Essaouira Mogador is a town at the Atlantic coast of Morocco
Essaouira

 
En langue française
 

 

TOURISM

"Tourism in Essaouira is very different from tourism in other cities in the Kingdom of Morocco. There are no tourists who typically book package programmes and spend their entire holidays in the town, and up to now large tour operators have avoided Essaouira. There you will primarily find individual tourists, water sports enthusiasts and day-trippers enjoying an excursion from Marrakech or Agadir. Instead of bars, parties and sunbathing, there is predominantly art, culture and sports."
S. Bauer, A. Escher, S. Knieper: Essaouira, “The Wind City” as a “cultural product

Tourists at a bus stop

Essaouira is a tourist friendly town and is known to be a "cool" place.
The impact of tourism, immigration by Europeans (mostly French) and the returning of Moroccan expats from Europe has made Essaouira today a cosmopolitan oasis with a high grade of tolerans between particular ethnic or cultural groups.

Essaouira is a small town. Easy to walk around. Good roads and close proximity makes it easy also to visit places of interest in the region with local transports as buses and taxis. It is easy to find accomodation, restaurants and cafés. The medina has an interesting souk. Find beach amusements as wind- and kite surfing, horse- and camel riding....or just walk along the coasts.

A typical tourist
 

Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing economic sectors.
Tourism is an important part of the Moroccan economy.98% of international tourism to Morocco came from Europe
The WorldTourism
Organization
highlights three primary attractions in Morocco:
  1. history and cultural heritage
  2. exoticism
  3. mild weather during the European winter.

 

Plan "Azur 2020"

Morocco's tourism authority has recently announced plans to restructure "Azur 2020" one of its most ambitious tourism initiatives aiming to revive this sector after years of stagnation due to financial challenges.

The overall aim of the project is to establish Morocco as a top tourist hub given its clean beaches, rich cultural heritage and well-loved cuisine to attract 20 million tourists to the North African country by 2020.



Moroccan Tourism Sector Gets Boost
Speakers: Morocco's Tourism Minister Yassir Zenagui,
Dr. Michael Frenzel, Chairman of the executive board of TUI.

For tourists...

Ethnocentrism

Tourists visit Morocco and meet a culture different from their own. Depending on how they travel, the tourist can come more or less close to people and real life. Of course will the visitors experience be judged on their own knowledge and their own moral values and their personal feelings in general.

Example:

A tourist come back home and say that some people are very poor in Morocco because he had seen someone pick up a small piece of bread lying on the street. In his country most people don´t care if there is lying a piece of bread on the street. In Morocco most people pick it up and put it in a clean place because bread is as food in a special way sacred. Baraka of God. -may be someone else need to eat the bread.
(Baraka refers to spiritual power that manifests in the form of a blessing or good fortune, similar to the concept of good karma in Buddhism.)


The Moroccans is also experiencing a tourist in a similar way.
Tourists will be judged by the way the locals understand.

A child comes up to a tourist and asks for a dirham or a pen. If you leave them without giving anything it happens that they throw small stones after you.

A salesman cries "Hello my friend" "Where you from?".....Allemand?

Both locals and the tourists are usisng stereotypes when describing each others. It means making generalizations based on their own experiences or on what what others have said.

The Moroccans, the Berbers, the Jews......and the tourists(the French,..) etc.

It can be a kind of self-fulfilling prophecies......... you see what you want to see.

Indigenisation (Transformation to suit a local culture) is the key in getting the best when visiting Morocco.

The locals like foreigners that appreciate their culture. Try as much as possible to use the facilities of locals and try to become familiar with the native culture (language, local customs..... Specialized facilities and services for tourists are also far more expensive than the ones the locals use.


Tourism was a part of the colonial project for all European nations.
It spread with colonialism throughout the world at the end of 19th and beginning of 20th centuries. Travel literature from this time shows the extreme Orientalist rhetoric used by European tourists to interpret their experiences!


Advice to tourists

Most guides give advice to tourists about what is appropriate behavior in Morocco, for example:

  • Women should avoid provocative clothing
  • Don´t smoke, drink and eat in public during the day in the month of Ramadan
  • Never disturb someone in prayer
  • Avoid criticizing politics or religion!
  • Don´t touch any illegal drugs

    other cultural advices could be :

  • You should take of your shoes before entering a room with a carpet.
  • Don´t eat or greet people with your left hand as Moroccans use that
    hand for toilet

    or more disputed:
    (as they are gaining the salesmen ,among other things)

  • Never refuse if you are invited by locals to drink tea (A tei)
  • It is a tradition and a pleasure to bargain on the price.

    The responsibility of a tourist is to travel in an ethically good way and make a positive impact in the interaction with people and nature.
    Read more:
    Guidelines for Ecotravel - Responsible Travel Advice
    (External link)

Ne touche pas a mon enfant

Don´t touch my child

Combat crime in all its forms: Pedophilia (sexual abuse of prepubescent children) & incest (sexual abuse by a family member).


Observations of particular behavior that tourists encounter ... sometimes different from what the visitors are used too in their home countries.


Merchants and salesmen.

The following example is typical of salesmen and shows a typic attitude towards tourists who are interested in buying something in a souvenir shop. Usually there are never any prices noted.

- How much is this african mask?
- Oh. This mask is very nice.
- How much?
- It comes from Mali and is very rare.
- Yes I know that. How much is it?
- Look! It has a nice decoration and beutiful colours.
- Ok. But I want to know its price.
- Not expensive. I have more masks here.
- How much is this mask?
- Please come into my shop and look.
- No. I am only interested in knowing the price of this mask!
- 65 Euro (sic) (the right price is about 200 Dh)
- Oh. That is too much. I don´t want to buy it.

When you hear that they tell you a ridiculously high price you give the mask back and want to leave - they usually don´t want to take it back and they ask you:

- My friend (Sic) How much?

They think that you are interested in bargaining for the price and can offer you a cup of tea trying to seduce you
or they will try to sell something else to you that you don´t want.

Angry
Are they stupid? Do they not understand that they loose customers dealing that way?

They want to make as much money as possible and are continously insulting customers by asking a much higher price than the "right" price.

When you leave the shop not buying you are not longer their friend!

Read more about money and bargaining in:


"In general, the Moroccans are very friendly and hospitable. Just beware there are individuals who befriend travelers to take advantage of their naiveté. In some cases it's just to get you to purchase something so they can get a commission. In other cases it can be to rip you off. Be careful when someone approaches you without an invitation."'

Bargaining.
"You will never get a great bargain. That's it, accept it. You might get a better deal than some other tourist with less patience or experience. Just don't enter the game at the start of your trip. If you can, visit a fixed price shop right away to see what a fair price is and decide what you'd like to purchase during your trip. You might even pick up something at the fixed price shop.
"
http://www.hiptravelguide.com/morocco/tips.htm


Touts

A tout is any person who solicits business or employment in a persistent and annoying manner (generally equivalent to a solicitor or barker in American English. An example would be a person who frequents heavily touristed areas and presents himself as a tour guide (particularly towards those who do not speak the local language) but operates on behalf of local bars, restaurant, or hotels, being paid to direct tourists towards certain establishments.

The experience in its worst form is the mafia-like intimidation of travellers from a group of unpolite men who approch you when you want a taxi at the airport in Marrakech and a milder variant when nice children offer you to rent an appartment in Essaouira.

It is wise to have a guide if you are not familiar with a location.

A tour guide (tourist guide) provides assistance, information and cultural, historical and contemporary heritage interpretation to people on organized tours, individual clients, educational establishments, at religious and historical sites, museums, and at venues of other significant interest.They (normally) have a recognized national or regional tourist guide qualification.

The tourist police in main tourist areas are watching tourists walking with local Moroccans trying to prevent harassment by fake guides and in certain circumstances is wise to register with the local police if you are travelling with young Moroccans.


Greetings

Being a foreigner you experience people looking at you as an exotic creature. Mostly a positive experience getting a lot of attention and people communicate often with you with eye contact, greetings and hand shaking.

However, there are important exceptions. In traditional environments approaching, greeting and talking to women is not appropriate if you are man.


Meeting Etiquette

When Moroccans greet each other they take their time and converse about their families, friends, and other general topics. Handshakes are the customary greeting between individuals of the same sex.
Once a relationship has developed, it is common to kiss on both cheeks, starting with the left cheek while shaking hands, men with men and women with women. In any greeting that does take place between men and women, the woman must extend her hand first. If she does not, a man should bow his head in greeting.
When entering a social function, shake hands with the person to your right and then continue around the room going from right to left.
Say good-bye to each person individually when leaving.


 

To queue

If a number of clients wait at a store, it is not a rule to serve in the correct order. Those who are in a hurry and just like to buy a few things can be served before the others. So also small childen or an elderly. There is howewer also a common behavior, that some customers is pushing their way in and insisting on being served directly even though other customers waiting for their turn.


Dirtiness

Garbage and dirt in the streets is common. Habitually waste is thrown in the streets. Sometimes garbage bags are placed in the street just outside the door and in the night animals(cows, goats and sheep, dogs and seagulls) is breaking the bag to eat its content and the wind is then doing the rest. The forest is full of plastic bags.......

Plastic bags in the forest

Regular cleaning of the streets have improved but not the behavior of people. In northeast of the town, the cows cross the "green wall" in the night and attack the waste containers.
Especially in the summer it is blowing a lot and sand and dust are a problem. Because of the special climate with high humidity, salty air and strong winds are buildings, machinery and vehicles vulnerable. The lack of maintenance is obvious. Some locations have a bad odor due to garbage and as well from leaking wastewater in the streets. Most drains are clogged with rubbish and it is not unusual that there is no manhole covers, dangerous for pedestrians and certainly vehicles. Neighborhoods in the medina and the town are occationally flooded by sewage..


Health for travellers

Vaccinations.
No vaccination certificate is required for visitors coming from Europe or America.
Recommendations: Typhoid or Hepatitis A, polio and tetanus vaccines

Food and water
Usually fried and boiled foods are safe. It is also advised not to drink tap water. Avoid eating fruits and vegetables that have not been peeled or cooked.

Take precautions against insect bites and sunburn.

Traffic accidents are a significant hazard in Morocco. Driving practices are very poor and have resulted in serious injuries to and fatalities.
Public buses and taxis are inexpensive, drivers typically exhibit poor driving habits, and buses are frequently overcrowded.

Learn more : Morocco Health recommendations (External link)

What is the main cause of traffic accidents in Morocco?
Yahoo Answers (External link)

Water bottle

 

Alcohol, tobacco and narcotics
(for sugar see food!)

In Essaouira there are shops selling wine, beer and spirits. Closed on Fridays. Theese shops are also closed during the month of Ramadan. As the religion forbids drinking for muslims Morocco is a rather dry country with few drunkards and Moroccans prefer dinking tea when meeting.


Smoking is hazardopus

A 18 year old boy condemned to 3 month prison because he smoked a cigarette in a public place during Ramadan.
Source: http://dafina.net/gazette/article/maroc-condamné-à-3-mois-de-prison-pour-avoir-fumé-en-public-pendant-le-ramadan


 

Tourists often notice that smoking tobacco is generally toleratad in restaurants and cafes, but not in the taxis or buses.

The crude prevalence of current smoking (currently smoked and had smoked > 100 cigarettes in lifetime) was 16.9% in the adolescent and adult rural population: 31.0% among men and 1.1% among women. The majority of smokers (74.4% of men and 68.8% of women) began smoking before age 20 years. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that age, sex, marital status, occupation and region of residence were the strongest determinants of current smoking. These results showed a high prevalence of smoking among males in the rural population of Morocco.

Burden of smoking in Moroccan rural areas.
Source: pubmed.gov (External link)


Sibsi, skaf kif

To smoke and possess hashish (also " Kif " ) is illegal but it is common that travellers can be offered to buy or to smoke. A good advice is to be careful touching any drugs.
Read more here. .

Smoking Hashish in Morocco (External link)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Traffic behavior

Don´t rely on your knowledge of traffic rules. Lack of education or just negligent conduct appears in typical phenomena as people walk out in the street without looking. Avoiding a hole in the ground is more important than driving on the right side of the street. In the night most cyclists have no lights at all. Do not expect that road users stop in a junction and let you pass.That a vehicle stops and lets pass pedestrians at a pedestrian crossing is very rare.

Traffic crashes on Moroccan roads claim a daily average of no less than 10 lives and 200 injuries. Strikingly enough, the 2005 international classification placed Morocco sixth in terms of the number of traffic accidents.
Source: http://riadzany.blogspot.com/2009/05/traffic-accidents-in-morocco-on-rise.html


The weather in Essaouira

A tourist finds Essaouira town cold in the summers and warm in the winters compared to the other regions in Morocco.
In the summer the northerly wind is persistent and strong, good for windsurfing but annoying for sunbathers who also can find the water temperature cold, 14-18° C (57-65°F).
The summers inlands in Essaouira province are very hot about 40° when it is 25° in Essaouira town.

When it is raining it is usually very nice weather because there is no winds. That is in the winter when temperatures go down to max 13 °C in the night but in general warm in the days.

So if you don´t like strong winds and not too cold nights the best seasons to visit Essaouira are the spring and the autumn.


The treatment of animals

Wild or semidomestic dogs are usually shy and avoid humans because people throw stones at them. Not only for protection but mostly for pleasure. You can even see children kicking cats and throwing stones at birds or other animals.To whip donkeys and horses is common.


Talking loudly in public

To talk loudly about private matters, on the mobile phone or more generally in public places is a common phenomenon, is not embarassing for locals. When tensions do occur, yelling, expressing frustration, and generally creating a public scene is acceptable and quite ordinary. However, it can be annoying for a visitor.

 


Moroccan "rendezvous"

To schedule an appointment at a specified time does not necessarily mean that the person will arrive at that time exactly. Rather later or when it's convenient. You usually meet people in the "souk" , at home luch- or dinner time, at the mosque or just at the neighborhood cafe.


Safety

Essaouira, as Morocco in general, is rather safe for visitors.
It is important that the tourists understand that they are objects of attention! For good and for bad.

It is easy to make local friends, to learn some arabic and take on some local habits in greetings and eating etc

If you are harassed in any way, the best thing is to take contact with other people - if they not already had gathered around you which is a habit here when something special has happened.

The social control is high mainly to your benefit.

Conflicts are usually caused by misconceptions, lack of understanding differences in culture and behaviour and an unvillingness to change perspective, but also common ignorance and normal human group behavior. Indigenisation (Transformation to suit a local culture) is the key in getting the best when visiting Morocco.

Read more below: Is Morocco a safe place for tourists?


The Relative Status of Women and Men.
The status of men is higher than that of women. For the most part, women remain in private, domestic places. The man , the father represents the family outwards.
Worship in mosques is generally reserved for men and all Muslim leaders are male. Conservative Moroccans may not entertain mixed-sex groups. Within the family, the maintained virginity of a young woman is guarded, as it is vital to her acceptance for marriage. On the other hand, male sexual activity before marriage is regarded as normal.


LGBT rights in Morocco

LGBT flag

Morocco is often considered one of the most liberal Muslim countries.

"It is forbidden by our God , it is haram " explains Hasnae Krimi, 22, a student in linguistics at the University Mohammed V in Rabat. It also believes that the increase in natural disasters and disease are all warnings calling to reject homosexuality. Most people living in Muslim countries respond the same way: homosexuality is haram, forbidden by God.

Under Moroccan law, "committing obscene acts against nature with an individual of the same sex is punishable by six months to three years in prison and a fine ranging from 200 to 1,000 dirhams (Article 489 Code penal Marocaine)

"Behind this law against homosexuality, there is above the weight of religion," said Dr. Abdessamad Dialmy, professor of gender studies at the University Mohammed V in Rabat, and a leading researcher on sexuality in Morocco .

"For most Moroccans, homosexuality is a sin because it is rejected by Islam. Having sex outside of marriage is less reprehensible than making love with someone of the same sex. The first is simply a sin, not abnormal, while the latter is considered a deviant. "
Source: /dafina.net/gazette/article

"Dans le sillage des ‘révolutions’ homosexuelles de par le monde et à la veille de la célébration, le 17 mai prochain, de la journée mondiale de lutte contre l'homophobie et la transphobie, les homos marocains appellent à manifestation publique pour leurs ‘droits’. Lemag 4 Mai 2013

Les homosexuels marocains se révoltent contre les islamistes, et appellent à manifester.....
Source: http://www.bladi.net/homosexuels-marocains-revolte-islamistes.html

CAMPAGNE POUR LA DÉPÉNALISATION DE L'HOMOSEXUALITÉ

 

Six Marocains condamnés pour « homosexualité (External link)

http://www.bladi.net/marocains-homosexuels-prison.html (External link)

Droits des homosexuels :HRW tance le Maroc (Aufaitmaroc.com 08/07/2014)


The family

The extended family is of utmost importance as it is a source of status and reputation as well as financial support. One's personal dignity and honor are an extension of the family name. The individual is always subordinate to the family or group. The concept of hshuma, or shame, is spread to the entire family if one member of the family is known to have misbehaved. Moroccans view married life as the only normal way for adults to live. Polygamy is allowed under Islam, although it is rarely practiced. In such cases, the wives may live together in one house, or depending on the family's economic status, each wife may reside in her own dwelling with her offspring.The elderly are revered and respected and often exert a great influence on the rest of the family.


The Concept of Shame - Hshuma (hchouma)

. Moroccans' most cherished possession is their honour and dignity, which reflects not only on themselves but on all members of their extended family.
. Moroccans will go out of their way to preserve their personal honour.
. Hshuma occurs when other people know that they have behaved inappropriately.
. A Moroccan's sense of self-worth is externally focused, so the way others see them is of paramount importance.
. If someone is shamed, they may be ostracized by society, or even worse by their family.
. To avoid hshuma, many Moroccans will say or do things publicly because it makes them look good or helps them avoid embarrassment or awkwardness.
. In business it is extremely important to verify anything that has been agreed to in front of others as it may not have been a sincere agreement and the person may have no intention of following through.
From: Morocco - Language, Culture and Doing Business (External link)


 

Islam and everyday life

Islam is practised by the majority of Moroccans and governs their personal, political, economic and legal lives.
Among certain obligations for Muslims are to pray five times a day - at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Friday is the Muslim holy day. In Essaouira are most shops closed during Friday prayers but opens in the evening.

Many traditions but also everyday life in Essaouira follow the muslim calendar and in general local people have islamic values which are guiding them in actions and ethics.

Learn more in: Islamic Living (/islam.about.com/ External link)

The impact and significance of Islam in peoples life must be understood and a visitor with other beliefs must show respect and learn to follow some simple rules.

    • Women should avoid provocative clothing
    • Don´t smoke, drink and eat in public during the day
      in the month of Ramadan
    • Never disturb someone in prayer
    • Avoid criticizing religion.
    • Ask for permission before taking pictures

Of religious reasons are some places and events sacred and not accesible for non muslims.



 

Questions


Is Morocco a peaceful place on earth?

Morocco ranks the 54 place of 186 countries in the Global Peace Index , GPI Indicatiors and other factors concerning Morocco and countries in the world.


Is Morocco a poor country?

Morocco ranks the 129th of 185 countries in the HDI (Human Development Index)
Source: UNDP

Wealth & Health of Nations Gapminder.org
This graph shows how long people live and how much money they earn. Click the play button to see how countries have developed since 1800.

The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, whose 12 palaces reportedly cost $1 million a day to operate. His net worth is up $1 billion this year to $2.5 billion, making him the only one of the world’s 15 richest royals to have added to his fortune in the past year. Ranked i9th of the top 20 of the world’s richest leaders!
Source: http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/17/king-morocco-phosphate-business-billionaires-royal-conflict.html

Le Maroc, 8ème pays arabe le plus riche (Bladi.net)

Mauvais chiffre du jour : le Maroc, 129è au classement IDH (Bladi.net)

Poor Morocco


Morocco ranks in the 23d place of 43 selected countries with an IQ of 84.
The relationship between nations and intelligence is a controversial area of study concerning differences between nations in average intelligence test scores, their possible causes, and their correlation with measures of social well-being and economic prosperity.

National IQ

The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

Source:http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html


More info about Morocco: World Development Indicators Worldbank

Is Morocco a healthy country?

The health system in Morocco is comprised of three sectors: a public sector consisting of both the Ministry of Public Health and the Health Services of the Royal Armed Forces, a semi-public sector, and a private sector. The World Health Organization and UNICEF have helped prevent eye disorders and venereal diseases in Morocco.

WHO Morocco Health statistics (Pdf)

Wealth & Health of Nations Gapminder.org

Health information for tourists
See text above: Health for travellers


Liens en français

Au Maroc, la brosse à dents est encore un luxe (Dafina.net)

 


Is Morocco a democratic country?

Morocco is classified as a Partly democratic country:
The citizens have a lower degree of political rights and civil freedom, often due to insufficient legislation and corruption.
Source: Democracies in the world Nobelprize.org

Morocco ranks the 80 place of 182 countries in Worldwide Corruption Perceptions. The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private benefit." 2011

"Corruption has been described in the past a a part of Moroccan life. It has been a huge problem at every level from police throiugh to local officials accepting cash for favours, building permissions and access to public figures. Now, according to Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi, Morocco is set to forge ahead with moralizing public life and fighting corruption and economic crimes. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travelblogs/235/63485/
Morocco+to+increase+fight+against+corruption?destId=355496#ixzz201bART3D


Morocco was classified 91h place of 177 in the corruption Transparency Internastional index.

 

Corruption by The Moroccan Royal Gendarmerie (Arabic: الدرك الملكي Al-Darak al-Malikiy;
French: Gendarmerie royale marocaine;

The 2013 corruption perceptions index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 177 countries and territories around the world - See more at source: http://www.transparency.org/country#MAR


Tansparancymaroc
Transparency Morocco (TM), an association of public utility by decree n ° 2.09.391 of June 11, 2009, was established January 6, 1996 by a group of citizens to face an alarming situation of corruption and lack of transparency, ethics and good governance. It is a nongovernmental organization that adheres to the principles contained in the charter of Transparency International, an international organization whose stated objective is to fight against corruption worldwide

Since its inception, Transparency Morocco placed its fight against corruption in the democratic movement that promotes good governance, citizenship development, promoting the rule of law and the establishment of a National integrity.


What about human rights in Morocco?

  • Freedom of expression

    Freedom of the press is relatively good compared with most other North African and Middle Eastern countries, though many journalists are thought to practice self-censorship and Morocco ranks low, 138 of 179 countries in the press freedom index for 2011-2012 (External link). Questioning the legitimacy of the monarchy is a taboo. The debate on political Islam is severely restricted and it is illegal to question the kingdom's "territorial integrity", i.e. the virtual annexation of the Western Sahara.

  • Freedom of religion

    Freedom of religion is generally observed, with some limitations. Although Islam is the official state religion, Moroccans are permitted to practice other faiths, but it is illegal for Muslims to renounce Islam. Therefore, restrictions apply to Christian proselytizing. Political activities under the rubric of Islam are also restricted by the state. There still exists a Moroccan Jewish community, although most Jews emigrated in the years following the creation of Israel in 1948. Moroccans are divided in Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%.
    Internal links:
    The flag of Morocco
    Arabic phrases
    The Jews
  • Social rights and equality

    In 2004 the Moroccan parliament took steps to improve the status of women and children, and has passed a new family law, Mudawanat al Asra (English Family Code), which is widely regarded as very progressive by regional standards. For example, men are now permitted only one wife unless their wife signs an agreement. In addition to being candidates in mixed electoral lists, women have a national list in parliamentary elections that allow them for at least 10% of the seats.

    In parallel, and in September 2006, a national observatory to fight violence against women was founded. Many state departments, administrations, universities as well as national female associations are sought to coordinate efforts together.
    Recently, in 2009, new legislation has also allowed women to divorce their husbands without the consent of the husband
  • "Morocco’s 2011 constitution incorporated strong human rights provisions, but these reforms did not lead to improved practices, the passage of implementing legislation, or the revision of repressive laws. In 2013, Moroccans exercised their right to peaceful protest in the streets, but police continued to violently disperse them on occasion. Laws that criminalize acts deemed harmful to the king, the monarchy, Islam, or Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara limited the rights to peaceful expression, assembly, and association. In February, a military court sentenced 25 civilian Sahrawis to prison terms, including nine to life imprisonment. The trial was just one of many unfair trials in recent years that have resulted in politically motivated convictions."
    From Human Rights Watch World Report 2014

     

  • In The Global Gender Gap Index , which examines the gap
    between men and women in four fundamental categories
    (subindexes): economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. (The four pillars)
    Morocco was ranked the 129th of 135 countries. Source: The Global Gender Gap Report 2012- World Economic Forum

  • Berber identity

    Berber activists regularly contend that under the banner of Arabization, their unique language and culture are being repressed in favor of an Arab one. This is viewed as discrimination and method of marginalization. However, on October 17, 2001 the Royal institute of the Amazigh culture was founded to maintain and develop the Amazigh languages and culture.
    Internal link: Haha (Amazigh)


  • Capital punishment

    Though theoretically capital punishment is still not abolished in Morocco, there has been only one execution in the last 25 years, and it happened in 1993. 198 people were sentenced to death between 1956 and 1993, although there was an 11 year lull in executions between January 1982 and August 1993.
    Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) estimated 528 persons were killed during Hassan II's reign in both judicial and extrajudicial executions

  • LGBT rights in Morocco
    See text above: LGBT

Source: Wikipedia Human rights in Morocco


Is Morocco a good country?

Morocco ranks 67th of 125 countries in The Good Country Index overall rankings .

Simon Anholt 2013

Source: www.goodcountry.org/overall


 

Is Morocco involved in any conflicts?

Conflict Map Nobelprize.org


Is Morocco a safe place to travel for tourists?

"Morocco's economy is very dependent upon tourism and continues to be a favourite holiday destination for Europeans (3rd favourite for the French), and in Marrakech, over 17,000 foreigners are registered (2007) homeowners. Recent reforms have been put in place to ensure the visitors experience in Morocco is as carefree as possible. All guides must be registered and trained. Tourist Police forces work in every major city. Compared to Europe, crime is commonly petty thievery on trains and buses.

The political situation is stable and progressing with modern democratic reforms. With strong diplomatic and trade associations in Europe, especially France - and increasingly the USA and Japan, positive change and growth is in the future for Morocco. Islamic extremism exists, but attacks are very rare and severely punished.

Islamic extremism

Moroccans practice a moderate and tolerant form of Islam, and are sensitive to the plight of Palestine and Iraq.

But....: Radicalism takes root in northern Morocco (zawya.com) and a significant number of young Moroccans from Morocco and Europe engage in foreign wars for Islam, so-called jihadists. See the documentary "The Islamic state" (Vice news August 15, 2014)

Terrorisme : alerte orange dans les McDonald’s au Maroc (Bladi.net)

Moroccans welcome all visitors, the culture is renowned for it's hospitality. Hassling to buy tends to be a problem, and Moroccans are experts in talking you out of your money, using charm and perhaps a glass of mint tea. The best way to let them know you do not want anything is to avoid looking at the wares for sale and simply walk away, even if the person is blocking your way. A bit of humour here can go a long way!"
Se also above: Merchants and salesmen.


Moroccans are favorable for the application of Sharia (Islamic law) in their country, according to a study by the American Institute of Pew Research, in which 83% of Moroccans interviewed in this survey, want to establish Sharia as the supreme law in their country.
Of a total of 39 countries, Morocco is the sixth country in the Muslim world, where people want to refer to these texts, especially to resolve family matters, such as inheritance, or governing the worship area, but also in the social and political spheres.
The study involved a sample of 1,472 Moroccans also reveals that 81% of Moroccans are opposed to armed attacks and suicide operations in the name of Islam.
Source: Bladi.net
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research does not take policy positions.
http://www.pewresearch.org/


More questions concerning travel safety etc at Source: Morocco Explored
http://www.moroccoexplored.com/5-FAQ.html

Safety and security The Foreign and Commonwealth Office FCO UK

 


Liens en français

Tourisme

Essaouira has been elected by the TV channel "Voyages" Fox Group
as one of the top 10 global tourism stops, considered "destinations of happiness."

Essaouira dans le top 10 des "destinations bonheur" du tourisme mondial

Last updated: 15 August, 2014


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Essaouira
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France)

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as a cultural product

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DISCOVERING MOROCCO: GUIDEBOOKS, AND THE MAGHREB IN THE
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Dafina.net Article | , 24/12/2011

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