Blog archive: Morocco

  • 30th October 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Moroccan authorities yesterday suspended al-Jazeera's operations in the country by withdrawing press accreditation its staff who are based there. A statement from the communications ministry said the Qatar-based TV station had "seriously distorted Morocco's image and manifestly...
  • 28th October 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The World Economic Forum is currently meeting in Marrakesh and the photograph above, showing an odd but official-looking banner, is being passed around on the internet.  The wording says: "Wolrd [sic] Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa. Can We Cut to...
  • 3rd October 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Another Moroccan magazine bites the dust. Following the closureof Le Journal Hebdomadaire earlier this year – driven out of business by an advertisers' boycott and crippling libel fines – the publishers of Nichane (the first weekly magazine in colloquial Arabic) have announced that...
  • 9th July 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Once corruption becomes institutionalised, it is very difficult to eradicate. Morocco, ranked 89th worldwide in last year'sCorruption Perceptions Index, is a typical example and a new report from the kingdom's Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC) examines the nature of the...
  • 9th June 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Ali Amar was co-founder of the independent Moroccan weekly, Le Journal Hebdomadaire, which was forced to close last January. He is also author of Mohammed VI: Le grand malentendu, a book critical of the king which was published last year (extracts here, in French).  Zineb El...
  • 28th May 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
       A story of a kind that's all too familiar in the Middle East. Last Friday night, an altercation broke out between two motorists in the streets of Rabat, right in front of the parliament building. In the ensuing scuffle, one of the motorists (a local doctor) was injured...
  • 27th May 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Tens of thousands of Moroccans saw Elton John perform at a free concert in Rabat last night. Despite earlier opposition from Islamists on the grounds of his sexuality, no violence was reported, though security was tight. The Associated Press describes the event as a "litmus...
  • 12th May 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Hot on the heels of efforts by the musicians' union to stop Elton John performing in Egypt because of his sexuality and his views on religion, the Moroccan Justice and Development Party has got in on the act too. The Islamist movement wants to ban him from the Mawazine...
  • 19th April 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
       Morocco's first gay magazine was launched this month, in print and on the internet. Mithly (Arabic for "gay") says it aims to give a voice to "lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals, to express themselves despite the fact that the...
  • 3rd April 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The new Almazar shopping centre is opening in Marrakesh today, covering 33,000 square metres on five levels, with parking for 1,200 cars, a 800-seat food court and familiar names like Carrefour and Virgin Megastore. It's progress, I suppose, and I've nothing against Moroccans...
  • 21st February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The collapse of a minaret which killed at least 41 worshippers during Friday prayers in Morocco is raising similar questions to the
  • 8th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    An interesting sidelight on the "trial" last week of Mauritanian journalist Hanefi Ould Dehah (or Dahah). The Moor Next Door blogreports that an Arabic translation of a Wall Street Journal articlecalling for his release was circulated in the courtroom and in the streets outside...

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