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    Review of the 32nd Issue of “Languages and Linguistics”

    Fez- The 32nd issue of the international journal “Languages and Linguistics” has just been released on the theme of "Language, Culture and Education: A Critical Perspective."

    Edited by Professor Moha Ennaji (International Institute for Languages and Cultures, Fez), this issue includes a set of scholarly articles motivated by the growing interest in applied linguistics. The studies included in this collection explore the relationship between language, culture, and education from a critical perspective.

    Five articles, one in Arabic and four in English, deal with the impact of language and language policy on the symbolic cultural market and the development of language teaching. The analysis in each article is either linguistic, ethnographic, cultural, or based on qualitative fieldwork.

    In the first article, "Ideological Perspectives in Language Policy: Framing Nashville English-only Debate", Mohammed Albakry and Nancy Warden (Middle Tennessee State University) bring to the fore the 2009 language debate in Tennessee, as voters rejected a proposed English-only amendment to the charter of Nashville. Based on opinion articles and letters to the editor, the survey discusses the dominant ideological debate between the opponents and the proponents of the English-only restriction. The authors argue that the findings have ramifications for language identity, language policy, education, and immigrants’ integration. 

    In the second article, “Multicultural Literacy: Using National Metaphors as a Culture Learning Strategy for “Third Culture Kids””, Janie Hubbard and Nieke Coppelmans (University of Alabama) illustrate how the use of metaphors in the classroom as a culture learning strategy can help learners of English as a foreign/second language to acquire the target language skills and compare cultures.

    Based on fieldwork and a case study, the article reveals that this strategy contributes to the promotion of multicultural literacy development among culturally and linguistically diverse students; it also leads to the improvement of classroom activities in the domain of multicultural literacy.

    In the third article, Charles Owu-Ewie (Winneba University) addresses the issue of “The Language Policy of Education in Ghana in Perspective: The Past, the Present, and the Future.” The author argues that the stable use of the mother tongue as a means of instruction in primary education and as a subject in pre-tertiary institutions in Ghana will depend on reframing the language policy in education, and on strong governmental support and change of attitude. 

    In the fourth article, "Amazigh Language in the Maghreb ", Ennaji examines the status of Berber in the aftermath of its official recognition thanks to the militancy of the Amazigh cultural movement and the political will to integrate Amazigh into the educational establishment. The author shows the extent to which its introduction in schools will contribute to favorable attitudes toward it and to more standardization and codification of the Amazigh language.

    In the fifth article, "L’Impéritie de la Lexicographie Arabe Face à l’Expansion Néologique des Langues de Créativité Scientifique", Abderrezak Dourari (University of Algiers) presents a critical perspective of the Arabic lexicography and its weak creativity in the domain of science, particularly social sciences.

    The author describes how factors like salafism, nationalism, traditional cultural norms, lack of critical thinking, and absence of creative modern strategies in academic writings in Algeria and other Arab countries have contributed to the stagnation of the Arabic lexicon (and scientific research, generally) in this part of the world.

    Finally, in his Arabic article, Abdessamad Rouai (Chaouaib Doukkali University, Eljadida) looks at the syntactic structure of adverbs in Modern Standard Arabic in a comparative perspective. He develops an analysis of Arabic adverbs within the minimalist framework of Chomsky.

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

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    Saharaoui women protesting against the Polisario in the Tindouf camps

    El Jadida- “Rguibat Sawa’id”, a tribe in the city of Laayoune, has asked the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, to urgently take action to stop aggression against protestors by the Polisario and Algeria authorities in the Tindouf camps.

    The members of this tribe expressed their concern in a letter to Ban Ki Moon during a meeting held last Saturday in Laayoune.  They described their strong disapproval of the intervention of Polisario members and the Algerian authorities against protestors of the “Rguibat Sawa’id” tribe, claiming that they had experienced varying degrees of physical assault, leaving some of them with serious bruises and injuries.

    They have also demanded the release of the Tindouf Camps “prisoners”; access to their possessions, which were seized by the Polisario; and the right to freedom of movement and expression.  

    The tribe has pleaded for UN intervention to put an end to the confrontation because they believe that those living in the Tindouf camps are held against their will. They argued that the demonstrations and alleged suppression by Algerian and Polisario authorities are making the situation even worse.  

    Edited by Anna Jacobs

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

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    Zineb El Adaoui, Walid of Kenitra

    Rabat- A Moroccan military official sanctioned for refusing to shake hands with a the first woman governor in the Morocco's history. 

    In his response to oral questions in the House of Representatives, Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad confirmed on Tuesday that disciplinary actions have been taken against a colonel in the Auxiliary Forces who refused to shake hands with Kenitra Wali  Zineb El Adaoui, first woman to hold a Wali (governor) position in the history of Morocco.

    Local sources in the city of Kenitra quoted by Daily Akhbar Al Yaoum in its Wednesday, February 5th issue said that the colonel in question warned that he will not attend official ceremonies in Kenitra just not to be forced, for reasons related to his “religious beliefs” to shake hands with the woman wali.

    The same source went on to add that the general inspection of the Auxiliary Forces of the north zone dismissed the colonel and suspended him from his duties as regional commander of the Auxiliary Forces in Kenitra.

    It is worth mentioning that men and women in uniform in Morocco must submit to strict compliance with regulations forbidding them to show signs of political or religious affiliations.

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    Abdelilah Benkirane, Moroccan Head of Government

    Casablanca- Despite a busy schedule and constant concerns, Abdelilah Benkirane, the head of government doesn’t miss any activities of his Justice and Development Party. Whether it be a big event or a small one, and be it delivering a speech or addressing messages, there are three primary reasons that may explain why Benkirane is always present in the activities of his party:

    1. Benkirane does not want to make the same mistake as his predecessor Abderrahmane El Youssoufi, who had neglected the party when he was head of government. Indeed, he always promoted the breakdown of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces in the five years when the socialists led the failed initiative for democratic change.

    But Benkirane knows that his strength comes from his power in being at the head of the largest Moroccan party. He is also fully aware that within the party, there are more and more people who don’t share his views about government action. And if he allows them to spread their ideas within the Party, there would be a negative impact on the general attitude of the party, which has already been drawn by Benkirane and Baha in their closed offices.

    The head of government is well aware that there is no plan or methodology for large reform of the State, nor is there a course of action to finally put Morocco on the rails of real democracy. All he can do is sprinkle in a few ingredients here and there to draw lines he tries to follow each day. First on the agenda is to gain a little more confidence from the palace; second, to strengthen the party; and third, to gain more experience.

    But will it help Morocco to join the club of democratic countries or will it be limiting to integrate the JPD in the game of participation? This is a game in which the rules never change, even if we change the players. To date, there is still no answer from the JPD. So, to not leave others to answer for him, Benkirane comes to the meetings of his party as often as possible. He talks and delivers his truth. He doesn’t practice the policy of the empty chair, and doesn’t leave anyone to answer something that he wants to answer himself.

    2. Benkirane is still in power because he is about to fight the great electoral battles that are coming in 2015 and 2016. Last Saturday, he claimed that he aspires to win the election: the local elections first, then the legislative. He says that winning is possible and that he doesn’t fear the opposition. According to him, the opposition is already burned and exhausted, and cannot stand in front of him and his reforms.

    The head of government knows very well that despite his position, he will not hand over the elections and cannot organize 100% free elections. He knows that some his governmental allies are in power only thanks to the ballot boxes tampering. He is also aware that the political balance has its rules, which ignore those of integrity and transparency.

    So, he thinks that what he will lose in terms of organization, he will gain it in terms of mobilizing and in being ever-present on the ground. It is, therefore, expected that this energy will crescendo in the coming months and multiply the attacks against Chabat, Lachgar and the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM). Benkirane seems to say to the state, "Don’t trust the PAM It is wobbly, and in 2011, the party had already disappeared from the political scene with the young people..."

    3. The constant and strong presence of Benkirane within his party also reflects his desire to seek a second term as a head of the government. He wants to collect himself what he sowed in his first mandate. This is legitimate and understandable. Indeed, all heads of state in the world know that the time for reform is not the time for politics, but they always aspire to re-enlist.

    But Abdelilah Benkirane has a problem: he cannot run for a third term as the Secretary General of the JPD. He must hand over the reigns in 2016, the year of legislative elections, or change the party's constitution. However, it doesn’t seem like that he wants to do this. This leaves him the option of programming the JPD Congress as late as possible in 2016; that is to say, after the legislative elections, he will try to win and return to his current position. And if he succeeds, he will organize the Congress of his party and give way to his successor, but only after he is properly secured in power.

    This is how we should understand the constant presence of Benkirane within the JPD–in its organs and structures–proving that he is the only absolute and undisputed leader. We shall see whether or not this will benefit the JPD.

    Translated by Nahla Landolsi. Edited by Katrina Bushko

    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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    Morocco protests expulsion of Syrian refugees by Algeria

    By Azouz Alilou, Rabat

    The Moroccan security delegation was composed of high-level figures, and Morocco's ambassador has been protesting at the U.S. Embassy in Algeria.

    Rabat - Yesterday in Algiers, in a new escalation action against Morocco, Algeria prevented a Moroccan security delegation from participating in an international anti-terrorism forum. This forum was under the supervision of the US and sponsored by the UN Security Council. It was about activating the Algerian government to criminalize ransom payment to terrorist organizations that specializ in hostage-taking.

    The U.S., through the Global Forum for Combating Terrorism, invited the Moroccan delegation. The Algerian newspaper, Daily Annas, confirmed in its February 6th issue that Algerian officials justified this decision by the fact that the names of the representatives of the Moroccan security delegation were not initially on the list of invited forum guests.

    According to the same source, Morocco’s ambassador in Algeria, Abdallah Belkeziz strongly protested at the U.S. Embassy in Algeria against this escalation, which breached all diplomatic norms and international conventions.

    Edited by Katrina Bushko

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

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    A woman shouts as hundreds of people form a human chain denouncing violence against women during a protest in the Moroccan city of Rabat on December 8, 2012 (AFP Photo:Fadel Senna)

    Casablanca- The Moroccan family code, or Mudawana, is a legal text aimed at improving relations between men and women and correcting injustices committed against half of the population.

    It is now in its tenth year, which presents an opportunity to commemorate and celebrate it. This code is also aimed at developing the principles of justice and equity within the family, which up to now have been governed by ancient customs and traditions, and even more than by religious precepts.

    The family code is the result of hard work on political, intellectual, social and ideological policy. Indeed, An advanced legal text was born, giving women part of their lost rights and restoring balance between the spouses.

    How did we get this result?

    First, there have been intellectual, religious and political debates initiated by the courageous Said Saadi, a leftist minister in the el Youssoufi government who had promised a project that would improve the status of women. But Saadi had to work against conservatives,  represented within the government by Abdelkébir Alaoui Mdaghri, Minister of Islamic Affairs, who received the support of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), and the Unity and Reform Movement (MUR, ), which opposed the project.

    Then, after much debate, a committee set up by the King - may God grant him long life - and led by Mhamed Boucetta managed to spearhead dialogue between the different camps, achieve what was possible and push away the impossible. Therefore, Islamist "jurisprudence" was adopted, with a foundation of modernity and the anointing of the King as "Commander of the Faithful".

    The lesson of this "exercise" is that the country is in need of great reform projects in law, economics, justice, education and of  civil behavior. These great projects first require public debate, followed by, a diversity of opinions which should result in consensus and/or solutions, and finally agreement away from narrow politicization. Our society is still fragile and does not know how to manage the legislation in line with logic of the majority and the minority in such major reforms.

    Ten years are sufficient to analyze and examine the weaknesses of this Mudawana and work on its dysfunctions. Here is the opinion of a commentator who does not pretend to be an expert:

    1. It is necessary to revise the terms of marriage involving minors. Today, marrying a girl who is under 18 is more likely to fail than to succeed. Girls under 18 belong in school. It took ten years for judges to begin marrying exceptionally young girls, paving the way for people who recommend marriage for children as young as 9..

    2. It is important to also reconsider the wide discretionary powers conferred on family court judges, most of whom are conservatives, if not completely backward. They consider the new code to be far from the traditional theological principles in which they were trained. This is why most of the Mudawana provisions were ignored by those responsible for enforcing the law.

    3. It is important to limit polygamy as much as possible and make monogamy the general rule. We must take action against those who falsify certificates of celibacy to marry someone else without the consent of their legal wife; traditional marriages with only a reading of the Fatiha must be banned, as when a birth results, it compels the judge to pronounce the marriage legal, without the consent of the first wife.

    4. Marriage between a rape victim and her rapist must be officially prohibited because a marriage should not be based on rape and violence.

    5. It is useful to focus on alimony and child support issues, in order to preserve the rights of ex-wives and children. Courtrooms are rife with divorce dramas. The Mudawana facilitated divorce proceedings, but did account for post-divorce considerations.

    Translated by Nahla Landolsi. Edited by Jessica Rohan

    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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    After Wave of Protests in Tindouf Camps, Polisario Declares State of Emergency

    El Jadida, Morocco- After Tindouf’s Autonomy Support Forum (FORSATIN) called for press missions to give voice to the Sahraoui people struggling against the Polisario, different media outlets have answered and taken on the challenge of setting foot in Tindouf Camps. 

    However, the Polisario were alert; they have adopted a devilish strategy to ward off the huge number of incoming press delegations whose purpose is to explore the camps and interview the inhabitants about their situation.

    According to FORSATIN, the first maneuver they’ve employed is to send press delegations through a labyrinthine road, rather than the official road used to transport their supporters.

    According to the same source, a Brazilian press delegation was the victim of such a strategy, as they drove over a mine, which resulted in the explosion of their car. Luckily, no one died, but the psychological ramifications were deep. Other journalists were shocked, especially when the Polisario didn’t even bother to evacuate the damaged vehicle from the road.

    This alerted other international press delegations that the situation is risky and shouldn’t dare approach the camps.

    According to a press release issue by FORSATIN, this is a strategy to keep international media ignorant of the whereabouts of Tindouf Camps. 

    “As dangerous as it might sound, the Polisario still sends international press delegations through the roads that many worldwide media outlets have strongly denounced. Therefore, the number of incoming press delegations is in huge decline for lack of safety measures,”the press release said.  

    “However, the Polisario paves safe roads to their pro-regime press and media. They utilize them to portray and masquerade a mirage of what’s going on in those camps. They broadcast these false images to the whole world while the truth stays hidden and protected by labyrinthine roads full of mines,”it added.

    Edited by Katrina Bushko

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

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    Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif

    By Aziz Allilou- Rabat

    Rabat urges Tehran to respect Moroccan sovereignty in order to resume diplomatic relations.

    In response to Iran‘s request to resume diplomatic relations between the two countries, Morocco called on Iran to respect Morocco’s sovereignty and refrain from intervening in its internal affairs again.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Salah Eddine Mezouar received a phone call from the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Javad Zarif in order to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    The Moroccan Foreign Minister highlighted the reasons that led to the severance of diplomatic ties between Tehran and Rabat in 2009, while Zarif confirmed Iran’s keenness to resume relations with Morocco.

    The Iranian News Agency MAHR reported Wednesday that the assistant of the Iranian minister stated that Zarif and Mezouar agreed on the need to resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Iran, adding that the embassies of the two countries would open soon.

    Edited by Jessica Rohan

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

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    Abdelilah Benkirane (Hespress)

    Rabat- Benkirane’s cabinet will implement a belt-tightening policy aimed at reducing government spending. 

    According to Akhbar Al Yaoum, the government will instruct gas stations to refrain from supplying official state vehicles with free gasoline on weekends unless provided documentation that the driver is on official government business.

    The instructions came in the wake of criticism that state vehicles are being used for personal purposes when off-duty.

     State vehicle gasoline and maintenance costs are paid by taxpayers.

    The daily newspaper added that the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) revealed, during a parliamentary session in the upper house, that the state’s fleet numbers around 115,000 vehicles. Morocco has allegedly more official vehicles than many larger countries in which the number does not exceed 70,000 official vehicles, Akhbar Al Yaoum reports..

    Mohamed El Ouafa, Minister in charge of governance, noted that PAM’s fleet estimates include military vehicles.

    Edited by Jessica Rohan

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

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    Benkirane raja

    Rabat- This Friday, Abdelillah Benkirane will represent His Majesty the King at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, on the banks of the Black Sea.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted these games to be very big, and will be. Sochi and the surrounding region have been adapted for the occasion. There have been many large sports, as well as infrastructure building projects. These unifying projects are unique in the history of the country. With them, Putin seeks to make this region a new destination for world tourism.

    In delegating Benkirane as his representative, His Majesty not only shows interest in sport, but also in Moroccan-Russian relations. I still remember Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Soviet Union, on official parade in the streets of Rabat. It was 1961 and the parade was significant for international relations with Russia.

    After Friday prayer, Benkirane will sit in the official gallery and take great delight in watching the Russian show. There is no doubt that the ceremony will be great. During this time, the head of our government is likely to come to many conclusions.

    He will see how sport is is crucial in the development of a country. He will understand not only the economic importance of sport, but also its political importance. These things will be proven by the audience of well-known personalities he will meet here.

    Benkirane will appreciate how a sporting event can mobilize an entire people, an entire nation. He’s going to feel it at the airport and all the way to the stadium. If he actually looks out of his car or hotel room, he would see a country in a good party mood.

    Benkirane won’t have the chance to meet the athletes, but he will be in contact with the volunteers who will show him the way, and will seat him. They will show him with grace, and smile with happiness and pride in being the world center for two weeks.

    While enjoying the pleasure of attending the Olympic Games, Benkirane will see the flags of the world and seek the flag of his country, Morocco. He will look carefully—as any Moroccan would—if there is a well placed star.

    Benkirane will see the meaning of equality between men and women, since there are as many female athletes, organizers, and guests as male.

    Benkirane will see that Morocco is present at this universal gathering, and will have to thank Canada and the USA for that. He will ask, what are the chances of our representatives? The answer will surely be that there is great hope for both Adam Lamhamdi and Kenza Tazi. Lamhamdi won the Olympic medal of the youth games, and Tazi comes from Boston.

    I hope that Benkirane raises other questions, even as he is plunged in this euphoric party.

    For example, what is the situation of sport in his country? Why is it failing? Why have the projects failed and the great ideas degenerated? What is the budget reserved for them? What is the strategy of development? Do his actions meet the aspirations of his voters?

    He will compare and wonder why sport works elsewhere and not in his own country.

    What a pity that he must come back before the end of the games. He would have seen hundreds of gorgeous creatures ascending to the top of their art, and he would have understood the significance of sport performance.

    Benkirane would have seen, for example, the giant slalom and encouraged Adam Lamhamdi. He would have liked the skating, sled, bobsled, hockey, or curling competitions. He would have learned many things, things that may give him a desire to make sport a top priority in his government. But this is another story.

    What really is the place of sport in his policy?

    Translated by Nahla Landolsi. Edited by Katrina Bushko

    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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    A Moroccan world’s No.1 Internet &Media analyst for Facebook, Google, Amazon

    New York- Here is good news that went unnoticed in most Moroccan media outlets. Moroccan Youssef Squali Global Head of Internet & Media Research at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., a leading global financial services firm, was ranked No. 1 Internet & Media Analyst for Google, Facebook and Amazon, according to Bloomberg.

    According to Bloomberg's latest analyst ranking, the New York-based Moroccan “Squali exceeded the respective Internet & Media benchmark by 32.7 percentage points over a twelve month period, ending January 14, 2014.”

    "I would like to congratulate Youssef and his team on this outstanding recognition for research excellence," said Shawn P. Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

    "We pride ourselves on our deep knowledge and industry insight, and Youssef's well deserved recognition underscores the value our research team provides to our clients," he added.

    Youssef Squali has over ten years of experience covering the internet sector. He is the recipient of The Wall Street Journal's Best on the Street 2011 and the Financial Times StarMine All-Star Analyst Award 2009. Mr. Squali has a B.S. in Economics from the American Business School in Paris and an M.B.A from the University of Hartford.

    With agencies

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    Adam Lamhamedi proud to represent Morocco at the Winter Olympic Games

    Fez- Morocco has only two athletes participating at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Adam Lamhamdi and Kenza Tazi, are Morocco’s only hope to win the first medal in the Olympic Games in its history.

    Adam Lahmamedi, who had already offered Morocco a gold medal at Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games, said how happy and proud he was to fulfill his dream of participating in his first Winter Olympic Games.

     “I feel it in my fingers and toes. This is so surreal. I hope I don’t get too emotional on stage,” he was quoted by as saying.

    The 19-year old said that he owes a lot to his participation in the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games, adding that it was an opportunity for him to prove that “Moroccans can ski well.”

    “The Youth Olympic Games are not a mini-Olympics. They teach you so much: to be a respectful athlete, to play fair and to dream big. I learnt a lot in Innsbruck, and I am lucky that I got to be a part of the first one,” he said.

     “I wanted to prove that Moroccans can ski well, and I proved it [in Innsbruck]. This represents that in life you can do everything: never give up. And now I have made it to the big stage in Sochi,” he added.

    Adam, who was born in Canada from a Moroccan father and a Canadian mother, expressed the hope that his participation in the Winter Olympic Games will inspire more Moroccans to practice winter sports, thus participate in the Olympic Games.

    “I hope more young people can dream of being athletes in my country now and aim at competing in the Youth Olympic Games,” he said.  

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

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    Abdelilah Benkirane, Moroccan Head of Government

    Casablanca- These days, Moroccan politicians seem to have a propensity for squabbling. Last Tuesday,  a dispute erupted in parliament when Hakim Benchamass, president of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) in the House of Councilors, called for an investigation into a list of ministers accused of paying to attain their positions.

    According to the daily Al Akhbar, Benchamass, supported by Minister of Corporate Affairs Mohamed El Ouafa, and M’Hand Laenser, Minister of Urban Development and Planning, asked Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane to open an investigation into the alleged corruption.

    Last Tuesday’s political dispute finds its roots in an editorial published by Touafik Bouachrine in Akhbar Al Yaoum entitled “Moroccan Ministers who don’t have the same resumé of Hassan II’s driver.”

    “I know ministers who paid a high price for joining the government, others have jumped through so many hoops and kissed so many hands and feet in order to be appointed ministers, and still others have threatened to end their lives if they don’t get a minor ministerial position,” read the controversial article.

    Propelled by the statements made in  Bouachrine’s article, Benchamass called for an investigation to evaluate "the veracity of the information communicated to the national and international public opinion," according to Al Akhabar.

    Benchamass said he was surprised by Benkirane’s silence on the serious allegations leveled by the author of Akhbar Al Yaoum’s editorial..

    Taoufiq Bouachrine, editor-in-chief of Akhbar Al Yaoum, affirmed that the claims made in the polemical article “are accurate.”

    Edited by Jessica Rohan

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

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    Tindouf camps

    Rome  -  Moroccan and African human rights-defense associations, based in Italy, urged the US Robert F. Kennedy center for justice and human rights to take action against the systematic rights violations taking place in the Tindouf camps (stronghold of the Polisario in Southwestern Algeria).

    The associations sent a letter to the American center calling "to shed light" on the assassination by the Algerian army last month near the Algeria-Mauritanian borders, of two young Sahrawis who were trying to flee "the hell of Tindouf".

    The network of the Moroccan community in Italy and the African federation in Toscany also denounced the brutal repression of demonstrators in the Tindouf camps who were protesting "the violations of their rights and human dignity".

    The associations also stress that "the uprising of young Sahrawis against the dictatorship of the Polisario mercenaries should incite some parties that still believe in the separatist movement's theses that the Algerian regime is only attempting to protract, by any means, the conflict and jeopardize peace in the region".

    "The upheaval is a clear signal to the international community that it can no longer afford to ignore the violations of the dignity of men and women in the camps of shame", they said.

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  • 02/09/14--12:26: An Ode to Moroccan Mint Tea
  • moroccan-mint-tea

    New Jersey- I have always loved tea. I remember when my grandmother used to visit, she would make Earl Grey tea, and our house would smell like it all morning. The scent was so deep and dark that I desperately wanted to try it for myself.

     One day, my grandmother let me have a sip of her just-brewed tea. Excitedly, I held the mug to my lips, blew over to cool it down, and took a huge gulp. The hot bitterness was instantaneous, and I twisted my face in disgust.

     “Silly girl,” my grandmother said, “you didn’t wait until I put the sugar in!” I returned the tea to her, and she dropped three heaping teaspoons of sugar into the tiny mug.

     “Try now,” she offered. This time, I cautiously took a tiny sip. The sugar did wonders. Although I burned my tongue in the process, I happily slurped up a few more sips of tea and remembered to leave some for my grandmother. Sugar makes tea so much better, I thought.

     That’s why I was so excited for my first trip to Morocco. Growing up, I did not learn much about the Maghreb, but I did know that Morocco was famous for it’s sweet, sweet mint tea. I had read that mint was bountiful in the region, and there were traditional ways of serving and pouring. But despite everything I had heard, nothing could have prepared me for the deliciousness that is Moroccan mint tea.

     My first visit to Morocco came in the summer. Due to the heat and humidity, I didn’t expect to drink much tea at all. To my surprise, the weather had absolutely no bearing on how much I drank. Indeed, I happily downed many cups of scalding mint tea with my classmates on a trip to Erfoud in southern Morocco.

    The idea is that drinking something near boiling will make your body not feel as hot in the unbearable temperatures—or so I was told. Regardless, I’m pretty sure that during that summer, I drank more (and sweeter) tea than I ever had in my entire life.

     I will always remember the first time my Moroccan roommate made mint tea for me. I was absolutely baffled by the amount of sugar she put in. One, two, three, four, five cubes in a tiny pot! A fistful of mint sprigs was stuffed in as well. Washing the tea, boiling the water, letting everything simmer on the stove—it was all magic to me. She produced two delicate glasses, into which she poured the sweet mixture. I thought for sure she would splash and burn herself as she raised the teapot above her head, but as an experienced tea-pourer, she did not. Although she emphasized that it was by far not her best pot of tea, I enjoyed every last sweet, sticky drop.

     Now back in America, I have strong cravings for Moroccan mint tea from time to time. Because I do not always have fresh mint, I usually feed this craving by going to a small café right down the road that makes coffee and tea from around the world. It’s definitely not the same as the authentic experience, but it does do the job of curing the craving and a bit of nostalgia.

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    Abdellah ouzad

    By Aziz Allilou

    Tangier - Abdallah Ouzad, the Amazigh actor and theater director was found dead under suspicious circumstances Sunday morning in his room at the Cesar Hotel in Tangier, where he was attending the Tangier Film Festival.

    The local police are investigating to determine the cause of death once an autopsy of the body is performed.

    According to Al-Akhbar daily,the 54 year old actor was found dead in room number 101 by the hotels housekeeping staff, but the cause of death is unknown.

    According to the same source, the initial investigations by the police seem to suggest that Ouzad died of heart failure, and that he suffered from asthma.

    Ouzad leaves behind a huge artistic legacy. Starting out as an amateur actor in Sale, playing in the successful movie Horses of God” and directing the Amazigh theater IKBOUREN, Abdallah Ouzad joins the list of the great Moroccan artists who have left the cinematic scene.

    Ouzad was born in Sale in 1960, and was the husband of the Moroccan painter Sharifa EL-HAMRI. He is considered to be the founder and the godfather of the Amazigh theater in Morocco.

     Edited by Elisabeth Myers

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    Algerian military guards shot a Moroccan citizen in the border region

    Fez - Algerian border guards on Sunday evening shot a Moroccan citizen in the border region, according to a security source cited by Anadolo agency.

    The source explained that the injured person called Al Mashti Hussein, a smuggler of goods on both sides of the Moroccan-Algerian border, was hit by Algerian border guards in the region of Bani Khalid, about 30 km from the Moroccan city of Ouejda.

    The 47- year-old was evacuated to Al-Farabi hospital in Ouejda to receive the necessary care, the same source added.

    An employee from the hospital said that "the patient was in stable condition after being hit by a bullet in the right side of his stomach."

    Neither the Algerian nor the Moroccan authorities have issued any communiqué regarding the incident.

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    Morocco's first pilot, Touria Chaoui

    Sidi Ifni- Touria Chaoui is considered by many to be the first Moroccan and Arab woman pilot. She was born in Fez in 1936. At a young age, she had a passion for flying a plane. In the March of 1956, Chaoui was murdered at age 19.

    Morocco's Touria Chaoui with late King Hassan IIThe Arab world, particularly Morocco, was taken aback by Chaoui’s assassination. At the time, Moroccans prided themselves on the remarkable achievements made by this young Moroccan pilot. Their hopes were dashed upon hearing of her death.

    According to the Moroccan daily Akhbar Al Youm, under the French protectorate, Chaoui’s father, a French-speaking Moroccan journalist, managed to send his daughter to the only flight school in the country, based in Tit Mellil. Once there, she took flying lessons, which later helped her to become a licensed pilot at the age of 15.

    Although the school was reserved for the French elite at the time, Chaoui was lucky to be the first Arab woman to study flight. Still, very few Moroccans know about her.

    Chaoui had a role in the movie “The Seventh Gate,” which was shot in Fez by French director Andre Zwobada. This early experience spurred her to pursue her goal as an aviatrix.

    When Chaoui became the first Arab aviatrix in 1952, newspapers reported the event worldwide and a number of women’s organizations congratulated her.

    The last King Mohammed V, for his part, offered her a red-carpet reception at the palace.

    According to the same source, Chaoui impressed a number of prominent personalities in Morocco. As a result, some “enemies of success” attempted to assassinate her several times.

    Moroccan historian Abdul Haq Almareni wrote that a French colonizer put a bomb near the door of her villa, but his attempt failed. He added that two French policemen shot at her in 1955, but they failed to hit their target.

    In 1956, Chaoui was preparing to fly her private plane to Saudi Arabia when she was assassinated. Her sudden death, which occurred on March 1, 1956, broke the hearts of millions of Moroccans and Arabs around the world.

    Edited by Katrina Bushko

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    Morocco, Nearly 827,000 women have experienced sexual abuse (Photo couretsy, Aujourd'hui le Maroc)

    Casablanca- Following the accusation of sexual harassment of a high-ranking executive at the Moroccan TV channel 2M, the directors of 2M have appointed a commission to investigate the allegations of two interns.

    2M has recently announced the appointment of a commission whose mission is to investigate a case of sexual harassment, which allegedly targeted trainees within its institution.

    In a statement released last Wednesday, February 5, the channel’s management department said it had not received any complaints from its trainees and employees about cases of sexual harassment.

    However, 2M rejects such behaviors within its institution, which “taints the channel’s reputation.” Still, 2M appointed two administrators, two lawyers, and two staff representatives to constitute the commission.

    The two victims did not choose a traditional path in denouncing the perpetrator. Instead of lodging a complaint in the court, they informed a member of the Party of Justice and Development (PJD), which leads the coalition government. This government official then accused an executive of the channel of sexual harassment based on these testimonies.  

    While sexual harassment is still believed by many Moroccans to be exclusively a street behavior, this phenomenon has ostensibly found its way to where it is less expected, and it is gradually becoming ubiquitous in both public and private spaces.

    Edited by Katrina Bushko

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    Paris - Minister of agriculture and fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch began on Monday a two-day working visit to France during which he will chair, along with French counterpart, Stéphane Le Foll, the first French-Moroccan agricultural joint commission.

                             The two officials will chair the signing ceremony of agreements on partnership and cooperation especially in the fields of agriculture, rural development and agri-business. Akhannouch, who is accompanied by a large delegation, will also have a working lunch with  Le Foll.

    The Moroccan official will also take part, with French deputy minister for food, Guillaume Garot, in the opening of the French-Moroccan food meeting.

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