Dear Mr. Bourdain. Thank you for your report on Tangier this summer. It was exciting to have you travel to Morocco for an episode of your CNN show, Parts Unknown
Is there any chance you might return and, let’s say, visit Rabat?
There are two currency systems used in Morocco. One is that of the dirham, the official Moroccan currency that is printed on bills and coins. The other currency is the riyal, an old Moroccan currency which is no longer exists, but is still used by Moroccans to value purchases both small and large. 1 dirham is equal to 20riyals.
Literary works, in general, provide considerable insight about the structure of societies they emanate from as well as about individuals making up these societies. Morocco’s folk literature is revealing in this regard. Through judicious characterizations, well-knit plots and adequately-constructed settings, Moroccan writers, worthy of the name, would indeed reveal the rich linguistic and social variations of their society.
My son Ridwan and I paid a visit to Jerry Loftus, director of the American Legation in Tangier, and followed him on an illustrated tour of American-Moroccan relations, beginning in the late 18th-century. Quiet and westbound, Morocco doesn’t feature large in the American imagination.
Meet Zohair Chouillaj. He is the reason why Tetouan, Morocco, remains both a cultured and enigmatic city. One has to look hard to find traces of the city’s Sufi and Andaulsian heritage. Yesterday after a lunch at the village of Amsa on the Mediterranean coast, my friend Naoufal called Zohair and asked him to prepare a special pot of Moroccan tea.
I would love to declare my house an independent kingdom. But my wife has a different idea, my extended family as well, my friends too, plus the neighbors would like to have the opportunity to stick their nose in our private business. It's not as straightforward as you might think.
MNB/Rabat--At first glance, recent trial (known as the Gdim Izik trial) of Sahrawi separatists in Rabat and the creation of a new pro-independence party in the Spanish Basque country seem two distinct events.
The development initiatives of so-called ‘diasporas’ have gained the attention of policy-makers, scholars, NGOs, and migrants themselves. Migrants and ‘diasporas’ are seen as agents of development, who not only remit money to their countries of origin, but also transfer ideas of political, social, and cultural change.
Haim Botbol has affected my life in ways he could never imagine. It was his record I picked up four years ago and it was his voice, which opened up a world of North African music for me. This is why this day means so much to me. Today, June 18, 2013, Haim Botbol is being honored by a fascinating cross-section of Moroccans for his sixty plus years in the music business.
Haim Botbol was a favorite of Salim Halali and performed with Albert Suissa as well. He released a considerable amount of music on about a dozen labels (Boussiphone, Musica, Tichkaphone, Canariphone, Philips, etc.). He “made it” well into the cassette era, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.
Washington / morocco News Board --"Why aren’t Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) adopting the case of my brother Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud who is currently on his third hunger strike in Mauritania” explained Ahmed Cheikh Ismaili. “Salma wants to see his five kids and return to his home; his case is humanitarian in nature and not political”, he told me during a meeting in Washington.
Washington / morocco News Board --Five months after the terrorist assault at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria, many key questions about the bloody attack remain unanswered. Algerian authorities’ mum attitude and the British government meek efforts to uncover the details and circumstances surrounding to the death of 40 hostages smell of political appeasement and economic self-preservation.
Washington / morocco News Board --Moroccan diplomats should embrace President Obamas’ UN ambassador in waiting. Samantha Power, a human rights activist familiar with Africa, is likely to entertain Morocco’s grievances regarding the U.N. slow action investigating human rights abuses in the Sahrawi Camps of Tindouf, Algeria. The challenge, however, remains Moroccan diplomats’ difficulties in articulating their government’s messages and policies. Moroccans, home and around the world, wonder if their present delegates to UN are up to the challenge. Yet, this nomination presents Rabat with the opportunity to start fresh in New York.
In analyzing the 40-year-old conflict, which Algeria is imposing on Morocco, many feel that, lately, Morocco may seem not to be doing much to counter its opponent but doing nothing is in itself a strategy.
Al Istiqlal, the second largest party of the government coalition lead by the PJD party, has announced its decision to withdraw from the government, arguing that the PJD has refused to listen to Al Istiqlal's proposal regarding a number of social and economic issues. To solve its differences with the PJD-led government, Al Istiqlal sought article 42 of the constitution, according to which, the king would serve as a supreme arbiter between the parties.
Washington / Morocco News Board--Spain’s pro-Morocco stand during last month’s United Nations deliberations on the Western Sahara has taken observers by surprise. Moroccan and Algerian officials were left wondering about the reasons behind Madrid change of heart. However, recent events suggest that the rise of Catalan nationalism could be the reason behind Spain’s reversal of course on the issue of “independence for the Western Sahara”. The ruling Partido Popular (PP) “paranoia and fear” of the specter of an independent Catalonia, puts Madrid and Rabat on the same side of the “self-determination” issue.