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Morocco Week in Review 
February 27 2021

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Why Biden Will Uphold US Western Sahara Recognition

North Africa will not be among US President Joe Biden’s top priorities during his first months in office. That being said, Morocco is an essential regional player on which the US relies to maintain its interests in the region, ensure regional stability, and fight against terrorism and extremism.

By  Samir Bennis  - Samir Bennis is a political analyst. Feb 22, 2021 Rabat

As Biden’s foreign policy begins to unfold, Moroccans are apprehensive about whether he will revoke Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over its southern provinces. Such concerns seem unlikely to materialise. Firstly, doing so would present legal challenges for Washington as this kind of decision is generally considered under international law to be irrevocable. In addition, the US position is in line with the consistency of practice, a fundamental principle in customary international law…………..

Moroccans to Send Letter to Senate in Defense of US Western Sahara Recognition

Yahia Hatim  - Feb 23, 2021

The Moroccan community in the US is set to send a letter to the US Senate to correct some of the fallacies about Western Sahara communicated in a recent correspondence between 27 senators and US President Joe Biden. The 27 senators who signed the letter sent to Biden on February 17 urged the president to reverse the US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. The letter contained several fallacies about the Western Sahara conflict and promoted a separatist view on the issue……………

Kharboucha: Moroccan Heroine, Voice of Rebellion Against Injustice

 Nihale Azahhaf  - Feb 20, 2021 Rabat

Kharboucha is undoubtedly one of the first significant characters in Morocco’s history. A woman who dared, who sang about love, who denounced political injustice and colonialism; a woman with weapons and music.  For the Moroccan people, above all, Kharboucha will remain renowned for her bravery and political wisdom. In the late 19th century, poverty and famine were pervasive in Morocco as a result of the financial crisis that the country experienced at the time. This crisis set the stage for a subsequent colonial invasion and oppression. There were, however, numerous uprising rebellions, including the rebellion of the tribe “Oulad Zeid.” Born in Morocco in the late 1800s in the region of Doukkala-Abda near Safi, Kharboucha was a member of this tribe.  Kharboucha, who was also known as Hadda Al-Ghita, her real name, was an iconic figure and a political activist who used her voice and poems to fight the brutality and injustice of caid Aissa Ben Omar. One of the most prominent leaders in the history of Morocco is Aissa Ben Omar, who was born in Safi in 1842. He became the head of the Abda region during the reign of Sultan Abdul Aziz……………….

Morocco’s National Dams Filling Rate Reaches 48.7%

The rate of dam’s filling in the Marrakech-Safi region rose up to 48%.

By Nihale Azahhaf  - Feb 23, 2021 Rabat

The Moroccan Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water revealed on February 22 that the reservoirs of the major national dams have surpassed more than 7.8 billion cubic meter, a filling rate of 48.7%. This amount is marginally higher than the 7.5 billion cubic meters (48.2% fill rate) that was reported in the same period last year, the ministry added. The Moroccan ministry frequently reports on the management of water supply in regional dams and reservoirs, issuing frequent statistics on water levels at the major dams in Morocco………..

Morocco’s Social Security Ambitions to Cover All Citizens

Morocco hopes to provide every citizens with healthcare and social security in order to protect the country’s most vulnerable people.

By  Jasper Hamann  - Feb 17, 2021 Rabat

Morocco has far-reaching ambitions to expand its social security system that could fundamentally change the country for the better. The Moroccan government aims to solidify and build upon two decades of falling poverty rates to ensure healthcare and social security protections for all citizens. n the gleaming streets of Rabat it can often be forgotten that the very poorest in Morocco still live in difficult circumstances and many live precariously with little guarantee if they get sick or cannot work.  While the promenades of Morocco’s largest cities are hard to distinguish from European capitals, it is the plight of the poorest that has remained the main difference between Morocco and its northern neighbors.  The proverb “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” comes to mind when thinking of the urgency of expanding social security in morocco. The country does not need more millionaires, it needs less people struggling for survival………….

British Council Starts English Learning Show on Morocco’s National Radio

By Yahia Hatim  - Feb 17, 2021

Morocco’s Ministry of Education and the British Council in Morocco began this week the broadcasting of English language learning radio program “Obla Air.”
The radio show is broadcasted every Monday and Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. on the national SNRT radio station. Mondays’ episodes will be re-broadcasted on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m., while Wednesdays’ episodes will be re-broadcasted on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. “Obla Air” is aimed at people who are just starting to learn English. The show is a drama focused on a small budget airline called Obla Air. “The airline has only one plane and captain, Maas Obla, who is also the owner of the airline. He and his crew are very committed and they’ll do anything to keep flying,” says the show’s plot on the British Council’s website.
Through its use of basic English sentences, the show allows listeners to learn new words in every episode. It helps learners improve their vocabulary, syntax, and English comprehension……………

Rate of Women Engineering Graduates in Morocco Among Highest Worldwide

Yahia Hatim - Feb 13, 2021

Morocco records one of the largest women graduation rates in the world in the field of engineering. According to a recent UNESCO study, women make up 42.2% of total engineering graduates in the country. With engineering being one of the few disciplines that remain largely male-dominated, the rate of women graduates in Morocco is far higher than in some developed countries that boast about gender equality, such as Canada (19.7%), the US (20.4%), Germany (21.1%), the UK (23.5%), Norway (23.9%), and France (26.1%). While student’s personal preferences can significantly impact the rates, they can still be very indicative of the gender-inclusiveness of engineering schools in each country. The few countries with higher rates of women engineering graduates than Morocco include Uruguay (45.9%), Bangladesh (46.1%), Peru (47.5%), and Benin (54.6%). On the other hand, countries with the lowest rates include Saudi Arabia (2.7%), Niger (7.5%), and Burundi (8.0%)…………..

Renewable Energy to Create 400,000 Moroccan Jobs Over Next 20 Years

New study highlighting the economic benefits of renewable energy is helping shift the dialogue surrounding climate policy in Morocco.

By  Luke Tyson  - Feb 23, 2021 Rabat

The shift to renewable energy sources in Morocco will create up to 482,000 new domestic jobs over the next 20 years, according to a recent study from the Forum EuroMediterraneen des Instituts de Sciences Economiques (FEMISE). The findings, which advocate for increased future partnership between the EU, Morocco, and Tunisia in pursuing shared environmental goals, explain the bulk of created jobs would be in the labor sector: high-skilled workers to build and maintain wind farms, solar plants, and other energy facilities……………………..

COVID-19 and Women in Morocco: Proneness to Financial Trouble, Precarity

A series of social and economic factors have made women in Morocco more financially vulnerable than men.

By  Yahia Hatim  - Feb 25, 2021

The financial situation of women in Morocco has significantly deteriorated during the COVID-19 crisis, a recent study has found. Conducted by Morocco’s High Commission for Planning and the UN Women office in Rabat, the study found that women have experienced more financial difficulties during the COVID-19 crisis than men, notably because of their more vulnerable jobs. “Compared to men, the proportion of women working in the informal sector (trade activity, hairdressing, tailoring, etc.) and in services (hotels, restaurants, tourism) is larger — These sectors were the most affected by the health restrictions induced by the COVID-19 crisis,” the report explained. “Female workers were relatively more sacrificed during the crisis, across all sectors,” it added. Approximately 72.2% of women working in commerce completely lost their income during Morocco’s COVID-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, only 45.8% of men working in the sector were no longer able to maintain their livelihood. The pandemic has affected women more than men across all sectors, including industry (57.9% of women lost their income compared to 52.9% of men), services (41% compared to 33.4%), and agriculture (36.4% compared to 32.5%). The study also found a linear correlation between the number of women active in the workforce and the decrease in income of Moroccan households. In other words, families with women who work have suffered greater impacts from the COVID-19 crisis, as a direct result of the high vulnerability of women’s jobs in Morocco.
This category of households mainly includes families headed by single, divorced, or widowed mothers…………………………
COVID-19 and Women in Morocco: Proneness to Financial Trouble, Precarity (

Euphoria of Morocco's Arab Spring has fizzled out

Ten years after Morocco's short-lived protest movement, campaigners say rights in the kingdom have been rolled back and the authorities are using smear tactics and fear to silence dissent. Activist Fouad Abdelmoumni, 62, says the "methods of intimidation" and "regression of freedoms" in the north African country are now worse than in his student days when he was jailed for five years. Moroccan authorities prefer to see things in a different light. "Morocco isn't a paradise for human rights but, at the same time, it's not a hell riddled with violations as some people are trying to falsely make out," Human Rights Minister Mustapha Ramid said in a statement to AFP…………………..

Discovery of 2.5 Million Year Old Macaque Fossil In Morocco

By  Zineb Bourchouk  - Feb 23, 2021

Research by a team of scientists from Moroccan and Spanish universities has led to the discovery of a 2.5 million year old macaque fossil in Guefait, Morocco. 
The six cercopithecid teeth that the researchers discovered “date back more than 2.5 million years and are of a morphology that allows them to be assigned to the genus Macaca,” wrote the catalan Diari Mes website.  Based on the size of their teeth, the species are estimated to have a weight of 12 kilos. Their morphology matches that of one current living species: the Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus. The macaques belong to the papionine tribe along with baboons, geladas and mangabeys. They are the most widely spread primates on earth.  Their remains are commonly found in North Africa, where they are estimated to have lived for 6 or 7 million years. But they can also be found  in Europe, where they migrated due to the Messinian Salinity Crisis over 5.5 million years ago. 
The pleistocene Ain Beni Mathar of Guefait, Morocco, is an open wet environment. The paleontological site has given rise to many archeological and paleontological discoveries. ……………..

Jewish Cemeteries: When Tombstones Tell the Story of Moroccan 'Co-existence'

Recognized as a model of co-existence and mutual respect between the different components of its national identity, Morocco is replete with monuments which remind of the different faiths that have lived side by side in peace. The Jewish funerary heritage is a perfect illustration of the Moroccan exception and an irrefutable proof of the climate of cohabitation that prevails in the Kingdom. Jewish cemeteries illustrate the depth of the geographical, historical, spiritual and cultural roots of Moroccan Judaism. By their geographical distribution and the value ascribed to them by both Jewish and Muslim citizens, these cemeteries bear witness to a prolonged existence, built on the specificities of the Jewish community and evolving in peace and stability…………

Book on Singularity of Hebrew Law in Morocco Presented in Essaouira

"When Morocco Gives Meaning to its Diversity: the Singularity of Hebrew Law in Morocco" is the title of a book presented on Saturday at Essaouira's "Bayt Dakira". The book presentation took place in the presence of André Azoulay, Advisor to HM the King and President-Founder of the Essaouira-Mogador Association and of an array of academics, researchers and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds. The book was presented at the 6th Scientific Meeting held by the Center for Studies and Research on Hebrew Law in Morocco, jointly with the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in Morocco, the Essaouira-Mogador Association and "Bayt Dakira"…

‘Essaouira Debates’ Discuss Morocco’s Diversity, Jewish History

By  Zineb Bourchouk  - Feb 16, 2021

High school and middle school students in Essaouira, western Morocco, took part in the Royal Initiative on February 13-14, to introduce the study of the history of Moroccan Judaism in Morocco’s school curricula.  The seminar took place in Bayt Dakira or the “House of Memory,” a cultural center dedicated to the history of Judaism.  To promote tolerance and diversity, Moroccan schools will integrate the history of Jewish-Moroccans who constituted a large portion of the country’s community.   Andre Azoulay, advisor of King Mohammed VI and founding president of the Essaouira-Mogador Association, announced that over 100 clubs were created at the request of students, only a month after launching the first “Club of Tolerance and Coexistence”.  During the Essaouira debates, students embraced the idea of a “united Morocco” as a way of combating religious bigotry and other forms of discrimination. 
Azoulay took pride in the student’s excellent representation of Morocco and its educational system. ………………

Morocco's Efforts to Promote Equal Opportunities between Men and Women Highlighted in Cairo

Morocco has made enormous efforts over the past decade to put in place legislative and institutional measures to promote equal opportunities between men and women, said Tuesday minister of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality and Family, Jamila El Moussali. The Kingdom has strengthened the representation of women in decision-making processes, in accordance with its international and national commitments, as stipulated in its Constitution, said El Moussali who was the guest of honor at the second virtual Arab workshop initiated by the Arab Women Organization from 16 to 17 February on "Improving the performance of Arab parliaments in the field of gender equality"……………………

Northern Morocco Grants Women COVID-19 Work Contracts

Morocco cited economic impacts to shut down crossing points with the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

Safaa Kasraoui - Feb 23, 2021 Rabat

Approximately 700  Moroccan women will benefit from work contracts after their working activities were suspended for several months due to COVID-19.
State media reported on an agreement between provincial authorities and the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (ANAPEC). The two parties concluded employment contracts in favor of women affected by COVID-19-induced economic crisis and the shutdown of the crossing point with the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. The agreement was part of the implementation of the integrated program of economic and social development of the prefecture of M’diq-Fnideq and the province of Tetouan in northern Morocco. Around 107 of the women have so far signed their employment contracts. The contracts will secure job opportunities for women in an industrial unit specializing in textile recycling, the Agency for the Promotion and Development of the North (APDN) announced. The agency expects the number of contracts to reach 700 during this week. The contracts will offer women jobs in different industrial zones, including the “Tetouan Park” economic activity zone, and 400 work contracts in two companies in Tetouan and Tangier.

Ambassador Highlights Morocco’s ‘Leading Role’ in Fight Against Racism

Morocco’s commitment to both global and pan-African solidarity shows through its domestic reforms and its efforts in Africa.

Toms Dumpis - Feb 23, 2021 Rabat

Omar Zniber, Morocco’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Office in Geneva, has stressed Morocco’s commitment to the fight against xenophobia and racism. niber reiterated the North African country’s anti-racism efforts while speaking on the first day of the 46th regular session of the Human Rights Council. The meeting set to last from February 22 to March 23, is designed to discuss global solidarity to act against racism and other forms of discrimination in the post-COVID-19 world. “Morocco has always [shown] unwavering commitment to respecting the fundamental principles of the Durban Declaration,” the ambassador said, referring to the Declaration against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance drafted in South Africa in 2001. Morocco will host the World Summit of the Alliance of Civilizations as part of its commitment to fight all forms of discrimination, Zniber announced. 
Initially set to take place in 2020, the event has been postponed to an unspecified date. But the Moroccan ambassador confirmed  the summit will take place as soon as  the global health situation allows it………………….

Moroccan Poet Mohamed Achaari Wins 2020 Argana International Poetry Prize

Morocco’s House of Poetry launched the award to recognize the work of artists and their contribution to boost the Moroccan art industry.

By  Safaa Kasraoui  - Feb 21, 2021 Rabat

Moroccan poet Mohamed Achaari has won the 15th annual Argana International Poetry Prize for the year 2020. Achaari’s works “have contributed for more than four decades to the consecration of writing as resistance by widening the spaces of freedom in language and writing through a poetic practice placing freedom at the center of its interests,” Morocco’s House of Poetry said in a statement. The poetry commission said Achaari’s poems have helped to free up spaces and language in Morocco in favor of “values and in the interest of life.” The poet was born in 1951. He studied law and administration and held several positions in political and cultural journalism. He also worked as an editor. The respected poet  wrote several articles on literature and arts as well as poetry……………………………

Moroccan High Schoolers Talk Morocco’s Territorial Integrity at Public Speaking Contest

An English-language competition saw students give speeches on diplomacy, culture, and other aspects related to Morocco’s territorial integrity.

By  Staff Writer  - Feb 18, 2021 Rabat

Ibn Hazm High School of Casablanca’s Hay Hassani Provincial Directorate witnessed an unprecedented public speaking competition on Tuesday. The event was designed to boost students’ English language skills through their defense of Morocco’s territorial integrity and celebration of Sahara culture………………….

Climate Change: Australia’s Ambassador To Morocco Applauds Kingdom’s Efforts


Australia’s Ambassador to Morocco Michael Cutts, on Tuesday, praised the Kingdom’s efforts in the area of climate change.
“We commend Morocco’s efforts in this area, such as its National Climate Plan 2020-2030 (NCP), which aims to establish the fundamentals of a low-carbon and climate-resilient development,” Cutts wrote in an Op-Ed.
The diplomat mentioned the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), consisting of 55 actions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2030.
He also highlighted Noor Ouarzazate, one of the largest solar parks in the world, which contributes to Africa’s energy transition and now supplies nearly two million Moroccans with electricity, while preventing the release of nearly one million tons of greenhouse gas per year…………………..

The Aqueduct of Youth    intro   global playlist

The songs that define, unite and distinguish kids around the world right now, brought to you so you can be young at any moment. There is music of youth. It used to be that only kids knew what it was, but now that we have streaming, we all know what any of us knows.This explorer was originally going to accompany a Pop Conference talk about the streaming patterns of youth. The pandemic moved the conference online, but the streaming patterns were already there, and the main goal of the talk was to give you another way of listening.

So here it is. Kids stream music, and I have engineered an Aqueduct to bring it to you. The Aqueduct of Youth is a playlist, generated weekly by math and listening patterns, of the songs that define, unite and distinguish kids around the world right now. And also an individual playlist for the kids from each country. And also the adults. And also two more for the classic songs from before 2000 (according to not-always-reliable release-date info) that kids and/or adults from each country still play, because I figured memory has to work differently depending on whether you were alive in the past or not.

You were young once. Kids are still young right now, all over the world. Joy is not intended to be secret………. We can all be young at any moment.
Morocco’s listing here:

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