Sunday, June 25, 2017

Eid Mubarak!

Sunset - then waiting for the new moon sighting

According to a communique published by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, after a number of legitimate measures and calculations run by special moon-sighting committees across the country, it was established that Monday is the first day of Shawwal, marking the first day of Eid Al Fitr in Morocco.

Monday June 26, will be the first day of the month of Shawwal and thus Eid Al Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

However, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Qatar and Turkey, all announced on Saturday night that Eid El Fitr would be celebrated on Sunday. The sighting of the moon in most Muslim countries coincides with the astronomical calculations and predictions made by the International Astronomical Centre.

On the occasion of the advent of Eid Al-Fitr, HM King Mohammed VI, sent messages of congratulations to the Heads of State of the Islamic countries, expressing to them His sincere wishes for health and happiness and to their brotherly peoples further progress and prosperity.

In these messages, HM the King said, "It is a blessed opportunity which, because of its deep meaning and the noble values it bears, prompts us to reaffirm, through our faith and our conduct, our attachment to the teachings of tolerant Islam. It also urges us to incarnate the ideals of our religion which advocates fraternity, unity, and moderation, as well as the rejection of any form of division, discord, fanaticism, violence or extremism."


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Eid al Fitr - Expert Predictions?

While Moroccans await the official statement from the Moroccan Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs on the exact end of Ramadan, there are a couple of astronomers with a good record of forecasting the end of the holy month.
Abdelaziz Kharbouch and Hicham El Issaoui, say that on the basis of their calculations, which do not exclude observation of the crescent moon. "It will be invisible on Saturday evenings, in the east as well as in the south of the country". They claim that the month of Ramadan will go until the end of its thirty days and that "Eid al Fitr, will be celebrated in Morocco on Monday, June 26th".

It remains that a small margin of error and doubt will persist until the last minute on Saturday night when the observation of the first crescent of the month and the confirmation of its appearance in the Moroccan sky through the Official statement of the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs.

On the other hand, if you ask Google, the answer is unequivocal. Google says Eid al-Fitr 2017 will begin in the evening of Sunday, June 25 and ends in the evening of Monday, June 26th.

Eid Mubarak to all our readers!

This is also the time for Zakat and Sadaqat al-Fitr

The significant role played by Zakat in the circulation of wealth within the Islamic society is also played by the Sadaqat al-Fitr. However, in the case of Sadaqat al-Fitr, each individual is required to calculate how much charity is due from himself and his dependents and go into the community in order to find those who deserve such charity.

Sadaqat al-Fitr plays a very important role in the development of the bonds of community. The rich are obliged to come in direct contact with the poor, and the poor are put in contact with the extremely poor. This contact between the various levels of society helps to build real bonds of brotherhood and love within the Islamic community and trains those who have, to be generous to those who do not have.

Zakat Fitr (alms of the fast breaking) is mandatory for "anyone who has food for a day and a night" and "has a surplus of food." It must be paid on behalf of any dependents. For example, a family man with three children will pay Zakat for himself, his wife and three children. This offering may be paid in cash, or food.

The amount to be paid is set by the Ministry of Religious Affairs which this year set it at around 15 dirhams.


Friday, June 23, 2017

13th International Festival of Amazigh Culture

The 13th International Festival of the Amazigh Culture
Fez, 14-16 July

Programme of the Forum

Amazighity and Cultural Diversity in the Face of Extremism

Friday, July 14

17:00:   Arrival of participants
17:30:   Opening of the Forum and the Festival  
             Opening remarks

19:00 Tribute to the Honourable Mohammed Kabbaj

18: 30   Keynote 1: «The Weaving of languages" (in French)
                                    Hubert Haddad (Writer)

19:20 Reception and a Tour of Expositions

Saturday, July 15

9:00 – 9:30
Room 1

              Keynote 2:   Criticism of Extreme Reason
                                       Maati  Kabbal (Institute of Monde Arabe, Paris)
                                         Moderator: Fatima Sadiqi
9 :30 – 10 :30
Room 1

First Session:      Insights on Some Apects of the Amazigh Culture in North Africa
                                  Moderator: Issa Ait Belize

Jilali Saib (Mohamed V University, Rabat)
Meryam Demnati (Amazigh Observatory of Rights and Freedoms, Rabat)
Madina Touré (Nouakchot University, Mauritania)
Slimane Douih (Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez)

10:30 – 11:00 Debate

11:00 – 11:30

               Keynote 3:
Enemies, Allies or Competitors?
Islamist-Amazigh Movement Relations in Morocco and Algeria
                             Michael J. Willis (Oxford University, United Kingdom)
                               Moderator: Moha Ennaji

11 : 30 – 11 : 50   Coffee break

Room 1
11 : 50 – 12 :50

Second Session : Reflections on the Theories of Cultural Studies and                        
                                    Moderator:  Alfonso de Toro
Speakers :  
Mohamed Taifi (University of Virginia, USA)
Issa Aït Belize (Moroccan-Belgian Writer, Brussels)
Bouthaina Ben Kridis (University of Carthage, Tunisia)
Alberto Tonini (University of Florence, Italie)

12: 50 – 13: 15 Debate

15:30 – 16:15  

Room 1

Third Session:          Literature, Art and Cohabitation
Moderator: Abdelkader Ben Hammadi
Speakers :
Enza Palamara (François Rabelais University, Tours, France)
Ali Fertahi (Moulay Slimane University, Béni-Mellal)
Juliane Tauchnitz (University of Leipzig, Germany)

16:15 –16 :45  Debate

16 :45 – 17 :15

                              Keynote 4: Alfonso de Toro (University of Leipzig,  
                                           Culture as a Weapon against Extremism
      Moderator : Jilali Saib

17:15 – 18:05   Coffee break

18 :05- 19 :35  
Room 2

Parallel Session: Painting Workshop on "Fighting Extremism"
Hosted by Khadija Madani Alaoui and Tarek Sadki (University of Fez)

18 :05 - 18:50  
Room 1

Fourth Session:   Multiculturalism, Multilingualism and Extremism
                                  Moderator:   Juliane Tauchnitz

Nizar Kader (Lebanon)
Fatima Sadiqi (International Institute for Langues and Cultures, Fez)
Belkacem Boumedini (Mustapha STAMBOULI University, Mascara, Algeria)
Nebia Dadoua Hadria (CRASC. Oran, Algeria)

18:50 -19:20 Debate

Sunday, July 16th

9 :00 – 11 :00

Room 2

Parallel Session: Story-telling Workshop on "Fighting Extremism"
Facilitated by: Jean-Marie Simon (Stories lighter, France and Mohammed El Alami, University of Fez)

Room 1
9 :00 – 10 :00

Fifth Session:   Amazigh, Religion and democracy
                               Moderator: Meryam Demnati
Johan Goud  (University of Utrecht, Holland)
Yahya Belaskri (France)
Moha Ennaji (International Institute for Langues and Cultures, Fez)

10 :00 – 10:30  Debate

10 :30  - 11 :00

                     Keynote 5: Equality values in Amazigh Culture
                 Ahmed Assid (Amazigh Observatory of Rights and Freedoms, Rabat)
Moderator: Mohamed Nedali

11 :00 – 11:20  Coffee break
11 :20 – 12:35

Sixth Session:     Radicalization of Youth and Extremism
                                Moderator : Nizar Kader

Abdelkader Benali (Moroccan-Dutch writer)
Bruce Maddy-Weitzman (Senior Research Fellow)
Jean-Marie Simon (France)

12:35 - 13: 05   Debate

13: 05 – 13:35   Programmed speech: Saad Eddine Ibrahim (Ibn Khaldoun
                               Center, Egypt)
                              Cultural Diversity in the Middle East and North Africa
                              Moderator: Abdelkader Benali

13:35 – 13:55 Poetry reading: Mohamed Nedali, Bassou Oujebbour, Saida
                           El Kabir, Asmae Belkasmi, Khadija Madani Alaoui
Moderator: Mohammed Moubtassime

13:55      Recommendations and closing

17:00 – 20:00 Guided Tour of the Medina (optional)


21:30 - 23:30

Friday, July 14, 2017

- SAID SENHAJI (Pictured above) (Morocco)

Saturday, July 15th, 2017



- IBTISSAM TISKET (Pictured left)(Morocco)

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

- LAURA CONTI (pictured above) (Italy)


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Heatwave Warning For Morocco

A wave of heat is expected to hit several regions of Morocco over the next few days with temperatures up to 46 degrees Celsius

According to the National Meteorological Department (DMN), maximum temperatures of 41 to 44 degrees are expected from Thursday in Aousserd, Oued-Edadhab, Boujdour, Laayoune Tarfaya, Es-Smara, Tata, Taroudant, Assa-Zag, Zagora, and Errachidia.

Temperatures ranging from 37 to 40 degrees are forecast in Ouarzazate, Fkih Ben Saleh, Kelaa Sraghna, Rhamna, Marrakech, Youssoufia, Essaouira, Guelmim, Tan-Tan, and Beni Mellal.

On Friday and Saturday, the DMN predicts maximum temperatures of 42 to 46 degrees at Aousserd, Oued-Eddahab, Boujdour, Es-Smara, Assa-Zag, Tata, Zagora and Taroudant.

Temperature will reach 37 to 41 degrees Celsius at Guelmim, Tan-Tan, Sidi Ifni, Chtouka Ait Baha, Agadir, Laayoune, Marrakech, Youssoufia, Essaouira, Chichaoua, Kelaa-Sraghna, Beni Mellal, Fkih Saleh, Settat, Khouribga, Sidi Slimane, Kemisset, Ben Slimane, SidiBennour, Berrrechid, Safi, and Errachidia.

There is also a chance of some local storms.

Fez temperatures remain hot for the last few days of Ramadan, with 38 Celsius today, 41 on Friday, 43 on Saturday, 41 on Sunday, dropping down to 37 on Monday.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Laylat Al Qadr - the "Night of Power"

A statement from the Ministry of the Royal House, Protocol and Chancellery issued yesterday, says that King Mohammed VI will preside this evening (Wednesday June 21) at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca
Prayers inside Hassan II Mosque on Laylat al-Qadr

The event is a religious evening in commemoration of Laylat Al Qadr.

Laylat Al Qadr is considered the holiest night of the year for Muslims, and is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan. It is known as the "Night of Power," and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, beginning with the exhortation, "Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)," - Surat Al-Alaq.

The Prophet Muhammad did not mention exactly when the "Night of Power" would be, although most scholars believe it falls on one of the odd-numbered nights of the final ten days of Ramadan, such as the 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, or 27th days of Ramadan. In Morocco it is most widely believed to fall on the 27th day of Ramadan.
“Whoever stays up (in prayer and remembrance of Allah) on Laylat al-Qadr, fully believing (in Allah’s promise of reward) and hoping to seek reward, he shall be forgiven for his past sins.” - Imam Bukhari
On this night, the blessings and mercy of Allah are abundant, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree of what will occur is revealed to the angels who also descend to earth.
We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the night of Qadr:
And what will explain to thee what the night of Qadr is?
The night of Qadr is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand:
Peace! This until the rise of dawn
! — Sura 97 (Al-Qadr), āyāt 1-5
Many Muslims observe this occasion with study, devotional readings, and prayer. Some Muslims participate in a spiritual retreat called itikaf, where they spend all ten days in the mosque reading the Quran and praying, but according to a local Imam, the number of people doing this has declined over the years.

Then there is the Leilat Sabawachrine - literally the "night of the 27th" - is a night especially for children - a time when they dress in their finest clothes.

Leilat Sabawachrine - a tiara is essential!