Archive for June, 2012

Surge in religiousity reshapes Morocco

By Siham Ali for Magharebia in Rabat

[AFP/Abdelhak Senna] A recent CMERC report noted a "religious awakening" among Moroccan youth.

[AFP/Abdelhak Senna] A recent CMERC report noted a “religious awakening” among Moroccan youth.

As religious issues start to shape domestic and international policies, and the number of devout citizens continues to climb, Morocco’s novel approach to extremism is based on inclusion and understanding.

Noted Moroccan sociologist Ali Chaâbani talks with Magharebia about how information gleaned from a new report will help guide the government stategy.

Magharebia: The Moroccan Centre for Contemporary Study and Research (CMERC) recently published a study on the state of religious beliefs in Morocco. What led to this report? (more…)

Arab spring News : June 29, 2012

Analysis: Sudan rulers dig in as foes look for Arab Spring
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Outside the University of Khartoum, riot police in blue fatigues perch on pickup trucks, keeping watch as young women in bright headscarves and men in button-down shirts walk by carrying.

Sudan police uses tear gas to disperse protest
Fox News
They also appeared to be inspired by Arab Spring uprisings in neighboring Egypt and Libya. Demonstrators demanded the removal of longtime Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Protests have taken place in different parts of Sudan for the past two weeks. (more…)

Solar Impulse Takes Off From Ouarzazate To Rabat

Ouarzazate  –  The experimental solar aircraft Solar Impulse, the first of its kind to make an intercontinental flight to Morocco, took off on Friday morning at 07:30 local time (06:30 GMT) from the Ouarzazate airport to Rabat, on its way back to Switzerland via Madrid.

According to a joint statement of Solar Impulse and the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), the aircraft is expected to land Friday night around 21:00 GMT.

  Solar Impulse, whose concept and objectives are consistent with those of the Moroccan solar program, flies at 70 km/h.


Morocco Committed To Promoting Global Action In Fight Against Terrorism

New York (United Nations)  –  Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the U.N., Ambassador Mohamed Loulichki, underlined, on Thursday before the General Assembly, the firm commitment of Morocco to continue its efforts to promote global action in the fight against terrorism.

Morocco “is committed early in international efforts to fight against this blight (terrorism) and was able to put its experience into a comprehensive and multidimensional strategy, which goes hand in hand with the approach taken by the U.N.,” Loulichki said during a public debate of the General Assembly, devoted to the third biennial review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Noting that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats facing the international community, the Moroccan diplomat said that “the U.N. represents for the member states the legitimate universal framework to strengthen a collective response to terrorism.” (more…)

WB Provides $50 Million Loan To Facilitate Access To Finance For Morocco’s MSMEs


Washington – The World Bank on Friday announced it has approved a $50 million loan for Morocco to facilitate access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and encourage, thus, the development of job and income-generating activities in the Kingdom.

According to the World Bank, the project, developed with the International Finance Corporation, will support the provision of partial credit guarantees for loans to MSMEs. “Well-designed partial credit guarantee schemes can be effective in reaching underserved groups such as start-ups, small firms and women entrepreneurs,” said Teymour Abdel Aziz, World Bank Morocco MSME project team leader for the project. The WB considers that the MSMEs are the backbone of the Moroccan economy, as they represent more than 90% of the country’s enterprises and a big share of the job.



WB Approves $300 Million Loan For Morocco To Back Second Phase Of Anti-Poverty Program INDH


Washington  –  The World Bank (WB) on Thursday approved a loan of $ 300 million for Morocco, underpinned by a comprehensive program to build local institutional capacity,” in support of second phase of the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), which aims at providing improved services and economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas of the Kingdom.

    The Initiative, launched in 2005 by HM King Mohammed VI, “is the centerpiece of the (Moroccan) government’s commitment to address social and economic exclusion in underserved areas,” said, on this occasion, the WB Vice President of Middle East and North Africa region, Inger Andersen.

“By supporting the second phase of this innovative program we stand proudly with the government in its drive towards greater results,” she noted. (more…)

New World Bank Lending to Morocco Raises the Bar on Results for the Poor

The Financial
The FINANCIAL — A World Bank loan package approved today targets poor rural and urban Moroccan communities for improved services and economic opportunities and promotes the development of smaller enterprises.

A $300 million loan, underpinned by a comprehensive program to build local institutional capacity, will support the second phase of Morocco’s National Initiative for Human Development (INDH). A $50 million loan will facilitate access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“INDH is the centerpiece of the government’s commitment to address social and economic exclusion in underserved areas,” said Inger Andersen, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region. “By supporting the second phase of this innovative program we stand proudly with the government in its drive towards greater results.” (more…)

Hilton Worldwide and Inveravante Sign Agreement to Open Two Premium Hotels in Tangier

The Financial

The FINANCIAL — Hilton Worldwide has signed an agreement with Inveravante Group to introduce two new premium hotels in the historic city of Tangier.

According to Hilton Worldwide, the agreement ceremony, held in Rabat, Morocco in the presence of Lahcen Haddad, Minister for Tourism in Morocco, was officially signed by Manuel Jove Capellan, chairman, Inveravante and Deepak Seth, vice president, development, Southern Europe, North & West Africa, Hilton Worldwide.

Located within Morocco’s modern business district in the heart of Tangier, the two properties, Hilton Tanger City Center Hotel & Residences and Hilton Garden Inn Tanger City Center, represent the first Hilton Worldwide hotels in Tangier, one of the country’s fastest growing commercial cities. The two new hotels will form part of Tanger City Center, a large upscale, mixed-use development promoted by Inveravante, and including the city’s largest shopping mall, quality residential accommodation as well as commercial office space.  (more…)

On a Mission in Marrakech

Wall Street Journal

Morocco’s Fellah Hotel is an artist’s residence, literacy center, and a preschool.

[image]Photographs by Matthieu SalvaingA view of the Fellah Hotel’s open-air restaurant and bar from across the swimming pool.

Nestled in an ancient village at the foot of the Atlas Mountains is one of Morocco’s most remarkable luxury resorts. The Fellah Hotel, a cluster of mud-colored buildings surrounded by lush palm gardens and olive groves, is not merely a lovely getaway. It’s also home to Dar al-Ma’mûn, a nonprofit arts center dedicated to bringing international contemporary art to Morocco, as well as Moroccan and Arab culture to the local community and the developed world. The couple behind the project—Redha Moali, a French-born 38-year-old of Algerian descent, and his wife, Houria Afoufou, a Casablanca-born actress raised in France—wanted to create a place steeped in culture and creativity that could do good works. “But we needed a way to finance it—a good business plan,” Moali explains. “This was the equation we figured out.” (more…)

So hot, she’s Atomic! Former Kitten Natasha Hamilton shows off her stunning bikini body in pink two-piece

She might have had three children, but you certainly wouldn’t know it to look at Natasha Hamilton.

The former Atomic Kitten singer showed off her incredible bikini body in a tiny hot pink two-piece as she holidayed with her family at the Mazagan Beach Resort in Morocco.

The 29-year-old star wore her red hair piled on top of her head as she strolled along beside the pool with her muscular husband, Riad Erraji.

So hot, she's Atomic! Former Kitten singer Natasha Hamilton was seen showing off her stunning bikini body on a recent holiday with husband Riad Erraji in MoroccoSo hot, she’s Atomic! Former Kitten singer Natasha Hamilton was seen showing off her stunning bikini body on a recent holiday with husband Riad Erraji in Morocco (more…)


Fly Away

Fez – Saiss International Airport, Morocco, v1. A more realistic AFCAD file for Saiss International Airport. than the default Airport in FSX. Created by Bashir Ismail.

Fez - Saiss International Airport scenery.

Fez – Saiss International Airport scenery.

Founded in 808 AD, Fez is the oldest imperial city in Morocco. With its myriad mosques, the capital of the country for 400 years became a religious and spiritual epicenter. Fez is a city steeped in history. Aside from the modern town constructed in the mid 20th century, Fez is divided into two areas: Fez el-Jdid and Fez el-Bali. Fez el Bali is the old medina, where sites most interesting to culture vultures and bargain hunters are located.

Airlines and destinations: (more…)

The day’s best pictures


The day’s best pictures


From a water seller walking to a Civil Defence member extinguishing a fire, here are the best pictures from June 28, 2012.

A water seller walks at Marrakesh’s famous Jemma el-Fnaa square June 22, 2012. An Islamist bombing of a cafe last year hurt trade for the snake charmers and trinket sellers who entice foreign tourists to the Jamaa el-Fna square, but the euro zone debt crisis risks doing far more lasting damage to business. (more…)

The DeSoto Adventurer II Should Have Been A Production Car


By Benjamin Preston, 

What do you get when you cross a European style GT coupe with a big American cruiser? You get something like the 1954 DeSoto Adventurer II concept, a Ghia-bodied, Hemi-powered monster that never saw production.

If nothing else, the long-snouted DeSoto concept car is proof that the bailout wasn’t the first time Chrysler has colluded with Italians. (more…)

Djembe sounds at Morocco music festival


It is one of the iconic sounds of Africa – the djembe drum. And at the Gnaoua Music Festival in Morocco some of the best young drummers from West Africa got together to play under the name Djembe New Style.

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Morocco plans new mining law to boost investment

By Souhail Karam

RABAT (Reuters) – Morocco plans to enact a new mining law next year, overhauling rules that are 60 years old, to help attract investors, boost exports and ensure companies respect its labour and environmental laws, official sources told Reuters.

The reform will not affect phosphates, the country’s top export earner and a resource that is monopolized by state-controlled Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP).

The move follows a surge in Morocco’s current account deficit to a three-decade high and a series of protests by residents in mining sites, some of which evolved into riots and threatened to bring local mining operations to a halt. (more…)

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