Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Three Days of Sufi Events Near Fes

The 28th, 29th and 30th of July are the dates for the first Hamadcha Festival in Sidi Ali ben Hamdouch. The festival is being directed by Abdedrrahim Amrani

According to the director there will also be performances by groups from around the country. For more information, please contact Abderrahim

Abderrahim Amrani

The View From Fez is proud to support this event as a sponsor


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Extraordinary Security at Mohammed V Airport Upsets Travellers

Both local travellers and tourists are united in condemning the security measure that has caused visitors arriving to welcome friends, family or tourists, being forced to wait outside the terminal building in the extreme summer heat

The situation has been described by The Economist as "a mess" and describes the situation as "harsh". Tourist operators are more blunt, saying that treating people like sheep is embarrassing and does not give arriving visitors a feeling of being welcomed by the usual Moroccan hospitality. Similar conditions are replicated at other airports such as Fez.

The reason for this herding outside of the public is not a response to the summer influx, but rather a rather ham-fisted security measure. As The Economist points out... "It remains an open question as to its effectiveness: the crowds (and soliciting clients by taxi drivers) is now avoided inside but eventually ends up at ... outside! Which slows the flow of travellers and gives rise to messy scenes".

On the other hand the increased security inside the terminal appears to be working well.

Meanwhile, the number of passengers at Mohammed V airport in Casablanca has grown by 4.47% in May compared to the same period last year. The figures were released by ONDA, the national airport office.

The figures show that 707,790 travellers used the airport in May compared to 677,514 the same period a year earlier.

Passengers on board flights to or from Europe decreased by 1.56%, whereas travellers to or from Latin America and Asia registered a considerable rebound of 47.56% and 16.35% respectively. The number of domestic passengers rose by 9.56%.

In terms of the number of travellers by country, France tops the list with 150.310 passengers, followed by Italy (51, 327), Spain (36,502) and Turkey (26,497).


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fes Festival of World Sacred Music 2017

The dates have been announced for the 23rd edition of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. It will take place between May 12th and 20th

Now that the dates are known it is important to book accomodation as soon as possible as it can be in short supply.

In 2017 The View From Fez will once again be an official Media Partner and bring you the most extensive previews and reviews. You can have a look back at the 2016 Festival HERE


Talent Show in Fez

The American Language Center in Fez is holding a special event on Sunday, July 24th, to collect books for children in two centres in Fez.  They need books in English, French and Arabic

You can help by coming along to the ALC Fes Talent show - price of admission is a book!

The Amazing Talent Show and Book Drive will take place at 6 PM in the garden of the ALIF Villa Residence, 28 Rue Mohammed Diouri, across from the ALC.

Your book contribution will assist  in building libraries for the Girls' Centre in Ziat and the Boys' Centre in Batha.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Will Barack Obama Visit Fez?

The Moroccan rumour mill is working overtime with whispers that the American President may soon visit Morocco. This follows on from Michelle Obama's recent trip to Marrakech
 King Mohammed VI, Nov. 22, 2013, in the Oval Office of the White House

The rumours about Barack Obama visiting Morocco started in Rabat when it was suggested that several "American tourists" staying at the Sofitel were not quite like most visitors.

According to the newspaper, Akhir Saâ, these "tourists" are in fact members of a special US security unit that prepare the ground work for visits by top members of the US administration.

It is understood that the officers conducted inspection tours in Rabat and Fes.

This has led to speculation that the President will make a flying visit. One thing is for certain, if Barack Obama visits Fez he will certainly get a very warm welcome. The View From Fez will certainly have some fresh mint ready to make the President a glass of tea!

Michelle Obama's trip resulted in substantial funding of education for young girls.

Michelle Obama and Princess Lalla Salma in Marrakech

The “Let Girls Learn” initiative, launched in March 2015 by President Barack Obama and the first lady, is to be extended to Morocco, the White House announced Tuesday. The Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government foreign aid agency working in partnership with the Moroccan government, is investing nearly $100 million to transform secondary education in the country. USAID is also giving $400,000 to create five new girls’ dormitories to improve educational opportunities for girls from rural areas.

“The investment in an education now will reap benefits in years to come and that is what my family knew instinctively,” the first lady said. “My parents didn’t go to university. We didn’t have a lot of money. But one of the things … was that my parents understood the value of an education. And they fought for me, they sacrificed, they saved.”


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Morocco Bans Importing Italian Waste After Uproar

The public uproar over the arrival in Morocco of 2,500 tons of waste has forced the Moroccan government to finally end the controversy surrounding waste - a stunning win for Morocco's environment movement

Mustapha El Khalfi - "Morocco will ban waste imports"

Following a cabinet meeting the Communications Minister Mustapha Khalfi announced that Morocco had decided to ban the import of waste from Italy.

Silvia Velo, Italy's Under the Secretary for the Environment, had claimed that the 2,500 tons of waste shipped June 17 to Morocco was not dangerous. She said in essence that it was the debris of plastic, cardboard and wood in particular. However, the newspaper Le Monde and the Italian Health Institute both confirm the high toxicity of waste imported from Italy. Earlier, Moroccan officials  had claimed that the Italian waste is safe.

 The Italian Parliament has just received a report from the Institute of Hygiene confirming the danger of such waste on humans and on the environment. The same report indicates that the burning or burial of such wastes cause chronic diseases especially in infants and children. The report points out that such waste can cause cancer and burial causes the poisoning of groundwater.

The Moroccan authorities decided on a second analysis of waste. If the analysis shows non-compliance of with current standards, incineration permits will not be issued by the Ministry, and "the waste will be returned to the country of origin at the expense of cement factories who intended to burn the waste," said environment Minister Hakima El Haite.

There have been loud calls for the resignation of the Environment Minister. On a possible resignation or dismissal of the Minister of the Environment Hakima Elhaité El Khalfi simply replied: "This issue was not raised at the Council of the Government."


At Least 4 Moroccans Died in Attack in Nice


Moroccan consular sources are reporting that at least four Moroccans were killed in the Thursday evening attack in Nice

This provisional assessment is yet to be confirmed by the French authorities. However, the indications are that the Moroccan victims included a 13-year-old girl, and two women, one aged 43, the other 49 and a man aged 50. All of the victims were resident in France

Another Moroccan child is said to have been seriously wounded in the attack.

An information service has been put in place at the Consulate General of Morocco in Marseille to gather information on possible victims in Nice, This monitoring mechanism is also in constant contact with the Embassy of Morocco in France.

Meanwhile, many Moroccans are preferring to stay in Morocco with large numbers crowding the beaches as the hot weather and post-Ramadan holidays are enjoyed across the Kingdom.

Moroccan's are choosing the safety of their own beaches for their holidays


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Hammams of Fez - Free Lecture

ALIF Lecture Series Presents The Hammams of Fez Their History and Architecture A lecture by Kamal Raftani 

Morocco is one of the countries with the greatest number of traditional living hammams. Despite this fact, this key civic building type remains poorly studied by researchers and professionals.

This lecture presents the Moroccan hammam and sheds some light on the formation and evolution of this traditional urban space. It focuses on the hammams of the world heritage city of Fez and presents an analysis of the architecture of this building type and its relationship with its urban environment. It investigates the historic context of the hammam, its origin, and the different influences that have contributed in shaping its architectural identity. It also assesses its current state and discusses its elements of sustainability.

Wednesday, July 13th at 6:15 PM ALIF Annex - Open to the public