Essays

Ashura and the Ritual Emancipation of Women in Morocco

El Jadida - Anthropologically speaking, the popular Islamic ritual of Ashura has been approached as a pagan survival in Morocco. There is a traditional thesis on Ashura that it is an Islamic ceremony incorporated by the newly Islamized Berbers as early natives to substitute the ancient practice of burial and resurrection of the vegetation deity. Westermarck refutes the thesis of a primeval God burial on the ...

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The Spectrum of Language Choice for Moroccan Education

Rabat - Two or three years ago, a colleague with whom I was hardly acquainted called and asked me to join what he referred to as an elite group of Moroccan Anglophone intellectuals and activists interested in the linguistic situation of Morocco and eager to replace French with English as the country’s second language. He said, not without some pride, that many leading intellectuals and influential political ...

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“The Bus Runs From Me”: Scapegoating the Other in Moroccan Culture

El Jadida, Morocco - The social representation of the other in the Moroccan popular culture of Islam is mainly grounded in the culturally embedded conception of possession popularized by a maraboutic cultural worldview. The concept of the other may be regarded as positional constituting whatever is radically different from the social categories of the same and whatever represents an urgent threat by virtue ...

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The Islam-bashing season is officially open in the West

Rabat – There is no shadow of doubt hat the terrible acts of terrorism of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015 are condemnable, by any cultural or religious standards of any human civilization. Violence wrecks the lives of individuals, families and societies and sows fear and hatred for years to come, if not to say for decades.  Terrorism must, definitely, be checked, fought and, most importantly, stif ...

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Teachers’ Training in Morocco: The Case of English Language Teachers

Fez - Moroccan English language teachers undergo a lengthy process of training before actually becoming teachers. Nearly a majority of these trainings take place in governmental institutions like Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) and regional learning centers. While the majority of teachers will receive formal training before work, some Moroccan teachers receive in-service training while they are already teach ...

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The First People

Kenitra - “Why should we be so arrogant as to assume that we're the first homo-sapiens to walk the earth?” (J.J. Abrams et al., 2010) No one remembers one’s moment of birth and neither does humanity. The beginning of man is a scientific mystery. This article, however, is not about how man came to be, but about shortly after that; it is about the dawn of humanity, a missing chapter in human history. People, ...

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Ta’ziya Theatre from a Constructive Approach

Rabat - Ta’ziya  is a performing tradition out of many that were celebrated in the East before the appropriation of the Western model. Ta’ziya is a formulaic space resurrecting the historical memory of the martyrdom of Hussein –grandson of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH)—, his family and his companions who had refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid. I would like to maintain that this performing tradition is inco ...

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Crossing Borders in Diwan Sidi Abderahman Almejdoub: A Theatre Within a Theatre

By  Abdeladim Hinda Kenitra - Quiet hamlets in the Arif mountain valleys, spacious pastures on the slopes, lakes and dams here and there upheld in the chalice of the hills, fields green or yellow verging toward the blue Northern Mediterranean Sea and the Western Atlantic Ocean, villages and towns drowsy under the noon sun of July and then alive with passion cities in which, amid dust and dirt, everything fr ...

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The Moroccan Linguistic Situation

Rabat - The linguistic situation in Morocco is characterized by complexity. The presence of different local and foreign languages leaves room for diversity and creates many sociolinguistic issues. The languages used in Morocco are Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Amazigh, French, and Spanish (as well as English, which has recently started to gain significance). The presence and int ...

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The Future of English in Multilingual Morocco

Fez- Recently, relatively subtle or, rather, unpublicized debate has arisen among educators and politicians over the importance of English as a global language in the Moroccan linguistic market. Some political and business figures have voiced that it is high time the English language replaced, or at least rivaled, French in its supremacy in the educational and economic spheres of Morocco. Regardless of the ...

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The Tripolitan War through the 2011-U.S. Intervention in Libya

By Othman Ouaarab Casablanca - As the end of the eighteenth century approached, the region of North Africa, known as the Barbary States at that time, was undergoing many changes. The key word that is associated with this period is piracy. The term Barbary was derived from the Berber-speaking people who originally inhabited the region. The Barbary States refer to president-day Morocco, Algiers, Tunisia (then ...

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Teacher of the Future: Challenges of Self-Development and Stakes in Academic Knowledge

Rabat - Undoubtedly, the teacher plays a fundamental and central role in the life of the child and in the future of the Ummah [community] in general. The teacher provides him or her with science, knowledge, morals, behaviour, belief and ambition, as they spend almost eight hours a day together full of activity, vitality, and vigour. These hours are longer than those the child spends with his parents and rel ...

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