Monday, September 26, 2016

Moga Festival in Essaouira - Oct 14,15, 16

After the Electronic Dunes festival success amidst the Star Wars sets at the heart of the Tunisian Sahara, the natural scenery of the Game of Thrones series in Essaouira will provide the backdrop for the first edition of MOGA,  a festival of music and electronic cultures. The venture is a new initiative from Panda Events and the Runtomorrow Moroccan collective

For three days, festival-goers will be treated to what the organisers say is "an experience out of time, an unprecedented escape in Essaouira, the old "Mogador", punctuated by intense moments of music, discussions and parties".

 Between the Medina, the beach and guest houses and in the heart of the argan forests will be musical brunches, workshops, exhibitions and digital video installations.

The nearby town of Ida Ougourd, festival-goers can take a walk in this typical riad architecture of the region of Essaouira and enjoy the music. This is the main stage  and is open from 4:00 am to 19h.

Contemporary Music and Digital Arts

Programming: October 14
Bella Sarris [Techno House / Desolat / Australia]
Chaim [Deep House / BPitch Control / Israel]
dOP live [Live Band Techno / Circus Company / France]
ETSU [Techno / Morocco]
SIS [Groovy house & Wild Techno / Cocolino / Germany]
Kali.G [Deep Techno & Ethnic / Wind Horse - Are Serious? / Morocco]

Programming: October 15
Live Soul [House / Innervisions / Germany]
MANDY [Techno House / Get Physical / Germany]
Culoe De Song [House / Innervisions / South Africa]
Shaun Reeves [Techno House / Visionquest / USA]
Driss Skali [Deep House / Casbour, Death by Analog / Morocco]>
Madjy & Massimo [Morocco]

Programming: October 16
Dj Tennis [Deep Techno / Life & Death / Italy]
Magda [Minimal Techno / Items & Things / USA]
Mind Against [Techno / Life & Death / Italy]
Koddi [Deep Techno / Runtomorrow, PWFM / Morocco]
Renaat [Techno & more / R & S / Belgium]
Secret 47 [Deep Techno / Y Serious? / Morocco] Pool party at Sofitel Essaouira Mogador 15 and October 16 Festival-goers will delight in the lush vegetation overlooking the ocean. A superb and huge pool areas, ideal for a "day party" memorable, from 12:00 to 20:00. Programming: October 15 Lee Burridge [Techno House / All Day I Dream / United Kingdom] Gorje Hewek & Izhevski [Techno / All Day I Dream / Russia] Yokoo [Deep House / All Day I Dream / France] Sweet Salty [Deep House / Coco Beach, French Kitchen / France]

MOGA Website and ticketing


El Jadidia to Host 9th Salon du Cheval

Under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the 9th Salon du Cheval (Horse Show) will be held at Exhibition Park Mohammed VI in El Jadida, from the 11th to the 16th of October 2016

Since its creation in 2008, the Horse Show Association aims to promote the horse industry, and highlight the heritage and ancient equestrian traditions of the Kingdom. It contributes to economic and social development of rural areas and brings together the efforts of various operators and professionals in the equine industry in Morocco

A range of different activities highlighting all aspects of the horse: sports, culture, crafts, fun, economical ... and the equine industry: saddlery, farriery, armoury, riding and driving. For the edition 2016, the Organising Committee held a press conference yesterday to present this year's programme.

Under the theme "Traditional equestrian arts", the 9th edition showcases Morocco's equestrian arts such as the famous Tbourida (Fantasia). Troops of the various regions of the Kingdom will compete for the Grand Prix of Tbourida from His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

The 9th edition will feature a number of important breeds including Purebred Arabian and the Moroccan Breeders' Cup for Arabian Horses, the National Competition for Arab-Barb horses, the International Championship of Bearded Horses, as well as an international jumping competition counting towards qualification for the World Cup.

In order to sustain Morocco's equestrian culture, the show dedicates a range of activities for younger children with a competition for ponies and an art event for young talent in a special village for children.

Horse displays will be held daily and will highlight equestrian excellence through the participation of leading international figures.

Lectures on scientific and cultural topics will also take place in order to exchange information about important current topics such as "stem cells in veterinary medicine" and "Tbourida art among Moroccan traditional equestrian arts."


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tangier's El Minzah Hotel in Trouble

The El Minzah is not only a hotel but also an iconic monument. Since it was opened back in 1930,  it has numbered the rich, the famous and the notorious amongst its guests. Now, it is struggling to survive

Following an inspection by the tourism commission of control, the El Minzah has been stripped of two of its five stars.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, inspections revealed serious shortcomings, particularly in the kitchens where they found lack of maintenance as well as a severe lack of hygiene and food safety. Several shortcomings and deficiencies were also found in accommodation.

The Commission decided to grant the hotel fifteen days for it to comply with the hygiene and food safety requirements. Failure to meet the standards within this time will result in the hotel being closed. In the meantime it is reduced to a three star hotel.

El Minzah is now only 3 stars

Opened in April 1930 by  Scottish aristocrat,  Lord Bute, this hotel is distinguished by its Moorish style. Over the years El Minzah and its famous Caid's Bar have played host to the actors Rita Hayworth and Rock Hudson, the designer Yves Saint-Laurent and writers Tennessee Williams and Paul Bowles. Filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci shot part of his Bowles inspired film The Sheltering Sky in the halls of El Minzah, as were some scenes of the recent Spanish series The Time Between Seams.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

One of the Famous Arches of Legzira - is Gone

The Arch of Legzira has for years been a Moroccan national tourist emblem, but no more. It has fallen - reduced to rubble

Described as "one of the world's top beaches" Legzira beach near Sidi Ifni was most famous for its natural arches carved by centuries of tidal flows. The eight kilometres of beach was a popular destination for locals and tourists interested in a variety of water sports. The arches were particularly photogenic and attracted photographers from around the world.

The largest and most spectacular had been showing signs of stress that were first noticed back in March when local residents noticed cracks on each of its sides. From then on it was only a matter of time before nature took its toll.

Back in 2014 the Huffington Post cataloged the best beaches in the world and of the 40 listed Legzira was in 29th spot. The beach, located about ten kilometers from Sidi Ifni, is described as a "site where winds and waves have sculpted arches and tunnels in the red cliffs, making the coast a paradise for surfers in search of adventure."

Suddenly, that has sadly all changed.


Politics May Solve Free Voice Call Ban in Morocco

Moroccan citizens have been angry at the blocking of VoIP calls on the internet and see a ray of hope in the upcoming elections.  Ilyas El Omari, the leader of the Party of Authenticity (PAM) has promised to restore WhatsApp in Morocco if his party wins the legislative elections

Ilyas El Omari, "I will restore WhatsApp in Morocco"

The legislative elections scheduled to take place on October 7.

At a news conference last week, El Omari, secretary general of PAM, promised that if his party is elected and he becomes the head of government, Moroccan citizens will be able to make calls on WhatsApp.

According to a report carried by Morocco World News, El Omari did not provide any detail how he would keep his promise to restore phone service for WhatsApp, nor did he mention unblocking Skype, Viber, Facebook Messenger and all the other VoIP-based communication systems.

There was anger in Morocco since the beginning of this year when the major telecom providers colluded in blocking VoIP-based systems.

It turned out to be a relatively useless exercise as Moroccans quickly adapted to this loss by downloading various alternatives such as VPN (Virtual Private Networks) or using IP-altering programs like Hotspot Shield.

Despite the public anger and citizens' ability to avoid the blocking, Maroc Telecom, Inwi, and Meditel have refused to reverse their decision.

The Justice and Development Party is currently the ruling party since forming a coalition in November 2011. PJD advocates Islamism and Islamic democracy - they have been criticised for not opposing the VoIP blocking.

PAM, said El Omari in a recent interview with al Horra, stands “for the separation of religion from politics. If that means secularism, then we are secular. We stand for the concept of civil state, not a religious one,” El Omari said.

If PAM are elected, Moroccans citizens and business people, hope to be reconnected to the rest of the world on WhatsApp and the other VoIP systems.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sufi conferences and Samâa on the 28th/29th of October

Two special evenings of lectures and Samâa from Moroccan tariqas (Sufi Brotherhoods) on Friday 28th and Saturday, October 29th, 2016. The purpose of the two events is to have a dialogue with the regular participants of the Sufi Festival.

Please note that those events are organised at a private level and are not part of the Fès Festival of Sufi Culture.

Deux soirées de conférences et de Samâa de Tariqas du Maroc seront organisées le vendredi 28 et samedi 29 octobre 2016.

Friday, October 28, 2016: conference and round table: Sufism and Poetry
Samaa Evening: Tariqas of Morocco
Saturday, October 29, 2016: Conferences and round tables: The Seven Cities of Love
Samaa Evening: Tariqas of Morocco

Pour réserver cliquez ici:  To reserve a place please book here:  October Sufi Event

For more information email