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Morocco Week in Review 
December 1, 2018

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

A Moment Of Reckoning For Decentralisation In Morocco

by Yossef Ben-Meir RPCV

Morocco’s parliament, at this moment, is deciding the nation’s Decentralisation Charter. Since its working draft is not currently made public, we can only hope that every parliamentarian realises that the human development course of the nation and the relationships between public, civil and private institutions depend upon the creation of a meaningful charter. Its conception and implementation will also determine the extent to which Morocco can inspire its neighbours towards a hopeful, modern and yet historic approach to empowering people to achieve their best life’s course. With the benefit of hindsight, one may fairly consider that in 2008, Morocco’s public commitment to decentralise decision-making, especially with regards to people’s development, was a forward-thinking and strategic position to take. The declaration of King Mohammed VI that Morocco would commence the restructuring of public administrations, was the culmination of a series of other actions and preceded several others. These served to demonstrate a consistency of participatory principles that guide and accelerate sustainable development.
https://www.valuewalk.com/2018/11/reckoning-decentralisation-morocco/
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Teacher from Morocco offers Leicester High students a taste of Arabic

By Brian Lee Telegram & Gazette Staff Nov 24, 2018  LEICESTER

After the first day of school, a motorist saw a new teacher walking and yelled, “Ostatha, m’a salama.” The educator, Bouchra Ait Msguine, was thrilled because the kid in the car had been in her class earlier that day, and she was obviously listening. Ms. Ait Msguine said it meant, “teacher, goodbye,” one of the first Arabic terms to which she exposed the students.
A secondary teacher from Casablanca, Morocco, Ms. Ait Msguine is spending this year at Leicester High School teaching students to be conversant in Arabic. She was placed through a competitive grant that the district received.
https://www.telegram.com/news/20181124/teacher-from-morocco-offers-leicester-high-students-taste-of-arabic
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Moroccan activist tells of women's viewpoint.

Reflections on Morocco during Loubna Bensalah's visit to Turin

NAPLES, NOVEMBER 27

Moroccan activist Loubna Bensalah is visiting the University of Turin on Tuesday and taking part in a day of reflections on her country in a programme titled "Morocco: Perspectives and Contrasts in a Changing Country". Bensalah is a professor of communications at Rabat's Mohammed V University. She will open the day's programme with the story of her journey in 2016, when she was just barely past 20 years old, and she walked a thousand kilometres across her country. She undertook the journey to understand herself and other Moroccan women, and now her adventure has been transformed into an integrated project titled "I Walk With Her", in which Bensalah tells the story of her country from the point of view of its women…….
http://world.einnews.com/article/469356769/bK6lbmOXhDfeIgyT

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Morocco rape victim urges women: never remain silent

Khadija, 17, calls on victims of sexual abuse to speak out after she was allegedly kidnapped and gang-raped
The Moroccan teenager who was allegedly kidnapped and gang-raped has urged women “never to remain silent” about sexual abuse and harassment.
The 17-year-old – identified only as Khadija – spoke publicly this summer about a two-month ordeal in which she claimed she had been abducted, tattooed, burned and raped by at least 12 men.
Her case sent shockwaves through the kingdom and prompted a group of Moroccan women to create the movement #Masaktach – “I will not keep silent” – to campaign against violence.
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/nov/26/morocco-victim-khadija-masaktach
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Trek to Morocco without leaving the metro: Moroccan eats to be enjoyed in East Atlanta Village

At the Table ATL takes a lunch stop at Marrakech Express to learn about the traditions of Moroccan cuisine.

Author: Liza Lucas

It's a rainy day in East Atlanta Village, but the weather doesn't deter customers from a stop at Marrakech Express
At the stove, you'll find chef Amal Alaoui, who learned traditional Moroccan cooking from her mother and family and with perseverance, shares such dishes with metro Atlanta
https://www.11alive.com/article/life/trek-to-morocco-without-leaving-the-metro-moroccan-eats-to-be-enjoyed-in-east-atlanta-village/85-1f09cc51-80da-48c1-9545-2a67d4a11ad2
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Morocco: moderate economic risks

Growth should stabilize at around 3% this year and in 2019. In 2017, Moroccan growth was above 4% (see GDP and its components chart). The Moroccan authorities estimate that GDP growth should reach 3.5% this year and in 2019 thanks to a marked rebound in the agricultural sector, which accounts for 14% of GDP and is a major contributor to activity and employment in rural areas. The IMF is a little less optimistic and forecasts a 0.9pp decrease compared to 2017, for growth of 3.2% this year and in 2019.

Investment supported by a relatively accommodative monetary policy is an increasingly important part of GDP (35%). However, it is expected to slow down slightly in 2018-2019, as will private consumption. Indeed, although the manufacturing sector grew by 3% yoy in the second quarter of this year, driven by the automotive and aeronautic sectors, the mining and construction sectors underperformed. High oil prices are increasing production costs and therefore consumer prices, which is limiting the growth of both private investment and consumption. In 2017, exports increased by almost 9%, driven by strong European demand. This pace is expected to slow down somewhat over 2018-2019 as growth eases in the eurozone. Imports are expected to grow faster than in 2017, slightly reducing the contribution of trade to growth.
http://research-center.amundi.com/page/Article/Thematic-paper/2018/11/Morocco-moderate-economic-risks?search=true
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Morocco Recognizes World Diabetes Day

By Morocco World News - Nov 14, 2018

In response to the threat diabetes poses, the Ministry of Health has made diabetes prevention and control a key priority for its sectoral strategy, mainly through extending the range of healthcare services. In addition to complications related to conception and pregnancy, diabetes, if left untreated, can lead to blindness, kidney disease and lower limb amputation.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/11/257744/morocco-world-diabetes-day/
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Moroccan Oudrhiri Participates in NASA Insight’s Successful Mars Landing

By Tarek Bazza-

After traveling seven months, the Nasa InSight mission has successfully landed on Mars, sending a signal to earth confirming its completed landing. The Moroccan head of NASA’s Planetary Studies Department, Kamal Oudrhiri, told Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) that “landing on Mars is one of the most improbable scientific achievements in terms of global exploration, as the success rate is only 40 percent.”
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/11/258911/moroccan-oudrhiri-nasa-insights-mars-landing/
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Heavy Rains Fill Dams, Help Moroccan Farms

The recent rains in Morocco have positively impacted farmers in the current agricultural campaign and refilled dams.

By Hamza Guessous

Moroccans planted 3.5 million hectares of wheat on 4.5 million hectares of land. Morocco planted 2.5 million hectares of seedlings on 5 million hectares of land, the Ministry of Agriculture said.
In the Gharb region, however, the heavy rainfall has delayed planting because access to the region’s land is difficult. The agriculture ministry’s measures this season included providing the market with 680,000 tons of fertilizers and 2.2 million quintals of selected seeds, 700,000 of which were sold by November 16.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/11/258883/rains-fill-dams-moroccan-farms-morocco/
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Insufficient Oral Healthcare: An Overlooked Public Health Crisis in Morocco

Oral health is an indicator for overall health and quality of life, but in Morocco, it is an overlooked aspect of hygiene and healthcare.

By Charifa Zemouri

In Morocco, children in orphanages are at high risk for oral diseases. Children’s oral health practices are dependent on their parents. Low rates of toothbrush use are observed in studies of mothers and their children. In this instance, the mothers displayed very inefficient brushing techniques
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/11/257686/insufficient-oral-healthcare-an-overlooked-public-health-crisis-in-morocco/
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600,000 Primary Students Study Tamazight in 2018-2019 Academic Year

The number of primary school children studying the Tamazight (Berber) language this academic year has increased to 600,000.

By Hamza Guessous

El Othmani considered that teaching Tamazight in primary schools is mandatory. He added that 4,200 primary schools in Morocco teach Tamazight, while more than 500,000 students study the language.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/11/258321/primary-schools-students-tamazight-morocco/
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Morocco's modernisation drive marred by political repression.

By Christina Okello

Morocco unveiled Africa's first ever high-speed rail line Thursday with King Mohamed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron attending the ceremony. The 1.7 billion-euro project is part of efforts to modernise the kingdom. But a government crackdown on protests in the Rif region casts a pall over the progressive image.
http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20181115-morocco-caught-between-progress-and-repression
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Dissent in Morocco: From Abraham Serfaty to Nasser Zefzafi

Morocco's protest movements have changed over the past 60 years, but the regime's repressive ways have not.

by Mohamed Daadaoui 18 Nov 2018

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the death of Abraham Serfaty, a prominent Jewish Moroccan political activist. Serfaty was an avowed communist and anti-colonial nationalist who opposed the French protectorate in Morocco. As a leading Marxist-Leninist activist, he was first arrested and exiled by French colonial authorities in the early 1950s, then imprisoned for 17 years and stripped of his citizenship by the Moroccan monarchy in the following decades.
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/dissent-morocco-abraham-serfaty-nasser-zefzafi-181116121236678.html
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Edward Said's Orientalism: Forty years later

Forty years after the publication of Edward Said's seminal work, Orientalism lives on in other shapes and forms.

by Hamid Dabashi

There is a video - tucked away somewhere deep in the attic of the internet - of me 15 years ago, convening an international conference on Edward Said's book, Orientalism, at Columbia University. Said at that time was still with us. In this video, you can see me briefly introduce him (not that he needed any introduction on our campus) before he takes up the stage to share his very last thoughts on his groundbreaking masterpiece.

There is another video from just a few months ago, in September 2017, in which I was interviewed by a young colleague in Geneva offering my latest thoughts on the significance of Orientalism today. In between these two events I wrote and published my own book Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in Time of Terror (2009).
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/edward-orientalism-forty-years-180503071416782.html
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Jewish Moroccans Celebrate ‘Shared Moroccanness,’ Commitment to Morocco.

Representatives of Morocco’s Jewish community have reaffirmed their “unflinching attachment to Moroccanness,” celebrating the country’s history of peaceful coexistence between Muslim and Jewish Moroccans.

By Tamba François Koundouno - Nov 17, 2018 Rabat

The public show of allegiance to a complex national and cultural heritage took place at a cultural event in Marrakech on Thursday. Under the theme “Moroccan Judaism: Toward Shared Moroccanness,” panelists and participants convened to celebrate films and other cultural works that shed light on “beautiful historical stories of shared heritage and togetherness” between Morocco’s Muslim and Jewish communities. Zhor Rehihil, a curator at the Moroccan Judaism Museum, the body that organized the event in Marrakech, said that Thursday’s meeting between artists and participants—mostly a young audience—was an opportunity to cultivate seeds of Moroccanness in young Moroccan Jews.
https://world.einnews.com/article_detail/468634698/QbBup1idhUukDRQV?n=1&code=F0A6UI8SDeLVJB2O&utm_source=NewsletterNews&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morocco+News&utm_content=article ================================================

Bahia Palace

This vast masterpiece of Moroccan architecture spreads across 20 acres.
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/bahia-palace
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Ben Youssef Madrasa

The largest madras in Morocco once housed more than 900 students within its exquisite walls
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/ben-youssef-madrasa
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Al-Attarine Madrasa

The courtyard of this small Marinid Madrasa is a dazzling example of intricate Islamic aritechure.
https://d.adroll.com/cm/aol/out?advertisable=E43IJQYE4FH2BH2673AMQUhttps://www.atlasobscura.com/places/alattarine-madrasa
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https://d.adroll.com/cm/aol/out?advertisable=E43IJQYE4FH2BH2673AMQUIbn Danan Synagogue.

The restored 17th century synagogue is one of the few remaining structures in Morocco’s ruined Jewish quarters.
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/ibn-danan-synagogue
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Jemaa el-Fna Square

Fortune tellers, snake charmers, poets, and storytellers all gather on this historic square in Morocco.  https://d.adroll.com/cm/aol/out?advertisable=E43IJQYE4FH2BH2673AMQU
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/jemaa-elfna

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Al Moravid Koubba

The Oldest Monument in Marrakesh and the city’s only surviving example of Almoravid’s architecture.
https://d.adroll.com/cm/aol/out?advertisable=E43IJQYE4FH2BH2673AMQUhttps://www.atlasobscura.com/places/almoravid-koubba
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Jardin Majorelle.

It took 40 years to build this Eden-like garden in Marrakesh, later restored by Yves Saint-Laurent
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/jardin-majorelle
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Exploring the Old Medina in Fez, Morocco

By Mohammad Reza Amirinia November 22, 2018

From the moment I arrived in Fez, Morocco’s second-largest city after Casablanca, I felt I had entered into a completely different history and culture.Fez largely consists of two old medina quarters, Fes el Bali and Fes Jdid, and the modern section of Ville Nouvelle with its palm-tree-lined boulevards, built in the French colonial era. The walled medina, with its bustling souks and old-world ambience, is the jewel of the city. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best-preserved medinas in the world.
https://www.theepochtimes.com/exploring-the-old-medina-in-fez-morocco_2712955.html
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Hiking in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains offers dazzling experience

Several guesthouses in Imlil offer interesting 1-day or 2-day guided hikes but some hikers choose to navigate on their own.

Monday 26/11/2018 IMLIL

I have long dreamt of a hike in the High Atlas mountains, known for their grandeur and beautiful landscape. I decided to go for the adventure along with seven other people, including friends.
We hit the road from Casablanca towards Imlil on a four-wheel drive on a Friday afternoon in mid-September. Imlil, which is 70km from Marrakech, is a hiking heaven thanks to its surrounding mountains. Most hikers flock to the little town to climb the 4,167-metre Mount Toubkal. We reached the town in the evening and had to hire mules to take our luggage to the Dar Aymane Guesthouse, where the friendly staff made us feel at home. The ambiance was terrific as we sat around a long dining table to share traditional Moroccan dishes for dinner. The next day we woke very early to a mesmerizing view of the peaceful mountains and agricultural land.
https://middle-east-online.com/en/hiking-morocco%E2%80%99s-high-atlas-mountains-offers-dazzling-experience
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The Moroccan town where all the buildings are painted blue

Africa / 26 November 2018, 5:30pm / Sarene Kloren

Known as Morocco’s “blue pearl” or “blue city”, the buildings in Chefchaouen are painted using a talc or chalk-based blue paint. Chefchaouen is in the northwest of Morocco. It’s known by many Instagram and Pinterest addict as the “Blue City,” and is perched amid the dramatic landscape of the Rif Mountains.
https://www.iol.co.za/travel/africa/the-moroccan-town-where-all-the-buildings-are-painted-blue-18265097
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New project for religious reform in Morocco focuses on Hadith

Idris al-Kanbouri Sunday 25/11/2018

The new project would provide a channel linking the scholarly class with the general public.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI has initiated a religious reform project focused on the Prophet Mohammad’s sayings — the Hadith — and aimed at protecting them from manipulation by extremists who would use distortions for dubious purposes or by those who doubt the Sunna. Called Al-durus Al-hadithia (Lessons in the Hadith), the reforms come more than a decade after restructuring of the religious field initiative in Morocco. The project is overseen by the Higher Scientific Council and Dar Al-Hadeeth Al-Husayniyah, affiliated with Al Qarawiyyin University in Fez, and concerns all aspects of the Hadith.
https://thearabweekly.com/new-project-religious-reform-morocco-focuses-hadith
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Culture Ministry to Classify Morocco’s Taza as Cultural Heritage Site

The Ministry of Culture has announced its intention to include the medina (old city) of Taza in northern Morocco in the national cultural heritage list.

Rabat

In a press release, the ministry said it has undertaken administrative measures to register and classify the Taza medina as a national cultural heritage site. The statement added that the Taza medina is one of the oldest cities in Morocco. According to the ministry, the old medina was part of historic civilization and has ancient architectural heritage.
The initiative is part of the ministry’s strategy to safeguard and preserve the tangible and intangible national heritage.
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/11/258794/culture-ministry-classify-morocco-taza-cultural-heritage-site/
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Emily Ratajkowski explores Marrakech

DUBAI

US model and actress Emily Ratajkowski took to Instagram this week to share snaps of her holiday in Morocco. The model, who shot to fame for a risqué cameo in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video in 2013, is in Marrakech and seems to have been taken in by the stunning souks and views the city has to offer. Ratajkowski posted a photograph on Instagram where she is gazing out over the city’s rooftops, captioning it “Marrakech moonrise.”
http://www.arabnews.com/node/1411161/travel
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The forest sheltering African migrants in Morocco

Just over 20km from Spain’s southern tip, the forest in Tangier acts as a last stop for those aiming to reach Europe.

by Faras Ghani Tangier, Morocco 

A forest in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Tangier, a tourist town in Morocco's northeast, acts as a last stop for African migrants before they attempt the perilous journey into Europe.
Here, they sleep on discarded, stained mattresses, cook a meal a day using firewood and wash their clothes from rainwater collected in metal cans. However, with no roof over their heads, there is no place to hide from the rain. In the middle of all this, Amale ponders his next move, sitting on a log. He is almost 4,500km from home, but fewer than 25km from Spain, which was his dream destination when he left Sierra Leone a year ago.
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/forest-sheltering-african-migrants-morocco-181119112954378.html
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