Friday, June 24, 2016

The 13th Timitar Festival - July 13 - 16

A reminder that from 13 to 16 July the 13th the city of Agadir will host the 13th Timitar Festival with a rich programme of performances by Moroccan and international artists

If past festivals are any guide, it is expected that there will be at least forty local and international artists performing for an audience of up to 500,000 in attendance.

Daoudia at 2015 festival
Not only is the festival one of the biggest in the country, it has established itself as one of the premiere African music festivals.

Yet, despite its success, it has never strayed from its initial goal of promoting the Amazigh (Berber) culture of the Souss Massa Drâa. The district council of Agadir under Massa Draâ initiated the Timitar Festival to act as a meeting between Amazigh artists and world musicians.

Last year saw appearances by Moroccan artists Stati, Hindi Zahra, Aït Laati, Daoudia and Fatima Tihihit, as well as more contemporary alternative music from the group N3rdistan.

International acts included Diana Haddad, Rabih Abou Khalil, Vieux Farka Touré, Bashar Khalife and the singing minister of culture of Cape Verde, Mario Lucio.

The five-note scale of the Souss music pulls the audience in with riffs that range from trance-inducing beauty to pure funk. It is a delight, even for those who can not understand the Tashelhit language or Moroccan Darija.

The festival's permanent theme is “signs and cultures” - and for this edition the audience can expect a healthy dose of both.


Morocco's Telco Agency Forces Meditel to Stop Unlimited Calls Offer

Following on from the public outrage over the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) attempting to close down free VoIP calls on Skype, WhatsApp and Viber, the agency has set itself on another collision course with the public. The ANRT has ordered the Morocco's second biggest telecom provider to stop offering unlimited calls on its networks. This has many asking who is calling the shots within the ANRT

A source within Meditel says the unlimited calls will stop in early June.

This month Meditel has suspended its offer to a third of its customers during this month and will do the same for the rest of its subscribers during the next two months.

What astounds the public and telco experts is that the directive of the ANRT has been implemented by Meditel to the detriment of thousands of customers who had signed contracts in good faith to receive unlimited calls to all the telco's networks.

While no explanation was provided by Meditel on the reasons for its compliance to the request of the ANRT, experts believe that pressure was exerted in this direction by the operators competitors who sit on the board of the regulatory agency. If this is true then it is time to examine who sits on the ANRT board and resolve any conflicts of interest. It is interesting that another competitor, Maroc Telecom is now offering unlimited calls to fixed line phones through its MTBox Fibre network.

The ANRT's attempt to stop VoIP calls has failed to stop free Internet calls as hundreds of thousands of Moroccans, here and overseas, found technological ways around the blockage.

Maroc Telecom's optical fibre or "Fibre To The Home" has been rolled out and is now available in all major cities of Morocco.

After a successful experimental phase in pilot districts in Casablanca and Rabat, Morocco Telecom now provides service in all major cities of the Kingdom. Two speeds are available: 50 and 100 Mbps. Customers have the choice between an optical fibre access alone or one integrated with MTBox. MTBox Fibre allows unlimited calls to national fixed lines as well as 5 or 10 hours of free calls to national mobiles.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

International Festival of Amazigh Culture Programme

International FESTIVAL OF Amazigh CULTURE
12th Edition
Fez, From 15th to 17th July 2016   

(Click image to enlarge)
                         The Programme  of the  Forum and Festival  

Friday, July 15th
17: 00: Registration
17: 30 : Opening of the Forum and Festival
10: 00: Tribute to the honorable researchers Dr. Bahija Simou (Director of the Royal Archives, and  Professor Jilali Saib (Mohamed V University at Rabat)
18: 30: Keynote Speech: “Multiculturalism, Multilingualism and Democracy in Morocco”
Abdallah Saaf (Ex-Minister of National Education)
18: 50: Reception and Expositions Tour
Musical evening                                                                         
    21 :30 – 23:30  Place Bab Makina
Saturday, July 16th

9:00 – 12:00
Room 2
Parallel Session: WRITING WORKSHOP
Led by Jean-Marie Simon (Stories Igniter and writer, France)

9: 00 - 9: 30
Room 1

Keynote Speech: “The Art of Co-existence: Motivation and Obstacles”
              Ahmed Assid (President of the Amazigh Observatory for Human Rights and Liberties, Rabat)
9:30 – 10:50
First session: Amazigh, Mediterranean Civilization and Living Together
Moderator: Fatima Sadiqi
-Zaki Abu Al-Halawa (Journalist Alqods, Palestine)
-Alberto Tonini (University of Florence)
-Dadoua Hadriya-Nebia (teacher-researcher, CRASC, Oran, Algeria)
-Moha Ennaji (International Institute of Languages and Cultures, Fez)
10: 50 - 11: 20 Debate
11:20 – 11:50
Keynote Speech: Diversity and Conflict in the Mediterranean Region
                  Barbara & Saad Eddin Ibrahim (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
Moderator: Moha Ennaji
11:50 - 12:05 coffee break

Room 1
12:05 – 13:05
 Second session: Multiculturalism, Multilingualism and Education
Moderator: El Houssain Elmoujahid
-Meryam Demnati (Amazigh Observatory for Human Rights and Freedoms, Rabat)
-Keith Martin (Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Morocco in the United States)
-Issa Aït Belize (Moroccan-Belgian Writer, Brussels)
13:05 - 13: 35 Debate
13:35 - 14:00 Tribute to three emblematic media figures in the Fès-Meknès Region:
Mohamed Bouhlal, Kaddour Fettoumi and Mustapha Zahiri
15:30 - 16:50
Room 1
Third session: Literature, Migration and Artistic Creation
Moderator: Ahmed Assid
-Alfonso de Toro (University of Leipzig, Germany)
-Juliane Tauchnitz (University of Leipzig, Germany)
-Mohamed Nedali (Moroccan Writer)
-Enza Palamara (Professor at the University of Paris, France)
16:50 – 17:20 Debate
17:20 – 17:35 Coffee break
17:35 – 19:35

Room 2
Parallel Session: Painting Workshop
Led by Khadija Madani Alaoui (University of Fez)

Room 1
Fourth Session: Amazigh, Islam, and Living Together
Moderator: Alfonso de Toro
-Anna Maria Di Tolla (Oriental University in Naples, Italy)
-Abdelkader Ben Hammadi (University of Oran II, Algeria)
-Maati kabbal (Arab World Institute, Paris)
18:35 - 19: 05 Debate
19: 05 - 20: 15 Film projection: Ornaments of  The Art and The Sacred
Led by: Jean-Claude Cintas (France)

Musical evening
21 :30 – 23:30 : Place Bab Makina
-NAJAT RAJOUI  (Morocco)
- BADR SULTAN (Morocco)
Sunday, July 17th
9:00 - 11:00
Room 2
Parallel Session: TALES WORKSHOP
Led by Khadija Hassala (Professor at the University of Fez)

Room 1
9:00- 10:00
Fifth session: Fight against Violence and Conflict Resolution
Moderator: Keith Martin
-Mohamed Taifi (University of Virginia, USA)
-Giovanna Gianturco (Università La Sapienza di Roma, Italy)
-Fatima Sadiqi (International Institute for Languages and Cultures, Fez)
10: 00 - 10:30 Debate
10: 30 - 11:00
Keynote Speech: The Impact of the Syrian Revolution on the Mediterranean Region
Sherifa Zuhur (University of California at Berkley, USA)
Moderator: Saad Eddin Ibrahim
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 12:35
Sixth Session: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in the Maghreb
                                                               Moderator: Moha Souag
-Bououd Ahmed (University Hassan, Casablanca)
-Belkacem Boumedini (University of Mustapha STAMBOULI. Mascara, Algeria)
-Khadija Arfaoui (Academic, Tunisia)
-Jean-Marie Simon (stories Igniter and writer, France)

12:35 - 13: 05 Debate
13:05 – 13:35 Reading Poetry: Poets: Saida Khiari, Moha Ziadi, Saida El Kabir, Bassou Oujebbour
                                                  Moderator: Mohamed Moubtassime
13:35 Recommendations and Closing

17:00 - 20: 00 Guided Tour of the Medina (optional)
Musical evening
21:30 – 23:30: Place Bab Makina
 -SALH ELBACHA (Morocco)

Organizers:  Fès-Saiss Association, South North Center, and  Spirit of Fès Foundation

Morocco's Clean Beach Campaign

Morocco is making progress in the task of cleaning up its swimming beaches.  During the 2015-2016 season, the rate of compliance with the bathing water quality standards for Moroccan beaches reached 97%
Ba-kacem Beach

91% of beaches in the Mediterranean area, comprising 45 beaches with 99 monitoring stations complied with the national standards. In the North Atlantic region (81 beaches and 223 monitoring stations) reached 98% compliance. The South Atlantic area (26 beaches and 64 monitoring stations) topped the list with 100% compliance.

Chemical analyses, mycological and typological, showed that the waste on beaches consisted mainly of glass, organic materials, metals, paper, plastic, wood and cigarette butts.

Blue Flag - Saidia Beach 

22 beaches spread across Morocco this year received the Blue Flag award for the summer season 2016, awarded by the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment chaired by Lalla Hasna and the International Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), this distinction is granted according to several criteria monitored throughout the season by a national committee. Inspections assessed the water quality, site management, the management of waste, awareness and environmental education.

Hociema - another Blue Flag

Since the introduction in 2002 of the Blue Flag label the initiative has seen a vast improvement in beach management. In 2005 only five beaches qualified for the Blue Flag. Thanks to the "Clean Beaches" movement started in 1999, there are 87 Moroccan beaches entered for the 2016 summer season.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Morocco's Ramadan Heatwave Continues

Morocco's National Directorate of Meteorology is warning of a heat wave that will be experienced from Tuesday through to next Saturday

Several regions of Morocco will reach temperatures up to 43 ° C.

A special bulletin from the National Directorate of Meteorology says that the heat wave will strike the interior plains, Larache, Kenitra, Rabat, Safi, the Souss and the southern provinces.

In the interior regions, the Southeast slopes and the West Plains, maximum temperatures will range from 35 to 38 ° C. This significant rise in temperatures, which began Monday, June 20, is expected the peak on Wednesday.

In Fez:  Tuesday 39, Wednesday 40, Thursday 40. Friday 39, Saturday 36, Sunday 35.  Night temperatures will go down to 19 or 20 degrees.