Peace Corps Morocco: 50 Years of Partnership
It says a lot about Peace Corps fashion that I couldn’t tell if someone of these pictures were from the 60s/70s or present day.
So so proud seeing the Moroccan athletes walk out in the opening ceremony :’)
AIDS-Free Generation Photo Contest - First Place - Reducing/Eliminating Stigma and Discrimination
Fatima’s Gift by Peace Corps Volunteer Molly Green (Morocco, 2011–2013)
A student in Morocco holds some of the ribbons that were distributed during a local music festival. Volunteers, a Moroccan HIV/AIDS organization, and local high school students conducted outreach and HIV testing.
Hayat salaam al-Maghreb!
RABAT — The call by a radical Moroccan imam for the death of a journalist who spoke out in defence of sexual freedom has ignited a fierce debate between Islamists and secularists in a country torn between modernity and religious tradition.
Abdellah Nhari, an imam in the northeastern Oujda region, who is well known for his controversial pronouncements, declared in a recent sermon that Elmokhtar Laghzioui was a “dayoute,” or cuckold in colloquial Arabic, and that in Islam “the ‘dayoute’ should be killed.”
Nhari was reacting to Laghzioui’s remarks, on a satellite television channel, indicating that he supported personal, and in particular sexual freedom, even in the case of one’s “mother or sister.”
Around 100 journalists held a sit-in on Thursday outside the headquarters of the newspaper in Casablanca where Laghzioui works, to protest against Nhari’s comments, denounce “terrorism in the name of religion,” and voice their support for freedom of expression.
The imam has since insisted that his words, which were swiftly disseminated by social networks and the local press, did not amount to calling for the death of the journalist.
But the public prosecutor in Oujda has ordered a judicial inquiry into the case, fuelling the debate on sexual freedom that was rekindled with the opening last month of a theatre production in Rabat openly supporting freedom for women.
The production was a Moroccan adaptation of “The Vagina Monologues,” an award-winning play by US author Eve Ensler that celebrates female sexuality and focuses on the abuses women suffer.
The mostly secular defenders of sexual freedom in Morocco want to see the abolition of article 490 of the penal code, which stipulates a prison sentence of one year and one month for anyone caught having extra-marital sex.
In reality, sex outside marriage is common in Morocco and largely tolerated, with unmarried couples behaving discreetly.
It’s never too late to Volunteer! Check out this great piece from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams about our awesome 50+ Volunteers.
I volunteered with an eighty-five year old woman named Muriel in Morocco. She was amazing, and I was fortunate to have her wisdom and support to lean on during training. Now she’s my inspiration that it’s really never too late to do what you want to do in life. Whenever I have friends say they’re too old for this or that, I tell them about Muriel.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 7, 2011 – President Barack Obama announced the re-opening of a Peace Corps program in Tunisia. This announcement was made during President Obama’s meeting today with Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid el Sebsi, attended by Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams.
“We are honored that the government of Tunisia has asked Peace Corps to re-open our program in Tunisia,” said Director Williams. “The return of the Peace Corps to Tunisia offers our countries the opportunity to resume a partnership with a long and productive history. This Peace Corps program will contribute to the Obama Administration’s efforts to support the Tunisian people by working side by side on important education and economic initiatives.”
So thrilled to see this news, as the Peace Corps has been severely lacking in presence in the Arab and Muslim world, having up until this announcement only working actively in Morocco and Jordan. Given the prevalence of misunderstanding and ignorance on the part of Americans and Arabs as to the true nature of the other, anything that increases exposure, understanding, and dialogue is a positive advancement.
Combined with the reopening of the program in Indonesia (the world’s largest Muslim counter) in 2010, these are encouraging signs!