Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The latest news...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The View from Fez now available via Twitter

For those on the move, The View from Fez now has joined Twitter - so that wherever you are you can get news of new stories being posted. Simply go to Twitter, create your account and then go to http://twitter.com/fesriad and click on the Follow link in the right menu. Simple. Then you can organise for stories to come to your phone or computer. For those who use the Firefox browser you can get a Twitterfox add on that will act as a pop-up for story updates


Evangelicals in Morocco - an update

Thanks to The View from Fez for the following important story.

Guest Opinion from Mourad D, in Fez, Morocco.

Evangelising via English

Morocco has had a long history of religious tolerance and is unique in the Islamic world for its protection of religious minorities including its Jewish citizens. However there are laws in place protecting Moroccans from Christian evangelists hell-bent on converting (saving?) Muslims.

Over the years evangelists have tried all kinds of ways of getting into Morocco to "spread the word". Some methods have been plain stupid (smuggling bibles in the door panels of cars) and others, like setting up business fronts, quite sophisticated. In Fez, we have even seen houses purchased in order to set up prayer meetings.

Recently I came across the story of Jennifer Beck who spent five weeks in Morocco this summer traveling and teaching high school English. Now had this been all she was doing it would have been fine. And if she talked to people about her faith in her own time it would not be a problem. However, Jennifer returned home and talked to the University website; Whitworthian and what emerges is a disturbing picture

According to Ms Beck, she chose a Christian organisation called TeachOverseas as her program because it offered her an opportunity to teach in Africa during the summer months.

“I wanted to go through a Christian organization, but not one that was all about door-to-door evangelism. I liked that they chose to go out and represent Christ through teaching,” Beck said. “The organization works with countries that are ‘unreached’ groups where Christianity isn’t a part of the culture.”

Before leaving for Morocco, Beck met up with her three other female teaching teammates in Pasadena, Calif. There, they were taught cultural norms, taught how to teach English and make lesson plans. Even over a week of training, Beck said she was unsure of what Moroccan culture would be like.

One thing that continually surprised and confused Beck was how to interact with people of the opposite sex in Morocco’s predominantly male-dominated culture. The differences were compounded with the problem of combating the widely held belief in Morocco that U.S. women were promiscuous.

“In public, if a man says anything to a woman, a woman cannot reply or else it is seen as a sexual advance and for us, it was really odd to adjust to this,” Beck said. “We would be followed or stared at for very long periods of time.”As a resident of the Open Door theme house, Beck is no stranger to the concept of hospitality.

The members of the Open Door theme house make it their goal to keep their home available as a refuge for Whitworth students. At any time, students are encouraged to come over for a place to relax, do homework and fellowship together.

The theme house has a prayer room, where anyone can come and pray in a quiet location out of residence halls. Additionally, three nights a week, students can sign up to come over for free home-cooked meals.

The Moroccan locals also used food as a means of ministering to Beck and her fellow U.S. teachers. The school maids often invited the teaching team to their homes to learn how to prepare Moroccan food.

So what is this English Language teaching organisation?

According to their website:

TeachOverseas is a unique interdenominational ministry that offers you the wisdom of experience with a cutting edge sensibility. Since 1981, we have transformed lives in a dozen different countries through hundreds of summer and year-long programs teaching conversational English.

Each year, we train and send hundreds of Christians to teach English, Business and other subjects in: China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Vietnam. To date, over 100,000 students around the world have benefited from our teachers' commitment to excellent teaching and Christ-like service. We are an openly Christian organization and have developed an excellent reputation with national governments and local school administrations.

Teaching English is perhaps the best overseas opportunity for Christians. It deals with people face to face; leads to discussions that point to truth; and is needed everywhere in the world.
— Ralph Winter

Teaching English as community service is a very worthwhile vocation, but using teaching of English as a way of evangelising is at best dubious, at worst subversive. It is hard to find anyone in the Moroccan Government who is aware of this program's Christian purpose. Christians are very welcome in Morocco - Evangelists not.

Note from our editor:

Here is a list of earlier stories on evangelical work in Morocco;

German Evangelist Flees

Evangelists Target Morocco

Smuggling Bibles

New Christian Crusade in Morocco


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fes Sacred Music Festival Tickets

We have had several emails asking about where to purchase tickets for the Fes Sacred Music Festival. Here is the general information and we will update it when prices for this year are announced.

Tickets are not on sale yet
- but when they become available you can book them in advance through a travel agency called Objectif Maroc. You will find them here: Festival de Fès des Musiques Sacrées du Monde or in Fes at 9 Rue de Turquie.

Tickets usually range from Dh200-Dh600 each, depending on the artist. If the artist is popular, it's best to book in advance. For some concerts, you can buy tickets at the door. You can get a pass for all the concerts; for the past couple of years this has cost Dh2500. Some events are free, such as the concerts at Boujloud Square nightly at 18h00 and at Champs de Course nightly at 20h00, as well as the Sufi nights at Dar Tazi that start at 23h00.

For accommodation during the Festival - book here: Fes Riads.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Free English Language Classifieds for Morocco

If you have something to sell, buy or swap - or simply want to send a personal message - now Morocco has a free classified advertisement site: ArtiZany. You can post ads for free if you are a non-commercial individual. Paid ads are also available - the system is searchable by category and efficient. My friends at The View from Fez came up with the idea and I think it is a great one. Already the ads are pouring in. Go check it out: http://ArtiZany.blogspot.com/ - or simply email your ad to ArtiZany@gmail.com.


Friday, November 24, 2006

New Property pages

The View from Fez has been swamped with people wanting information on buying property in Morocco and so we have created a special site to keep all the essential information in one easy to get place. You will find it at MOROCCO PROPERTY


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Buying a House in Morocco - book review

The beaches of Morocco

Maps of the Fez Medina

Over 21,000 underage marriages in Morocco

Marrakech-London - EasyJet's African first.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Beslan novel Black Widow to be translated.

In good news for those who have been following the success of the Beslan novel, Black Widow, the publishers, Scribe, say that translations are being negotiated. The first one appears likely to be a Polish translation followed, possibly by Slovenian. It is to be expected that German and French will soon follow and (hopefully) Arabic, inshallah! Although this novel is fiction it comes closer to the true story of what happened at Beslan than anything I have read. If you want to look behind the Putin spin - or simply want to read a stunning political thriller - this is a great book. I wouldn't mind betting it gets snapped up for a film sometime soon.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

THE VIEW FROM FEZ: Morocco at a glance - A quick tour.

Monday, March 13, 2006

THE VIEW FROM FEZ: Black Widow - A novel on the aftermath of Beslan.

"Black Widow is one of the most moving and thought provoking books of the year, a psychological thriller that humanises a tragedy and examines the possible result of succumbing to the “eye-for-an-eye” urge that would pass through all victims. Beautifully paced and sensitively presented this is an outstanding novel."

From Crime down under review:

Read full review: Black Widow - A novel on the aftermath of Beslan.

'Would you be capable of killing to avenge the death of a child? … — a story like Beslan can seem so very far away. In Black Widow, McCutcheon brings it right up close in chilling, painful detail. The cleverly constructed plot will propel you through the pain of it. It's a taut psychological drama carefully written with compassion and empathy.' — Lucy Clark, Sunday Telegraph

If you like the work of John Le Carré and Martin Cruz Smith, you’ll love the work of Sandy McCutcheon.’— Herald Sun


Friday, January 27, 2006

The Purpose of this blog

Many people email The View From Fès asking if we could collate all the useful information from the blog in one space... So here it is - well, at least a start.

In the next few months we will build up a list of the best traditional houses in Fès where you can stay in true Moroccan style. If you know and can recommend any others, please post a comment and we will check it out.

We will also compile a list of restaurants, personal guides and other services which may help to make your stay in Fès trouble free.

We stress that we have no financial interest or financial ties to any of the places, people or services we suggest.

Until this site is fully up and running please check the links for our top suggestions for information on the old medina of Fes.

For regularly updated news and views on Morocco in general and Fès in particular please visit our sister blog: The View From Fes


THE VIEW FROM FEZ: This week's most viewed posts

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Program for Fez Sacred Music festival

Follow the link to find out everything about the Fes Sacred Music Festival.

THE VIEW FROM FEZ: Fes Festival of World Sacred Music Program

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

THE VIEW FROM FEZ: Buying and restoring a house in Fez

Friday, January 13, 2006

THE VIEW FROM FEZ: Restaurants in Fez

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Where to Stay and Eat in Marrakech