Saturday, October 26, 2013

Moroccan News Briefs #107

The odd story of phone theft in Switzerland and love in Morocco

A romantic Swiss student who had his smartphone stolen has promised the young woman who ended up with the device that she can keep it, if she agrees to meet up with him.

She can keep the phone as long as he gets a date
Niklaus Knecht, 24, had his phone stolen on a Zurich-bound trail in April. He had dozed off, waking up to find that someone had sliced open his jacket pocket.

Weeks later, photos of a woman he thinks is innocent began appearing in his Dropbox after she left the upload function active.

Niklaus Knecht, 24, realised his phone had ended up in the hands of a pretty girl living in Morocco after she started using it as a camera, unaware that the phone's picture upload function was still switched on.

He bought a new one and forgot about his old handset, expecting to never see it again until suddenly pictures of the young girl and snaps taken by her started turning up in his dropbox. Some of the pictures are relatively mundane, such as snaps from her student study plan, but others show what could be family members in traditional Moroccan dress.

Mr Knecht and his friend Alex Moshovelis have now set up a Facebook site in the hope that the girl will get in touch and they have uploaded some of her snaps. He said: 'I can see that some 13,000 people in Morocco have looked at the Facebook page so I'm fairly confident that somebody will be able to identify her or one of the people from the hundreds of snaps she's uploaded on the phone.

'It would be great to meet her and of course she's welcome to keep the phone. I am just keen to find out a little bit more about how she got the phone and I think it would be an interesting project as part of my schoolwork.' He says he is happy to travel to Morocco.

Morocco Praised for Work Against Money Laundering

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) just removed Morocco from its blacklist, hailing the kingdom's "significant progress" in the fight against money laundering and the funding of terrorism. The inter-governmental body announced the decision at its plenary meeting, which wrapped up in Paris on October 18th.

Morocco established a legislative and regulatory framework to remedy the strategic failures identified in 2010, the FATF said. As part of legislative reforms, Morocco introduced modifications to the law on money laundering in April 2013.

According to former interior minister Mohand Lanser, who worked on the judicial improvements, the aim was to fill in the gaps in Moroccan legislation. The amendments dealt with the funding of terrorism, which is itself considered an act of terrorism, even when committed outside Morocco's borders and regardless of whether the money is actually spent.

The lifting of the blacklist designation shows that that Morocco complied with international standards on the fight against money laundering and the funding of terrorism, said Hassane Alaoui Abdallaoui, who chairs Morocco's Financial Information Handling Unit (UTRF).

The government has promised to continue its work on the matter.

In a statement by the prime minister on October 19th, the government reaffirmed its "determination to continue with its work to counter money laundering and the funding of terrorism as part of its international and regional co-operation and to ensure that its activities and national arrangements continue to comply with international standards on the issue".

Political analyst, Jamal Farhani, said that Morocco needed to make an even greater effort to curb money laundering, which is linked to various forms of smuggling, starting with terrorism.

Domain names soon to be available in Arabic?

If it is true it will be "the biggest change on the Internet since its inception," according to Akram Atallah, the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), an independent agency regulate the global Internet domain names. In the weeks and months to come, there will be new domain names online from all corners of the planet," he continued in a statement from the regulator based in California.

Indeed, the principle of addresses ending in the Arabic words for "network" or "canvas", Chinese for "game" and Cyrillic for "site" and "online" was approved, and other should follow soon, said ICANN has stated that "One of the objectives is to promote choice and diversity." At present, only 22 terms called "generic top-level domains" exist mainly derived from English as "com" "gov" or "net."

The American Language Center in Fez

The Morocco World News reports that the American language Center in Fez is becoming one of the most well-known educational sites in the city.

It is not just because of its diverse array of language learning services, which it provides to both Moroccan and foreign students, but also for the different cultural and social activities it organizes.

The number of the Fez population who are benefiting from the English language courses given by the American Language Center is growing each year. This year, the number of students taking English courses reached 3000 students. The students prefer studying English in the American Language center despite the existence of different other language centers in the same city for different reasons. One reason, as Reda Aldrissi, a university student in the English department states, is the organized way in which courses can be taken. The ALC provides a regular study system that takes into consideration crucial elements like the student’s previous English level and the language skills that certain students should develop in relation to his/her own English level. Also, it employs the latest techniques and books in relation to teaching and developing the English language. For Reda being a student in the American Language Center is a wonderful experience that is based on a combination of knowledge and fun.

The American Language center in Fez in known for the wonderful staff it has. The teachers in the center are a mixture between Moroccan professors who master the English language, and teachers from other different nationalities mainly British and American ones.

See the full article here: Morocco World News

Tango in Marrakech

Jorge Rodriguez, choreographer, dancer and teacher of Argentine Tango in Paris and Bordeaux and Antoinette Ben Kerroum invite you to dance * One thousand & One Nights of Tango * in Marrakech. Bookings are now open for all inspired to tango. Check out the Tango Morocco website

Indian movie to open Marrakech International Film Festival

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's much talked about film Ram-Leela will open the 13th edition of Marrakech International Film Festival on November 29.

Starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, Ram-Leela is the first Indian film to open any international festival.

The 13th edition of Marrakech International Film Festival will celebrate Indian cinema with the premiere screening of Bhansali's latest. The screening will be attended by the director as well as Deepika.

Actors Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were both honoured at the festival in 2012, which saw numerous Hindi film figures in attendance including Sharmila Tagore, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh Kapoor, Abhay Deol, Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt.

Watch Priyanka Chopra's sizzling 'Ram Chahe Leela' from the film.

The film is a contemporary version of Romeo-Juliet, captured through Bhansali's lens. It is scheduled to release on November 15.

British Council Photo Competition - only a few days left

Whether you are a student, professional or amateur photographer, share with us your best photography of people at work with a chance to win an iPad. The British Council are looking for a wide range of photos portraying people while working or learning skills. The photos should depict either a person or a group of people engaging in work in Morocco.

The aim of this competition is to showcase men and women in the extraordinary diversity of jobs in Morocco.


All the selected photographs: will be published on British Council website, facebook and Instagram. An exhibition will also be organised on 27 and 28 November in Casablanca during The International Seminar Brining the Learning Home.

Contest dates - the contest ends on 31 October 2013 at 17.00  Winners will be notified by email or phone and their names will be published on 15 November 2013. The selected photographs will be published on British Council website and Facebook as from 15 November 2013.

More info: British Council

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