Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moroccan News Briefs #120

Moroccan consulate attacked in Libya

According to a report carried by the Moroccan World News, an armed group targeted the Moroccan consulate in Tripoli, Libya on Tuesday.

The consulate was reportedly caught in the crossfire between rival Libyan armed factions, but no casualties were reported. The premises were affected by rockets, which caused fires at the edges area of the Moroccan consulate, according to Moroccan news outlet Le360.

The same source added that armed groups intruded the Moroccan consulate in Tripoli two days before the attack, and that fighters went over the wall and opened the doors of the consulate.

At the time of writing the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has still not issued any statement to confirm or deny the incident.

Libya is now facing the worst armed violence since the fall of Colonel Gadhafi in 2011. Several foreign embassies have been targets of militia groups fighting for territory and power and taking large swathes of land from the government.

About 1,200 Moroccan nationals living in Libya were recently evacuated by the Moroccan diplomatic missions to Tunisia. On Wednesday, Aug. 20, many of them demonstrating outside the Moroccan Consulate in Tunis, calling for protection of their property in Libya

Storm and flood cause fatalities

On Tuesday afternoon a storm struck the area around Taroudant and, according to local authorities, two people were killed and some 23 villages were temporarily isolated.

 The electrical storm and downpour began around five in the afternoon and the first victim was swept away by a flash flood through the village of  Irneken.  The second died following the collapse of a wall because of the rains and winds in the village of Anamous.

According to local authorities, the thunderstorms caused electrical power failures in several towns. In addition, bad weather caused the partial collapse of two adobe houses in Douar Tizrit and hydraulic structures in Takerkout.

Road deaths decline in Morocco

The number of deaths from accidents on Morocco's roads fell in the first six months of 2014. A statement from the Ministry of Works and Transport puts the decline at 6.24% compared to the same period in 2013. At the same time the number of people injured fell by 11.69%.

The Ministry attributes the improvement to improvements in driver behaviour.

Marjane supermarkets to stop selling alcohol

According to the magazine Telquel Marjane Holding’s administration decided to stop selling alcoholic beverages in all of its supermarkets across Moroccan cities.

The same source said that Marjane Holding’s administration did not supply their stocks of alcohol after the month of Ramadan.

The stocks of alcoholic beverages are to be gradually transferred to Acima stores which will continue selling them on behalf of the group. Local Fez residents also point out the the best range is available at the Carrefour at Borj Fez.

The daily magazine l’Economist, which is very close to the business circles, also confirmed the news reported by Telquel.

“In times of high demand, consumers of alcoholic beverages are surprised to find that the alcohol corner in the supermarkets of Marjane was removed in several cities,” said L’Economist.

When the rumor went viral nearly two years ago, Marjane Holding’s administration denied it stopped selling alcohol beverages, arguing that it was simply a reorganization of its activities.

Marjane has currently 32 supermarkets spread in the main cities of Morocco. Marjane is a subsidiary of the Royal holding SNI.

Morocco's Legzira beach is ranked among the best beaches in the world

The Huffington Post has cataloged the best beaches in the world and of the 40 listed Legzira was in 29th spot.  The beach, located about ten kilometers from Sidi Ifni, is described as a "site where winds and waves have sculpted arches and tunnels in the red cliffs, making the coast a paradise for surfers in search of adventure."

The beach, with natural sea-worn rock archways, is overlooked on the hills above by an old Spanish fort. The hills create thermal currents which attract hang-gliding and paragliding enthusiasts. Unfortunately rather tasteless vacation village is now being built directly above the beach.

See the Huffington Post story here (Spanish)

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Moroccan Photo of the Day ~ Mobile Dental Care!

The View from Fez is in debt to the Facebook page Keep Calm & Visit Morocco for their splendid photograph of a dentist displaying his extensive range of teeth!

It should be pointed out to folks with a phobia about dentists that Morocco also has a large number of European trained dentists with the latest modern equipment.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ait Atta Amazigh Nomads Annual Migration

Photographer Abdullah Azizi has produced a series of extraordinary photographs of the annual migration of the Amazigh (Berber) Ait Atta nomads 

Each spring, nomadic Saghro in South Eastern Morocco, leaving their pastures with their herds of goats, sheep and camels, and their entire family. The caravan sets out to cross the plain of Dades and climbs the southern slopes of the Atlas over 3.000m to the the Izourar lake and highlands.

Ait Atta are a group of Amazigh population of Morocco from the Sahara. Jbel Saghro is their original stronghold. They spread around in the valleys of Tafilalet, Ziz, Dades and Draa.

To discover more, visit the photographer's website:

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Moroccan Photo of the Day ~ And now for a quiet swim...

Recently The View from Fez reported on the search for a tranquil place to cool off during the heat (See story here), and so we thought today's photo should explain why such a search is necessary. The photo is of a swimming pool in Meknes

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Old Grand Taxis Get a Makeover

As The View from Fez reported back in June (see story here) the Moroccan government has rolled out a new initiative get rid of Morocco's grand taxis or "white taxis" as they are called by most people. The taxis are all Mercedes Benz and according to the government a majority of vehicles are "wonky". In addition factories no longer exist in Germany or elsewhere, and have not done so for almost 20 years

The old taxi style
The new taxis will look like this

It is estimated that some 55,000 cars are still in service and carry millions of passengers in the four corners of the kingdom, but it is claimed that apart from accidents and fatalities, there big crime is pollution.

But what will happen to the old ones?

Photo: Colette Apelian

An enterprising initiative in Tangier has captured the imagination of locals. As Colette Apelian reports via Facebook, a mobile restaurant has been set up in an old taxi. Escargos Tanger is a great example of a way to repurpose an old clunker. It is pictured on the Tangier Corniche, near the Hotel Shererazade

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