Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Moroccan News Briefs

Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity - latest projects

In the eastern city of Oujda on Tuesday HM King Mohammed VI inaugurated an extension of the girls' home (Dar El Fatat) and laid the foundation stone of a disabled centre.

The sovereign was also briefed about the project of a centre for drug addicts. The three projects are financed by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity for an amount of 18.7 million dirhams (2.4 million dollars).

Dar El Fatat is a socio-educational centre that accommodates 160 middle-school girls from poor families. The extension includes a refectory, a kitchen, a library and multi-purpose rooms. The facility also provides extra courses and cultural and sports activities for the residents.

The disabled centre will span over 5000 square meters and offer social and medical care to the mentally disabled. The centre will also have orthopedics workshops and units for rehabilitation, physiotherapy, vocational training, sports activities and socio-professional integration.

The addicts' centre will provide clinical care and psychiatric counseling to drug addicts. The centre worth 5 million dirhams will be built over 3500 square meters at the Oujda University Hospital Center. The facility will include wards for hospitalization, diagnosis, training and research. It will also conduct awareness-raising campaigns and training to combat teenage drug addiction.

Illegal Fast Breaking

An odd story has been brought to light by a security source, who reports that a group of six young Moroccans will be brought to justice for "attempt of incitement to break the fast in public" during Ramadan.

The story, first published by Ennahar Online, said the decision to crack down was taken after the people, including a journalist, tried to organize a Sunday afternoon rally in Mohammedia (80 km south of Rabat) to "break publicly" fasting to protest against a "law punishing non-observance of fasting during Ramadan in Morocco.

The Maghreb Arabe Presse said on Monday that local authorities "had managed to defeat an attempted rally that was to be followed by a public rupture of fasting for the repeal of a penal code".

Moroccan newspapers have confirmed in their Tuesday editions this failed attempt to rally the "non-fasters" in Mohammedia.

This is the first time in Morocco that a group of "non-fasters" appears in public to claim the right not to practice Ramadan, observers note.

The Mohammedia protesters want the abolishment of a Moroccan law that punishes every Muslim openly breaking the fast of Ramadan, before the iftar meal which marks the end of the day.

This attempt to break fast in public has been initiated by the "Movement for alternative defense of individual liberties ", an association hitherto unknown to authorities.

The Council of Ulema (theologians) of Mohammedia denounced the action describing its authors as "agitators". It is an "abhorrent act that defies the teachings of God and of His prophet with everything it implies as serious sanction," said a statement from the theologians.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslim believers are called to abstain from drinking, eating, smoking and sexual intercourse from sunrise to sunset.

Over 2.2 mln expats visited Morocco in the summer of 2009

The number of Moroccan expatiates visiting Morocco in the summer of 2009 reached 2.28 million visitors, that is an increase of 7% compared to a year earlier, the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity said on Tuesday.

The operation of greeting Moroccans living abroad dubbed "Marhaba 2009" took place in "very satisfying" conditions, the Foundation's Communication Director told the TV channel "2M".

For his part, Regional Director of the Ports' National Agency in Tangier, Ahmed Athmani, said 750,000 expatriates passed through the Mediterranean city's port, that is a 2% increase compared to 2008.

Heavy rains cause deadly accident near Rabat

On Tuesday the heavy rainfall which has been falling in different regions in Morocco, caused a deadly accident in the town of Salé, Rabat's twin city.

Four people died and a fifth was injured when a truck collided with a car whose driver failed to control his vehicle because of the combined effect of heavy rains and speeding.

Unusually thick rains poured in a short time in the morning, blocking roads and causing train stops and road accidents in different parts of Salé and the capital Rabat.

One killed and six injured in Casablanca fire.

A violent conflagration that occurred in a welding shop in Casablanca on Saturday left one dead and six injured, three seriously.

According to the Wilaya of Casablanca the preliminary results of the investigation indicate that that incident happened while a sheet-metal worker was carrying out welding on a boiler.

The shop was seriously damaged, the Wilaya said in a statement, adding that the injured were taken to a local hospital to receive treatment, and that an investigation into the incident was launched.


Piggy said...

Ramadan -Time for some Moroccans to understand that in this world 'freedom' is not just a word meaning 'get out of jail'
All humans MUST have the freedom in their own countries to live as they choose. So if some Muslims in Morocco choose not to fast I do not see a problem with that. It is their choice.
The UK has separated State from Religion. This is the way most countries are governed.

Anonymous said...

Atheist Moroccan speaking
Sure, people have the right to practice whatever religion they want and consequently have the right to not fasting. And i can assure you that there are indeed many young morrocan of my generation who share the same opinions as i do concerning this situation. However, you should realize that Islam is something that has been "engineered" into the morrocan dna to a point where islam has become more of a tradition. Therefore, public breaking of fasting would be considered offensive to many morrocans no matter how religious they are. Also, I don't recall reading about someone being arrested for breaking fasting or alcohol drinking in Ramadan before.
Yes we need to separate state from religion but it's not something you can realize in one day.
There are other efficient and "smarter" alternatives to what some stupid youngsters consider fighting for freedom.