- JAMAL LAOUDI
I recall, as a teenager, when the utterance of the word “Tazmamart” prison evoked emotions and feelings of mystery, misery, and ultimate cruelty. My imagination proved useless in its attempts at simulating events of what could havetaken place in that prison once a glimse of what took place was brought to the forefront.. Demystifying Tazmamart consumed me for some odd reason. “Change the subject” was the most common expression used as a reaction to having heard that “sinful” word uttered.
- AHMED TAIBI
Have you ever walked into a room and could not remember why you walked in? I believe that is how Mrs. Yasmina Baddou spends her days at the Moroccan health ministry. Admittedly, the Moroccan health sector has been shoddy for decades. But a visit to Ibn Roshd, known as "Morizgo", in Casablanca, or any vermin infested public hospital - and private one for that matter - where destitute patients have to grease their palms to receive admittance into the premises and pay every step of the way to receive the medical attention the government ought to provide them for free, one gets a sobering sense of how declensional the state of our health care system is. Mrs.Baddou, whose judicial background hardly qualifies her to mend the budgetary and staffing ills of the Moroccan health care system initiated reforms that have been openly contested as ineffective by Moroccan health professionals. Her agenda has been criticized as being alienated from the health concerns of Moroccans.
- HASSAN MASIKY
I am the mother
and I want to clarify some points. While I am reading these feedbacks, I felt that there was a misunderstanding or confusion of my story.
First, I want to thank Mr. Driss Temsamani for his understanding and his kindness. I wrote the story and he edited for me.
Yes, I am an educated, smart and caring mother. I was living in the States for four years before I got married, I paid my taxes and I was a real good citizen.
I met the father of my daughters and at first I made it clear that I am happy with my life in USA and it was my own decision to live in this country. He never mentioned to go back to his origin country.Instead he was telling me how much he suffered from the Algerian life system.
More than 700 guests attended the 11th annual Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards gala on April 23rd. it was hosted by the Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF). The event was sponsored in part by the Moroccan American Center.
The black tie affair began with opening remarks from Assistant to the President Valerie Jarrett who transmitted greetings from president Obama and a promise to treat this community and all communities on an equal footing.
The awardees were The Marshall Legacy Institute, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. and Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni , former NIH Director.
The participation of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, whose family has Lebanese roots, and Jarrett, who was born in Iran, represents a warmer and more open attitude toward Arab-Americans by the Obama administration.
Washington. Apr 30, 09- After Jet4you and Atlas Blue, here's Air Arabia Morocco, whose first flights are scheduled for May 6th.
Morocco has its 3rd low-cost airline. Alongside Jet4you and Atlas Blue, newly born Air Arabia Morocco whose maiden flight on May 6 will be between Casablanca and London.
The company required an investment of $ 50 million: 51% owned by private Moroccan investors, with the remainder coming from institutions of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The new carrier will serve a number of destinations in Europe and North Africa. It is the result of an alliance between the Moroccan airline Regional Air and the parent company Air Arabia, based in the UAE. In addition, it has two Airbus A320 aircraft and will receive a 3rd of the same aircraft type in November 2009. The airline plans to acquire a fleet of 16 aircrafts by 2014.
- HASSAN MASIKY
While Armenia and its neighbor Turkey were working out a “road map” to normalize their relationship, Algeria and its neighbor Morocco were locked, again, in a war of words over the Western Sahara conflict. The “newly elected” President Bouteflika of Algeria used his “inaugural Speech” to compare the Moroccan presence in the Western Sahara to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories belittling the Palestinian cause and showing a great intransigence toward the United Nations efforts to resolve the Sahara conflict. Such “Brezhnev era’s Soviet Union” like statements from the Algerian President reinforce the existence sentiment that the so-called western Sahara conflict is an Algerian-Moroccan dispute that can only be resolved in direct bi-lateral negotiation between Rabat and Algiers.
Historically, Morocco under the late King Hassan II approached the conflict over the Sahara as an argument with the late Algerian President Boumedienne. However, as the disastrous Moroccan diplomacy of the seventies and eighties stumbled and the Algerian position in support of the Algeria created Polisario separatist movement gained momentum, Morocco was compelled to deal with the Polisario in equal terms as an adversary. Presently, this argument does not stand. Both Morocco and Algeria are going through different historical stages that are bound to affect their policies in dealing with the Sahara Conflict. Whereas the Moroccan diplomacy, with all its lapses, has joined the twenty first century, the Algerian Foreign Ministry is stuck in the twilight zone, and will stay that way for few years to come with the return of Bouteflika for a third term. On the issue of the Western Sahara, Morocco’s position has evolved with Rabat’s local autonomy for the population of the Sahara while Algeria’s stagnated. Accordingly, it is time to repaint this conflict with its true color: a border dispute between Morocco and Algeria.
As long as the Western Sahara conflict is not framed as a grouping of the Moroccan-Algerian disputes over the Sahara, Tindouf and Beshar, all attempts by the United Nations to resolve the conflict will flounder. Actually, Algerian officials are first to admit that the bitter memory of the 1963 Sands War with Morocco is the driving force behind their government rigid anti-Morocco position disputing the legitimacy of Rabat presence in the Western Sahara. Consequently, resolving all and any leftover issues from this war hold the key to resolving the current crisis, as long as the resolution is through direct negotiations between the two Belligerents.
The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has been waist of money. Similarly, the missions of successive UN envoys to the region were complete failure as most of the UN diplomats persisted in including the Polisario movement as an independent entity outside the influence of Algerian Military influence. It is naïve and unrealistic to believe that the Polisario leadership make independent decisions without direction from Algiers.
It is becoming ever evident that the only way to resolve this long simmering conflict is to remove the Polisario element out of the equation, demark the Moroccan Algerian borders once for all, and address Algeria’s geographical concerns in terms of access to the Atlantic Ocean.
Rabat, unheeded, appeals to improve relations with Algiers are the first step to resolve all outstanding problems between the two countries. Algerians and Moroccans do not have to open borders but must settle the dispute over the Sahara and their borders as did Armenia and Turkey. With its obstinacy to address the underlining sources of its dispute with Morocco, the Algerian diplomacy will be eventually be tired by the international community as an out-of-date institution poorly adapted to the new realities in the region and overly influenced by bunch of political dinosaurs.
King Mohamed VI has a vision for prosperous Morocco and Algeria where economy is more important than who controls which oasis in a desalt corner of the Sahara. With 35% unemployment, the Algerian government should be drafting plans to bring out their country out of the economical abyss instead of redirecting domestic opinion wrath against neighboring countries.
The Armenian and Turkish leaders are visionaries who recognize the importance of prosperity versus demagogy and historical events that can be settled in time. I hope the leadership in Al-Moradia wakes up from its deep sleep and comes to terms with the demands of today’s political realities. As Turks and Armenians dream of joining the European Union, Moroccans and Algerians continue to live a “Kafkasian” nightmare exasperated with a Bouteflika part III act.
The World Urban Forum took place April 27th through the 29th at the university of Illinois in Chicago. Mayor Richard Daley chaired the event and Vice President Joe Biden was the keynote speaker.
Discussions have revolved around three themes: Economic Recovery, Planning and Sustainable Development and developing human capital.
The goal of the event was to address issues of economic recovery and urban planning. Leaders from nearly 30 cities worldwide have attended. The cities include Paris, Moscow, Beijing and Casablanca, Morocco.
- ZAK ETTAMYMY
The dream to retire in Morocco is dissipating by the day, most Moroccans living abroad consider Morocco for their retirement, while they try hard in their youth to accomplish career, prosperity, family and a house in Morocco. Why? Simply to live the golden age in a quite village on morocco’s beautiful coasts.
- HASSAN MASIKY
Virginia’s Moroccan community, working together with other ethnic communities, has arrived on the stage and is planning and increasingly vital role in shaping Virginia’s future.
With four of the most important offices for Virginians —the Presidency, the two U.S. Senate seats and the Governorship in Democratic hands, we have plenty of reasons to smile!...
What’s next? How do we build on these successes to ensure an increasingly healthy role for our community in shaping Virginia’s future?
The most important election in what remains of this decade will take place on Nov 3, 2009. The election for Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- JILLIAN C. YORK
Morocco has a long relationship with Judaism; during the spread of the Roman empire, a number of Jews settled in what is modern-day Morocco. Over time, relations between Morocco's majority Muslim population and its small Jewish population have ranged from very good to heavily strained. Following the creation of the state of Israel, the vast majority of Morocco's Jews emigrated (approximately 15% of Israeli Jews are in fact of Moroccan descent), however, approximately 7,000 Jews reside in Morocco today. Moroccans are often quick to point out that the king's top adviser, André Azoulay, is Jewish.
- HASSAN MASIKY
Majority of Congress Calls for Resolving W. Sahara Conflict to Remove ‘Single Greatest Obstacle’ to Combating Terrorist Threats in N. Africa
Bipartisan Letter to Pres. Obama from 229 US House Members Urges Strong Actions to Reaffirm Support for Morocco’s Compromise Autonomy Proposal
Washington, DC (April 16, 2009)—Today, a majority of Members of the US House of Representatives—led by Rep. Gary Ackerman, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and the highest ranking members of the Democratic and Republican leadership—sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concern over the rising threat from al-Qaeda and other terrorists in North Africa. The letter called for strong US backing for Morocco’s compromise solution to end the 30-year Western Sahara conflict, which would clear a path for greater regional cooperation to meet growing security and economic challenges.
- ZAK ETTAMYMY
We grew up knowing that girls from poor families resort to prostitution to better themselves and their families, girls with or without basic education choose the short way to what they think a successful life. Many of them end up unmarried, sick and broken to pieces and very few make it in a high turnover industry.
This vice is magnified to a scary dimension; young girls at the age of 13 sell their bodies to tourists and locals for a mere 200 dh the shocking is that they are getting younger by the day.
We grew numbed to this sadness, somehow we find it digestible to see young girls in bars picking up clients rather than doing home work or enjoying their youth. As if this scene is not shocking any more, as if we letdown our weapons against exploitation of the youth and gave in to pervert tourists buying the virtue of Moroccan kids
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