By: Marwa Natsheh, HAF intern
A mere three days after my arrival at the High Atlas Foundation office in central Marrakesh, as an intern at the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) focusing on women’s empowerment, project manager Amina El Hajjami offered me the exciting opportunity of a brief field trip out of Marrakesh, which turned out to be more meaningful than I could have imagined.
The High Atlas Foundation has a unique partnership that launches an initiative to profoundly benefit Morocco's youth and farming communities in the Ifrane province. Ifrane's Education Delegation (the provincial office of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training) and HAF signed an agreement that enables the lending of underutilized land near schools to be lent in order for communities to grow organic fruit trees and medicinal plants. HAF has partnerships with individual schools that involve their lending of land so that farming families can meet their tree and plant needs as they transition away from traditional subsistence practices, which is at the root of systemic rural poverty. This kind of public support for farmers on a provincial level, however, is a first in the nation.
The planting season is near, and we hope we can make the greatest possible advances in our new collaboration - and to so with Moroccan student youth, with their families, public and private partners, with urban people from all walks, with you. In this project, students build essential knowledge and skills and rural families gain organic trees and launch and agricultural value chain that strengthens their cooperatives and generates the revenue they need to build more schools, create new businesses, install clean water systems, and achieve their needs and dreams. Read more about the project in Morocco's Le Matin.
Learn more at For more information please contact: ; +212 (0) 5 24 42 08 21
By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF President
If Morocco could effectively implement participatory development through decentralized administrative systems across the population, the model could then be emulated and adapted to help create pathways for the people of the Middle East and Africa to achieve the kind of future they seek.
Morocco could guide the region by its attempt at, and example of, community democratic development--or “bottom-up” civil movements--that, with cross-sectoral partnership, elevate life conditions across communities and provinces and at the national level. Morocco’s development experiences and lessons are, therefore, informative and relevant regionally and globally.
The Arab Spring has brought about a heightened sense of urgency for governments and societies in the Middle East and North Africa to promote development that both directly engages and benefits the majority of the population.
بقلم : د. يوسف بن مئير، محسن تدلاوي – شرقي و كاتي روماني
الضعف. قاسم مشترك يتقاسمه العديدون فى المغرب، بما فى ذلك طلبة وخريجون عاطلون عن العمل ومعتقلون سابقون شباب.
لدى هذه المجموعات في الواقع عوامل مشتركة اكثر مما يبدو للوهلة الاولى. نسبة كبيرة من الشباب المغاربة الذين يتمكنون من إتمام الدراسة الثانوية والإلتحاق بالجامعة ينمون مع اقرانهم الذين قد يتركون الدراسة فى سن مبكرة, فى بعض اشد مواقع الفقر في البلد حيث الفقر المنهجي واللامساواة الاجتماعية الصارخة تلقي بالحياة في حالة مستمرة من الإضطراب.
مع او بدون الإستفادة من فرص التعليم النظامى، فالشباب "المحرومون اقتصاديا والذين يناضلون من اجل تحقيق التوازن بين عدة روايات سياسية واجتماعية وعرقية ودينيّة" يمكن اجتذابهم بسهولة نحو التعاطف مع الإيديولوجيات المتطرفة والأعمال العنيفة.
هذا العامل يعمل ضد مبادرات السلام والأمن القائمة عن طريق تخفيض فعالية جهود التنمية البشرية، دافعة ً بذلك أضعف الناس أكثر فأكثر نحو ميول التطرّف والشبكات النشطة.
By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, Mouhssine Tadlaoui-Cherki & Kati Roumani
Vulnerability. A common denominator shared by many people in Morocco including students and recent, jobless graduates and youthful, former prison detainees.
These two groups actually have more in common than might appear at first sight. A significant proportion of young Moroccans who manage to make it through high school to university grow up, together with their peers who may drop out at an early age, in some of the country’s toughest locations, where systemic poverty and deep social inequality throw life into a constant state of disruption.
With or without the benefit of formal educational opportunities, youth who are “economically disenfranchised and struggling to balance several political, social, ethnic, and religious narratives” can be attracted all the more easily towards sympathy for radical ideologies and violent action.