can submit their complaints with their demands easily and without complications,” the press release added……………………
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Project HYA: Promoting Gender Equality in Morocco’s Schools

A strong educational system is one that provides an appropriate learning environment for both girls and boys.

By Nezha Sadik  - Nezha Sadik is a researcher and consultant on gender studies and communication. Oct 25, 2020

Until today, being born a girl has not been easy. It remains a reason for discrimination in many ways and in a variety of fields: Education, employment, politics, and economics. In addition, even though girls and boys have the same average innate intelligence levels, proper education is not provided equally to both genders in many countries.  Moreover, gender equality and education are the pillars of development and prosperity, increasing the overall productivity of a country’s labor force and creating a more knowledgeable based economy and society, according to the World Bank.

While Morocco is making considerable progress in girls’ and women’s rights, actual realization rates in gender equality at schools remain low, especially in fragile zones in the cities and rural areas, all due to numerous factors.  A strong educational system is one that provides an appropriate learning environment for both girls and boys and ensures that students in the school have an awareness of gender equality when they leave it.  Raising girls and boys and ensuring they can learn in an equal and supportive environment in school leads to many benefits for girls and boys themselves, their families, and their communities and societies. In addition, gender equality in education has a multiplier effect, which makes an impact on the future opportunities and outcomes in relation to economic growth, good health, well-being, and poverty reduction. In this context, the project “Hya in school” came to promote gender equality in schools in Morocco…………….. 
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Power Businesswomen in The Middle East 2020

Women in Morocco have made great strides in gender equality, including achieving favorable changes in the country’s Family Code, Labor Code, Nationality Law and women’s access to positions of power. Seven Moroccan women were recently named among the Middle East’s 100 Power Businesswomen 2020 by Forbes Magazine, exemplifying a rise in women’s business leadership in the region………………….
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IMF: Morocco’s Pandemic Social Protection Solutions a ‘Success Story’

Morocco established several innovative digital solutions to increase the number of beneficiaries of social protection schemes during the pandemic.

By Morgan Hekking -  Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Oct 20, 2020 Rabat

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) called Morocco a “success story” for its innovative solutions to expand social protections amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In the October edition of its Regional Economic Outlook report, the IMF addressed a key challenge the governments of developing countries have faced during the COVID-19 crisis: Supporting informal workers. Morocco, however, demonstrated “success” in assisting its informal sector. The IMF said the North African country established “several innovative digital solutions” to “increase the number of beneficiaries of social protection schemes.”

“The government has been able to reach informal workers through a combination of mobile payments for those who qualify for noncontributory health insurance benefits (RAMED) and online cash claims for those who do not qualify,” the report said. The Moroccan government provided cash stipends to hard-hit households totaling more than MAD 12 billion ($1.31 billion) over the course of several months.  Morocco’s Economic Monitoring Committee, created to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, distributed stipends for the months of March, April, and May. Morocco’s Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19 financed the aid.

The IMF report noted that households in Morocco benefiting from the RAMED medical insurance system received a payment of MAD 800-1,200 ($80–$120), depending on household size.  It added that as of April, the program reached 85% of eligible households in the informal sector. In total, more than 4.3 million informal workers who lost work due to COVID-19 measures benefited from the program.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the need for Morocco to improve its social welfare program, evidenced in King Mohammed VI’s Throne Day speech in July.
“The time has come to launch a decisive process for the expansion of social welfare coverage to all Moroccans within the next five years,” he stated, firmly echoing a similar call for improvements to Morocco’s social protection system in his 2018 State of the Nation address…………….
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Development As Reconciliation Of Colonialist Bias

October 13, 2020 By Pr. Ellen Hernandez

recent interview of researcher Imane Ismaili Alaoui by High Atlas Foundation President Yossef Ben-Meir explored the ways in which colonialist British diplomats’ writings about their travels to Morocco justified the imperialism of the time. The perspective of writers such as Walter Harris (in 1889’s The Land of the African Sultan and 1921’s Morocco That Was) revealed a view of the world in which inhabitants of Africa and Asia were considered less civilized and educated than those of Europe. These writers’ descriptions of Morocco followed the style referred to as “Orientalism” – the imitation or depiction of aspects of the Eastern world as imagined by Westerners or framed through a Western lens based on cultural background and upbringing, or colonialist bias.

In this way, Morocco was viewed as cloistered and rigid, and its governance systems constructed on fear. Moroccan cuisine was deemed “exotic” and its literature as purely entertaining. It was these British writers who fostered the notion of “Moorish hospitality” that permeates our expectations about Moroccan people even today regardless of a locale’s openness or level of cooperation. The term “Moor” itself came to refer to all Moroccans, ignoring the distinct ethnicities of Morocco’s inhabitants and collapsing them under one label, or worse, the use of “Black Moor” to further dehumanize inhabitants based on skin color.
One of the problems with this view of white dominance is that, while there are some accounts that describe Morocco’s people and culture in positive terms, the “Orientalist” perspective is one of ambivalent or mixed feelings about the subject of Morocco and does not allow for reconciliation between the Eastern and Western spheres. Under this view, they remained separate and in contrast to one another. According to Alaoui, the travelers could find some cultural element unique or charming, but ultimately rejected this element as unacceptable for themselves, since they constantly needed to represent the other as an antithesis to justify the logic of imperialism………………….
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Five Important Lessons From Morocco’s COVID-19 Response

Morocco can take confidence from its early rapid response and the collaboration between the public and private sector, yet the country can benefit from more medical staff, public spending, and further innovation.
By  Jasper Hamann  - Oct 21, 2020 Rabat

Morocco executed an effective COVID-19 response through swift action and strong collaboration, yet healthcare needs more resources and innovation. These are the conclusions of a report published on Wednesday by Oxford Business Group (OBG), a British company that produces detailed emerging markets analyses. 
The company’s “COVID-19 Response Report” highlights several strong points about Morocco’s strategy and presents recommendations for improvement.

Rapid response

OBG’s report credits Morocco’s fast COVID-19 response in March as a major contributor to its relative success. “Morocco was one of the first countries in the world to take bold and decisive measures,” the report states. The government’s decisions to close borders and impose a national lockdown were major factors that contained the spread.
The early response allowed the country to deal with the virus at a “more manageable pace” compared to European countries. Additionally, Morocco’s improvements to its healthcare data system allowed it to raise awareness about COVID-19 faster and among those most vulnerable. 

Public-private partnerships…
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Islamophobia in France: Leila Slimani Condemns Spread of Hatred Online

The heinous murder of Samuel Paty is fueling Islamophobia on social media, stirring fear and frustration among the Muslim community in France.

By Safaa Kasraoui - Oct 22, 2020 Rabat

In a post on social media, prominent Moroccan-French author Leila Slimani announced her decision to deactivate her Instagram and Facebook accounts to protest the increase of hatred and racism online. Leila Slimani announced her decision on October 20, four days after the killing of French teacher Samuel Paty on October 16. Since the day of the murder, Islamophobic posts have swept social networks. Angry reactions against the Chechen refugee who beheaded Samuel Paty are to be expected, but the use of Islamophobic comments is now stirring panic and frustration among Muslim communities in France and around the world. The 18-year-old attacked Paty after the history teacher he displayed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on freedom of expression……………….
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Getting Married in Morocco? - Our Advice

6 Ways to Minimize Stress on Your Wedding Day

October 16, 2020
Are you getting married in Morocco? First of all a HUGE Congratulations! That is so exciting. If you are Moroccan you might have an idea of what this will be like. If you are not Moroccan or have never been to a Moroccan wedding, we’re happy to share with you some of the things we’ve experienced and learned.
Moroccan weddings are amazing! Full of so much! We absolutely love to capture these love stories and hope that you consider us as a wedding photographer to capture your wedding!..................
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The gate and ramparts of the Saadi Kasbah of Agadir Oufella recently discovered

A group of researchers, heading the rehabilitation of the Kasbah of Agadir Oufella, have discovered beautiful archaeological findings
Excavations carried out by a team of Moroccan and Spanish archaeologists, as part of a rehabilitation operation of the Kasbah of Agadir Oufella and its surroundings, have revealed the main entrance to the Kasbah as well as a large wooden gate.
According to photos published by the Municipality of Agadir, the team in charge of the excavations also discovered the remains of a wall and a Mihrab, a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla, dating back to the Saadi dynasty. The latter ruled Morocco from 1549 to 1659 and from 1509 to 1549, they had ruled only in the south of the country………………..
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Scientists Discover ‘Remarkable’ Small Flying Dinosaur in Morocco

Paleontologists in Morocco have discovered a new species of small winged dinosaur.

By Jasper Hamann -  Oct 17, 2020 Rabat

The publication of a new scientific paper has revealed the discovery of a new type of winged dinosaur in Morocco. While dinosaurs typically induce images of wonder over their giant and ferocious appearance, the new pterosaur discovered would evoke very different emotions.  The newly discovered dinosaur was the size of a turkey, using its long beak to prod through mud near rivers in search of food. The “remarkable little pterosaur,” as Professor Martill, one of the paleontologists who discovered the dinosaur called it, was found near the village of Hassi El Begaa, in the Kem Kem region in eastern Morocco.

Unusual discovery
The discovery of the new flying dinosaur would have almost never happened. The animal’s small size and unusual nature had meant paleontologists had initially considered its fossils to be the spine of a fish. Professor David Martill, one of the discovers and co-author of the paper on the newly found creature said his team nearly missed on the amazing find……………..
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Disney Takes Ownership of Moroccan Pavilion in EPCOT Theme Park, Florida

By Yahia Hatim -  Oct 22, 2020

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has taken full ownership of all businesses in the Moroccan pavilion at the EPCOT theme park in the US state of Florida, WDW News Today reported. The move came after the Walt Disney corporation filed a legal complaint to recover some debt from Marrakesh Moroccan Restaurant, the company operating the facilities of the Moroccan pavilion in EPCOT. The pavilion features several attractions, exhibitions, restaurants, and juice bars that offer visitors Moroccan-themed entertainment, food, and drinks. It also features replicas of some historical monuments, such as Marrakech’s Koutoubia Mosque, Rabat’s Bab Chellah, and Fez’s Bab Boujloud.

Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, the Moroccan government had regularly sponsored the pavilion through the Moroccan Embassy in the US and the National Tourism Office (ONMT). Despite taking ownership of the pavilion’s businesses, the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will continue to collaborate with the Moroccan parties as “cultural consultants.” Before Disney’s claims against the company managing the Moroccan pavilion, the attraction had applied for a loan of $1-2 million under the Paycheck Protection Program. The loan aimed to preserve 260 jobs………………
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Jubantouja: The Moroccan Band Promoting Amazigh Heritage Through Music

The band’s leader has long striven to establish a place and status for Amazigh music in the Moroccan urban music scene.

By Jihad Dardar -  Oct 18, 2020

Founded in 2016 in the High Atlas Mountains, Jubantouja is a Moroccan alternative/indie rock band that mixes the traditional and the modern to present an original style of music, portrayed in their Amazigh tunes and inspired by the landscapes and rich culture of their villages. With its fascinating varieties, Amazigh (Berber) music is widespread across North Africa and is a very important musical tradition in Morocco. Each variation has unique rhythms and styles. Four-person groups sing with the beat, led by an “amdyaz,” or poet. Amazigh musicians have kept the tradition alive by singing from one village to another, either on special occasions such as weddings or for social events. Characterized by its use of folk, Amazigh music is also a type of poetry and storytelling. It often addresses social issues the Amazigh faced in their struggle to achieve basic language rights and identity recognition in North Africa……………
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Adidas Adds Moroccan Tile Pattern to Iconic ‘Stan Smith’ Shoe

The sneakers retail for $85 and have blue-burgundy and green-yellow color-blocking patterns.

By Morgan Hekking -  Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Oct 19, 2020 Rabat

German sportswear brand Adidas is livening up its autumn sneaker collection by adding what appears to be a Moroccan tile pattern to the iconic “Stan Smith” tennis shoe.  Elliot Santiago of Sneaker News says Adidas drew inspiration for the design from North African prints.  The shoes feature color-blocked diamond-shaped tile patterns on the heel paneling and insoles. The right shoe has a blue and burgundy color-blocking while the left has a combination of green and yellow. …………….
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Morocco recovers stolen artefacts from France

October 17, 2020

France has officially returned around 35,000 artefacts to Morocco, after seizing an entire collection of rare antiquities during three customs checks, reflecting the growing phenomenon of looting cultural heritage items. On Thursday, the pieces were delivered to Morocco during a handover ceremony held at the Museum of Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean in Marseille. However, the artefacts, which weighed about three tonnes, will not actually enter Morocco until the end of the month, reported Sky News. Guy Jean-Baptiste, the regional director of customs in Marseille, said on the sidelines of the handover ceremony that the customs inspections which took place in 2005 and 2006 were carried out in the cities of Marseille and Perpignan. The drivers of the vehicles transporting the pieces were all Moroccan nationals, who drove luxury cars containing the artefacts that were properly cleaned and restored…………..
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Learner Development: Study Skills a Teacher-Student Responsibility

By Youssef Bounaji  - Youssef Bounaji is a teacher of English with the Ministry of Education and a business English trainer in Morocco. Oct 19, 2020

A hammer is not a one-size-fits-all solution. However, if all a person has is a hammer, they will surely use it as a means or a tool to fix everything; presumably, without questioning the efficiency of the tool itself or considering other options. This person will stick to the hammer unless better alternatives are presented. This person might be willing to develop, but there is a lack of tools at their end. 
That is exactly what happens to our students in classrooms. Most students are eager to learn, they want to succeed, and they have dreams, but they do not know how to learn. They do not have the tools. They have never been taught to use any tool to learn or study, and they do not know enough study skills. Therefore, they keep using the only tool that they have. 

One-sided education is unmotivational, affecting both teachers and students

Teachers work hard making lesson plans, selecting what suits their students, and adopting and adapting activities. Let’s picture this: The teacher is there in the classroom, executing their lesson plan, feeling confident, smiling, and trying to engage students. Right in front of the teacher, the majority of students are bored with no interest in the lesson. ………….
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Morocco’s 2021 Finance Bill: Education Budget Declines From 2020

Compared to the 2020 Finance Bill, next year’s budget for the education system is nearly MAD 7 billion less.

By Safaa Kasraoui  - Oct 21, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s 2021 Finance Bill allocates a budget of MAD 65.49 billion ($7.16 billion) for the country’s education sector. The government has vowed that the education sector would be among its priorities for the 2021 Finance Bill. The document, however, shows that the allocation for education next year is less than the budget that Morocco dedicated to the sector in 2020. In the 2020 finance bill, Morocco allocated MAD 72.4 billion ($7.91 billion) for education. That represented a 16.75 % increase from 2019. Morocco’s education budget for next year, however, is nearly MAD 7 billion ($765 million) less than that of 2020.
The Moroccan government has vowed to take several measures to improve the education sector, one of its announced priorities. Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said in December 2019 that the sectors of education and vocational training were the country’s top priorities……………………
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Bringing Poverty to Hell

October 16, 2020 The New Dawn LiberiaBy Yossef Ben-Meir (HAF President).

October 17 marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The commemoration of this day suggests that the way to end poverty is not a matter shrouded in mystery. In fact, its celebration denotes that, at a minimum, the manner to end poverty is most likely established knowledge. While it could withstand further evaluation, its people-centered methodology is tested as plain as day, and it is as well understood as the brutality of en masse denial of the potential of our humanity.

The process of planning actions that eradicate poverty conditions is synonymous with the experience of designing sustainable development or enterprises in societies that experience long life. In a nutshell, we – the public of all walks – must plan together in consideration of the great range of factors that impact and are impacted by social change.

The intentional and unintentional forces that are leveled by societies, and that manifest due to the natural world, that cause growth or demise of an intervention in promoting our general welfare, are relevant in the different areas where we seek improvement. For example, what are the economic and environmental implications of an agricultural enterprise? What are the political repercussions of ending women’s illiteracy? What are the cultural dimensions that hinder or set free the innovation of youth? What are the technical and financial assessments of rural cooperatives’ product-processing activity? What has history taught us about the future when we establish clean drinking water projects that rid ourselves of water-borne diseases and the loss of infant life?.......................
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Climate Literacy: Educating The Next Generation For An Environmental Revolution

October 14, 2020 By Kaoutar Ait Lahaj

During the last week of September, the Earth Day organization held a webinar entitled “Igniting Climate Literacy: Creating a Citizenry Ready and Willing to Act Now and Build a Sustainable Economic Future” to celebrate the 50th annual Earth Day. Organizers of the event gathered notable panelists from around the world to lead discussions about the importance of educating the youth on climate change and other environmental topics. By encouraging these conversations they aim to ensure a citizenry that is equipped with hope, skills, and motivation to take action for a more sustainable future.

Organizers of the webinar set out to help participants have a broader perspective on climate change. As well as highlighting the importance of educating youth, discussions throughout the webinar related to the connections of climate and environmental education to conservation goals, increased green jobs, a healthy economic future, and a sustainable planet. The participants initiated the dialogue insisting youth must be provided the right education about climate change because they are the leaders of the future. However, they urged the national governments to build a strategy to integrate climate education into the educational systems around the world.  Senior Director WWF Pakistan Rab Nawaz said, “Amazing people doing amazing work is not enough.”…………….
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Global Handwashing Day: A Day To Celebrate Healthy Hygiene

October 14, 2020 By Kaoutar Ait Lahaj

The world is currently suffering from a major pandemic, and the most effective way to control its spread is through healthy hygienic practices — regular hand-washing, the use of face masks, and social distancing. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has made October 15 one of the most important days of celebration this year: Global Handwashing Day. Hand-washing saves lives, limiting or even preventing the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. It is the most accessible and affordable way to protect people from illnesses.  Studies show that regular hand washing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds reduces the transmission of outbreak-related pathogens such as cholera, Ebola, shigellosis, SARS, and hepatitis E, reduces diarrheal diseases by 30 to 48 percent, and is also a key in the fight against COVID-19. Soap and water destroy the outer membrane of the COVID-19 virus and thereby inactivates it. This simple habit can prevent the need to pay for expensive medication or treatments, and it can save many lives. If handwashing is such a simple solution, what could stop people from washing their hands?...............................
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New Income Tax Exemption to Promote Youth Employment in Morocco

By Yahia Hatim - Oct 21, 2020

Morocco’s 2021 Finance Bill — the legal text defining the country’s state budget — has put in place a new measure to promote youth employment.
The Finance Bill exempts employers from deducting income tax (IR) on the revenue of young employees in their first 24 months of employment.
Income tax is a deductible employers pay to Morocco’s tax administration for every salary they give their employees. The tax ranges from 0% to 38% of the employee’s revenue. It scales with the worker’s annual income.
Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun announced the new measure on Monday during a joint parliamentary session……………………………
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Morocco Launches Campaign to Counter Abuse, Violence Against Children

Morocco vowed to hold consultations and meetings to tackle the increase of abuse and sexual assault against children.  

By Safaa Kasraoui  - Oct 20, 2020 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Solidarity and Social Development launched on Monday a national communication campaign with the aim to protect children against violence. The ministry said the campaign will last for six months to raise awareness against child abuse. The initiative also seeks to serve as a platform to encourage children to share their thoughts and opinions as well as to raise awareness among them and enhance their knowledge about the danger of abuse and violence. The campaign also considers ways to protect homeless children, migrant children, and unaccompanied migrants.
The campaign will include debates between experts in psychology and economics as well as social activists, which will be broadcast on television and news platforms……………….
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Henna Art in Morocco Through the Eyes of Meknes’ Henaya Zahira

Henna is an art that most Moroccans cherish and adore. It is not just aesthetically beautiful, but also carries the rich heritage, culture, and traditions of Morocco.

By Jihad Dardar -  Oct 25, 2020

Morocco has embraced the traditional art form of henna for centuries. Moroccans enjoy henna designs on women and girl’s hands during celebrations and on cultural occasions, painted by talented artists such as henaya Zahira. The Meknes native not only depends on this art form to make her living, but seeks to maintain this iconic element of Moroccan tradition and heritage. Moroccan henna originated with Amazigh (Berber) tribes. Women used the henna plant, which grows in the Mediterranean area, to make a thick paste mix of crushed leaves and water. They used it to tattoo their skin with unique designs and symbols that distinguished Amazigh women from one tribe to another. Throughout the years, and using a brush, little stick, or a plastic nozzle, Morocco’s henna art has developed and evolved. So have the artists, with their designs and style. However, many Moroccans still seek out traditional henna artists for their authentic and beautiful work…………………….
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Travel: The Top 10 Most Instagrammable Places in Morocco

If you want to have the best photos to remember your trip of a lifetime to Morocco, consider visiting some of these 10 captivating destinations during your travels.

By Jihad Dardar -  Oct 24, 2020

It is almost impossible to miss the astonishing photos of Morocco either on Instagram or other social media. The diverse Instagrammable places in Morocco are definitely a selling point that attracts many tourists from around the world. The country offers a diverse collection of natural panoramas, ancient medinas, golden deserts, and majestic historical monuments you just can’t miss. Being one of the most photogenic countries in the world, with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and rich history, culture, traditions, and nature, Morocco is definitely the country to travel to for some breathtaking photography and to step up your Instagram game.
The moment you step foot in Morocco you will notice the unique architecture, colorful tiles (zellige), grand wooden or metal doors decorated with beautiful designs, spectacular mosques, luxurious traditional riads, and bustling souks full of sights, sounds, smells, and traditional Moroccan food……………..
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The World’s Biggest Tagine and Other Unusual World Records

World records offer reminders of the fascinating and impressive capabilities of humans and nature.

By Jihad Dardar -  Oct 25, 2020

The Guinness World Records are a global register of some of the world’s significant performances in specific skills, sports, and other activities that can sometimes be quite unusual. For the past 65 years, the world record book has recorded thousands of impressive records, trends, and technology proving what mankind is capable of achieving. The world record book also has phenomenal records of nature and its living creatures that never cease to impress us. Many people around the world are driven by competition and winning, some follow an athletic path and are now some of our best athletes in the world. But a sense of competition and winning is not always related to the athletic world. In the Guinness World Records, we find people that excel in many different fields and sectors, such as scientists, engineers, chefs, doctors, and artists. These are five of some unusual and impressive world records that make you stop and think for a moment about the splendid abilities, creativity, ambition, and strength of humans and nature. ……………..
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Morocco Appoints Only 137 Women to Senior Public Positions in 8 Years

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Policy accounts for 30% of the women occupying senior positions in Morocco’s public institutions.

By Taha Mebtoul -  Oct 23, 2020 Rabat

Women account for only 11.8% of professionals that Morocco appointed to senior positions in public institutions between 2012 and the first semester of 2020.
The figure came in the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s report about Human Resources in the 2021 Finance Bill. The report also showed that the number of Moroccan women appointed to senior positions in public institutions between 2012 and the first half of 2020 totaled 137. The report also indicated that of all senior roles, Moroccan women most often occupy the post of director (13.3% of women in senior positions), followed by general inspector (12.2%) and statutory employment posts (11.6%). Among the 137 Moroccan women appointed to senior positions over an eight-year period, 35 occupy posts in the Ministry of Territorial Development and Urban Policy, marking an occupancy rate of 30%. This is the highest rate of women in senior positions in any ministry that Morocco has recorded since 2012. In the Ministry of Industry, Moroccan women occupy 13 senior posts, with a feminization rate of 26.5%, followed by the Ministry of Education with 18 posts (5.2%)……………..
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Abdelmoumen Dam: Key Reservoir Drying Up in Morocco’s Souss Valley

The dam, an important water source for Agadir and its suburbs, has the lowest fill rate in Morocco.

By Morgan Hekking -  Morgan Hekking holds a BA in International Relations from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Oct 30, 2020

The Abdelmoumen dam, a key source of water in Morocco’s Souss-Massa region, appears to be drying up.   The dam has a capacity of 198.4 million cubic meters (Mm3), according to data from the Ministry of Equipment.  As of October 30, it holds only 2.3 Mm3 of water, or 1.2% of its total capacity. Casawi d’origine shared photos of the dry reservoir on Facebook, noting that the dam represents an important water source for the city of Agadir and its suburbs. 
In October 2019, the Abdelmoumen dam fill rate was 16.4%, amounting to 32.5 Mm3 of water.  The Abdelmoumen dam now has the lowest fill rate of all dams in Morocco.  Only dams with significantly smaller capacities have fill rates close to that of the Abdelmoumen dam, such as the Ibn Batouta dam in Tangier.  Ibn Batouta has the second-lowest fill rate in Morocco, 4.9%, but a capacity of only 29.1 Mm3. ====================================

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Islam and the Prophet Muhammad

Misconceptions about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad are far too common in today’s world, but learning about the religion and its teachings can help mend divides between communities.

By Jihad Dardar -  Oct 28, 2020

The recent rise of Islamophobia in the West is an unfortunate reminder that many misconceptions and stereotypes surround Islam, Muslims, and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).  With 1.8 billion followers across the globe, Islam is an Abrahamic religion centered around the belief in God (Allah) and his prophets. Islam’s holy text, the Quran, calls on Muslims to follow God’s rules and seek peace—fitting, given that the name of the religion means “peace” in Arabic.  Despite this core tenant of peace, Islam is often linked to wars, hate, and terrorism due to media misrepresentation, ignorance, and harmful stereotypes.
Islamophobia is sometimes a response to the horrific acts extremists such as ISIS have carried out in the name of Islam. But extremists do not represent the entire religion, and the overwhelming majority of Muslims strongly reject terrorism, hate, and discrimination. Racism is also a factor in the prevalence of Islamophobia and the harmful stereotypes of Muslims and Islam. Muslims around the world suffer from both overt and concealed racism, which does not always receive as much attention as other forms of discrimination……

Healthy Eating: 7 Foods to Boost and Strengthen Your Immune System

Maximizing health is a priority, and doing so can be delicious!

By Jihad Dardar -  Oct 31, 2020

Often when going to the doctor the first question we hear is about our diet because the foods we consume play an important role in our health and in keeping our immune system strong. Just as some foods can be toxic to our body and cause serious conditions, there are also certain foods that can particularly strengthen our physical health to better fight inevitable illnesses. Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, it is crucial now more than ever to pay attention to what we consume. Today there is still no cure or approved vaccine for COVID-19, but a healthy diet and strong immune system can help our body fight against viruses and germs in general…………….

World Bank Encourages Morocco to Maintain Face-to-Face Education

By Yahia Hatim -  Oct 30, 2020

The World Bank has encouraged Morocco to ensure face-to-face learning to overcome its education-related challenges.
“It is important to keep schools open, where possible and under strict social distancing rules, in order to give students the best chance for learning and to bridge gaps,” the World Bank said. A report published on October 27 analyzed the education sector in Morocco and presented a series of recommendations for the Moroccan government to overcome challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic…………….

HAF: 20 Years For The Fulfillment Of The Moroccan People

By Yossef Ben-Meir President of the High Atlas Foundation October 08, 2020

The guiding principle of the High Atlas Foundation over its life of twenty years has remained fixed: sustainability is a function of people’s control over the development that improves their lives. Projects by and for local communities are what is sustainable. This principle has always been both our heartbeat and our compass.  Yet, the realities of scarcity, poverty, and, in fact, sustainability, require diverse partnerships in order for the peoples’ projects to be made real. Partners of the High Atlas Foundation are from all sectors, from all tiers, from all parts of the world. They are individuals and multinationals, governments, and small businesses. And they share the same essential core belief that the people must define and create the change they need in their lives. HAF’s partners uplift and move us forward………………….
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The Deteriorating Conditions of African Migrants in the Mediterranean

Since Mediterranean countries closed borders last March to fight the spread of Covid-19, undocumented migrants and refugees remained without shelter or sources of income.
By Moha Ennaji - Moha Ennaji is an author and international consultant. Oct 21, 2020

Since Mediterranean countries closed borders last March to fight the spread of Covid-19, undocumented migrants and refugees remained without shelter or sources of income. The consequence is that a large number of them have been facing precarious health situations and exacerbated dire economic conditions.
For many, income and livelihood depend on mobility. In my recent research, I explore how the majority work in the informal economy (street vendors, peddlers, and uncontracted work such as cleaners and maids). Now with border closures and lockdowns, many have lost their jobs and cannot qualify for any financial support by the government. Stigmatization, misinformation, and segregation have led to further restrictions for migrants. Fake news and reports pretend that migrants carry the Coronavirus and spread it throughout communities. New restrictions on mobility will have longer-term negative impacts on migration and an increase in social exclusion, leading to issues like racism and xenophobia…………….
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8 Types of Cookies That Sweetened Every Moroccan’s Childhood

Loco, Rialto, and Tito are among a long list of cookies that made the childhood of Moroccans born in different generations a better place.

By Safaa Kasraoui  - Oct 18, 2020 Rabat

Some people just wish there was a time machine that could take them either back to the past or advance them to the future. For me, a Moroccan who was born in the 90s, I would choose the past just to go back to an era where I enjoyed cookies the most in Morocco. Growing up, I used to munch cookies at least, twice, three, or even more a day. The proof that I am someone who enjoyed sweet guilt is the fact that I had to go to the dentist several times a month when I was a child. I am sure people born in the late 80s, 90s, and even early 2000s share the same feelings as mine for this list of cookies that made our childhoods colorful and sweet, but also left our pockets empty.

Here is a list of favorite and famous cookies most Moroccans from the golden era won’t forget………………..
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An influencer's guide to Morocco: Isabella Charlotta Poppius does Marrakech and Rabat

Plotting an escape post-lockdown? Influencer and presenter Isabella Charlotta Poppius explores the cultural treasures of two historic Moroccan cities 

re-lockdown I had the opportunity to visit Morocco and witness its dramatic desert landscapes and historical and cultural treasures. Though holiday options are pretty limited right now, the country is a good one to add to your list for when restrictions do begin to ease - just a four-hour flight away with great shopping, cultural highlights and sunshine (almost) guaranteed………….

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