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Morocco

Arduous Journeys on Roads Not [Yet] Taken: Language, Neoliberal Work Skills, and the Exhausted Educational Dream

[Image of children in a school in Tangier, Morocco. Image from Jalil Arfaoui/Flickr.]

The passionate controversy over Noureddine Ayouche’s proposal to replace fuṣḥā with the Moroccan vernaculars (especially Moroccan Arabic, dārija) as languages of instruction in pre-school and early primary school classes indicates that questions over classroom language are never solely pedagogical. Rather, they are intimately imbricated in broader political dynamics, among which include the evolution of the Moroccan nation-state during the period of mature neoliberalism, and the turbulent and unequal transition of Morocco into the global market. Interestingly, the same controversy opens up a space in which to reflect on the nature of deliberation in the country and the ...

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Creation and Cooptation: The Story of Morocco’s Migration Reform

[In this photo taken on Thursday 16 January 2014 a security fence separates Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, Spain. Image by Jose Colon/AP Images.]

[This article is the second in a series that addresses the present sociopolitical landscape of migration in Morocco. Read the first part in the series by Sébastien Bachelet: "Cynical and Macabre 'Politics of Migration' at Morocco’s Borders."] After many years of struggling to improve the lives of the sub-Saharan migrant community residing in Morocco, the work of human rights activists finally seemed to pay off in 2013. Moroccan and international human rights groups had been documenting the abuses committed against members of the migrant community for over ten years, and real change finally seemed to be on the horizon. Humanitarian organizations such as Doctors ...

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Les harragas à l’épreuve de la nouvelle donne portuaire tangéroise

[« Bon voyage ». Photo par Sarah Przybyl et Youssef Ben Tayeb.]

À l’extrême Nord de la pointe du territoire marocain et à seulement une quinzaine de kilomètres de l’Espagne, le littoral tangérois est en mutation. Deux projets portuaires ambitieux y sont en cours de réalisation en même temps. La région est aussi la principale porte de sortie pour de nombreux migrants africains et marocains dont la nouvelle configuration portuaire ne semble pouvoir enterrer les rêves européens. Après une brève analyse des projets qui transforment la côte tangéroise, l’article montre comment les candidats à l’émigration détournent les nouveaux aménagements de ce littoral en mutation. L’étude des pratiques des harragas—candidats à l’émigration ...

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Judiciary Draft Laws in Morocco: Undercutting the Young Judges Movement

[Image of a protest in Anfa, Morocco, May 2011. Image by Magharebia, via Wikimedia Commons.]

Judicial reform in Morocco has been a major item of discussion for decades on the agenda of the country’s reformist forces and legal rights activists. Many international reports have also expressed concern over how fragile the guarantees for the judiciary’s independence are in the context of Morocco’s existing legislative system. However, demands for reform fell on deaf ears. This is because the consecration of an independent judiciary continued to be postponed under the pretext of settling other political, social, and economic issues that emerged in the wake of independence. These issues include the consolidation of state authority and stability, as well as the ...

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The Tindouf Refugee Camps: A Moroccan’s Reflections

[Image from the Tindouf refugee camp in Algeria. Image from Josephine Douet, FiSahara 2013.]

[Note from the Maghreb Page Editors: In coverage of the Western Sahara, the preferred adjective describing the conflict is “forgotten.” The Sahrawi are a forgotten people, their struggle for justice framed as a relic of a bygone age of liberation movements and decolonization. Such nostalgic portrayals impress the anachronistic nature of the subject; the forty-year virtual impasse in negotiations suggests that world leaders are content to relegate the Western Sahara issue to the history books. Realpolitik dictates a preservation of the status quo, while the rare news headline prompts the necessary handwringing (either over human rights abuses in the region or ambiguous ...

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New Texts Out Now: Samia Errazzouki, Working-Class Women Revolt: Gendered Political Economy in Morocco

[Cover of

Samia Errazzouki, “Working-Class Women Revolt: Gendered Political Economy in Morocco.” The Journal of North African Studies Volume 19, Issue 2 [Special Issue on Women, Gender, and the Arab Spring, edited by Andrea Khalil], March 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Samia Errazzouki (SE): I was in Morocco when Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire and many in Morocco, at the time, were anticipating what would follow suit. Not too long after Bouazizi’s self-immolation, on 21 February 2011, Fadoua Laroui, a single mother whose application for public housing was rejected, set herself on fire in front of a municipal office. Her self-immolation took ...

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Drug Trafficking in Northwest Africa: The Moroccan Gateway

[Madrid regional government delagate Cristina Cifuentes, right and the chief of Spain's national police force, Ignacio Cosido second right, look at part of a haul of hashish and marijuana in Madrid, Wednesday, 26 December 2012. Spanish police have seized eleven metric tons of hashish smuggled from Morocco on trucks with tanks rigged to hide the drugs. Thirty five people were arrested in what was described as the breakup of a major smuggling ring that fed the European market. Authorities said in a statement Wednesday that the hashish was sent to a Madrid suburb for distribution to countries including Belgium, Britain, France and Holland. Image from Paul White/AP Photo.]

Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, West Africa has become a pivotal platform and crossroads for terrorism, drug and human trafficking, crime and insurgency. However, in analyzing drug trafficking in the Sahel, it is paramount to also look at the role and geographical location of Morocco, where Moroccan drug barons are increasingly linked to their African and Latin American counterparts. Indeed, the Moroccan kingdom plays an important role between the African continent and Europe. The country occupies a key geostrategic location and is a gateway between the Mediterranean region and the rest of Africa. Morocco also provides a passage to mainland Europe from ...

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Implications of Morocco's Bifurcated Educational System

[Image of the Lycée Gouraut, predecessor of the Lycée Descartes in Rabat, Morocco. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]

In Morocco, policymakers have recently implemented several groundbreaking initiatives aiming to create educational programs to empower rural women. Despite progress in this realm, there are still ongoing tensions within the Moroccan educational system. As a Moroccan who was educated in a multi-lingual system, I have experienced its flaws firsthand and recognize the need for its analysis. This study, therefore, assesses the quality of the Moroccan educational sector and the implications of a bifurcated educational system. The educational system is conducted in Fusha Arabic in public schools throughout secondary school and French predominantly at the university level. It ...

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Maroc, difficile dialogue entre islamistes et gauche radicale

[Les salafistes participent aux manifestations organisées par le Mouvement du 20 février. Image par Magharebia/Flickr.]

Septembre et octobre 2013 : l’organisation islamiste Al-Adl wal-Ihsan (AWI, « Justice et spiritualité »), forte de dizaines de milliers d’adhérents et non reconnue par l’État, fait quelques appels du pied à la gauche. Son objectif est d’établir une dynamique commune pour lutter sur le front social. Les rapports entre les islamistes dits « contestataires », parmi lesquels AWI, quelques tendances de la jeunesse du Parti justice et développement (PJD, à la tête du gouvernement) et la gauche, « réformatrice » ou « radicale » ont toujours été compliqués. L’entente avec les forces islamistes, qui est un débat permanent au sein ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (November 1)

[A mass demonstration was held Thursday October 31 in Nouakchott demanding justice for the rape and murder of a six year old girl. Photo courtesy of @lissnup.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Maghreb Global Gender Gap Report The World Economic Forum releases it Global Gender Gap report, with disturbing conclusions on backwards trends in North Africa in terms of sexual violence and security. Lampedusa, terre d’exil où se noie la conscience européenne Olivier Favier explores the significance and roots of the ...

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Out with the Old and In with the Old: Morocco’s New Cabinet

[Image of Morocco's newly appointed government. Image from Lakome.]

These past few months have been a particularly turbulent period for Morocco’s Party of Justice and Development-led coalition government. While King Mohammed VI was on an extended vacation in France during May and June 2013, the conservative nationalist Istiqlal Party announced it was withdrawing from the coalition. Hamid Chabat, Istiqlal’s recently elected leader, cited the “slow pace” of reforms as a point that drove him and his party to decide on the departure from the ruling coalition to the parliamentary opposition. The decision necessitated Mohammed VI’s intervention and resulted in a dragged out political spectacle surrounding the question of whether the Party of ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (September 15)

[Mbarka Brahmi, Hama Hamami and Basma Belaid join hands in opposition to the Tunisian government. Photo courtesy of Tunisia Live.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria Le FLN salue et l’opposition critique les changements opérés par Bouteflika Achira Mammeri surveys Algeria’s political scene in response to Bouteflika’s recent cabinet reshufflings. De l'Algérie de Nezzar à l'Egypte de Sissi: Le même refus de la démocratie au nom des alibis anti-islamiste et féministe Sadek Sellam ...

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Les quartiers populaires et les printemps arabes: Elements pour une approche renouvelee

Compte rendu de: Pierre-Arnaud Barthel et Sylvy Jaglin (éds.), Quartiers informels d’un monde arabe en transition. Réflexions et perspectives pour l’action urbaine, (Paris: Agence Française pour le Développement, Conférences et Séminaires no.7),159 p. Accessible en ligne. L'informalité est la condition d'habiter majoritaire dans les villes du Monde arabe. Trouver à se loger après avoir fondé une famille ou se maintenir à proximité des opportunités d'emploi se conjuguent pour la multitude populaire avec ...

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Cynical and Macabre 'Politics of Migration' at Morocco’s Borders

“Despite a year marked by successive tragedies as a result of the recrudescence of repression, institutional violence and racism, will 2013 mark a historical turn for politics of migration in Morocco? Will foreigners and migrants be recognized into society?” These questions headed an article by Micheline Bochet Milon, a member of the Groupe anti-raciste d’accompagnement et de défense des étrangers et des migrants (GADEM), in the last issue of the Louna-Tounkaranké network’s newsletter. At the time, ...

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The State of the Western Sahara

In June 2013, Maghreb Page co-editor, Samia Errazzouki, and I produced an electronic roundtable of articles describing various historical and political contours of the Western Saharan conflict, opening with a brief summary of its history:  Beginning as a post-colonial dispute between regional powers in the 1970s, the conflict developed and was exacerbated as North Africa became an entangled site of Cold War rivalries. Following the 1975 Madrid Accords, in which Spain conceded on its promises to ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (January 27)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.] Algeria Présidentielle #dz2014: les jeux sont (déjà) faits. Baki 7our Mansour predicts a fourth term for the ailing incumbent Bouteflika. Algérie: Un géant vert en ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (December 30)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria L’Algérie face à son destin, d’Abdelkader ben Mahieddine à Tareq Mammeri  Adel Herik postulates that Algeria has been bound to repeating history ...

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A propos des mondes urbains de F. Navez-Bouchanine

Recension: Agnès Deboulet et Michèle Jolé (éd.) Les mondes urbains. Le parcours engagé de Françoise Navez-Bouchanine (Paris: Karthala, 2013). La littérature spécialisée en études urbaines vient de s’enrichir d’un ouvrage exceptionnel par la qualité des contributions qui le composent. Il s’agit du livre intitulé Les mondes urbains. Le parcours engagé de Françoise Navez-Bouchanine, dirigé et édité par Agnès Deboulet et Michèle Jolé, paru aux Éditions Karthala en juillet 2013. Françoise ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (December 9)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Geopolitics Bouteflika écrit au roi Mohamed VI  President Abdelaziz Bouteflika writes to King Mohamed VI, invoking shared history and neglecting any ...

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سنة 1962 كحدث واستعارة في التواريخ الشفوية للنساء في الجزائر

فيما يلي ملخص لبعض الأفكار التي أستقصيها في دراستي القادمة التي ستصدر عن مطبعة جامعة مانشستر: شقيقاتنا المقاتلات: الأمة، الذاكرة والجندر في الجزائر، 1954 – 2012 "لم أفعل شيئاً بعد الحرب" كانت هذه المقولة، أو التنويعات عليها، أحد الأجوبة الأكثر شيوعاً التي حصلتُ عليها حين سألتُ النساء الجزائريات، وخاصة الريفيات منهنّ، اللواتي شاركْنَ في حرب التحرير (1954- 62): ماذا فعلتنَّ بعد الاستقلال؟ كانت النساء اللواتي حاورتهنّ يتحدّثْنَ لساعات عمّا فعلْنهُ أثناء الحرب (قلن إنهنّ يستطعْنَ التحدث ...

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Mediums of Outrage: Curzio’s Political Cartoons on Morocco

There is a widely held perception that the Moroccan king Mohammed VI is beyond the reach of criticism. That view was quickly shattered in light of the “Daniel Gate” scandal following the king’s pardon of a convicted Spanish pedophile, Daniel Galván Viña, in the midst of serving a thirty-year prison sentence for sexually abusing eleven children. The initial response on social media spread rapidly through the use of the #DanielGate hashtag, which remains active to an extent. Reacting in a united ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (October 20)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria La double occultation des événements du 17 octobre 1961. Ait Benali Boubekeur remembers the massacre of FLN supporters in France during the period of ...

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الاعتداء الجنسي على الأطفال في المغرب تحت غطاء القانون والتقاليد

حالات إغتصاب الأطفال في المغرب أرقام تدق ناقوس الخطر  في ظل تساهل القانون وتواطؤ التقاليد تتزايد جرائم الاغتصاب والسياحة الجنسية في حق الأطفال في المغرب، ويتزايد معها القلق من غياب ردع قانوني وتستر الأسر عليها تحت غطاء درء العار والفضيحة. ألغى العاهل المغربي العفو الذي أصدره عن إسباني مدان باغتصاب 11 طفلاً بعد مظاهرات عارمة في عدد من المدن المغربية في العام الجاري 2013 للتنديد بقرار العفو. وبحسب القصر الملكي فقد تمّ سحب العفو نظرا ًلحدوث "اختلالات"، ولـ"خطورة ما قام به ...

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The Invention of Throne Day

Since the Middle Ages, ruling dynasties in Morocco have resorted to political religious rituals to legitimize and affirm their power. The Moroccan monarchy’s ritual complex reached its height under Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603), the founder of the Makhzen (the governing institution in Morocco). Under the current Alaouite dynasty, which began its reign in 1668, a multitude of political religious rituals coexist. But currently, the most important ritual is, without a doubt, Coronation Day (‘id al-‘arsh). ...

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