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This year, we commemorate the 70th anniversary of one of the most overrated (but still great) films ever, ‘Casablanca’ (1942). Its blend of humor, romance and action has apparently riveted audiences in ways totally unexpected while the film was being made.
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As an American expatriate, you are required to file your federal tax returns yearly, just like a U.S. citizen or resident who doesn't live abroad. Because, fact is, it's not just your U.S. income that determines your tax rates, but your total income from any country. In other words, your foreign income counts. On the plus side, you're entitled to a bunch of expatriate tax benefits: foreign tax credits, income exclusion, and housing allowances to name a few.
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Bronx, NY — A new genetic analysis focusing on Jews from North Africa has provided an overall genetic map of the Jewish Diasporas. The findings support the historical record of Middle Eastern Jews settling in North Africa during Classical Antiquity, proselytizing and marrying local populations, and, in the process, forming distinct populations that stayed largely intact for more than 2,000 years.
- NORA FITZGERALD
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This year Ramadan runs from about July 20th to August 19th, so right in the middle of summer holidays. Marrakesh is usually bursting with tourists at this time of year, despite the scorching heat. I have seen groups of sunburned, dazed and confused looking tourists walking around, probably not too sure about what’s going on, except that Macdonalds seems to be the only restaurant open for lunch.
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Ticket pricing has little to do with distances. It is all about competition on a specific Point-to-Point route. RAM and Air France seem to be in collusion as duopolies on the greatest-margin leg, Paris-Rabat/Casablanca. Roya Air Maroc could probably drop all destinations and keep only Paris, their margin would go through the roof.
There must be something right about their pricing if the planes are full from the US to Casablanca during the Summer. There is enough demand to drive the pricing up.
- ZOUHAIR BAGHOUGH
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New York / Morocco News Board--- on Morocco’s most coveted economic secret: what is the currency board breakdown used by Bank Al Maghrib to determine the Dirham currency value?
Speculations place the Euro well ahead between 60% and 80%. And that has a lot to do with the flow of goods and capital circulating between us and the other side of the Gibraltar detroit. Dollar should follow closely as well, with our main exports (Phosphate) and strategic imports (Oil and derivatives) labeled in Dollar.
- NORA FITZGERALD
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Marrakech / Morocco News Board--- Ramadan is already a quarter over. In Morocco, Ramadan is known as a time for, among other things, putting extra care into food preparation. This post is an ode to the women who work in the kitchen all year around and go the extra mile in Ramadan, the hadga’s.
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Morocco has signed an open sky agreement with Europe which resulted in an increase of flights by European airlines to different destinations in Morocco.Ryan air, a budget airline, has been the most aggressive in expanding the number of both destinations and frequencies into Morocco.
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Washington / Morocco News Board--- The Project on Middle East democracy 's latest policy brief, “Silent Complicity: The International Community and Algeria’s Democratic Façade,” John P. Entelis, a Professor of Political Science and Director of Middle East Studies at Fordham University and the editor of The Journal of North African Studies, argues that the U.S. cannot continue to prioritize oil and security over democratic reform in its relationship with Algeria.
- DEREK WORKMAN
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Derek Workman, goes for a stroll in the mountains and muses over the ethics of photographing local people.
I took my daily walk into the mountains this morning, up from Imlil on the steep path past the cascades and through Armed, the highest village in the valley. Being almost totally out of practice with mountain walking it doesn’t take me long to get short of breath on the steeper climbs – I blame the altitude as a way of covering up how out of shape I am – and it’s even more discouraging when a heavily-pregnant girl in her late teens skitters past me over the large rocks, wearing only flip-plops on her feet, while I’m fully kitted out in stout hiking boots.
- ALISON LAKE
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WASHINGTON & RABAT, Morocco — As the world follows Egypt's dramatic shift in government, many are asking, “Who is next?”
Yemen and Jordan face similar unrest. Algeria just banned an upcoming demonstration. And Mauritania’s president escaped a reported Al Qaeda assassination attempt. Arab-Muslim nations face serious economic, social and security challenges. Across the region the connection between repressive government and terrorist activity is strong. Yet in Morocco, where peaceful protest is permitted by law — and exercised frequently — the streets have remained relatively quiet, which has surprised some.
- ALISON LAKE
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It was long my dream to hear the call to prayer (adan) in a Muslim country. I first heard it in Morocco. The call resonated out over the rooftops and streets, calling everyone to pray, to remember God, and to succeed in their lives through prayer. My best adan moment was to hear the call within the ancient walls of the old city in Fez at 430 am -- the same words sung every day for more than a millennium. This was a most beautiful sound that struck deep into my heart.
Throughout history, humans have relied on rituals to define a day, a week, a year. Rituals help us remember to do important things. Rituals bring familiarity and comfort. The frequency of prayer in Islam - five times a day - increases one's ability to cope with life's stresses, and reminds me that God is always there beside me.
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Before the United States had a president or a constitution, it had the Treaty of Marrakech with Morocco. That diplomatic pact has the distinction of being the longest standing treaty between America and another country. Tomorrow, July 18, marks the 225th anniversary of its ratification.
- CHRIS SILVER
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By the late 1970s and possibly even earlier, Morocco’s King Hassan II was listening to Raymonde El Bidaouia on vinyl. So enthralled with her records, he invited her to perform at the Royal Palace in Rabat in 1981. Raymonde was to perform together with the late, great Samy Elmaghribi. She and Samy knew each other well thanks to the Azoulay brothers. She wasn’t what Samy expected at first but she and her voice soon grew on him. He was certainly the legend but Raymonde was the rising star and soon they began touring the world together.
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This year’s Doing Business report data cover regulations from June 2010 through May 2011. The report rankings on ease of doing business have expanded to include indicators on getting electricity
Morocco improved its business regulation the most compared to other global economies, climbing 21 places to 94, by simplifying the construction permitting process, easing the administrative burden of tax compliance, and providing greater protections to minority shareholders. Since 2005, Morocco has implemented 15 business regulatory reforms.