Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Moroccan Photo of the Day

Ifrane is the destination of the winter holidays in Morocco! Travellers come from all over the world to enjoy skiing in Michlifen. Ifrane is also very popular with Moroccans for nature weekends and disconnection, in all seasons, but especially in winter, when snowfalls.

See more in our series Photo of the Day 

The View from Fez welcomes contributions to our Photo of the Day Series


Amazigh Festival in Meknes

The 5th edition of the Amazigh (Berber) New Year Festival (2968) will take place from 26 to 28 January in Meknes, under the theme "The dialogue of cultures and the question of identity"

Initiated by the Centre for Shared Memory for Democracy and Peace, the event aims to strengthen cultural customs related to the Amazigh New Year celebration and to discuss issues of identity and common memory. On the menu of this festival, musical evenings dedicated to the celebration of the values ​​of cohabitation, social justice and solidarity and respect for difference.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Moroccans Protest Over Trump's Jerusalem Decision

Moroccan citizens have responded in large numbers to the national demonstration of solidarity with the Palestinian people that began Sunday in Rabat, in protest against the decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise the holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
Photo crédit : Yassine Toumi/TELQUEL

Organised on the initiative of the National Action Group to Support Palestine and the Moroccan Association of Solidarity with the Palestinian Struggle, this event has seen the participation of some 100,000 people according to its initiators.

All had one message: to reaffirm the consistent position of the Moroccan people of all stripes, political parties, trade unions and human rights organisations, supporting the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and their just cause.

Demonstrators, armed with Palestinian flags or wearing scarves in the colors of Palestine, marched from Bab el-Had square, near the medina, to the Parliament.

"Jerusalem, capital of Palestine!" proclaimed a banner, while protesters, including Islamist sympathizers or trade unionists, chanted slogans against Mr Trump.

"The Palestinian people have suffered a lot and they continue to suffer because of the barbaric colonization of the Israelis," indignant Moustapha, a 43-year-old protester. "We need more than ever to make our voices heard against Trump's decision to deprive Palestinians of their land," said the lawyer from Casablanca with his six-year-old daughter.

To the cries of "Trump you are disqualified!" the demonstrators, coming from several cities near Rabat, then went to the As-Sunna mosque whose minaret dominates the old Rabat.

"Palestine will always be the first cause of Muslims," ​​says Hassan, a 28-year-old teacher from the town of Kenitra, north of Rabat, in a bus available to protestors.

Members of the Moroccan government and other figures of Moroccan political life also participated in the march.

Earlier this week, King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee, expressed his "deep concern" at Trump's decision, and warned against "any violation of recognized legal and historical status. "from Jerusalem.


Saturday, December 09, 2017

Heavy Snow Forecast for Morocco

Morocco's Directorate of National Meteorology (DMN) forecasts heavy snowfalls, Monday and Tuesday, with cold weather from Tuesday to Thursday in many parts of the Kingdom

Abundant snowfalls, locally varying between 30 and 50 cm, are expected from Monday at 18:00 to Tuesday at 24:00 in the provinces of Ifrane, khénifra, Azilal, Al Haouz, Beni Mellal, Midelt, Boulemane, Figuig and the reliefs of Chichaoua , Sefrou and Ouarzazate.

The DMN is also forecasting cold weather in some areas from Tuesday to Thursday in some areas.

In Ifrane, Khénifra, Azilal, Al Haouz, Beni Mellal, Chichaoua, Midelt, Boulemane and Figuig provinces, the minimum temperatures will have to vary between -05 and 00 ° C, while the maximum temperatures will have to reach between 03 and 08C. .

The cold weather will alsoimpact the regions of Sefrou, Fes, Tinghir, Taroudante, Chefchaouen, Ouarzazate, Al Hoceima, Taza, Khouribga, Ouezzane, Jerada, Taounate and Taourirte, with minimum temperatures ranging between 00 and 04 C and maximum temperatures between 08 and 13 ° C.

The country will also experience a rainy situation on Monday and Tuesday, according to the same source.


Friday, December 08, 2017

Religious Diplomacy - Fez Meeting to Promote Moderate Islam

According to a report carried by Morocco World News, 300 Muslim scholars will meet in Fez to debate issues on promoting moderate Islam

The higher council of the Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulemas (scholars) will hold a meeting from December 8 to 10 in Morocco’s spiritual capital Fez, bringing together 300 ulemas from all over the continent as part of its religious diplomacy in Africa.

In an official statement released by the foundation, the meeting will be devoted to examining the foundation’s action plan for 2018, as well as to debating major themes such as the values of moderate Islam and the shared African cultural heritage.

This regular session will see the participation of 300 Islamic scholars from 32 African countries where the foundation is represented. More than 80 women will take part of the meeting, 20 of whom are Moroccan.

The work of the Council will bring focus on two axes. The first will concern the adoption of the objectives fixed in article 4 of the Dahir, which are the preservation of the common religious and spiritual constants between Morocco and the African countries, the promotion of the authentic rules of Sharia and the principles of tolerant Islam, the revitalization of the common African Islamic cultural heritage, and the consolidation of the historical relations that bind Morocco to other African countries.

The second axis of this meeting will focus on the examination and voting of the annual draft program for the year 2018 and the process of implementation of the work of the four standing committees in accordance with article 18 of the Dahir, namely the Committee for Scientific and Cultural Activities, the Sharia Studies Committee, the Revitalization of African Islamic Heritage Committee and the Communication, Cooperation and Partnership Committee.

As part of its religious diplomacy in Africa, Morocco continues to promote its moderate version of Islam as a bulwark against extremism and establishes itself as leader, providing training for the hundreds of imams from Africa.

In 2015, Morocco created the religious institute, Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulemas, in order to promote a tolerant Islam and curb the growing threat of terrorism.

The religious institute aims to unite religious scholars and imams of the kingdom with those in other African countries in an effort to serve the interests of Islam. It advocates tolerance and promote research and studies in Islamic thought and culture.

Under the supervision of King Mohammed VI, the institute intends to inculcate the values of moderate Islam as it has always been practiced in Morocco (based on the Ashaari doctrine and the Malikite school of jurisprudence) to the new generations of imams and preachers.


Morocco: + 9% increase in tourist arrivals

A total of 9.7 million tourists visited Morocco between January and October 2017, an increase of + 9% compared to the same period last year, says the Tourism Observatory

The number of foreign tourists (TES) increased by + 14%, while the arrivals of Moroccans living abroad (MRE) increased by 5%, says the Observatory of Tourism which has just published its statistics on the Moroccan tourism covering the first 10 months of 2017.

This rise affected the main issuing markets, in particular Germany (14%), Holland (8%) and France (7%), according to the same source. As for emerging tourism markets for Morocco, they maintain their upward trend, with China recording a 203% increase, while Japan, South Korea, the United States and Brazil posted respective increases of 40%. %, 33%, 30% and 51%. The total nights spent in classified tourist accommodation establishments recorded a 15% increase during the first 10 months of 2017 (+ 19% for non-resident tourists and + 8% for residents).

The two tourist hubs of Marrakesh and Agadir alone generated 60% of total overnight stays at the end of May, the Observatory said, noting that these two cities experienced an increase of 18% and 12%, respectively. Other destinations also performed well, especially the cities of Fez and Tangier with respective increases of 37% and 26%. Occupancy rate until the end of October 2017,  reached 44%, up 4 points over the same period last year.

In addition, revenues generated by tourism activity by non-residents in Morocco amounted to MAD 59.2 billion (MMDH) at the end of October 2017, compared with MAD 56.1 billion a year earlier, an increase of 5%, 4%. During the month of October, the number of tourist arrivals at the border posts increased by 15% compared to the same month of 2016 (+ 24% for the TES and + 1% for the MRE).

With its political stability and notable economic progress, Morocco did well in the latest survey of the Intermat Construction Observatory. It is at the head of a ranking of the most attractive countries of the African continent.

The results of the analysis were previewed this Wednesday in Casablanca, at a conference dedicated to the presentation of the International Exhibition of Construction and Infrastructure, scheduled for April 23 to 28, 2018 in Paris with the participation from Morocco. Morocco has emerged as the most attractive country on the continent out of a dozen countries with high potential.


Thursday, December 07, 2017

Moroccan News Briefs #138

Morocco Sends A Message to Trump

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ( DFAIT) has expressed its deep concern and strong condemnation of the US decision to recognise Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel and to transfer its embassy to this holy city.

Such an initiative is in flagrant contradiction with international legality and more particularly with the two resolutions 2253 and 2254 of 1967 of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as with the conventions concluded and the agreements between the two parties, Palestinian and Israel, the ministry said in a statement. 

Morocco, whose HM King Mohammed VI chairs the Al-Quds Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), insists on the need to preserve the historical, legal and political status of Al-Quds and calls upon the United Nations, including the permanent members of the Security Council, to fully assume their responsibilities in order to avoid anything that might undermine that status or undermine international efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

HM King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, has sent a message to the President of the United States, Donald Trump. The translation is as follows:

I am pleased to address you today as Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which has 57 States representing more than one billion citizens.
I would like to express to Your Excellency my deep personal concern and the great concern felt by the Arab and Muslim States and peoples, following the recurrent information on the intention of your administration to recognize Al-Quds as the capital of Israel and to transfer the embassy of the United States.
As you are aware, Excellency, the extreme importance of the city of Al-Quds not only for the parties to the conflict, but also for the faithful of the three celestial religions.
Due to its unique religious specificities, its age-old historical identity and its great political symbolism, the city of Al-Quds must remain a land of cohabitation and a symbol of coexistence and tolerance for all.
Since your inauguration, you have demonstrated a strong will and determination to restart the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides and have taken promising steps in this direction, having enjoyed the continued support of the international community, including including the Kingdom of Morocco.
The current step is likely to negatively impact the prospects of a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, knowing that the United States of America is one of the main sponsors of the peace process and enjoys the confidence of all parties.
In accordance with relevant international resolutions, including particularly Security Council resolutions, Al-Quds is at the heart of final status issues, which requires maintaining its legal status and avoiding anything that is likely to undermining its current political status.
Excellency, Mr. President,
The Middle East lives in the midst of deep crises, continuous tension and peril that need to avoid anything that may exacerbate the feelings of frustration and disappointment that are the bedrock of extremism and terrorism. to undermine precarious stability in the region and to diminish the hope that fruitful talks will be able to materialise the international community's vision of a two-state solution.
The Kingdom of Morocco, constantly striving for a just and comprehensive peace in the region in accordance with the principles of legality and the international resolutions related thereto, does not doubt the insight of the vision of your respectable administration, nor of your personal commitment peace and stability in the region and your firm determination to facilitate the relaunch of the peace process and avoid anything that may hinder or even stop it.

U.S. Mission in Morocco Issues Security Message for U.S. Citizens

The recent announcement that the United States recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may spark protests, some of which have the potential to become violent. U. S Mission Morocco reminds U.S. citizens of the need for caution and awareness of personal security.

Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news for updates. Maintain a high-level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities. Avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

Taxi Strike in Fez

A showdown continues between taxi drivers and the authorities of the city of Fez. On strike since yesterday, the drivers of the red taxis have paralysed the traffic for the second successive day. They demand a responsible dialogue with the local authorities. They decided to ban traffic in Allal Benabdallah Avenue. This created a great inconvenience for the motorists and the inhabitants of the avenue.

For their part, taxi drivers are demanding a immediate fight against illegal transport.

A total of nearly 500 taxi drivers have joined the struggle and announced an indefinite strike.

A Plan to Plant 800,000 Trees

As part of the fight against desertification and soil erosion, a partnership agreement has been signed between the High Commissioner for Water and Forests and Rotary Club for the planting of 800,000 trees nationwide.

On Tuesday, the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight Against Desertification (HCEFLCD) and the Rotary Clubs of Morocco signed a partnership agreement for the planting of 800,000 trees at the national level.

Under this agreement, the HCEFLCD undertakes to ensure the supply of seedlings for the benefit of the Rotary Clubs, (10,000 trees in 2017 and 790,000 in 2018), to guarantee the technical supervision and monitoring of the plantation and to provide technical support for environmental education programs.

As for the Rotary Club, it is obliged to define through the Rotary Clubs of the Kingdom and in collaboration with the Regional Offices of the High Commission, the places of plantations and to communicate to the HCEFLCD the program of afforestation by region and by province.

Rotary will also take care of all the work and expenses related to the planting work (soil preparation, planting, watering and maintenance during the planting season) including the transportation of the seedlings from the nursery to the planting sites.

Rotary in Morocco has about fifty clubs present in all regions of the kingdom, which sponsor and carry out every year dozens of humanitarian actions. Morocco enjoys a great reputation within Rotary International, since Morocco had the privilege of organising the first summit of African Rotarians from 27 to 29 March 2018 in Marrakech, under the High patronage of HM King Mohammed VI.

The official launch of the planting operation is scheduled for 6 December at the Bir Lahmar perimeter (Maamora Forest, rural commune Ameur).

Morocco - Crime and Security Update

Security: Police resolved more than 92% of cases until September

The number of persons brought before the courts has reached 402,384

The rate of crimes affecting the sense of security has dropped significantly over the last 4 years and Morocco has emerged as one of the safest countries in the world and the crime rate in its various forms in Morocco is one of the lowest in the world, with only 21 cases for every 1,000 citizens per year.

The Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Interior, Noureddine Boutayeb, who was responding to a question in the House of Representatives on the security situation in Morocco, said that this rate has generally stabilised over the past three years. He added that the rate of crimes that affect the feeling of security has dropped significantly over the last 4 years. "The national security services have resolved in 2017, until September, some 378,974 out of the 420,664 cases registered, a rate of 92.33%, one of the best at the international level, " he said and announced that the number of people brought before the courts has reached 402,384.

The Minister referred to the record of the fight against the networks of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and cross-border organised crime. The Kingdom, because of its strategic geographical position, is more and more confronted with this kind of crime. Data provided by the number two Ministry of the Interior report more than 50,000 attempted smuggling to Europe failed. According to the same source, the security services dismantled 73 criminal networks engaged in human trafficking, adding that convincing results have been achieved in the fight against drugs with the seizure, during this year, of more 71 tons of chira and more than 2 and a half tons of cocaine.

Mr. Boutayeb highlighted the excellent results achieved jointly by the security and territorial services through the "provincial security units". Those who work under the supervision of walis and governors illustrate, according to the same source, "the efforts made to strengthen the feeling of security among citizens and their confidence in the security approach adopted".

Security Capacity Development: A Priority

The Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Interior has said that the consolidation of the security situation is the subject of the constant high directives of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, which ensures that the Kingdom remains at the top of stable countries, noting that the government puts the development of security capabilities, human and material, at the heart of its program and spares no effort to achieve it.

The Ministry of the Interior and the security services make this subject a priority through the adoption of a precise security strategy and multi-dimensional action plans constantly updated to meet the needs and requirements of the field, the evolution of crime and changes in the regional and international situation.

It is through this strategy that the Moroccan experience has achieved positive results that have helped to support the Kingdom's development and make it a reference in terms of stability and security and a model in the way of dealing with terrorist threats, said the minister delegate.

The Moroccan experience as an international model

Morocco's strategy in its fight against drug trafficking was widely discussed in Moscow on Monday at the international conference "Parliamentarians Against Drugs" held in the Duma (lower house of the Russian Parliament).

Representatives of the Moroccan delegation have indicated that Morocco has ratified three UN conventions on the fight against drug trafficking, highlighting the efforts of the Kingdom at the regional and international levels with the key to the dismantling of many networks of drug traffickers. narcotics.

The same source also added the emphasis of the vigilance of the Moroccan authorities at the borders to prevent the trafficking of psychotropic drugs and all other drugs, noting that Morocco does not only rely on the security approach but also promotes a process social and awareness-raising, especially for young people, the first victims of these prohibited substances.

Cold Weather Continues

Here are the weather forecasts for the day of Thursday, December 7, 2017 and the following night, prepared by the National Meteorological Directorate:

- Cold weather on landforms and plateaus and generally cool on the rest of the country.

- Stable weather with clear to slightly cloudy sky over the whole country.

- Night and morning frost on the reliefs and plateaus.

- Moderate to fairly strong east sector wind over southern and Tangier provinces and east to east variable to elsewhere.

- Minimum temperatures in the order of -07 to -01 ° C on the eastern hills and plateaus, from 00 to 05 ° C on the north of the Oriental, the plateaux of phosphates and Oulmes, the South east, the Saiss and the interior of Gharb and Chaouia, from 04 to 09 ° C on the Atlantic plains north and center, Doukkala, Abda, Chiadma, Tensift and Souss and 10 to 15 ° C on the Tangerois and the south of the country.

- Maximum temperatures of the order of 07 to 12 ° C on the reliefs and the Eastern highlands, from 12 to 17 ° C on the North of the Oriental, the South-East and on the Mediterranean coast, from 17 to 22 ° C on the Saiss, Gharb, Doukkala, Abda, Tadla, Rhamna, Tensift Souss and northern southern provinces and 23-28 ° C in the extreme south of the country.