Op-ed

A Close-up on the Failure of the Marrakech Film Festival

By Samira Athmani Rabat - Are we really celebrating the fourteenth edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival? Given the deterioration of this edition that is marred by bad organization, improvisation, chaos, and recklessness, this festival failed to step up to the plate and marked a disastrous regress. What happened is a sign for all the festival organizers to reconsider their preparation plans f ...

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Algeria & Morocco: Lessons from America and Cuba

By Majid Morcili San Francisco - Reading the news this morning that Cuba and the United States will reestablish their diplomatic relations after 50 years of hate on both sides, I immediately started to think about our relationship with our Algerian neighbor, and came to realize that if they can do it, we can do it.  I am not a big fan of Obama after his refusal to help the Syrian people in the face of the m ...

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Are There Fine Days Ahead for Algeria?

Istanbul - Africa and Asia have had painful experiences of colonization. Countries in these continents have had to fight many times for their independence. One such country is Algeria.  After 130 years of French occupation, Algeria gained its independence with the War of Independence of 1954-1962. According to Algerian sources, 1.5 million people were martyred in that war, more than 1 million Algerians were ...

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Towards Moroccanism: Royal Aspirations

Tangier - When I introduced the word Moroccanism to academia, I was thinking of a unifying cultural concept that can bring all the Moroccans together whether they consider themselves African, Amazigh, Arab, Hebrew, Mediterranean or Andalusian. Opposition to this notion argues Moroccanism can be part of Arabism or Amazighism if viewed from an ethnic-nationalistic perspective. This argument should be taken in ...

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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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Journals of a Moroccan Fulbrighter in America (Last): Home, sweet home!

Rabat - Finally, my stay in America came to an end and here I am in my country again, among my people. In this last episode, I’d like to share with my readers a few lessons that I’ve learnt. I don’t expect them all to agree with me, nor do I want them to, but I do wish them to stop and consider the points I’ll be trying to make here. My first point concerns authenticity and alienation. We may be dissatisfie ...

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The Morocco We Want: Delayed Hopes (Part 2)

Nador, Morocco - We are born Moroccans, whether we like or not. We feel the desire to live freely in our country. No matter how far we may travel, we hope our bodies are buried back in our homeland. The pride of being a Moroccan should make our hearts beat every time we see our flag, every time the anthem is played, every time our monarchs give a speech, every time our nation grieves misfortune, undergoes c ...

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Why Wearing the Veil is not Required in Islam

New York - The universality of Islam invalidates the claim that veiling of any kind is mandatory for all Muslim women, and, for that matter, negates the notion of particular clothing requirements for all Muslims. The Quran states “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another” (49:13). The Quran recognizes and accepts cultural d ...

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Algeria’s Losing Strategy: Provoking Morocco

By Majid Morceli San Francisco - According to the latest issue of le Monde, the current oil price crises highlights the Algerian economy’s failure to diversify its exports, perpetually trapped in an oil windfall. The dip in oil prices could hit the country’s petroleum revenues hard, which have always allowed the Algerian regime to ensure social unrest. During the Arab Spring in Algiers in 2011, the regime g ...

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ISIS and Kharijite Approaches to Understanding Islam: The Concepts of Khilafah and Jihad

By Abdelmajid Belrhiti and Badr-Edin El-Hmidi Ifrane, Morocco - ISIS is believed to have started officially in 2006 with Abu Umar al-Baghdadi as its founding leader. Al-Baghdadi was originally a member of Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s militant group. Based on this, ISIS members claim to represent the philosophy of Salafist Jihadists. In reality, they represent the complete opposite of the philosophy they claim to ...

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Algeria: Is it the End of Oil Bonanza?

By Majid Morceli San Francisco- An estimate from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that Algeria needs to sell its oil at $113/barrel in order to balance its budget. Right now, oil is trading at around $66/barrel, and some analysts are predicting, given the right conditions, it could tumble to as low as $60/barrel. This is a disaster for Algeria. Oil and gas export earnings make up more than 97% of ...

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Morocco: Time to abandon French for English

By Majid Morceli San Francisco - The 15th Francophonie summit kicked off today in the Senegalese capital Dakar. Thirty-five heads of state and other government officials are attending the summit, among them our own Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar, representing Morocco. If you look at the African Francophone countries, you will quickly realize that the leaders of these countries came to power with the h ...

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