Morocco

  • 419
Added a post 

The US embassy’s charge d’affaires is satisfied with the cooperation linking his country and Morocco.

The Charge d’Affaires at the US embassy in Morocco, David Greene, discussed the strong bonds between Washington and Rabat in recent remarks.

The diplomat extolled cooperation between his country and Morocco during an interview  on Sunday in a TV program aired by MEDI1 TV.

In the interview, Greene emphasized the quality of the cooperation between his country and Morocco in various fields, including tourism.

Greene said that the tourism sector experienced a “great boom” before COVID-19.

The number of American tourists who visited Morocco before COVID-19 reached nearly half a million, he said. Greene also expressed his hope to see the number grow after the pandemic.

The US diplomat also touted security cooperation between Rabat and Washington, saying the two allies work in this field to preserve stability in the MENA region.

Greene emphasized that Morocco and the US share common interests. He described Rabat as an “important” and a “close” partner for the US in several peacekeeping operations and counterterrorism missions.

The US official also mentioned Morocco’s key contribution to the Atlas Lion program, the largest American military exercises in Africa. The program constitutes a crucial military training opportunity not only for the US but for all of its partners in Africa, he argued.

The US-Morocco joint military exercise is due to take place in June.

This year, more than 700 troops will travel to North Africa to participate in the US-Morocco joint military exercises.

African Lion is the largest military exercise in Africa. The US will send approximately 4,000 service members.

Approximately 5,000 troops from the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, the Tunisian Armed Forces, Senegalese Armed Forces, as well from Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, will participate.

“Moroccan-American security relations largely benefit both countries and the entire region,” Greene said.

His remarks followed similar cooperation talks between Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken held his first phone conversation with Bourita on April 30, celebrating the cooperation the two countries enjoy.

“They discussed opportunities to increase cooperation in Africa to promote economic prosperity and stability and the Secretary highlighted Morocco’s key role in fostering stability in the Sahel and Libya,” a statement from the Department of State said of the discussion.

As well as lauding Morocco’s key role in fostering stability in the Sahel and Libya, Blinken noted Morocco’s role in combating climate change through its renewable energy approach.

 

Source: Morocco World News.

Added a post 

Morocco celebrated the first annual international day of Argania and members of the UN praised the country’s conservation efforts.

Morocco celebrated its first international day of Argania, a holiday to honor the Argan tree and its unique impact on Morocco’s society and econom

In March 2021, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 10 to be the International Day of Argania. Morocco proposed the resolution in early 2021 and 113 member states cosigned. The resolution sought to underline the economic and ecological importance of the Argan tree in Morocco.

In 1988, UNESCO designated a space of more than 2,560,000 hectares as the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve. In 2014, UNESCO added the Argan Tree to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Since the inauguration of the Green Morocco Plan, the kingdom has worked diligently to employ new practices for sustainability and conservation efforts.  

Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Omar Hilale, commented on the relationship between the Argan tree and the Green Morocco Plan during a videoconference with the UN.

“We want it to be a catalyst for international cooperation to support the socio-economic fabric of the Argan tree, rural women entrepreneurs, cooperatives, civil society, scientists, and local producers to innovate and strengthen the value chains of Argania,” Hilale said during the meeting.

Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests Aziz Akhannouch also noted that the government plans to plant an additional 50,000 hectares of Argan trees by 2030, in accordance with the Green Morocco Plan.

Volkan Bozkir, the president of the General Assembly of the United Nations, called Morocco’s policy on protecting Argan trees “a model of best practice for all.”

Bozkir added that the international day of Argania raises “awareness of its [the Argan trees] vital role in maintaining ecological balances, preserving biodiversity and its contribution to sustainable development.”

He underlined the additional economic importance of the Argan tree, stating: “The efforts made by the Kingdom of Morocco have made it possible to protect and expand a sector that now represents 10% of the market share.”

Argan oil is considered Morocco’s liquid gold and its market size was valued at $70.3 million in a report by Grand View Research in 2018. The report predicts the value to increase 20.7% by 2025. 

 

Source: Morocco World News.

Reposted Jalil's post.

Hello Everyone,

I will be posting some AWS Cloud Docs soon, you can go over them on your free time, and please DO NOT hesitate to ask questions on this Group. I will make time to answer all of your questions. For now, I am in the process of relocating to Florida, I am planning to start the courses online sometime early next month.. At the meantime, please check this group periodically for updates..

>> To ask questions, please follow these steps:
Lets say you have a question for me or for the Group. For instance
"what is Cloud ?"
1. Make sure you are on to this group { CloudMorocco Group } assuming
    you are already logged in
2. Click on {+} sign on top right of the page
3. Click on { Discussions }
4. Fill out the Form accordingly
    > in category:  choose {CloudMorocco - IT}
    > IMPORTANT STEP:
       > in {Visibility} field >  Select { CloudMorocco Group } 
5. Submit.

Now, I will be able see all of your questions on this group, nobody else on this site will see our chats & questions, only the group members can see each other's chat & questions..
 
Cheers,
-Jalil  

Added a post 

The Chandler Government Index ranks Morocco 33rd for its “attractive marketplace” and an overall global ranking of 61st out of 104 in terms of government capabilities.

The Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) released its 2021 report, featuring Morocco among the top 40 countries with an “attractive marketplace.

The “attractive marketplace” is one of the CGGI’s pillars or indicators, which help the index make its global ranking.

Morocco’s Attractive Marketplace ranks 33rd, featuring among the 40 top countries.

The global report positions Morocco 61st in the global ranking out of 104 countries. The index dedicated a whole section to discuss Morocco’s growing marketplace.

“The Kingdom of Morocco is the only lower-middle income country to be featured within the top 40 of the Attractive Marketplace Pillar (ranked 33rd in this pillar and 61st overall),” the report said.

The index also highlighted Morocco’s strategic geography, serving both as the gateway to Africa and Europe.

“The Moroccan economy has taken important strides over the last two decades,” the Chandler Good Government Index said.

The report also pointed to Morocco’s attractiveness for foreign investment and the country’s ability to stand firm against the economic crisis that emerged after the Arab Spring.

“Morocco ranked 56th on the Attracting Investments indicator, but there are some notable recent developments that suggest an upward trend in this important area,” the document argues.

Morocco’s agriculture sector “generated growth” as one of the key sectors, according to the report. The sector, which positively impacts employment, contributes to Morocco’s GDP by 19%.

The report also celebrated Morocco’s Green Plan, a project that the North African country introduced to develop the agriculture sector.

In addition to the “attractive marketplace” pillar, the index indicators include “leadership and foresight,” “robust laws and policies,” “strong institutions,” “financial stewardship,” healthcare and social services, as well global reputation and influence.

Alongside the “attractive marketplace”, Morocco also ranks 44th in Global Influence and Reputation.

The pillar assesses countries’ performances in several areas, including international trade, international diplomacy, and nation brand.

Morocco has a diversified list of partners, with which the country has important trade relations.

Online data shows Morocco is the EU’s 21st biggest trade partner, representing 1% of the EU’s total global trade in goods in 2020.

“Morocco is the EU’s biggest trade partner among the Southern Neighbourhood countries, with 25% of the total EU trade in goods with the region,” the EU said.

Morocco also maintains good trade cooperation with Arab and African countries.

The North African country expanded cooperation with partners throughout the world’s continent in terms of diplomatic relations.

Officials and authorities in Morocco frequently hold consultations and exchange meetings as part of foreign bilateral ties.

The North African country also has a good ranking in terms of robust laws and policies, which discuss the rule of law, quality of judiciary, transparency, and regulatory governance.

Morocco ranks 47th in “financial stewardship,” which covers government debt, country budget surplus, spending efficiency, and country risk premium.

Meanwhile, the North African country ranks 79th in terms of “strong institutions,” 63rd in terms of “leadership and foresight,” and 78th in “helping people rise.”

 

Source: Morocco World News.

 

Added a post 

Ramadan is the ultimate test of resilience and brings out the best of Moroccan society.

Although I have spent nearly two years in Morocco, I have always somehow missed the opportunity to spend Ramadan in-country. This year, I finally have the chance to spend Ramadan in Morocco and experience all the feelings of camaraderie and goodwill that often go hand-in-hand with Ramadan.

Since my initial discovery of Islam and the Moroccan culture, fasting has always seemed daunting. I was fortunate enough to spend a year in Meknes, Morocco where I dove into studying Modern Standard Arabic and subsequently, Islam. I lived with a Moroccan family for a year and got a firsthand look at the festivities of Ramadan during Eid al-Fitr.

Although I’m a Christian, I have always been fascinated by the holy month of Ramadan. My social circle in America consists primarily of Muslims and I’ve had many unique opportunities to partake in Ramadan festivities such as attending ftour at local mosques and Eid al-Adha celebrations. I’ve always dreamed of spending Ramadan in a Muslim country to feel the true spirit of Ramadan.

For me, Ramadan is about feeling closer to God, spending time with loved ones, and of course, fasting.

The first few days of Ramadan in Morocco have been surreal. I knew fasting would be a physical challenge but I did not consider the mental fortitude required to fast from sunrise to sunset. Racing the call to prayer and consuming liters of water at 4:00 a.m is no easy feat but the hardest challenge has been resisting temptation. 

By 5:00 p.m, your body is sounding the alarms for nutrients and water. By 6:00 p.m, one can’t help but count the minutes until the maghreb prayer. 

For my first ftour, I decided to cook something traditional: harira soup with a side of chebakia. After a long day of work, it was extremely tiring to prepare the tomato-based, traditional soup. However, the first taste was more than worth it as flavors of saffron and chickpeas blended with the sweetness of the chebakia.

The next day, I was lucky enough to be invited to a colleagues house for ftour. As the saying goes, “there is nothing like a home cooked meal.” In the name of tradition, we broke the fast with a date and a glass of milk. Then, we dove into a mound of seffa medfouna prepared by my colleagues mother. Seffa medfouna is the perfect combination of salty and sweet as it features tender, marinated chicken covered by a mound of sweet vermicelli noodles. The dish is topped with cinnamon, crushed almonds, raisins, and powdered sugar and is the perfect meal after a long day of fasting.  

seffa medfouna

Fasting has opened my eyes to a new side of determination. Luckily, fasting in Morocco is made slightly easier by everyone being supportive of each other. The sense of community in Morocco is unparalleled and Ramadan has only heightened the feelings of fellowship, especially when it comes to fasting.

When American friends ask, “Why Morocco?” I always answer, “you simply wouldn’t understand unless you visited, the people are more friendly and welcoming than one could imagine.”

In America, many often fall into a strict daily routine which offers little time for social interaction. However, Moroccans understand the importance of companionship and implement it into every aspect of their lives. What some call tberguig (nosiness), I call caring for one another.

Fasting has been a spiritual journey for me and I look forward to spending each day fasting alongside members of the community. I am grateful to be accepted into Moroccan society with open arms and take pride in knowing I have the unique opportunity to experience Ramadan in Morocco with my Muslim peers.

 

Source: Morocco World News.

Added a post 
The US pharmaceutical giant cashing in on a pandemic that has killed 3.2m people while failing to help the world’s poor is morally indefensible, and illustrates the corrupt nature of monopoly medicine.

As the New York Times reported, Pfizer generated hundreds of millions in profits in the first quarter of 2021, thanks to its successful Covid-19 vaccine. What’s interesting about the company’s success, however, is that its vaccine is one of just two widely used that are produced on a for-profit basis – and the only one whose manufacturer is not reliant on it to stay afloat. Pfizer’s windfall this year is, in essence, a windfall for monopoly medicine.

Unlike its Western competitors Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, Pfizer decided early to profit from its vaccine. That profit margin hasn’t been disclosed, but it was predicted that this would be in the high 20% range. That means that, of the $3.5 billion brought in by the vaccine this quarter, about $900m is pre-tax profit.

Unlike Moderna, a competitor that uses similar vaccine technology to Pfizer’s, Pfizer is an extraordinarily profitable company already, making $9.6 billion in profits in 2020 before the vaccine had even had a serious impact. Moderna has no other products on the market, so turning a profit on its vaccine is crucial for its operation. Not so for Pfizer.

Pfizer sells its vaccine sales at different rates. The United States, for example, pays $19.50 for each dose, while Israel has reportedly paid $30.The reason all this is morally justifiable, Pfizer has said repeatedly, is that it was never part of the US government’s Operation Warp Speed and therefore should be allowed to set its own prices.

However, this is deceptive. BioNTech, the company that actually developed the vaccine, after which Pfizer basically slapped its label on it, received a $455 million grant from the German government and got around $6 billion in purchase commitments from the US and EU. Not only that, but the Pfizer vaccine is based on mRNA technology patented by the National Institutes of Health that was funded by US taxpayers. 

In a nutshell, Pfizer capitalized on a partnership with a then-obscure German biotech company that received German government grants to develop its vaccine based on US taxpayer-funded technology, and then received purchasing guarantees from rich governments that guaranteed billions of dollars in revenue. It managed to privatize all the profits while socializing all the risk in what was a textbook case of how corrupt Big Pharma is. 

But the scope of this monumental corruption really shines through when you consider that this is a once-in-several-lifetimes public health emergency that has killed millions of people. Governments around the world promised a warlike response to the Covid-19 pandemic and yet it’s mostly been just business as usual. 

As I mentioned in my previous piece for RT on Bill Gates, global capitalism has reinforced itself through the pandemic, with Big Pharma being no exception. Intellectual property (IP) laws, which have only been defended in multilateral institutions such as the United Nations by rich countries, are demonstrably a barrier to getting vaccine doses out – and everyone knows it.

Even US President Joe Biden said on the campaign trail in 2020 that he would suspend IP rights to make vaccines more affordable around the globe. 

Absolutely, positively. This is the only humane thing in the world to do,Biden said. (I’m sure the fact that Pfizer was among the companies that handed over a maximum $1 million donation to Biden’s inauguration had nothing to do with his about-face…)

But not only has IP been an issue, but even the general cost and logistics of transporting the Pfizer vaccine has proven a challenge for nations, especially poorer ones, that want to receive it. Yet, somehow, the Pfizer vaccine is emerging as the predominant Covid-19 vaccine shipped by Western countries, while lower-cost, less-intensive vaccines are being discredited. 

Aside from the obvious fact that China’s vaccines or Russia’s Sputnik V are being refused for consideration, are being delayed for review by other countries, or are being conspiratorially attacked by Western media, there does seem to be some kind of bias in favor of Pfizer, even among Western vaccine-makers. 

Consider that Oxford University published a study on April 15 showing that the risk of portal vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the liver) appears to be 30 times higher with the mRNA vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer (that is, the two for-profit vaccines) than with AstraZeneca’s. Consider also that the risk of cerebral vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the brain) appears to be quite similar with  both AstraZeneca (five in a million) and those mRNA vaccines (four in a million).  

So, while blood-clotting concerns have caused controversy and even the discontinuation of vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, any mention of this from mRNA vaccines in the media has been pretty much nonexistent. That’s quite strange. 

Also, headlines trumpet all the time how highly effective Pfizer’s vaccine is, placing huge importance on the percentage of its effectiveness without adding context. As the Vox YouTube channel masterfully explained in a video posted in March, it’s extremely difficult to compare vaccines – especially as they’re being tested in different parts and at different times. 

Pfizer’s chief executive promised to ensure that poorer countries “have the same access as the rest of the world” to its vaccine. But as of last month, wealthy nations had secured more than 87% of the more than 700 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines dispensed worldwide, while poorer countries had received only 0.2%, according to the World Health Organization.

Pfizer has pledged 40 million doses to Covax, the partnership aimed at supplying vaccines to poor countries. But, as the New York Times report points out, that’s less than 2% of the 2.5 billion doses it aims to produce this year.

Now, none of this is to say that Pfizer’s vaccine is not effective and you shouldn’t take it. I received the Pfizer vaccine and will get my second dose on Friday. The best vaccine is the one you have access to. But the problem is that Pfizer’s seems to be getting too much free exposure in the media, despite the fact it's expensive, difficult to transport, and held under IP protections, making it inaccessible to most people in the world right now. 

Pfizer has successfully maneuvered our corrupt system to rake in record profits with virtually no risk at all. It’s sad to say, but this happens all the time. However, right now, it’s only artificially prolonging a once-in-a-century pandemic that, I think most of us can agree, is destroying our lives. Let Pfizer’s success this year be a historic reminder of why capitalism and public health are totally incompatible. 

 

Source: RT.com

Added a post 

The British-Moroccan model Nora Attal stunned the attending fashionistas at Chanel’s Cruise 2021/22 show in Les Baux-de-Provence, southern France, on May 4.

Attal strutted down the catwalk of Carrieres de Lumieres, a series of vast chambers in a white limestone quarry, showcasing several looks from the Parisian luxury brand’s latest collection.

Her first look consisted of an all-black look, with a fringed top, a skirt, and a cape draped over her shoulders. Another look was made up of loose grey dress trousers, a striped black-and-white top, and a patterned, big on the shoulders, open jacket.

In a press release, Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard underlined the core elements of the collection, “Lots of fringes, in leather, beads and sequins, t-shirts bearing the face of the model Lola Nicon like a rock star, worn with tweed suits trimmed with wide braids and pointed silver Mary-Janes.”

Attal started working with Chanel in 2017, and since then she has been a recurring figure for the luxury brand. She also participated in the brand’s 2018 pre-Fall Metier’s d’Art show in Hamburg and again in the Spring 2021 runway presentation.

She has also modeled for Prada, Burberry, Jason Wu, Nina Ricci, Chloe, Celine, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Hermes, Michael Kors, Fendi, Valentino, Dior, Versace, Alexander McQueen, and other major players in the fashion industry.

Attal told Vogue that she was first spotted when she was 12, but her dad believed that she was too young to go down that path yet. But as she explained, when she was 14, “photographer Jamie Hawkesworth was doing a casting at my school for the JW Anderson campaign. I was chosen along with two of my friends. I was super-excited when I found out because I used to watch America’s Next Top Model and I wanted to do what they did.”

 

Source: Morocco World News.

 

Added a post 

The recently accredited China’s ambassador to Morocco, Li Changlin, has begun conducting official business in the country, with the signing of the partnership with the Al Rayane Association.

Changlin began his ambassador work in an official capacity on April 23, upon handing over his official accreditation to Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita. The ambassador’s first efforts in the country are building cooperation with the charitable Al Rayane Association, to launch an operation for the distribution of food baskets to those in need. 

Speaking to LaQuotidienne, the Chinese embassy clarified that it will be mainly participating to ensure “transparency and fairness in the procedure,” and watch over the various stages of distribution, while the Al Rayane Association will work to identify the families in need.

“This signature must be placed in its double context. The first is that of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic which has seriously impacted families in precarious situations. The embassy thus wants to make a gesture of solidarity and comfort towards these families during this holy month of Ramadan which represents the second context,” underlined the ambassador.

Changlin also explained that the embassy is “ready to explore ways and means allowing better collaboration with associations” in the future, so that in the coming years they will be “carrying out major projects in partnership with associations and in collaboration with government authorities for the well-being of local populations.”

The Chinese embassy, in accordance with Morocco’s precautionary measures, will be helping deliver food baskets consisting of soft and hard flour, oil, sugar, lentils, tea, and other essential products.

Changlin is a seasoned diplomat, with a wealth of experience under his belt. He started his career as a government official at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1986. Before coming to work in Morocco, he served as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Burundi, between September 2017 to February 2021. From 2014 he worked as Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the People’s Government of Anhui Province in China.

“I made my first stay in the Kingdom in 1993-1994. I am extremely happy to return to Morocco, a country for which I have great admiration,” Changlin told the Moroccan daily.

yeah it is so sad to witness such a catastrophe!!

Added a post 

The ministry called on citizens to abide by all preventive measures in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 and its new variants.

The Ministry of Health announced on Monday that it recorded two cases of the Indian COVID-19 variant in the city of Casablanca. 

The ministry said that the cases concern an expatriate and a foreign citizen living in Morocco who he came into contact with.

The statement said that the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research in Rabat confirmed the cases.

The ministry said the two cases and all known contacts “were taken care of in accordance with the international and national protocols.”

The ministry said that it will continue to communicate all information on the developing situation to the public.

The ministry called upon all citizens to continue adhering to the precautionary measures to contribute to the national campaign against COVID-19 and its new variants.

In the past few months, Morocco has suspended flights with India among a score of other countries as part of the efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 variants.

India has witnessed a dramatic increase in cases and deaths since the beginning of March.

The country has been recording over 300,000 cases each day.

Death cases due to COVID-19 also surged to over 2,000 per day.

Morocco tightened travel restrictions and introduced strict preventive measures to limit the domestic spread of COVID-19.

The country continues to impose a night curfew that runs from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.

The measure is part of Morocco’s state of emergency, which first began in March 2020.

 

Source: Morocco World News.