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Morocco News meets the World

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    King Mohammed VI's speech to Nation on 61st Anniversary of King and People’s Revolution Day

    Rabat- King Mohammed VI delivered, on Wednesday, a speech to the nation on the 61st anniversary of the King and People’s Revolution Day.

    Here is the full text of the speech:

    Praise be to God, May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin.

    Dear Citizens,

    Today, we are celebrating the sixty-first anniversary of the glorious Revolution of the King and the People. This event not only commemorates an epic national struggle for freedom and independence, but it also reflects our commitment to make it an ongoing revolution aimed at fulfilling your legitimate aspirations and enhancing Morocco’s status as an influential player, both regionally and internationally.

    Since my accession to the throne, I have been keen for the spontaneous interaction between you and me to be the main pillar on which to build an advanced, cohesive society for all Moroccans, which makes everyone proud to belong to this community.

    The homeland is for all Moroccans and it is their duty, as individuals and groups, to join forces, with determination and steadfastness, to safeguard the unity of the nation and work for its development.

    Moroccans are ambitious people who have always aspired to rank high and catch up with developed countries. This ambition is not just a dream, nor is it unfounded. It is based on facts and on tangible achievements that have been made on the road to democracy and development.

    So, where does Morocco stand today? What is our national economy’s global ranking? Is Morocco competitive? Can it be classified among emerging nations?

    Needless to say, there is no single model of an emerging nation. Each country has its own development process, which based on its human, economic and natural resources, as well as on its cultural heritage. It is also contingent on the obstacles and difficulties each nation has to face.

    However, there are standards and requirements to meet in order to join this category of nations, particularly in terms of democratic and institutional development, social and economic progress, and regional and international openness.

    Dear Citizens,

    Of course, no country can move from one category to another overnight. It has to take advantage of all the positive changes that have been operated during its history.

    In this regard, Morocco stands out as a model. Over the last 15 years, our country has managed to consolidate its democratic process and lay the foundations for a comprehensive, sustainable development model based on a combination of structural projects and sustainable human development.

    Our national economy has witnessed profound structural changes, together with large-scale diversification in all areas of production. It has consistently achieved high growth rates and managed to maintain balance, despite the impact of the world economic crisis.

    In this regard, sectoral strategies have made it possible to achieve tangible results and have a clear vision as to how to reposition the national economy at the regional and international levels.

    The “Green Morocco Plan” and the “Halieutis Plan”, for instance, helped Morocco to obtain a Food and Agricultural Organization award for meeting the Millennium Goal on poverty and the fight against hunger two years ahead of the deadline.

    This was possible thanks to the balance both plans achieve between major high-yield projects on the one hand and subsistence, cooperative farming and traditional fishing on the other hand, because of the role they play in improving people’s income.

    The “Industrial Acceleration Plan”, which is based on an integrated approach that includes adequate vocational training, has contributed to consolidating the place of the national economy at the continental level. This plan has been boosted by a quantum leap made in the trade and finance sectors, as well as in digital economy.

    Infrastructure is also one of the main pillars of emerging economies and Morocco’s achievements in this specific field have contributed to sharpening the competitive edge of both businesses and national products.

    The attractiveness of the national economy has also benefitted from continuous efforts to improve the business environment and create competitive economic hubs, such as the Melloussa-Tangier Industrial Zone.

    In this regard, I would like to say how satisfied I am with the contribution made by a number of private companies and public institutions to promote the national economy, at home and abroad.

    In this respect, the Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) is a model, thanks to its effective national and international strategy, clear vision and sound, efficient management, which have consolidated Morocco’s position in the global phosphate market. The latter has become a universal focus because of its close link to food security.

    Another pillar of emerging economies is sustainable development and the opportunities offered by a green economy. In this context, the renewable energy industry has witnessed significant development thanks to major projects launched under my patronage, as well as to the energy efficiency strategy and the ambitious water resources mobilization scheme.

    The Moroccan solar and wind power scheme is a further illustration of our capacity to rise to the challenge, thanks to an early clear vision, as well as precise priority planning to meet our country’s needs and reduce foreign energy dependence by relying on our own renewable resources.

    Morocco needs to take a few more steps to confidently move forward and join emerging nations. The country has already become an international trade hub, thanks to its economic openness policy.

    This is corroborated by fruitful partnerships concluded with Arab countries, particularly Gulf Cooperation Council Member States and with sub-Saharan African countries (Morocco being the second investor in the African continent), the Advanced Status granted to the Kingdom by the European Union, the free trade agreements signed with a number of countries, in particular the one with the United States of America, the strategic partnership with Russia that we are seeking to deepen, and the partnership with China that we are working on.

    Morocco is also an essential link in multipartite and triangular cooperation, particularly when it comes to ensuring Africa’s security, stability and development.

    Dear Citizens,

    The gains achieved should not, however, be a motive for self-satisfaction, but a strong catalyst for further efforts and continued mobilization.

    As a matter of fact, if the Moroccan economy is to emerge, it should rely on its potential and the joint efforts of all actors; otherwise it is bound to miss a historic opportunity.

    Our development model has reached maturity and deserves to join the group of emerging nations once and for all. The coming years will nonetheless be crucial for safeguarding achievements, addressing malfunctions and boosting development and investment.

    So, can this model move forward, rise to challenges and tackle potential obstacles?

    In fact, nations rely primarily on the competitiveness of their corporate sector, mainly export companies. Unfortunately, Morocco is clearly lagging behind in this respect because of a weak, disorganized industrial sector and competition from the informal sector.

    In such a situation, strong corporations and businesses have to be set up to boost the immunity of the national economy, both to enhance international competitiveness and develop partnerships with small businesses in order to stimulate growth at home.

    The key to enhancing competitiveness and meeting development and job market needs is to have qualified human resources. The latter are also necessary to be in tune with the evolution and diversification of the national economy. As everyone knows, good governance is essential for the success of any reform. It is also a basic means for achieving the goals of any strategy.

    To what extent can a good governance system in the Moroccan production sector contribute to developing and upgrading the national economy?

    It is a fact that to catch up with emerging nations, we have to continue improving the business environment. This can be achieved especially by pressing ahead with administrative and judicial reforms, combatting corruption and moralizing public life, which is not exclusively the State’s responsibility, but that of society as a whole, individuals and associations.

    The State’s strategic role as a regulator should also be enhanced and major reforms, namely of the retirement and tax systems, should be initiated. The State should also commit to upholding the principles of good governance in all sectors.

    Dear Citizens,

    The development process undertaken in many emerging countries has shown a series of negative symptoms, such as a widening gap between social classes.

    Accordingly, I am keen to see economic development go hand in hand with the improvement of citizens’ living conditions.

    I do not want a two-speed system in which the rich reap the benefits of growth, thus becoming richer, while the poor are excluded from the development process, thus getting poorer and suffering more deprivation.

    The National Initiative for Human Development is part of this vision and many countries have expressed the wish to take advantage of the experience that has been gained. The social components of sectoral schemes are also part of the same vision and are particularly focused on local and human development.

    The aim has been to confirm the reputation of Moroccans, who are known for their seriousness and devotion to work. They have indeed confirmed their ability to produce and create, when the necessary tools are available and conditions are favorable. They can perform any task, whatever it is, big or small, intellectual or manual, despite the bane of unemployment.

    The human element remains Morocco’s genuine wealth and a basic component of the intangible capital which, in my State of the Nation address, I asked to be measured and assessed, given the role it plays in the development of all projects and reforms and in the access to the knowledge economy.

    The progress made by Morocco is not accidental. It is the result of a clear vision and a precise strategy, as well as the fruit of efforts and sacrifices made by all Moroccans.

    In this context, I would like to pay tribute to the successive governments for the genuine patriotism and high sense of responsibility they showed during the time they were in charge of public affairs.

    I would also like to pay homage to national businesses for their role in promoting the country’s social and economic development.

    I also hail the growing role of civil society organizations and the active part they play in the development process. I would particularly like to commend the action of political parties and serious trade unions, described in the Constitution as essential political players, given their militant record and the true patriotism and sense of responsibility they display when it comes to dealing with the nation’s major issues.

    I would also like to thank trade unions for the major role they have played during the last 15 years in achieving comprehensive social peace, without giving up their immutable principles when championing economic and social interests and upholding the rights of the working class.

    I have responded favorably to their request regarding representation in the Upper House, which, in the early draft of the fundamental law, was only open to representatives of local communities.

    I am keen to see these organizations continue to play their social and development role, while remaining committed to fulfilling their national duty in terms of construction, reform and social peace, just as they take advantage of the legal rights they have been granted.

    Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the members of the teaching profession, men and women, particularly in rural areas, for their efforts in educating generations of qualified executives, who have done their share in promoting development projects, as well as for the sacrifices they make for the education of future generations.

    Dear Citizens,

    Catching up with emerging nations is not an impossible challenge, despite the difficulties and obstacles it involves. Morocco - thanks be to God - has the potential to rise to the challenge, namely its responsible and clear-sighted youth.

    Thanks to their patriotism and creative genius, I am confident that our young people can achieve their country’s development and ensure its access to the club of emerging nations.

    This is the way to continue bearing the torch of a renewed Revolution of the King and the People, in perfect symbiosis between all components of the nation, and remain faithful to the hero of this revolution, His Majesty King Mohammed V, and his companion in the struggle, my revered father His Majesty King Hassan II – may they rest in peace -, as well as to the valiant martyrs of the liberation and independence.

    Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.


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    Morocco's international player Mehdi Benatia

    Fez- According to a number of media reports, Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia is on his way to German giant Bayern Munich.

    The Roma highly rated defender has been coveted by a number of European clubs, such as F.C. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United.

    British media reported last week that the Moroccan international had signed for Chelsea before the rumor was denied by the player’s agent.

    According to French newspaper L’Equipe, the 27-year old defender’s agent Moussa Sissoko was in Munich on Monday to finalize the terms of the transfer of Benatia. The same source said that Sissoko went back to Roma with a serious offer from the German team to secure the services of the Moroccan international player.

    Bayern Munich is believed to have offered €30 million, just €5 million below the price set by A.S Roma.  But, it seems that Benatia expressed his desire to leave for Bayern Munich.

    Last year, Beantia played 33 games with A.S Roma and scored 5 times, and was one of Serie A’s best defenders.

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


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    The entrance to the Kenitra prison, north of Rabat, Morocco. Photo by Abdelhak Senna-AFP

    Rabat- The General Delegation of Prisons and Reintegration (DGAPR) said that Nabil Jannati, who had been imprisoned since November 7, 2012 at Sale prison, died in the night between Wednesday and Thursday at the University Hospital (CHU) Ibn Sina, Rabat, following the deterioration of his health, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

    The deceased, who was sentenced to five years in prison for setting up a terrorist group, suffered since his incarceration psychiatric disorders, and was followed by a specialist, the same source added.

    The deaths occurred after a coma

    The health status of the deceased deteriorated on November 4 after a headache when he was transferred to the University Hospital Ibn Sina where his doctor decided to hospitalize him, the delegation said, stressing that in coordination with the medical staff of the penitentiary, Nabil Jannati received the regular medication prescribed by the CHU doctors.

    However, the health of Nabil Jannati continued to deteriorate, the statement said, adding that the deceased went into a coma, following which he was admitted to intensive care before he died.

    With MAP


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    Morocco's Casablanca airport

    Taroudant, Morocco- With the growing threat posed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Casablanca airport raised the alert status to its maximum level to prevent the entry of any suspected ISIS Jihadists into the Moroccan territory.

    According to the Moroccan daily Assabah, the director of the National Office of Airports (ONDA), the Governor of the Province of Nouaceur and officials of the customs and security services held a meeting to study efficient ways "to strengthen the monitoring of passengers from Libya and Tunisia in order to prevent the infiltration of ISIS terrorists”.

    The same source added that the meeting was convened following the recent threats that targeted the kingdom, as well as information collected by the Directorate General of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) after the dismantling on August 14 of a cell affiliated with the terrorist organization of the Islamic state.

    The Moroccan Interior Ministry was quoted on Thursday by the Maghreb Agency Press as saying that “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”

    In light of the threat posed by ISIS extremists and terrorist groups, Morocco took security measures to protect its borders from any potential terrorist attack.

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


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    Terrorist Threats Mobilize Moroccan Army at borders with Algeria & Mauritania

    Casablanca- Terrorist threats against the Kingdom have caused the Royal Armed Forces to urgently mobilize at the borders with the two neighboring countries, Algeria and Mauritania.

    The bulk of Moroccan press recently highlighted the heavy security measures taken by Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces to counter any terrorist threats that would potentially come through the borders with Mauritania and Algeria.

    Strict security measures were also implemented everywhere in the Kingdom. Many Moroccans suspected of being affiliated with ISIS were arrested. Others were put under constant surveillance, and some were summoned for an identity check, according to Al Ahdath Al Maghribiya and other Moroccan newspapers.

    Al Ahdath also highlighted the fact that the closed borders between the Kingdom and Algeria may significantly hinder effective cooperation against potential terrorist threats in the region.

    Anti-terrorist security cooperation between the U.S., France, Spain, and Morocco has been more beneficial. According to the same source, many terrorist groups were dismantled thanks to this cooperation.

     

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    Badr Hari

    Fez- Famous Moroccan kickboxing champion Badr Hari refuses to take up the "Ice Bucket" challenge to fight against Lou Gehrig's disease. Hari deplored the fact the fact that there is not much mobilization for the Palestinian cause.

    "I am not gona take place in the “Ice Bucket Challenge, commercial bullshit. Everyone closes eyes if it is about Palestinians. Well, I am closing my eyes for the ice bucket challenge too,” he said on his Facebook page.

    Badr Hari refuses to take up ice bucket challenge

    Within 2 hours after he shared his thoughts about the Ice Bucket Challenge with his fans, his posts garnered 21,382 likes and was shared by 1,765 people.

    But after the debate sparked by his posts, it seems that the Moroccan star has deleted it.


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    Israel Prevents Moroccan Minister from Entering Gaza

    Taroudant, Morocco- Israel turned down the request of the Moroccan political delegation, led by Nabil Ben Abdallah, Secretary General of the Progressive Socialist Party (PPS) and Minister of Housing, to enter to the Gaza strip on Friday.

    As part of their visit to Palestine, the delegation of the PPS was expected to visit the Gaza Strip in order to "ascertain the level of the human tragedy caused by the Israeli war machine,” the delegation said.

    During the visit, the Moroccan delegation met on Thursday in the West Bank with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who informed them on the latest developments of the situation in the Palestinian territories and the suffering of the Palestinian people due to the recent Israeli aggression.

    Mahmoud Abbas also stressed that the Palestinian Authority is making tremendous efforts to rebuild Gaza and alleviate the suffering of people.

    In the same context, the President of the Palestinian National Authority entrusted Benabdellah and his comrades with a message of thanks to King Mohammed VI for his role in supporting the Palestinians during the Israeli aggression on Gaza.


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    The International Moroccan Nordin Amrabat

    Rabat- According to Spanish sports daily AS, Malaga officials are in Turkey to finalize a deal with Galatasaray in order to bring Moroccan international Nordin Amrabat back to La Rosaleda side on loan, with an option to make the move permanent in June 2015.

    The Turkish side are reportedly asking for 1.5 million euros for a season-long loan with a 2.5 million purchase option.

    27-year-old Dutch-born Moroccan was one of the top performers at Malaga last season which explains why the team's officials are so keen to bring him back to represent the Anadalusian side next season and perhaps seasons to come if everything went smoothly for both sides.

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


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    One Immigrant Killed in Fighting Between Sub-Saharan Africans & Moroccans

    Rabat- One illegal immigrant from Senegal was reportedly beaten to death while 14 others were injured in a fight that broke out late Friday night in Tangier between sub-Saharan African immigrants and dozens of Moroccans.

    According to a press release from the urban authority of Tangier, the confrontation began after a misunderstanding between a sub-Saharan African immigrant and a Moroccan.It turned a fierce fight, late Friday night in Hay Al Irfane district in Tangier.

    Alyaou24 said that the misunderstanding escalated dramatically and turned into a bloody conflict between dozens of sub-Saharan immigrants and Moroccans who came to the defense of their fellow Moroccan, using knives, swords, and iron rods.

    The Senegalese immigrant was killed after being stabbed in the neck. His death provoked the wrath of the other sub-Saharan African immigrants, and made the fighting more violent, as they determined to take revenge. The fighting continued brutally, until the local police intervened.

    The urban authority of Tangier revealed that the police arrested 8 persons involved in the fighting.

    This episode of bloody fighting between sub-Saharan African immigrants and Moroccans is not the first of its kind. In July, a fierce fight took place in the Maadeed neighborhood in Rabat between dozens of natives and sub-Saharan African immigrants.

    That confrontation also began after a misunderstanding between a Moroccan and a Sub-Saharan African immigrant and escalated into a brawl, creating a terror in the area.

     

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    haddadi and bojan

    Rabat- F.C Barcelona is afraid the media will affect their starlet, limiting his public appearances.

    The Catalan giants are reportedly worried by the fact that their recent La Masia graduate Mounir El Haddadi, whose meteoric rise has baffled the football world, making him a media sweetheart, will face the unfortunate fate of Bojan Krikic.

    Once hailed as the next Messi and once described by former Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard as a "treasure", Bojan Krikic was a home grown Barcelona player who rose to worldwide fame at a very early age, thanks to his brilliant performance and decisive goals. Bojan scored the winning goal for Barcelona in a Champions League quarterfinal match against Shalke when he was only 17-year-old. In addition, he scored 12 goals in his debut season for Barcelona, which was a phenomenal performance giving the fact he was still a teenager and that he was playing for a star-studded team, where making it to the starting line-up was not an easy task.

    The media hype that came along the demonstration of great talent couldn't do Bojan any good. A young and unexperienced player, he couldn't cope with the overdose of attention and his name being on everyone's lips. He simply collapsed.

    He reportedly pulled out of the Spain squad (he chose Spain over his father's native country of Serbia), because he had a panic attack. After he failed to prove himself under the then Barcelona's new manager Pep Guardiola, Bojan had to find another team in order to reignite the flame.

    His next destination was AS Roma, as a loanee. But Bojan couldn't maintain consistent form, shattering his reputation as the "next Messi".

    The same scenario is repeating itself all over again, and this time it's 18-year-old Mounir El Haddadi, who has also been dubbed as the next Messi. According to Spanish football newspaper MARCA, FC Barcelona and their coach, Luis Enrique, are trying to "curb the media hype around El Haddadi by carefully handpicking his public appearances, limiting the amount of interviews he gives and press conferences he is involved in".

    Mounir, who was born in a mountainous town in northern Madrid called El Escorial, scored in his La Liga debut against Elche, and got four additional goals in Barcelona's pre-season matches. He made 12 appearances for Barca's B team, and he was crowned last season as UEFA's youth league's top scorer with 11 goals, including a goal from midfield during the 3-0 victory against Benfica in the final.

    Yet, it is very possible that El Haddadi will be drop back down to the B team once injured players Neymar and Pedro or suspended player Luiz Suarez are in full swing and ready to play again as Barcelona's forward trio.

    Barcelona is also reporting that they want to keep El Haddadi wearing the Camp Nou side jersey for several seasons, especially if he continues playing at the same high level as he demonstrated in earlier games. That's why Barca officials are planning to substantially improve El Haddadi's situation by increasing his 12 million euros release clause to exceed 30 million, added MARCA.

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


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    CLIMATE CHANGE

    By Hind Touissate

    Kenitra, Morocco- The World’s climate is changing on a daily basis and it will continue to change into the coming century at rates projected to be unprecedented in recent human history.

    Morocco is no exception to this worldwide metamorphosis. The major impacts of climate change in Morocco will be higher temperatures, with marked regional variations, reduced rainfall and an increase in the severity of extreme weather events.

    The Moroccan population has more than tripled over the past 50 years, putting the country's natural resources under pressure. What’s even more worrying is the fact that Morocco’s economic activity is strongly concentrated along the coast with over 80% of its urban population living in these coastal zones.

    With about 3,400 kilometers of coastlines, Morocco is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and with most of its economic activity near the coast, climate change is a real threat to agriculture, fishing, water supplies, tourism and the unique ecosystems of the country. Morocco is also facing a water supply increase in many Mediterranean cities, rising ambient temperatures, urban air pollution and an ongoing risk of earthquakes and tsunamis.

    The costs of these climate-related events are estimated at MAD 1.162 billion ($150 million) in 2030 or about MAD 222 ($29) per person per year of which over 90% results from flooding. For that, Morocco has joined other African countries to adapt better to the potentially devastating effects of climate change and has given high priority to this phenomenon.

    It has ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1995 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. It has also submitted its second National Communication in April 2010 and has developed a national plan for climate change, which mainly focuses on developing renewable sources of electricity generation, particularly the solar ones. It has also invested in a range well-developed sectoral strategies, including the « Plan Vert » for agriculture which is complementary to Morocco’s plan to protect the environment.

    Based on the foregoing, it appears that Morocco has made significant progress against a wide range of the MDG indicators including ensuring environmental sustainability.

    However, even though it has demonstrated political leadership on this issue, the Moroccan government still doesn’t identify climate change as a category within its national budgets and for that, it needs a greater capacity to develop and manage this problem and requires more campaigns to raise awareness across the country and among its population.


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    Royal Air Maroc

    Rabat- While several international air carriers have decided to stop flying to Ebola-hit countries in Western Africa, including Air France and British Airways, Royal Air Maroc decided to maintain its regular scheduled flights to the three worst hit countries with the Ebola pandemic (Sierra Leon, Guinea and Liberia) to show solidarity with them.

    "This step is through solidarity and is not commercial, reflecting the kingdom's constant commitment to Africa," Royal Air Maroc spokesperson Hakim Challot was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

    RAM is keeping up its regular flights to countries where Ebola confirmed cases are on the rise despite being profitless and causing losses to the company. "There is no profit currently in the flights, with departures from Casablanca, Morocco's commercial center, no more than 10 percent full," he added.

    The deadly virus has killed more than 1,500 people across Africa. In addition, many countries in the region are confirming new cases of the virus for which there is currently no cure.

    International carriers' decision to stop flying to West African countries where the Ebola virus is widespread was faced with dismay giving the fact that it will increase the isolation of these countries which are in need for good and supplies.


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    Algerian Singer Cheb Khaled obtains Moroccan citizenship

    By Majid Morceli

    San Francisco - Thank God It’s Friday. It’s time to take a deep breath and unwind. I don’t feel like doing anything tonight, I just want to stay home and do some “Chromecasting”: streaming content from YouTube to an LCD TV using a $35 basic device, which I consider one of the many great inventions of Google in the last few years.

    I was not sure what I wanted to stream, but one thing I did know was that I did not to watch anything political: nothing to do with the Palestinians, Moroccans, Algerians, the Ukrainians or God forbid anything related to the terrorist group ISIS. Everywhere you look, there is a video depicting the atrocities they are committing in the Middle East.

    Earlier in the day I read somewhere that they are banning Music from the areas they control in Syria. After reading this un-Islamic nonsense, I felt this strong urge to listen to my favorite Arabic Music as if ISIS were on their way to my place to confiscate and destroy my music players and eventually mercilessly behead me, and I will never have that last chance to enjoy any music.

    My mint tea infused with jasmine is ready, my iPhone is on hand and I am ready to start streaming. As soon as I clicked on the YouTube app, I see Cheb Khalid staring at me as if he was asking me to watch his one and a half hour video concert. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to watch it. I like some of his songs, but I prefer to listen to Cheb Mami instead. I browsed the YouTube app to see if I can find some of his High Definition (HD) videos, but in vain: Cheb Khalid kept showing up in my search results, and many of his videos are HD quality. I decided to give Khalid a chance and clicked on the Play button and then on the Chromecast sign on my iPhone to stream the concert to the LCD TV.

    While sipping my tea and watching Khalid doing what he does best, getting the crowd on their feet, he started addressing the audience and specifically those of Moroccan and Algerian origin. He would mention Casablanca, and he gets a reaction from the crowd. He would mention the city of Ouahran, and he would get an even stronger reaction from the crowd. In a way, he was perhaps unintentionally able to unify the Algerian and Moroccans among the Swiss crowd (the concert was taking place somewhere in Switzerland).

    Seeing how Algerians and Moroccans live in harmony in foreign lands, I could not help but think about the barriers that separate us in our homelands, and for how long our leaders will continue to go against the will of the people. One thing is certain: Morocco has never shied away from asking for the dismantling of the borders, and the Algerian regime always refuses and even goes so far as to place impossible-to-meet conditions on Morocco just to begin negotiations.

    Right when I thought that I would take a night off from politics, there was Cheb Khalid, reminding me that I will take a break when the leaders of the countries sit across a table and iron out their differences.

    Khalid’s concert was done, and Mustapha Bourgogne showed up in my YouTube app. I clicked the “play” button, and, you guessed it, the song was an original Jil Jilala one, “la3youn 3ayniya ou Saquia Lhamra liya”. The Sahara conflict needs to be solved, and perhaps someday, new songs will be composed: songs that will reflect our similarities rather than our differences.

    The Western Sahara conflict has divided us for such a long time. Let’s hope that one day in our lifetimes, this same Sahara will unit us.

    I don’t know about you all, but I really want to see peace between Morocco and Algeria in my lifetime. Bouteflika is at peace with himself and he knows that he will go see God without ever seeing peace between us.

    It is frightening to see that the military regime is grooming his brother Said Bouteflika to be his successor. Does this mean that many of us will never witness peace between Morocco and Algeria?

    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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    22 Moroccas Injured in Road Accident in Southern France

    Paris - Twenty-two Moroccan nationals were slightly injured in a road accident that occurred early Sunday near Aix-en-Provence (South of France), consular sources indicated.

    The accident occurred on a highway at the district of Ventabren when a heavy truck, "probably travelling at high speed," hit a coach with 47 passengers on board, all Moroccans, the same sources added.

    The coach, owned by an Italian company, was travelling from Casablanca to Italy.

    The victims were evacuated to near hospitals to receive necessary medical attention, according to the same sources who added that fifteen of them have already left hospitals.


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    An earthquake of low magnitude shakes many Moroccan cities

    Rabat- An earthquake of low magnitude was recorded earlier on Sunday in Marrakech, an eyewitness told Morocco World News

    According to the same source, the tremor sparked a state of panic among residents of the city, and a number of tourists who flock to the city for the holiday.

    So far, no communique has been issued by the competent authorities to determine the magnitude of the earthquake.


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    An earthquake of low magnitude shakes many Moroccan cities

    Rabat- A 5.7-magnitude earthquake on Saturday hit the southern Agadir Ida Outanane province, the National Geophysics Institute said, with no immediate reports of injury or damage.

    The quake hit at 21h14 (GMT+1) with its epicenter recorded in Aourir district, the institute pointed out. There were no reports of injuries or material damage.


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    Turkey’s first online Islamic sex shop opens

    Marrakesh- In 2010, a Moroccan named Abdelaziz Aouragh launched what the media dubbed as the world's first halal sex shop, which provides a range of erotic products that do not contravene the Islamic Sharia.

    Four years later, the second-generation Amsterdammer of Moroccan descent is expanding. He is targeting a global market of around 1.6 billion Muslims around the world by allying with Germany's largest erotic retailer, Beate Uhse.

     According to media reports, the German erotic industry giant approached Aouragh in 2012 with a business proposal to market his "Islamic branded" sex products, which he sells to the public via his Amsterdam-based El Asira online shop, which means society or tribe in Arabic.

    "We think we can learn a lot from El Asira on how to tap into the Muslim erotic market," Beate Uhse spokeswoman Linda Blommaert was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

     However, El Asira online sex shop says it does not provide traditional sex products, but only products that don’t violate Islamic rules.

    "The products we're putting on the market have nothing to do with blow-up dolls or vibrators," Aouragh told AFP. "It's not about the sex act; it's what's going on around it. Our products increase the atmosphere and heighten feelings of sensuality," he added.

    El Asira provides products such as oils, creams and lotions. Beate Uhse has 96 shops in 11 European countries with revenues of around 142 million euros last year.

    The two companies are thinking about the possibility of opening a concept store for halal sex products in Saudi Arabia, a country with a strict interpretation of Sharia. If finalized, the shop will be headquartered in Mecca, one of the holiest sites for Muslims.


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    Tourism in Morocco. Fez

    Rabat- A new report released by the Moroccan Observatory for Tourism (Observatoire Marocain du Tourisme) revealed that half of the total male tourists who visited Morocco unaccompanied by their wives were from the Arabian Gulf countries.

    Statistics say that the Gulf men prefer visiting Morocco alone rather than with their wives, unlike European tourists, who prefer traveling to Morocco with their families.

    The report also said that 28 percent of the total tourists who traveled to Morocco were unaccompanied by their partners. “Half of them were from the Arabian Gulf countries.”

    On the other hand, the report revealed that 60 percent of tourists from the United Kingdom and Italy traveled to Morocco accompanied with their families.

    The Moroccan Observatory for Tourism said that most of the tourists interviewed in recent months confirmed that they don’t have a favorite season to experience Morocco.

    The same source noted that the period between May and August is the most preferred among tourists who travel to Morocco. Moroccans living abroad said that they prefer visiting their motherland in July and August of each year.

    The report said that Moroccans living abroad stay in Moroccan hotels more than foreigners, although foreign tourists spend a longer time in Morocco.


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    Royal Air Maroc

    Rabat- Royal Air Maroc employees and their families are reportedly complaining about "being exposed to danger" as the Moroccan air carrier continues flying to Ebola-hit countries in western Africa.

    According to Alyaoum24 news website, pilots and flight attendants working for Royal Air Maroc have expressed on several occasions their reluctance to board on flights heading to the three worst hit countries with the Ebola virus, Sierra Leon, Guinea and Liberia.

    The Moroccan air carrier announced earlier that it would maintain its regular flights to countries in Western Africa where the Ebola pandemic is on the rise in order to show solidarity with them.

    Several international companies, including Air France, British Airways, stopped flying to the countries where the virus has claimed the lives of more than 1,500 so far.


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    Mohamed VI selfy

    New York- A photo received by MWN shows King Mohammed VI  in a 'selfie' with a Moroccan citizen.

    The young girl looks very happy to take a 'selfie' with the Moroccan monarch, who just celebrated his 51st birthday on August 21st.

    The picture shows the Moroccan monarch wearing casual clothes away from any royal protocol.

    The picture, which will certainly go viral in Moroccan social media network, is the first of its kind where the Moroccan king appears in a 'selfie.'


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