Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Moroccan News Briefs #115

A roundup of the latest news from Morocco

IMF's Lagarde Arrives in Morocco

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde will pay a working visit to Morocco starting today and staying until the 9th.

During her visit Lagarde which will hold talks with senior Moroccan individuals including head of government Abdelilah Benkirane, Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Boussaid, and Governor of Bank Al Maghrib (central bank) Abdellatif Jouahri, as well as other Moroccan officials.

The IMF head will also give an important speech before the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) and meet with representatives of civil society, students, businessmen and women leaders.

Call for Fes Festival projects

As part of the 20th edition of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, the Spirit of Fes Foundation calls for projects!

For its twentieth anniversary, the Festival of Sacred world music is opening the gates of the Garden Jnan Sbil. From June 14 to 21, from 18h to 20h, the festival will offer a space for free expression in the hours between the daily concerts in the Festival City. It is a chance for artists, actors and others to enchant the festival audience and to present a cultural or artistic activity, a concert, a workshop or a performance.

A beautiful venue for artistic expression 

Three stages will be available as well as many areas in the heart of the garden. To take part, simply send your application to before Sunday, May 11, and name your project (maximum one page): date, equipment, duration, actors, content, etc ...

Moroccan Woman nominated for "humanitarian of the year"

Morocco World News reports that Fatima Khouchoua, a Moroccan civil society activist, was nominated for “the humanitarian of the year” award in Africa by British NGO “Women4Africa".

Fatima Khouchoua is the founder of “Giving Chances,” an NGO that aims at providing “children in Moroccan schools with educational resources that are not usually provided by the Government.”

Fatima Khouchoua

Three other African activists were also nominated in the same category: Mary Ajoke Akangbe and Tokunboh Ifaturoti from Nigeria, in addition to Anita Koroma from Sierra Leone.

“Women4Africa,” is an NGO from the UK that honors and empowers African women “by supporting and celebrating their role in their communities.” The Moroccan grassroots leader initiated projects in remote areas in the Atlas mountains to inspire children and to increase school enrollment.

“Giving Chances” is a group of people who share the same passion about education and want to do something about it,” said Fatima Khouchoua in a promotional video.

The main objectives of “Giving Chances,” is to motivate children and inspire their sense of creativity through transforming classrooms into an appealing environment of learning and “to give them a chance to learn new skills and to be creative while having fun”.

“Throughout the year we start preparing resources, which we use as visual aid in the classrooms. We put them in the wall and they play a vital role in the learning process. It is a complementary style to the auditory style that is dominant in Moroccan schools,” Khouchoua said.

Sex Tourists on vice charges in Morocco

It is reported that Moroccan police have arrested 10 men from Kuwait and other Gulf countries after catching them with local girls at their apartments in violation of laws banning prostitution.

Newspapers in Morocco said police seized seven Kuwaiti men and five Moroccan prostitutes at the same flat in the Northwestern town of Marrakesh.

In another raid, the cops arrested one Saudi and two UAE men after catching them with two Moroccan prostitutes at their rented apartment in the same town.

The report said police later released the 10 men on bail after charging them of indulging in vice.

Sex tourism is in violation of existing international agreements which Morocco has ratified, namely the 1949 Convention against the sexual exploitation of women, CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women) and the Convention on Child Rights.

Heroin dealer finally caught in Tangier

Security forces in Tangier have successfully arrested one of the most notorious drug suppliers of Heroin and Cocaine. The arrested individual, alias Muhammed Nadori, was the subject of seven search warrants at the national level for his continuous involvement in hard drugs trafficking in the northern parts of the Kingdom.

According to Ariffino news outlet, the operation was executed with a high level of professionalism, with the direct supervision of the head of security in the region.

After a police raid, the drug supplier, who has been in hiding for four months, has been caught with the possession of 5 Kg of concentrated Heroin, which is expected to produce 15 Kg for distribution.

Immediately after the raid, Muhammed Nadori was delivered to judicial police for further investigation, in order to find out more about the logistics that helped the individual import and distribute these copious amounts of drugs.

At the same time it is reported that Casablanca police have arrested a 15-year-old drug dealer in the city’s notorious Sbata neighborhood on Saturday.

The suspect is by far the youngest drug dealer to be apprehended in Morocco. The young suspect was caught red-handed by the local police as he was about to sell two grams of cocaine to a client.

The 15-year-old drug dealer subsequently denounced his supplier during police interrogations. The supplier was identified as a 55-year-old woman nicknamed “Tbiba” (the doctor), who already had a criminal record.

The Casablanca police are now increasing efforts to apprehend “Tbiba,” who clearly did not hesitate to get a minor involved in her criminal network.

The arrest of the 15-year-old called forth the indignation of public opinion and cast light on one of the darkest corners of Moroccan society.

Famous Fez streetfood venue expands

Thami's Restaurant at Bab Boujloud is a favourite with locals and tourists. Starting several years ago with only a single table, Thami has since capitalised on his great location and reputation for good cheap food by increasing the number of tables.

Now he is set for a major expansion, with work underway at the side of the restaurant where a new room and toilet facility will be opening soon. The space he has acquired is part of the old cinema at Bab Boujloud.

Nador Film Festival opens this week

The "International Festival of Cinema and Common Memory" opened on Monday (May 5th) in Nador.

Eleven films will compete for the grand prize at the 6-day Moroccan event.

The programme includes a documentary film competition and homages to Moroccan actress Naima Lamcharki, Mauritian screenwriter Khal Torabully, Egyptian actor Nour El-Sherif and Algerian-French director Tony Gatlif.

2013 MEMA Best Female Singer Prize goes to a Moroccan

The Middle East Music Awards were founded on July 19, 2008, in Cairo and this year the Moroccan superstar Samira Said was named as the Middle East’s Best Female Singer in 2013 for her hit song “Mazal,” sung in Darija (Moroccan Arabic).

When it was released last October Mazal” was picked up by all Moroccan and Arab radio stations and music TV channels, instantly becoming a hit with of millions of people.

Only two months after it had been uploaded to YouTube, the video clip of “Mazal” had almost reached 900,000 views. Six months later with the release of the official video, the song has already reached 2,350,000 views.

The MEMA award for best male singer was secured by famous Egyptian singer Tamer Hosny. Egyptian singer Shereen Abdel Wahab’s song “Meen Ekhtar” was awarded the MEMA Best Song.

The MEMA Music Awards winners are expected to receive their awards during a sumptuous ceremony in the presence of many celebrities from Egypt and the Arab world at large.

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