Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On a CD

The other day I bought a CD. A REAL CD! From a store. You might not understand what a big deal this is. Buying a CD that isn’t pirated and on a burned disk is not a normal experience in Morocco. Which makes sense, why pay Dh13 for music you could get for Dh5 (or free for that matter.) Thus, trying to find some new Arabic music that I might like I picked up a Baby Haifa CD.
My initial thoughts on seeing said Baby Haifa CD was that it was a promising choice. From the name and cover art I imagined that I was holding in my hands the music of the Lady Gaga of Lebanon. The girl at the check out even told me the artist was good, an opinion I was inclined to believe since, working at a Marjane in a big city, she was clearly younger and hipper then I. And it might be that the artist is good, except that, as it turns out, the artist’s name was just Haifa, and the CD was her singing traditional baby’s lullabies. Not quite what I was going for.

Monday, November 29, 2010

NewsArticle: On The Break-In

A rough and edited translation of the contents of the webpage http://azilal-online.com/inf-ar/news-action-show-id-3334.htm

Four hours after the telephone call, the offender has been caught by the Royal Gendarmerie

On the seventh day of the previous month on the third hour, the Royal Gendarmerie Center received a phone call from a U.S. citizen Peace resident stating his house was robbed while traveling. Then moved a unit of the Royal Gendarmerie under the chairmanship of chief the center to the spot. After previewing a minute some moves initiated to investigate some of the suspects from among the audience of the people of the region.

At precisely seven o'clock pm the offender, who admitted his role in deeds attributed to him, where he had entered the home after the break and the theft of some devices that had been working with the victim, including: a video camera and a computer-type high.

To hide the crime, the offender gave every piece to one of his friends in the region and the other to sell the computer to the Internet club owners in the city. The camera by fate reached the city of Casablanca. In order to continue the search, the Gendarmerie went to both cities and despite challenges and difficulties, were able to retrive these stolen items and the arrest of all who participated in this crime, which has raised great disgust in the soul.

All this happened in a short time and speed the morning the next day, the thing that impressed raised widespread in the mystery of the success of this process.

I have free minutes at the center of the gendarmerie in the right of the offender and his accomplices were brought to the Court of Appeal, Beni Mellal her justice to say in the matter.

This is sure to succeed in such cases significantly reduce the recurrence of crime and to deter all of Salt has the same embarking on such inhuman crimes.



[Jealous] [22/11/2010 5:29 pm]

If the victim is a Moroccan will be things such speed????

[For transient] [22/11/2010 10:08 pm]

Hahahahahaha reason for the success of the process is that the victim was an American national Hahahahahahahahahah

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On Me In The News

A news report about the break in at my house (so I am told):


Sunday, November 21, 2010

On Forgiveness

Since the break-in my understanding of Moroccan Legal systems, which was nonexistent to begin with, has increased.  I get a say in what happens to the burglars who broke into my house. Thus I found myself petitioned to forgive them their trespasses and write a letter to that effect. Forgiveness is an tricky topic, but with five years worth of college ethics classes, it was a topic I was up to. Drawing on the teachings of Dr. Tony Clark of the University of St. Andrews I composed this letter:

To Whom It May Concern:
·      Whereas I recognize the youth and foolishness of the perpetrators,
·      Whereas I understand the agony that their mothers are experiencing as the result of their crime,
·      Whereas most of the property stolen was promptly returned through the valiant efforts of the Gendarmes,
·      Whereas the physical damage caused has been repaired,
·      And in full awareness of the teachings of forgiveness that God and his Prophets have endeavored to give,
By the powers vested in me by his Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco and by the laws of his subjects, I do hereby forgive:

Rajil Wahida and Rajil Tani [obviously not real names]
 of the wrongs that they have done me.
May god make them penitent and give them the wherewithal to live justly and not commit further crimes.

It is an interesting method of doing things, asking the victim to forgive the perpetrators that their sentence might be reduced, but it has merit.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Morocco In the News: Nov 14 - 20

Olive green MoroccoRasheeda Bhagat
“Olive oil is a fruit juice; and we have programmed our harvesting operations in such a manner that every 20 minutes a truck-full of olives leaves for our mill. That way we are able to avoid any delay in the crushing of fresh olives.” Othman Aqallal
Olive cultivation in rocky, mountainous Morocco gets a fillip with the government pulling out all plugs to help olive farmers..
At the end of the 19th century his great grandfather got the title ‘Amine-el-Fellaha' of Fes, the historic city often considered the spiritual capital of the North African Kingdom of Morocco. Its meaning: ‘The wisest of farmers'. What got him the title was not only his passion and devotion to the land he cultivated but also the zest to experiment with farming practices.
Well, Othman Aqallal, the young and dapper managing director of Atlas Olive Oils, wears lightly the 123-year-old history of his family's four-generational foray into olive cultivation. His family orchards have over a million olive trees and the century-old orchard in Marrakech has 3,000 olive trees growing mainly the Picholine varieties of both French and Moroccan origin.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Holiday

There is nothing quite like watching the streets run red with blood to bring forth that holiday spirit. Mabruk Eid, Everyone!

On Gendarmes

If your house has been, broken into, who you gonna call?

No not the ghostbusters.

The Gendarmes.

In case of emergency the gendarmes are a phone call away. Say for instance, in the unlikely and totally hypothetical situation that one’s house was broken into and one’s computer stolen. Within 5 hours they will have a suspect in custody and eleven hours after you called they will have your computer. How is that for impressive?

The speed and efficiency, the honor and integrity, the courtesy and professionalism are quite simply astounding. These truly are Maroc’s finest.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Morocco In the News: Nov 7-13

INDH gets 5-year Morocco review.
By Sarah Touahri 2010-11-08
Moroccan officials met with the European Union representatives to gauge the successes and failures of the National Human Development Initiative.
On the fifth anniversary of the National Human Development Initiative (INDH), Moroccan officials held a forum November1st-2nd to take a closer look at progress made and address obstacles.
"Despite the unquestionable advances which have been made, we are aware that this experience has highlighted certain limitations, which will naturally form a part of any innovative programme of this size," Moroccan King Mohammed VI said in a message to the forum participants.
"Hence our desire to ensure that it is followed up on the ground, along with constant monitoring at various stages, with a view to improving programmes, encouraging a more integrated approach to projects, and overcoming obstacles," the King said.
International partners at the Agadir forum included members of the European Union. French Secretary of State for Urban Affairs Fadela Amara lauded the initiative as an exemplary development model.

Friday, November 12, 2010

On The Strike

For a few Moroccan students, studying in high school requires serious commitment. At a young age, perhaps 16, they must say goodbye to their family, move out of their hamlets, find housing, housemates and everything else in the town center where the high school is in order attend classes. This is a task most American students don’t undertake until their sophomore year of college.

Of course many Moroccan students are not up to it, and many of them who are girls have families who won’t risk their daughter’s virginity and thereby family’s reputation by having them so far away and unsupervised. But for those that do it, it is a truly impressive feat. The tragedy is that, this year, they have gone through all this, only to spend their first two weeks on strike.

Their reason for being on strike is a good one. Part of their school building is condemned from where an earthquake tore it in half. The other part has a roof that leaks, leaving rainwater puddles on the classroom floors. Though complaints were made last year and new infrastructure is being built, it is not close to being done yet.

The irony is that here, in this distant part of the world, students are so dedicated and yet the infrastructure is so bad, whereas in other places, students must be forced to attend schools with the finest facilities.

Ces’t la Vie. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Morocco In the News: Nov 1-6

Gender-based violence persists in Morocco.
By Hassan Benmehdi -31/10/10
According to a just-released report, Morocco has yet to achieve its goal of protecting women.

Despite efforts by civil society and the government, violence against women remains an ever-present problem in Morocco, a women's rights NGO announced on Wednesday (October 27th).
To reach its conclusions, the Chama Centre for Refuge, Counselling and Legal Advice documented 302 cases of gender abuse over the period 2009-2010.
"In the absence of an institutional help framework backed up by the law – even in hospitals and police stations – women who have suffered violence find counselling centres to be a refuge, hoping to find a solution to their situation there," Touria Omri, chief of the Women's Development Organisation, told Magharebia.
She added that counselling centres have been following developments since 1995 and trying to find solutions at legal and institutional levels. Omri concluded that the law and, particularly the administrative procedures needed to prove the degree and nature of gender-based violence are still falling short of the mark, complicating efforts to provide greater protection for women.
According to the Chama Centre, around 50% of women who have been attacked are aged between 25 and 40. Thirty-two per cent suffered legal or economic violence, with 19% affected by physical violence and 16% mental abuse. Spouses top the list of perpetrators at 71%, followed by former spouses at 17%.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

On The Workhorses

Not everyone owns a vehicle in Morocco. Which means that people have to do more work themselves, and the vehicles there are have to pull a bigger share of the national workload then their spoilt counterparts in other countries. Here are the workhorses of Morocco:

Mercedes 240 – 
The Alpha and Omega of transportation, the 240 makes up about 35% of all the vehicles on the road. It is the Grand Taxi, the quintessential Moroccan vehicle. In every village there is a fleet of these that run to the cities nearby. They fill up with six fair paying passengers crammed in the back and passenger seats, ready to get friendly as the driver winds them to their common destination. There are rumors however that it is possible to fit many, many more in.

Bedford Truck – 
No souk salesman or costermonger is worth his salt without one of these. The 240 is how people get from place to place. The Bedford is how things travel. It is common, in season, to see these workhorses piled with hay, turnips, cinderblocks and rebar, assorted vegetables or sheep.

The rich man’s friend, these little scooters are the symbol of the well employed who have better things to do with their time then walk to where they need to go.

Souk Bus – 
The highliners of transportation. From every major city, these busses set out in herds to their fellow metropolises. Cheaper then grand taxi’s they are the workhorses that span the distance between the mountainous Mediterranean North and the scorching Saharan South.