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Morocco News meets the World

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    Rabat - Morocco received 22% of Africa’s global arms imports while Algeria headed the region’s ranking, with 36% of Africa’s imports, according to a new report.

    In a tight arms race, Algeria and Morocco represented the two leading weapons procurers on the African continent over the last four years, according to The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s report.

    The report asserted that Algeria and Morocco have been heading the Africa’s arms importers rankings for the last 4 years, with arms imports to the continent shooting up by 53 percent in 2009-2013 compared with 2004-2008.

    Algeria was ranked the top African arms importer and tenth in the world, making up 36% of Africa’s imports, while Morocco was ranked the second in Africa with only 22% of Africa’s arms imports.

    The report said that Morocco became world’s 10th recipient, and it has remained France’s second largest recipient importing 11% of the French exports, after China which imports 13%.

    According to the report, Russia was by far the largest supplier to Algiers. It supplied 93 percent of Algerian arms imports, while France was the second supplier to Algeria with 3%.

    Heading the Arab list, United Arab Emirates was ranked the world’s 4th largest arms importer after India, China and Pakistan despite the fact that its imports decreased in the last year.

    The largest stockpile of arms belongs to India, which remains by far the biggest buyer of arms in the world, importing nearly three times as many weapons as its nearest rivals China and Pakistan over the last five years.

    According to SIPRI, the United States remained at the top of the arms sellers' table for 2009-2013, accounting for 29 percent of global exports, followed closely by Russia at 20 percent.

    Germany retained third place as the largest exporter of submarines, SIPRI said. German exports to Africa rose 53 percent, and Algeria, Morocco and Sudan were the biggest buyers.

    SIPRI used a five-year cycle to even out fluctuations caused by a big order during any specific year. The institute bases its data on public sources as well as government and industry reports.

    Edited by Jessica Rohan

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 This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed

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    Farid Essebar, a Moroccan Russian hacker

    Rabat- Farid Essebar, a notorious Moroccan-Russian hacker wanted by the authorities in Switzerland, was arrested on Tuesday by Thailand's Department of Special Investigation (DSI) in Bangkok.  He is accused of cracking Switzerland Bank’s computers and websites.

    Farid Essebar, who has dual Moroccan-Russian nationality, was detained in Bangkok last week by officials from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), according to the Bangkok Post news website.  Police Colonel Songsak Raksaksakul, chief of the International Cases and International Crime Division, said that authorities had arrested the suspect at a condominium on Rama IV Road.

    “Thailand will send him to Switzerland within 90 days in accordance with the extradition agreement" between Switzerland and Thailand,’' he added.

    The 27-year-old Moroccan-Russian citizen was arrested on suspicion of taking part in a cyber crime which involved cracking banking systems and hacking into online banking websites.  The breach was reported to have resulted in $4 billion worth of damage to customers in Europe in 2011.

    Police are reportedly searching for two other gang members involved in the breach.

    In an interview with the Bangkok Post, the DSI official said that Swiss police had alerted Thai authorities “to their hunt for the hacker through their embassy in Bangkok after receiving information that he and three other gang members had come to Thailand.”

    “DSI officials and police tracked Essebar for about two years until they were certain that he was the one on the wanted list by Switzerland,” he added.

    This is not the first time Essebar was arrested. In 2006, he was sentenced to two years in prison for spreading the Zotob computer worm that targeted Windows 2000 operating systems in 2005. Among the affected were CNN, ABC News, the New York Times, Caterpillar, United Parcel Service, Boeing and also the United States Department of Homeland Security.

    Edited by Elisabeth Myers

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

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    US aid is helping Moroccan women to read and write

    Taroudant, Morocco- According to a report of the High Commissioner for Planning released last week, nearly 53% of Moroccan women can neither read nor write.

    More than half of Moroccans in "working age" (15 years and older) are illiterate, despite the various literacy programs implemented in recent years, according to an AFP report on a study of the High Commission for Planning entitled “Moroccan women and the labor market: characteristics and evolution."

    The same source added that rural women are more affected than their urban peers. More than seven in every ten women (71.8%) are illiterate against four in every ten women in urban areas.

    Nearly one in every two women (47.6%) has no skills, and less than one in every four women (24.7%) is active.

    According to the same report, many rural women have entered the labor market before they were 15 years old, "a reality that has undoubtedly a negative impact on enrollment."

    The same source added that that more half of working women (59.5%) work in the agriculture sector.

    In an attempt to fight illiteracy, the Moroccan government launched many literacy programs in cooperation with the European Union and various NGOs during the past decade.

    These efforts have helped reduce the rate of illiteracy in Morocco. More than six million people have benefited from the literacy programs.  80% of the beneficiaries were women from rural areas, according to the same source.

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

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    King Mohammed VI with Raja of Casablanca's players at the final of the Club World Cup

    Casablanca- King Mohammed VI has recently granted plots of land to five members of Casablancas Raja football team, according to daily Assabahs issue of Tuesday, March 18.  

    King Mohammed VI recently granted five Raja football players plots of land, of 300 m2 each, in reward for their achievements for Morocco during the Fifa Club World Cup 2013.

    In the run up to the final, after a string of victories, the Green Team qualified to play the final match against Bayern Munchen.  Raja was the first African team ever to qualify for the FCWC final.

    According to daily Assabah, the Royal Cabinet informed the five Raja players that the Moroccan sovereign had decided to grant each of them a plot of land worth MAD 150,000. 

    Although Raja lost the final match to Bayern Munchen, its qualification to the final was deemed a historical event,and all Moroccans across the kingdom celebrated Rajas unprecedented achievement. 

    In contrast, the 2014 CAF Champions League was not as successful for the Raja team as the FCWC 2013. The Eagles were eliminated in the second round by the Guinean team, Horoya Conakry.

    Edited by Elisabeth Myers

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

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    Lahcen Haddad

    Rabat- In spite of a difficult geo-strategic situation proximate to other countries experiencing the so-called Arab Spring, Moroccos tourism sector generated  60 billion dirhams in revenues in 2013, according to Minister of Tourism, Lahcen Haddad.

     Morocco's tourism minister said that a record-breaking 10 million people visited the North African country in 2013, indicating that the tourism industry is recovering from the setbacks caused by the Arab Spring revolutions in neighboring countries.

    After several years of flat growth, Moroccan tourism on Tuesday reported a 7.2 percent increase in tourists since 2012.

    According to the Moroccan news agency MAP, despite regional difficulties such the Arab Spring revolution, the tourism sector recorded a positive performance in 2013.

    Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad touted a 9 percent increase in the number of nights tourists spent in hotels, but earnings were nearly the same as in 2012 at $7.2 billion. Tourism was also responsible for creating 20,000 jobs in 2013. The Minister  predicted another 8 percent increase in visitor arrivals in 2014.

    Morocco, whose beaches, exotic cities, and pristine mountains are popular tourist destinations for Europeans and Americans, relies on tourism for 10 percent of its GDP, the second-largest contributor after agriculture.

    Boosting its position as a significant contributor to the Moroccan economy, the tourism sector reflected 9 percent of the national GDP, Haddad said.

    He emphasized the formalization of 15 Regional Programs Contracts for various development projects. These projects will help local partners move in the right direction toward achieving Moroccos Vision 2020 ambitions.

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    Japan Donates Morocco 170 New Generation Eco-Friendly Vehicles

    Rabat-  Japan donated Morocco 170 new generation eco-friendly vehicles worth 50 million MAD.

    "The donation, worth 500 million Yens, 50 million MAD, means to support Morocco's efforts to promote clean energy and popularize the use of environment-friendly vehicles that reduce air pollution and greenhouse effect gas, said Morocco's energy, mines, water and environment minister, Abdelkader Amara.

    The donation comes pursuant to an agreement signed between the two countries in March 2013. The vehicles will be used by some ministerial departments.

    Since 1979, Japan's non-reimbursable donations to Morocco reached 35.04 billion Yen (around 3.5 billion MAD).

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    Casablanca- Her name is Rahma Bent Larbi, and she is the 96-year-old woman who was raped in Sidi Sliman (68 miles northeast of Rabat). News website LE360 sent a group of journalists on Wednesday, March 19, to Rahma’s house, located in Douar Ben Lahcen, a small, remote village near the province of Sidi Sliman. Despite […]

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    Algerian officer defects, seeks political asylum in Morocco

    Casabanca- Good news for Algeria and Morocco: The International Institute of Peace Research of Stockholm ranked Algeria and Morocco in first and second place, respectively, for weapons purchases in the continent of Africa.  

    Neither South Africa nor Nigeria nor any other oil producing or non-producing, democratic or despotic country has overtaken them.  Algeria has the gold medal and Morocco the silver medal. 

     While the two countries may congratulate each other, hoist their flags, and sing their anthems, the border between the countries has been closed for 20 years and the two countries lose 1.5% of growth annually due to the closed border, letting only the donkeys pass the border with Algerian oil to Morocco.

    The International Institute of Peace Research of Stockholm, specializing in the global arms trade, said yesterday that Algeria ranked in first place among African countries weapons purchases in 2009-2013, while Morocco occupied second place for the same time frame.

    Further details about the rankings of the two enemy countries in this trade of death indicate that Algeria, due to its energy resources, is the 7th country in the world in the purchase of weapons as the country is engaged in a third world war, while Morocco is in 10th place in the world. While the two countries rank high in arms purchases, the two nations rank last when it comes to human development, human rights, transparency, the fight against corruption, and business.

    Moroccos main suppliers are France, China, America, and Spain. Algerias suppliers are Russia, France, United States, China and Spain.  The major arm-producing countries sell everything to everyone, especially those who give priority to weapons over education, health, economic infrastructure, and the quality of life.

    As stated by by the late French comedian Coluche describing countries that claim to be neutral and selling weapons to those who ask:A neutral country is a country that doesntt sell weapons to a country that is at war unless it pays cash.

    Hostility marks the relationship between the two countries and that, along with the cold war they are engaged in, are the two reasons that drive them to run after weapons, weapons that will not be used, but even if which God forbid they were used, it would not change the balance of power on the borders or anywhere else.  An armed confrontation would only destroy the capacity of the two belligerents whether because of an effective war that lasted only a few weeks or a cold war that would take more time to achieve the same result.

    Nevertheless, the statistics of weapons purchases may serve as evidence to condemn the elites of the two countrieselites who, since the independence in 1956 and 1962, have failed to weave the same Maghreb djellaba for all, despite all the factors that bind the populations.

    If the region is becoming more a jungle, it is not necessary that we become animals that are looking for the fight at all costs. Stop! Enough!  Let Algeria race against itself by buying more weapons, and let Morocco make the choice of acquiring more weapons weapons of science and conscience, weapons of knowledge, economics, development, democracy, freedom and wealth, which have more power than missiles, fighters and cannons.

    Translated by Nahla Landoulsi. Edited By Elisabeth Myers

    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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    Rabat- Princess Lalla Salma, Chairwoman of the Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention and Treatment chaired, Thursday in Rabat, the Board of Directors of the Lalla Salma Foundation.

    On this occasion, the Council examined the 2013 accounts and the reports to be submitted to the Annual General Meeting of the Foundation.

    According to a statement of the Foundation, released at the end of the Council, the 2013 results were marked by the completion and launch of two Gynecologic Oncology centers in Rabat and Casablanca, and the launch of four reproductive health centers for the diagnosis of breast and cervical cancer in Hay Mohammadi, Ain Sbaa, Mohammedia, and Tangier.

    The Foundation stated that the rehabilitation of the National Oncology Institute, in collaboration with the University Hospital of Rabat, is ongoing and work is continuing on schedule, adding that the construction works of the regional oncology center of Meknes are completed to 99 pc and that the center is set to open in April 2014.

    According to the same source, all cancer patients treated in cancer centers, and public RAMED cardholders have access to 100 pc of the anticancer drugs available. It also notes that 2013 was marked by the consolidation of cancer research, with the call for research projects that resulted in the selection of 11 projects that will be funded for 3 years starting 2014.

    The Foundation hailed the tobacco-free high schools project which currently covers 93 pc of schools throughout the country, noting that the tobacco-free businesses project now comprises 45 companies and has yielded meaningful results.

    Concerning international cooperation, the Lalla Salma Foundation is currently considered a pioneering platform in the fight against cancer in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa (MEA) through the leadership role played by HRH Princess Lalla Salma at the international level and the support of the Lalla Salma Foundation in the fight against cancer in Africa.

    At this meeting, members of the Council welcomed the personal commitment of Princess Lalla Salma and the quality of management of the Foundation.

    In a statement to the press after the meeting, Secretary General of the Lalla Salma Foundation, Latifa Labida, stressed that 2013 was marked by the significant expansion of the Foundation's activities in all areas of intervention, and the growing confidence of donors and national and international partners in the Foundation.

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    Mr. Rachad Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States

    Washington -  Moroccan Ambassador to the US, Rashad Bouhlal presented before the "Chicago Council on Global Affairs" the vision of King Mohammed VI on relations with Africa, in the light of his trip to several countries in West Africa.

    Addressing politicians and representatives of civil society and the business world, the Moroccan diplomat provided an overview of the various steps of the Royal tour in Africa, which led the Monarch to Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Gabon, a statement of the Embassy of Morocco in Washington said on Thursday.

    Ambassador Bouhlal held talks on Wednesday with Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel on relations between Morocco and the United States," in light of the Joint Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting between His Majesty the King and President Barack Obama in November 2013."

    The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss ways to strengthen relations between Casablanca and Chicago, which are linked since 1982 by a twinning agreement, and which maintain some of the most active twinning relations in the world.

    The statement said Mayor of Chicago stressed the "strong commitment" of the city of Chicago to maintain strong business ties with Morocco, and to promote bilateral cooperation in areas related mainly to water infrastructure.

    He also highlighted the joint actions to strengthen ties between the two cities through cultural, humanitarian, economic, and educational projects

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    Amazigh teaching

    Taroudant, Morocco- The High Commission of the Civil Registry confirmed on Monday the freedom of Moroccans to choose the names of their children, provided the names do not breach morality or public order, without distinction between Arabic, Amazigh, Hassani, or Hebrew names, and in accordance with the provisions of the law relating to civil status.

    According to the Maghreb Arab Press, the procedure of choosing names was confirmed at a meeting on January 23, 2014 of the High Commission of the Civil Registry, chaired by Abdelhaq Lamrini, historiographer of the Kingdom, spokesman of the Royal Palace, and President of the High Commission of the Civil Registry.

    The meeting also focused on the examination of complaints filed previously against the refusal of some Amazigh names by the offices of civil status, according to the same source.

    Officers of civil status are also required to demonstrate a "maximum flexibility in the processing of applications submitted to them and ensure to provide all facilities to the citizens, the same source added."

    The High Commission of the Civil Registry called on the officers of the civil status to withdraw the lists of names published under the old law and to comply with the provisions of the circular of the Ministry of the Interior No. D3220, published April 9, 2010, on the choice of names.

    Anir, Sifaw, Tifawt, Thiyya, and Bahac are some of the many Amazigh names that had been unauthorized in Morocco.

    The Amazigh families have been denied the right to name their children some Amazigh names since 1996, when a circular was sent to Moroccan civil status registry offices banning Amazigh names.

    Since then, activists have led a fierce campaign against what they call a “racist and discriminatory law” targeting Amazighs, and Amazigh associations have been putting pressure on Moroccan authority to recognize Amazigh names.

    Edited by Melissa Smyth

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

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    Amine Raghib, Moroccan Winner of YouTube Silver Award

    Rabat- As social media has proven to be an outlet for creative and innovative people to showcase their interests and activities, Amine Raghib, a Moroccan young man from Marrakesh, stands out from the crowd as the winner of YouTube’s  Silver award for having had more than 365,000 people subscribe to his YouTube channel on Tuesday, March 18,  2014.

    “I am a very simple person. I started from Zero. What I want to tell you is to hold on to your dreams. Do not make excuses. If you really want to make your dreams come true, you will not make up excuses or blame it on the scarcity of resources,“ he said.  

    Raghib's four-year-old YouTube channel, Al-Muhtarif “Arabic for the professional,” has exceeded 300,000 followers. The channel's content is informative and educational, and "geeks" are said to consider it a good resource for information. The simple and clear methodology Amine Raghib uses to explain the tricks of technology makes the channel's videos enjoyable by everybody, even those who are not into technology.

    Amine Raghib is the first Moroccan to receive the YouTube Silver award for excellence. His videos have received more than 23 million views. He has already been awarded the best blogger prize in Morocco. He also participated in several competitions in the Arab world on technology. He took part in international events including a recent one held by the Universal Center for Journalists in Morocco. He has been received on several TV shows aired on 2M TV channel and Medi 1 TV.

    In a video published on his YouTube channel, he thanked his fans and followers with these words of inspiration:

    “I am a very simple person. I started from Zero. What I want to tell you is to hold on to your dreams. Do not make excuses. If you really want to make your dreams come true, you will not make up excuses or blame it on the scarcity of resources."

     While there are many other Moroccans who have channels on YouTube, and some have more than 100,000 subscribers, none of them has so far been nominated to win this Silver award.

    Edited by Elisabeth Myers

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

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    Are Moroccans Racist Towards Sub-Saharan Immigrants

    Marrakech - Today, Friday March 21st, was the first day of a new Moroccan campaign called “I’m not called Azzi” –Azzi meaning a dark skinned person in Moroccan Arabic- which was organized for the first time ever to sensitize people on the importance of tolerance and fighting racism in Morocco.

    Morocco is known to host different racial groups who, most of the time, co-live without any confrontation or issues. Generally speaking, Moroccans are famous for their hospitality and open mindedness. However, the campaign mentioned above wouldn’t have been launched if there weren’t a large number of people who feel offended by others’ racist comments and stares.

    In Marrakech for example, you would hardly ever notice a sign of racism towards a dark-skinned person. This may be due to the fact that a number of Marrakchis are dark-skinned; they are our relatives, our friends, our neighbors, our teachers. We don’t even consider them to be different in any way, because after all, they’re not.

    At least this is the way I perceived Moroccans to be before I asked a couple of Moroccan friends the following question: Do you think Moroccans are racist? And their answers were shockingly as follow: “In the US, people admitted that they have racism and worked towards eliminating it. As a result, today, the US has the first African-American President. On the other, in our country, we never admit that we have racism, which is even more dangerous, since we can't work on solving a problem that does not exist in our minds,” said Oussama, who asked that his full name not be mentioned.

    Ghizlane expressed a different opinion. She expressed her point of view by saying: “Being dark-skinned isn’t about color only, it is somehow a way of life. How they speak, how they behave, and how they interact with others is quite "predictable"; it’s their identity.”

    “The blacks have earned a couple of stereotypes that are unfortunately true. For example, if you say Italians eat so much olive oil and Germans drink too much beer, it might be a stereotype but it is also true, same goes for dark-skinned people. A friend of mine used to say, they smell not only physically but also mentally. This is quite racist you would say, but it’s their behavior that makes them really unwanted,” she added.

    Apparently, the campaign that will last from the 21st of March until June 20th is based on solid grounds. Racism is not a simple behavior; it’s a way of life. It’s doesn’t stop at “Look at that person, he or she is different,” it goes beyond that to the way we deal with those people whom we perceive as different just because they don’t look like us.

    It goes to the extent of not wanting to be friends with them, not wanting to employ them, wanting them out of our country as is the case for a lot of African immigrants who seek refuge in Morocco, running from the many problems they encountered back home.

    Maybe we avoid having them in our lives due to the stereotypes mentioned in the quote earlier, but let’s assume they’re not stereotypes and those people do actually behave in a certain way that makes people change routes when they cross paths with them. Don’t we all make mistakes, as individuals and also as peoples? Don’t we as Moroccans have certain habits that seem to Westerns as primitive, but that are parts and parcels of our Moroccans identity, like eating meals from the same plate with our fingers? Shouldn’t we admit we’re at fault, apologize from them and help integrate those people in our lives and be more open-minded and accepting of the other? Shouldn’t we look for what unites us and live together instead of what differentiates us from each other and live apart?

    The same way as we, Moroccans, felt offended by the racist remarks made in recent days by Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders, we should feel offended when we hear a Moroccan look down at a Sub-Saharan immigrants or treat them with disdain.

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

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    Morocco, 150 Masked Hooligans Attack WAC of Casablanca

    Rabat- Over 150 masked hooligans, armed with knives, broke into the training complex of the Wydad Athletic club (WAC) on Thursday afternoon in Casablanca.

    By 3:45 pm, the hooligans flooded the Mohamed Benjelloun complex after assaulting security guards while the team was getting ready to start training.

    Armed with swords, according to testimonies, they physically assaulted two players  in addition to attacking the coach, Shahid Mustapha. After stripping them of their cell phones and expensive belongings, they started damaging the parked cars, according to Akhbar Al Yaoum. The assailants y then fled in a pick-up.

    The attack lasted for 15 minutes, and police could not make it to the complex in time, allowing the hooligans to escape with ease.

    Talking to Akhbar Al Yaoum, Abdelilah Akram, Club president, stated that the hooligans “have been sent by someone to destabilize the players."

     “Ultra ?Winners”, the WAC fans association, announced on its official website that “it has nothing to with this attack.”

    Edited by Melissa Smyth

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

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    AFP, Fadel Senna, Aeronautical factories can support the Moroccan economy, officials say

    Washington -  Boeing's director of supply chain management Bob Noble highlighted, in a statement to MAP on Friday, the attractiveness of the Moroccan aeronautics market.

    The Moroccan market stands out thanks to its sound government structural policies, infrastructure, training programs and skilled labor, said Noble who lauded Boeing's participation in the second summit of suppliers slated on April 8-9 in the Casablanca aeronautics free zone "Midparc".

     The Moroccan market attractiveness is most welcomed given the unprecedented demand by the aeronautics international market for new planes, he said, adding that the US company supports the expansion of the supply chain in order to be able to provide planes for the world's market.

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    France to grant visa to Moroccans who graduated in its Universities

    Casablanca- Innumerable are the reasons why success appears unattainable for many Moroccans. Most of these reasons are myths, and the belief that living in Morocco makes success impossible tops the list of myths

    “I live in Morocco. I can’t succeed!”—many Moroccans believe that their country is somehow antagonistic to success. One would easily draw the link between such attitude towards national identity and the reason why we still hear of clandestine Moroccan immigrants found dead somewhere on the coasts of Spain.

    Some Moroccans call that L’Hriig (clandestine immigration), others refer to it as “the quest for opportunity” –an appellation loaded with fantasy and an innocent desire for accomplishment, elsewhere. This fantasy starts with a conviction that success is a myth in Morocco, evolves into a long-term project, and culminates, mostly, with either trauma or a tragedy.

    Why do some Moroccans mythologize success? Is being Moroccan or living in Morocco a crucial variable that could account for a Moroccan’s lack of opportunity and self-worth? Is success only accomplishable outside Morocco, or thanks to a double nationality? Is there an impediment to success that only our clandestine immigrants can perceive?

    My Theory of Success: nothing to do with being Moroccan!       

    Is one born an artist? No. We’re rather born with the seeds of exceptionality, of excellence and unprecedented ingeniousness, but only few of us feel the need or have the desire to water those seeds to make them germinate, grow and flourish.

    Do you get the metaphor? I believe success is innate, and so is failure. Just as we’re all born with a langue acquisition device (LAD) that enables us to acquire our first language regardless of our race, gender or origins, we are born with a “success attainment device” (SAD) as well, which enables us to attain success regardless of our disparities.

    However, just as the LAD necessitates exposure to linguistic stimulus, along with other criteria, for a successful language acquisition, the SAD requires that a number of criteria be met for one to attain a particular form of success, successfully.

    Expose Yourself to Motivation…Plenty of it! 

    Who is the more likely to succeed: (1) a person who’s incessantly reminded of his inabilities, constraints and don’t-haves, or (2) a person who is constantly reminded of how illegible he or she is to succeed?

    The reason why some Moroccans believe that success is unattainable in Morocco is—doubtlessly among other reasons—the fact that they are constantly exposed to the discourse of failure: accounts of unsuccessful businesses, manifestations of poverty and the rise in joblessness rate, the inability of degrees, certificates and trainings to make a difference, and so forth and so on. 

    Bear in mind: one doesn’t necessarily need ‘the other’ to feel eligible to succeed. Our dependence on others to rewards us, to praise our work, to encourage us, to remind us that we have the ingredients of success is what makes success appear more of a mirage to us, the more we approach it, the farther it steers away from us.

    Our success is our own responsibility, and so is our failure. We can be our own suppliers of motivation and encouragement, and our success will consequently be tastier, for we, and only we, would have drained ourselves to plant its seeds,  monitor its growth, and then deservedly relish its fruits. 

    Know Yourself First…

    The reason why some Moroccans believe success is unattainable in Morocco is mostly that the success they are seeking is simply not made for them— or simply not their thing! We can’t all sing, rise to fame and have faithful fans asking for our autographs at the entrance of a five-star hotel.

    We are born with similar SADs, but not all of them serve for the same end. We all acquire the same language, but we don’t use it the same way. That makes our idiosyncrasy, exceptionality and weirdness. Hence, none all of us should aspire for the successes attained by others, unless we understand ourselves, for us to avoid taking not only the wrong path to success, but also aiming at the wrong type success.

    Knowing yourself is understanding your needs, your skills, your qualities, your acquired knowledge, your dreams, aspirations and fears, as well as your weaknesses, your bad habits and your defects. Believe it or not, all of these elements are variables that determine what type(s) of success(es) is (are) attainable for you, and which ones are not.

    The reason why some Moroccans lose faith in the achievability of success in Morocco and decide to immigrate illegally elsewhere is because they see success from the lenses of others who made it outside Morocco, but with different investments.

    By no means am I trying to say that all Moroccans need to seek success only in Morocco. Surely, some Moroccans, the case of brilliant students or artists, can have their skills and talents polished more efficiently abroad. Morocco, hopefully, will one day acquire the means needed to make going abroad seem unnecessary. However, many Moroccans can reach the summit of their potential by investing their skills and knowledge, regardless of their scope or significance, in Morocco.

    Many Moroccans achieved success in Morocco before moving abroad to expand and polish their skills and expertise in a myriad of fields. Success, in this sense, is bound neither to Morocco nor aboard. Success is encapsulated in us, rather than an entity that exists independent of us and necessitates a quest for us to lay our hands on it.

    Success is willingness-bound. The stronger your willingness, the more chances you score to attain success, but only the one that best fits your ambitions and abilities. Further, self-knowledge and self-motivation are both ingredients and criteria for attaining success. Being Moroccan, Muslim, black or a woman are not impediments to success.

    Success can start in Morocco, then flourish elsewhere, but only to return to its roots, where it has a worthwhile raison d'être, where it is more needed. 

    Edited by Elisabeth Myers

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

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    Moroccan Police car

    Casablanca- Seven suspects, believed to be involved in the recent attack on the Wydad of Casablanca (WAC), were arrested in the Médina and Derb Sultan neighborhoods in Casablanca.

    The police in Casablanca arrested on Friday 7 suspects who are believed to be involved in the recent assault on the WAC’s members and players at Mohamed Benjelloun stadium on Thursday.

    The arrested suspects were transported to the judicial police center in Casablanca’s Hai Hasani district.

    Armed with knives and swords, 150 masked hooligans broke into the stadium, assaulted and robbed the WAC’s members and players, vandalized their cars and damaged stadium facilities, according to daily Al Massae.

    Some of the Widadi players and members were subsequently taken to a hospital, suffering from different degrees of injury. 

    The armed gang reportedly robbed around MAD 4,000 and 9 cell phones from the WAC’s members and players.

    Abdelhamid Hosni, a member of WAC’s Administrative Board, announced his resignation following the incident, whereas WAC’s player Said Fattah vowed not to play in “such conditions” anymore.

    Moroccans from all corners of the kingdom condemned this criminal act and called on Moroccan authorities to apprehend and punish the perpetrators.

    Many Moroccans attributed the attack on Widad’s players and staff on the absence of police protection in Casablanca and elsewhere in the country.

    Police investigations are still underway to find the rest of the 150 suspects.

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    Morocco’s Fez, world’s sixth most romantic city

    You’ll be able to climb a snow-covered mountain and ride a camel!

    Morocco is home to the highest peak in North Africa, Mount Toubkal rising to 4,167-meters above sea level. During winter months its snow-covered peaks beckon savvy trekkers and the ski resort at Oukaimeden lures skiers from all over the world to try Moroccan powder. Further north s a smaller ski resort: located just outside the Alpine town of Ifrane, the smaller Michlifen slopes are popular for those visiting from Rabat, Meknes, or Fez. Once you traverse the High Atlas and come out on the other side, several hours of driving will take you straight into the Sahara Desert where you can take a camel or 4×4 trek into the dunes. Where else can you ski and play in the sand in one locale?

    You’ll never be more welcome!

    Moroccans can out do even the sweetest southern belle.

    In Morocco, hospitality is a way of life. At times it might feel like the degree to which Moroccans go to make you feel welcome is over the top – and therefore not genuine. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s quite standard for shopkeepers to offer a cup of tea or for someone you’ve met only a short time before to invite you to their home for a meal. You’ll never feel more welcomed then when in the company of Moroccans.

    You’ll sleep in a 1000 year-old home

    Many Moroccan cities are made up of ancient homes. In cities such as Marrakech and Fez, the old homes located in the medina can date back centuries. Dozens of riads, restored old homes, can be found throughout the country. Many retain the old charm and style while providing you with modern-day boutique amenities.

     You’ll view artisans working the same as hundreds of years ago

    A special fondness is placed on doing things the way they’ve been done for decades. In the souks (or various market places within walled cities), you’ll see artisans at work in much the same way they did in the past. Most take on young apprentices to teach and train skills such as woodworking, ceramic throwing, and rug making to ensure the legacy of Moroccan handicrafts continues.

    You’ll have a shopping experience unlike any other

    For some people shopping is just a fact of life, while others embrace the entire experience. If you are among the latter category, Morocco is the place for you. Winding labyrinths dotted with workshops, storefronts, restaurants, and residential homes are prime game for shoppers. You’ll need to bring cash and you’re A-game bargaining skills but you’ll walk away with some true treasures.

    Your tongue will have an adventure of its own

    Listed as one of the world’s top cuisines, Moroccan food is a mix of flavors and cultures. Sweet mixed with savory, meat and fruit, deliciously spiced vegetables, all capped off with pots of sugary sweet mint tea. Diverse cultures; Arab, Berber, Sephardic, European, and African all contribute to the cuisine we know today. We promise you’ll never walk away hungry.

    You’ll be in one of the most diverse locales in the world

    Morocco blends adventure and the exotic from its proximity to Europe, foothold in Africa, and its Middle Eastern influence. Large cities like Rabat and Tangier resemble European cities in many ways, while rural outposts like Zagora and Chefchaouen will make you feel eons away!

    You’ll witness hundreds of years of history unfold in front of your eyes

    The modern state of Morocco gained independence in 1956 but the history of Morocco spans over twelve centuries, having first been unified in 789. The area itself has been inhabited for 5000 years by Berber tribes. Buildings such as al-Karaouine, the oldest operating educational facility in the world date to 859, while the famous Koutoubia mosque was built in 1147. In Morocco you can see history progress in front of your eyes!

    Originally published on

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    Rabat- “Art grows from joy and sorrow; but mostly from sorrow. It grows from human lives.“ Edvard Munch.

    Suffering has been associated with art for so long. Humanity has endured a great many experiences and has generated creative ways to showcase its suffering through art. Every person has an artist sleeping inside who wakes up only when its vision is bleak and the horizon hides its colors. Though some contemporary artists contradict this statement and seem to be most productive only when they are happy, this is not the case with the Moroccan music band Nass El Ghiwane.

    The 60s and 70s represented a significant transitional point in history. People’s political awareness started to grow and many voices emerged to shape reality in creative ways. Nass El Ghiwane stood out by putting on unprecedented performances in which they tackled issues that touched the core of the Moroccan society.

    Boujmia Hagour, Laarbi Batma, and Omar Siyed, three young men who came from simple families and lived in the poor neighborhood of Hay El Mohammadi in Casablanca, set the pillar for a band whose echo traveled across the globe. Their passion for music brought them together. First established in 1970, Nass El Ghiwane gained fame and built a reputation. More enthusiastic youth joined their journey: Abderahman Paco, Allal Yaala, Mulay Abd Laaziz Tahiri, and Mahmoud Saadi, though the last two quit the band very early.

    In October 1974, the band lost its founder Boujmia. His presence in the band was short, but he set out the path for it to follow. His lyrics and the strong voice gave Malhun songs a different taste. In a poem that marks disbelief towards the death of Boujmia, entitled “Annadi ana” (I am calling), the band repeated:

    “My brother passed away yesterday

    His news arrived just today

    My brother died of agony

    Leaving behind his places and family

    O no brother, you are still with us

    Or is it me that cannot take the loss”

    The band started to perform at Casablanca’s famous theatre Al-MasraH Al-Baladi. At that time, the artist, Tayeb Seddiki, known as the godfather of young talents, was amazed by this group of young men who were fascinated by their own language and popular art; Nass El Ghiwane was the first musical band that Seddiki described as “troubadours.” Moroccans recognized Nass El Ghiwane’s music to be the mirror of their everyday life. Few are the instances when you enter a Moroccan house without finding a tape, a CD or the lyrics of their songs written on a piece of paper.

    The era of Batma, Siyed, Allal and Paco coincided with a revolutionary movement in the 60s and 70s that took on a satirical approach to society, mainly manifested in poetry, Zajal, criticism, and theater. The “phenomenon” of Nass El Ghiwane drew inspiration for its verses from Moroccan popular culture. The “Moroccan maternal heritage” and was always present in their well- versed poems.

    The band contributed to the shaping of a conscious and politically aware generation. Their songs had stinging criticism of society and the spread of corruption within its institutions. The late Hassan II received them exclusively to perform before him their most political songs. This unexpected invitation came at a time when people “rolled their tongues seven times” before they could speak of politics in Morocco.

    After Laarbi Batma’s death from cancer in 1997 and the withdrawal of Paco, Nass El Ghiwane could have perished and been forgotten, like any band that lost significant icons like these

    However, Omar Siyed and a new member of the artistic Batma family continued to entertain Moroccans with authentic rhythms that Moroccans have memorized since they were kids. Nass El Ghiwan has become an icon of Moroccan music. It combined Gnawa music of “Paco”, Chaabi music of Chaouia “Batma,” and Amazigh music of “Omar Siyed,” creating a mosaic of cultural specificities fused together and formed into a harmonious breeze to which Moroccans fall submissively whenever it blows.

    Nass El Ghiwane was not just a craze; it was a phenomenon that inspired many prominent writers, poets, and film makers who chose to honor their writing careers with at least one work devoted to the legend of Nass El Ghiwane, including Ahmed El Maanaoui (“Transes”), Ahmed Sayeh, Mohammed Bennis, D.Caux, T.Fuson, and Taher Benjeloun, among many others.

    Nass El Ghiwane sung for love, hope, peace, victory and failure, beauty, the body, the land, and the country. Their songs will be a constant reminder of authenticity and an immortal link to Moroccan roots.  

     They even sang about cats:

    My kitten

    My kitten is little

    Her name is Namira

    Playing with her is such a joy

    She follows me like my shadow

    She shows off a skill

    To haunt a mouse

    She is beautiful

    Her hair is long

    The simplicity of their themes and the way in which they presented them was revolutionary. In addition to the religious songs, in which they praise the Prophet of Islam, they have inspired Moroccans to sing about a tray, “S-siniya,” as if it were a diamond. S-siniya’s cultural and social connotation in Morocco goes beyond the fact that it is a mere tool with which to serve food or drinks. When a family gathers around a tray on which tea is served, they perform a very sacred ritual in the Moroccan culture. It symbolizes unity, hospitality, generosity, and company. These are the principles that Nass El Ghiwane has tried to transmit in its songs

    Edited by Melissa Smyth

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

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    bassima mi

    Rabat-The Minister of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development, Bassima Hakkaoui, reported on Thursday that over 1,162 people have benefited from the Winter 2014 campaign that was created to give assistance to the elderly homeless population.

    Highlighting the results of “Winter 2014” campaign in a meeting on Thursday in Rabat, the Minister noted that nearly “275 women (23.6%) and 887 men (76.33%) have benefited from its assistance,” according to Akhbar Al Yaoum.

    This initiative was launched in January with the tagline "The care of the elderly homeless ... everyone's responsibility". It kicked off on January 13th and ran until March 21st.

    According to the same source, “nearly 618 cases (141 women and 477 men) have been integrated into social welfare institutions,” Bassima explained. The other 224 cases were assisted onsite “

    Geographically, the highest number of treated cases was recorded in Casablanca, with 153 cases (13.17%), followed by Marrakech-Tansift-Al Haouz with 129 cases (11.10%) and Souss-Massa-Draa 26 cases (10.84%), and Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen (40 cases / 3.44%), while Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra recorded the lowest number of cases with 5 (0.43%).

    This humanitarian operation was, according to Ms. Hakkaoui, “a mobilization of civil society and benefactors, especially in terms of location and orientation of cases requiring assistance and in-kind support. “Assistance has also included the granting of subsidies for seniors who refused to join centers located in their region, providing mattresses and clothes, organizing cultural and artistic activities or organization of medical caravans,” said the minister.

    Edited by Jessica Rohan

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

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