Feb 20

One Year On

Just as it was for Egypt and Tunisia, 2011 was a year of change for Morocco. From the protests that sprang up in February to the constitutional referendum in July, Morocco has experienced considerable change: but has it experienced its own Spring?

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July 2011

Moroccan (R)evolution

“Fine Ghadi Biya Khouya?” (Where are you taking us brother?) is a refrain from a popular song, first performed by the Moroccan mythic group Nass El Ghiwane in the early 70’s. At the time repression was such that esoteric art and music were the most visible expression of dissent. Four decades later, the Arab Uprising has changed the picture completely. Dissent is expressed in the open but the battle remains essentially the same. While Morocco is preparing to vote in a referendum on a controversial draft constitution proposed by the king, we ask you to share your perspective on the challenges ahead for the north African kingdom: Where does the king lead Morocco from here?

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March 2011

February 20 Movement

A group of online Moroccan activists, inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, convinced tens of thousands of their countrymen and women to take to the streets on February 20, calling for change. In response, King Mohammed VI gave an address to the nation on March 9, vowing to relinquish parts of his executive prerogatives. A few days after the King’s pledge, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully across the kingdom, voicing their concerns and mistrust in the proposed reform. In this context, we asked our contributors to answer this simple question: What now for Morocco?

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February 2011

Walking Like Egyptians

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January 2011

The Tunisian Uprising

The recent uprising in Tunisia that caused now-former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee to Saudi Arabia is certain to have an impact on the Maghreb and the rest of the Arab world, but to what extent? In this edition of Talk Morocco, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on the recent events in Tunisia and their potential for effecting change in the region.

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December 2010

Wikileaks & Morocco

The recent targeting in Morocco of news organizations like Aljazeera and the clampdown on the independent press, have seriously limited the scope of freedom of expression in the country. Internet has grown more and more critical in helping people get access to unfiltered news. For some, the whisleblowing website Wikileaks, is a vindication of investigative journalism and of an independent press that has suffered hugely from endemic censorship. What is the Moroccan perspective on the Wikileaks phenomenon? Will the documents made available by Wikileaks help hold Moroccan officials accountable? And what impact, if any, will Wikileaks have on the fledgeling Moroccan democracy?

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November 2010

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion is considered by many to be a fundamental human right. Though the Moroccan Constitution provides for the freedom to practice one's given religion, Islam is the official state religion and conversion from it and proselytizing to its practitioners are strictly forbidden. This month we are asking: What role should the state have in defining Islam in Morocco, or should this be a matter left entirely to individual conscience? What about Moroccans who don't consider themselves Muslim, or who want to be free to interpret their faith in a unique way?

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September 2010

Education in Morocco

Education is the basis for progress and social justice. The United Nation's Arab Human Development Report observed in 2004 that the education systems in the Arab countries "reduce children's independence, self-confidence and social efficiency, and foster passive attitudes and hesitant decision-making skills." In Morocco, the education in schools, and even in higher post-graduate levels, is mostly didactic, suppressing questioning, dialog, exploratory learning and critical thinking. Is the education system, as many observers think, hindering development in Morocco? And in which case what needs to be done in order to reform it?

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August 2010

Red Tape In Morocco

Corruption, lengthy procedures, inefficiency... Moroccan Bureaucracy has an overly negative reputation among Moroccans and foreigners alike. Some say it is hindering progress, others think it is discouraging foreign investors. This month we ask our authors to share with you their experience with Moroccan red tape.

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July 2010

Moroccans and the World

Moroccans have long and for various reasons emigrated abroad. Some countries now play host to several generations of Moroccan immigrants, and the Moroccan diaspora today is a large population scattered in almost all corners of the world. On the other hand Morocco receives millions of tourists each year, welcomes a growing number of expats, students, short-term contractors, and increasingly more would-be immigrants, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa. This month we're asking our authors to share their perspectives on what it is like to be a Moroccan abroad, and what it means to be abroad in Morocco.

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June 2010

Morocco Citizen Media

Populated by a community of bloggers, microbloggers and online social networkers, Morocco's Citizen Media is increasingly becoming part and parcel of the local media landscape. This month we are asking: what is the importance of Moroccan citizen media? How did we get here? And where are we going?

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April 2010

Couscous Djellabas and Tajines

What constitutes Moroccan identity in 2010? The answer is by no means a simple one. This month, we'll hear from contributors who each represent various aspects of "Moroccanness." Some are Moroccan-born, but have left their country in search of something else. Others have remained. Still others are not Moroccan by nationality, but feel a part of the vast fabric that makes up Moroccan life.

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March 2010

Beyond the Moudawana

As the world celebrates International Women's Day on March 8, 2010, we're asking: What do women in Morocco really need? How does modernity affect their lives? And what has been achieved on the ground 6 years after the implementation of the Moudawana (the reformed family code)?

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February 2010

Morocco at the Crossroads

In 1999, Mohammed VI ascended the Moroccan throne, ushering in a new era in Moroccan governance. Since that time, there have been progress and setbacks. In recent years great strides have been made in the areas of women's rights, the Amazigh cultural movement, and tourism. Meanwhile, free expression is on the decline, and the conflict over the Western Sahara has nearly reached its tipping point. What are the dreams, hopes and fears for 2010? And from our authors' perspective will 2010 be a defining year for Morocco?

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December 2009

Knocking on the Palace Door

Recent years have seen frequent attacks on independent media in Morocco. The Moroccan Press Code allows for heavy fines and jail sentences, hindering journalists from exploring a wide range of issues relating mainly to the monarchy, Islam or the conflict in Western Sahara. In a country where the center of power lays in the hand of the monarch, it is believed that any substantial change must come from the palace. What will it take for complete freedom of the press to establish itself in Morocco?

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