Andalusia's Nostalgia for Progress and Harmonious Heresy

by Khalid Duran
published in MER178

In southern Spain’s province of Andalusia 1992 is a year of controversy, not because it is the five hundredth anniversary of Columbus’ voyage, but because it commemorates the conquest of the Moorish kingdom of Granada by “foreign invaders from the North.” In other parts of Spain, and even more so in other parts of Europe and America, 1492 is also remembered as the year Spain’s Jews were expelled from that land. In Andalusia, people know it as part of a time when large numbers of Muslims were made to leave the country.

For Another Kind of Morocco

An Interview with Abraham Serfaty

by Miriam Rosen
published in MER179

On September 13, 1991, after nearly 17 years in the prisons of His Majesty Hassan II, Moroccan activist Abraham Serfaty was released and expelled to France. This was not, to be sure, out of human rights considerations, or a measure of royal clemency: According to the Ministry of the Interior, an “in-depth” -- if belated -- examination of Serfaty’s legal status had revealed that he was not entitled to Moroccan citizenship. His father had lived in Brazil for 17 years before returning to Morocco in 1923, three years before Serfaty himself was born. He was thus expelled as a “veritable impostor.”

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Cartoon Commentary

Algerian and Moroocan Caricatures from the Gulf War

by Susan Slyomovics
published in MER180

A cartoon image is short and direct and does not move when you look at it. Condensing history, culture and social relationships within a single frame, a cartoon can recontextualize events and evoke reference points in ways that a photograph or even a film cannot. Like graffiti, jokes and other genres of popular culture, cartoons challenge the ways we accept official images as real and true.

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The Challenge of Population Growth in Morocco

by Georges Sabagh
published in MER181

About 30 years ago, a World Bank economic survey mission concluded that “Morocco will continually find itself having to run faster in order to stand still.” [1] A few years later, a Moroccan demographer warned that if the population were to continue to grow at current rates, “all efforts at development, no matter how grandiose, would be inevitably jeopardized.” [2]

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Basri et al, Revision de la constitution marocaine 1992

by Darrow Zeidenstein
published in MER183

Driss Basri, Michel Rousset and Georges Vedel, eds., Revision de la constitution marocaine 1992: analyses et commentaires (Imprimerie Royale, 1992).

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Demographic Change in the Arab World

The Impact of Migration, Education and Taxes in Egypt and Morocco

by Youssef Courbage
published in MER190

Two of the most populous Arab countries, Egypt and Morocco, lie far apart in geography, in their histories and in the size of their populations. Egypt has 57 million inhabitants, more than twice as many as Morocco’s 25.5 million. [1] One thing they do share is a dramatic long-term rate of demographic growth. In the nine decades of this century, the populations of both countries have multiplied more than fivefold (from around 10 million in Egypt and less than 5 million in Morocco).

Weighing Morocco's New Constitution

by Paul Silverstein | published July 5, 2011

2011 has been a year of unprecedented political tumult in Morocco. As neighboring North African regimes collapsed under the weight of popular pressure, demonstrators have convened in Moroccan cities as well, naming their uprising after the day of their largest initial gathering, February 20, and calling for greater democracy.

Boom Box in Ouarzazate

The Search for the Similarly Strange

by Susan Ossman
published in MER196

In 1987, during one of my first visits to Morocco, I attended a series of rock concerts in Marrakesh with a group of friends who had been invited to the event to represent their youth group. The organizers of the concerts, the local Grand Atlas association, invited us to tour the medina. During one such walk, one of the Marrakeshis talked about how delicious steamed sheep’s head would be for lunch. In spite of the torrid July heat, most of our group agreed that a casual lunch in a small restaurant was a fine idea.

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Own a Piece of Moroc?

published in MER197

For many ordinary investors, the dream of cashing in on the market revolution sweeping the globe turned sour following last year’s collapse of the Mexican peso. But if you have some capital to spare and are in search of the elusive next big boom, take a chance on Foreign and Colonial Emerging Middle East Fund. It trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EME. The fund has 60 percent of its total assets working hard in Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and Oman. But its savvy, high-rolling managers are gambling the largest sums in Morocco.

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UN Impasse in the Western Sahara

by Fatemeh Ziai
published in MER199

In his January 1996 report on the UN operation in the Western Sahara, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali expressed the Security Council’s “ the absence of even a reasonably clear indication of when the [referendum] process might come to an end.” This was one of Boutros-Ghali’s most candid official statements about an operation that, by most accounts, has gone awry. With a mandate to organize and conduct a referendum asking Sahrawis to choose either independence or integration into Morocco, the most important issue now confronting the UN mission is whether the referendum process, which began in September 1991, has already been so compromised that it no longer offers a realistic means for resolving the conflict.

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