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Morocco News meets the World

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    Morocco-usa

    Rabat- Morocco's location in Africa is a strategic one for US firms which can use the Kingdom as a platform for access to the continent, said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing, Chandra Brown.

    "American enterprises are well aware of Morocco's role to help the African continent build, change and evolve", she said in an interview with Moroccan economic daily l'Economiste. After she underscored Morocco's political stability and openness, the US official pointed out to the US enterprises' interest in Casablanca Finance city and the Mediterranean port of Tangiers. Brown also announced the holding of the "Select USA" summit in Morocco, an event meant to encourage other countries to invest in the USA and in Morocco. Since the Morocco-US free trade agreement entered into force in 2006, trade grew by 244pc, and US direct investments went up from USD 98 million in 2005 to USD 131 million in 2011.


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    The University of Al-Qarawiyyin was founded in the city of Fez, Morocco. Photo by Benjamin Villanti-MWN.

    Casablanca- Polish people drink vodka to warm up during the winter. Women wearing hijab on their heads are suspicious. Spaniards are the best lovers. Arabs are terrorists. And so on and so forth... There are plenty of false stereotypes about each nation, religion or subculture. When I moved to Morocco friends asked me many, sometimes grotesque, questions. There is nothing wrong about it, the more you ask the more you know. I'm here to clarify some things for you.

    Why are you so pale?

    Well, yeah Morocco is an African country. For an average European the Sun in Africa shines 24 per 7 per 365. During the night also, I bet. I came here with my suitcase stuffed with summer clothes, flats and slippers. No socks. No jackets. No warm sweatshirts. Wrong! It does rain here, seriously, it even snows.

    When I went to Poland for a week in December, the first question my friends and family asked me was "why are you so pale?" For them it was obvious that I would be brown like chocolate because I live in Africa. So the answer to this question is: I am pale because I don't spend my whole day on the beach. I don't stay outside the whole day. And the sun shines here most of the year, however not all the time.

    All women are like Ninja, no?

    I have to disappoint you. No, they don't. The majority of Moroccan girls dress like Europeans. Morocco is not Saudi Arabia. Moroccan fashion is as diverse as the United Nations. There are some batman-style fans, there are women wearing burqa, very few wearing niqab. The vast majority of Maghrebi females wear either simple veil on their heads or nothing at all. To your surprise, if you go to certain districts in big cities (such as Ain Diab in Casablanca) you'll find seductive women wearing super-short miniskirts, super-sexy high-heels, super-open blouses and super-tight dresses.

    Poor people, no alcohol there?

    This is false. Moroccans are leaders when it comes to the production of alcohol in Arab countries. There are many types of wines (to my surprise, I saw grey wine also) to choose from and quite many kinds of beer. You will also easily find Russian or Polish vodka in the supermarkets. However, the price is like in Western Europe.

    A place in France?

    According to some people, Morocco is in France. Paradox? Well, I bet it is because they get easily confused between Morocco and Monaco. So, to make it clear: Morocco is a country in the North Africa.

    Moroccans, Arabs, Muslims, terrorists

    This is my favorite one of all time. Thank your media for brainwashing you. What you see on TV is what they want you to see. The reality is different. Moroccans can terrorize you with their kindness, curiosity (sometimes overwhelming) and hospitality. But again, let's not generalize in the other direction now. Generally, they are open, cheerful and nice people but- like everywhere in the world- you will find narrow-minded people with no life who interfere in the business of others. So to make things clear: better come here and see how people are. They are certainly far from being terrorists.

    Everybody rides camels

    Few days ago my grandmother asked my mother: "so her phone works there? But she is not wearing this thing on her head?!" and many other silly questions. So: people here ride donkeys, Porshe, Fiat, damaged motorbikes, Mercedes. They ride camels also, but in the desert. Morocco offers a huge variety of means of transport to choose from.

    I once talked to a man from the United States. The first question he asked was: "so do you have Internet in Poland? I thought it was a communist country!" This and many other stories are the result of human's ignorance and lack of willingness to learn something new, discover a new culture. That's what Muhammad said: "Don't tell me how educated you are. Tell me how much you've travelled". Pack your suitcase and go on a journey, now.


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    A musical concert in Fez to help Syrian Refugees

    Fez- The Student Ambassadors for Peace club in Fez will organize a musical concert on Saturday, March 15, at 15h.30 in Alif Riad, Batha in Fez, to gather support for Syrian refugees residing in the city.

    The main objective of the event is to cooperate with Syrian refugees to aid them in affording their basic needs in Fez and coping with the difficult circumstances and trauma of their situation.

    Tickets are being sold for a symbolic MAD 20. Attendees will enjoy watching a musical group that is in the process of hitting the world stage while simultaneously helping their Syrian brothers and sisters to live and thrive in the city.

    The event anticipates generating a large audience base, promising to disseminate public awareness of the dire conditions Syrians face in Fez.

    "Because of the suffering and pain we feel in the eyes of Syrian families who, suddenly, found themselves homeless in Morocco, as result of the political crisis that crippled their home country, every day we see Syrians begging in order to survive," reads a statement on the Student Ambassadors for Peace club's Facebook Page.

     "This why our students at the club Ambassadors for Peace of the city of Fez, with the partnership of the American Language Centre, have decided to organize a party in solidarity with Syrian with the view to raising a sum of money that would allow us to put a smile in their face" it added.

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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  • 03/14/14--21:40: Women’s Day? No, Thanks
  • Moroccan women demonstrate during the celebration of the International Women's Day on March 8, 2013, in Rabat - Copyright - AFP:File. Rabat (AFP)

    Rabat- Once per year, the world celebrates women; for a week, or a little less, we talk only about women. Our media classify these women, some according to their influence, others according to their beauty, and others according to their fortune.

    Some of our great institutions offer flowers, chocolate or other gifts for women. Our civil society organizes many debates, colloquium, lectures, and conferences regarding the woman, and her role in the society in addition to the question of quotas.

    And after March 8th we go back to our habits like nothing happened.

    Harassment starts again, rapes multiply, domestic violence in public spaces resurfaces, and negative behavior comes back in many forms.

    Most of the men return to their simplistic stereotypes for women and their bodies, and a significant number of women remain with the same ideas about their femininity, their bodies, and their function.

    Then, many men and women think that the primary cause of harassment is the woman’s clothing. It’s the same as blaming a bottle of alcohol for the consumer’s addiction since it is the bottle that attracts him. Similarly, why doesn’t anybody blame a stolen mobile phone or a stolen coin purse full of money, as these objects aroused the desire of the thief?

    And regarding the harassment: it is of course the woman, who is the victim, who is responsible. Please, don’t try to understand, things are clear. It’s obvious!

    And what equality are you talking about? Each thing in its place, please. We aren’t made to be equal, men and women. Everyone at his place and his role…

    Believe me, equality is definitely not in the interest of the woman! For example, is a woman able to lift a bottle of butane by herself? You see? Equality is not good for her! And yet, running the household is the only responsibility of women… She was born with genetic predisposition that has given her a gift for taking care of the household.

    And similarly, a woman isn’t able to decide regarding important matters because she will always let her feelings guide her, and we know well that a woman is less intelligent and religious than a man. She is devoid of 50% of her religion and 50% of her reason. This is well-known!

    So how can a society that relies on a woman successfully progress? Isn’t it certified and sure that "any nation that puts its business in the hands of a woman can’t succeed?" And this is all true  The evidence is that UK is a backward and Germany is underdeveloped!

    And, you should know that saying that is not simplistic for women since they are able to succeed in the fields for which they were created: they ensure education of the future generations, a very important task. They take care of their men and meet their needs, looking pretty, but of course without doing too much.

    Anyway, all of this is not very important… It’s only one day, in which we can take care of this lesser human being: the woman. The remaining 364 days, we can deal with much more serious things!

    Translated by Nahla Landolsi. Edited by Jessica Smyth

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    I love Morocco (Photo courtesy, greenprophet.com)

    Casablanca- Have you ever wondered how Moroccan you are? Take this short quiz to find out how much Moroccanesslurks inside you. Non-Moroccans who have visited Morocco for some considerable time or foreigners who live in Morocco can also take this quiz.

    Mind you, this quiz is not based on empirical research. The questions were inspired by a number of informal discussions on the notions of Moroccanessand national and cultural identity.  

    1.     Curiosity!

    Imagine you are walking down a Moroccan street early in the morning. You are late for work. On the way, you see a crowd of people gathered on the other side of the road. There is something going on there that seems to be drawing more people in to see it every 10 seconds. What do you do?

    A:  Without thinking I will cross the road and go check out whats going on there

    B: I will stop for a while where I am, then resume walking. Ill figure out what happened on my way back 

    C: Who cares! I dont want to lose my job for having been nosy! 

    2.     A random day on the bus

    Its burning hot! You are heading back home on a crowded bus after an exhausting, hectic day at work. You just want to be homelike NOW! Two minutes later, a bunch of kids sitting in the back start singing a very popular Moroccan song. Half of the passengers sing along and use the seats and windows as percussion instruments. What do you do at this very moment?

    A: What?Of course Ill sing along and make some noise

    B: Ill just put on a smile and move my head slightly along with the rhythm

    C: Ill put in my ear plugs and spare my ears the auditory damage.

    3.     The Stranger

    You are sitting on a bench, in a park, listening to soft music and reading your favorite magazine. Out of nowhere, a random person shows up and sits next to you. Barely two minutes have elapsed, the stranger starts talking to you about a random topiclets say, a traffic jam in Casablanca. What do you do?

    A: Ill stop reading immediately and respond to whatever he said

    B: Ill just nod my head whenever the stranger speaks, pretending to listen

    C: Ill just stand up, and move as far away from the stranger as humanly possible

    4.     The guests are here!

    Oh, unexpected guests have just shown up at your house! They actually intend to have lunch at your home! But this week hasnt been your best in terms of expenses, and you have barely enough money left to survive until the end of the month. You didnt see this coming, did you? But what are you planning to do now?

    A: Its no big deal! Guests are a priority. Ill go do some shopping and make the best lunch they could ever ask for

    B: All right, I think tea and cakes will do!

    C:  Oh, God! Why now! Okay, Im going to make them starve!

    5.     The wedding!

    Your neighbors daughter is getting married and the wedding ceremony takes place traditionally in a big tent installed in the street. Its 9 pm., and the wedding ceremony has just started. The music is loud. The guestslaughs and chanting pierce the walls of your house and echo in your room, preventing you from sleeping. You need to sleep because you have to wake up very early the next day. What do you do?

    A: What? My neighbors daughter is getting married? I need to go congratulate him then, or even join the ceremony and celebrate if possiblewhy not? 

    B: I really cant sleep, but its okay. I can survive tonight. 

    C: Are you kidding me? I will go out and turn that wedding into a tragedy.

    Check your results now!

    1.   Mostly A: Congratulations! You are 100% Moroccan! You are very generous, and you prioritize the well-being of the other (group or individual) over yourself. That sense of community tends to be referred to as a typical characteristic of Moroccans. Youre also full of life and you dont mind showing off your Moroccaness whenever the opportunity allows.

    2.   Mostly B: Youre doing fine! Youre a 100% Moroccan, but you just dont let it show much. You have that distinctive sense of community and innocent spontaneity that characterizes most Moroccans. Yet, you occasionally lean towards an individualistic style of life. Just get rid of your cultural shyness, and let your Moroccaness shine through!  

    Mostly C: well, its not that youre not Moroccan, but you will surely face some problems when typical Moroccans are around. Although there is no such a thing as a typical Moroccan, there are certain characteristics that make people bound to relate to one another and feel some sort of a collective sense of belonging that is felt instantly when those traits are publically displayed. I think you lack the publicallypart of it! You are mostly inclined towards the individualistic extreme, which is fine, but may make your life a bit hard when the communal spirit of Moroccans is called forth in your presence. 

    Edited by Elisabeth Myers

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    Italy, Moroccan Team Victim of Racism

    Taroudnat, Morocco- A team of Moroccan immigrants playing in a minor league in Italy is considering to quite the league after its players were the target of racists attacks after rival fans told them to “go back home.”

    According to ANSA.it, earlier this week, a Moroccan team called "Casablanca" had decided to quit the Usip league in the eastern city of Forli after two episodes of racism. The first one was during a match against Club Juventinità di Forlimpopoli, which the Moroccans won 3-0 and the second one was when a rival team shouted at them saying “go back home Moroccans.”

    According to the same source, the Moroccan team has reconsidered quitting the league.

    "We will not withdraw. We remain in the field because otherwise, it would mean a defeat by racism," Youssef Laazizi, a defender with Casablanca team was quoted by the same source as saying.

    What seemingly upset the Moroccan team is that the referee did not take any measure after the players complained to him.

    Following the incident, the Casablanca team has decided to send a petition to the league.

     "We can't stand it any longer," Rachid Hansal, the captain of the team was quoted by Italian media as saying.

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    Tangier, Violent Gunfire Exchange Between Police and Drug Dealers

    Casablanca- Is Tangier becoming the nest of crime in Morocco? A violent gunfire exchange erupted between the police in Beni Makada, a neighborhood in Tangier, and armed drug dealers on Saturday night.

    According to news website Le30, Beni Makada neighborhood in Tangier witnessed a violent gunfire exchange between the police and a group of drug dealers.

    Three police officers were reportedly injured during the gunfire exchange, according to the same source.

    This was not the first time that Tangier witnesses such crimes. In February 2014, a bank truck was attacked by four suspects, who left behind two injured security guards after they had robbed MAD 7.5 Million.

    After shooting the two guards, the four suspects ran away in a fast car after they had stolen MAD 7.5 million.

    A video camera inside the bank captured the robbery that took place outside, showing the suspects attacking the two bank guards and robbing the money truck in broad daylight.

     


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    Morocco, Pornographic Video of a Young Student Stirs a Scandal

    Casablanca- A pornographic video of a young girl from Mohammedia, a city between Casablanca and Rabat, has recently been widely shared on Moroccan social networks, subsequently stirring a scandal in the city.  

    The pornographic video, featuring a young female student from Mohammedia, was recently uploaded to YouTube. The video was allegedly shared on Facebook, causing an outrage in Mohammedia.

    According to news portal MohammediaPress, the young student in the video was suspended from her school as soon as the administration heard of it.

    Her friends and classmates who saw the video said they were “shocked” to see their friend in that type of videos. They also expressed their disapproval of the school’s decision to suspend her, and stated that the girl must have been a “victim” or was “manipulated under the effect of drugs.”

    The person who shot and uploaded the video is still unidentified. According to the young girl’s friends, the person behind the video is a Moroccan living in the United States. 

    Meanwhile, the video has become the talk of almost all residents of Mohammedia, according to MohammediaPoress.

    According to the same source, some associations in the city are expected to intervene in the young girl’s case. 

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    Over 14kg of cocaine seized in Mohammed V airport

    Casablanca- The police services at the Mohammed V airport arrested, on Saturday, a sub-Saharan national carrying 14.280 kg of cocaine. 

     The drug was hidden in the suitcase of the trafficker who was coming from a Latin American country, chief of the airport's judiciary police Abdelhadi Siba told the press. 

     The attempt of smuggling hard drug into Morocco was foiled thanks to the vigilance of law enforcement officers who scanned the suitcase and discovered the illegal substance, he added.


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    King Mohammed VI receiving Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani at Marrakech airport

    Fez- King Mohammed VI on Sunday held a phone conversation with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar. The conversation comes few days after Sheikh Abullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior paid a visit to Morocco.

    According to Qatar News Agency (QANA), during the phone call “the Emir and the Moroccan monarch discussed bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries, matters of mutual concern and reviewed regional and international developments”.

    This phone call comes against the backdrop of an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between the State of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, after the three countries decided to withdraw their Ambassador from Doha in recent weeks. This is first time in the history of the Gulf Cooperation Council (a grouping that includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman) that a crisis of such a nature occurs between its members.

    The three countries blame Doha for its alleged support for the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Jazeera channel’s coverage of Egypt, since former President Mohammed Morsi was toppled in July 2013.

    Among all other Arab countries, Morocco is the only Arab country that has excellent relations with all the members of the GCC, including the State of Kuwait and Oman. Will this status enable King Mohammed VI to play a mediation role and ease tension between the State of Qatar and its neighboring countries? Time will tell.

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    Morocco's international player Mehdi Benatia

    Rabat- FC Barcelona is actively seeking a central defender for next season to replace Carles Puyol. Moroccan football player Mehdi Benatia, currently AS Romas central defender, is seen as having the right profile for the Catalan team.

    After FC Barcelonas official website reported that Benatia is the best replacement for Puyol,” El Mundo Deportivo newspaper confirmed that the Catalan club aims to clinch a deal for Benatias services.

    According to EL Mundo Deportivo, FC Barcelona, will be ready to pay the sum of 25 million to secure the services of the Moroccan player.

    FC Barcelona is not the only team interested in Benatia.The Italian magazine Sky Sport Italia has recently reported that the manager of Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini, wants to recruit the 26-year-old Moroccan defender next season.

    Benatiajoined AS Roma from Udinese in 2013.  He is still under contract with his Italian team until July 2018. However, FC Barcelona may change Romas mind with a larger sum of money.

    Edited by Elisabeth Myers

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    polisarion

    Taroudant, Morocco- Members of the Sahrawi movement "Youth for Change" inside the Tindouf camps managed to break the state of silence imposed on them for almost forty years by the Polisario leadership, and called on the international community to find an "urgent solution" to their long-lasting sufferings inside the camps.

    In a video posted by Laayoune TV channel on YouTube Friday, the members of the movement, against the leadership of Polisario, talked about the miserable conditions and the suffering of the Sahrawi in the Tindouf camps.

    Even if international NGOs and the United Nations consider people inside the camps "refugees", they in no way have the rights afforded to them by this status, in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 1951.

    “Everybody consider us refuges, but in reality we are under the oppression of Polisario leaders. We can neither move nor express our opinions freely,” said a young Sahrawi, who covered his face in fear of being recognized and punished by the Polisario leadership.

    “The population has been and is still suffering and waiting for forty years. Our children have been raised here, and the world has changed around us, but we still live under the same conditions,” the young man added.

    [caption id="attachment_125499" align="alignleft" width="300"]Youth of change "Youth for Change" 38th commemoration of suffering under corrupted leadership[/caption]

    The “UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is responsible to find a solution for these people who live in this dusty and hot place,” he noted.

    The young Sahrawi, who introduced himself as a graduate student, said that employments in the camps are given only to the sons of the leaders of the front and their relatives or friends.  

    “After I have graduated, I came here in search for a job, but in vain. I tried to do a commercial activity, but, again, the Polisario leadership was blocking me.”

    In these inhumane conditions, the population of the camps lives under the tyranny of the oppressive leaders of Polisario with the hope of settling the issue and having the right to return to their homeland.

    “My children keep asking me why we are staying here away from our home country, but, unfortunately, I have no convincing answer”

    Last January, a wave of protests broke out in most of the camps in Tindouf, in which young Saharawis demanded the exercise of their inalienable rights, namely the right to freedom of expression and movement and the right to having a decent work.  

    In December 2013, waves of protests shook the refugee camps charging the Polisario chiefs with the embezzling of fuel destined for the camps.

    [video id="FUsyEh8zzd0" type="youtube"]

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    Global Gender Gap

    Rabat- The results of the 2013 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index have been released, with the Nordic countries continuing their streak at the top and Morocco holding its position at 129th.

    The Global Gender Gap Index examines the gap between men and women and gives136 countries a score in Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment.

    Iceland has come out on top as the country with the smallest gender gap, followed by Finland, Norway, and Sweden, while Chad, Pakistan and Yemen were at the bottom of the rankings.

    Morocco has come in 129th place in the rankings. In contrast, Algeria lost four places. Ranked 120th in 2012, it came in the 124th place this past year. This drop is explained by “losses on the Labor force participation and enrollment in secondary education indicators,” according to the Index.

    In the Arab region, United Arab Emirates comes out on top, ranked 109th thanks to its education policy, which has succeeded in bridging the educational gap between males and females. It is followed by by Bahrain (112), Qatar (115), Kuwait (116) and Jordan (119).

    Meanwhile, Mauritania (132), Syria (133) and Yemen (136) respectively ranked last in the regional ranking due to the high school dropout rate for women, a decrease in labor force participation and economic participation and opportunity.

    Edited by Jessica Rohan

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    Hackers

    Rabat- After stealing huge amounts of money from international companies by hacking their bank accounts, three internet hackers have been arrested in Dar Bouaaza, near Casablanca.

    According to Assabah, the three suspects have been referred to public prosecution after being interrogated by Gendarmerie. According to the same source, the investigation indicated that the suspects took part in many crimes involving fraud, as well as several bank account piracy operations of private companies in Europe and the United States. The companies have been identified by the Royal Gendarmerie but the losses haven’t been evaluated yet.

    The alleged gang members were caught accidentally by security officers after being tipped off by an employee at one of the exclusive hotels in Dar Bouazza.

    The three suspects made reservations for a five month stay in the classy hotel; a hotel official has suspicions about the source of their money. He told his supervisor about it, and the supervisor informed security.

    A few hours later, security officers came to the hotel. After searching their belongings, they seized multiple cell phones and a laptop, which had been used in the hacking operations.

    Edited By Jessica Rohan

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    Casablanca's Royal Palace. Photo by Remi Jouan

    Casablanca - A car accident causes high security alert when a car flips over in front of a Moroccan royal palace gate.

    During a car accident on Friday in Casablanca, a car flipped over in front of the royal palace causing a high security alert.

    According to Al Massaa, various security agencies rushed to the scene of a car accident when a car somehow flipped over near the main door of the royal palace.  Security measures had been boosted around the palace earlier this year after a sub-Saharan had managed to penetrate the palace.

    The car involved in the accident was being driven by a Moroccan living abroad when it flipped over in front of the palace gate. According to the same source, initial interviews with the car driver confirmed that it was a “normal” traffic accident.

    Photo Courtesy Remi Jouann

     © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    9 year-old Moroccan girl, kidnapped for seven months in Bolivia

    Madrid - A 9 year-old Moroccan girl, kidnapped for seven months in Bolivia, was recently set free and arrived on Monday to Madrid-Barajas airport, Spanish security sources said.

    The girl will be taken afterwards to Barcelona (North-West of Spain) where her parents live, they said.

    She was kidnapped last August by a 35 year-old Bolivian national and released on March 8 following a joint operation by Spanish police and Bolivian security services.

    The kidnapper was arrested by Bolivian police and remanded in custody. He faces charges of kidnapping, human trafficking and sexual abuse.

    Found in a good heath in a forest, the victim was transported to a public establishment in the district of Cochabamba in Bolivia awaiting deportation to Barcelona.Spanish justice will decide whether to hand the girl to her parents or to social services of the Catalan regional government.


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    leila Abouzeid

    Goulmima, Morocco - Laila Abouzeid is the first female Moroccan author whose works are translated to English. Though an expatriate of her own country, she is one of the icons of Moroccan literature. As a woman who lived in post-colonial Morocco, Laila Abouzeid contributed to Moroccan independence by resisting French “intellectual colonialism” in a unique way.

    She was privileged to receive a BA in English studies from Mohammed the 5th University in Rabat and she also studied at the University of Texas. She worked as a writer and translator then decided to express her voice through different dimensions; a world to which only the media could open the door to. Subsequently, she became a journalist on the National Radio Channel.

    Usually, acquiring a new language makes expressing ideas and voicing opinions and feelings that sound awkward in your native language easier. However, Leila recognized this as “cultural appropriation” and defied the colonialists' attempt to deprive the country of one of its official languages, namely Arabic.

    Laila’s radio shows were streamed in Arabic. Despite her Anglo-Saxon background, she chose to use a language that would make colonialists roll over in their graves. Not only did the use of Arabic in her radio show demonstrate Laila’s explicit resistance to the legacy of colonialism, the translations and the works she referenced were exceedingly provocative. In fact, a very famous translation of Laila's was Malcom X's autobiography which she translated from English to Arabic.

    Laila developed a caliber of writing that urged her to write her own works in Arabic and abstain from expressing or alluding to the French language, despite her fluency in it. She had her personal reasons to despise French as she explicitly explained in one of her famous books “The Last Chapter”. She notes that she did not choose to learn French and that her country and father were tortured by the French.

    Her education and social status elevated her to the voice of Moroccan woman in then-conservative and patriarchal Morocco. Her works overwhelmed various fields especially those dealing with contexts of identity, Islam, gender... After independence, Morocco was pictured in “The Year of the Elephant” as a lost woman on a rebound after a devastating divorce. In the 50s and 60s, Morocco’s real identity was torn between finding the “who” and detaching from the “other”.

    A prominent woman like Abou Zeid has a limited audience among Moroccans. If she were to write in French like many other Moroccan writers who adopted the language of the colonizer, maybe then she could become famous; her books included in curricula and libraries would introduce a variety of her works to Moroccan readers.

    Do you know Laila Abouzeid?

    Far too many statements ignore or provide a shallow description of this writer. However, the response of Ibtissam El Azrak triggered an unplanned and spontaneous interview. Ibtissam El Azrak is a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from the city of Al Hosseima, Morocco. As a teacher, she maintains close contact with foreigners who study Arabic in Morocco and who are interested in Moroccan literature. Introducing female Moroccan authors who write in Arabic and whose works are translated in different languages is something to be proud of, and Ibtissam shared a part of her experience with MWN about Laila Abouzeid’s work through the eyes of her American students.

    MWN: Do you know Laila Abouzeid?

    Ibtissam: Yes.

    MWN: Have you read any of her books?

    Ibtissam: I read all of her works (giggling) she gave a lecture at the Language Center I am teaching at and I had to read all of her works in order to lead the discussion with American students.

    MWN: Can you describe her style of writing in few words?

    Ibtissam: I read her books in Arabic and her language is so easy. She wrote a lot of stories. There are some that I liked and some that I didn’t. I liked her novel “”Al Fassl Al Akhire(The Last Chapter) where she focused on women in our society. I remember one of her short stories in Al Moudir” (The Director) where she talked about Hijab. I was more interested in stories about women because it was the theme I was teaching.

    MWN: Do you think she is an eminent writer who is marginalized and forgotten in Morocco?

    Ibtissam: Every writer is forgotten in Morocco.

    MWN: How do you explain the fact that many of her works were translated into English and other languages? It means that she is famous abroad at least!

    Ibtissam: They read her work at some universities in the US because we don’t have a lot of female writers and whenever they find a Moroccan woman who writes they want to read her point of view on her society. And she chooses a lot of issues that Westerners like. For example, hypocrisy in our society, being a woman in Saudi Arabia, the veil, Palestine…etc

    MWN: Did she have any impact on her country? What do Americans think about her?

    Ibtissam: She is not really known in Morocco because in general people don’t read a lot in Morocco. And Americans discovered her when she translated Malcom X's biography. My students liked her especially that she wrote about America “Al Wajh Al Akhar li America (The Other Face of America)” … it is human and I think you like to read what others think about you. As an LCF with Peace Corps, I really liked what Jaclyn wrote about Moroccans in her articles on Morocco World News. Jaclyn used to be my Peace Corps Trainee for three months in a village near Fes.

    MWN: As a Moroccan female, do you think Laila Abouzeid represents you?

    Ibtissam: Not really, I don’t feel so in a lot of ways because I hate the “horrible” image that we portray about our society. But you want to “sell” what people want to read, especially to the Europeans and Americans.

    MWN: Do you think her ideas are still valid today?

    Ibtissam: Yes, everything can apply to today’s life… I liked the…the… yes, the sarcasm!

    MWN: There are other Moroccan writers, who criticize Moroccan society, for instance Mernissi! But both seem to have different audiences?

    Ibtissam: Mernissi is good as a writer. She is deep. I have read her books and they are really deep. Laila Abouzeid’s stories are shallow. In other words, she “touches” the issue without daring to go deeper analyzing it. That’s my point of view of course!

    MWN: Do you have any recommendations concerning Laila’s work? Do you think she deserves to be known?

    Ibtissam: I recommend her short stories more than her novels. I believe that every “good” writer should be known but what is good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. Since we don’t have female writers, it is good to encourage these few women who still have the courage to write.

    Edited by Sahar Kian

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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    Casablanca Stock Exchange

    Rabat- Casablanca has made a remarkable entry into the GFCI ranking of global financial centers, according to a statement published on Monday in London by Z / Yen, the institution in charge of the ranking.

    King Mohammed VI’s vision of making Casablanca the engine of the national economy has borne fruit, after Morocco’s largest city  entered the latest edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

    GFCI’s new index ranked Casablanca 62nd ahead of powerful cities such Mauritius, Edinburgh, Dublin, Madrid, Helsinki and Moscow.

    According to GFCI, Casablanca scored 622, following Copenhagen with 623 and Warsaw with 626.

    GFCI ranked Casablanca first among the Ten Centres Likely to Become More Significant, followed by Busan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

    GFCI sees this remarkable entrance as a reflection of the ongoing efforts of the Moroccan government in recent years to create a regional financial center in the city.

    GFCI rankings are influential in that they are used by multinational companies seeking financial centers to serve their regional operations.

    Its high GFCI score is likely to enhance Casablanca’s reputation and attractiveness as an international financial center.

    Edited by Jessica Rohan

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed

     

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    Moroccan police

    Casablanca- Kenitras new Police Prefect, Mr. Abdellah Mahsoun, recently slapped a Moroccan citizen in public, according to daily Assabah.

    The new Police Prefect of Kenitra, Abdellah Mahsoun, who was appointed by Bouchaib Armel to replace Mr. Fouad Belhadri, allegedly slapped a citizen near Marwa Residency in Kenitra, on Friday, March 14.

    According to Assabah, the Moroccan citizen was driving his car whena trivial argument over the right of waybroke out between him and the prefect who was also driving. another car driver.  

    The Prefect is reported to have slapped the Moroccan citizen before humiliating him in public by handcuffing him and taking him to the police center.

    People who witnessed the scene expressed their disapprobation of Mahsouns behavior and described it as an abuse of authority,according to the same source.

    The Moroccan citizen seemingly did not recognize Kenitras Prefect until  after the latter had slapped and handcuffed him. 

    According to Assabah, some human rights NGOs in Kenitra are expected to intervene in reaction to Mr. Mahsoun'sunacceptable behavior.The victims family is also expected to lodge a complaint against Kenitras police Prefect.

    According to the same source, Mahsoun was sanctioned several times when he was a police officer in Bernoussi, Arraach, and Meknes. 

    Edited by Elisabeth Myers

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


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