The Arab Spring: What about Morocco?

Morocco is an interesting country, for many reasons. First and foremost because of its strong diaspora community, especially in France.

Secondly because a sizable number of Moroccan volunteers have  joined ISIS.

Thirdly and I find this fascinating, Morocco is on track to generating 42% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. This is more than many European and industrialized countries.

Fourthly, because its government, compared to other Arab regimes such as Syria and Libya, has been much more progressive. However as FT correspondent Borzou Daragahi who was recently been there mentions, the progress made towards civil liberties is under threat, because of emerging dangers.

His podcast interview is highly recommended 



Today Israel belonged to its Moroccans and not its Persians (anymore)

Last night and today the festival of Mimounah was celebrated in Israel.

President Peres at a Mimouna celebration

This festival belongs to Morocco’s Jewish community, which started celebrating it in the 18th century.

Its a one day festival which begins on the last day of the Jewish festival of Passover.

According to the Jewish Agency for Israel:

The Jews of Morocco began celebrating the Mimouna on the evening after Passover because they believed that during this night the heavens are open to our prayers.

This could explain why:

As a result of this belief, it was customary in many places in Morocco to set up matches between young men and women on the Mimouna eve.

There are Moroccan themed parties all over the country, especially in cities where there is a large Moroccan population. Politicians drop in to such parties as well, regardless of whether they are Moroccan or not.

Israel’s Iranian Jewish community also used to have a huge party on the same day, based on the concept of Sizdah Bedar which is the last day of the Nowrooz holiday. So the last day of the Passover holiday was our Sizdah Bedar. Thousands of Persians used to descend upon Ramat Gan’s Park Leumi. Prime Ministers and senior minister used to visit and praise Israel’s Persian community.

That was until about 5 years ago. Now days only a few hundred people turn up  to this event and no politicians. Why? because one of the biggest reasons why so many Persian turned up before was to find a suitable Persian husband/wife for their sons/daughters. Now that they are all married= mission accomplished = many Persians don’t see a big reason to turn up to this event.

But Moroccans do and God bless them. I love their music and their tradition. Here is Eti Levi, one of Israel’s Moroccan singer blasting some tunes.

Belated happy Mimounah and get ready to dance.