Out in the Cold: Development Transforms Moroccan City But Doesn’t Address Most Difficult Problems

This article was published in U.S. News and World Report. Find it here: “Out in the Cold

By Olivia Fore

RABAT, MOROCCO – AT night under the orange light of new street lamps, residents stroll along the Bouregreg River. Vendors sell toys and kites; children ride miniature cars on the pavement and musicians entertain a friendly audience.

A new Grand Theater, still under construction, looms in the shadows. A new bridge extends tram service to commuters from the city of Salé, across the river.

The five-year “Rabat City of Lights” program launched in 2014 aims to put Morocco‘s administrative capital on equal footing with other major world cities by “promoting its cultural heritage, preserving green space, improving the economy, access to social services, governance and road infrastructure,” according to the country’s Ministry of Culture and Communication.

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Three Generations Find Pride and Opportunity in Family Leather Business

by Emily Vega

RABAT, Morocco – Ayoub El Khalifi stands against a wall covered in his family’s handmade traditional leather goods. He wears a black felt fedora hat. Every square inch behind him displays polished and hand crafted leather bags, cushions, belts and more. As customers explore the store, the smell of tanned leather follows them. Hanging from the ceilings and lining the walls, hundreds of designs are displayed.

This traditional craft has provided the El Khalifi family with an escape from a troubled region and livelihood in a country where many young people struggle to find jobs.

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Another shore: Morocco’s child migrants

by ZOE HU; photos by ELOISE SCHIEFERDECKER

This article was published in Al Jazeera on Jan. 30, 2015. Read it HERE.

Tangier, Morocco – Saber first decided that he wanted to live in Spain when he was 10 years old. Hoping for a better life on another shore, he began to think of migration and of leaving his family behind in Morocco.

Now 13, rosy-cheeked and rustling in a thin yellow windbreaker, he stands with his friends at a stone lookout nestled high in Tangier’s medina, watching the sprawling ferry port across the street.

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Morocco’s young entrepreneurs face barriers

 

by HANNAH NORMAN

This article was published Al Jazeera on Dec. 27, 2014 . Read it HERE.

Morocco – Ali Aaouine had no job but one big dream; to start a rental car company in this town near the historic city of Fez.

In 2011, the 30-year-old joined a US-supported government programme called Moukawalati or “My Small Business”. This initiative was designed to help young Moroccans write business plans and get low interest loans.

Despite completing the programme and receiving a certificate, Aaouine couldn’t get a loan because of a lack of credit and assets.

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