Unemployed Moroccans Look to Healthy Juice Fad to Get By

By Maria Luisa Frasson-Nori

RABAT, Morocco — A cluster of bamboo-like stalks sticks out above the crowd on Avenue Mohammed V in Rabat, attracting those seeking refreshment from a hot summer afternoon. Hamid Rhandour watches passersby until a customer stops by his stand to buy a cup of freshly pressed sugarcane juice.  

“In Arab countries, there are a lot of people unemployed and this is a self-driven alternative, in order to put money in my pocket,” Rhandour, 35, says as he leans against the clunky green juicer machine, wrapped in eye-catching advertising banners that promote the health benefits of sugarcane.

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From a national delicacy to common street food, the transformation of Pastillas

by Jennifer Kwon

RABAT, Morocco — Pastilla is one of the most beloved dishes in Morocco’s already renowned cuisine, but many Moroccans cannot afford to regularly eat the 16 inch diameter layered phyllo dough stuffed with meat, which can cost 450 dirhams (about 45 US dollars) in a country where minimum wage is $250 dollars a month..  That’s where Imane Allawi, 20, comes in — offering 3 inch diameter mini pastillas that she sells for just 8 dirhams each, less than one US dollar.

“Pastillas are very expensive because there is meat and so many spices.

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Age-old traditional Moroccan pastry meets new health concern

By Kayla Dwyer

For more than 65 years, the Ougaamou family has kept tradition alive in the 17th century walled medina, in Rabat, Morocco’s capital — but they are one of very few to do so. From a hole-in-the-wall stand they sell sfenj, traditional Moroccan donuts whose tough and greasy exterior conceals a steaming, flaky inside.

“Sfenj? Yes, good, very good — especially with tea, it’s wonderful,” said Youness Elfaleh, 22, whose eyes widen at the thought of the Moroccan oil-fried doughnut. “But I can only eat it one or two times a month.”

This traditional treat may be on its way out of favor even in sweet-loving Morocco.

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Moroccan butcher sees sales spike for sacred Muslim holiday

By Rob Dozier

RABAT, Morocco — For more than 30 years, Abdeni Mdegdeg has sold meat year-round near the old walled medina of Morocco’s capital city. Now comes the time of year when his services are in the highest demand: the important Muslim holiday Eid Al-Adha, or the “Feast of the Sacrifice.”

“Working as a butcher is a popular profession in Morocco,” Mdegdeg said. “And, it’s a sacred one.”

Especially on Thursday, the day of Eid throughout the Muslim world, when people will partake in tradition of sacrificing sheep or other livestock.

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