Music concerts, dance party, and acrobatic shows are some of the programs that Casa Events has planned for the opening of the first edition of Casa festival on Thursday, July 6, 2017. The show will take place on the El Hank arena, starting at nine in the evening ad entrance is free for all visitors. This show will bring together almost 100 young artists from Casablanca who is discovered during a casting and has been training for more than six months just to prepare for the festival. The artists will give life to the festival from its opening day until its closing on July 15. A theatrical show staged by Philippe Cieunat will commemorate Casablanca through the story of Amine, a character who will be guided throughout the show by El Hank, the emblematic lighthouse of the city. Together, the two characters will go through the daily life of the inhabitants of the metropolis, its neighborhoods, and its heritage, valuing its richness, diversity, and dynamisms.
According to Mohamed Dekkak, Chairman and Founder of Adgeco Group, as a Moroccan, he is very proud of the heritage and culture of the city of Casablanca. It still retains the traditional background even though the city is progressing and becomes the economic capital of Morocco. With the festival, the people will be reminded about the humble beginnings of the city and its development as time passes.
Another event that will be happening along Casa festival is the “Shop in Casablanca,” the city’s first shopping festival. The first edition of Casablanca’s the shopping festival will be held from July 5th to 16th, with the theme “Treat yourself to the city!”. For 12 days, the festival will highlight the metropolis and its neighborhoods to promote Casablanca as a shopping and tourist destination, through the presentation of several symbolic sites including the Habous district and its stores, the Mâarif, and now the route Prince Moulay Abdallah.
This first edition will be marked by the launching of a geo-localized application “Casa Break.” It will allow the people in Casablanca to find shops, to access information on promotions and new collections, and to organize outings with the list of restaurants, beach or nearby surf breaks.
According to Casablanca Events and Animation, on the occasion of the festival, an open village will be installed for the public’s access to the garden of Normandy Street, with local brands and designers items, exhibitions, and activities for all generations. Casablanca Events and Animation has published the Casablanca Shopping Guide 2017. It can be viewed online or in print at the village located in the public garden on Normandy Street. A fashion show will also be organized on July 5, from 7 pm at the Mohammed V quadrangle. Artistic coordination of this show will be handled by Casablanca’s Bouchra Briguel and Abdelouahab Benhaddou, Meriem Kabbaj, and Najia Abbadi.
This first edition offers a complete outlook of the diversity of shopping offers, from major international franchises to small shops, authentic shops, shopping malls and store concepts. Each neighborhood of Casablanca will be highlighted with its good campaigns and a map that lists the shopping places for reference.
The young traveler arrived in India by way of Afghanistan’s high mountains, trailing the route of a Turkish warrior who, took control of the Hindu farming people of India and founded the Sultanate of Delhi a century ago.
The first group of Muslim soldiers ransacked towns and destroyed Hindu believers image of gods. Later on, warrior kings established a tax system instead of slaving the peasants. They substituted the residing Hindu leaders with Afghan Turks and took over a big expanse of the area just about the tip of the subcontinent.
The Muslim sultans in Delhi, however, are unsafe. They are continuously challenged by oppositions from India’s Hindu majority who fought back against the conquerors and were compromised with continuing Mongol invasions coming from the north. Approaching India, Ibn Battuta paid a visit to Chagatay Khan who occupied Indi and made threats to Delhi, the new capital city. However, Sultan Muhammad Tughluq’s defense force pushed them back to Indus River.
India has gradually taken under the control of Muslim leaders. Hindus even converted to Islam and looked for work in the new government. The have acknowledged the economic advantages of being a Muslim – way lower tax and advancement opportunities but there were also some who remained Hindu in countryside areas, hating the imposed Muslim government.
The Sultan required more scholars, judges, and administrators to solidify his control of India. He all the more so needed poets, writers, and performers to honor and amuse the new leadership. He looked upon foreigners to occupy these positions. He does not trust Hindus and is afraid they would protest against him. He enlisted foreigners and compensated them with grand gifts and big salaries. Turks, Persians, and other Muslims assembled to the new kingdom for rewards. The language of the influential government was Persian which set it apart from the capital city. Ibn Battuta aimed to find work from Sultan Muhammad Tughluq.
International Travel and Cultural Festival
Get to know more about the adventures of Ibn Battuta on the second edition of International Festival of Ibn Battuta happening on November 9-12 in the city of Tangier in Morocco. Entitled “Travelers, the Ambassadors of Peace”, the theme for this year’s event will be centered on the idea of introducing travel as a means for a global cultural understanding and promoting worldwide peace.
Everyone is invited to come and participate in this huge event organized by the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta. There will be colorful outdoor activities such as parades, carnivals, street art exhibitions and cultural shows. They have also prepared conferences, travel exhibitions, film showing and much more. The event has also just released a call for paper as well as volunteer invitation to those who would like to be part of this international travel event.
Visit the event’s official website at http://ibnbattuta.ma/ to know more information.
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Ibn Battuta’s group was able to keep on track on Kipchak Khan Ozbeg’s caravan, the King of the Golden Horde. The ruler’s caravan was similar to a big city traveling with its people, with mosques and markets. You can even spot a kitchen smoke since they cook while traveling.
On this side of the world, traveling means being in wagons pulled by groups of horses, ox or camels. Turkish and Mongol travelers went along their herds in carriage build with a round felt yurt tent over a wooden frame.
Although there are only a few men in it, a rich Mongol’s usual caravan looks like a big town where a single girl leads 20-30 carts, tying one camel carts after the other while one girl sits on the front maneuvering the animal.
To Ibn Battuta’s surprise, the Turks loosen up their camels, horses, and oxen during stops and send them out to fields without shepherds. The owners do this with confidence because according to the law on theft if a person is found in possession of a stolen horse, he should restore it with nine more horse. If he fails to deliver, his sons will be taken in replacement, if he doesn’t have a son, he will be slaughtered like a sheep.
The following morning, he saw Ozbeg, sitting on top of a silver throne at the center of a large tent where the exterior is enclosed with a layer of gold tiles. 4 wives sit next to him, while underneath the throne is the family of Khan. Ibn Battuta describes how the Khan greets his wives:
The ruler proceeds to the entrance to meet her, salutes her, gets her hand and after the wife mounted takes her seat, the sultan also sits. This is being done in front of those that are present, without using any veils. The horses from each of the wife’s wagon are embellished with silk. In front of it are 10-15 young boy servants, Indians, and Greeks dressed in silk robes covered in jewels and each one hold in his hands a gold or silver rod. At the back of the wagon are hundreds of other wagons, each carrying 4 slave girls. Behind these wagons are 300 more, drawn by oxen or camels that carry that wife’s furnishings, money, chests, robes, and food.
As per Ibn Battuta, the Turks do not like sweets and eating them are a disgrace. They drink mares milk and millet beer for which he could not consume since he was a Muslim.
Get to know more about the journey of Ibn Battuta on November 9-12, 2017 for the second edition of the International Festival of Ibn Battuta with the event theme “Travelers, the Ambassadors of Peace”. The event which is being organized by the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta has some exciting outdoor activities prepared such as parades, carnivals, street art exhibits, conferences, music and cultural shows and much more. For more information, visit our website at http://ibnbattuta.ma/
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Having waited for more than one month for a nice weather, Ibn Battuta together with a small group embarked on an ocean trip crossing the Black Sea. Terrible storms hit the ship, causing panic but they, fortunately, arrived safely in Kaffa.
Kaffa is an Italian community that has 200 ships on the dock. It’s a place where traders coming from Venice, Genoa, Russia, Egypt etc. resides. Mainly because majority of those living here are Christians, there was just 1 mosque.
At the Black Sea ports, Ibn Battuta notice the products being traded – timber, salt, grain, fur, honey and wax. In addition, there are also products imported from Persia and China. Sadly, young slaves can also be seen being traded here.
During this period, the Black Sea ports had been part of trans-regional trade networks for more than two thousand years. At present, aside from being a host to modern-day ship routes, the region of Black Sea contains oil drill areas as well as well known holiday resorts.
Having arrived in al-Qiram, the group learned some good news! They were just in time to carry out the 700-mile journey to the Volga River with protection from King of the Golden Horde who has traveled just a few days ahead. To catch up, their group bought 3 wagons and animals to pull them.
Soon after Genghiz Khan passed away, the Mongol Empire was divided into 4 “khanates” for his sons and grandsons. The northwestern khanate which includes most part of the East Europe and Russia was taken by the Golden Horde. But not like the Mongol’s invasion of Persia where they resided in cities and embraced the Persian culture, the Golden Horde maintained their nomad customs on the Russian steppes.
More About Ibn Battuta
Recognized as one our history’s great travelers, the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta is organizing a 4 day event in celebration of his legacy. There will be fun and exciting outdoor activities including parades, carnivals, cultural and musical shows, street art exhibitions and a lot more. The event is the second edition of International Festival of Ibn Battuta with this year’s theme entitled, “Travelers, the Ambassadors of Peace”.
This is set to be a huge travel and cultural event which also supports the city of Tangier to become a cultural tourism destination. Other great world travelers in our history will also be honored and presented during conferences, movies and exhibitions.
You can take part in this huge event. The organizers are calling out for volunteers, sponsors and partners. Recently, a Call for Papers was recently launch inviting writers to submit their original works under the conference theme. Furthermore, nationalities most specially from countries where Ibn Battuta traveled are encouraged to come and see this festivity. The event will be held from 9 to 12 November 2017. Visit https://ibnbattuta.ma/ for more info.
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For 1 year, Ibn Battuta resided and studied in Mecca. Afterward, he set off for his next adventure. He journeyed to Jidda on the Red Sea inside a small crowded ship called dhow together with other pilgrims.
It was his first experience traveling at sea and Red Sea can be unforgiving. The navigation was a difficult path due to storms and may throw the vessel off the course. There are also the concerns about pirates and passengers getting sea sick. In the end, the wind would help these boat reach their destinations.
Upon arriving on land, Ibn Battuta was able to lease camels to continue on with the trip. He visited coastal cities and villages in Yemen’s mountains. He was also gifted a horse by a sultan in Taiz.
From Taiz, his trip takes him to Aden, a coastal city located in an extinct volcano’s crater with the east side open, guarding the entrance to the Red Sea. Its harbor was walled with stones for protection. Aden charges tax on every product coming by means of this port. Trade markets include a wide variety of imports such as spices, iron, Indian silk, African ivory, fruits etc.
During this time, Muslim traders had a good control over the west half of the Indian Ocean trade centers. Muslim communities grew along Africa’s coast and eventually developed along India and Southeast Asia. This part of the world is not predominantly Muslim, it was a minority religion where most locals do not speak Arabic. This is the continued path that Ibn Battuta traveled. At each country, however, he would meet fellow Muslims who would welcome him.
Ibn Battuta decided to set off for another adventure prior to getting a permanent job – this time, down East Africa’s coast. It has been easier to sail south using a dhow due to good weather condition.
Travel Exhibition Honoring Ibn Battuta
Get to know more about Ibn Battuta’s adventures on November 9 to 12 as the city of Tangier celebrates the second edition of International Festival of Ibn Battuta. This event is being organized by the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta in honor Ibn Battuta being one of history’s great world traveler.
The festivity will highlight the many exciting activities such parades, street art exhibitions, cultural and musical performances, film shows, forums and so much more. The organization is inviting everyone to participate and celebrate with them. To know more about the said event, visit their official website at http://ibnbattuta.ma/
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An organization from Tangier called Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta which aims to promote the legacy of Ibn Battuta, a world renowned traveler from Morocco has been on the move in planning an International Travel Festival in honor of the said traveler.
Moreover, the organization seeks to further develop the cultural aspect of the city of Tangier as a cultural tourism destination. This initiative could bring a great deal of support to the country’s social, economic and tourism sector. And most importantly, it hopes to promote peace and strengthen the understanding between people from different nations by encouraging cultural exchange through Ibn Battuta and other world travelers.
Tangier as a Melting Pot
Being a meeting point between Africa and Europe, the city of Tangier has been a home for many international writers and artists. King Mohammed VI envisions the city to become a prime economic center together with Casablanca and progress on business developments has been seen for the past years. Sustaining the cultural heritage of Tangier is a vital part of the people and the king’s vision.
The Journey of Ibn Battuta
Ibn Battuta started traveling in 1325 at a very young age of 20. Like many Muslims, his main goal was to go on a Hajj or Pilgrimage to Mecca. His journey has been long, covering the many regions of North and West Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, India etc. He shared his travels without condemning a nation’s culture, teaching the value of respect to cultural differences. Doing so, develops the brain while learning and understanding from other countries.
It is in this regard that many regard travel as a means to cultural understanding, promoting peace amongst nations. With today’s current world events, it is of utmost importance to be able to co-exist in harmony.
The Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta is inviting everyone to participate in the upcoming event in Morocco. Entitled, “The International Festival of Ibn Battuta” second edition, carrying this year’s theme, “Travelers, the Ambassadors of Peace”, the organization is calling on citizens from different countries, most especially the locals which Ibn Battuta has visited in his more than 29 years of travel.
The event will be held on November 9-12, 2017 in the city of Tangier
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Ibn Battuta is a huge name in the history of Islamic cultures. He is a Moroccan-born Muslim who takes pride in being the world’s greatest travelers of all times. He is a very well-known figure who is admired not only for the fact that he traveled the world but because he respected and honored his surroundings. Ibn Battuta was a man who deeply valued the versatility and diversity that exists in this world. He respected mankind and was genuinely interested in exploring; not only places but the rich and deep cultures, histories and ethnicities embedded in different parts of the world. The Ibn Battuta association has been established to keep the traditions of traveling and exploration alive!
In this comprehensive article, the discussion is about pivotal role the honorary president is playing for the appraisal and progress of the association. It also throws light on several other building blocks that collectively make this association be what it currently is – dignified and recognized on a global level!
Ibn Battuta Association: A Brief Insight
Ibn Battuta association was set up in remembrance and to honor the greatest Muslim traveler of the world; Ibn Battuta. This is an association, traditionally based in Morocco. The association role to take the idea forward and contribute in setting up an association to pay tribute to the famous Moroccan world traveler.
Honorary President – Mohamed Dekkak
Mohamed Dekkak is a Moroccan businessman. He is the chairman of Adgeco Group and is also the founding owner of Ibn Battuta association. As the founder of the association, Mohamed Dekkak also plays the role of the acting honorary president of the organization.
Mohamed Dekkak’s vision for Ibn Battuta Association
This association has been established to honor the life, journey and cultural contributions of Ibn Battuta. It was sole because of him that the world got a glimpse of the 14th century. As the honorary president of the association, Mohamed Dekkak plays a very crucial building role to keep the association one step ahead. It is all because of his creative planning that the association continues to flourish and expand over the years successfully.
The core objective of Mohamed Dekkak as the head and leader of the association is to follow the routes that keep the name of Ibn Battuta alive in the hearts of not only the Moroccan people but people living in all parts of the world.
The Ibn Battuta Association named the AMARIB is an organization that has been set up to serve in the name of Ibn Battuta. Hence, everything that the association offers has been designed to live up to the standards that the big legendary name has set. This organization is a tribute to the name of Ibn Battuta and follows every principle that was set up by him in respect of cultural and traditional diversity.
Ibn Battuta voyages inspire the Association
As already mentioned, Ibn Battuta is a world-famous Muslim traveler. He went down into the pages of history for his immense, undying love for traveling places. Ahead in the article, we will also take a look at the brief life history of Ibn Battuta since it truly does hold a deep connection to the associations’ basic foundations and roots. The truth is that it are the countless voyages and journeys that Ibn Battuta went on that have inspired this association to be set up in his remembrance. Since Ibn Battuta himself was a Moroccan, it was imperative for the state to keep the cultures and legacy alive. The Ibn Battuta association has been set up to serve this very purpose.
Aims of Ibn Battuta Association
Ibn Battuta; the name, character, and life of this man are the main inspiration for this association. Hence, it is regardless to say that the main aim of this association is to highlight and promote the celebrated personality of Ibn Battuta. However, as a vast set up association, this association has defined aims that act as building blocks for the association. Allow us to introduce you to the main basic aims that this association works day and night tirelessly, to achieve.
- The main purpose of the association is, of course, to promote Ibn Battuta as much as possible. The name that is very big has been lost somewhere in the endless pages of history. The aim of this association is to help bring the celebrated and legendary character into limelight one more time.
- The association aims to celebrate the birthday of the greatest traveler of the world with great valor and passion every passing year. The birthday for Ibn Battuta is 24 February of every year. This is not only a way to pay tribute to the great personality but also a guaranteed way revives the rich cultural traditions within Morocco. Hence, the association is dedicated to setting up major festivities every passing year to mark the birth occasion of Ibn Battuta.
- The Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta is also dedicated to working on the socio-cultural relationships that the locals of the Moroccans share along with other nations. Just like any other country, Morocco also direly needs to develop and maintain healthy bonds with other countries. The majority of the population in Morocco is Muslims, and there are people from other ethnic backgrounds residing here as well. Similar to Dubai, Tangier is a metropolitan city that can be a big attraction for people. There are limitless work opportunities that are available for people to avail in this country. Hence, the association aims to form stable bonds between the locals of Morocco and citizens of all other countries of the world by welcoming them to indulge in the cultural heritage of Morocco.
- Tangier is the city where Ibn Battuta was born. It also happens to be the place where the Ibn Battuta association is centrally based. The city has so much to offers; rich traditions, cultural values and endless entertainment. Hence, through the heritage and legacy of Ibn Battuta, we as an association hope to make Morocco a big tourist attraction for people around the world. As a well-developed country, Morocco is certainly able to cater hundreds and thousands of tourists every single year. Some tourists will also mean the economy of state flourishes. Hence, the association aims to promote and boost the tourism in the country.
- Another aim of the Ibn Battuta Association is to encourage young talent and create more work opportunities for the people. As a culturally rich country, Morocco is certainly a land of budding opportunities. Particularly people who hail from an arts background i.e. artists, singers, writers, will find work opportunities through the Ibn Battuta lineage.
Comprehensive review of Ibn Battuta Association
Ibn Battuta is world renowned and much-celebrated personality of the modern world. Though he is a famous Muslim figure that lived in the fourteenth century, his popularity regarding traveling and exploring cultures remain unmatched till present date. Hence, the whole purpose of this organization is to honor the great legend that Ibn Battuta was. The honorary president, Mohamed Dekkak, through his association celebrates the popular personality as much as he can.
As the association is set up in the heart of Morocco, the skilled and immensely talented staff of the organization carries out several activities and festivities to honor the late great traveler. All this is, of course, done under the superlative supervision of the head Mr. Mohamed Dekkak.
With the help of the association, Mohamed Dekkak also hopes to make Tangier, the city of Morocco where Battuta was born, as a major tourist attraction spot in the world. Hence, the association in involved in setting up major events to attract people from all parts of the world to visit Morocco. Today, the legacy and life of Ibn Battuta are helping to revive the culture, tourism, and economy of the Moroccan state.
The basic purpose of the Association or the organization is to pay tribute to Ibn Battuta by keeping his legacy alive. The man loved to travel; hence the association celebrates his passion and deep love for traveling and exploring different cultures by setting up celebratory festivals every single year. These celebrations are held in the heart of Morocco and people from different parts of the world and belonging to varying cultural backgrounds fly in every single year to take part and enjoy this vast cultural celebration! An extensive series of cultural events is planned, comprising over some days.
Brief look at the life of Ibn Battuta
Born Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta, this man has gone down in the deep pages of history as one of the greatest, notable and most celebrated travelers the world has ever seen. It is pride for the Muslim community all around the world that Ibn Battuta himself was a Muslim. He is one of those few men in history who promote unity and harmony and honored the religious, cultural and societal values wherever he went. Let’s take a quick look at the birth, life events and death of Ibn Battuta as the association we are talking about is solely set up to honor this man.
- Birth and early life
Ibn Battuta, as he is famously known as, was born as Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta on February 24. The year was 1304. His place of birth was Tangier, Morocco; this is the same place that is home to the Ibn Battuta association. He is also popularly titled Shams Ad-Din. Born a Muslim, his early years were spent learning and understanding the Islamic laws and core religious values. However, it did not take long for him to recognize his passion for traveling. The first time he decided to go for a voyage was merely at the age of 21 years. His traveling trips were mostly in groups, known as caravans at the time. This was done to avoid the hardships and any attacks that the foreigners would launch. He suffered many hardships during the 30 years he spent exploring the world.
- His journey
The journey of Ibn Battuta began at the tender age of 21. He started off by exploring the Middle East via the waters. He took the route of the Red Sea to Mecca from Morocco and then proceeded towards the Arab Deserts en-route to Iraq and Iran. This was his first trip. After reaching Iran, he returned home. His second trip came in the year of 1330. This time he took the same route to the red sea but traveled in a different direction. He proceeded towards to Tanzania, and this was where he decided to move ahead into India. The state of India was very warm and welcoming; particularly the Sultan of Delhi at the time. He stayed for a few years in India before deciding to travel one more time towards China and neighboring countries. It was in the year 1352 when he finally reached the Sahara desert. This marked the end of the second spell of his traveling.
- Final years and Death
The third and final spell began not long after. In the year of 1355, he traveled all through the remaining part of the Asian Sub-continent. This was, however, the shortest journey and did not last long as his health began to decorticate. Unfortunately, he had to return home.
The time back home was limited and his days were counted. However, on his return home he had enough time to narrate the endless stories of his journeys to Ibn Juzay. His journey of the world is known as Rihla in history. He died in 1368. However, his stories were enough to make him a legendary historical figure. His journeys have given the world a very clear depiction of the 14th century.
Ibn Battuta association acts as a memorial
Ibn Battuta traveled the world over a span of 30 years. The association has been set up as a memorial that celebrates and reminisce the birth, life, and journey of the popular Moroccan traveler. There are a series of events and activities that are set up for the locals and tourists to enjoy all year long. However, the biggest event by the association is arranged and set up on the 24th February of every single year. This day marks the birthday of the world popular Moroccan traveler, and hence, a series of cultural events are enjoyed throughout the day. The purpose of these festivities is to encourage the essence of traveling, literature, cultures, and history. These events also encourage the formation and sustenance of lifelong relationships between people belonging to different cultural backgrounds.
Mohamed Dekkak urges people to join and volunteers at Ibn Battuta Association
The Ibn Battuta association is solely working to revive the culture, tourism and boost the economy of Morocco. Ibn Battuta is the only famous name that the country takes pride in possessing. While it was centuries ago that Battuta lived, his legacy remains intact till the present date. The Ibn Battuta association has now chosen to intelligently carry the legacy of Ibn Battuta forward to make Morocco great again.
As the honorary president of the Ibn Battuta Association, Mohamed Dekkak urges people belonging to different ethnic, social, cultural and religious backgrounds to all comes together and joins hands and volunteers with the Association. The main aim is to celebrate the name, personality, character and life journey of Ibn Battuta. Dekkak urges the historians, scholars, singers, artists, travelers, writers and people from every field of creative arts to step forward to help with this initiative. Not only will this be a great living tribute to the celebrated traveler but will also be the biggest step to boost the state of Morocco. The country that has practically disappeared from the map of the earth will become distinctive and recognized again. People from different countries will help boost tourism, social relationships and economic set-up of the country.
Future Endeavors of Ibn Battuta Association
The association has been around for not a long time now but has successfully managed to make a good for itself in a very short period. Interestingly, this association has set a very solid ground for Morocco to flourish as a state one more time. The team of the association ensures that no stone is left unturned when it comes to creating attractions for people all around the world. To make people engage with the Ibn Battuta Association, every year the association comes up with different festivities and activities to interest people from different parts of the world and diverse cultural backgrounds.
The Ibn Battuta Foundation and the honorary president promise to make 2017 a year like for the association like no other. This is why there is a wide list of activities that have been arranged by the capable staff at the association. There are many things that are happening for the first time this year. Therefore, the future surely does seem very bright and positive for Morocco this year. Allow us to brief you through all the festivities that are happening in Morocco this year, thanks to the Ibn Battuta Association and of course, the endless efforts of Mohamed Dekkak!
- First International Ibn Battuta Festival
The city of Tangier in Morocco is going to host the first international Ibn Battuta festival. This festival intends to promote the cultures and traditions of Morocco to highlight the heritage and bring it into a global perspective.
The festival will be dedicated solely to Ibn Battuta. Mohamed Dekkak in a recent address revealed that the international festival is solely circled the celebrated personality. The prestigious festival will talk about the birth, life, journeys, experiences, explorations, and death of Ibn Battuta. The purpose is to remind people of the great life that Ibn Battuta lived. It also intends to form socio-economic bonds with people in different parts of the world. Another mission is to promote tourism in Morocco which has almost diminished in the previous few years.
- Celebrating Ibn Battuta international days
The international days are being celebrated this year between the 24 to 26 February. The days have been organized by the Association to welcome tourists from all around the world. The attractions have been created by reviving the rich Arab culture during these days. The state of Morocco is very deeply interested in establishing solid, long-lasting and stable social and cultural bonds with people in different parts of the world. These international celebratory days will highlight the country and make it a central focus of attraction for people all around the globe as well.
- Conference debate 2017
The conference debate 2017 has been organized to revive the experiences and journeys of Ibn Battuta. It will include a series of lectures that are arranged by the staff and team at the association. The lectures will welcome hundreds of students, laureates and scholars from different reputed educational institutions of the world to come together to talk about the great Ibn Battuta. The lectures will comprise of knowledgeable people pouring into Morocco from different parts of the world. The whole point of this activity is to keep the legacy of Battuta alive and make the present Morocco recognized for it.
The topic around which the lectures will be surrounded this year has been announced. The topic for this year will be ‘In personal opinion, to what extent has the legacy of Ibn Battuta been kept alive in the modern cultural heritage of Morocco?’.
- Young talent writing competition
This year the Ibn Battuta association is creating a platform for the young writers to come forward and demonstrate their writing skills at an international level. There is, of course, an age barrier for the people who can participate in this writing competition as it is solely intended for young aged people. The Moroccan association has actively worked towards creating a writing platform for the young talent to forward with their ideas and deliver it with the excellence of written speech. The whole idea is to bring forth young talent who can promote and highlight the essence of traveling by talking about the world’s greatest traveler of all times – Ibn Battuta. All participants of the competition are expected to write anything in relevance to the life accounts, experiences, journeys and writings of Ibn Battuta.
The inspiration is, of course, Battuta. This is a big way to encourage and revive literature in Morocco. Another highlight of this literary competition is that it is not a one-time chance. In fact, in a recent address, the honorary president of the association promised to provide a regular literature platform to the top runners in the contest. He has made it clear that they are looking for the ‘top travel writers’ who can highlight the magnificent life of Ibn Battuta for the world to get a closer look at the gem who hails from the state. There are various themes, all surrounding the life of Battuta that the participants will be able to work on.
Mohamed Dekkak announces Ibn Battuta Festival 2017
As the honorary president of Association of Morocco, Mohamed Dekkak is dedicated to making this association progress and develops in the long run. The association intends to keep the cultural heritage of Ibn Battuta alive throughout the years. Hence, every year it comes up with different activities and events to interest the people. In 2017, Mohamed Dekkak has announced the Ibn Battuta Association will hold the the second edition every Ibn Battuta Festival. This festival will celebrate arts and culture to honor diversity.
The second edition international Ibn Battuta Festival is going to be held in different areas of the Tangier city in 2017. The dates that have been announced for this year are November 9 to 12, 2017. This event is titled the ‘Travellers – Ambassadors of Peace.’ The event intends to promote culture, traveling, and tourism throughout Morocco. This event is dedicated to inspiring the travelers in various parts of the world to come and explore Morocco and also go exploring the other parts of the world. The world is a hub full of diverse cultures and traditions. As it has been made obvious by Ibn Battuta, the world is a magnificent creation of God that is meant to be explored. Hence, the core aim of this event is to explore Morocco and relive the cultures and traditions of Ibn Battuta.
The Ibn Battuta international festival is a great celebration of the literature, traveling, arts and different cultures of the world. The event is solely meant to promote the socio-culture in Morocco and bring entertainment for the locals. Hence, a wide range musical show has been organized for the locals to enjoy. The musical parade is going to be carried out in various areas of the Tangier city.
In this event, we will be talking about the life and journey of Ibn Battuta. However, in addition to talking about the life of Ibn Battuta, many other world popular travelers will also be talked about. The lives of world famous travelers will be highlighted at this event. The fellow travelers have been shortlisted up till now to be discussed at the event. The whole purpose of the event is to remember the greatest travelers of the world and by retelling their tales; promote tourism in the present age and time as well.
- Marco Polo
Marco Polo is also a very notable name in the world of travelers. In this event, the people will also remember Marco Polo. A Venetian traveler, Marco Polo traveled the world for 24 long, consecutive years and introduced the European part of the world to South Asian sub-continent.
- Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus is the father of American because he takes the credits for discovering America while on the voyage. He came from an Italian heritage and was a sailor who traveled the world by sea. On his voyage aboard, he discovered America many decades ago.
Xuanzang is a religious person who hails from the Chinese traditions. Xuanzang holds the credit for exploring the depths of the Asian cultures. Most prominently, this renowned monk was dedicated to exploring the Chinese culture. In relevance to his heritage, he also actively explored the Indian cultures and established a link between the two diverse cultures of China and India.
The one thing that travelers are most popular for is exploring the cultures and history. Herodotus is the father of history, as he is popularly known as. He was a Greek local who explored and discovered the history of Asia, Greece, Egypt, and Rome. He always used to come back home from each voyage with rich cultural stories to share that later on became the history for every cultural state.
- Vasco De Gama
The one thing that India is famous for, from a traveling perspective, is the spice route. Vasco De Gama holds the credit for discovering and exploring the Spice route. He also was the first person to travel to India via the spice route. He is said to have reached Calcutta via the spice route. Once in India, Vasco De Gama also explored the rich Indian golden shore lands.
When Ibn Battuta went to Damascus, Syria after coming from Cairo, the government of Mamluk ordered caravans in carrying merchants and pilgrims along the Royal Road. Carefully monitoring the people going in and out of their territory, the Mamluks charged the traders and checked their passports.
The city of Damascus was a fantastic city where Ibn Battuta can join a caravan to finish his journey to Mecca. Then again, there are also other holy spots to visit on this stage of the trip.
Ibn Battuta went on to see Hebron and Bethlehem too, praying for his night time journeys. After which, he visited the small town of Jerusalem where he lived for 1 week and because of its shrines and sanctuaries, the place has been a significant part of his trip. He was able to visit the Sacred Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Since the Hajj would already start, he continued his journey to Damascus and reached in time for Ramadan in 1326.
Enthralled by Damascus’ beauty as a global shopping haven as the city was then the center of trades linking Egypt and Persia and Asia and the region of Black Sea. In addition, it was a center of learning.
In the Muslim world, the city’s Great Mosque was a well-known center of study and it has a flawless architecture that Ibn Battuta pronounced it as the world’s greatest mosque. It was in this mosque’s dorm that the traveler stayed and listened to the lectures of Koran readers.
Ibn Battuta lived in Damascus for more than 3 weeks and used most of his time meeting teachers and judges. He was able to earn some credentials for his studies to support him in getting a job in India. As much as he would like to study, Ramadan schedule has certain setbacks on Muslim’s daily routine. Moreover, he got sick while living in one of his teacher’s house
Aside from meeting holy men and high officials, he too got married and eventually learned that he became a father. But, divorce came sooner and his child died at age 10 without getting a chance to meet him.
International Festival of Ibn Battuta
In honor of Ibn Battuta as a world traveler, the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta is organizing a celebration to pay tribute to the legacy he left behind in the field of travel and geography. On November 9-12, the group is inviting everyone to join them in the city of Tangier for the second edition of International Festival of Ibn Battuta entitled “Travelers, the Ambassadors of Peace.”
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Born and raised in the city of Tangier in Morocco in 1304, Ibn Battuta was raised from a Muslim family of legal scholars. At the age of 21 in 1325, he went for a pilgrimage in Mecca eager to learn and seek for adventure. He traveled along Northern Africa’s coast on the way to Egypt riding a donkey all by himself.
When Ibn Battuta reached Tiemcen city, he heads out on a pilgrimage trail where he may have passed through valleys without seeing any towns for many days, just camel herders and Berber camps. Ultimately, he encountered a group of travelers who are also pilgrims.
Just like Ibn Battuta, the pilgrims included in the caravan are all thrilled about their hajj, it was a big study tour of the World of Islam. For the former, it’s a chance to gain awareness of law and religion and to interact with other Muslim scholars. In Dar al-Islam, he may also have considered looking for work as an Islamic judge after getting education certificates from great scholars of that time.
After arriving at the port of Algiers, the travelers camped at the city walls and waited for other pilgrims to join the group. Next, they headed to forests before getting to Bijaya city where Ibn Battuta got sick yet he continued on with the journey.
It was in the city of Constantine where Ibn Battuta became acquainted with the governor who offered him money and a quality cape made of wool. It is the first of the many significant gifts from devout Muslims which would make him quite wealthy at times.
His group traveled light at maximum speed, continuing nonstop due to concerns on Arab rebels. Eventually, Ibn Battuta became sick again, so sick that he needs to be tied up to his saddle so he won’t fall over.
The group then arrived in the city of Tunis, a big city with more than a hundred thousand populations and fascinated with art and education. The area is also a seaport with trade markets that varies from leather, wool, cloth, hides, olive oil, wax, and grain. The city was a market of products coming from Sub-Saharan Africa such as ivory, ostrich feathers, slaves, and gold. The place has impressive mosques, palaces, colleges, and gardens. It is in this part of the trip that Ibn Battuta felt really homesick.
Then again, he stayed in Tunis for 2 months and lived in a madrasa or college dorm where he met high positioned judges and scholars.
Ibn Battuta finally left Tunis in a bigger caravan of pilgrims and he was even signed up as qadi or Islamic judge that settles disputes for the pilgrimage caravan. This was quite an achievement considering his age. They were therefore accompanied by horsemen troops and archers from the government to keep them safe from Arab rebels.
Get to know more about Ibn Battuta and his journey in the upcoming second edition of International Festival of Ibn Battuta entitled “Travelers, the Ambassadors of Peace” held on November 9 to 12, 2017 at the city of Tangier. The event organized by the Moroccan Association of Ibn Battuta aims to celebrate the legacy of the world renowned traveler.
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Morocco’s economy is in good shape, and increasing its focus on FDI will take the economy to higher ground
Morocco’s economy has been in the uptick in recent years, and predictions for its growth continue to be positive. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.4% in 2015 thanks to its good economic performance, but slowed down to 3% in 2016 on account of poor agricultural output caused by the drought. Morocco’s economy is predicted to rebound, however, to 4.5% in 2017. The Moroccan economy is also in a better position in The Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index, where Morocco was rated as moderately free, ranking in at 86th in the world and ninth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Morocco was cited for its “notable progress” in terms of its economic liberalization efforts by the index.
But while indicators and predictions have been largely positive, Morocco remains to be a developing country with an economy that must stay competitive. In the aftermath of anti-government protests in 2011, Morocco approved a new constitution which sought to open up and modernize Moroccan society, strengthen its laws and institutions, and increase decentralization. Still, analysts and observers say there is still work to be done for Morocco to maintain its economic competitiveness.
An area where Morocco has achieved gains but must still work on is in its industries. Its newly developed industries such as automobile, aeronautics, and electronics have risen in the past few years, but growth among the industries outside of agriculture remains sluggish, with the World Bank indicating the growth rate at only two percent. Other industries such as textiles, clothing, and tourism have experienced a decline, and so far, the growth in the new industries have been unable to cover this decline. Agriculture remains as the country’s biggest industry, employing around 40% of the country’s total workforce, but being rain-dependent it can be volatile and result in weak output.
According to the World Bank, the gains made by its new industries and the expansion of Moroccan companies in Western Africa have given the country a boost its position in global value chains. But as the World Bank notes, this position, along with its gains in terms of its macroeconomic stability, will depend on the Moroccan government’s pursuit of sound macroeconomic policies and structural reforms.
Of particular importance in this implementation of policies and reforms are youth unemployment, increasing the participation of women in the workforce, and reducing poverty and inequality. Morocco’s employment rate for the second quarter of 2016 was only 47%, with the unemployment rate at around 9%. Youth unemployment is also high at 38.8% in June last year. There are still deep inequalities in Moroccan society in terms of gender and wealth, particularly access to education and jobs for women.
The impetus then is not just on lowering the unemployment rate, but at making employment more inclusive in Morocco. Several initiatives do exist, such as social businesses that employ an all-women workforce who receive 100% of profits and cooperatives that conduct activities aimed at improving living standards in rural and urban areas of the country.
For its part, the government must act on promised reforms stated in its National Strategy for Employment—which aims to create 200,000 jobs annually—and ensure access to education and opportunities by women and youth to keep their workforce and industries afloat.
The quality of jobs on offer were also deemed as insufficient by analysts and observers, as many of the jobs are “generally informal and precarious.” The Index of Economic Freedom also states that inflexible labor standards keep a large sector of the labor force marginalized. Thus, it is important that the Moroccan government include meaningful employment and job security in its reform agenda to ensure continuity and sustainability in trade and business.
Along with inclusive employment and equal access to education and opportunities, multinational companies investing in Morocco are calling on the government to focus on improving the skills possessed by Morocco’s workforce. Investors say that the lack of skilled labor is a concern and are calling on the government to invest in better training for local workers. To further encourage foreign direct investment (FDI), investors are also calling on the government to increase its productivity by changing the workforce’s orientation and culture to that of achieving results and output.
Another challenge to Morocco’s economic competitiveness is the government’s dedication to upholding the rule of law, and making its laws work for trade and business. The constitutional reform enacted in 2011 and further reforms in 2015 granted greater civil liberties and independence from the throne for a few sectors, and the government has also moved towards modernizing and opening up processes to make it easier for companies to do business in the country. But while privatization and decentralization efforts may have made Moroccan economy more appealing to investors, many analysts and observers note that some of the reforms are not far-reaching. Observers have also criticized Morocco’s 2015 draft law on judicial reform as seriously flawed, and foreign investors have cited its lack of transparency in their regulating bodies as well as weak intellectual property rights protection.
Morocco has long been preferred by foreign companies because of its stability and security, making it appealing as a regional business hub. However, if Morocco wants to sustain its macroeconomic gains and suitability as a home for multinational companies, it has to show willingness to follow through its reforms, uphold the rule of law, and ensure consistent enforcement of its anti-corruption laws. The government must also make it easier for foreign companies to do business in Morocco by simplifying or easing their procedures for starting a business, paying taxes, obtaining credit, registering property and trading, and improving minority investor protections. Morocco has 63 bilateral agreements ratified, aimed at promoting and protecting investments, and 51 agreements signed that aims to eliminate double taxation of income or gains; the success of these agreements will depend on the country’s efforts to reinforce the country’s justice and legal system.
The World Bank takes note that the structure of Morocco’s economy is still oriented towards non-trade activities such as construction, public works, and low value-added services, and on agriculture. This orientation has kept Morocco from achieving bigger productivity gains, and investment efforts have not given the country the chance for its growth to take off. But a turnaround has been observed particularly in the country’s FDIs, where investment in the last 10 years has shifted dramatically, moving away from exploiting the country’s geological and natural resources to concentrating on market shares, adding value to the economy through trading, and supply chains. This means that Morocco must now focus its productivity and competitiveness on either further improving production and output in the above-mentioned activities and sectors, or change its orientation towards other services and industries where they can increase their output. Morocco’s economic structure needs to gain if it wants to further integrate into world markets.
With its status as an attractive market for foreign investment, Morocco can reap the rewards of its FDIs by fulfilling its new investment charter, introduced in July 2016 to replace the previous charter created in 1995. The new investment charter puts a convertibility system in place for foreign investors in Morocco and gives investors the freedom to transfer profits. Morocco must uphold its proactive FDI policies and include signing protection acts and adopting international business standards. Morocco must also invest in creating a platform for research and development, which includes increasing the capacity of Moroccan institutions to innovate and introduce new technology. Based on rankings given by the World Economic Forum, Morocco must also improve its quality of scientific research institutions, while companies must be encouraged to spend on research and development. Industries can also collaborate with Moroccan universities to undertake research and development projects.
Further, Morocco must improve and invest on its infrastructure to support FDI growth. Businesses are also advocating for improvements in Morocco’s airports and government implementation of an open sky policy, which will encourage more international airlines to include Morocco as their destination. Lastly, the country must make smart use of its landscape by supporting greenfield studies, which will help identify areas that can be utilized for business or production.
Morocco’s economy looks to be heading towards a great path, but the Moroccan government must follow through its constitutional reforms to solidify its gains. Its economy still has many areas for improvement; while these may seem daunting, the government must instead use the opportunity to make a positive change and seize on the confidence given to them by their foreign investors. Its dedication to maintaining sound fiscal practices, implementing reforms, investing on its citizens and infrastructure, and its commitment to creating an open and dynamic business environment will ultimately help Morocco maximize its gains and improve their international trade standing.
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