Archive for March, 2012
(AFP) RABAT — A Moroccan minister has caused a stir by saying that tourists visit the southern city of Marrakech “to sin”.
“People from all over the world come and spend a lot of time sinning and being away from God,” Justice Minister Mustafa Ramid from the newly-installed Islamist government said during a visit to a Koranic school in Marrakech.
Ramid, a member of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane’s moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), did not elaborate on his comments which were picked up on video and broadcast on the Internet and social media.
Gregor Heard Sun, Apr 1 2012
A DRY and cold spring in autumn in Morocco has meant the North African nation is chasing record amounts of wheat and barley from abroad.
There has already been panic buying in Morocco, which has driven barley prices to more than double the European quote.
Agrimoney.com quotes import figures of 5.6 million tonnes of wheat and a million tonnes of barley to come in.
Financial markets in most countries touched by last year’s Arab Spring disappointed in the first quarter by staying broadly flat or ending down, as investors held off amid signs of continued volatility, and private-sector involvement in the economies remained weak.
Markets Looking back and looking ahead at Middle East bourses (more…)
|Israel won’t gain new allies through the Arab Spring
A recurring question of the past year has been whether Israel can come out of the unrest of the “Arab Spring” with any new allies. The point is hardly immaterial: The future of Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt hangs in the balance, …
|Other Voices: The Marie Antoinette of the Arab Spring is much like the original
By Scripps Howard News Service The Arab Spring appears to have produced its own Marie Antoinette — brighter and better educated than the original and with a much tougher husband, but with the same acquisitive tastes. She is Asma al-Assad, 36, … (more…)
By Souhail Karam
RABAT, March 31 (Reuters) – An investment holding firm controlled by Morocco’s royal family on Saturday posted a 50 percent rise in its net profit helped mostly by higher earnings from banking, mining, steel and sugar affiliates active mostly in the domestic market.
National Investment Co., or SNI, made a net consolidated profit of 4.3 billion dirhams ($513 million) in 2011 versus 2.9 billion dirhams in 2010 in comparable terms, showed financial statements published in pro-establishment newspaper Le Matin. (more…)
The city of Agadir is the best starting point for a trip inland to Paradise Valley. Getty Images
Olivia Gunning Bennani
Mar 31, 2012
Once upon a time, an ageing, ailing couple from Germany set sail for Morocco in search of renewed vitality. For six sublime months, they took refuge in the creeks and crevices of Paradise Valley. It was here that they camped in rough bamboo shelters, roofs improvised with palms and wide banana leaves, bathing in and drinking the pristine mountain waters, lunching on local fruits, dining on nuts and honey and absorbing as many African sunbeams as possible. Suffice to say, well-being was reinstated and ailments chased away within a matter of weeks. (more…)
UNI Global Union
Postal activists from 14 countries met in Casablanca, Morocco to discuss the state of the postal sector and strategies for moving forward
Postal activists from 14 countries met in Casablanca, Morocco to discuss the state of the postal sector and strategies for moving forward.Postal unions in the MENA-MED region have formed a network to strategise and develop common actions for the sector. At a meeting 28-30 March in Casablanca, participants elected Abdallah El Ammari, from the FNPT-UMT Morocco, as President and Souad Ferchichi, from the UGTT-FGPT in Tunisia, as Vice-President of the network. Two participants from each country will form the network.The seminar, funded by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organisation, focused on three major themes: Innovation in the postal sector, liberalisation, privatization and regulation and organising from the ground up. Participants developed an action plan for each theme, which will be followed-up on by the newly developed network.
CHARITABLE Woldgate College sixth form students have jetted off to Morocco to lend a hand to communities living in poverty.
The team of 17 students, aged between 16 and 17-years-old, are visiting the region of Asni in the High Atlas Mountains to work with the Asni Honey Project which aims to improve social and environmental conditions around Asni.
The village is off the main tourist trekking routes in the High Atlas so misses out on tourist income generation. (more…)
The Austrian Freedom Party (FPOe) is led by the charismatic Heinz-Christian Strache. (File photo)
Austrian prosecutors said Friday they are investigating the far-right Freedom Party for alleged incitement of racial hatred after complaints about campaign posters for local elections next month. (more…)
RABAT: A young Moroccan rapper who has emerged as one of the monarchy’s most outspoken critics was arrested in Casablanca on Friday for a song denouncing police, a judicial official said. “Mouad Belghouat was arrested and presented to the prosecutor, who will decide his fate,” police told AFP.
Reuters – UK Focus
* Global Islamic assets hit $1.3 tln in 2011
* Islamic funds reached $58 bln, a new high
* Islamic assets represent 1 pct of global market
LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) – Islamic financial assets around the world hit $1.3 trillion in 2011, a 150 percent increase over five years as the industry expands into new country’s beyond core markets in the Middle East and Malaysia, a report on Thursday estimated. (more…)
The European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions call to fast track new EGTC regulation
The EU’s Assembly of Regional and Local Representatives
Brussels – The European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions call to fast track new EGTC regulation
The Commission proposal for a revised regulation for European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation is now to be adopted but the Council talks have not started yet and concerns are rising about the speed of the decision process, as was made clear during the inter-institutional conference organised by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Parliament on 29 March with the participation of representatives of the European Commission and delegations from all over Europe as well as from Serbia, Morocco and Jordan. (more…)
King Mohammed VI tours Old Medina’s alleys to oversee major works done to improve residents’ living conditions.Middle East Online
CASABLANCA, Morocco – Moroccan King Mohammed VI visited Wednesday the various rehabilitation and restoration projects under way in the Old Medina of Casablanca.
The monarch toured the alleys of the Old Medina and visited the zaouia Harakia Derkaouia, the mosque of the zaouia Kadiria and the Mguirja Mosque, which were recently restored.
He performed the ritual mosque greeting prayer at the Zaouia Kadiria mosque and the Mguirja mosque. (more…)
Travel Daily News
Hotels & Lodging
Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, which is scheduled to open in 2014
Mandarin Oriental to open luxury resort in Marrakech
Friday, March 30, 2012
announced that it has signed a long term agreement to manage a luxury resort currently under development in Marrakech, Morocco.
Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, which is scheduled to open in 2014, will be an intimate and exclusive retreat, set in 20 hectares of landscaped olive groves in the heart of the exotic Palmeraie region, with the snow-capped Atlas Mountains providing a stunning backdrop. The resort comprises luxurious accommodation, providing an unparalleled spacious and elegant living environment, offering the utmost in privacy. Innovative dining, a signature Mandarin Oriental spa and verdant gardens featuring orchards, pools, water features and fountains combine to provide guests with the perfect resort environment from which to explore the region’s attractions and rich, cultural heritage.
Matthew Bisco with some of his running gear
Matthew’s desert aid
A PRIMARY school teacher will take on a gruelling 150-mile race in Morocco to raise funds for a children’s trust.
Matthew Bisco, 30, is a teacher at Stowford Primary School, Ivybridge, and he will compete in this year’s Marathon des Sables in Morocco – a 150-mile footrace through the Sahara desert.
He is raising money for the Moroccan Children’s Trust, a project establishing inspired work in the area.
Matthew was keen to support the charity as he felt it wouldn’t be right to just complete the challenge and return to England. (more…)