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The Art of Halqa, Site-Specificity, and Moroccan Cultural Identity (Part I)

By Jaouad Radouani Rabat - This article seeks to discuss the question of culture, art, and identity in Morocco. It aims to do so by analyzing the role art plays in consolidating the notion of nationalism, spreading it, and helping individuals, and the society as a whole, preserve their cultural identity. Amid the modern globalized culture which is turning the world into a small village, it is hard to keep o ...

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Reflections on the Moroccan Educational System: (Part 1: Pitfalls)

Rabat - Morocco is undoubtedly one of the few countries in the world that is spending over 25% of its yearly budget[1] on education and employing a true army of educators and functionaries in the sector but not reaching the expected results of equality, equity and quality. The political will is definitely there, but the way, for some unknown reason, is lacking even after the implementation of a ten-year ref ...

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Foreign Language Teaching: French vs. Moroccan Learning System (Part 2)

By Mbarek Ahuilat Orléans, France - Morocco’s latest commitment was launched 5 years ago in an ambitious reform of its education system. This reform takes aim at generalizing the mandatory school on the one hand—especially in rural areas—then adapting and modernizing the programs and teachers’ practice on the second hand. If this reform deals naturally with the linguistic issue, it does not really cast doub ...

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Italy and North Africa in the 21st Century    

Rabat - Italy as a nation and as a civilisation has always been present in the life, destiny and imagination of North Africa and will always be for a long time to come, vivid and omnipresent. For the South Mediterranean people, Italy is more than a country and a culture, it is a sort of an icon. Many times when lay people are asked about Italy, they would say, without thinking, “they are very much like us,” ...

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Aesthetics and Politics of FUNdamentalism: The Controversial Case of Little Mosque on the Prairie

By Jamal Akabli Rabat - Little Mosque on the Prairie, the Muslim Cosby Show, as it has been judiciously christened, has been praised, and dispraised as well, for its heretofore unheard-of capacity to generate and foster intercultural and inter-communal dialogue as well as for its audacity in transgressing common sense and in trespassing a land-mined territory that is likelier to prove provocative and unsett ...

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Approaches to the Teaching of Academic Writing

Rabat - Throughout the history of language teaching and learning, the teaching of writing has been the subject of focus for many teachers and applied linguists. At times the teaching of writing skills has been prioritized, at others neglected. With the rise of the communicative movement came a focus on speaking and communicative skills. But as teachers search for an approach to language teaching which integ ...

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Cross-Cultural Communication Problems among Moroccan EFL Students

Fez - While knowledge of language rules is important in every ESL/EFL context, these language rules remain useless if they do not conform to social norms. Highlighting the importance of the social aspect of language, Hymes (1972) pointed out “There are rules of use without which rules of usage will be useless.” Knowing the rules of language remains just one aspect of language knowledge; however, this knowle ...

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The Impact of the Internet on Sociopolitical Changes in the Arab World

By Oussama Raqui Rabat - When Tim Berner Lee invented the World Wide Web, his invention not only brought him success but also changed people’s way of life. Because factories, organizations and institutions rely on the Internet to function and coordinate, one cannot talk about an economic revolution without the use of the Internet. This relationship necessitates Arab developing countries use of the Internet ...

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The impact of Media and Stereotypes

Rabat - The consensus in the meetings seems to have always been that negative stereotypes and attitudes as well as untrue ideas about Arabs, Muslims and Islam are conveyed through many channels amongst which education and the media; essentially TV, are the most influential. The question that everybody seems to want answered is “how do the media do it?” Far from me the pretension to answer that question in a ...

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Elements of a Discussion on Cross Culture

WARNING: The following are bits and pieces - elements and notes - relating to discussions on cross cultural issues. Some notes are accompanied by some commentaries I have made on the spot. I have made no attempt to construct any internal coherence of the following text. The only coherence to be found is that of the unity of the theme. There are two purposes for posting such a document (i) to keep track of o ...

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What about Fundamentalism?

Rabat - A frequently asked question raised in our discussions is related to fundamentalism. Participants want to know what it is, its origins, its various manifestations, what people here (in Morocco) think about it, how to eradicate it, etc. In many of our discussions, it appeared that the concept "fundamentalism" did not mean the same thing to everyone. In all cases, however, the concept seemed to refer t ...

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Tolerance and Beyond Tolerance!

Rabat - This section is to be read as a synthetic report by the author of a number of seminars on the issue of tolerance which were attended by participants from different backgrounds. An idea which seems to be always lurking in the minds of the participants is that Islam is not tolerant. When the issue comes out, I try to orient the discussion first to understanding what is meant by tolerance. I, of course ...

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