Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Forum on Islamic feminism in Fez

An international forum will be held in Fes (Morocco) on the theme "Today’s Islamic Feminisms: National and Transnational Perspectives" on June 7th, 8th and 9th, 2019

Idea: Modern Islamic feminisms seek equality in Muslim family laws and revisit the fiqh-based background of these laws from within Islam. National, transnational, individual-based, and network-based, these feminisms are attracting increasing attention among students and academics and carry promise for further research. The Forum will reflect on today’s overall status of Islamic feminism and the current conversations in the field.

Director of the Forum: Fatima Sadiqi (sadiqi_fatima@yahoo.fr)
For more information and registration, please contact: carolinausa.keyt82@gmail.com


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cultures Combine in the Fez Medina

Philippe and Anan's new boutique 

A new addition to Fez's Ta'laa Kbira has enhanced the creative vibe of the popular street. 
Anan Sorsutham and Philip Laleu's new boutique, Moi Anan, offers a unique style to visitors and locals

In 2014, Anan and Philippe founded the popular Maison Moi Anan Thai restaurant in the Fes Medina. "We used to have the clothing shop on the first floor of the restaurant, and then we decided to open here," says Philippe. "We chose this area because you have other (similar) shops - Christophe doing recycled stuff, and Salima, who is also a designer.  We thought it would be interesting to have several designers in the same area, to encourage this area to be a fashion place."

Moi Anan boutique is minimalist grey, like the restaurant. "Grey is a very cinematic colour," says Anan. "The background is grey, so the occasional colour pops out."

Anan has long been a fashion designer, with a particular flair for intricate tailoring. "Now we focus on Moroccan inspiration," he says. He particularly likes the way Moroccans drape themselves, "in a mysterious way...it's about volume; wrapping the whole body."

While Moroccan free-flowing forms and precise Thai tailoring would appear to be the antithesis of each other, Anan manages to pull off the unusual combination. Many of his creations have fabric draped in specific sections, such as at the back, with space in the arms to move around, yet the rest of the garment hugs the body. "I pick and combine (elements of both cultures), and it (the result) belongs to me."

"I like King Mohamed V's way of thinking," explains Anan. "He travels to Europe, sees the architecture; sees the design. When he comes back, he wants to combine (the best) of other cultures, but still retain the Moroccan character."

When Anan was living in Bangkok, he had a factory producing his designs and worked on a much larger scale, up to a year ahead. Now he prefers to work on a smaller scale, befitting the artisan approach of his home in the Fez Medina. His creations are limited to 3 - 5 pieces per design, with styling dependent on the fabrics he finds.

"I totally like this style; this way of creating," he says. "I don't follow the business. I follow only me."

Moi Anan boutique can be found on the right before the carpark on the Ta'laa Kbira, Fez Medina. For more information about Moi Anan boutique and Maison Moi Anan restaurant, CLICK HERE

Anan Sorsutham displays one of his garments


Friday, May 10, 2019

The Ramadan Heat is On - Morocco Expects Heatwave

Another hot spell for Ramadan! With temperatures in Fez expected to reach 38 Celsius on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the Directorate of National Meteorology (DMN) has announced that a heat wave is likely to hit a number of Moroccan cities from Saturday May 11 through Monday, May 13

Cities will see a rise in temperature of up to 44 degree celsius in the provinces of Boujdour, Laayoune and Essmara in Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra region, and up to 45 degrees in Aousserd and Oued-Eddahab provinces in Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab region.

Some cities will experience somewhat milder weather conditions on Sunday and Monday. The temperature will oscillate between 38 and 42 in cities in northern and western Morocco, namely Larache, Ouezzane, Meknes, Kenitra, Sidi Kacem, Sidi Slimane, Rabat, Sale, Skhirat-Temara, Khemisset, Ben Slimane, Berrechid, Settat, Khouribga, Fquih-Bensaleh, Beni-Mellal, Sidi Bennour, Rehamna, Kelaa-Sraghna, Marrakech, and Youssoufia.

Temperature will not exceed 42 in southern provinces and in cities like Chichaoua, Taroudant, Inezgane-Ait Melloul, Chtouka Ait-Baha, Tiznit, Safi, Essaouira, Sidi Ifni, Guelmim, and Tantan.

High temperatures will persist until Tuesday in cities sitting in the northern interior plains while strong winds, with a speed between 75 and 85 kilometers per hour, will sweep through the Fahs-Anjra province and Tangier and Assilah cities in the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region.


Unusual Reforms in Saudi Arabia During Ramadan

Saudi Arabia Tells Mosques to Lower Call to Prayer and Causes Controversy

Days before the holy month of Ramadan, the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs has given instructions to lower the sound of the Muslim call to prayer, (adhan) because of complaints from people who live near mosques who said that it disturbs them.

In a video posted on Twitter by the ministry, Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Ash-Shaikh said that the call to prayer is an obligation but not at the expenses of others.

Al Ash-Shaikh explained that lowering mosques’ loudspeakers is important so they will not overlap with nearby mosques’ loudspeakers. He said, “It is causing confusion to the worshipers and residents of the nearby neighbourhood to the mosque, and loses its prestige and spirituality.”

Many Saudis agreed with the ministry’s decision and called for the government to impose fines on mosques that did not respect the guideline.

Others opposed to the ministry’s arrangement argue that the adhan should be loud, especially during Ramadan, saying it gives them spiritual comfort.

The ministry has also given instructions to “set the sound level to four because of mosques’ proximity to each other, in order to prevent disturbance and interference with other adhans, which disrupts worshipers in other mosques.”

Surprise! Shisha is back!

In its first session of Ramadan, on May 6, the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, or the Shura Council, approved the provision of Shisha products in the restaurants and cafes of Saudi cities, “according to specific regulations,” reported the Saudi newspaper Ajel (https://ajel.sa/)

The provisions were conditioned by the imposition of an up to 100% high tax rate on the suppliers.

The product is banned for individuals under the age of 18.

The decision appears to be in accordance with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform plan. The plan calls for opening the Saudi kingdom to the world.

Saudi Arabia has recently allowed women to drive and lifted the ban on cinemas and artistic festivals.

However, the proposal does not make reference to the ban of “shisha” in public places imposed a few years ago in Saudi Arabia.


Thursday, May 09, 2019

Concert Monday - Yale University A Capella Group

Yale University’s Mixed Company in Concert! 9:45 PM on Monday, May 13ALIF Villa Residence, 28 Rue Mohammed Diouri, Fes

MIXED COMPANY is an undergraduate a cappella group from Yale University that has thrilled audiences across five continents with its exciting performances and intricate harmony. The group's diverse repertoire unites all genres of music, including R&B, jazz, rock, pop, musical theatre, oldies, traditional Yale songs, and everything in between!

This concert, organised by the ALC-ALIF Music Club, is free and open to the general public.


Monday, May 06, 2019

Determining the Start of Ramadan in Morocco

Morocco is among the Muslim countries that rely on a local sighting of the moon by special committees, in line with the hadith of the prophet : “Fast when you see the crescent and break the fast when you see it; if it is not apparent, then make the month of Sha’ban thirty days.” 

Muslims fast to fulfil the second essential pillar of Islam after the profession of faith (shahadah), prayer (salah), charity (zakaat), and pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).In Morocco, Ramadan will most likely start on Tuesday, May 7th.

Another way of determining the beginning of Ramadan is through astronomical calculations. Ramadan starts when the crescent technically exists, though it may not have been sighted.

The start of Ramadan in Morocco is officially based on the observation method, though astronomers also provide an estimate of the date.

Several countries announced the first day of Ramadan on Monday instead of Tuesday, including Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s moon observations have been criticized.

Adnan Qadi, a Saudi astronomer, argued that 87% of Saudi Arabia’s moon observation between 1961 and 2004 were inaccurate. In 63% of the cases, it was actually impossible to observe the moon on the day Saudi Arabia claimed to have observed it.

The astronomer found that in 29 of 46 cases, while Saudi Arabia had declared sighting the moon, it was in fact scientifically impossible to observe that day. The “sighting” was before the first lunar phase had occurred, or the moon was technically impossible to see.

Mohammed Shawkat Awda, an Emirati astronomer, observed in contrast that Morocco and Oman registered “not even one error” in their astronomical calculations from the year 1984 to 2007.

The different start dates of Ramadan can cause divisions within the Muslim community. Some people believe that regardless of geographical location, Ramadan starts when announced by Saudi Arabia.

While Ramadan does bring people together, it also causes some tension in relation to when exactly it begins.


Saturday, May 04, 2019

Interior Photography Workshop in Fez

Interior Photography Sunday, May 5 at 10:30 AM Meet in front the Batha Fountain

The ALC-ALIF Photography Club Interior Photography workshop.

ALC–ALIF Photography Club
Omar Chennafi
Email: alifphotoclub@gmail.com
GSM: 0659661502


Ramadan in Morocco - the Basics

Ramadan celebrates the month that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. Mohammed was near Mecca when the angel Gabriel revealed the verses of the Qur’an to him. This revelation took place during the 9th month of the Islamic calendar.

This month is deemed the most holy month of the year. During this time, Muslims all over the world join in a period of fasting as an act of intensive worship to Allah. The Qur’an requires that during Ramadan nothing must pass the lips from sunrise to sunset. This includes both food and water. Those who suffer from illness, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and children are all exempt from participating in Ramadan, but are encouraged to make it up later.

Children under age 16 are not required to participate in the fast. As children grow up and learn more about their religion, they often choose for themselves when they want to begin fasting. Some parents will teach their children about the fast by letting them fast for a few hours a day to understand the practice. Children often choose their first day to fast on “The Night of Power”. “The Night of Power” is a special night of prayer and is usually the 27th night of Ramadan in the Moroccan culture.

For the the holy month of Ramadan, Morocco will return to GMT legal time on Sunday, May 05 at 03:00. After the month of Ramadan, the legal time must be advanced 60 minutes Sunday, June 09, 2019 at 02:00.

Based on the lunar calendar, the dates lose 11 days a year (12 in a leap year) and for 2019 Ramadan runs from 5th May - 4th June.

During this time Muslims will fast during daylight hours. The fast is broken after sunset with a meal of sweets and dates. Non-tourist eating places tend to be closed until dusk.

Tourists who are not Muslims are not expected to observe the fast, but should respect local customs - be discreet if consuming food or water during the day and avoid smoking in public places.

As every year, working hours in public administrations and local authorities will change during the holy month of Ramadan. The new schedule will be continuous from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Museums and sights may close early to allow people to return to their homes to break the fast at dusk and non-tourist eating places tend to be closed until dusk. Many shops open later in the mornings - at about 9.30am - and might close earlier than normal.

There may be extra restrictions on the sale of alcohol in restaurants and hotels.