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Morocco: Happy New Year!

Shortly after Eid al-Adha commenced, Moroccan residents are ready to celebrate the new year. Although New Year's Eve in Morocco is a bit more low-key than the holiday in Europe or the United States, families often celebrate at home, and (as you'll see from the blogoma), resolutions are made.

Evelyn in Morocco describes a typical Moroccan New Year's Eve celebration:

Not much is made of New Year's Eve here. From what I can gather, many people have some cake and listen to music or watch TV with their family.

Hisham of The Moroccan Mirror asks what a real happy new year would mean:

One Answer Would Be: Getting Rid of Poverty and Child Labor

This is not meant as a miserabilist attempt to hamper the joy of those who, legitimately, want to forget about the ills and miseries of our society. But it is a reminder of the kind of obstacles still ahead.

The blogger also shares a video on the subject by an unknown Moroccan filmmaker. In another post, Hisham shares his best and worst of 2007. One example in the “best” category:

Aboubakr Jamaï
The founder of the most popular Moroccan magazine, Le Journal Hebdo, was forced earlier this year, to leave Morocco in order to avoid paying a record breaking fine of $350,000, that would otherwise bankrupt his magazine. He is one of the most popular and charismatic young journalists that the country has ever produced, and one who marked the recent Moroccan journalistic scene by bringing a revolutionary new style of professional investigative journalism. He openly challenged the monarchy and the military and literally paid the price. In November 2005, Jamaï wrote a ground-breaking open letter to Mohamed VI in which he urged the monarch to grab the opportunity of his political virginity and his capital of popular sympathy to put the country on the tracks of reform. The letter fell on deaf ears.

Connie in Morocco wishes a Happy 2008 and shares feelings about the holiday season and its long-term effects on the village where she lives:

The “holiday” atmosphere/lifestyle is still pervasive here following the Muslim Layeed Kbeer. The calendar new year is observed this next week with no school Monday or Tuesday, then I think it is the 10th that the Islamic calendar celebrates new year, so school (and the neddy) are closed then as well. The number days high school has been in session since September is few. As I understand it, it is the “fault” of the students, parents, administration, ministry, and sometimes even the teachers. No wonder hardly any go to the university. I also just discovered this is the first year the “baccalaureate” is offered in my village. That is the equivalent of our high school diploma.

Finally, The Morocco Report wishes a simple happy new year:

And so, I wish you and yours the best of this coming new year – make the most of it. Choose resolutions that truly speak to you, and that you may keep. Work on fulfilling your hopes and goals. I know I will.

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