Saturday, September 23

Events

MoroccoTomorrow Member Nabil El Aid El Othmani attends IVLP 2012 in Washington D.C.

U.S. Congress Subcommittee on Energy and Power

Personal Notes :I have to say that I am quite humbled at being the guest of the U.S State Department during my stay here,  I am also convinced that this participation makes a lot of sense in the regard of the important and commendable efforts Morocco has engaged in the field of renewable energy and the fight against global warming.

Most of our meetings are held off the record with high level U.S officials from the State Department, the Department of Energy, Department of Transport and the U.S Congress Subcommittee on Energy and Power, so I cannot elaborate on what is being said.

What I can say however is that these are challenging and exciting times where although there is a broad international consensus and strong national support for renewable energy, energy security and efficiency and the fight against global warming, the actual implementation of policy, norms and regulations, can be challenging both at domestic level here in the United States and also internationally.

Morocco is widely regarded by our interlocutors as an emerging leader in the field of RE and in the fight against global warming with its ambitious target of 42% of RE in our energy mix by 2020, its massive 9$ billion solar plan initiated by His Majesty King Mohamed 6, or its equally far reaching wind and hydro strategy.

For reminders California, the most advanced state of the U.S in its RE strategy has set a target of 33% by 2020. All things in consideration, notably the respective sizes of the Moroccan economy and that of the State of California, it is excellent and outstanding for a developing country such as ours to be on the lead in these important and crucial questions for the future both of our country and taking in consideration the role of RE in alleviating global warming, indeed of the world. 

About IVLP

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program.  Launched in 1940, the IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders.  These visits reflect the International Visitor’s professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.

International Visitors are current or emerging leaders in government, politics, the media, education, the arts, business and other key fields. Over 5,000 International Visitors come to the United States from all over the world each year. Since its inception in 1940, thousands of distinguished individuals have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program, including 330 current and former Chiefs of State and Heads of Government, thousands of cabinet-level ministers, and many other distinguished leaders from the public and private sectors.

Resources :
http://www.state.gov/
http://exchanges.state.gov/ivlp/

With Jesse Kennon Captain and local legend from Coopertown Air Boat Rides, Miami FL.

Bio :

Based in Rabat, Morocco, Nabil El Aid El Othmani is a MoroccoTomorrow member, a graduate in management and a technology enthusiast. He is currently working as an information systems analyst for the AXA Group, after successful experiences at Ebay and at Synchronism the leading Moroccan web agency. Nabil also represented MoroccoTomorrow at the recently held Partnership For A New Beginning (PNB) Conference at Marrakesh, Morocco.

PNB is an initiative of President Obama, launched after his 2009 Cairo speech, to help usher a new spirit of collaboration between the United States and the Arab world and also stimulate cross sector investments and job creation in the region.

 

About Genesis Morocco

“I began blogging in 2006 in the fields of renewable energy, water desalination and food autonomy. Over the years Genesis Morocco has became a recognized reference for theses matters in Morocco and MENA, with a focus on North Africa. The blog also touches regularly upon international developments, especially technology related in the above mentioned fields. The audience is broadly international and reaches from governmental, non gov and academic, as well as the general public.

In 2011 Genesis Morocco was nominated for Best Moroccan Blog Award. It is to my knowledge the only blog to cover such matters continuously since 2006 in Morocco, and one of the very few ‘in grown’ African blogs to do so.

I am proud to contribute my experience to the Morocco Tomorrow platform, convinced that the fields of energy strategy, water and food autonomy will be of a crucial importance in the years ahead for the future of the Kingdom as they constitute both a powerful lever for sustainable development and a much needed collaboration framework for the whole region.”

 

MoroccoTomorrow member attends Throne Day in Rabat, Morocco

Nora Ali, a young Moroccan American professional and a member of MoroccoTomorrow has been chosen to represent the U.S./ Moroccan community at tomorrow’s Throne Day festivities at the royal Palace in Rabat, Morocco. This initiative was organized through the Ministry of Moroccans Living Abroad, which brought Ms. Ali to Rabat last weekend to participate together with other representatives from the U.K., France, the Netherlands, and many other nations in conferences that took place there on Saturday July 28th and Sunday July 29th. These conferences provided those attending with a unique opportunity to meet senior government officials, including the Minister in charge of Moroccans Living Abroad, while providing a platform for discussion of conditions of the estimated five million Moroccan ex-patriots and discussing issues and concerns of those living beyond Morocco’s borders. King Mohammed VI has extended a royal welcome to these official representatives of Moroccans now living abroad and expressed his gratitude for the cultural, economic, and social contributions they have made to the Kingdom.

An important part of the Moroccan economy is based on tourism and Moroccans returning annually to visit their families represent a significant share of this market sector. Part of the discussion at the weekend conferences explored the economic impact of overseas Moroccans providing financial assistance to their families in Morocco, developing real estate and other investment and business projects, and assisting in job creation which remains a major priority within Morocco’s domestic economy.

About Nora Ali

Ms. Nora Ali was born and raised on New York City’s Upper East Side, where she still resides. A member of the non-profit MoroccoTomorrow and recently selected by the Council of Morocco to be a Representative for the U.S., Nora remains close to her Moroccan heritage. She also has a keen interest in public health issues, and is currently completing her graduate studies in Public Health Policy. Nora enjoys a wide range of creative and cultural pursuits, especially film and motion pictures. She has worked on a variety of film projects and recently served as Casting Director for an independent feature film.

  

 

More Photos

MoroccoTomorrow attended Partners for a New Beginning (PNB-NAPEO)

 

MoroccoTomorrow attended Partners for a New Beginning (PNB-NAPEO), a three day conference for entrepreneurs and innovators held January 16-18th in Marrakesh. Co-sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the Aspen Institute, this was the second such conference, the first being held last year in Algeria. Inspired by President Obama’s stirring speech two years ago in Cairo, the Partners for a New Beginning initiative derived from a U.S. – Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference in December, 2010. North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO), a regional public/private partnership designed to promote investment and business opportunities for both U.S. and Maghreb entrepreneurs and business leaders. was established there to work with Partners for a New Beginning and conduct annual entrepreneur conferences across the Maghreb. The Marrakesh conference was exceptionally well-attended and included a number of significant innovators from the U.S. and several North Africa countries. Conference attendees agreed that the opportunities for entrepreneurship, especially in the fields of technology, healthcare, education and communications are exceptional and with the assistance of both PNB and NAPEO, prospects for investment funding from both government and venture capital/private equity sources has been significantly advanced.

Nabil Aid El Othmani

MoroccoTomorrow member

January 20, 2012

Click Here to View Photos

MoroccoTomorrow hosts Mr. Ahmed Herzenni in Washington DC & New York

Monday, November 21st – Washington DC

Brookings Institution

Roundtable discussion at the Brookings Institution

Dr. Herzenni held a roundtable discussion at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Present at the roundtable were both resident and nonresident Fellows and Research Associates, including Gabi Ashkenazi, Akbar Ahmed, Daniel Byman, Zach Gold, as well as key representatives from various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and and academic institutions, such as the Maghreb Center, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), the National Democratic Institute, and Georgetown University. Dr. Herzenni began the discussion by explaining one key difference between Morocco and other countries in the MENA region. He explained that the main reason Morocco did not go through the kind of upheavals that Tunisia and Egypt went through is because Morocco had legitimacy. Dr. Herzenni then discussed Morocco’s history under reform-minded king of democratic reforms and explained in detail the text of the new Constitution of Morocco, which he explained, was very progressive, particularly as it acknowledges Morocco’s diversity and cultural and religious rights. Dr. Herzenni also discussed other aspects of the Constitution, which clearly separates power between the King and the government. Dr. Herzenni then told the discussants that while he was somewhat concerned about potentially lower turnout of voters than expected in the upcoming election, he did see several encouraging signs, such as the high rate of registration among voters (13.6 million registered out of 16 million potential voters). He compared the Moroccan case with the case of Tunisia, where the rage of registration was no more than 45 percent. Dr. Herzenni also explained that it appeared, at least based on their declaration, most of the candidates were new (about 80 percent), and he saw it as another good sign that the political parties were attracting more young people now. During the Question and Answer part of the discussion, when one of the discussants asked about the rights of women in Morocco, Dr. Herzenni was able to explain in detail the great step Morocco was taking forward regarding this issue. He discussed how the new Constitution in Morocco states clearly “parity” between men and women as a key state objective.


United States Institute of Peace (USIP)

Meeting with Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, Jason Gluck, and Dan Brumberg and other MENA experts

Dr. Herzenni had an intense and very productive discussion with the Senior Fellows from the USIP, the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by the United States Congress. Dr. Herzenni discussed with the Fellows of USIP the new Constitution of Morocco and his impression of reform efforts in Morocco as well as the expected outcome of the upcoming election. Dr. Herzenni was able to explain why he believed Morocco now has one of the most advanced Constitutions in the Arab world, which clearly reflects the diversity of Moroccan society and culture, while protecting the rights of women. Dr. Herzenni discussed the Constitution in detail and how it explicitly mentions all universally agreed upon human rights. Dr. Herzenni did acknowledge, however, that this Constitution is still just a text in the end. It needs to be enacted and reinforced in the field. Dr. Herzenni then discussed the role of political parties and how it is their responsibility to mobilize the people and to expand their participation.

The Atlantic Monthly

Interview with Steve Clemons, Editor of The Atlantic Monthly

Dr. Herzenni had an interview with Steve Clemons, Editor of the Atlantic Monthly, monthly magazine now focusing on foreign affairs, politics, and the economy. It is well known as a moderate to politically conservative counterweight to more liberal New Yorker magazine. Steve Clemons began the interview by asking Dr. Herzenni to explain what makes Morocco different from its neighbors, such as Tunisia and Egypt. Dr. Herzenni again talked in depth about the concept of “legitimacy,” and how Morocco, unlike Tunisia and Egypt, had legitimacy. He pointed out that even the most radical of the February 20th movement never really questioned this notion of legitimacy of the King and the rulers of Morocco. Mr. Clemons opened up the interview with a question why Morocco did not go through the kind of violent upheaval that other Arab countries went through. Dr. Herzenni remarked that the answer holds in one word – “legitimacy.” Dr. Herzenni explained that wherever legitimacy was lacking, demonstrations quickly transformed into uprisings, if not into revolutions. In the countries where the rulers had some kind of legitimacy, like Morocco, demonstrations simply inaugurated a peaceful reform process or a new course of change. Dr. Herzenni emphasized that in Morocco, the monarchic regime had a strong legitimacy. Rotted in the “Commander of the Believers” status of the king, this legitimacy had been consolidated by the role played by the monarchy in the fight for independence, then in the semi-democratic system established after independence. This semi-democratic system, to its turn, was to undergo substantial improvements beginning from the early 1990s, when the late Hassan II called for an “alternate government” to be formed by opposition parties. The pace of these improvements accelerated with the advent of the Mohammad VI who in particular encouraged the national reconciliation process. When asked whether the February 20th movement had any role in the reform process, Dr. Herzenni remarked that the February 20th movement did accelerate the reform process that was already in motion.

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

Meeting with Michael Rubin and other MENA experts

Dr. Herzenni also had a one on one interview with Michael Rubin, Senior Fellow from the American Enterprise Institute. One of the key questions Mr. Rubin asked was what can the United States do for Morocco. Dr. Herzenni stated that among many things, one thing the US could do is to pay more attention to Morocco as it is one stable and secure country in the entire North Africa region. Dr. Herzenni also stated that in Morocco, there is an issue of political development and that once reform of the regime is done, Morocco would need help in political parties to reform and develop. Mr. Herzenni then gave a brief history of Morocco’s reform efforts to date and his perspective on the upcoming election, explaining how it will be free and transparent. Mr. Herzenni then emphasized the fact that reforms are an ongoing process, and will most likely continue over an extended time.

Bloomberg News

Interview with Max Berley of Bloomberg News

Dr. Herzenni conducted an extensive interview with Max Berley of the Bloomberg News. They discussed the turnout of referendum which was enormous (98 percent). They then discussed the possibility that the turnout might not be as high for the upcoming election but that the rate of registration was still high (80 percent). Dr. Herzenni explained that while that does not necessarily guarantee that voters will come out and actually vote, at least they registered, and that was important. Also, he discussed how over 80 percent of the current candidates were young and unknown and explained that the 56 percent of the population of Morocco was under 35 and how this was an important issue in Morocco as this is the first time the young people are being actively politically engaged. Max Berley then asked for Dr. Herzenni’s opinion on what the impetus of the protests was in Morocco. Dr. Herzenni explained that the protests in Morocco were led mostly by underground Islamist parties, small, far left groups. Dr. Herzenni then discussed how Moroccan “glasnost” really started in the early 1980s and that democratization process earnestly began under the Hassan II regime. Reform efforts then went “deeper” under King Mohammed VI, but did acknowledge that the “acceleration” of reform efforts were in part due to Arab Spring, and that the Arab Spring did push the current king move forward in faster pace with the reform process that was already in process. Max Berley then asked Dr. Herzenni what he thought were the biggest changes that will take place after the upcoming election, and who he thought would win the election. Dr. Herzenni expressed his opinion that a key change after the election is that the Prime Minister will now be chosen by the party that comes in first versus being chosen by the king. Dr. Herzenni then said that the party called the Independent led by the current Finance Minister appeared to have a strong chance of winning since this party put together a strong coalition of eight parties together. Dr. Herzenni emphasized, however, that no single political party can win the election. Max Berley closed the interview by asking what the U.S. could do to help. Dr. Herzenni talked about the issue of security being one of the most important common denominator between the US and Morocco as well as the need for closer economic relationship. They both discussed the Morocco-US FTA in-depth.


Friday, November 18th – New York

SAWA Radio

Interview with Amir Bibawy, Radio SAWA

Radio SAWA is dedicated to broadcasting accurate, timely and relevant news about the Middle East and the world to the youthful, Arab-speaking population in the Middle East. Mr. Bibawy, Radio SAWA’s chief New York correspondent, interviewed Dr. Ahmed Herzenni for a 30 minute on-air presentation. He asked about Herzenni’s role in helping draft the new constitutional reforms and also had Dr. Herzenni relate his extensive background as a political activist and human rights advocate. He also inquired about the legitimacy of the election process, whether the Islamists were a threat or an aid to increasing reforms, and what the likely turnout might be. He sought Dr. Herzenni’s opinion on the outcome of the elections and also asked Dr. Herzenni to compare events in Morocco with the situation in other emerging Arab states. The interview concluded with Dr. Herzenni’s exhortation that the reforms now extant in Morocco were a beginning and that it will take dedication, hard work, and greater involvement on the part of the country’s 13-15 million young adults before real democratization can be realized.

Tuesday, November 22nd

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Luncheon roundtable discussion


Dr. Herzenni was honored with a private lunch roundtable titled “Arab Spring Reforms: Prospects for Elections in Morocco,” hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, one of the most prominent, independent, nonpartisan think tanks and a publisher of the most influential foreign policy journal, Foreign Affairs. Present at the discussion were most prominent government officials, scholars, and business leaders from institutions such as the National Public Radio, Global Justice Center, Yale University, the Century Foundation, the Aspen Institute, Permanent Mission of the US to UN, the Century Foundation, United Nations Development Programme, Al-Hayat, the Council of American Ambassadors, etc. After the host of the roundtable began with a nice introduction of Dr. Herzenni, Dr. Herzenni opened the discussion by noting why it was that Morocco was an exception in the Arab world. Dr. Herzenni explained again this concept of legitimacy (that Morocco has one) and noted that even the most radical people of the 20th February movement did not contest the legitimacy of the regime. He then gave a brief history of reforms in Morocco (how reforms were undertaken by King Hassan II and his son King Mohammed VI, leading up to Arab Spring events of last February), and he particularly explained in detail King Mohammed VI’s rapid response in initiating new reforms and calling for a citizens’ committee to draft a new constitution for Morocco. He then explained the details of the new Constitution, and explained how it acknowledged different cultures in Morocco, and painstakingly laid out various elements of human rights, women’s rights, etc. He also talked about separation of power between the king and the government under the new Constitution, how the king will now be forced to choose the prime minister from the party that comes in first. Dr. Herzenni’s main point was that Morocco does not have a legitimacy problem but Moroccans are indeed entering the new era. Various members of the Council asked many informed questions ranging from the concept of human rights to how potential uprising in Algeria might have an impact on Morocco (Dr. Herzenni explained that Algeria is unlikely to go through an uprising at the present moment) to drivers of Arab Spring to the Moroccan Sahara issue. On the Moroccan Sahara issue, Dr. Herzenni gave a great response, laying out all the facts associated with the issue, educating all the members that were present at the discussion.


Columbia University School of Journalism

Meeting with senior journalism, political, and Middle East faculty

A symposium with nearly 50 graduate journalism students and Mideast faculty experts was held in Stifle Center at Columbia University’s School of Journalism. Dr. Herzenni spoke for nearly 60 minutes on the constitutional reforms, women’s rights, and other issues which were part of the July referendum. He then addressed the central issues of the November 25th general election and discussed the relatively large number of new candidates running for office for the first time, the coalitions prominent existing parties have formed and the unusually high percentage of eligible voters who have registered. He then took questions for another 30 minutes from a very informed group of graduate journalists and also spoke to Justin Peters, managing editor of Columbia Journalism Review and also gave an interview to the New York TV network, BronxNet. His comments were also reported by writers from the Columbia Spectator, the university newspaper.


Wednesday, November 23rd

CNN

Phone Interview on Fareed Zakaria’s CNN website

Ahmed Herzenni was interviewed Wednesday by Fareed Zakaria for his GPS/CNN website. Dr. Herzenni was queried on the reasons for Morocco’s relatively peaceful transition toward democratization, the impact of the Arab Spring on King Mohammed VI’s decision to call for constitutional reforms, and the likely outcome of Friday’s parliamentary elections. Dr. Herzenni also raised the matter of security in the region, especially since the fall of Kadaffi and the dispersal of very large caches of arms and weaponry to affiliates of Al Quaeda and other terrorist organizations. He concluded by enumerating the major reforms embodied in Morocco’s new constitution, including broad new rights for women, tolerance and protection under law of all religions, and the strengthening of an independent judiciary.

The Fox News

Appearance on The Fox News TV with K.T. McFarland

Dr. Ahmed Herzenni and Hicham Enhaili, founder of MoroccoTomorrow, the NGO sponsoring Dr. Herzenni’s visit to the U.S., appeared today on Fox News TV in a worldwide broadcast led by K.T. McFarland, former U.S. Asst Secretary of Defense and currently Fox News’ senior Security Editor. Ms. McFarland asked about Morocco Tomorrow, its mission, and its success in attracting such a large viewership of young Moroccans and others interested in Morocco. She asked Dr. Herzenni about the importance of the young Moroccans who constitute more than half of the country’s population and what impact their demands for reform have had. Dr. Herzenni pointed out that King Mohammed VI has long recognized the need for improved representation and other reforms but events around the Arab Spring and the February 20th youth movement in Morocco accelerated these reforms and helped bring about a new constitution which addresses many of these demands. Dr. Herzenni also commented on the growing threat of terrorism throughout North Africa and the importance that a safe, stable and secure Morocco now represent for the region and Morocco’s allies in Europe and the U.S. This interview was broadcast globally by Fox News TV.

MoroccoTomorrow hosts Mr. Ahmed Herzenni in the United Kingdom

Hicham Enhaili, MoroccoTomorrow Founder

Written by Hicham Enhaili

Wednesday, November 16th

MoroccoTomorrow held a meeting with Ahmed Herzenni and Colin Freeman, Chief Foreign Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph of London. Mr. Freeman mentioned that his paper may not have provided informed coverage of events in Morocco over the past several months due to heavy reporting from Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. He heard that many countries and people were impressed by Morocco’s constitutional reforms, and made note of the peaceful transition there compared to turbulence in other MENA countries. Mr. Freeman discussed the possible election turnout, and also asked about the influence of Islamic interests in Morocco in comparison with their dominance in Tunisia and Egypt. He also discussed Mr. Herzenni’s role in human rights and as a drafter of Morocco’s new constitution. Mr. Freeman concluded the interview by inquiring about the growing threat of Al Qaeda and other affiliated terrorist groups in the Middle East & North Africa.

SIR JEREMY Q. GREENSTOCK

During the meeting, Sir Jeremy discussed both Herzenni’s background, and his role in helping draft Morocco’s new constitution and the reforms, which have now become law. Sir Jeremy is a former UK Ambassador to both Washington DC, Paris, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and the United Nations. He is also a former chairman of UN Security Council Counterterrorism Committee. Mr. Herzenni pointed out that Morocco’s peaceful transition is due, in great part, to a tolerance of dissent and free speech. Sir Jeremy also inquired about both the youth vote and the likely strength of the various Islamist parties, and asked for Mr. Herzenni’s opinion about the likelihood of continued reforms in both Morocco and other MENA region countries. Sir Jeremy expressed a great interest in Morocco’s concerns about human rights, and also inquired about the threat of terrorism after this summer’s bombing in Marrakesh.

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE (LSE)

Dr. Herzenni and MoroccoTomorrow took part in a round table discussion hosted by Dr. Fawaz Gerges, Director General of LSE’s Middle East Centre, Professors S.E. Borbridge and A.R. Revel, Co-Directors of LSE Middle East Centre, as well as other senior LSE facultymembers. Ahmed Herzenni opened the meeting with a brief history of reforms undertaken by the late King Hassa

n II and the King Mohammed VI, leading up to Arab Spring events of last February, and Mohammed VI’s rapid response by initiating new reforms and calling for a citizens’ committee to draft a new constitution for Morocco. LSE faculty members were interested to hear Dr. Herzenni’s perspective on why dissent in Morocco has been relatively peaceful, and what expectations the country has for reforms after the upcoming legislative elections.

Thursday, November 17th

THE TIMES OF LONDON

MoroccoTomorrow held a meeting with Mr. Herzenni and Roger Boyes, Chief Diplomatic Editor for the Times of London in his office. Mr. Boyes began the interview with the statement, “Mr. Herzenni, please tell me everything – will the election be free, fair, transparent, is there any chance that the results could be falsified?” Mr. Herzenni gave his perspective on the election, and emphatically stated that the election will be free, fair, and transparent, and gave a brief history to show how manipulation of election results is not practiced in Morocco. Mr. Herzenni then discussed the uniqueness of Morocco and how Morocco’s reforms are not entirely result of the Arab Spring. Mr. Herzenni emphasized a long history under the reform-minded king of democratic Mr. Herzenni was then asked for his opinion on what he expects from the upcoming election in terms of the results. Mr. Herzenni said that while he frankly didn’t know which party will come first. Mr. Herzenni and Mr. Boyes then discussed the difference between monarchies and non-monarchies in the MENA region. Mr. Herzenni again emphasized the fact that reforms are an ongoing process, and will continue over an extended period. The reforms also reflect Morocco’s long history of diversity and multiculturalism. Mr. Herzenni and Mr. Boyes then discussed women’s role in Morocco.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (ECFR)

MoroccoTomorrow organized a roundtable discussion with Ahmed Herzenni titled “The Road to Reform in Morocco” and the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR) Fellows, Susi Dennioson, Nicu Popescu, and Jose Ignacio Torreblanca, and notable thought-leaders from think tanks, academia, and government officials, such as Dr. Claire Spence, Head of Middle East and North Africa Programme from prominent British think tank, Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Robert Wilson from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Middle East and North Africa Research Group, and Donny Queen from the Department of International Development. The round table meeting began with a formal lecture. Mr. Herzenni began the discussion by saying that “everything is about legitimacy.” Mr. Herzenni said in countries where there was no legitimacy—neither traditional nor even religious—there were revolutions. Mr. Herzennii then emphasized uniqueness of Morocco (Morocco has legitimacy) and the differences between Morocco and other Arab spring states by discussing the long story of reform in Morocco. When asked about “the Islamist debate,” he explained why strong Islamist influence which dominated Tunisia election last month and is likely to dominate votes in Egypt is not a factor in Morocco and why neither Islamist Party nor any other party can have absolute majority in Morocco. He then talked about the new constitution and the reforms under the constitution, which include transfer of role and responsibility of head of state from king to newly and freely elected prime minister. He discussed the protection under law of all religions and independent judiciary and other reforms. The roundtable was concluded with a discussion on ECFR’s latest report titled, “A Chance to Reform: How the EU Can Support Democratic Evolution in Morocco,” and how EU could help improve socio-economic performance in Morocco, which has clear benefits for both sides. EU, could for example, particularly in the wake of the Marrakech bombing at the end of last April, give high-profile support to Morocco and rebuild the security of, and confidence in, Morocco’s tourist industry.

HENRY JACKSON SOCIETY

MoroccoTomorrow organized a roundtable discussion with Ahmed Herzenni and Research Fellows at Henry Jackson Society, including Houriya Ahmed, Robin Simcox, Julia Peengill, and Business Development Director, Victoria Mackay. Originating within the University of Cambridge, the Henry Jackson Society is a nonpartisan organization that promotes “democratic geopolitics,” and sponsors research on democratization throughout the world. It regularly invites prominent international leaders, government officials, and academics to speak at the Parliament. Mr. Herzenni discussed with the Fellows his role in drafting the newconstitution in Morocco and his personal background as strong human rights advocate. He also discussed Morroco’s long history under reform-minded king of democratic reforms. Mr. Herzenni laid out the factors, which explain relatively peacefultransition in Morocco and wide support of monarchy. The fellows and Mr. Herzenni then discussed in-depth various reforms under the new constitution including equal rights for women, independent judiciary, and other reforms, including recognition of ethnic Berbers and making their language with Arabic official state language. Mr. Herzenni emphasized that these reforms reflect Morocco’s long history of diversity and tolerance and multi-culturalism. Mr. Herzenni also emphasized how these reforms and the generally peaceful way they have been enacted explains in part the differences between Morocco and other Arab Spring states and may explain why Morocco is the one stable, secure country in North Africa.

MoroccoTomorrow attends the 2011 New York Green Summit

Founding Partner & COO of Full Spectrum Carlton A. Brown, CEO of Waste Management Inc David P. Steiner, President & CEO of Mack Trucks Inc and Volvo Trucks North America Dennis R. Slagle, PHD Gunilla Jonson of Lund University and Managing Director of Green Solutions Tone Bekkestad attend the 2011 New York Green summit From Farm to Fork at Citibank Auditorium on November 2, 2011 in New York City.
The Swedish-American Commerce in New York was hosting a day-long forum, preceded by a Royal Gala Award Dinner in New York on November 1st and 2nd. One of the current initiatives of SACC is their stated focus of increasing global awareness of enhancing the sustainability of the food chain, and the critical importance of global food security.

The event featured prominent executives, politicians and scholars from both Sweden and the United States.

Marcus Samuelsson & Hicham Enhaili

  • The guest list comprised a.o.
  • H.R.H Princess Madeleine
  • H.R.H. Prince Daniel of Sweden
  • Eskil Erlandsson, Sweden’s Minister for Rural Affairs
  • Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
  • Dan Bena, Director of Sustainable Development, PepsiCo
  • Marcus Samuelsson, Star Chef and Food Activist, The Samuelsson Group
  • Dr. Marion Nestle, Consumer Activist, Award-winning Author, Professor at NYU
  • Mr. Henry E. Gooss, Senior Advisor at Investor Growth Capital
  • Lars H. Thunell, EVP & CEO, IFC (a member of the World Bank Group)

MoroccoTomorrow attends a panel discussion about ‘Advertising in the Digital Age’
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/31389444 w=399&h=224]

The Panelists included:

  • Keith Reinhard: Chairman Emeritus, DDB Worldwide
  • Brad Bender: VP Product Management, Google
  • Eric Pakurar: Head of Strategy, G2 USA

Moderated by Garrick Utley: President, SUNY Levin Institute

MoroccoTomorrow attends New Tang Dynasty Television’s 10th Anniversary Benefit Gala honoring The RFK Center for Justice & Human Rights

September 25th 2011 at Pier Sixty

Celebrating 5,000 Years of Chinese Cuisine, Culture & Press Freedom

Represented by Kerry Kennedy, President & Reporters Without Borders, Represented by Benjamin Ismail, head of its Asia-Pacific Region

Supporting Press Freedom, Human Rights and Cultural Exchange…

Click Here to view photos of the event.

International Forum on Democratic Transitions and Constitutional Processes in the Arab World (Sept. 16-17th 2011)

MoroccoTomorrow attended the “International Forum on Democratic Transitions and Constitutional Processes in the Arab World,” hosted by Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) in Rabat.

Three other influential and well recognized US experts on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region also attended

Dr. Chris Seiple, the President of the Institute for Global Engagement; Dr. Michael Rubin, a Resident Scholar from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI); and Mr. Blake Hounshell, Managing Editor at Foreign Policy Magazine.


Morocco: Country Stand at Kansas City Ethnic Enrichment Festival Presents Richness, Authenticity, Tradition

Morocco took the 35th Kansas City’s Ethnic Enrichment Festival by storm with an amazing stand, bringing a vibrant array of cuisines, folkloric song and dance to the middle of America .

The Moroccan stand showcased a wide range of rich and impressive cuisine and authentic, traditional shows of music and dance, reflecting the characteristic nuances of the Kingdom regions.

Many Moroccans residing in Kansas City also took part at the Festival, which attracts some 35,000 visitors every year.

Over 60 cultures are represented making the Ethnic Enrichment Festival one of the largest and most diverse ethnic festivals in the US.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201108231327.html

La chaîne US Fox News souligne “les grandes avancées du Maroc”

From: Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse

Hicham Enhaili and Narjis Oughla are members of the MoroccoTomorrow.

New York, 07/07/11 – Une foule immense de jeunes marocains en liesse scandant à tue-tête “Tous pour le Roi”, “Oui à la Constitution”: C’est sur cette image qualifiée de “Happy Hours (heures joyeuses)”, que la chaîne de TV américaine FoxNews.com à New York a clôturé, mercredi soir, son émission intitulée “Maroc, les grandes avancées”, immortalisant le plébiscite autour de la nouvelle Constitution.

Recevant des membres de “Morocco Tomorrow”, une organisation basée à New York, qui réunit de jeunes professionnels marocains établis aux Etats-Unis, au Canada et en Europe, la chaîne locale, s’est arrêtée, lors de cette interview de 15mn sur FoxNews.com, sur l’importance du taux de participation (plus de 73 pc) et du vote en faveur du projet de la Loi fondamentale.

“Comparé aux soubresauts qui secouent les pays dans la région, le Maroc paraît différent” et le “Roi du Maroc semble être très populaire”, a dit la présentatrice impressionnée par ces images “très fortes” de célébration, estimant que ce qui se passe actuellement au Maroc est “très significatif” et “mérite d’être largement médiatisé”.

SM le Roi Mohammed VI a été à “l’écoute de son peuple et est allé au-delà de ses espérances”, a expliqué Narjiss Oughla, jeune diplô_mée de l’université du New Jersey, soulignant le caractère pacifique des manifestations qui se sont déroulées dans le Royaume au plus fort des soulèvements dans la région.

Le Maroc reste une “exception” dans la région, a-t-elle insisté, citant pêle-mêle la liberté de culte, des médias, la parité homme/femme.

Pour Hicham Enhaili, fondateur de “Morocco Tomorrow” et officiant dans le domaine des affaires, la bonne gouvernance qui figure parmi les grands axes de la nouvelle Constitution permettra davantage de transparence et plus de responsabilités.

“L’économie aura plus de transparence, ceci engendrera plus de responsabilité. De ce fait, nous aurons une meilleure économie qui générera plus d’emplois” pour les jeunes, a-t-il estimé, se disant convaincu qu’à l’avenir “d’autres pays verront le Maroc comme un exemple de démocratie dans la région”.

From: Le Soir – 4 July 2001

Narjis Oughla is a member of the MoroccoTomorrow

Les Slaouis ont répondu présent

MAROC | LEÏLA HALLAOUI | 4 JUILLET 2011 À 12 H 03 MIN

Le Soir échos a fait le tour de quelques bureaux de vote à Salé pour vous faire vivre l’ambiance du référendum.

Témoignage de New York

Nargis-Oughla

Narjis Oughla, 24 ans, diplômée en marketing de l’université Rutgers du New Jersey et active dans le domaine associatif.

Cette Constitution prouve qu’on est l’exception du Printemps arabe

Les Marocains résidents à New York se sont rendus ce week-end pour faire la différence et faire part de leur choix. C’est avec joie que nous avons appris que les bureaux de vote à New York allaient être ouverts vendredi, samedi et dimanche de 8h à 19h pour que les plus occupés d’entre nous saisissent leur chance pour participer à un Maroc meilleur. En tant que marocaine résidente à New York, j’ai vraiment apprécié la disponibilité du bureau de vote et l’importance que le Maroc a donnée aux RME. De plus, cette nouvelle Constitution représente un grand pas vers la démocratie au Maroc et prouve qu’on est l’exception du Printemps arabe, avec un peuple qui s’exprime avec la plus grande sérénité, une monarchie et un gouvernement à l’écoute des citoyens. J’estime que le Maroc est dans la bonne voie avec une majorité du peuple satisfaite de ce projet.

«Nous avons reçu, en ce début de matinée, une centaine d’électeurs, les hommes et les femmes sont presque à part égale», affirme le chef du bureau de vote. Sur le registre, 599 électeurs sont inscrits et à chaque fois que l’un d’eux se présente, c’est en premier Brahim Talbi Alami qui scrute le registre, vérifie le numéro de la carte d’électeur et/ou la CIN pour cocher les noms et inviter l’électeur à passer à l’étape suivante : prendre les deux petits feuillets (oui, non) et une enveloppe, puis c’est dans l’isoloir que le choix se fera. L’électeur n’a plus qu’à introduire son bulletin de vote dans l’urne avant de récupérer sa carte en partant. Mais, n’oublions pas l’encre sur le pouce, nécessaire afin que l’électeur ne vote qu’une seule fois. Chaque deux heures à partir de 8h et jusqu’à 19h, chaque bureau de vote doit rendre compte du total des électeurs au bureau de coordination.

LES ENSEIGNANTS MOBILISÉS POUR LA BONNE CAUSE

Toujours à Hay Salam, dans un autre bureau de vote ouvert au collège Khalid Ibnou Al Walid, secteurs du 5 à 8, ce sont deux enseignants à la retraite qui assument la mission de chef de bureau et d’adjoint. Mohamed Rouhaine, qui enseignait le français à Salé, est aujourd’hui un habitué des bureaux de vote. « C’est devenu une routine pour moi d’être le chef d’un bureau de vote. C’est la quatrième ou cinquième fois à laquelle j’assume ce travail », dit-il. Son adjoint, Benbrahim Benabed, qui enseignait l’arabe dans la même ville, précise que le choix qui se porte sur eux est surtout lié à leur ancienneté d’habitants. « Je réside à Hay Salam depuis 1976 ! », s’exclame-t-il. La composition de chaque bureau fait l’objet d’une décision préfectorale indiquant l’identité des responsables. D’ailleurs, cette décision est clairement affichée sur le bureau du chef. 633 habitants de l’arrondissement sont inscrits à ce bureau de vote, mais l’affluence n’est pas aussi importante. «Nous nous attendions à ce que les jeunes soient plus nombreux, mais ce sont leurs parents qui sont venus massivement», indique Benbrahim.

PARTICIPATION DANS LES RÉGIONS

Selon des données avancées, samedi, par le ministre de l’Intérieur, la région de Casablanca a entregistré le plus faible taux de participation, avec seulement 57,17%, alors que Oued Eddahab-Lagouira a tenu le haut du pavé avec 92,19/. Les autres régions du royaume ont connu des chiffres honotrables : Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaërs (72,39%), Souss-Massa-Draâ (74,51%), Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate (81,10 %), Tadla-Azilal (79,85%), Fès-Boulemane (76,31%), Guelmim-Smara (86,76 %), El Gharb-Chrarda-B’ni Hssen (74,26%), Laâyoune-Boujdour-Sakia Al Hamra (84,05%), Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz (80,88%), Meknès-Tafilalet (74,60%), l’Oriental (63,99%), Doukkala-Abda (80,06%), Chaouia-Ouerdigha (77,67%) et Tanger-Tétouan (71,50%).

Pour lui, ce sont le stress de l’attente des résultats du baccalauréat et les préparatifs à la session de rattrapage qui en seraient l’explication. «Jusqu’à maintenant, nous avons reçu 190 électeurs, dont 107 femmes. Même si la gent féminine est nombreuse, elles le sont moins que les années précédentes. Je pense qu’elles viendront massivement dans les heures qui viennent (à partir de 16h)», ajoute l’adjoint du chef de ce bureau de vote.
Pas d’observateurs de la société civile dans le coin. «Tout se passe à merveille. L’opération du référendum est différente de celle des élections durant lesquelles les partis politiques encombrent les bureaux de vote», confie le chef du bureau de vote avant d’ajouter : «Là, il suffit d’être souriant et accueillant pour que les électeurs accomplissent leur devoir dans les meilleures conditions». Le Slaouis, à l’instar des Marocains, ont répondu présent au référendum avec un taux de participation de 76,5%. Le «Oui» massif annoncé par la majorité des électeurs tourne aussi une nouvelle page dans l’histoire de Salé.

Ahmed Herzenni Appeared with Members of MoroccoTomorrow

NYU

New York University

M. Ahmed Herzenni, membre de la Commission consultative de révision de la Constitution, a présenté jeudi à New York University (NYU) les grandes lignes du projet de la Loi fondamentale lors d’une table-ronde sur les “avancées en matière des droits de l’Homme au Maroc et les réformes constitutionnelles en cours dans le Royaume”. Au cours de cette rencontre qui a réuni étudiants, chercheurs et le doyen adjoint de l’université, classée parmi les 15 premières aux Etats-Unis, M. Herzenni s’est arrêté sur les points saillants de ce texte proposé à référendum vendredi et qui présente de “grandes avancées et un progrès réel” du Maroc dans sa marche vers la démocratie.

Le projet de nouvelle constitution comporte beaucoup de changements qui méritent d’être signalés, a-t-il dit, citant à cet égard la diversité de la culture marocaine qui est reconnue dans le texte, en particulier l’Amazigh, qui devient une langue officielle au côté de l’Arabe.

La nouveauté également réside dans le fait que l’Islam est confirmé dans ce nouveau texte comme religion de l’Etat marocain, tout en assurant la protection de la foi et des fidèles, et le libre exercice des cultes, a souligné M. Herzenni à l’adresse de l’assistance.

De plus, a-t-il ajouté, les droits humains sont listés de manière explicite, se félicitant de la constitutionnalisation des recommandations de l’Instance Equité et réconciliation (IER), y compris les droits économiques et sociaux.

M. Herzenni a également évoqué l’égalité homme/femme consacrée dans le nouveau texte. “Il y a non seulement égalité mais également parité” et dans ce cadre, a-t-il souligné, un mécanisme de promotion de la parité entre l’homme et la femme sera crée.

Le projet de nouvelle constitution consacre le principe de la séparation des pouvoirs dans le cadre d’un régime de monarchie constitutionnelle, démocratique, parlementaire et sociale. M. Herzenni a en outre insisté sur le fait que le pouvoir judiciaire est désormais indépendant vis-à-vis des pouvoirs exécutif et législatif, évoquant, en outre, tout un chapitre consacré à la bonne gouvernance.

Cette réunion a été organisée à l’initiative de “Morocco Tomorrow”, une organisation qui réunit de jeunes professionnels marocains établis aux Etats-Unis, au Canada et en Europe.

MoroccoTomorrow Hails ‘Democratic Moment’ For Country

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Herzenni and MT at NPC

Washington, DC (June 29, 2011) – Morocco is “still far from a democracy,” according to Younes Abouyoub, lead organizer of MoroccoTomorrow and political analyst at Columbia University, but it will face a “democratic moment” on July 1 when Moroccans head to the polls to vote on a crucial constitutional referendum. MoroccoTomorrow is a new, independent group of young Moroccan professionals committed to socio-political reform in their country.

Speaking to reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Abouyoub hailed the growing peaceful political activism of the Moroccan people in the midst of the Arab Spring, and noted that the world will be watching as Morocco ushers in a new era of democratic reform in the Arab world.

“These are historic times in Morocco, where the government is allowing the people to speak more loudly and voice their grievances,” said Abouyoub. “The referendum will shape a new Morocco.”

MoroccoTomorrow’sleadership was joined at the press conference by Ahmed Herzenni, a former political prisoner who until recently served as President of the Moroccan Advisory Council on Human Rights (CCDH). He left this position to join the commission that drafted the constitutional reforms that will face a popular vote on Friday.

Ahmed Herzenni speaks at the National Press Club

In his remarks, Herzenni laid out the manner in which the reforms will solidify rights across cultures and genders in Morocco, limit the absolute powers of the king, and promote stronger and more distinct political parties to accurately represent the will of the Moroccan people.

“The demonstrations this year helped speed up the process of reform in Morocco and revived the public’s political interest and activism,” said Herzenni.

International lawyer with the World Justice Project and expert on North African jurisprudence Leila Hanafi, another MoroccoTomorrow leader, called in from Morocco to discuss the importance of enhancing the rule of law in the country.

“Morocco has the potential to be a guide for other countries in the region,” Hafani said, “but we must improve in areas like due process and actually enforcing the laws that we enact.”

“Taboos have been broken,” added Abouyoub. “Politics are no longer something to be feared.”

Ahmed Herzenni and Members of MoroccoTomorrow at Washington, DC Press Conference

Ahmed Herzenni and MoroccoTomorrow

On Friday July 1st, the Kingdom of Morocco will hold a national referendum on constitutional reforms that will mark a new era in Morocco’s political development, including instituting stronger limitations on the power of the Monarchy and guaranteeing that members of Parliament be democratically elected and its Prime Minister chosen from the party with a majority of seats. If passed, this October Moroccans for the first time will vote for a truly representative government, making the reforms some of the first concrete steps towards democracy in the wake of the Arab Spring.

For more information, please write to media@moroccotomorrow.org

About MoroccoTomorrow

MoroccoTomorrow is a new, independent group of young Moroccan professionals committed to socio-political reform in their country. MoroccoTomorrow, a 501(c)3 organization, provides a forum for all those who believe in the future of Morocco. It provides a source of clear and unbiased information about Morocco, and seeks to act as a bridge between Moroccans at home and abroad, between friends of the country and all those eager to learn more.

MoroccoTomorrow was created by a group of young Moroccan professionals in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Europe — participants in a robust and global social network. They are just a few of the 4.5 million Moroccans who live outside of their homeland, and who want to share their love and knowledge of Morocco with the world, and help shape its future.

MoroccoTomorrow wishes to give a voice to all those who care about Morocco and want it to succeed. MoroccoTomorrow belongs to no party or movement, and welcomes the participation and contributions of all who want to help Morocco to become a more transparent place for its citizens and its partners.

In Advance of Historic National Referendum, Leading Moroccan Reformer Holds High-Level US Meetings

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Ahmed Herzenni discusses Morocco’s upcoming national referendum with top US government officials, experts, and media

Ahmed Herzenni at the Woodrow Wilson Center

Washington, D.C. – Ahmed Herzenni, who served as President of the Moroccan Advisory Council on Human Rights from 2007 through 2010, former political prisoner under the Hassan II regime, and one of the architects of Morocco’s historic constitutional reforms, was in Washington this week to meet with officials, academics, media, and Moroccan-American youth to discuss Morocco’s path towards reform.

On Monday, Mr. Herzenni first met with Zeinab Elnour Abdelkarim, Regional Director of the Middle East & North Africa Division of The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), an international non-profit that provides electoral support to countries around the world in efforts to increase citizen participation and promote democracy. Herzenni then headlined a discussion at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a nonpartisan institution engaged in the study of domestic and international affairs, where he was introduced by Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, Director of the Center’s Middle East Program. He spoke to a full room of attendees which included Executive Vice President and COO Michael Van Dusen as well as human rights experts and democratic reform scholars.

Monday afternoon, Herzenni met with foreign policy and Islamic studies experts at the Brookings Institution, one of the nation’s most influential and well-respected nonprofit think tanks. Herzenni then went to the U.S. Department of State, where he continued to discuss foreign affairs and the role of the Moroccan democratic process with Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick. In the evening, he attended a dinner with former Senator Robert Kasten, Jr. and Amal Mudullali, Advisor to former Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri.

Tuesday, Mr. Herzenni held a press conference to leading American media at the National Press Club with MoroccoTomorrow, a new youth-based organization of Moroccans living overseas and committed to reform in their mother country. Following the press conference, Herzenni had a sit-down with Congressional staffers, including members of the offices of Congressmen Aaron Schock (R-IL), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Dan Burton (R-IN), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and Alcee Hastings (D-FL), as well as staffers from the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (or U.S. Helsinki Commission). Herzenni then participated in a roundtable discussion at the Hudson Institute, a nonpartisan policy research organization. The roundtable was hosted by Dr. Hillel Fradkin, Director of the Hudson Institute’s Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World.

Ahmed Herzenni with Senator John McCain

In the afternoon, Herzenni met with Robert Malley, former Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, and Program Director for Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group, an international NGO dedicated to resolving conflicts around the world. He ended his evening at dinner with Theodore Kattouf, former Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and later Syria, and currently President of AMIDEAST, the leading American non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa.

Wednesday morning, Mr. Herzenni met with Jared Genser, President of Freedom Now, an international non-profit that works to free prisoners of conscience, before meeting with Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Herzenni’s morning ended with sitting down with members of the American Foreign Policy Council, a non-profit whose mission is to provide assistance and guidance on foreign policy issues to lawmakers. The meeting was hosted by Ilan Berman, Vice President, and an expert on foreign policy in the Middle East and Asia.

In the afternoon, Herzenni first met with staffers from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Then, he made his way to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a public educational foundation dedicated to scholarly research and informed debate on U.S. interests in the Middle East, where he met with David Schenker, Aufzien Fellow and Director of the Program on Arab Politics. Before catching a flight to New York, Herzenni had one final meeting with Michael McVicker, Lead Democratic Staffer at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Herzenni’s visit to the US comes in advance of a historic referendum in Morocco, which the people will be voting on this Friday, July 1. As demonstrators took to the streets of various Arab countries this spring, demanding the removal of their heads of state, Moroccans similarly gathered – but chanting for greater socio-political reform, not the abdication of their king Mohammed VI. Understanding the need for greater transparency, openness, and regionalization on the political level, a newly-formed constitutional committee drafted significant changes to the existing constitution. These include the recognition of the Amazigh language and heritage as essential to the Moroccan identity, the guarantee of an independent judiciary, and the election of the Prime Minister by majority rule in Parliament instead of by appointment by the King as has been the custom.

About Ahmed Herzenni

Mr. Herzenni, a political prisoner for 12 years under King Hassan II, Mohammed VI’s father, is now playing an active role in shaping Morocco’s transition to a more democratic future. He was appointed to the post of President of Morocco’s Advisory Council on Human Rights (CCDH) in May 2007 by King Mohammed VI before stepping down recently to become a member of the commission that drafted the constitutional reforms.

Mr. Herzenni has a long and distinguished career as a professional dedicated to education and the improvement of conditions in Morocco. Holding a Ph.D. in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Kentucky and a Diploma of Higher Studies in Sociology from the Rabat Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Herzenni first worked as a teacher, and later become a sociologist specializing in rural and environmental affairs. Throughout his illustrious career, he has held a number of posts relating to resource management, sustainable environmental and agricultural development, social sciences, human development, and participatory and democratic methods.

L’exception Marocaine Procede de la “La Légitimité Séculaire de la Monarchie” (Rencontre à Washington)

Washington, 28/06/11- L’exception marocaine procède de “la légitimité séculaire de la monarchie”, ainsi que du pluralisme qui a, de tout temps, caractérisé la société marocaine, ont souligné, mardi, les participants à une rencontre à Washington sur le “Printemps arabe”.

“L’exception marocaine réside dans une monarchie qui a une légitimité historique”, a affirmé Younes Abouyoub, un analyste politique et chercheur à la Colombia University, lors de cette rencontre qui a eu lieu au National Press Club (NPC) de la capitale fédérale américaine.

Même si le Maroc connait, à l’instar d’autres pays arabes des problèmes socio-économiques, il reste aussi une exception dans sa façon de traiter les aspirations aux réformes, a dit M. Abouyoub, également membre leader du groupe Morocco Tomorrow.

Par rapport à ce qui “s’est passé en Egypte ou en Tunisie ou pire encore en Libye, les autorités marocaines étaient beaucoup plus sages et beaucoup plus intelligentes dans la façon de traiter les choses”, a dit l’intervenant , citant notamment le discours de SM le Roi Mohammed VI sur les réformes constitutionnelles. “On a pas eu à tomber dans le piège de confrontations violentes qui pourraient créer de nombreux problèmes dont on peut se passer”, a-t-il relevé.

Pour ce jeune chercheur, le Maroc connait une dynamique démocratique, dans la mesure où les citoyens “peuvent discuter et exprimer leur opinions”.

“Toutes ces différentes opinions formeront le nouveau Maroc”, estime-t-il, rappelant que le Royaume connait depuis plusieurs années des réformes “lancées” par feu SM Hassan II et “renforcées et approfondies” par SM le Roi Mohammed VI .

Ahmed Herzenni, membre de la Commission consultative de révision de la Constitution, a souligné également que le Maroc est une exception dans sa manière de consolider son processus de réformes démocratiques.

Réitérant que le projet de nouvelle Constitution qui sera soumis à référendum le 1er juillet est le couronnement des réformes engagées au Maroc depuis plusieurs années, M. Herzenni a soutenu que le Royaume ” n’a pas attendu le printemps arabe pour lancer, par exemple, l’Initiative nationale pour le développement humain” (INDH).

“Le Maroc est une exception dans le sens où l’on est à l’écoute des aspirations des citoyens”, fait-il valoir également.

La rencontre a été organisée à l’initiative de Morocco Tomorrow, une organisation à but non lucratif créée récemment pour “être la voix de tous ceux qui croient en l’avenir du Maroc”. Elle réunit de jeunes professionnels marocains établis aux Etats-Unis, au Canada et en Europe.

MoroccoTomorrow Member Meets Sen. Joseph Lieberman

June 20, 2011

Senator Joseph Lieberman and MT Member Narjis Oughla


MoroccoTomorrow member Narjis Oughla met honoree Senator Joseph Lieberman at yesterday’s 2011 James H. Doolittle Prize Dinner held by the Hudson Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Club. Senator Lieberman commented, “I hope that the King and the people of Morocco will set an example.”

Young Moroccans Go Online To Help Their Country Make History

Press Release – Issued June 16, 2011

NEW YORK, June 16, 2011 (PRNewswire) – Despite the turmoil raging in other countries in the region, the Kingdom of Morocco is on the threshold of an historic, peaceful transition to constitutional reform and democratization. Five million Moroccans live outside their homeland and a group of young Moroccan professionals in the U.S., the U.K., and across continental Europe are making history of their own by launching Morocco Tomorrow, a voice for the next generation of young Moroccan leaders which includes a global website, www.MoroccoTomorrow.org and an impressive group of young organizers, including Younes Abouyoub, a PhD political analyst at Columbia University; Samir Bennis, a doctorate in political science working for the United Nations; Nezha Bouhafid, a graduate student at Leiden University in the Netherlands; Leila Hanafi, an international lawyer at World Justice Project in Washington; Narjis Oughla, a marketing professional in Casablanca; and Adnane Bennis, a volunteer with Olof Palm Peace Foundation in New York. “Not many have noticed the history being made in Morocco,” says 24-year old Narjis Oughla, “but we are becoming a shining example for the rest of the Arab world.”

The Morocco Tomorrow website includes in-depth updates on events in Morocco, as well as profiles of young Moroccan leaders, and is a clear and unbiased information source about Morocco and a bridge between Moroccans at home and abroad, between friends of the country and all those eager to learn about and participate in its unique history. The young professionals behind Morocco Tomorrow belong to no political party or movement and welcome the participation and contribution of anyone who wants to be a part of Morocco’s historic transition to the model of a 21st century Arab democracy.

Like most countries throughout North Africa and the Middle East, over half of Morocco’s population is under the age of 30. The young Moroccans behind Morocco Tomorrow include students, lawyers, bankers, and scientists, eager to share their values, their culture, and Morocco’s unique heritage as their country becomes a model of social and governmental reform for North Africa and the Middle East and a beacon for other countries in transition throughout the world. “The whole world will be watching,” says organizer Younes Abouyoub, “and we want to make sure that Morocco Tomorrow fulfills the promise of this Arab Spring.”

For more information on MoroccoTomorrow, please contact: info@moroccotomorrow.org.

 

Putting Anti-Corruption Commitments into Practice: Transparency, Participation and Rule of Law

Moroccan-American attorney, Leila Hanafi speaks at a Morocco conference on combating corruption in MENA.

Leila Hanafi speaking at conference

Adnane Bennis (Morocco World News)

June 15, 2011

On 9-10 June Rabat hosted a Conference on combating corruption in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). Held under the High Patronage of HM the King of Morocco, with the joint support of OECD and UNDP, the Conference served as a regional platform to reflect on ongoing developments in the MENA region and the emerging public demands for government reforms.

The Conference convened over 180 participants from the MENA governments, private sector and civil society as well as corruption experts from regional and international organizations. The Forum presented an excellent opportunity to share lessons learned between peers on practical ways to combat corruption in MENA.

Young Moroccan-American attorney from Washington DC, Leila Hanafi, spoke at the Conference and commended the hosting of this timely multi-stakeholder dialogue on anti-corruption efforts in the Middle East and North Africa, in light of on-going developments in the region, which demonstrates an international commitment to upholding the rule of law and fighting corruption in the Arab world.

Leila went on to congratulate the organizing committee on its choice of Morocco as a venue for this forum. “Not only is there a lively debate about rule of law going on in this country, but its history and its geography also provide a very unique prism through which to look at the legal uniqueness of the MENA region, at large. As a Moroccan-American, it is an honor and privilege to speak here”, stressed Leila.

Leila Hanafi

Discussion areas encapsulated the following:

Government Accountability– Limited government powers: Conference debates focused on the means, by which the powers of the government and its officials and agents are limited and by which they are held accountable under the law. In that regard, discussions centered around the social media and how it is becoming a force for social change and a transparency tool in the public sphere, across the region.

Government Accountability-Corruption: Another major component of the Conference focused on anti-corruption efforts as a key priority for action in the MENA region.

To improve rule of law in MENA, and, consequently, strengthen access to justice and promote transparency and accountability structure between the people and the judiciary, Leila’s intervention emphasized that it is essential to enhance the capability of civil society groups and leaders to promote equitable enforcement of a strong and fair legal framework.

Finally, Conference discussions agreed that government action alone is generally not enough to prevent and combat corruption. Complementary and mutually supportive actions by the media, trade unions and civil society actors are recognized as important.

As such, Leila emphasized that “a multidisciplinary and respectful dialogue will inspire concerted actions and meaningful progress in advancing the rule of law across the region.”

Leila’s active participation as a speaker in such high level Government meeting is reflective of the important role of young people in the current rule of law development debates in MENA and beyond.