Thursday, June 22, 2017

Heatwave Warning For Morocco

A wave of heat is expected to hit several regions of Morocco over the next few days with temperatures up to 46 degrees Celsius

According to the National Meteorological Department (DMN), maximum temperatures of 41 to 44 degrees are expected from Thursday in Aousserd, Oued-Edadhab, Boujdour, Laayoune Tarfaya, Es-Smara, Tata, Taroudant, Assa-Zag, Zagora, and Errachidia.

Temperatures ranging from 37 to 40 degrees are forecast in Ouarzazate, Fkih Ben Saleh, Kelaa Sraghna, Rhamna, Marrakech, Youssoufia, Essaouira, Guelmim, Tan-Tan, and Beni Mellal.

On Friday and Saturday, the DMN predicts maximum temperatures of 42 to 46 degrees at Aousserd, Oued-Eddahab, Boujdour, Es-Smara, Assa-Zag, Tata, Zagora and Taroudant.

Temperature will reach 37 to 41 degrees Celsius at Guelmim, Tan-Tan, Sidi Ifni, Chtouka Ait Baha, Agadir, Laayoune, Marrakech, Youssoufia, Essaouira, Chichaoua, Kelaa-Sraghna, Beni Mellal, Fkih Saleh, Settat, Khouribga, Sidi Slimane, Kemisset, Ben Slimane, SidiBennour, Berrrechid, Safi, and Errachidia.

There is also a chance of some local storms.

Fez temperatures remain hot for the last few days of Ramadan, with 38 Celsius today, 41 on Friday, 43 on Saturday, 41 on Sunday, dropping down to 37 on Monday.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Laylat Al Qadr - the "Night of Power"

A statement from the Ministry of the Royal House, Protocol and Chancellery issued yesterday, says that King Mohammed VI will preside this evening (Wednesday June 21) at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca
Prayers inside Hassan II Mosque on Laylat al-Qadr

The event is a religious evening in commemoration of Laylat Al Qadr.

Laylat Al Qadr is considered the holiest night of the year for Muslims, and is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan. It is known as the "Night of Power," and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, beginning with the exhortation, "Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)," - Surat Al-Alaq.

The Prophet Muhammad did not mention exactly when the "Night of Power" would be, although most scholars believe it falls on one of the odd-numbered nights of the final ten days of Ramadan, such as the 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, or 27th days of Ramadan. In Morocco it is most widely believed to fall on the 27th day of Ramadan.
“Whoever stays up (in prayer and remembrance of Allah) on Laylat al-Qadr, fully believing (in Allah’s promise of reward) and hoping to seek reward, he shall be forgiven for his past sins.” - Imam Bukhari
On this night, the blessings and mercy of Allah are abundant, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree of what will occur is revealed to the angels who also descend to earth.
We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the night of Qadr:
And what will explain to thee what the night of Qadr is?
The night of Qadr is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand:
Peace! This until the rise of dawn
! — Sura 97 (Al-Qadr), āyāt 1-5
Many Muslims observe this occasion with study, devotional readings, and prayer. Some Muslims participate in a spiritual retreat called itikaf, where they spend all ten days in the mosque reading the Quran and praying, but according to a local Imam, the number of people doing this has declined over the years.

Then there is the Leilat Sabawachrine - literally the "night of the 27th" - is a night especially for children - a time when they dress in their finest clothes.

Leilat Sabawachrine - a tiara is essential!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

At Last - Fez to Marrakech Flights

Air Arabia, and its partner the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) have finally begun the long awaited internal air service linking Fez and Marrakech

The inaugural flight of the new air route on Friday, June 16, had an occupancy rate of more than 80% (round trip), and a flight time of 45 minutes.

The aircraft (A 320) landed at Marrakech Lamnara airport at 11:45. The return flight arrived back in Fez at 1pm.

Air Arabia is running the service 3 times a week (Friday, Sunday and Tuesday).

In addition to Fez, the company is launching 14 more flights from Fez to Rome (Italy), Strasbourg (France), London (United Kingdom), Brussels (Belgium) , Lyon (France), Barcelona (Spain) and Amsterdam (the Netherlands). For the winter of 2017, new destinations will be programmed from Fez to Bremen, Munich and Seville.


Whiffenpoofs Free Concert in Fez!

The Yale Whiffenpoofs in Concert! Saturday, June 24 at 9:30 PM at the ALC Fes, 2 Rue Ahmed Hiba, Fez Ville Nouvelle

Every year, 14 senior Yale University men are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs, the world's oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1909, the "Whiffs" began as a senior quartet that met for weekly concerts at Mory's Temple Bar, the famous Yale tavern. Today, the group has become one of Yale's most celebrated traditions, with a diverse and evolving repertoire ranging from traditional Yale standards to popular songs from every decade.

Cole Porter was one of the original members of the group, and the “Whiffs” continue to sing some of his songs, such as “Too Darn Hot” and “Night and Day.”

Each year, 14 Yale seniors take the year off from their studies to travel the world, performing this year in 22 countries on six continents. We are thrilled and honored that they are coming to give a concert at ALC-Fes!

This concert, organised by the ALC-ALIF Music Club, is free and open to the general public. The performance will be in the garden of the American Language Center.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Marrakech to Paris With Air Arabia

Air Arabia Maroc will open a new route between Marrakech and Paris from October 31

According to Morocco World News flights will be on Airbus 320 three days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday.

Flights will run at 6.30 a.m., 11.40 a.m., 7 p.m., arriving to Paris at local time 11 a.m., 2.10 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. respectively.

Flights to Paris will start from MAD 599.

Air Arabia CEO Abel Ali says, “This new line solidifies our continuing approach in favour of increasing the touristic and economic exchanges between Morocco and France. This link adds to our well established network to France which possesses 22 daily flights across five Moroccan airports."

Based in Casablanca and founded in April 2009, Air Arabia Maroc is Morocco’s first low cost airline.


"Cities Without Slums" Making Progress

"Cities without slums" is an ambitious programme to eradicate slums from Moroccan cities. Since it was launched back in 2004 it has assisted more than 380,000 families

According to the Minister of National Planning, Town Planning, Habitat and Housing City policy, Nabil Benabdellah, 82% of the total number of families, or 320,829 families, are involved in the programme either at the stage of being fully completed or in progress.

He reported that 18,920 families have been allocated completed units and are waiting to move in, and 43,916 families are waiting units that are under construction.

The Minister indicated that there are several constraints and barriers to programs, including refusal of membership from certain families, expansion of urban areas, natural increase in the families residing in slum neighbourhoods, the difficulty of responding to subfamily demands and changing criteria, the rarity of real estate and the difficulty of accessing bank loans.

Overall, the programme is making progress with 56 out of a total of 85 cities having been declared "without slums".


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gloria Gaynor Heads to Casablanca Festival

The International Festival of Casablanca will be held from July 6 to 15

Ten arts will be honoured during the ten days of festivities, on two main stages in the TORO space and in Ain Sebaa, where several national and international artists will perform, said the director general of Casa Events and Animation, Mohamed Jouahri, at a press conference devoted to the presentation of the festival's programming.

The festival has had a rocky history with last year's festival being scrapped. Thankfully, it appears to be back on track.

Abdelaziz Stati 

Other arts programmed include, dance, reading, film screenings, children's shows and street art.

I'm not dead!
Among the artists appearing are; Gloria Gaynor, Oum, Five stars, French Montana, Dizzy Dros, Daoudi, Zina Daoudia, Fnaire, Dj naamane, Fatima Zahra Laa Roussi, Mourad Bouriki, Haim Hobble, Hoba Hoba Spirit, Mister You, Kids united, Jil Jilala, Nass el Ghiwane, Dj Van, Hatim idar, Abdelaziz Stati, Betweenatna, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Wachm'n hit, Acid Arab, Daox, Polyswitch and Don Bigg.

Gloria Gaynor will appear - despite having been the subject of a death hoax this week! News of singer Gloria Gaynor’s "death" spread quickly causing concern among fans across the world. However the report has now been confirmed as a complete hoax and just the latest in a string of fake celebrity death reports.

On Tuesday (June 13) the singer's reps officially confirmed that Gloria Gaynor is not dead. “She joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimised by this hoax. She's still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet,” they said.


Timitar Signs and Cultures Festival

Youssou N'Dour will perform at the 14th edition of the Timitar Signs and Cultures Festival

This year the festival will be held from the 5th to 8th of July.

The Senegalese musician, Youssou N'Dour will be a huge drawcard. He is to perform on the Al Amal Square stage on Wednesday, July 5, as part of the opening of the festival.

Singer Ghanay Kabbaj will  e on the main stage on July 6th, with 6.Raï musician, Hamid Bouchnak, on July 7th in Amal square. DJ Badreddine Benhassan will perform July 7 at Place Bijouane.

Other acts include Hoba Hoba Spirit, Stati, Tiken Jah Fakoly, the legendary Nass El Ghiwan and American group, Vocal Trash.

The Timitar Festival is a must in the cultural agenda of world music. Last year's edition was attended by several renowned artists including the Amazigh diva Tachenouit, the Arab pop prince the Egyptian Tamir Hosni, and the star Chaâbi Daoudi, not to mention the troops of Ahwach and Great DJs. In total, more than 40 artists from all over the world participated.

For four days, the concerts scheduled promotes peace and tolerance and normally attracts more than 800,000 spectators. The Timitar Festival also has a role of agitator of ideas and a positive contribution to the evolution of Amazigh (Berber) culture.