Monday, April 22, 2019

Lixus opens its doors to the general public!


On Saturday, Minister of Culture and Communication, Mohamed Laâraj, presided over the official opening ceremony of the Lixus archaeological site interpretation centre, the oldest metropolis in the Kingdom, and one of the oldest urban centres in the world.

The Lixus archaeological site interpretation centre

Lixus is an Amazigh (Berber) name that means “golden apples” in Arabic.

According to historical sources, the city of the “golden apples” was built in 1180 B.C. by an Amazigh King of the ancient kingdom of Mauretania. The city experienced major development during the reign of Amazigh King Juba II during the 1st century B.C.

Lixus was settled by the Phoenicians in the 8th or 7th century BC and was later controlled directly from Carthage. It was part of a chain of Punic towns along the Atlantic coast of modern Morocco; other major settlements further to the south are Chellah (called Sala Colonia by the Romans) and Mogador. When Carthage's empire fell to Rome during the Punic Wars, Lixus, Chellah, and Mogador became outposts of the province of Mauretania Tingitana.

The Roman amphitheatre

Lixus flourished during the Roman Empire, mainly when the emperor Claudius (AD 41-54) established the province of Africa with full rights for the citizens. Lixus was one of the few Roman cities in Berber Africa that enjoyed an amphitheater. In the third century, Lixus became nearly fully Christian and there are even now the ruins of a Paleochristian church overlooking the archaeological area

The Muslim invasions destroyed the Roman city. Some Berber life was maintained for about a century after the Islamic conquest of North Africa, attested by the presence of a mosque and a house with a patio with walls covered with painted stucco.

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Increase in Morocco's Tourism Numbers


Nearly 1.59 million tourists visited Morocco between January and February 2019, up 7.6% compared to the same period a year earlier (+ 9% for foreign tourists and + 5% for Moroccans residing abroad), according to the Observatoire du Tourisme

The main issuing markets saw an increase in arrivals during this period, in particular France (+ 12%), Italy (+ 11%), the United Kingdom (+ 10%), Spain ( + 9%), Germany (+ 6%), Holland (+ 7%) and Belgium (+ 3%).

The total nights spent in classified tourist accommodation establishments, recorded a rise of 2% at the end of February, with Marrakech and Agadir alone generating 60% of total nights. Other destinations have performed well, in particular, Tangier, Fez, Essaouira and Ouarzazate with respective increases of 7%, 2%, 9% and 2%.

The destinations of Tangier, Essaouira and Fes experienced increases in terms of nights of 12%, 8% and 3% respectively in February 2019, while Casablanca and Rabat recorded decreases of 6% and 7%.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Work continues on the Old Cinema Batha


Back on February 3rd, The View From Fez reported on the closing of the old Cinema Batha (Cinema Boujloud). Although there is still no information about the future of the building, we can report that a massive amount of work is underway.

The central area of the old Boujloud cinema is now a forest of scaffolding and support props, but the only sign of activity was a solitary stonemason at work.


We will update this story when we get more information about the destiny of the old cinema.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Morocco To Put Clocks Back For Ramadan


Morocco will return to GMT on Sunday, May 5th. The legal time will be put back 60 minutes. This transition to GMT will coincide with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

Saad Eddine El Othmani has signed a decree on Tuesday to report the return to standard time on 5 May. According to this text, which TelQuel Arabi was able to consult, the change will take place on the night of May 4 to 5 at 3 o'clock in the morning. This change of time should coincide with the beginning of the month of Ramadan.

The order of the Prime Minister specifies that the Kingdom will return to the time zone GMT +1, on June 9th. The text will be published in the Official Bulletin in the coming days, in order to enter into force.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Ensemble Les Turqueries To Perform in Fez




The Ensemble Les Turqueries is above all a human encounter - five passionate young musicians from different worlds, with a common desire to share and meet old European music and traditional Eastern music. Large cities like Venice and Constantinople are historical witnesses. Music and instruments have also traveled this way. As a result, we find many guidelines common to both aesthetics: the filiation between the oud and the lute in the first place, but also dance, improvisation and ornamentation ...

Leo Fabre-Cartier
Sacha Dessandier-Volkoff, Baroque Cello and Vocals
Véronique Bouilloux, Baroque violin
Simon Waddell, Guitare baroque, Théorbe
Thibaut Rocheron, Percussion
Leo Fabre-Cartier, Oud


Tuesday, April 16, 7 pm, Dar Batha
Free admission
limit of places available

As part of the Cultural Season France-Morocco 2019

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King Mohammed VI Visits Fez

King Mohammed VI visited, on April 15, several projects carried out as part of the rehabilitation and enhancement programs of the old medina of Fes, and proceeded to the launch of the restoration work of the museum "Al Batha" and of construction of a museum of Jewish culture
Crowds gathering in Rcif for the King's visit

The area around Rcif was under lock-down yesterday in preparation for the visit of Morocco's King. Crowds began to assemble three to four hours before the scheduled visit. Bus loads of soldiers, security police and Royal Gendarmes arrived and took up positions along the route.

Sadly, for those who waited so long there was only the briefest of glimpses as the King's motorcade drove by.

Security was tight as the King's motorcade approached

His Majesty went on to visit or launch projects intended to preserve the national heritage and to promote the influence of the thousand year old city of Fez.

The projects aim to ensure sustainable and responsible development of quality tourism with high human and cultural value, to improve the quality of life of residents, to preserve the urban and architectural character and enhance the heritage, tangible and intangible, of the spiritual capital of the Kingdom.

The sovereign visited Hammam Seffarine, restored by the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs for a total budget of 9.6 million dirhams, and Fondouk Staouniyine, whose rehabilitation work required investments of 50 million dirhams. dirhams (financed as part of a partnership between Morocco and the United States through the Millennium Challenge Account (MCC) with a contribution of about 50 pc of the budget) and enabled the conversion of Fondouk into an Innovation Centre and site for the exchange of ideas dedicated to weaving trades.

King Mohammed VI

Mohammed VI also visited the development project of the handicraft and entertainment complex Place Lalla Yeddouna, at a cost of 333 million dirhams financed under the same partnership, to which the MCC contributed 105 million dirhams.

This project involved the rehabilitation of 11 traditional buildings, the construction of 7 new ones, the development of the Oued El Jawahir River and outdoor spaces, and the restoration of the historic Bin Lamdoune Bridge. Of the 18 buildings in this complex, only one is still unfinished and should be ready by the end of the current month. The delay recorded is due to archaeological finds.

The king also visited the Lalla Yeddouna Heritage and Information Centre "Fes: Heritage Centre" (500,000 DH), a space for communication and public awareness of the importance and the heritage value of the Medina of Fez, as well as on the various actions and initiatives undertaken for the safeguarding of this Cité musée.

Subsequently, the king proceeded to the launch of the restoration work of the museum "Al Batha" (15.6 million dirhams) and construction in Fez Jdid of a museum of the Jewish culture (10 million dirhams).

These two projects are part of the complementary program to develop the Medina of Fez 2018-2023 which mobilises investments in the order of 583 million dirhams and whose agreement was signed in front of the King on May 14 2018 at the Royal Palace in Rabat. This program provides for the restoration of 11 historic monuments and emblematic sites, 10 places of worship (mosques and Koranic schools), 37 places of well-being (hammams, fountains and sanitary facilities), the rehabilitation of 39 craft sites and traditional trade, improving the urban landscape and the built environment (15 sites), as well as the rehabilitation of Dar Al Makina.

The motorcade sails past Cinema Amal in Rcif

Also in the context of strengthening the tourist attractiveness of the medina of Fes and improving the living conditions of its inhabitants, a program of development of car parks, rehabilitation of public spaces, and installation of an information device is being produced.

This program, with an overall budget of 400 million dirhams, aims to improve accessibility to the old medina through the development of eight car parks (Bab El Hamra, Bab Jdid, Bin Lamdoune, Oued Ezzhoun , Bab El Kissa, Ain Azelitine, Bab Boujloud, Sidi Bounafaâ) with a capacity of nearly 3,200 places, paving roads (23 km), addressing streets, alleys, squares and plots in the Medina of Fez and installation of information kiosks serving residents, visitors and tourists.

The work on the Bab El Kissa and Bin Lamdoune car parks has already begun, while the development projects for the Bab Boujloud, Sidi Bounafa, Bab Jdid and Ain Azelitine car parks are in the award phase. The bidding documents for the award of the contracts for the parking of Bab El Hamra and Oued Ezzhoun are in the preparation phase.

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Free Photography Lecture in Fez


Photography Lecture
Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 PM at the ALIF RIAD  


In this session we are going to present “Insider-Fototour,” one of the finest organizations dedicated to photography in Germany.  Please bring 10 of your best photographs on USB for a discussion over a cup of tea. 



ALC–ALIF Photography Club 

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