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Morocco Week in Review 
January 16 2021

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

US Officials Wear Sahrawi Traditional Garments to Celebrate Visit to Dakhla

David Fischer and David Schenker both wore the Sahrawi garment to celebrate their visit to Dakhla, southern Morocco.

By Safaa Kasraoui - Jan 10, 2021 Rabat

Members of the US high-level delegation celebrated their visit to Dakhla, southern Morocco, by wearing traditional Sahrawi garments.  Senior US officials, including Assistant Secretary of State David Schenker, posed for photos in Sahrawi traditional clothes, paying tribute to Moroccan diversity and culture.
Also garbed in Sahrawi attire, US Ambassador David Fischer and his wife joined Schekner in his tour of southern Morocco. The diplomats spoke warmly of Morocco and Moroccan culture, especially touting the country as a strong and reliable US ally……

Western Sahara: US to Open Consulate in Morocco’s Dakhla on Sunday

The US will also open a Prosper Africa Office on the same day. The initiative seeks to boost economic investment in the region and support two-way trade between the US and North Africa……………………

TALIM - Tangier American Legation Institute For Moroccan Studies (Video)

Located on zankat America, about 50 m (160 ft) from Bab Merican, the old American Legation in Tangier, Morocco, the only US National Historic Landmark located in a foreign country, is now home to the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM). Now a vibrant center of activity in the old medina, the facility houses is a museum, research library, and cultural center. TALIM is the research center in Morocco of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies – AIMS, part of CAORC, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers…………….
Watch the video here:

The US-Morocco-Israel Agreement and the Triumph of Pragmatism

The Trump administration considers the Moroccan compromise of extended autonomy for the Sahara serious and credible and that it can constitute a solid basis for negotiations and permanent peace.

By Moha Ennaji - Moha Ennaji is Professor of Cultural and Gender Studies and President of the International Institute for Languages and Cultures in Fez, Morocco Jan 9, 2021 Fez

Following recent developments in the Middle East, and especially after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan recognized Israel, Morocco adopted a similar pragmatic approach in its decision to resume bilateral relations with Israel in return for the US recognition of the Moroccan sovereignty on the Western Sahara.
Morocco had first established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1994 and cut them in 2002 after the second Intifada. Today, as a token of appreciation of Morocco’s long-standing ally, the United States decided on Saturday 12 December to open a consulate in Dakhla, one of the main cities in the Sahara, “for economic exchanges.” Seventeen countries have already established consulates in Laayoune and Dakhla cities. While France, Egypt, the Emirates, and Bahrain have welcomed the accord, Algeria has protested, and Spain has expressed reservations claiming that it is the United Nations (UN) that should resolve this dispute.  ……………………..

Id Yannayer: Celebrating the Amazigh New Year

By  Toms Dumpis  - Jan 11, 2021 Agadir

Id Yannayer, January 12, marks the first day of the Amazigh (Berber) agrarian calendar.  This year the Imazighen New Year celebrations will fall on Tuesday. Id Yennayer is celebrated across Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Western Egypt, and this year it will be their 2971st Yennayer or “Amazigh New Year.”
Amazigh people celebrate Yennayer with traditional food, music, and dance. Amazigh activist Ibrahim El Hiyani told Morocco World News that Yennayer “is associated with the god of fertility and agriculture.” As with most Moroccan celebrations, couscous remains central to Yannayer festivities. While festive meals are relatively identical from one town or village to the other, Amazigh activist Lahcen Amokrane said there are some differences on minor details. One such (major) difference, he explained to Morocco World News, is that the Amazigh people in southeast Morocco traditionally hide a date stone or an almond in the plate couscous……

Eve Branson: Founder Of Non-profit In Atlas Mountains Dies Of COVID-19

Eve Branson founded her non-profit organization in 2005 to provide young people with artisanal skill training and to support local families.

By Sanae Alouazen - Jan 12, 2021 Rabat

Founder of The Eve Branson Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides young people in the Atlas Mountains with artisanal skills, has died of COVID-19. 
Eve’s son Richard Branson, who is also the founder of Virgin Group,  announced his mother’s death on January 10. In his announcement, Branson said that while facing COVID-19, Eve Branson “held on for one last victory, managing to fight off the virus, but had expended all of her energy in the process.”  Eve Branson founded her non-profit organization in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains in 2005. The mission of the organization is to provide young people with artisanal skill training to preserve traditional Moroccan crafts and secure local families’ livelihoods. …………..

Morocco’s UM6P, MIT Launch Joint Program for Youth Entrepreneurship

The program seeks to give young students a chance to challenge the future through scientific research and daring innovations.

By  Sanae Alouazen  - Jan 12, 2021 Rabat

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) has announced a joint partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to launch the UM6P Explorer program to promote youth empowerment through entrepreneurship and innovation.  The program “provides entrepreneurial education, mentorship, and funding to innovators from the UM6P community,” according to UMP6’s statement. Explorer is a project that brings together a community of aspiring innovators, entrepreneurs, and educators. The objective is to encourage young innovators who wish to have an impact on the landscape of Moroccan, African, and global entrepreneurship and to advance business, technology, product, and social endeavors………………..

Enjoy some extraordinary photos on Morocco

Morocco, UK Considering Tunnel Connecting Gibraltar With Tangiers?

The potential tunnel would be no longer than the channel tunnel connecting Britain with France

By Jasper Hamann - Jan 9, 2021 Rabat

Rumors are going around that the governments of the UK and Morocco are considering a tunnel connecting Africa with Europe. Several media outlets have reported that the imagined tunnel is rapidly becoming a possible reality.   Years after the failure of a planned Spanish-Moroccan tunnel project, the idea of establishing a physical connection between the two continents is back on the radar. “London has seriously embarked on studying the project that will link Europe to Africa,” the Arab Weekly reports.  The idea is certainly not new. Spain and Morocco have both made attempts to start construction on a tunnel, but the project was eventually abandoned. Now that the UK is desperately looking for new trade connections to replace its EU perks, the tunnel is again being considered in London and Rabat………………..

Morocco-US: Friendship, Diplomacy, Opportunity for Business

By Toms Dumpis - Jan 11, 2021 Agadir

By all metrics, the US delegation visit to Dakhla appears to have been a big success. One has to only look at the picture of Nasser Bourita, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, with the US delegation clad in traditional Sahrawi dress, to see this. While political — official — pictures almost always provide an exaggerated or incomplete narrative, they are nonetheless helpful in pointing to the dominant mood. Most often that not, what you see is what you get: An authentic picture can reveal some details — good or bad — that a press statement cannot even come close to suggesting, much less capturing. One of the most circulated pictures from the high-level US delegation’s recent visit to Dakhla shows senior US and Moroccan representatives enjoying themselves. Posing in the picture,from left to right, are: David Fischer, the US Ambassador to Morocco, his wife Jennifer Fischer, Nasser Bourita, and David Schenker, another prominent US diplomat. ……………………………

Morocco’s Red City: Touristic Places in Marrakech You Must Visit

Marrakech is a must-visit Moroccan city where everyone can explore Morocco’s history through its monuments, attractions, and unique experiences.

By Jihad Dardar - Jan 8, 2021

Marrakech is one of Morocco‘s most touristic locations, a city that offers many impressive attractions and must-visit places. The red city catches the eyes of millions of people across the world every single year. The world-famous city is known for its instagramable monuments and locations that you have undoubtedly seen in the Instagram pages of travel lovers or photography enthusiasts.  In Marrakech, visitors get to explore a different world with a unique culture and society. The touristic city offers the best of both historic and modern worlds with its labyrinthine alleyways, medieval small palaces (riads), 5-star restaurants and hotels that provide a one of a kind luxury experience…………….

Doha Moustaquim, a Young Moroccan Filmmaker on the Rise

“I have struggled to make people trust me for my gender more than I had to for my potential.”

By Wissal Dardar - Jan 9, 2021

Doha Moustaquim is one of the youngest professional filmmakers in Morocco.
At the ripe age of 21, the Casablanca-raised director has already made a name in the filmmaking industry by producing her recent film “BYE-BYE LA FRANCE.”
Growing up with a deaf and mute father and an Amazigh mother she chose an artistic career in a male-dominated field. All these challenges did not stop the young filmmaker from pursuing her passion, yet she is still fighting to make a name for herself in the filmmaking industry. Doha Moustaquim spoke to Morocco World News to explain her origins, the challenges she faces, as well as her inspirations……………………

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