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Morocco News meets the World

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    Moroccan international Abdelaziz Berrada

    Paris -  Moroccan international Abdelaziz Barrada joined the French club of Olympique Marseille (OM) for 4 seasons, reported Sunday French sports daily L'Equipe.

      The transfer fee could have reached 4.5 million euros, according to L'Equipe.

    After his excellent performance with Spanish Getafe, Moroccan attacking midfielder was also targeted by Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Manchester City.

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    Rabat- The Government will spare no effort to serve Moroccan expat's interests, said Sunday in Rabat Head of government Abdelilah Benkirane.

    During a ceremony in honour of Moroccan expats on the occasion of the National Migrant's Day (August 10), Benkirane stressed that his cabinet under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI is determined to provide all support and assistance to Moroccans living abroad.

    The Head of government highlighted Morocco’s several achievements and reforms in different areas aimed at strengthening the rule of law, calling on Moroccans of the world to further engage in this momentum.

    He also paid tribute the first generation of Moroccans living abroad who managed to remain loyal to their homeland, preserve their identity and instil into their children the love for the motherland.

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    Mustapha El Aziz Offers Morocco 1st medal in African Athletics Championships

    Rabat- Morocco's Mustapha El Aziz has offered the Kingdom the first medal at the African Senior Athletics Championships (August 10-14), finishing second in the 10,000 meters final Sunday at Marrakech grand stadium.

    Aziz crossed the finish line clocking his previous personal record in 28:11:84, compared to 28:14:84 during the last Mohammed VI International Meeting in Rabat.

    The gold medal went to Eritrea's Nguse Amlosom (28:11:07) while the Kenyan Josephat Bett completed the podium (28:11:61).

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    Spain's office of social security

    Fez- According to a recent report conducted by the Spanish Permanent Observatory for Migration under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, published last Wednesday, the number of Moroccans living in Spain with legal status as of 31 December 2013 reached a total of 785,180, out of 4.9 million foreigners.

    Based on this number, the Moroccan community in Spain represents 33 per cent of the total foreign population in the country.

    According to the same figures, the number of Moroccans living in Spain witnessed a decline of about 10 thousand immigrants in the period between March 31 and December 31 of 2013.

    The same figures show that the number of Moroccans women in Spain amounted to 324,000 compared to 460 thousand men.

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

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    Morocco's Prime Minister Benkirane

    Fez- Abdelilah Benkrane, Head of the Moroccan Government, said on Sunday evening in Rabat that the Moroccan government will spare no effort to guarantee the representation of Moroccans living abroad in the Moroccan parliament.

    The Moroccan official added that Moroccans living abroad will be represented in the parliament sooner or later, but stopped short of giving any deadline for the fulfillment of this promise.

    During a ceremony to commemorate the “National Day of the Moroccan Community Residing Abroad,” organized by the Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration, Benkrinae said that “the government, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, is ready, within its capabilities, to provide any possible support to its citizens living abroad.”

    He highlighted the achievements made by Morocco in various fields, as well as the reforms the kingdom initiated to build a strong country based on the rule of law, and called on Moroccan professionals living abroad to be further engaged in the building of a new, modern Morocco.

    In this regard, the Head of Government hailed the achievements of Moroccans residing abroad in several areas, including education, sports, and humanitarian aid and philanthropy, emphasizing that they are “a source of pride that promote the image and reputation of Morocco.”

    He praised the first generation of immigrants, who managed, in spite of difficulties, to fulfill their dreams and preserve their Moroccan identity and instill the love and respect to their county on their children.

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

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    Royal Air Maroc Livery Courier Departing

    Rabat - Moroccan national carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) will increase daily flights from Tunis to help evacuate Moroccan expats living in Libya.

    Following clashes in Libya, RAM has also decided to replace their Boeing 737-700 serving the Tunisian capital with the Boeing 737-800 for a larger carrying capacity in order to repatriate Moroccan citizens living in Libya via Tunisia, the national airline announced in a release.

    As the national flag carrier, Royal Air Maroc "cares for the safety of its fellow citizens" and "work hard to serve them in the best way", added the same source.

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    Morocco- Advisor to Head of Government Elected Leader of Unity and Reform Movement

    Fez - Abderrahim Chikhi has been elected as the new head of the Movement of Unity and Reform after a long debate Saturday in the fifth general national assembly.

    The Movement for Unification and Reform is the ideological arm of Morocco’s ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD). Chikhi succeeds engineer Mohammed El Hamdaoui.

    According to Attajdid, the Arabic media outlet of the Movement of Unity and Reform, after three rounds of voting and polling Abderrahim Chikhi received 296 votes, representing 55% of the total votes, while Ahmad Raissouni, his opponent, garnered 200 votes.

    Chikhi, the adviser to Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane, was elected head of the movement, after none of the five candidates was able to obtain an absolute majority.

    During the first round of voting, Ahmad Raissouni headed the voting list with 340 votes, followed by Moulay Omar Benhammad with 322 votes. Aws Remmal came in third position with 209 votes, while Saad-Eddine El Othmani and Abderrahim Chikhi came in fourth position with 166 votes each.

    During the discussions among the delegates of the assembly, Ahmad Raissouni apologized for not being able to assume the responsibility for his commitment and dedication to scientific research.

    The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Saad-Eddine El Othmani, also withdrew during the discussions, saying that he is already the head of the National Council of the PJD.

    Mr. Abdelilah Benkirane had supported the candidacy of Ahmad Raissouni, saying that "Raissouni is the right leader for the movement in this period.” He noted that since the General Assembly has chosen Chikhi, the latter will be replaced by a new adviser to the Head of Government.

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    Bank of China Sign

    Rabat -  The Bank of China considers opening a representation in Morocco, Executive Vice President of the Bank Yue Yi, currently on a working visit in Morocco, said on Monday in Rabat.

    "We hope to open in the near future a representation of the Bank of China in Morocco," Yue Yi told the press following a meeting between a Chinese delegation and head of government Abdelilah Benkirane.

     The said delegation came to inspect the Moroccan market economically and financially to study the feasibility of setting up a branch in Morocco, he said.

     Yue Yi also expressed the will by the financial body to discover business opportunities in the national market with the aim of reinforcing economic and investment ties with the Kingdom.

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    Morocco, Journalist Steals Bahrain Minister's Mobile Phone

    Rabat- Bahrain’s Culture Minister’s cell phone has been reportedly stolen last week in Assila by a female journalist for a Tangier-based news website.

    Following her participation in the International Cultural Festival of Assilah, the Bahraini Minister of Culture Sheikha May Bint Mohamed Al Khalifa was allegedly stripped of her cell phone last Friday.

    While the Bahraini Minister of Culture was busy talking to media, the femal Journalist picked up her mobile phone from a table, where it was placed.

    Immediately after Shiekha May noticed that her Mobile phone disappeared, her bodyguards, in collaboration with policemen in the district started an investigation in order to find out who stole it.

    While checking the security cameras, a female journalist was apparently seen pinching the Bahraini Minister’s phone, before she handed it to a young man who is believed to be his brother.

    The thief journalist has been arrested on her way back to Tangier by policemen. She apologized to Shiekha May Al Khalifa and returned the cell phone to her.

    Although the Bahraini Minister accepted the female journalist’s apology and forgave her, the police detained the suspect for questioning.

    Bahraini Minister of Culture Sheikha May Bint Mohamed Al Khalifa was representing her country in Assila’s International cultural event. Bahrain was the event’s guest of honor.


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    Following Death of His Aunt, King Mohammed VI Cancels Festivities of His Birthday

    Rabat- King Mohammed VI has decided to cancel all the ceremonies and festivities marking his birthday, following the death Princess Lalla Fatima Zahra, and in "consideration of the place of the late Princess in the hearts of all members of the illustrious royal family and the Moroccan people," announced Tuesday a statement from the Ministry of Royal household, Protocol and Chancellery.

    "Following the huge ordeal aroused by the great loss of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Fatima Zahra, may God rest his soul, aunt of HM King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him, and daughter of the late King Mohammed V, may God have him in his holy mercy, his Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God preserve him, has decided to cancel all the ceremonies and festivities marking his birthday, in consideration of the place of late Princess in the hearts of all members of the illustrious royal family and all the Moroccan people," said the statement carried by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

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    cannabis in Morocco

    Rabat - Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad announced, on Wednesday in Rabat, that the huge anti-drug efforts made by Morocco will enable it, in the short run, to reduce cannabis cultivated areas to less than 30,000 ha, with a complete eradication in prospect.

    "Our goal, in the short run, is to reduce these surface areas to less than 30,000 cultivated hectares," said Hassad at a joint press conference with communication minister, government spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi and minister delegate for the Interior Charki Drais.

    Morocco has always dealt with the issue of cannabis cultivation with transparency and resolve, away from any useless bidding, said the minister in response to statements by some Algerian officials on anti-drug fight.

    He added that Morocco has adopted a voluntary approach with the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to progressively reduce the cultivation and trafficking of cannabis, saying that a joint investigation with the UN body enabled to assess the cultivated areas to 134,000 ha, an area that have being reduced to 47,000 ha, that is a decease of 65%.

    He pointed out that the fight against the networks of drug trafficking led to the seizure, during the first six months of 2014, of over 100 tons of Chira and the dismantling of 98 trafficking networks.

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    Madrid- Spain lauded on Wednesday cooperation with Morocco in the fight against illegal immigration and monitoring illegal immigration inflows.

    During a meeting in Madrid under the chairmanship of Spanish interior minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, emphasis was laid on the cooperation of Moroccan authorities in intercepting and rescuing immigrants in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar.

    Participants highlighted efforts made by Morocco in monitoring illegal immigration inflows which attempt to reach Spanish shores, said the minister in a statement.

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    Casablanca - Moroccan carrier RAM increased from 130 to 360 the number of daily seats in regular flights between Morocco and Tunisia to repatriate Moroccan expatriates in Libya.

    The company announced on Monday its decision to replace Boeing 737-700 with Boeing 737-800 aircrafts which have a bigger seating capacity to bring home Moroccans living in Libya and scheduled to return to the homeland via Tunisia.

    A RAM plane landed on Tuesday evening at the Mohammed V airport boarded by 157 passengers, including several Moroccans coming from Libya who complained from lack of security and stability, harsh living conditions and freeze on markets and banks.

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    Kamal Essaheb, Moroccan Illegal Immigrant Honored as Champion of Change at White House

    Rabat- Kamal Essaheb, a young Moroccan who came to US as an illegal immigrant, has been recognized as a "Champion of Change" at a White House ceremony.

    In 1992, Karim Essaheb was brought to the United States as an 11-year-old child. He did not have legal status.

    Still, Kamal has become a success story in America, after applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program established by President Barack Obama to provide living and working status for undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.

    Karim said in an article in which he told his story that he had such humble ambitions when he was brought from Morocco to the land of freedom in 1992. “At the time, my brothers and I just hoped we would get to see Disneyland one day.”

    22 years later, Kamal’s determination and hard work have taken him much further than his humble ambitions, and landed him in the celebrated halls of the white house as 2014’s Champion of Change.

    In the years leading up to 2003, Kamal’s father has been working as a cab driver, while his mother was a homemaker. They worked in order to establish a modest life in Queens, NY.

    In 2003, the family’s residence in US was put in jeopardy. As a result, “my father, my brothers and I were required to report to our local Immigration and Naturalization Service office at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan, which we did,” Kamal said.  “We were all placed in removal proceedings,” he continues.

    A few months after the removal proceedings began, Kamal started at Fordham Law School in the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics, despite the legal turmoil his family faced.

    “Bewildered and overwhelmed by the events of the preceding months which had shattered the constancy and comfort of life as I had known it, I struggled for normalcy and continued to work towards my goals,” he said.

    After graduating from Fordham Law School, Kamal became a practicing immigration attorney at CUNY Citizenship Now, a nonprofit immigration legal services provider in New York City. Karim did not have legal status until he was granted it under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012.

    Today, he is a DACA recipient who works for the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), where he engages in advocacy and technical assistance related to access to legal status for immigrants.

    “At NILC, his advocacy focuses on passage of the DREAM Act, implementation of DACA, and state and local enforcement of immigration law,” reads his profile on the While House website.

    This month, the Obama Administration recognized him and nine other young adults from Mexico, Colombia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and New Delhi as Champions of Change at a White House ceremony.

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    Kim Kardashian, Morocco’s Argan Oil is My Beauty Secret

    Rabat- Rabat Kim Kardashian has revealed that Morocco’s Argan oil from Morocco is her skin secret.

     American reality TV star Kim Karadashian said that Argan oil has a special place in her daily beauty routine in order to keep her skin and hair moisturized.

    Called “Liquid Gold”, Argan oil is one of the world’s most rare and expensive essential oils. The 200-year-old Argan tree grows only in the Sous Valley of Southern Morocco. In this region, native Berbers have been using culinary Argan oil in their recipes.

    Meanwhile, it has become a source of living for the Amazigh women in this remote region, as it has shown marvelous results in healing skin, hair, and nails, bringing them to excellent healthy condition.

    In addition, Argan oil has gained the attention of many of the world’s female celebrities, and has become an essential part of their beauty routine. Those celebrities, includes Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Eva Mendes, Salma Hayek, Taylor Swift, Madonna, and Scarlet Johansson.

    The Daily Mail revealed in a recent report that stars’ love of Argan oil boosts business in Morocco and empowers Moroccan women.

    “Beauty secret: Radiant beauties Kim Kardashian and Eva Mendes swear by the power of Argan oil - and the production of it in Morocco is helping women earn a living in a remote desert where work is hard to find,” according to Daily Mail.

    The British news website points out that the Tighanimine Cooperative, the world’s first Fairtrade certified women’s Argan Oil cooperative, gives Berber women the financial independence to support their families. “The income is helping to change not only the women’s lives, but also their family’s too.” Daily Mail concluded.

     Photo credit: US    

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    A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) holds an ISIS flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq, on June 23, 2014

    Rabat- Moroccan authorities have dismantled a nine-person cell recruiting volunteers to fight with the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, the Interior Ministry said Thursday.

    Investigations into the cell, based in the cities of Fez, Tetouan and Fnideq, was carried out in cooperation with Spanish authorities, the ministry added in a statement.

    According to the ministry, the recruits receive, in the ISIS training camps, military training in the use of weapons and bomb-making techniques, before being sent to carry out suicide operations or fight on different fronts where some of them have been involved in barbaric acts, such as beheading Syrian and Iraqi soldiers and disseminating their pictures on social networks.

    The statement warned that many of the fighters hope to return after being trained, to carry out attacks in Morocco.

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    Moroccan British Singer Nawal Msaad Cleared of Charges of Funding ISIS

    Meknes- Moroccan British young singer Nawal Massad, was cleared by a London court of charges of funding the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

    Nawal, 27, a student and would-be singer of Moroccan origin, was arrested last January at Heathrow airport with 20,000 euros ($27,000) hidden in her underwear. She was accused of trying to smuggle the money to “terrorists fighting in Syria.”

    But after a trial that started last month, the jury decided that Nawal was tricked by old schools friend, Amal El-Wahabi, also a British of Moroccan origin, whose husband, a Muslim convert, is fighting in Syria.  Amal El Wahhabi was found guilty of funding jihadists.

    After she left the court on Tuesday, Nawal said that she was physically and mentally weak because of the ordeal she went through since she was arrested.

    “The last eight months have been surreal, now I just want to get my life back. I’m physically and mentally drained,” she said.

    Last March, Nawal posted a status on her Facebook page where she defended herself of the charges pressed against and said that people who know her, know that she has no extremist views or supports terrorism.

    “The police's suspicions have been based on the circumstance and anyone out there who knows me will know I do not have any extremist views or support terrorism nor do I have any jihadist affiliations.”

    She also wondered whether the police would have acted the same way with her if she had a British-sounding name.

    “I can't help but wonder if I had been called Natalie from Surrey whether the authorities would have pressed terrorism charges against me.”

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

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    French Junior Minister for Veterans Arif poses with Moroccan veterans in Rabat

    Paris -  The French Defense minister honored, Thursday, twelve Moroccan veterans, who helped France free itself from Hitler’s grip during World War II.

    The Moroccan veterans have been invited by French President Francois Hollande to the commemorative ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of Allied landing in Provence, which will take place in Toulon, forming the largest delegation at this event.

    Friday, they will attend a naval tour off Toulon onboard the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle.

    Representatives from 28 countries, particularly from Africa, take part in these commemorative ceremonies.

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    Atlas Lions, Morocco

     Zurich- The Moroccan squad dropped two places and are now down to 81st in the FIFA World rankings, released Thursday.

    In the Arab world, the Atlas Lions are the 5th behind Algeria (24th), Egypt (33rd), Tunisia (42nd) and Libya (62nd).

    Germany have maintained their lead atop the FIFA World Rankings during the Aug. 14 update, as little post-World Cup activity ensures a familiar-looking top 25.

    FIFA World Rankings: August 14, 2014

    Rank Nation PointsPosition Change

    1. Germany 1736-

    2. Argentina 1604-

    3. Netherlands1507-

    4. Colombia1495-

    5. Belgium 1407-

    6. Uruguay 1316-

    =7. Spain 1241+1

    =7. Brazil 1241-

    9. Switzerland 1218-

    10. France 1212-

    11. Portugal 1152-

    12. Chile 1100-

    13. Greece 1092-

    14. Italy 1069-

    15. Costa Rica 1023+1

    16. Croatia 964+1

    17.Mexico 942+1

    18. USA 937-3

    19. Bosnia & Herzegovina 925-

    20. England 915-

    21. Ecuador 910-

    22. Ukraine 901-

    23. Russia 899-

    24. Algeria 880-

    25. Cote d'Ivoire840-

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    Moroccan Legzira Beach Among the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches

    Tinjedad, Morocco- Moroccan Legzira Beach in Sidi Ifni ranked 29th among the 40 best beaches on earth announced this week.

    Legzira beach is located about ten kilometres from the city of Sidi Ifni in the southern region of Morocco. Its uniqueness is that it has four arches carved into the cliff by the tides. One of the reviewers of the American website TripAdvisor considered the Legzira beach as “A Jewel of Northwest Africa” adding that "Amazing is not a word to describe this natural wonder. Unless you have seen photos of it before it takes you by complete surprise. If you have seen the photos you are even more surprised to see that the real place is far superior to any photograph." Legzira beach ranked ahead of Taghazout Beach, the famous Moroccan beach in Agadir, which comes at the bottom of the ranking of the top 25 best world attractions 2014. Grace Bay, in Turks & Caicos, comes on the top of the ranking.  The two Moroccan beaches are the only ones in the MENA region featured in the list.

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