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Morocco News meets the World

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    Colombian Reality TV Show Desafio Chooses Morocco for its 2014 Edition

    Casablanca- After an exciting 2013 edition in Senegal, the famous Colombian reality TV game show Desafio has opted for Morocco as the second African setting for its 2014 edition, according to Yabiladi.

    "Desafio 2014 Marruecos" or "Moroccan Challenge 2014: The Thousand and One Nights" takes place in Morocco’s spiritual capital, Fez.

    According to Colombian press, shooting in Fez began in March, but the unexpected changes in the weather delayed the process. In a video posted on YouTube, the host of Desafio, Margarita Rosa de Francisco, explains how the bad weather prevented the team from starting their first tests.

    However, on April 14, the first test took place successfully, according to Margarita Rosa de Francisco. Two celebrities, the Colombian humorist David Garcia and the Cuban actress Daniela Tapia, were eliminated.

    In Desafio, 21 contestants (celebrities and challengers), representing different countries, compete through progressive elimination system for cash and other prizes. The contestants constitute three or more teams based on particular variables (age, social hierarchy or nationality).

    “Desafio 2014 Marruecos” is expected to hit Colombian TV channel Caracol TV this month.

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 This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed

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    Rabat - “I am fine, for the time being at least,” is what I say when asked such questions. The reason why I am the person I am now may be because of you. Sorry for pointing fingers at you that way, but it lessens my agony and tantalization for a moment, since there is always someone to blame. For so many reasons I would not step into a territory where my safety is in jeopardy. Yes, I am a sex worker, and I have been dehumanized. You might ask by whom, but I won’t answer because you already know. I have been looking for the missing “me: for ages, and I am sure I will never find her, for now I know I am the men’s sexual object.

    I will tell you a little secret. When I was sixteen, I was my father’s little toy: obedient, soft, loving, and even submissive. I never asked my dad for anything I knew he could not afford because I believed that being petulant towards him all the time would not bode well for the family’s welfare.

    I imagined every single thing in my little brain my dad could not get me. I loved him to the extent that I used to cry on his lap when he was at his lowest point, due to some familial duties he could not execute.

    Forlornly, it was a laughing matter for him because he was preparing a commodity for which he would get millions a month. You might wonder what that thing is. Well, it is the person you are interviewing now. I was seventeen back then, and the only thing I ever wanted was for my dad to be with me. He, however, sold me, and I was raped by a 45-year-old man who was a merciless monster. I was commodified by a man who has brought me into being. Clients would come every night and my dad was the welcoming host.

    Now I am 21 years old, fatherless, motherless, and even homeless. I am a street prostitute asking for people to buy my sex services. Now I know why my father sold me, and I won’t blame him, for I know he would not have done it if there were an option. He violently estranged me, and now I just want to know who I am and why I am not the person I am supposed to be.”

    “H” replied to a question I asked her with drops of tears streaming down her yellow cheeks.

    When compared to you and me, “H” is no different. However, she insinuates that she is so much different from us and that she is an animate being whose mere function is to be turned into a working instrument and be used for sexual gratification. For some reason, she is not what she is supposed to be—a normal person. She is deprived of her social life and even of possessing her own body, to which she has every right. Additionally, she thinks that she dwells in a world where monsters come in the form of men.

    It is not difficult to seek out the reasons behind the phenomenon of prostitution. Rather, it’s salient to ask questions related to the way females are being treated in the modern societies, regardless of the sort of job they occupy. Prostitution may be a vocational choice out of financial necessity, but a dignified person never chooses to be dehumanized and molded into a thing whose existence is more or less dependent on the kind of services provided.

    A society in which human bodies are commodified and brutally used is categorically animalistic. Moroccan society, more often than not, lacerates the sex-selling individuals for being the persons they are, but it never criticizes itself for being the reason behind the existence of this phenomenon in the first place.

    A society, irrespective of the political trend, is created for one and only one reason: which is to guarantee its subjects’ dignity and social acceptability and tolerability. This is elucidated by Immanuel Kant, whose moral doctrines are to be taken seriously and obligatorily, and responsibly applied in our present context. For Kant, persons should not be used merely as means, because doing that breaches the fundamental right of self-ownership—they are to be respected and deemed as persons themselves.

    So much of what has been claimed so far comes into play by asking some questions related to the parties involved in the sex trade: the supplier, the consumer, and even the viewer are to be blamed. Undeniably, these three parties contribute to the commodification process.

    The financial need drives the supplier to objectify herself to survive. The consumer is no different from the supplier, as he is the victim of his sexual desires. The viewer, however, is wholly different from the aforementioned parties, for he is aware of the commodification process, but he keeps pretending to be blind. Thus, the viewer is also objectified by his inactivity and dormancy. Clearly, the three parties are now objectified. Based on what was just proposed, a question should be asked: who is more blameworthy?

    In contrast, “H”s only aim now is to regain what rightly belongs to her. She believes, according to her answer, that she is nobody but who she made herself to be. Her only ambition is to know herself and be seen as a human being. Moreover, she is a person who only exists for others, and her existence makes no difference for those for whom she is existent—because once their sexual satisfaction is met, her existence as a rational being is gone.

    It’s a wake-up call for everyone to pay a close attention to the way we conceive of other’s individuality and humanity. Certainly, no one likes to be commodified and treated as a mere means. Every being is to be respected and dignified. It’s time to think of a way to get rid of prostitution and honor every individual as an end. No one would like to be a prostitute if she’s provided with the necessary means to survive.  Strangely enough, the blame is always put on the woman, but I think that every thinking individual has to give some thought to the collective consciousness of our society regarding this phenomenon.

    Edited by Katrina Bushko

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

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    DBM Maroc Launches the First Moroccan Hybrid Laptop

    Casablanca- DBM Maroc has recently announced the launching of the first made-in-Morocco hybrid laptop (tablet + laptop), according to Le360.

    DBM group, which markets its products under the brand name Accent, has announced the release of “TransformerTB1010,” the first hybrid laptop made in the country.

    According to the same source, the head of IBM Maroc, Karim Almazouzi, said the brand new product is a serious competitor to other renowned international groups who produce similar products, especially American and Korean companies.

    Mr.  Almazouzi also explained that IBM Maroc’s share in the Moroccan market amounts to 30%, indicating that there the group intends to increase its ratio in the market of electronic panels.

    DBM Maroc was established in 1996, and now has more than 100 employees. The group also has two highly developed assembling units in the industrial zone of city of Muhammadia.

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    Taroudant, Morocco- Members of the customs services at Bab Ceuta (a Spanish enclave in the Moroccan territory) seized approximately 2052 Smartphones on Monday, according to MAP. Valued at 2.7 million dirhams, the merchandise was intended to be smuggled into Morocco.

     According to a customs source cited by MAP, the goods introduced to Morocco via the enclave of Ceuta, were concealed in boxes usually used for the transport of fresh fish on the board of a van.

     The search of the vehicle uncovered this smuggling attempt and led to the arrest of the driver, who was trying to smuggle the goods without declaring them in accordance with the regular customs procedures into force, added the same source.

     The suspect was handed over to the judicial police of Tetouan for further investigation before being brought to justice.

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    Mustapha El Khalfi

    Rabat  -Communication minister, government spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said that the UN Security Council resolution on the Moroccan Sahara, adopted last Tuesday, is a new victory for Morocco at all levels.

     This resolution is a victory for Morocco as it foils all maneuvers by the enemies of the Kingdom's territorial integrity who are striving to make this conflict last, hamper the process of the Maghreb Arab unity and ensure the continuation of sufferings of populations in captivity in the camps of Tindouf, the minister told on Monday daily "Assahrae Al Maghribia".

    The resolution has clearly acknowledged efforts made by Morocco to uphold human rights on its territory, mainly in the southern provinces, within the framework of democratic reforms adopted by Morocco under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI and commended by the international community, said the official, noting that the resolution does not comprise any broadening of MINURSO prerogatives to include human rights supervision.

     Khalfi added that this resolution underlines the regional dimension of this conflict and shows Algeria's responsibility in it by asking it to fully cooperate with the UN and get more involved to break the current impasse.

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    Taroudant, Morocco:  1st Q 2014 unemployment rate soars to 10.2%, exceeds 9.4% rate over same the period lals year.

    According to figures released by the High Commission for Planning (HCP), Morocco’s national unemployment rate climbed to 10.2% over the first quarter of 2014.

    “The number of unemployed persons in Morocco increased by 114,000 people between the two periods, 74,000 in urban and 40,000 in rural areas, reaching 1,191,000 people,” according to an HCP briefing note.

    On the situation of the labor market,  in the first quarter of 2014, the HCP briefin reported that the unemployment rate rose from 9.4% to 10.2%, registering an increase of 0.8 percentage points.

    Unemployment remains very high in certain categories of the population, especially university graduates and young people aged between 15 and 24 years old.

    Unemployment was the highest among holders of advanced diplomas (20.9%), and especially among holders of certificates granted by universities (23.3%).

    Among young people aged 15-24 years, the unemployment rate was 20.2% instead of 19.5% last year. In urban areas, unemployment increased from 13.7% to 14.6%, and in rural areas from 4.4% to 5.1%.

    According to the HCP briefing note, some 89,000 jobs, including 46,000 in urban areas and 43,000 in rural areas, were created in the Moroccan economy between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.

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

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    75 Kg of Cocaine Seized in Casablanca Mohammed V Airport- police

    Casablanca- The Casablanca police have arrested a 15-year-old drug dealer in the city’s notorious Sbata neighborhood on Saturday. The suspect is by far the youngest drug dealer to be apprehended in Morocco. The young suspect was caught red-handed by the local police as he was about to sell two grams of cocaine to a client. The 15-year-old drug dealer subsequently denounced his supplier during police interrogations.  The supplier was identified as a 55-year-old woman nicknamed “Tbiba” (the doctor), who already had criminal records. The Casablanca police are now increasing efforts to apprehend “Tbiba,” who clearly did not hesitate to get a minor involved in her criminal network. The arrest of the 15-year-old called forth the indignation of public opinion and cast light on one of the darkest corners of Moroccan society.

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    Abdelilah Benkirane, Moroccan Head of Government

    El Jadida-  Head of government, Abdelilah Benkirane said despite the impact of the global economic crisis, Morocco's economic appeal was strengthened thanks to the increase by 24% in foreign investment in 2013.

    In a speech given on his behalf by minister of state, Abdellah Baha at the opening of the 3rd Arabs Business Forum, held Monday in El-Jadida, the head of government said that over 20 billion dollars in the form of foreign direct investment have flocked into the Kingdom in 2013, making Morocco the second FDI recipient in Africa.

    He said the significant FDI input is due to the reforms undertaken by Morocco to strengthen the resilience of its economy, noting that these reforms  have been described as exemplary by several specialized international institutions.

    Benkirane said the Moroccan government is firmly resolute in continuing the development process in the context of the major structural projects launched in all the sectors of the national economy, with a special attention of improving the business climate, restoring the economic macro-equilibrium,  and the efficient use of the assets of a number of promising economic sectors.

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    the 2014 World Cup Short Film

    Casablanca- Moroccan cinema is going international. The kingdom is taking part in the 2014  World Cup Short Film.  

    Morocco will be represented by Faouzi Bensaidi, who directed famous movies such as “Mille Mois” (Thousand Months), “What a Wonderful World,” and “Death For Sale.”

    Bensaidi has been selected to direct a soccer-themed short film that will be part of the "Short Plays" collection that will be broadcast on televisions channels in several countries during the 2014 World Cup.

    More than 30 short films, crafted by renowned directors representing more than 30 countries, will constitute the “Short Plays” collection. A short film will be broadcast on each day throughout the World Cup.

    According to the website Variety, a number of rules have been set for the participating short films:

    1-    Films should be three-to-five minutes long and largely dialogue-free

    2-    They should offer an analogy to some aspect of soccer

    3-    They should feature ordinary people from the director’s own country.

    Half of the 30 films were completed, according to Daniel Gruener, the project’s coordinator. The remaining films are due by the end of April. The films will then be released in June.

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    Mr. Ouzzine, Minister of Youth &  Sport responding to  youth and CSOs questions

    Casablanca- In collaboration with the regional board of the Moroccan Journalists Union in Benslimane, the Moroccan Center for Civic Education (MCCE), supported by the United Nation Democracy Fund (UNDEF), is organizing a national meeting on public policy in Bouznika (40 kilometres from Casablanca) from 9 to 11 May 2014.

    The event aims to engage youth and civil society in a constructive public policy dialogue with local decision makers and community leaders.

    Taking part in this event are the Governor of Benslimane, Ministers and MPs representing different political parties, as well as local authorities.

    This national workshop is organized within the framework of a regional project (Engaging Civil Society and Youth in Public Policies in North Africa), which targets three North African countries: Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya. The central objective of this project is to build and foster public policy analysis and advocacy competencies among civil society organisations, NGOs, and youth groups in the three countries.

    Based on the remarkably successful Project Citizen program, the goal of the project is to train NGOs and youth to enable them to be considerably more involved in debates on community issues, to analyse and evaluate existing public policies, and eventually suggest solutions and alternative approaches in order to enlist authorities to adopt them.

    Implemented by the Moroccan Center for Civic Education and its partners in Tunisia and Libya, the project seeks—in the context of the aftermath of the Arab Spring—to enable civil society organizations and youth groups to participate actively in the public policy processes in their countries.

    Presided by Mr. Elarbi Imad, the Moroccan Center for Civic Education is an independent NGO founded in 2004. Its mission is “to train and educate younger generations to become responsible, effective and active citizens committed to democratic principles.”

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    Taroudant, Morocco- Moroccan Youssef Taleb is working along with his team at “Provok Developments” in the development of the world's first "projection" tablet, equipped with a micro projector and a laser keyboard.

    Taleb, 22, had the ingenious idea to develop the first tablet, which includes a micro projector, a remote pen and a laser keyboard that turns any surface into a virtual keypad.

    The project, which will be funded through crowd funding, is still in the development phase, but the idea is very innovative and promising.

    Youssef Taleb“We are preparing a crowd funding campaign to be launched in the coming months on ‘Indiegogo’,” Said Taleb as reported by Regent’s University London.

    The promotional video posted on YouTube shows that the pioneering tablet, which “embraces elegance and design”, runs under Windows 8 and designed to “support you anywhere,” says the promo.

    The tablet, which comes with a series of applications that are “exclusive to the brand”, is specifically designed to accomplish business tasks in a professional way thanks to its design and the built in micro projector and laser keyboard, which allow the user to work on any surface.

    “I went to the American school in Casablanca, Morocco where I grew up nurturing my passion for technology by spending nights hacking into my friends’ computers instead of reading Steinbeck’s novel,” Taleb told his story to Regent’s University.

    After three years spent at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco and four months at Regent’s University, the young Moroccan entrepreneur decides to take a leave of absence and return to his home country to launch his project “Provok Developments.”

    “I soon realized that taking a leave of absence would be a healthier option. I decided to return home to Morocco to found Provok Development. I strongly believe in Morocco's tech sector, and I think that with a slight push and some guidance things could go a long way for this industry. Hence, developing and commercializing the worlds first “Projection” Tablet is an idea that I would only bring to life in my country,” he said according to Regent’s University.

    With head offices in Casablanca, Morocco, a design team in London, and engineering in Taiwan, Provok Developments is a global technology company with highly specialized team members aiming at bringing to the market the world’s first "projection" tablet.

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

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    Marrakech university

    Casablanca- The ongoing violence within the Moroccan universities marks a new chapter.

    The university violence saga continues and this time it is the University of Marrakech under the spotlights.

    According to daily newspaper Almassae in its Wednesday May 7th issue, an “Islamist” student was attacked by a group of unidentified masked individuals inside one of the university bathrooms and threw an unknown black powder directly into the student’s eyes.

    The student, a 19-year-old female in her freshman year majoring in Islamic studies and a sympathizer of “Attajdid Tollabi” organization, was taken to a hospital for medical attention.

    The medical crew could not identify the nature of the black powder.

    The student said that prior to the attack she received threatening text messages.

    Less than two weeks ago, a homicide claimed the life of Abderrahim El Hasnaoui, an Islamist student and member of “Attajdid Tollabi”, a students’ organization linked to the ruling Islamist Party of Justice and Development.

    The incident took place inside a cafeteria at the University of Fez- Dher Mehrez after a group of Leftist students believed to be affiliated with “Annahj Democrati Al Qaidi” armed with swords and knives launched an attack on El Hasnaoui causing him severe injuries. 

    El Hasnaoui was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead a short time after.

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

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    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with his Personal Envoy to the Western Sahara, Chritopher Ross

    By Majid Morceli

    Rabat- Since the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) decision to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for a year without a human rights mandate, the Moroccan government and its allies have hailed the decision as a victory for Morocco and a loss for the enemies of the Kingdom’s territorial integrity.  But what actually happened and has Morocco really come out victorious?

    While it is good news for Morocco that the UN resolution has not called for a human rights mechanism in the Moroccan Sahara, this is by no means a permanent victory.  Rather, it is simply temporary relief after an expected shock.

    In the advance copy of his report, the UN Secretary General called for the human rights mechanism to be part of MINURSO’s mission in both Tindouf, Algeria, and in the Moroccan Sahara.

    Moroccan officials should consider his earlier call as a slap in the face and should not try to convince the Moroccan public that the government has been successful in evading the Secretary General’s biased views on the matter.

    Moroccans have entrusted their leaders with defending the sacred cause of the Sahara and expect them to win at every turn of the way. But they can certainly differentiate a victory from a loss, and this is by no means a victory. In a few short months, we will see these same officials scrambling in search of help from Morocco’s so-called friends.

    Ban ki-moon’s call for inclusion of a human rights mechanism in the MINURSO mission should make every Moroccan leader involved with the sacred cause pause and ask the reason why the UN Secretary General is calling for such a mechanism. Is there something that the Moroccans are doing wrong or at least not doing right?

    It’s very simple, Moroccan leaders are not spending a dime on gaining the hearts of the Sahraouis, the people at the heart of the dispute. The money spent on lobbying could very well be spent in the southern provinces creating jobs and making life a bit easier for the Sahraouis. King Mohammed VI has been inaugurating projects all over Morocco, except in the Sahara. His latest visit to Dakhla was low key and without fanfare, and the intention appeared to be more about sending a signal to the UN and Morocco’s enemies rather than starting a new era towards a Sahara resolution.

    Morocco dodged the bullet this time because it made promises to the UN. But will Morocco be able to fulfill its promises? The outlook is not good. Immediately after the UN vote, pro-Polisario thugs working for Algeria timed a demonstration to coincide exactly with the visit of the UN High Commission on Human Rights. The protest ended with the Moroccan police chasing down these thugs, which was exactly the goal of the protest:  to show that Morocco is governed by a "brutal" government that cracks down on helpless women and children. Once again, Moroccan authorities fell into the Polisario trap.

    The world has grown tired of this cat and mouse game. Morocco needs to take the initiative and forge ahead with implementing its own proposal and then offer the opportunity for Sahraouis in Tindouf to join in. There is no doubt whatsoever that if the Sahraouis in the Moroccan Sahara are running their own affairs without any interference from Rabat, there is nothing Algeria can do to turn the tables on Morocco.

    Algeria will have to battle an almost sure to happen intifada in the camps if the Sahraouis see themselves better off with their people in a prosperous Moroccan Sahara as opposed to living in tents at the mercy of Algerian and Polisario leaders who only look after their own.

    The video clips smuggled out of Tindouf show clearly that the Sahraouis in Tindouf can no longer tolerate the misery that is imposed on them by their leaders under Algeria’s orders. Morocco should do what it takes to support the people of Tindouf, and at the same time open a line of communication with everyone in the Sahara and even with the Polisario sympathizers.

    Morocco will never give up an inch of its Sahara. Sooner or later the autonomy plan will be implemented.  So why delay the inevitable? Delay only serves Morocco’s enemies. It has been 40 years now that Morocco has played Algeria’s game. Isn’t it time for Morocco to play its own game?

    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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    Casablanca- A fascinating new species of spider, the Cebrennus rechenbergi, which move by performing flic-flac jumps (2m/sec), was recently discovered in the Moroccan desert.

    Recently discovered in Morocco’s southeastern desert, this spider is as agile as a gymnast.  “Like a gymnast,” writes the New York Times, “it runs for a short time, then stretches out its front legs, spinning into the air and returning to touch the ground with its hind legs.”

    According to the website Sci-News, the newly discovered spider has been named after the German botanical expert Dr. Ingo Rechenberg from the Technical University in Berlin. Rechenberg collected live specimens of Cebrennus rechenbergi during an expedition in Morocco.

    However, the “Moroccan flic-flac spider” has been chosen as a common name for the unique species.

    “Like a gymnast, it propels itself off the ground, followed by a series of rapid flic-flac movements of its legs,” Sci-News quotes Dr. Peter Jäger from the Senckenberg Research Institute.

    More fascinating is the Cebrennus rechenbergi’s tube-like, sandydwelling—surely one of the wonders of insect architecture.

    “I picked it up by hand — I wasn’t scared,” Dr. Rechenberg told the NY Times.

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


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    Hugh Robertson

    London  -The British government applauded on Tuesday initiatives taken by Morocco to consolidate human rights, recalling that these measures were welcomed by the UN Security council.

    "The UN security Council has welcomed the positive steps taken by Morocco in this direction", said British minister of state at the foreign and commonwealth office Hugh Robertson.

    Speaking during the House of Commons' question time, the official evoked Morocco's initiatives to reinforce prerogatives of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) and consolidate cooperation with the special procedures of the UN Human rights council.

    He also underscored the planned visit to Morocco by the UN High-Commissioner for human rights.

    "We also praise recent commitments by Morocco to examine, within three months, complaints of human rights breaches filed at the CNDH", he went on, stressing the importance of Morocco's decision to exclude civilians from appearing before military justice tribunals.

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    Buss accident

    Essaouira - Five people died and eight others were seriously wounded on Tuesday when their coach overturned in the rural commune of Lamkhalif (80 km northern Essaouira), local authorities said.

    The persons injured were rushed to the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah provincial hospital of Essaouira. Four mobile medical units were dispatched from Marrakech to bring help to the city's hospital staff.

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    Moroccan Minister, Mohamed Amine Sbihi,  Chairs UN Panel on Culture & Economic Development

    New York - Moroccan culture minister, Mohamed Amine Sbihi, chaired on Tuesday at the UN headquarters in New York a panel themed "culture and economic development" that focused on experiences and success of integrating culture in national sustainable development strategies.

    The goal of this panel is to underscore "the economic potential of culture" with a focus on how culture impacts sustainable development, said Sbihi during the meeting held by the International Francophone Organization and the UNESCO.

    In December 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution titled "culture and lasting development" that acknowledges the direct link between culture and the three pillars of lasting development (economic, social and environment).

    The meeting is held as most countries of the Francophone community endorsed the principle that culture should be integrated in the UN post-2015 development agenda, the minister told MAP.

    Participants noted that culture is a source of income and jobs and contributes to improving living conditions, creating fair economic growth and empowering persons.

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  • 05/07/14--21:09: My Experience With Cheating
  • Students in a classrom in Morocco (Photo by Izza Fartmis)

    El Jadida- How skillful are students at cheating nowadays? I just wonder why they don’t use their smart brains for studying and grasping what they learn in order not to fall into such embarrassing situations? Otherwise, isn't it just a Tom and Jerry game—like a performance for the cheater to see whether he or she can succeed in getting the supervisors’ legs, and the extent to which he or she can outsmart them?

     It’s this infuriating new interaction between candidate and supervisor that currently makes them both ill at ease, with the first thinking it his right to cheat and the other acting as if it’s his duty to foil it. Most often, it turns to dramatic scenes in which the elder becomes the younger’s victim; yet the former one condones the latter’s cheating act, as it’s accordingly a desperate expression of his eventual failure. Thus, the cheater does not suffer any consequences, especially after apologizing and trying to throw the fault on the teacher for not giving the lessons properly, or on the firm supervision of the exam in their class. Anyway, the justification itself proves to be the fruit of purposeful or unconscious levity.

     My own experience with cheating is varied; fortunately, it has so far never turned to tragedy, as I have always prevented it with a sort of strategic handling of such situations. However, this time I found myself a part of a cheating complicity unknown to me.

    I got into the classroom, as usual, with a smiling good morning and a short conversation about the former exam to make the candidates feel less tense. Then I reminded them of the ministerial instructions while handing out the draft and blank paper sheets, insisting that the candidates do not forget their exam numbers. I tried, as I always have, to put them in a state of confidence. After all, this is what should normally be done with more responsible candidates, but with the new brand of students trying to succeed with less effort, the supervisors are always alert, as if they have to get prepared for a battle. So they apply the strategy of frowning and not having any conversation with the candidates, lest they mistake it for cheating permissiveness. And most often, teachers also cheat by coming so late that they find that their co-supervisors have already settled everything, testing the students behavioral reaction to one teacher as well as that teacher’s reliability.

    I happened to be alone doing all the work by myself! Fortunately, the students know of my firmness as well as my friendliness to them when necessary (I once wrote a poem entitled “to my students” while invigilating a baccalaureate exam, inspired by the students’ sense of responsibility and their calm concentration then). This time, I thought I ‘d have a similar chance by watching over a class of Math, Science students, reputed for their hard work and good behavior, which made it unlikely that they would cheat and unnecessary for me to fret about any undesirable incident. The exam started and no one took his or her eyes off the exam paper except to ask for a marker or an eraser, and I was glad to help, providing for the students’ comfort as much as I could.

    But suddenly I felt that something was going wrong: there was one eraser circulating between them, and I was the messenger! I was just thinking of the matter when a student asked for the eraser—I reached to closest one but he said he wanted the other, then I reached for it and this time I had a look at it—a lot of Maths formulae were written on each side. When I held my eyes on the eraser, the students, looking at me, burst out laughing! This is how I was trapped in a cheating situation.

    But since then, cheating strategies were improved, matching the technological changes in our lives, to the  benefit of the students! Yet, are they reliable? If yes, how long is the assessment system going to take to respond to the cheating skills? Shouldn't exams be devised in such a way that the candidates would rely on themselves instead of cheating?

     Edited by Melissa Smyth

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    Lahcen Haddad

    Dubai (Reuters) - Morocco and four Gulf states will provide 40 percent of the financing for 2 billion euros ($2.78 billion) of tourism projects in Casablanca, Tangier and Rabat, the North African country’s tourism minister told Reuters on Tuesday.

    The government announced plans to redevelop Casablanca’s port area last month, valuing the investment from the Gulf countries - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – at 6 billion dirhams ($741.14 million), although it now appears the Gulf states’ contribution could be lower. [ID:nL5N0MT4FV]

    These countries will also collaborate with Morocco on mixed use projects in Rabat and Tangier that will include residential housing, Minister of Tourism Lahcen Haddad told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry exhibition in Dubai.

    “This should cost 2 billion euros for all (three) of them,” said Haddad, adding this would be split roughly equally between the projects.

    He said Morocco and the four Gulf countries would provide 40 percent of the funding for the three projects and the remainder would come from private investors and bank financing.

    “The idea is to have this vehicle where there will be sovereign money from Morocco and the four states and all of that money will be there as leverage in order to bring in money from different places,” said Haddad.

    “It’s a public-private partnership. When you do residential (developments) you generate your own money.”

    Haddad said the Rabat project would develop a valley between the Moroccan capital and nearby Salé, which will include residential units, hotels and cultural attractions such as a museum and a theatre.

    In Tangier, the government will revamp the Mediterranean city’s port area, redeveloping land currently occupied by factories, a military barracks and some port facilities.

    Haddad said project construction would start this year and would be completed in 4-5 years, adding tourist numbers would increase 8 percent this year, from 10 million in 2013, while the total number of nights stayed by tourists would rise 10 percent.

    This will lead to a 4 percent rise in revenue, he said. Morocco's tourism income was 57.55 billion dirhams last year.

    Morocco, where tourism accounts for around 8 to 9 percent of the gross domestic product, saw little of the turmoil of the 2011 Arab Spring revolts that ousted autocrats in North Africa such as Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

    The four Gulf countries in 2012 agreed to provide aid worth a total $5 billion to Morocco between 2012 and 2017 to build up its infrastructure, strengthen its economy and foster tourism.($1 = 0.7205 Euros) ($1 = 8.0956 Moroccan Dirhams)

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    Amman - Moroccan globetrotter Bahssine El Kharad ended his tour of the Arab world by a stay in the occupied Palestinian territories, mainly in Al Quds.

    El Kharad, who arrived on Tuesday in the Jordanian capital Amman coming from Ramallah (the West Bank), left Sudan heading for the occupied Palestinian territories where he spent two weeks.

    He told MAP that he was received by head of Moroccan representation in Ramallah, the Palestinian tourism minister and governors of the cities of Ramallah and Al Khalil.

    Since he left Morocco last June, the traveler visited Egypt, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Qatar, KSA, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and Sudan, bearing a message of peace, solidarity and tolerance.

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