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Decentralizing Municipalities in Morocco and Arab Spring Countries

New York - Decentralization _ as a way of structuring public administration, in order to give local people and communities more control over their own affairs and to promote human development _ is being closely considered for adoption by some Arab Spring countries. Historically, there is no left- or right-wing political outlook that is more inclined toward decentralizing power to sub-national levels. Right- ...

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Moroccan Darija vs Other Arab Countries’ Dialects

Ouarzazate, In the last four years, we have observed a growing phenomenon in the Arab musical field. Many Middle Eastern singers are increasingly attracted to the Moroccan dialect, “darija,” as a new singing style, and they are snapping up opportunities to be admired by the Moroccan public. I describe this as a weird phenomenon because darija has always been seen by Middle Easterners as an odd dialect. When ...

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This is Why Morocco Was Among King Felipe’s First Foreign Destination

New York - Following the abdication of former Spanish King Juan Carlos I and the coronation of King Felipe VI, Moroccans and others wondered whether the new Spanish monarch would manifest the same interest in Morocco and the same eagerness to cultivate a privileged relationship with King Mohammed VI. Still, others wondered whether this change in the Spanish throne would adversely affect the relations betwee ...

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Morocco’s Change of tactics in Western Sahara Dispute

By By Majid Morcelli  - San Francisco For the first time ever, Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar recently stated what has been obvious to many: “Our conflict today is not with the Polisario, but with Algeria, and all methods utilized by Algeria to erect obstacles to resolving the issue are pathetic.” In this new bluntness, Minister Mezouar hopes to send two messages to the world:  First, that th ...

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How Spain Has Managed to Maintain its Sovereignty over Ceuta and Melilla

New York - Since the independence of Morocco, Moroccan territorial claims on Ceuta and Melilla have often been at the center of the issues that have negatively impacted relations between Spain and Morocco. Perhaps this question would not have had the same negative impact on these relationships if Moroccan leaders had been more determined in the early sixties, during the height of decolonization, to resort t ...

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Letter to President Obama on the Suffering of Palestinians in Gaza

By Abdellatif Zaki - Rabat The Honorable Barak Obama, President, The United States of America Mr. President,  You may be aware that your ally, the one whose creation your nation contributed to, to whom you have committed your unconditional support, has been conducting an offensive on Gaza under the name "protective edge." You might also be aware that the Gaza Strip is the most population-dense area of the w ...

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How many Palestinians must die before Hamas “claims victory” over Israel?

By Mohamed Mifdal - El Jadida With the Palestinian death toll at 167, and with no Israelis killed, one must question the validity of Hamas’s discourse on resistance and call for a collective rethinking of the Arab political culture. The Palestinian people is at a turning point in its modern history as the Arab countries who are supposed to back them up are torn apart and are totally preoccupied with resolvi ...

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Distracted No More: Why I’m Boycotting Sunday’s World Cup Final

Rabat - This has been a spectacular World Cup. From Spain’s elimination in the group stage to the Netherlands-Costa Rica penalty shootout to the 7-1 German victory over Brazil, the 2014 matches have supplied weeks of surprises and drama. I’ll be the first to admit to reveling in collective shouts of joy and deception in front of the TV and in public celebrations in the streets. I’ve been a Facebook maniac t ...

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L’couple: Comedic Excavations in Identity and Culture

By Mohamed Mifdal - El Jadida As Ramadan was approaching, Moroccan people certainly remembered the unprecedented success of a comedy series during last year’s Ramadan, namely L’couple and looked forward to watching its second edition. They seem to agree on the exceptional quality of the series and often wonder about the reasons behind this exception. A lot of writers and critics have attempted to give plaus ...

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World cup 2014: The illusive realities of a competitive world

Ohio - The World Cup 2014 has been a venue for all kinds of legitimate fun including serious questions about how FIFA awards the game. First the long journey to Rio was not without FIFA on the spotlight for choosing a country such as Brazil with its Favelas and sprouting homeless children and murders on practically every street everyday… Ok we call that reality in 2014. Despite being one of the most decorat ...

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Al Hurra TV and Radio Sawa: Two Sides of the Same Coin

By Assim Al Moussaoui Nador, Morocco - In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, there have been hostile and racist acts perpetrated against the U.S. Arab and Muslim community as a vengeful and narrow-minded reaction. Compounded with this was the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraq in 2003. These events bred extreme negative views in the Arab public towards the American administration and its foreign policy ...

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Speaking the Truth about Sexual Harassment

Safi, Morocco - Sexual harassment is not inborn. It's all a matter of upbringing and mentality. When men change their opinion about women, when women equal to men and gender stereotypes become part of the past tense; then harassment will lessen gradually into nothing, and women will be respected as men’s equals and partners. Now let us be clear in that I am not speaking about compliments or genuine admirati ...

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