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Morocco's Lobbying for Authoritarianism and the Western Sahara

Several recent articles on Morocco advance the kingdom’s lobbying efforts in D.C. as a main catalyst for both  US complacency towards the kingdom’s authoritarian edifice, and tacit support for Morocco’s general aims in the Western Sahara. In a Foreign Policy piece, the authors review a litany of lobbying strategies Morocco has employed to sway US policy makers into supporting Morocco’s claims in the Western Sahara conflict. 

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Did Morocco Overreact to France’s Undiplomatic Gestures?

 

Washington DC--   Did the Moroccan authorities overreact to France’s allegations of torture? Did Rabat go public too soon with its grievances regarding Spanish actor Javier Bardem claim that a French ambassador called Morocco a political mistress? These are valid questions that must be addressed. The timing of this crisis is suspicious, since it coincided with Morocco’s King visit to sub-Saharan Africa. It looks as if the Moroccan officials’ reactions played into the hands of the “enemy”.

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Morocco: Street Food in Rabat

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? 

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Morocco: Dirhams Vs. Riyals

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. 

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Morocco: Language Diversity, A Strength -Not a Cleavage

Bouzi Mounaim
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. 

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Morocco: U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation & Small Scale Fishermen

 

Wander along the port at Essaouira at around noon on most days and you will see fishing boats unloading their shimmering catches as they’ve done for hundreds of years. Boxes of fish are set up on stalls or simply laid along the quayside, where locals buy their lunch and restaurants stock up for their fancy diners, the price depending on how good you are at haggling or what’s left as the crushed ice they lie on melts.

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American-Moroccan Relations & the American Legation in Tangier

Anouar Majid

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. 

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Meet Zohair

Anouar Majid

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.

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Reflection On Western Sahara Separatist Movement

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.

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On Legalizing Pro Western Sahara independence movement

 

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. 

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Engaging The Moroccan American Diaspora‏

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.

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Botbol: 60 Years Of Music

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. 

 

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Sahrawi Human Rights Activist in Critical Condition

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.

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Algeria Investigation On Terror Attack Lags

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. 

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Obama's UN Nominee and Morocco’s Foreign Policy

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.

 

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Morocco Reacts to Algeria's Western Sahara Campaign

 

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.

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