By Jawad TOUHAMI
Que le veuillent ou pas ses détracteurs, le Maroc a été depuis XIV siècles, est et restera toujours un pays musulman sunnite malékite et que ces magnats d’une certaine presse marocaine à la solde des ennemis jurés du Maroc, de l’arabité et de l’Islam, ces apprentis journalistes de dernière heure qui dans le but d’anéantir notre identité perdent leur temps à faire passer des messages antéislamiques sur leurs publications de luxe, financées par leurs maîtres d’outre mer à coups de dollars et d’euros.
Ces détracteurs n’ont qu’à aller faire des reportages à la sortie des mosquées, car ils ne peuvent y accéder par le mépris qu’ils ont pour les lieux du culte, ou dans les universités et constater le nombre constant de jeunes et de moins jeunes croyants qui augmente jour après jour et que leurs publications empoisonnées n’intéressent absolument pas cette catégorie de bons musulmans.
Ces détracteurs n’ont qu’à faire des études approfondies par leurs analystes chevronnés sur la montée en flèche des partis d’obédience islamique dans tous les pays musulmans de la Turquie à la Malaisie. Ils n’ont qu’à se demander pourquoi il faut faire dorénavant le tirage au sort pour aller faire le pèlerinage à la Mecque ? Ils n’ont qu’à se demander pourquoi le nombre de nouvelles constructions de mosquées ne cesse d’augmenter au Maroc et dans tous les pays du monde islamique et même occidental ? Alors que les synagogues et les églises sont délaissées par l’écrasante majorité des jeunes juifs et chrétiens.
Il est vrai que ces magnats de la presse satanique marocaine sont eux aussi des musulmans, mais malheureusement ils sont loin de comprendre pour l’instant les vrais percepts de l’Islam.
Que le veuillent ses détracteurs ou pas le Maroc a été depuis XIV siècles, est et restera toujours un pays berbéro arabe. Et que ceux ou celles qui se sentent plus berbères que les autres, ceux ou celles qui sont à la solde des kabyles de Paris et sont des spectateurs assidus de la chaîne raciste « Berbère TV », ceux qui veulent faire renaître sous les cendres et sous d’autres formes le Dahir berbère qui avait échoué grâce au « latif » lu, au temps du protectorat, conjointement par les berbères de souche et par les arabes dans les mosquées après chaque prière, cette catégorie maudite de berbères soutenus par les magnats de la presse satanique marocaine qui veulent renier leur Islam et renier par la même occasion l’existence même de Dieu, ceux qui ont refusé d’écrire la langue amazigh en caractères arabes et voulaient la transcrire en caractères latins et qui ont finalement choisi à cet effet le tifinagh , ces anciens léninistes, trosquistes ou maoïstes dont la felouque nommée « socialisme » ou « communisme » a chaviré après le déclin de l’URSS et l’écroulement du mur de Berlin et qui se sont trouvés un autre radeau nommé « amazighité » pour acheminer leur grogne contre l’islam, que tous ceux-là se calment.
Que tous ceux-là sachent qu’ils ne représentent qu’une minorité des minorités des berbères du Maroc, s’ils en restent vraiment de vrais berbères. Car au Maroc, je pense qu’il n’y a plus un vrai berbère ni un vrai arabe du fait des mariages mixtes qui ont uni et qui unissent les deux races et si il y a vraiment deux races différentes au Maroc, car d’après beaucoup d’historiens les berbères sont d’origine arabe.
Que tous ceux-là sachent que l’Islam unit berbères et arabes au Maroc et que les mosquées qui sont de plus en plus pleines rassemblent arabes et berbères et que dans ces mosquées arabes et berbères disent en même temps et de la même voix Amen quand l’imam finit de lire la « fatiha ».
Donc ce n’est que peine perdue pour cette catégorie de renégats de persister à diviser les marocains qui sont depuis quatorze siècles de vrais musulmans et le resteront pour l’éternité.
Que le veuillent ses détracteurs ou pas le Maroc qui régnait depuis des siècles sur une grande partie de l’Europe et de l’Afrique, règne et règnera toujours sur ses provinces du Sud, car le monde s’oriente vers l’union des pays et non pas sur leur effritement. Il n’y a qu’à voir les efforts que fournissent les pays européens pour s’unir, alors qu’une partie de ces même européens veulent nous balkaniser comme ils l’ont fait auparavant lors de leurs décolonisations.
Mais ce qui fait mal au cœur, ce sont ces mêmes concitoyens détracteurs de la Nation magnats de la presse satanique marocaine qui n’ont malheureusement pas honte de défendre les causes perdues des séparatistes du Polisario. Ces séparatistes qui se sont partagés en deux tendances, celle qui est pour la régionalisation élargie proposée par le Maroc et celle qui persiste à revendiquer l’indépendance.
Que le veuillent ses détracteurs ou pas le Maroc a été depuis XIV siècles, est et restera toujours un pays monarchique et que depuis l’arrivée de l’Islam, les marocains toutes tendances confondues ont opté pour la monarchie.
Que le veuillent ou pas ces détracteurs de la Nation, magnats de la presse satanique marocaine, depuis son accession au pouvoir, il y a bientôt dix ans, Mohammed VI le Roi du Maroc ne cesse de fournir des efforts pour la prospérité du pays et pour le bien être des marocains.
Ces détracteurs de la Nation, magnats de la presse satanique marocaine, qui ne sont jamais satisfaits par les actions entreprises par le Souverain, n’ont qu’à faire les statistiques des projets lancés par Mohammed VI depuis 1999.
Tout le monde sait que le nombre de projets réalisés ou en cours de réalisation au cours de ces dix dernières années au Maroc dépasse de loin tout ce qui y a été réalisé pendant plus de quarante ans d’indépendance.
Tout le monde remarque que notre jeune monarque n’arrête pas de sillonner le Maroc du nord au sud et de l’est à l’ouest pour inaugurer ou contrôler l’état d’avancement des programmes de construction de logements, des ports, des aéroports, des routes, des hôpitaux, des écoles, des usines, des mosquées, des centres d’accueil pour jeunes filles paysannes, des zones industrielles, des nouvelles villes, etc., etc.
Tout le monde sent que nous respirons plus de liberté depuis 1999, au point que ces détracteurs de la Nation, magnats de la presse satanique marocaine n’arrêtent pas de s’immiscer dans la vie privée du jeune Roi sans que celui-ci ne daigne se soucier de leurs soubresauts.
Tout le monde observe que le Maroc est devenu un modèle pour les pays arabes et africains, ce qui pousse d’ailleurs les investisseurs étrangers à se bousculer pour venir implanter leurs projets au Maroc.
Tout le monde réalise le succès du tourisme marocain qui va certainement dépasser les prévisions des dix millions de touristes prévus pour l’an 2010. Il n’y a qu’à voir Marrakech qui est devenu la destination préférée de beaucoup de touristes dont beaucoup d’entre eux s’y intéressent à l’achat de logements tellement ils ont des difficultés à trouver une chambre d’hôtel quand ils le désirent.
Tout le monde note avec soulagement le boom qu’a connu le Maroc dans le domaine du logement et dont le Ministre de l’Habitat et de l’Urbanisme Ahmed Toufiq Hjira ne cesse de présenter au souverain projet après projet et prévoit de construire sept nouvelles villes y compris Tamesna à la porte de Rabat et Tamansourt à la porte de Marrakech.
Tout le monde continue de constater la croissance des transferts d’argent vers le pays de nos concitoyens résidant à l’étranger dont nombre d’entre eux reviennent au pays pour investir dans les régions dont ils sont issus.
Malgré tout cela ces détracteurs, qui ne voient pas plus loin que leur nez, n’arrêtent pas de chialer sur le sort du Maroc et ne veulent pas croire que le Maroc vit depuis 1999 une révolution dont les résultats commencent à se sentir.
Je pense que ce qui amène cette catégorie de presse à sensation, à la solde des ennemis de la nation à se lamenter sur le sort du pays et de ne faire que noircir le tableau, à un but purement lucratif et ne vise qu’à augmenter ses ventes et ses subventions de l’étranger en leurrant une catégorie très limitée de lecteurs dont beaucoup ont compris le jeu et n’achètent plus ces torchons qui ternissent l’image de marque de ce métier très noble qu’est le journalisme.
Un proverbe arabe exprime bien la situation actuelle que vit le Maroc, son monarque et ses détracteurs, ce proverbe dit que « la caravane passe et les chiens aboient ». Laissons ces détracteurs tourner autour d’eux jusqu’au jour où ils retournent à la raison et découvrent qu’il ne sert plus à rien d’aller au contre courant des choses car le Maroc marche à pas de géants vers un avenir serein avec ou sans pétrole sous le règne du Prince des Croyants Mohammed VI que Dieu le garde, le glorifie et le bénisse.
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By Driss R. Temsamani
Very few things in life move my emotions so high and so deep. Lifting me in a timeless second beyond my human senses and dropping me in front of the harsh reality of injustice. Injustice where mercy has been taking hostage by cruel selfish creatures disguised as humans.
While walking the path of solidarity, hoping for an answer, drinking from the fountain of hope and looking at the horizons for a better tomorrow. Far but not far, I always felt that the end of suffering was near. No, not yet! Whispered a voice from behind forcing me to open my eyes and see. That’s when I turned and faced the reality. The harsh reality of the story I decided to share with those who have pledged to defend the rights of the hopeless. This is the story of Hind, a 38 year old Moroccan mother, who in a different time and a different place is fighting her own autonomy battle.
In 1993, Hind Mikou graduated from the University of Tunis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a bright future ahead of her, she decided to follow her dreams for higher education and moved to the United States. Few years later, she got her Master’s Degree in Communication Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. There is nothing more satisfying in life than achieving and fulfilling your dreams and Hind embodied the example of the successful Moroccans women who wanted to make a difference.
On December 19th, 2001, Hind moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she married Mohamed an Algerian citizen who worked as an Operations Manager for a large Bank. Life continued to bless Hind and 2 years later she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named her Ryhabe.
Living the American dream, Hind got a job as an Editor with Time Publishing Corporation in Chicago. Life could not have been better for the happy family. In 2005, another gift, Shaymaa was born giving the couple another reason to celebrate their union. All seemed perfect, a story right out of fairytale book. Little would Hind know about the turn her life was about to take.
Shortly after the birth of Shaymaa, Mohamed got a job offer from his bank to move to Algeria. Hind did not agree to move with her husband and felt uncomfortable with the idea to leave the US and move to a new country. She did not want to give-up her career and everything she had worked so hard for. But, there was very little she could do. She was between the rock and a hard place. Between making the choice to move or separate from her husband she did what every caring and loving wife would do. Go to Algeria. A journey that will change her life forever.
The couple settled in a city called Hydra where they got an apartment. At first life seemed to be normal. Beside some cultural differences, Hind was busy raising her daughters and taking care of her husband. The couple had their third daughter, Malak on March 2006.
As months passed the first signals that something was wrong were hard to ignore. Mohamed started to have problems at work and his behavior became radical with Hind. He started to get sick often and became paranoid. The Doctors he visited did not find anything wrong with his health but Mohamed was obsessed and became superstitious about his condition.
In the process Mohamed started seeing fortune-tellers and the like who brainwashed him about what was making him feel the way he did. From worse to worst, Mohamed became distant and violent, and although living at the same place they were physically separated as a couple.
As Mohamed’s life was heading toward a dead-end, he decided to resign from his job and move to Oran, another city in Algeria to live with his family. By now Mohamed had put his wife Hind as the evil behind his misfortune. Imprisoned in his family house, Hind was not allowed to use the phone or the internet. She was completely isolated from the world.
Mohamed became paranoid about people in general and did not allow his wife or children to have any social contacts. The couple was financially broke and couldn’t afford to send their older daughters Ryhabe to school. Hind and her daughters were under constant watchful eye of Mohamed and his family. Hind tried in several occasions to leave Algeria to visit Morocco but in vain. Her husband had denied her the Algerian residency so she could move on and about the country.
By now Hind’s parents were concerned and desperate. The absence of news from their daughter was deafening. They had lost contact with her after the move to Oran. Hind was now completely isolated from the world. And if isolation was not enough, Mohamed started to escalate his aggression on Hind. The constant insults and humiliation were upgraded to beating.
The physical abuse became a norm in Hind’s daily life with Mohamed. He made sure that she was punished whenever she would voice her opinion or disagree with him. He even threaten to kill her if she ever runaway from his house with the children. Trapped, beaten and scared for her life, Hind was fighting her autonomy thousands of miles from her home country and family.
On July 2008, Hind convinced Mohamed to let her leave Algeria and go visit her ill mother but he did not let her take her daughters.
Finally reunited with her parents, full of joy and alive again, Hind had one thing in mind; get her children back. She knew that although she had started the US residency process and did not have the permanent Green Card herself, her 2 children were born in the US and that would put the law on her side. Her first stop was the American Consulate in Casablanca.
After telling her story, the American officials advised Hind to file a case and meet with the US Consul. She was full of hope but unfortunately nothing would prepare her for bureaucracy of the system. Hind was asked for her bank account information, the job she had held in the US and other personal info. She prepared all documents but eventually The US Consulate in Morocco refused her case application. The US official answer was that she did not show enough evidence on her US employment and financial history back when she lived in the states. Hind cried that she was imprisoned in Algeria and was not allowed to go back to the US to continue the process. She told the American officials in Casablanca that it was out of control.
At that moment, there was a new meaning for bottom in Hind’s life. She had sunk to the lowest level of hopelessness. All communications to her daughters through her husband Mohamed were refused. The American Consulate closed their doors and Moroccan officials did not recognize her US and Algerian marriage to Mohamed. Hind fell into a depression, lost 90 pounds and collapsed. She was admitted to the hospital under a critical condition and while in the intensive care her husband, Mohamed called to tell her that he was divorced. Now all chances for Hind to reunite with her 3 daughters were shutdown.
For many women like Hind, the story would come to an end. But, I am a foolish night with no armor. My faith in people’s conscience would tell me that Hind’s story just began. I see 100,000 people standing right now. Angry, sad and full of passion extending their hand and shouting, “Get-up Hind, get up!” “Ryhabe, Shaymaa and Malak are waiting for you and need you. Don’t give up hope Hind, you are not alone. Yes, it has been hard and what you went through would bring down a mountain but, you are not alone now Hind. We are with you.”
Somewhere carved on a stone in the valley of the wise, a timeless sentence reads; “In life we are not judged by what we do for our self but rather what we do for others.” The story of Hind is a real life drama. Hind has not seen or talked to her daughters since July 18th, 2008.
Every day we see examples of how people can make the impossible a reality. The story of Hind is an invitation to prove that we can bring down the walls of injustice. Together, we can make those that have turned a deaf ear to Hind listen to her story. We can make those that have closed the doors of help to Hind open them again and let her have her basic rights. Together we can ask the American and Moroccan government to help Hind reunite with her daughters again.
Please support for Hind, voice your support, be one of the 100,000 to sign the petition today.
PETITION Add your name to the list
We the people signing this petition ask for the immediate reunion of Hind with her children.
We ask the US government officials and the American Embassy in Morocco to provide the necessary administrative and legal support for Hind to take custody of her Moroccan American daughters.
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By Najib Chaouki
نحط الرحاب بإحدى جماعات المغرب الغير النافع، هنا تجري الاستعدادات على قدم وساق من أجل الترتيب للانتخابات الجماعية، مرشحون من فئات عمرية مختلفة وبرموز انتخابية متعددة.
جماعة "الحاضي الله "هي نموذج لباقي الجماعات و البلديات المغربية التي أصيبت بحمى الانتخابات.
الحاج كبور رئيس سابق للجماعة القروية الحاضي الله، يدخل غمار المعركة "الانتخامية"، كما تسميها جدتي، من اجل الحفاظ على مقعد الزعيم، ينافسه ابن الدوار الذي درس القانون وولج سلك المحاماة، عبد القادر المحامي رجل القانون معروف لدى أهل الدوار انه يساعد كل نفر من الجماعة إذا تورط في ارتكاب جريمة آو وقع في أي مخالفة قانونية من اجل الحصول على اقل عقوبة حبسية.
السي المحامي لا يطلب الكثير من اهل القرية، يخدمهم و يحرس على التفاني في ذلك . يروج في أوساط أهل المدشر أن السيد عندو مكانة قوية في سلك القضاء وأيضا في العقار فقد استطاع أن يراكم ثروة في ظرف وجيز، و يعد أبناء الدوار انه بالتصويت عليه ستصبح جماعتهم أفضل من كيليز المهم " كل و كيليزه يا ساكنة الحاضي الله".
الحاج كبور يقود حملته الانتخابية مزودا بترسانته الفلاحية حيث ان تراكتوره الآن عليه الطلب من طرف اغلب فلاحي الدوار لان موسم "الدراس" قد حل.
شيفورات الحاج كبور "يدرسون " لأهل القرية بدون أي تعقيدات والأداء وقت" ما" ،غير عادة الحاج كبور أصبح اكثر تسامحا و يحيي الجميع في القرية من اطفال و عجزة و شباب . يقف بسيارة "الببكوب" ذات الصنع الياباني و يسأل كل من صادفه في قارعة الطريق عن أحواله وأحوال أهله و أهل أهله.
عبد القادر المحامي ترشح في حزب "الرشوة دير طريق في البحر"، رمز الحزب هو عشرين درهم "مفتولة "، يحاول أن يثبت للجميع انه قادر على حل أي مشكلة ممكن يقع فيها أهل القرية فقط بمكالمة هاتفية، يعني السيد كيقول عندو ضرسة صحيحة من الفوق، كما انه مستعد لجلب الخدمة في الفريزة لنساء القرية في "سبانيول" .
المهم السيد عنده نقاط برنامجية في حملته الانتخابية "صحيحة".
ردة فعل الساكنة،" سي عبد القادر قاري مزيان ، ودار لباس . يعني اسيدي اللهم هو لباس عليه ولا شي واحد جيعان" ، يردد أحد شيوخ القرية " و زيدون قاري القانون اسيدي منفتوكش اسي عبد القادر والى بغيتي نحلفو لك في المصحف نحلفو اسيدي".
الحاج كبور ترشح في حزب " كول ووكل "، شعار حزب الحاج هو "دجاجة محمرة" تجربته في التسيير الجماعي للسنوات السابقة تلخص برنامجه الانتخابي للمحطة الجديدة ، السيد كرشو ماشي كبيرة كيقسم مع الناس الهمازي،" انا اسي كبور كان كيعطيني البوند كوموند ، شوية ليا و شوية ليه، اسيدي السيد ماشي كرشو كبيرة" شهادة من طرف احد المقاولين في حق الحاج كبور، كما ان تركتور الحاج كبور هو في خدمة اهل القرية، " حتى كنجمعوا المحصول ونبيعوه عاد كنخلصو الحاج.الله يعمرها دار" حسب ما ردده احد الفلاحين، وهو يهتف باعلى صوته منفتوش الحاج ،و مستعدين للحلوف في المصحف".
غادرنا الجماعة و الصراع حامي الوطيس بين الغريمين أبناء القبيلة الواحدة ،"عشرون درهم مفتولة" و" دجاجة محمرة "، في الختام سيبقى السؤال الجدلي المحير يا ترى لمن سيؤول مقعد رئاسة جماعة "الحاضي الله "؟
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By Stéphane Bern
Si Deauville reste l’indémodable vingt et unième arrondissement de Paris, la médina de Marrakech n’est pas près de lâcher sa première place sur le podium des villégiatures préférées de l’univers people. Il est plus facile d’organiser un événement festif au cœur du Maroc ensoleillé le premier week-end de mars que de les convaincre d’aller fêter la foire de la choucroute à Munich.
Aussi, lorsque Dominique Desseigne, président du Groupe Lucien Barrière, a lancé ses invitations pour ouvrir son premier établissement hôtelier à l’étranger, le Naoura Barrière à Marrakech, peu de people ont décliné. Qui résisterait à l’idée de rester entre soi, personnalités connues, puissantes et privilégiées, pour profiter des fruits mérités de cette reconnaissance en se faisant offrir des séjours de rêve qu’ils peuvent tous se payer mais qu’il est si doux de recevoir?
Est-il besoin de préciser que Dominique Desseigne avait organisé les festivités en grand pour célébrer l’ouverture de cette médina dans la ville, où tout n’est que calme, luxe et volupté derrière de hautes murailles qui protègent comme une forteresse un palace à la fois classique et moderne. Il fallait bien ce décor de goût signé Pascal Desprez pour convaincre son épouse, Mireille Darc, de revenir à Marrakech où l’attachaient tant de souvenirs avec Alain Delon. C’est à Tanger que l’actrice-réalisatrice-journaliste se fait construire une maison, mais elle voulait découvrir «le nouveau bébé de Pascal».
Pour ce baptême, il fallait une marraine et le choix s’est naturellement porté sur l’actrice Caterina Murino, habituée aux palaces depuis le James Bond Casino Royale, vêtue d’une éblouissante robe de Dolce & Gabbana. «Je n’oublie pas que je suis ambassadrice de l’Association pour la médecine et la recherche en Afrique, au profit de laquelle la maison Chaumet offre, pour une vente aux enchères silencieuse, une bague, un bracelet et une montre Frisson…» Sous un feu d’artifice inaugural, les hautes personnalités marocaines – dont le ministre du Tourisme, Mohamed Boussaïd, accueilli par son homologue français Hervé Novelli – se mélangent, un appareil photo à la main, aux people venus de Paris. Jacques Chancel connaît tout le monde, il est un peu chez lui au Maroc, tout comme les trois frères Patrick, Hubert et Xavier Guerrand-Hermès, qui paraissent plus nombreux tellement ils se ressemblent.
Les flashes crépitent autour de Marianne James (qui refuse qu’on lui reparle de Nouvelle star!), Laurent Gerra – qui cède momentanément sa place d’imitateur à l’acteur Antoine Duléry, exceptionnel avec la voix de Claude Rich ou Daniel Prévost – mais aussi Corinne Touzet, Julie Gayet, Alain Chamfort, les animateurs Laurent Ruquier et Marc-Olivier Fogiel. La star du rugby Fabien Galthié raconte à Patrick Poivre d’Arvor son excursion sur les pistes enneigées de l’Atlas, tandis qu’on sent le réalisateur Jean-Jacques Annaud toujours prêt à livrer bataille contre le piratage des films sur Internet devant une Charlotte Rampling attentive. Dans la nuit douce quoique fraîche de Marrakech, la forteresse people du Naoura a baissé sa garde, chacun occulte son rôle public: Kenzo présente ses peintures à la Matisse, Valérie Hortefeux oublie un temps qu’elle est femme de ministre, Bettina Rheims délaisse son appareil photo et Christian Bîmes sa raquette de tennis, tandis que le chef d’Apicius, Jean-Pierre Vigato, déguste avec bonheur les cornes de gazelle.
La Tribune de Genève
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You can do anything - but not everything
By Keith H. Hammonds
You know the drill. It's Monday morning. You arrive at work exhausted from a weekend spent entertaining the kids, paying bills, and running errands. You flick on your PC -- and 70 new emails greet you. Your phone's voice-mail light is already blinking, and before you can make it stop, another call comes in. With each ring, with each colleague who drops by your office uninvited, comes a new demand -- for attention, for a reaction, for a decision, for your time. By noon, when you take 10 minutes to gulp down a sandwich at your desk, you already feel overworked, overcommitted overwhelmed.
According to David Allen, 54, one of the world's most influential thinkers on personal productivity, this is the "silent trauma" of knowledge workers everywhere. We inhabit a world, he says, in which there are "no edges to our jobs" and "no limit to the potential information that can help us do our jobs better." What's more, in a competitive environment that's continually being reshaped by the Web, we're tempted to rebalance our work on a monthly, weekly, even hourly basis. Unchecked, warns Allen, this frantic approach is a recipe for dissatisfaction and despair -- all-too-common emotions these days for far too many of us.
Allen argues that the real challenge is not managing your time but maintaining your focus: "If you get too wrapped up in all of the stuff coming at you, you lose your ability to respond appropriately and effectively. Remember, you're the one who creates speed, because you're the one who allows stuff to enter your life."
Allen has spent the past 17 years helping busy people deal with all of the "stuff" in their lives. At seminars around the world -- at corporate functions and in corner offices -- he has preached his gospel of personal productivity. His online newsletter, "David Allen's Productivity Principles," has more than 7,000 subscribers. His book, "Getting Things Done: Mastering the Art of Stress-Free Productivity," will be published by Viking next January. He's even cofounded a software company, Actioneer Inc., that offers a range of time-saving tools.
It's been a long, strange trip from his youth in Shreveport, Louisiana. As a teenager, Allen studied Zen Buddhism and followed the path of Allen Ginsberg and the Beat generation. In college, he focused on philosophy and intellectual history, and became fascinated by thinkers who, he says, "seemed to have something cool going on, some bigger reality. I wanted to have some of the same experiences. So I did." (This was the 1960s: Use your imagination.)
Allen journeyed to the University of California at Berkeley to enroll in a master's program in American history, but he soon dropped that plan to study karate (he earned a black belt) and to begin "a 30-year quest for God, truth, and the universe." For work, he taught karate, managed a landscaping company, and helped to start a restaurant, among other jobs. But his real passion was the pursuit of self-discovery -- the personal-growth movement.
"There was a lot of flaky stuff on the edges, but at the core of the philosophy were some good ideas about how to live a life that's more in line with your values," Allen says. At the time, many HR executives were also broadening their interest in personal growth -- in helping people to think and to work together more effectively. Over time, Allen discovered a bridge between his fascination with self-understanding and his desire to interact practically with the world. That bridge was time management.
Allen has never been a naturally high-productivity person. ("I'm more of a party guy," he quips.) But he tried hard to change that. As he did so, he became convinced that time management was the key to personal freedom -- to greater self-discovery. He then became convinced that there was a pretty robust market for instruction in his newfound art. Finally, he became convinced that "God didn't really care whether I had money or not." More or less at that moment, he became a consultant.
In a series of interviews with Fast Company, Allen shared his ideas on increasing personal productivity in a business world that moves at warp speed.
If there's one thing that all of our readers probably agree on, it's that they have too much to do and too little time in which to do it. Why do so many of us feel that way?
There is always more to do than there is time to do it, especially in an environment of so much possibility. We all want to be acknowledged; we all want our work to be meaningful. And in an attempt to achieve that goal, we all keep letting stuff enter our lives.
The problem, of course, is that we also want to finish what we start. Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they've started. That's why a lot of my work has to do with how people deal with their input -- email, phone messages, reports, conversations. Everything that isn't where it should be is an open loop, an incomplete, a distraction that slows you down. Your brain says, "Hey, that doesn't belong there," and you have to deal with that impulse.
If you allow too much dross to accumulate in your "10 acres" -- in other words, if you allow too many things that represent undecided, untracked, unmanaged agreements with yourself and with others to gather in your personal space -- that will start to weigh on you. It will dull your effectiveness. You've got to dig into the mess and put those things to rest. Productivity is about completion.
Isn't it interesting that people feel best about themselves right before they go on vacation? They've cleared up all of their to-do piles, closed up transactions, renewed old promises with themselves. My most basic suggestion is that people should do that more than just once a year. In fact, I tell people to take inventory weekly -- to sort through all of the stuff that they haven't yet acted on. If you can get a clear picture of everything that you have to do, you'll be able to say, "Oh, this is what I have to do right now" -- and then take the next step in getting it done.
If people took such an inventory, what would they find?
I like to talk about the "runway level" of life -- all of the current actions, all of the little things that stack up. On their runways, people typically have enough stuff to create 300 or 400 hours of work. What's driving all of those tasks are between 30 and 100 projects of various shapes and sizes -- commitments that people have made that require many steps to fulfill.
Once you've taken inventory, you can start to make sense of your runway. But then comes a second challenge: finding the time to do what you need to do. What's really different today is that we live and work in what I call "weird time." In weird time, no one gets 2 hours to do anything. Instead, we get 15 minutes -- and sometimes only 5 minutes -- between meetings and phone calls. You actually can get a lot done in weird time, but most people's thinking just isn't set up to take advantage of it. There are lots of opportunities during the day that people waste. They feel bad because they're not as productive as they should be, but they don't know what to do about it.
What to do about it is to turn it into a game: How efficient can I be? When something lands on your radar screen that isn't where it needs to be, you must decide two things. First, what's a successful outcome? In other words, what will stop the cognitive dissonance? And second, how do I allocate resources to make sure that the outcome materializes? That doesn't mean that you need to take action right away. But it does mean that, in order to get the task off of your mind, you need to decide on a course of action. The worst thing that you can do is to let things sit.
That doesn't necessarily mean that you should always work on "the important stuff" first. You might not have the energy, the tools, or the time. Sometimes, the most appropriate thing to do with five free minutes is to water the plants. Once you know what you're doing, productivity becomes your one true competitive edge. There's an elegance to how you work and live; it's not just about running faster.
That leads to a simple question that most of us find difficult to answer: How should we go about setting priorities?
When people ask me how to set priorities, I ask them a question: At what level do you want to have this conversation? Each of us operates on many different levels at all times. We each have a runway that holds all of the little things that consume our time. At 10,000 feet are the projects. At 20,000 feet, people are deciding on their roles and goals. At 30,000 feet, people are thinking ahead, asking themselves where they want to be in their careers 12 to 18 months down the road. At 40,000 feet, they're thinking 3 to 5 years out and looking at their organizational aspirations. Then, at the top -- at 50,000 feet -- they're asking, "What's my job on this planet?"
A Wall Street executive once complained to me about having to attend too many meetings. I drew a chart and asked, "At what level do you want to have this conversation?" I explained that at 20,000 feet, maybe you need those meetings. But if you go up a level and think about the next 12 to 18 months, maybe you can pass on some of those meetings. And at 50,000 feet, where you think about your heart and your health, you might say, "I don't need to make partner. I've made enough money. From now on, I'm going to leave at 7 PM every day. And if you don't like it, then fire me."
So a big part of setting priorities is being clear about your values?
Be careful. That's a very popular notion these days: If you focus on your values, then you'll improve the "balance" between your business and personal lives. Give me a break. Focusing on your values may provide you with meaning, but it won't simplify things. You'll just discover even more stuff that's important to you.
I've been working with the most values-driven organization that I've ever come across. And it has a big burnout problem. People there are always invited to collaborate; everyone wants to play. But how many 7 AM-to-7 PM meetings can you attend? You want to attend all of them because your values tell you that they're all important. But your spouse and your kids start saying, "We never see you."
We suffer the stress of infinite opportunity: There are so many things that we could do, and all we see are people who seem to be performing at star quality. It's very hard not to try to be like them. The problem is, if you get wrapped up in that game, you'll get eaten alive. You can do anything -- but not everything. The universe is full of creative projects that are waiting to be done. So, if you really care about quality of life, if you want to relax, then don't focus on values. Just control your aspirations. That will simplify things. Learning to set boundaries is incredibly difficult for most people.
Most people make the opposite choice. They feel such a sense of responsibility to their job and to their colleagues that they become even more harried ...
Which is utterly self-defeating. Your sense of "responsibility" is a function of your response ability. I learned that in karate. Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax. The power of a karate punch comes from speed, not muscle. And a tense muscle is a slow muscle.
In other words, you can't do things faster until you learn how to slow down. How do you slow down? It's all about the dynamic of detachment. You have to back off and be quiet. Retreat from the task at hand, so that you can gain a new perspective on what you're doing. If you get too wrapped up in all of the stuff coming at you, you lose your ability to respond appropriately and effectively. If your inbox and your outbox are completely full, or if people are screaming at you, then it's difficult to back off and think about things at a different level.
Have you ever felt as though time disappeared? Say, when you're really into a good movie? Or when you're busy doing something that you love, and the morning just flies by? From my spiritual practices, I know that when you get to some levels of existence, space and time seem to vanish. When I'm at those levels, I don't even think in terms of space and time anymore. When everything really lines up for me, speed is not an issue, because I have found my own rhythm. That rhythm may seem lightning fast or deathly slow, but inside me it's all the same. It's outside time.
Look at the best martial artists. They move very slowly. The faster you type, the slower it will feel to you, because you surf with your thinking. The same thing applies to reading: The faster you read, the more time will disappear, because you'll be able to feed stuff to your brain as fast as your brain can process it. That's why speed readers have better comprehension. They've trained their eyes to recognize stuff as fast as their brain can handle it.
But it's hard to leave space and time behind when you're distracted. If there's an open loop, space and time will find it. And anything waiting for a decision is an open loop. If there's a stack of papers on your desk, you have to decide on a course of action. As long as you've let that pile into your world, it's got a hold on you. What's the very next thing that you need to do? Until you decide on that, there's a gap between where you are and where you need to be -- a big black hole that will suck you in.
Keith H. Hammonds (email@example.com ) is a Fast Company senior editor. Contact David Allen by email (firstname.lastname@example.org ), or visit him on the Web (www.davidco.com ).
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By Hassan Masiky
Next time you want to fly your family from the United States to Morocco, you may have to sell your car to afford the tickets. The prices for a round trip ticket from anywhere in the USA to Casablanca is a highway robbery. It is outrages and insulting that the price of a roundtrip from New York to Casablanca is 40 percent more than a similar ticket to Istanbul, Turkey (per Expedia search engine using same dates with one stop).
While the price of oil moved considerably lower and the US Dollar stayed pretty much stable, the Royal Air Maroc (RAM) tickets from the US to Morocco went higher during the low season? While I do not claim to be an expert on air travel, common sense points to my earlier statement as an oxymoron. So how come RAM keeps insulting the Moroccans living in the USA by artificially keeping the prices of its tickets so high all year long, contrary to the air industry usual cycles? The simple answers are monopoly and ambivalence.
Let's remember, Moroccan tax payers own 95.95% of the RAM and Air France 3%. To add insult to injury the other airline that has relatively comparable flights from the USA to Morocco is no other than Air France. In fact, Air France is no stranger to price fixing. The dramatic changes to the structure of tickets prices of the Casablanca-Paris flights once Open Sky agreement took affect is a clear indication of how RAM keeps the prices high on the USA-Casablanca segments. Actually, when the RAM and Air France had an almost control of the Casa-Paris flights the prices were high and rigid, but once more airlines forced themselves into the lucrative flights from Morocco to France the prices started to go south with more deals for travelers.
Unfortunately for the Moroccans of the USA, they can not drive or swim to the old country. Since flying is the only way, RAM and Air France hold them and their families' hostages to their arbitrary, puzzling and consumer unfriendly pricing dictate.
Since most Moroccan tax payers can not afford a flight to New York, the Moroccan immigrants are the victims of this injustice. It is time for the Moroccan community to stand up and demand to know why the prices are so high and what is the logic behind the rigidity of the pricing grid. MRE (Moroccans residing overseas) are not cash cows that should be taken advantage of by any unscrupulous government agency. The RAM is a government entity and the Moroccan public has the right to know if it serves the interests of all Moroccans. Asking questions can not be confused with asking for a subsidy or preferential pricing, but rather as protecting the interests of all parties involved including a profitable RAM and a respected consumer.
In an ideal world, the Moroccan ministry of Transportation should look into the pricing of the RAM,. This action will never be taken as it is neither the culture nor a priority. However, the consumers always have options, albeit limited in this case. So next time you make a decision to book a flight from any where in the world to Morocco keep this in mind. For the US based travelers, the Federal Air Carrier Access Act protects the American consumer against unfair and deceptive trade practices by foreign air transportation companies
Moroccan Americans Speak Up Petition: Open Letter to King Mohammed VI on Royal Air Morocco
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By Cécile Raimbeau
As Morocco’s agriculture has developed to provide Europe with its fruit, vegetables and beauty oils, its women workers have lost out, with their farms engulfed by dams, and salaries which remain pitifully small. Before dawn in Douar Tamgoute el-Jadid on the edge of the town of Aoulouz, 26-year-old Kabira and 15 other Moroccan women pile into the back of a truck. They complain that they won’t get home again till around 8pm. After the first prayers of the day, these farm workers are transported, standing like cattle, in the backs of the vehicles that crisscross the Souss plain, to go and work for large-scale agricultural businesses, most funded by Moroccan capital (especially from the royal family) or by the French and Spanish. “We used to work in our own fields or our neighbours’,” the women say. “There was no need for the authorities. There were no conflicts between members of the community. But on these big farms, we don’t have the right to speak. If someone’s not working fast enough, the bosses insult them. In some places, employees get hit with sticks.” One of the farms in the area has such a bad reputation that it’s referred to as Guantanamo. The vast Souss plain stretches east from Agadir between the Atlas and Anti-Atlas mountains as far as Aoulouz.
The region is home to some three million people, 60% of whom are rural Amazigh (Berbers). For generations, their lives have been linked to the argan tree. These trees grow nowhere else on earth except in this region’s semi-arid climate, where they form a barrier against the encroachment of the desert. Since 1925, a law has recognised ordinary people’s right to exploit these publically owned trees; floods or rare rainfall enable them to grow wheat between the trees, graze their goats and harvest the fruits which fall in summer, from which they extract argan oil. But agricultural policy aimed at integrating Morocco into the world economy has pushed this type of family farming to the margins. Since the 1970s, according to Professor Najib Akeski of the Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute, the state has focused its attention and most of its expenditure on a few commercial growing and exporting areas, gradually giving up on the idea of food security. In 1985, under the guidance of the World Bank and the IMF, so-called structural adjustment programmes set in train the liberalisation of the agricultural sector. They paved the way for free trade agreements, especially with the European Union (see Why Morocco’s food is not secure), favouring the liberalisation of imports and the reduction of state spending on agriculture.
Some public or collectively owned land was given over to the private sector and investment sought from abroad. This was how the Souss plain became Morocco’s foremost fruit and vegetable growing area. It currently produces 685,000 tonnes of vegetables, including 95% of the country’s tomato exports, much of which is sold in France from October to June. Close behind is the citrus fruit sector, with an annual production of 666,000 tonnes, half of which goes overseas. Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s minister for agriculture, is also president of the Souss Massa Drâa region. He’s ambitious for his region, which he wants to see become “one of the most dynamic agricultural centres in the world” by 2015. Kabira doesn’t share his view, however. “Tomatoes, oranges,” she exclaims, “I’ve done them all!” When the Aoulouz dam was opened 18 years ago her family lost its farm beneath the water. She was still young at the time but she remembers having to move away and the bulldozers destroying their home. She remembers, too, resettling in Tamgoute el-Jadid and the pitiful compensation payment that was gone in a few months. Though only just an adult, she has had to work on big farms without a contract responding to the demands of the harvest cycle, earning 50 dirhams ($6) a day. The building of the dam meant numerous sources of water dried up and it was the peasants of Aoulouz who paid the price. History repeated itself in 2001 when the nearby Mokhtar Soussi dam was opened. “That year we worked at a loss because the harvest was so meagre. We got nothing from the olive trees either.
Most of us had to go and work somewhere else to survive,” says Driss Aakik, president of Aoulouz’s Poor Peasants’ Union, whose hundred or so families have to cope with poor harvests on parched land. The women who lead it organised a march in 2006 to reclaim their right to water and electricity, which resulted in charges being brought against them. The peasants regularly demonstrate against the government’s investment policy. The government “focuses on a few areas which get water from these big hydro projects,” complains Amal Lahoucine, an activist from the Moroccan Workers’ Union (UMT) in Taroudant. Encouraged by the World Bank, the policy of building major dams has created considerable disparities, according to Akesbi. The World Bank itself acknowledges that “more than 70% of state investment in agriculture goes to large irrigation projects, which bring relatively greater benefit to the better-off farmers and the larger-scale businesses.” In the meantime, thousands of small-scale farmers continue to produce on so-called bour (non-irrigated) land using archaic methods and without bank finance.
The UN Development Programme’s 2008 report showed that Morocco has slipped back three places in its ranking of human development since 2005, putting it 126th out of 177 nations. However much the government protests, you only have to travel around the country to see the lack of access to health care, water and education, which affects women particularly badly. One of Kabira’s neighbours, Khadija, who’s only 12, has been trying her luck with mandarins: “Normally we get paid every fortnight. But I started two months ago and I’ve only been paid once.” Her friend Thouraya, 16, has been working for the same company for a year and a half and hasn’t even seen a contract. The social security department sends every employee on its register a statement; Kabira was surprised to discover that out of the seven years she has worked, only three months had been declared by her employers. According to Lahoucine Boulberj, the UMT’s regional official responsible for agriculture, “only 15,000 out of 70,000 agricultural workers (70% of whom are women) in the region are officially declared. What’s more, lots of employers cheat on the number of hours they declare.” These practices mean the employer gets a high degree of flexibility from the workforce while the employees go without unemployment and pension contributions, paid holiday, insurance and sick pay. “We’re only just beginning to talk about work-related illness due to pesticide use,” Boulberj adds. “Unregulated use of pesticides is common here. As a general rule, the bosses tell people who are sick to come back when they’re better. Anyone who makes a fuss gets sacked. The right to unionise is only tolerated in some places.” The French firm Soprofel is one of the biggest agribusinesses in the region.
It distributes its tomatoes in France under the Idyl brand. “If we set up a union office, the management infiltrate it,” reported the delegates of the UMT and the Democratic Confederation of Work (CDT), who succeeded in leading a series of strikes and sit-ins in several of Soprofel’s farms in 2008. “We were only calling for our rights: to be officially declared, to have pay slips, to get recognition for overtime and access to health care. But the company abandoned farms one by one, put pressure on union members and then opened new ones elsewhere with new workers.” The UMT complains that agreements already signed with the union haven’t been implemented. Soprofel, which produced 75,000 tonnes of vegetables in Morocco last season, declined to comment. By taking advantage of the shortcomings of the Moroccan labour code adopted in 2004, several companies have sacked strikers, alleging they were “obstructing work”. Union officials of the Royal Domains of Chtouki (1) have denounced these sackings as merely a pretext in order to get rid of union members.
In Biougra, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) has reported cases of rape on farms. Its vice-president, Fatifa Sakr, who is a midwife by training, is concerned about the spread of Aids and sexually transmitted diseases. She underlines the vulnerability of female workers who travel alone or with their children from distant villages in the Mid-Atlas. “There’s no social housing,” she complains. “Some companies offer very insecure housing on the farm.” In the rural area of Aït Amira, in the douar (tented village) of Laarab, farm workers sleep in shelters made out of rubbish on a piece of waste land littered with filth. Oulhouss Lahoucine, president of the local section of the AMDH, reports that “delinquency and drug use have reached worrying levels”. The dusty road to this shantytown is desolate: broken greenhouses sit falling apart on the cracked soil among the dried-up argan trees. These are sites abandoned by the big companies. At el-Guerdane, nearly 3,000 hectares of orchard have been abandoned or grubbed up between 1995 and 2002 because the water supply has run out. A 90km water-feeder scheme is currently being constructed which will provide irrigation for the remaining citrus farms. This pipe will start from the Aoulouz dam and run alongside the dried-up fields of the poor peasants who don’t have any water. In spite of the savings they make on wages, irrigation costs reduce the profits of the big farms. “Most of them now have to pump water from a depth of more than 200 metres,” according to Abdelkrim Azenfar, the regional director of the water and forests department for the southwest. “That’s causing a drop in the level of the water table of around three metres a year.
The region’s annual water deficit has reached 240 million cubic metres.” He’s concerned that these businesses don’t seem to worry about the country’s future. After they have turned one place to desert, they do the same to another further south, perpetually in search of as much sunlight as possible: Guelmine, and Dakhla in the western Sahara are the new up-and-coming areas for hydroponic tomato production under glass. In addition to Soprofel, which has established itself in this desert, Azura, a Franco-Moroccan company, has 25 farms in Agadir and two in Dakhla. This company, whose products are sold on the market through Disma International, is forthcoming about its organic techniques to combat pests with beneficial insects (2), but makes no mention at all of the question of water availability.
In the Souss region, according to a report by the department of water and forests, this type of agriculture is already having a serious impact on the argan trees. This includes: “changes in social structures through the development of agriculture for profit, which benefits speculators and penalises local users; the death of trees as a result of soil erosion; and the drying up of the water supply.” As Benhammou Bouzemouri, national director for forest development, points out, argan trees contribute to the household income of peasant families to the tune of between 25 and 45%. Bouzemouri is worried about the consequences of a form of agriculture which has intensive water needs, and is also alarmed by the growing worldwide success of argan oil, extracted from the tree’s kernels, which increases the pressure on the forest: “In the long term, if nothing is done, the whole region could turn into a desert.” However, the commercial success of argan oil could contribute to the development of another part of the rural economy in the Souss region.
There are already more than 100 production cooperatives giving employment to around 4,000 women. The first women’s social enterprises that produced argan oil sprang up in the late 1990s, thanks in particular to Zoubida Charrouf, a chemist whose research had already confirmed the virtues of argan. Back then, oil production was a family affair and hardly anyone outside the forest region itself used the oil. Once they have been dried, the harvested fruits have their flesh stripped off to get at the nut, which then has to be struck between two stones in order to extract the kernel. The skill of the Souss peasants lies in this age-old practice: workers can produce a little over a kilo of kernels per day. And it then takes two-and-a-half kilos of kernels to produce a litre of oil. Argan oil appeared on the international market around 2004. “Big companies started talking about giving work and dignity to Berber women,” says Charrouf with some irony. In the space of a few years, middlemen multiplied, and Moroccan and European industrialists have set up small and large-scale processing facilities in Casablanca and Marrakesh, which are equipped with extractors able to provide the production capacity that exporters demand.
The cosmetics industry in Europe, the US, Canada and Japan is buoyant and argan oil has appeared in the beauty departments of supermarkets in an ever-growing range of products backed by big-budget marketing campaigns. However, there is no machine that can break these nuts properly. So most companies buy their kernels from wholesalers for a derisory sum, less than $11 a kilo. The wholesalers get them from peasants who, because of their isolation, don’t have the power to negotiate for the true value of what they are selling. The women of the cooperatives on the other hand earn at least $5.50 a day and benefit from other advantages such as literacy classes, childcare, and sometimes profit sharing, according to Tarâabt Rachmain, president of the National Association of Argan Cooperatives (Anca).
As a result of European cooperation, the majority of the 42 co-ops that are members of the association are equipped with electric presses. Nonetheless, they can’t measure up to the price war waged by the big companies: the production cost of a litre of oil from a cooperative, factoring in only the raw materials and wages, is at least $24.50. There are brands that sell for as little as $27 a litre in the supermarkets in Morocco, produced by companies which sell them for eight to 10 times more in Europe. The French entrepreneur Benoît Robinne has one of the prime positions in these companies. “We have two to three thousand female piece-workers. We deliver bags of argan fruits to them and pay them $7.20 a kilo [therefore per day] for their work cracking the nuts,” he said. However, Robinne was filmed by journalists from the Envoyé special TV programme in the souk with a sidekick who was carrying a suitcase full of banknotes to spend on bulk quantities of kernels. His company, Absim, produces 8-12,000 litres of oil a month, according to the factory director in Casablanca.
A co-op can’t produce more than 15 litres in that period. At the same time, given the pressure of demand, the argan forest, which covers some 820,000 hectares, is increasingly under threat, even though it has been recognised as a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. “All the argan fruit is being collected. The forest no longer regenerates itself naturally. You even see people beating the trees to collect the fruit, damaging the flowers,” complains Adelfrim Azenfar. To make matters worse, the argan trees yielded almost nothing in 2008 as the result of a drought that has now become systemic. Unsurprisingly, the scarcity of raw materials made the price triple in the space of two months. Speculators built up stocks of the fruit to sell on at a high price to producers with supply contracts to fulfil. “Some cooperatives have stopped producing for lack of funds to buy in fruits,” says Rachmain. Even if the 2009 harvest is better, the situation can only get worse in the long term: planting schemes for argan trees, which only begin to fruit after ten years, won’t make up for the annual loss of around 600 hectares of forest. More than 7,000 hectares have been turned into agricultural land for greenhouses or field cropping.
And 9,000 more were sacrificed in 2006-7 for urban and tourist development. The agriculture minister has admittedly been making an effort to protect a product that is unique to his region. The creation of a Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) for argan oil from the Souss should help to maintain its added value. “Argan is the common name for the oil,” insist the women from the co-ops. But the word was trademarked in the 1980s by the French Pierre Fabre laboratories, which marketed an argan-based cream under that name. While the co-ops’ women are outraged, the Fabre company claims to be unaware that “its” trade name poses a problem. What’s more, there’s nothing at present to indicate that the PGI will protect the traditional or semi-mechanised cooperatives from the industrial-scale businesses that are able to negotiate tough contracts. Rather than encouraging the small producers, whether in agriculture or argan processing, the ministry’s policy is to give most support to investors and exporters: substantial grants are being offered to vegetable growers to invest in irrigation equipment designed to conserve water, and aid is also being given for industrial producers of argan oil to move into the PGI zone. Meanwhile, aid for co-ops is limited to consolidating the existing fragile structures rather than creating new businesses.
And so the new Okhowa co-op in Taroudant has received neither machines nor aid. Malika, a young women whose farm was destroyed by one of the Aoulouz dams, has nothing to depend on except the motivation and solidarity of her 30 or so fellow co-op members. “We’re sick of working for the big farms,” most of the women say. The women of the Union of Poor Peasants of Aoulouz would also like to set up a cooperative. But they lack the means. “What else can we do?” they wonder. Goat rearing isn’t the answer. The advancing desert is pushing the nomads from the south into the argan forest with their flocks. The forest is already suffering from over-grazing. Family farms, argan production and animal husbandry are the three traditional resources of the Berber peasants of Souss Massa Drâa. These activities maintained a small rural economy, which assured food security, in spite of methods that were bound to change. The Amazigh culture is also disappearing. Kabira expresses her concern with a gesture: miming a plane flying overhead towards Europe, she says “Here, walou! Nothing.”
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