A research conducted on the social effect of volunteerism evaluates if and how the national and community service has influenced the general public as a whole. This study distinguishes the particular social impacts of volunteerism, for example, on the economy, social welfare and the volunteers as people. The study presents existing proof from past researches, reports, and assessments that show this positive effect and importance, including writing reviews from United Nations Volunteers (UNV), a variety of academic research and in addition reports from different voluntary associations.
In the general point of view, the idea of volunteering implies to ―rendering of service by own decision or choice for the advantage of the more extensive group by an individual, unit, or establishment without essentially expecting financial profit in full learning and evaluation for being a volunteer. In the most recent decades, the government has perceived the basic commitment that volunteering makes to assemble a solid and unified society. Volunteering has been promoted as the fundamental demonstration of citizenship, a method for battling social barring, and an imperative benefactor to the conveyance of good quality public services.
This report marshals the best confirmation accessible in three key regions – volunteering sways on economic improvement, social presence, and individual volunteers – keeping in mind the end goal to exhibit the positive effect of volunteering.
Taking into account past studies on volunteerism, we found that:
- Volunteering makes a substantial role to the worldwide economy
- Volunteering improves the social associations between various sectors, connects governments, ventures and workers
- Volunteering assembles a more firm, more secure, more grounded community, build the interpersonal organization amongst groups and neighborhood
- Volunteering encourages individuals to be more dynamic in community engagement and interested in social affairs
- Volunteering conveys some areas of public services, empowering more individuals to work out in the public sectors, raising the academic performance of youth, driving natural development and adjusting to environmental change hazard
- Volunteering likewise have good effects on a volunteer as a person, build their self-esteem, improve a variety of skills and capabilities, grow their career paths and become healthier physically and mentally.
Impacts on Volunteers
Volunteers report both inherent and gained advantages from volunteering. Volunteering certainly leaves a positive effect on the volunteer, for example, social acknowledgment, better wellbeing and self-regard, building résumés, training and vocation upgrade; monetary advantages and work capacity. Potential advantages to the volunteer include inner rewards, like social acknowledgment, self-regard, training and career development, and medical benefits.
The voluntary organizations have affected the society very diversely and deeply. The act of volunteering has been viewed as a form of social capital, with particular reference to the role of volunteering in promoting social inclusion, supporting marginalized groups, its relationship to other forms of civic participation and free work, creating a civil society, social action, in community building and community renewal. Its connection with other key social players such as government, business, communities, and people as individuals has given the voluntary sector strong power to affect the society as a whole.
The United Arab Emirates financial development is projected to pick up the pace one year from now by more than four percent a year until 2020 on high oil costs and Expo2020 related tasks, the latest report disclosed on Saturday.
Business activity in the nation is projected to recoup in 2017 after a troublesome 2016 on the back of a solid recovery in economic development, as per another report from Middle East business intelligence service MEED.
MEED’s yearly UAE Outlook Report for 2016 says that an upturn in oil costs together with rising public and private area activity supported by Dubai’s planning for the Expo 2020 will see genuine GDP growth ascend to between four-five percent a year from 2017 to 2020, weighing against 3.1 percentage growth in 2016.
While recognizing that many qualms remain that could crash an expected recuperation in oil costs, the report says that a recuperation in oil costs combined with a moderate increase in the UAE oil production come next year will be upheld by a recovery in non-oil related activity associated with heightening investment ahead of Expo 2020, and developing trade exchange with Iran taking after the lifting of nuclear-related international sanctions.
The economic recovery is relied upon to strengthen in spending on major project venture in the Emirates following a year of flat development in 2016 hindered by reductions in government spending and oil and gas and base tasks survey review in Abu Dhabi.
The report says that an estimated $155 billion worth of big projects were under execution in the UAE in the middle of 2016 and it distinguishes an undertaking pipeline of about $629 billion worth of significant ventures that are arranged in the UAE however not under path as of mid-2016.
Around $22.6 billion worth of undertaking, contracts have been given in the UAE in the first few months of 2016, driven largely by real estate, transport, and power ventures in Dubai, which represent about $16 billion worth of grants.
MEED projects that about $37 billion of grants will be made in the UAE in 2016, a comparative level to 2015.
From the year 2006 to 2015, the UAE granted an assessed total of $507 billion worth of projects, denoting to around 35 percent of the total value of contracts awarded in the GCC during that period.
The biggest industries for future projects are in the field of construction, trailed by transport. Further to Abu Dhabi’s metro and light rail plans, there is the development of Al-Maktoum International airport terminal and further construction phases of Etihad Rail’s government railroad to execute.
The UAE, one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, is reliable with at any rate $500 billion worth of private and public savings.
Its economy is progressively varied and supports big and experienced companies dynamic in both local and worldwide markets. The country’s banking sector is well managed. MEED’s projection for the UAE economy in 2017 depends on the average cost of what UAE oil exports will be $37 a barrel in 2016, ascending to $50 in 2017 and expanding by 10 percent a year to 2020.
It further expects that Opec will keep on pursuing the piece of the pie system it embraced in 2014. From that point, costs will be lifted by managerial measures and a tight demand and supply balance owed to utilization being stimulated by lower costs and high-price yield being expelled from the business sector.
The plane called Solar Impulse 2, which arrived in Abu Dhabi city, is the first ever plane controlled by the renewable energy source to travel the globe.
Touching down in Abu Dhabi at an early morning Tuesday, Solar Impulse 2 has finally completed the first round-the-world flight by a sun based controlled plane.
The last leg of the accomplishment, went for showcasing the capability of renewable energy, was a rough one, with turbulence is driven by hot desert air leaving the only pilot, Bertrand Piccard, battling with the controls.
The plane, which has a wingspan much bigger than that of Boeing 747 and contains more than 17,000 solar powered cells on its wings, started the circumnavigation in March of 2015 in Abu Dhabi. Since then, it has traveled in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans utilizing no fossil fuel and has spent over 23 days up in the sky.
Addressing the Guardian from the cockpit just before landing time, Piccard said he was feeling emotional as he neared the end of the adventure: “It is an, exceptionally unique time – it has been 15 years that I am working out diligently on this particular goal.
He notes that he trust that people will recognize that it is not only a first ever in the aviation history but more importantly, a first ever in the history of renewable energy.
We can utilize everything in the clean technologies; they can also be-be used all over the place. So we have flown 40,000 kilometers, but then again now, it is up to other individuals to take it further. It is up to each in a house to take it further, every head of state, each chairperson in a city, each business person or CEO of an organization.
These type of technologies now can give a positive environmental impact and improve the world so we need to utilize them, for the earth, our environment, as well as because they are financially beneficial and can create work employment.
When the sun is up, the solar panel boards charged the plane’s batteries, which make up a fourth of the aircraft’s 2.3-ton weight. The pilot additionally ascends to 29,000 feet throughout the day and glided down to 5,000 feet around evening time, to monitor and save power. The plane flies at around 30mph, in spite of the fact that it can go quicker if the sun is bright.
The plane could fly continuously however the pilots can’t, because of the difficult conditions on board.
Bertrand exchanged with André Borschberg to fly the 16 legs of the trip, spending up to five days in the cabin that is unheated and unpressurized, taking just short sleep and with the single seat bending over as a latrine. Borschberg flew the longest with 4,000 miles from Japan to Hawaii over the Pacific, crushing the record for the longest continuous excursion in aeronautics history.
However, Bertrand said his greatest test was getting his pilot’s permit in any case: “The test was to originate from the field of hang-gliding and ballooning to the field of planes and instruments and systems. When I started the undertaking, I had no plans permit, so I needed to work for it more than six years. I did many hours to be permitted to fly a plane.”
Pilots Piccard and Borschberg who are both Swiss, are also seasoned, adventurers. Piccard made the first non-stop balloon flight around the world in the year 1999, while Borschberg, a previous Swiss Air Force military pilot, has had brushes with death including a torrential slide and a helicopter crash.
Bertrand said the last leg from Cairo, Egypt to Abu Dhabi, UAE was especially intense, due to flying at high elevation to keep away from the turbulence that’s most exceedingly worst. “It is a lot of challenges as well as grueling flight,” he said. The last night was so turbulent that I couldn’t rest by any stretch of the imagination, I simply needed to battle with my flight controls.”
He said his team from the ground had made the record breaking flight conceivable: “I am miles away from everyone else on the plane. However, every one of them who have worked on this project is individuals who are totally dedicated and focused on achievement. I will give for each of them a major embrace since they made my dream conceivable.”
The whole point of the Solar Impulse experience was not to create sun-powered controlled planes for far commercial use. However, it is to demonstrate the capacities of what renewable energy can make it happen.
“Fifteen years, I have I labored for a long time to have this demo of the good changes of these technologies, so now I truly need to make use of this demonstration and make a world council for clean technologies,” Piccard said. “That will permit every one of these specialists and experts to prompt the legislatures and large enterprises on which sorts of innovation to use to battle environmental change beneficially and eventually protect the earth.”
The United Nations secretary-generalBoycott Ki-moon said that the Solar Impulse had flown more than 40,000 kilometers without fuel, however with a boundless supply of energy and inspiration. This is a remarkable day for Captain Piccard and the Solar Impulse group, yet it is additionally a memorable day for humanity.
He added that the pilots might have ended they’re around the globe flight today. However, the trip to a more sustainable world is simply starting. The Solar Impulse group is steering everyone of us to that future.
The journey of the Solar Impulse has not been without troubles. Crosswinds in China made weeks of deferrals in 2015 and some overheating batteries amid the Pacific intersection constrained it to spend the winter inside a Hawaiian hangar. The group also have overcome monetary inconveniences in 2015 after raising 20M euro from sponsors.
Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism has embraced a thorough procedure for building up Morocco’s tourism segment to make Morocco one of the world’s top travel destinations and to support tourism as the driving force for financial, social, and cultural development in Morocco.
The administration’s 2020 Vision Plan, which looks forward to expanding incomes from tourism to MAD 140 billion by 2020, concentrates on genuineness to make Morocco a more alluring destination for travelers. The ministry will take on preemptive measures to protect Morocco’s natural and cultural heritages to reinforce Morocco’s cultural identity.
The 2020 Vision additionally supports Morocco’s different sub-societies, natural assets, and environmental framework, and openness to Africa and Europe, The Tourism Ministry takes operates these components to make them meet the desires of visitors.
The 2020 Vision additionally concentrates on giving quality service and enjoyment to supplement the prime tourism framework. Morocco will build up its lodging capacity, concentrating on differed entertainment and recreation facilities keeping in mind the end goal to contend with other international tourism franchise.
Sustainable tourism is likewise among the significant targets of the 2020 Vision. The Ministry of Tourism will keep operating on components that have given improvement to Morocco as a better tourist destination. The strategy will think about keeping on the modernity as well as authenticity by carrying out a coordinated system that includes watching and assessment by the Sustainable Tourism Commission and the High Authority of Tourism.
So as to take into account this goal-oriented vision, Morocco will multiply its residential capacity in twofold by making 200,000 beds, increase the local tourism, and make 470,000 employment.
Morocco’s General Manager of National Tourism (ONMT) Mr. AbderrafieZouitensaid in a meeting that “Morocco needs to pull in 1.5 million visitors in the following two years” which will entail an additional 400 million Moroccan dirham, far beyond the expense of 2020 vital vision. This arrangement concentrates on travelers from the theUnited States and Germany. Morocco will probably produce new organizations with aircraft and open 57 aerial tracks.
Zouiten additionally clarified that the agency utilizes digital media to give data on Morocco’s topographical dissemination of tourism, upgrade Morocco’s label for tourism, and report the authoritative strategies required for foreign voyagers to come to Morocco. “These strides which will be accessible one month from now will empower 80 percent of voyagers to utilize the Internet for arranging and booking their tours,” he included.
Morocco Travel and Tourism in Report Morocco to 2017
The Moroccan travel and tourism industry recorded slow growth during the study’s timeframe between 2008 to 2012, because of the European sovereign debt crisis and the 2010 Arab Spring uprising. Government activities on local and global tourism advancements, the improvement of tourism foundation and expanded government ventures will build up the tourism industry over the estimated time frame of 2013 to 2017.
The report published by website Research Markets in 2014 presented an extensive market study, insights, and information including:
– Historical data and estimated number of travelers covering the whole Moroccan travel and tourism industry
– Detailed report of visitor buying patterns in Morocco for different classifications in the travel and tourism area, like settlement, touring and entertainment, transportation, food service, retail, travel agents and others
– Detailed travel market classification in every kind, with assessment comparing the inbound and outbound tourist flows.
– Detailed report on the industries of airline companies, hotels and another lodging, auto rental and travel intermediaries.
The website encourages business owners in the tourism sector to get a copy of the report so they can make strategic and sound business choices utilizing historical and projected market information engaged in the travel industry. The report would also help them the demand progression within the country’s tourism industry, alongside essential market trends and development opportunities.
Key Report Features
– In June 2013, the Ministry of Tourism introduced the new version of the KounouzBiladi program to advance the local tourism. KounouzBiladi targets middle-class families who don’t budget some money for outings. The ministry reported attractive price offerings and travel offices gave away appealing packages like those offered to foreign visitors all through the 2012 version of the program. The service additionally declared that KounouzBiladi will be stretched out to other seasons to empower local travelers to be consistently rewarded by discounts for one year.
– In July 2013, the tourism board expanded its emphasis on nations like Eastern Europe, China, North America, Russia and the Middle East to boost Morocco as a beautiful travel destination. The Moroccan National Tourist Office has effectively set up workplaces in Beijing and introduced an arrangement expecting to pull in Chinese vacationers. The office has likewise asked for carriers in both Morocco and China to fly non-stop flights between the two nations.
– In June 2013, Royal Air Maroc reported that it would buy 20 to 30 new planes by 2020, including five long-haul airplanes. British Airways had expanded the number of flights from seven to 10 between November 2012 to March 2013 flying Marrakech and London. In April 2013, Ryanair has likewise restored its long haul enthusiasm for the nation by including two bases in Marrakesh and Fez, expanding its Moroccan operations to 60 courses and eight air terminals, transporting 2.5 million travelers a year to Morocco.
– Premium and top of the line lavish lodging brands, for example, Mandarin Oriental, The Address Hotels, Oberoi, Rocco Forte Collection and Kempinski, have begun putting resources into new properties in the nation; 54 hotel projects are planned with an overall capacity of 15,000 new guest rooms. To be included in this undertaking are 18 five-star hotels will be constructed in Marrakech. Kempinski is likewise setting up two new properties in the nation. The Royal Palace Hotel opened in Agadir with 260 rooms last March 2013, and in October 2013, Al Houara hotel with 270-room opened in Tanger.
– The cost of leasing a basic car without any limitations on travel distance begins from MAD3,408.2 (US$395.0) each week or MAD491.8 (US$57.0) each day. This is exceptionally costly for a North African nation. Most auto rental organizations likewise request a refundable money deposit of MAD2,934.7 (US$340.0) or MAD4,875.0 (US$565.0) if not paid by a charge card. The best urban communities to call car rentals are in Tangier, Casablanca, and Marrakesh, where autos are accessible at modest costs.
- Travel agencies in Morocco are profiting by local crowds through web advertising strategies, and all travel packages booked through them are liable to a 15% rebate. Local tourists can likewise get to an interlocutor if they are disappointed with the travel organization’s services.”
Travel Guide: Top Places to Visit in Morocco
Some of the best places to travel when in Morocco include the imperial metropolis of Fes, Marrakech, and Meknes. This is the place where you will find beautiful bazaars, royal residences, and busy town squares. Morocco is likewise well known for its shorelines, and a portion of the best ocean towns areEssaouira, Tangier, and Asilah. Morocco has an innate beauty. You can rent a camel and trek through the Sahara; climb the highest peak of North Africa; or stay in a conventional Kasbah in the entrancing Dades Valley.
Travel Guide to Marrakech
Located at the foot of the Atlas mountains, the royal city of Marrakech is huge, loud, tainted and stinky. Be that as it may, Marrakech is captivating and loaded with history. On you appreciate an assault of overwhelming senses, then you’ll have a great deal of fun. When the most famous sights include many references to “Serenity” and “peace” like the Majorelle gardens or the greenery enclosures around the Saadian Tombs you know you’re in for a fascinating happening.
It’s fairly easy to get around Marrakech without even hiring a tour guide. There are so many areas that you can see; it’s recommended to spend three days in Marrakech. If your budget allows, treat yourself to a stay in a Riad so when you come back from a busy day, you can unwind and have some mint tea in a peaceful patio.
Best Time to Go
Visit Marrakech in the cooler months from September and May. However, some yearly events happen in summer which you might want to experience:
- Marrakech Popular Arts Festival in July. This yearly celebration draws in artists, fortune tellers, acting troupes, snake charmers, fire dancers and then some, from all over Morocco. Since 2000 the event has additionally pulled in numerous craftsmen and performers from Europe and Asia. The main events happen in the remains of the 16 century Badi Palace and the Djemma el Fna).
- Fantasia is a stallion riding exhibition that incorporates many charging horsemen (and ladies) wearing traditional attire. The spectacle is one feature of the Popular Arts Festival, so it also happens in July. You can see the Fantasia on the nights outside the city walls close to the Bab Jdid. If you don’t get the opportunity to see it in July, there’s the Chez Ali, a restaurant that offers the Fantasia as the amusement while you eat.
- Imilchil Marriage Feast is a Berber marriage festival where up to forty couples get married. It happens in Imilchil in the Middle-High Atlas Mountains close to Marrakech. The festival is an extraordinary way to experience the culture of Berber including dance and music. The occasion happens after harvest each year, so the dates differ, it’s normally held late August or early September.
Winter in Marrakech
From mid-January to mid-February there is typically enough snowfall in the Atlas mountains for skiers. The Oukaimden ski resort is just 50 miles from Marrakech. There are a few ski lifts to get a magnificent view.
Places to See in Marrakech
The Djemma el Fna. The expansive central square in the old city (Medina) is considered to the heart of Marrakech. During the day, it’s a great spot to grab a fresh orange juice and a bunch of dates. Toward the evening the Djemma el Fna changes into a performers haven – in case you’re into snake enchanting, juggling, real entertainment like that of medieval times.
Souqs. The souqs are essentially undercover markets that offer everything from chickens to fantastic specialties. The souqs of Marrakech are thought to be among the best in Morocco, so if you like shopping and haggling, you’ll have fun enormously. Regardless of the possibility that you don’t care for shopping, the souks offer an authentic cultural experience you should not miss.
Majorelle Gardens and Museum of Islamic Art. In the 1920’s, French craftsmen Jacques and Louis Majorelle made a very beautiful garden amidst Marrakech’s new town. The Majorelle Gardens are loaded with plants of all shapes and sizes, blooms, ponds, and tranquility. The famous Yves Saint Laurent is the owner today and has constructed his house on the property. Inside the compound is a building called Majorelle which houses the Museum of Islamic Art. This little gallery incorporates some great case of Moroccan tribal workmanship, floor coverings, pottery, and jewelry.
Saadian Tombs. Ruled most of southern Morocco between 16th-17th centuries, Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour of the Saadian made these tombs for himself and his 66 family members. The tombs were in 1917 which we beautifully preserved surrounded by a beautiful garden
The Ramparts of Marrakech. Standing since the 13th century, the walls of the medina which run for 12 miles make for an awesome early morning walk. Every entryway is an art themselves like the Bab ed-Debbagh gate which gives a great photo-opportunity brimming with striking hues.
Palais Dar Si Said (Museum of Moroccan Arts). A castle and museum in one, the palace boasts of a lovely patio where you can unwind and take some photos. The exhibition hall’s showcases are well laid out full of artifacts like ceramics, jewelry, costumes and other relics.
Ali Ben Youssef Medersa and Mosque. The Medersa was constructed during the 16th century by the Saadians and could hold up to 900 religious students. The design is flawlessly preserved, and you can check out the small rooms where the students used to live. The mosque is next to Medersa.
El Bahia Palace. A great example of the Moroccan architecture, this palace built as a harem’s residence possesses heaps of subtle element, curves, light.
How to Get to Marrakech
The international airport of Marrakech has direct flights between London and Paris as well as chartered flights landing from all over Europe. If you are flying from the US, Canada, Asia or somewhere else, you’ll need to change planes in Casablanca. The air terminal is just around 4 miles (15 minutes) from the city and buses and taxis work for the duration of the day
Trains operate daily linking Marrakech and Casablanca. The ride takes around 3 hours. To go to Fez, Meknes or Tangier then you can take the train through Rabat (4 hours from Marrakech).
Supratours, CTM and SATAS are three national bus companies that connect Marrakech and neighboring cities and towns in Morocco
Places to Stay in Marrakech
A standout amongst the lodging options in Marrakech is a Riad, a traditional Moroccan house located in the Medina (old town). Most riads have courtyards with fountain, restaurant or pool. Some riads additionally have terraces where you can have breakfast and get a stunning view of the city.
Reads like the Dar Mouassine, MaisonMnabha and the Hotel Sherazadeare not all costly.
Marrakech has a great number of lavish hotels including the well-known La Mamounia, as featured in the film Sex and the City 2. There are a few famous hotel chains like the Le Meridien and Sofitel.
The most well-known luxury hotel in Marrakech is La Mamounia which Winston Churchill described as “the most beautiful place in the world”.
Travel Guide to Fes (Fez)
Morocco’s most ancient Imperial city, Fes (Fez) and its “old town” is currently a UNESCO World Heritage site. Behind the Medina’s Fes el-Bali’s towering walls is an enchanted, medieval city overflowing with life in each one of its 9000 narrow roads. Fes is the spiritual and cultural capital of Morocco, and you’ll surely encounter its liveliness.
The new part of Fes, called ville nouvelle, was constructed by the French and is entirely distinct from the medina. The wide avenues are lined with modern day shops, and traffic is chaotic. There’s not much to see, but rather if you incline toward bigger Westernized lodgings, this is the place you’d want to stay.
Best time to go to Fes
The best time to visit Fes starts on September running to November and then April to June where it’s not very hot, and there are fewer travelers. The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is normally held in June and is unquestionably worth a travel plan.
Places to see in Fes
Fes el-Bali. The must see the place in Fes is the old medina (Fes el-Bali)and an ideal approach to get around it is hire a guide through your lodging or Riad for an estimated cost of around 250 dirhams. Any longer and you can just depend on agreeable businesspeople to point you in the right heading or a decent guide. The delight of touring the old Fes is walking along the narrow alleys and discovering a donkey drinking from a beautiful tiled fountain, watching Moroccan artisans at work; or ducking into a nearby Hammam and appreciating a decent good scrub.
Tanneries. Fes is well known for its leather items, and the greater part of it originates from the leather bazaar in old Fes. The tanneries have been in operation since medieval times, and little has changed, which makes them completely captivating to visit.
Kairaouine Mosque. Tucked the heart of the medina, the Kairaouine Mosque is enormous yet you can scarcely get a decent look at its size since it’s basically wedged in the middle of several shops and houses. 20,000 individuals can pray here yet unless you’re a Muslim, you won’t have the capacity to go inside. In any case, following the Mosque has as of late opened up again after extensive restoration, when the entryways are open visitors can look in and wonder about the lovely tile work. The library here is a standout amongst the most critical and most established on the planet. You’ll know you’re drawing near to the mosque in the event that you strike your head against a wooden pillar in a rear way. The pillars were put so individuals would bring down their heads when drawing closer the mosque and it likewise prevents donkeys from getting excessively close.
Museums. There are 3 historical galleries in old Fes that are worth visiting and offer a spot to get some rest. The Nejarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts is in an beautiful construction with a decent little rooftop bistro. The Dar Batha Museum has an exceptionally fascinating showcase of artworks, particularly if you appreciate the conventional blue-shaded pottery Fes is well known for. The Belghazi Museum offers comparative fine art to Dar Batha, yet here you can purchase it what you like! The museum is located inside a palace and is a decent, if expensive, spot to appreciate some lunch.
Medersas. There are two Medersas (religious schools) worth going by in old Fes. The MedersaBouInania was constructed during the 1300’s and has some excellent examples of Merenid plasterwork and woodwork.
The Mellah. The Mellah is the old Jewish quarter of Fes, and you can tell its architecture varies from whatever is left of the medina. Houses with overhangs and windows facing the roads are exceptionally un-Muslim-like. The Jewish graveyard is very eye-popping here with white headstones running down the hillside as far as the naked eye can see, some are wavering directly over the edge.
Merenid Tombs. The Merenid Tombs are located outside the walls of old-Fes, and you see them from most rooftops in Fes. Vacationers head up the hill to the tombs to get a decent perspective of Fes as the sun sets. The tombs themselves aren’t much of a view.
How to get to Fes
You can get to Fes by train, bus and plane so there’s no reason not to visit the most mesmerizing city in Morocco. On the off chance that you haven’t ever been to a developing nation, Fes might be a little intense. If visiting Marrakech is part of your plan itinerary, you might need to head there first since it’s somewhat more laid back. Try not to spend all your cash on knickknacks in Marrakech however; you’ll see it’s less expensive in Fes.
Morocco has an efficient railroad line, the trains are comfy and they keep running on time. Fes has one train station and you can get a train from Marrakech (7 hours), Tangier (5 hours), Casablanca (4.5 hours) and Rabat (3.5 hours). You can just book your train tickets in Morocco and it’s wise to book them a day ahead of time.
Morocco’s best bus company is called CTM. They have buses operating out to Fes from major spots in Morocco. In case you’re not on the train line, then a bus is a fine alternative and constantly less expensive than the train (a 4-hour bus trip cost 70 dirhams and a 6-hour ride cost 120 dirhams). CTM has a modernized system for booking so you can book all your transport tickets for anyplace in Morocco at any CTM office.
The Fes’ Saiss Airport is located only 6 miles from the new town center. Some European charter planes fly in directly from Paris and London. Royal Air Moroc has a flight to Fes from Casablanca, which flies twice daily.
Via Grande Taxi
If you plan to visit Meknes and Volubilis you can either take a train or bus or you may also pick the more costly Grande Taxi. Grande taxis don’t have meters, so you have to successfully negotiate the fare before jumping into the taxi. These taxis are regularly shared, so don’t be amazed if more travelers get picked up along the way. The ride takes an hour to get to Meknes from Fes.
Places to Stay in Fes
Rent a traditional house. In case you’re truly up for a unique local experience, try renting out a traditional house. It’s less expensive than staying in Riads, and the houses look just as pretty. This is a perfect choice if you need the comfort of having your refrigerator and the little kitchen.
Riads are traditional homes in old Fes that have been revamped and transformed into little inns. There are typically a set number of rooms or suites constructed around a patio, making the experience more private. Rooftops give great perspectives over the city and make for an awesome spot to have some breakfast and watch the people go about their day to day business.
Travel Guide to Essaouira
Essaouira is known for its laid back coastal town that offers explorers a good break from the hustle bustle of Marrakech, which is only a couple of hours away. The town’s beaches, medina, and fresh catch seafood are what interest travelers to visit Essaouira.
Best time to go
There’s no rain in Essaouira from March to October, so that may be the best time to go. Essaouira’s temperatures don’t get much above 80 Fahrenheit (26 Celsius). If you are not into group tours, then May, June and September would be the best time to visit Essaouira. Winters don’t get excessively frosty, the temperatures can be up to 60 Fahrenheit (15 Celsius) amid the day, excessively chilly, making it impossible to swim or sunbathe, yet at the same time great time to do bargain hunting in the medina.
Essaouira’s biggest annual event, the Gnaoua World Music celebration is held for three days on June. Gnaoua is the descendants of slaves coming from Black Africa, who built up Brotherhood all through Morocco. They are comprised of expert artists (maalem), clairvoyants, metal castanet players, mediums and their devotees. This celebration showcases their abilities and that of global performers who have grasped this type of music and magic.
Places to see in Essaouira
Beach. Essaouira is fairly a small fishing town, and that’s what makes it a charm, it has a holiday and local feel to it. Because the place has strong winds, it’s ideal for water sports like windsurfing, surfing, and kite surfing.
The Medina and Souqs (markets). Shopping here in Essaouira is more relaxed compared to Marrakech and Fes but not necessarily cheaper. The medina is enclosed by walls, and there are five primary gates you can walk and easily navigate as it’s also car free and clean.It is just a small area but avoids the Mellah area of the medina around evening time.
Ramparts and the Port. Essaouira’s medina is walled like numerous old towns in Morocco, and the defenses are entirely amazing as they’re created on the cliffs. Local people and guests appreciate walking around the ramparts as the sun sets. The port is a bustling port loaded with fishing vessels.
Hammams. Essaouira may not have the best hammams, but this is a good place to experience a traditional Moroccan steam bath. The Hammam de la Kasbah is highly recommended by The Lonely Planet Guide to Morocco.
How to get to Essaouira
Most travel to Essaouira by bus simply because there is no train station. There is direct bus operating from Casablanca to Essaouira daily which takes around 6 hours. Buses from Marrakech takes 2.5 hours, and a few bus companies travel this course. The bus station at Bab Doukkala in Marrakech is the place the buses leave from.
Tourists found that Grande Taxis will take them from the Marrakech to Essaouira airport only during the daytime.It will cost you around $80 (50 Euros)for the trip which takes around 3 hours. On the other hand, you can get a taxi at the main bus station in Marrakech and after that jump on a bus to Essaouira.
Places to stay in Essaouira
Riads. Each room inside a Riad is one of a kind. Essaouira has some exceptionally pleasant riads in its medina. Riads are hidden along narrow streets, and you’ll need to ask somebody to help you with your packs since no cars can get to the medina.
Where to Eat
Since Essaouira is a fishing town, you, therefore, need to try its local dishes like grilled sardines. Any eatery along the harbor front offers fresh fish daily. Some of the best eateries are shrouded away in Riads in the medinas. The Place Moulay Hassan on the edge of the port is an incredible spot for a beverage and affordable Moroccan food.
Suggested Restaurants in Essaouira:
Chez Sam at Essaouira’s port has fantastic seafood and fish but not that many local Moroccans.
Riad le Grande Large – known for its flavorful traditional dinners, than its rooms. Fantastic set dinners begin at 12 Euros (around $19), and your fish dishes will, as a rule, be served by live music.
Chez Georges is one of the most costly restaurants in Essaouira. Al fresco dining, so wears something warm.
Things to Consider Before Traveling to Morocco
Planning a trip to Morocco? Before you get on the plane, there are a few things you most likely need to know. Moreover, if this is your first trip abroad, or maybe you just need a reminder here’s a list of questions and answers including what you should do or bring before your trip. If you want to achieve an easy, headache-free Moroccan travel (and who doesn’t?), taking care of basic tasks like researching activities at your destination, managing your finances and getting your traveling bags in order is the key. Do not run off from home without accomplishing and thinking of the following list!
Do I need to get a vaccine before traveling to Morocco?
Although a personal decision, getting a vaccine is not mandatory in Morocco.
Do they accept credit cards? What is their local currency?
The Moroccan Dirham (DEE-rahm). Keep in mind that you will get cash out of an ATM in dirham and that you will regularly be charged for the foreign transaction fee of around 3 percent by your bank, whether you get cash out or swipe your credit card.
What is the language there?
The Moroccans talk a fascinating blend of Arabic, Berber, English and French. Amazingly, you may hear several languages in just one sentence.
While English will probably be understood by many in the bigger urban areas, you may have some language barrier in the rural areas. For this situation, Arabic and French are likely equivalent fallbacks for the bold traveler.
What practices could get me in a bad position in the event that I don’t follow them?
There are likely two major things you ought to be worried about here. One is the way you use your left hand to eat or shake hands. Muslims, Moroccans among them, feel that it’s unclean. Be wary of this custom especially in public. The other thing is that ladies modest dressing. Westerners tends to walk around in tank tops and short. Tourists are advised to dress conservatively.
Do they drink/do drugs/party?
Moroccans, however, devoted Muslims, appear to do the majority of the above. Hashish is common in Morocco, and it’s not that difficult to get liquor at numerous bars in spite of the Muslim being against it. Cities like Casablanca or Marrakech has bars and dance club where there’s a chance to party until the small hours.
A musical form of party called Aissawa, is like a Sufi rave. Sufism, an old enchanted branch of Islam concentrated on lifting the soul, is still practiced all over the world. The celebrated writer Rumi was a Sufi, and numerous Westerners have come to know Sufism through Rumi’s composition. Dancing and spinning is a standout amongst the most well-known practices at the Aissawa, with the sought impact to create an altered state of mind.
Do I require a visa to get in?
All English-speaking countries (except for South Africa) require no visa to enter the nation, and guests can stay up to 90 days.
Will my cellphone work there?
Just like some other countries in the Middle East, it will be far less expensive for you to purchase and get a local number than it will be for you to utilize your phone, which will probably cost many dollars in extra roaming charges and fees before you are finished.
What’s their food over there, and would I be able to eat fresh vegetables and fruits and drink clean water?
Not like the United States and the United Kingdom, which are moving quickly to packaged foods, even for the basic staples like fruit and vegetable produce, Morocco will have only local produce. Thus, the choices will be limited than maybe you are used to, yet the vast majority of it will have been organically grown and harvested and served on your table the way it would have been in the past – quick and with no harmful processing.
In case you’re stressed over nasties in new stuff, do what local people would do: press a decent amount of lemon or lime juice on it. I promise there will be less chemicals on your serving of mixed greens than at McDonald’s at home, and the food will taste new and flavorful. Be savvy — in case you’re eating from a road seller, you’re taking your risks, and they have no controls or even refrigeration now and again. In the event that you have a sensitive tummy at home, pack charcoal tablets and keep in mind on eating yogurt in Morocco to get a few probiotics. Appreciate the local food – that is one of the basic reasons you went! As in most remote nations, you ought to likely stick to filtered water as a safety check – we are regularly not used to the critters in another person’s water supply.
As a country blessed with the highest level of solar insolation compared to other countries, the advantage of having sustainability has been placed on the production and utilization of solar power by developing more solar energy projects in Morocco.
Morocco receives the sunshine for around 3,000 hours annually and reaching 3,600 hours in the desert. Morocco is where one of the world’s largest solar energy projects is to be found. The project value amounts to approximately $9 billion.
Underlining the primary objective of generating 2,000 megawatts of solar energy volume by the year 2020, there are already five solar power stations planned to be constructed which involves the integration of photovoltaic and concentrated technology. Renewable energy agencies are focusing on solar energy who are established to run the projects.
Solar energy power plants and solar power farms are just some of the projects that were on the table to be commissioned with the full completion of the year 2020. The development of the solar power plan will shed more light and will bring Morocco into the spotlight as the frontrunner in solar energy projects in the world.
The completion of the solar projects in Morocco will take up 38% of Morocco’s yearly electricity generation.
Solar energy in Morocco largely dominates the national renewable energy grid
The renewable energy in Morocco accounts to 0.4% of the national energy grid except for biomass.
Renewable energy contributed to almost 10% of electricity production in 2007. The renewable energy industry is backed by solid hydropower sources and solar energy in Morocco with the recently installed 147 MW wind energy parks of which 975 MW is under deployment.
Morocco is on its move to start $13 billion enlargements to its wind, solar and hydroelectric power production scope and related infrastructure that should pave the way in allowing the country to generate the target of 42% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
The determination of the government on increasing the solar power by developing solar energy projects in Morocco as well as other renewable energy projects was brought about by the figures shown in a statistical studies, Morocco’s oil amounted at around USD1.4 billion in subsidies from January to September 2009 which is 57.9% lower compared to the year of 2008.
In November 2009, Morocco declared it would set up two gigawatts of solar capacity by 2020. One of the largest solar energy projects in Morocco and the world has been launched with an estimated cost of USD 9 billion. The primary objective is to produce 2,000 megawatts of solar generation capacity by the year 2020. Five solar power stations are to be constructed. A public-private venture, Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), has been founded to be in charge of the project.
MASEN: catalyst of solar projects in Morocco
The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) is a limited company with public funding which was effectively established in March 2010. It was created under the guidelines of the Law no. 57-09 for the enactment of the integrated Moroccan Solar Plan, creation of solar energy projects in Morocco and the endorsement of solar resources in every facet.
Its capital is equally secured by the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Moroccan State, the the Société d’Investissements Energétiques (SIE), and the Office National de l’Eau et l’Electricité (ONEE). MASEN has three major missions. First is developing solar projects in Morocco such as solar power plants. Second is to add to the development of a national proficiency; and lastly, operate as a compelling drive of the proposal on the regional and international scheme.
A historical mission of MASEN is to design and develop solar power plants as one of the foundations of its innovative model. This movement meets the requirements of the National Office of Electricity, and consequently the Moroccan consumers. Five spots have already been recognized to accommodate NOOR solar project in Morocco.
The said strategy assimilates thoroughness and innovations, deciding on what sites are applicable for the commissioning of the plant, through technical design. On the other hand, partners are chosen through an international selection procedure to entertain proposals and offers in line with the international standards and, primarily, to optimize the price per kWh. Lastly, each plant has unprejudiced institutional provisions and inventive financial structuring which leads to a most favorable allocation of risks.
The emergence of the Moroccan solar ecosystem and more solar projects in Morocco entail the materialization of a national expertise and MASEN’s mission to be part of the cause.
These can be achieved by supporting the development of a strong and competitive industrial sector. Another way is by building strong partnerships to uphold the training of competent resources, and support research and development to help improve the performance of solar technologies in general which will be useful in developing solar projects in Morocco.
MASEN contributes as an influence for proposal on national and international plans for the issues of energy, environment, and climate change.
As a leading international agency, MASEN aims to promote the use of green energy, to bring about deliberations and to take the first step in designing any solution to improve energy transition.
The agency’s intelligent works and strategic partnerships enable it to positively facilitate the realization of actions for the fight against climate change and promoting the use of green energy in Morocco.
Basically, MASEN is the company which is under private law with public capital that aims to act as a vehicle for solar projects in Morocco and showcases the solar resource in all its characteristics.
With the strong operational exploitation of NOOR, MASEN is now a major performer in the solar power industry due to its accomplishment in formulating a ground-breaking paradigm, which is advantageous for a well-round approach.
MASEN supports the growth of an integrated and viable Moroccan solar network, facilitated by the operation of solar projects in Morocco and other solar power plants like NOOR all the way through the United Kingdom.
MASEN is a catalyst for alternative solutions, considerate to natural resources, which is significant to energy and environmental or socio-economic perspectives.
For the implementation of solar projects in Morocco, MASEN exhibits a strong model for the conservation of the environment at the service of future generations.
MASEN has invited different companies and organizations to submit their expressions of interest in the design, financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the first of the five planned solar projects which is the the 500-megawatt solar power station/plant in the southern city of Ouarzazate.
The first of the solar projects in Morocco’s solar power plan was commissioned in 2014, with the expected full commissioning of the whole project in 2019.
Once completed, these solar projects in Morocco are expected to produce and distribute 18% of Morocco’s yearly electricity generation.
Morocco Promotes an Integrated National Solar Power Industry
The development of solar projects in Morocco is a key success with the development of NOOR plan as a requirement for the deployment, positioning and confirmation of the Kingdom as a key player in the field of the solar power industry.
The initiatives of the government must also allow the blossoming skills and abilities of Moroccans in the solar industry, with the aspiration to become a globally competitive and high value-added industry. The development of solar projects in Morocco must largely benefit the local economy.
NOOR solar power plants introduce an element of industrial integration, allowing the involvement of Moroccan private companies and even local government in their success and the development of their infrastructures. MASEN encouraged the Moroccan manufacturers to participate and become more and more interested in the future of the solar sector. Their contribution and dedication to the developers have shaped a local integration rate of around 30% for NOOR I in Ouarzazate and is expected to reach 35% for NOOR II and NOOR III.
MASEN has also endorsed the assembly of the Solar Cluster which is basically an association whose mission is to contribute to the development of own socio-economic sector. In this regard, it functions to form synergies between stakeholders of the green sector, both public and private actors in order to push the emergence of a competitive green industrial chain in Morocco. The Cluster plot – aims to develop skills and improve industrial capacity, facilitating the connection among the various players in the sector and has the support of distinguished international partners such as the ICC or the Giz.
Profound Research and Development Efforts paved a way to the creation of more solar projects in Morocco
The key component of the integrated energy development, research and development are at the core of the diverse solar projects in Morocco which are undertaken by MASEN.
This methodology answers the two objectives. The first is to put up a Moroccan framework technology in the subject of solar energy through two strategic objectives such as the Photovoltaic and the CSP, and employ research excellence in the solar projects in Morocco to prop up and keep up industrial activity.
Much progress still needs to be achieved in the thermodynamic and photovoltaic industries including the storage technologies, to promote more improvement in the conversion of sunlight into electrical energy capacity to guarantee adaptability of usage and cut down the costs of electricity consumption.
Giving an efficient and most advantageous testing environment, the demonstration platform of MASEN’s R & D will facilitate researchers and manufacturers to assess, train and progress throughout their effort to achieve commercial maturity.
Eventually, the purpose is to drive an ecosystem that is conducive to the development of solar projects in Morocco and allow more innovation in the solar sector, causal to the creation of value through revolutionary activities.
In 2014, the World Bank shouldered a $159 million financial requirement of a solar project in Morocco. The project is no other than the “Noor-Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Project”. The financing is proposed to magnify and support the development of a Moroccan solar energy complex with the aim of augmenting the complex’s energy production. As of October 2014, the complex’s production capacity reached to 160 megawatts with the plan of increasing it up to 350 megawatts.
The NOOR in the face of solar projects in Morocco, developed by MASEN has the desire to generate solid progressive externalities, while taking full advantage of the collaborations between the diverse stakeholders. These positive externalities must create the first benefit which is building power plants in naturally unconventional areas.
The action of MASEN is to confirm the assimilation of the solar complex in their nearby environment, securing optimal value to people through developmental projects in the short and medium time frame. It is useful in creating a local impetus around the core to assist in the economic and social development of these specific areas.
The local development strategy of MASEN is assembled to the necessities of the areas. In Ouarzazate, the strategy caters around the following three areas of effort. The first is to make the other territories in Morocco accessible with the construction of telecommunications infrastructure, and the development of water and energy networks. The second, is its influence to the improvement of social wellbeing by providing access to health care and education, and a program to improve the employability of local people through conventions and training. Last but not the least is the development of dynamic territories with the strengthening of organizations, stimulation of entrepreneurship, cultural activities and the carrying out works and services related to the plant.
MASEN’s respect for the environment is a major component of its interests, in the construction of solar projects in Morocco. It is in the seeking stage of the sites for these solar projects when the process where a series of pre-qualification studies are performed in order to take into consideration the environmental dimension and providing methods for these projects to be developed and must be effectively integrated into its environment.
During these periods, the operation of an environmental management plan will be launched to observe the implementation of alleviation measures in the previous studies, and allow the project to be set up in the best environmental conditions.
MASEN’s inclination to conform to national and international environmental standards guides it throughout the development of solar projects in Morocco.
Solar Energy accounts to great extent of Morocco’s Renewable Energy grid
Even though there is an enormous prospective for solar projects in Morocco and wind power in Morocco, it is still not safe to confirm the appropriate time and situation when Morocco could embark in trading renewable electricity to other parts of the world specifically to Europe. With the development of the 400 billion dollar Desertec project, it is indistinguishable if the prearranged investment of the Desertec confederation in solar power through the Northern region of Africa could spread into Morocco or the amount of power which is required and could finally be distributed to Europe. Desertec’s campaigns probably need further feasibility studies for several years.
Having the advantage of being the only African country to possess a power cable connected to Europe, Morocco can gain from the major project, Desertec Industrial Initiative.
Whether the realization of these solar energy projects in Morocco still waits to be seen but distributing solar energy could have alleviating effects inside and among countries, according to the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN). Deliberations are enduring with Tunisia, and energy exports in the north across the Mediterranean continues to be a key objective, in spite of the downfall of the Desertec project in 2013, a German plan to source 15% of Europe’s energy from North African desert solar by 2050.
Renewable energy has played an important part in ONE’s improvement in its initiatives which was revealed thirteen years ago. The objective of the plan is to distribute electricity to more than 70% of rural districts by 2008, at the same time augmenting the segment of renewable energy in the energy grid by 0.24% starting from the year 2003 reaching to 10% within eight years.
The strategy involved the development of two innovative wind projects. The first was a 60MW wind power facilities located in Essaouira, whereas the second wind project with the capacity of 140 MW was developed near Tangiers. The Essaouira facility was commissioned in 2007. The plan also involved another solar project in Morocco which is a 250 megawatts solar heat structure developed d’Ain Beni Mathar, where 30 megawatts of its power generation will be produced from energy emitted by the sun.
Aside from solar projects in Morocco, the said Kingdom also has supplementary renewable energy reserves that may possibly be established due to its four continuing waterways and several dams with the capability to produce hydropower. Eleven years ago, ONE developed a USD27.6 million project to provide solar power to thirty-seven thousand rural residences by 2007. On the same month in 2002, a solar project in Morocco was also awarded to a conglomerate steered by a French energy group.
Another company based in France, which was undertaking the development of a high-speed rail that will connect Tangier and Casablanca is also awarded another solar project in Morocco which entailed the construction of power production plant with a production capacity of 470 MW to empower the connecting railway. Although the majority of the volume is produced from a gas integrated cycle incineration, 20MW of it comes from the energy collected from the sun.
The National policy which gave birth to a Major Solar Project in Morocco
In November 2009, a solar project in Morocco was announced which was proclaimed to produce 38% of the MENA region’s mounted power production by the year 2020. The project value is $9 billion and the funds required for the development comes from both government and private companies.
The launching event was graced with the presence of Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State of United States of America together with the ruler of Morocco. The project stressed the development of five solar projects in Morocco which includes construction of power creation establishments around Morocco which is expected to create 2,000MW of electricity in year 2020.
The project is expected to contribute by way of power production which would equal to the present electricity expenditure of the city of Casablanca. Germany and the World Bank have conveyed their disposition to partake in the formation of Morocco’s solar energy generation plan which the country has agreed to accomplish. Aside from the solar projects in Morocco, Germany is playing its role in the fulfillment of a water-desalination project.
In February 2008, Morocco, as a country which imports its energy, has unveiled the National Renewable Energy and Efficiency Plan to discover another source of energy to cater to 15 percent of the total local needs and maximize the benefits of energy-conservation techniques. The program is projected to produce over forty thousand jobs and attract investments amounting to more than €4.5 billion by the year 2020.
In 2001, The National Plan for the Development of Solar Thermal Energy was created, intended to develop a solar project in Morocco by installing four hundred forty thousand solar-motorized water boilers in 2012, where 235,000 of the heaters are already finalized. The Moroccan administration proposes to yield forty per cent of its energy extracted from renewable means by year 2020.
Morocco declared the plan for the establishment of a new site specializing in information-focused services to support studies and exercises in green technology. The training facility is a portion of a USD219 million clean energy park development project that was constructed in Oujda City to sustain the investments of the companies belonging to private sectors as well as the companies in the renewable energy industry.
Various schemes are devoted to renewable energy for instance, the solar projects in Morocco. Other renewable projects that need to be mentioned are the power plants, solar water heaters, water pumps, pumping stations, hydraulic turbines, air-cooling system and waste recycling. Renewable Energy is considered the strength of numerous commercial and public agendas, take for example the occasion of electricity distribution in the rural regions of Morocco, which entails setting up individual systems integrated with photovoltaic technology which contribute to seven percent of energy fabrication.
Conjecture of Morocco as a Renewable energy producer
Energy supplies are substantial. Forecasts evaluation showed wind energy prospective at six gigawatts and underline solid promise for biomass development.
The prospects in this subjects are great in the middle of influential investors, commercial performers and also consumers. The four main issues which could affect motivations and official methodologies are lack of regulations; absence of a dedicated agency, and minimal priority of the renewable energy and its productivity for domestic improvement agendas committed to nurturing responsiveness and to secure workable necessity in Renewable Energy and energy proficiency innovations and facilities, and also the taxation which hinders provide eye-catching market conditions.
Solar Project in Morocco: Ouarzazate solar plant
The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) opens its doors for companies and organizations who are interested to undertake the designing, building, management, up keeping and funding of the 500 MW solar project in Morocco. The project involves the construction of a solar power facility in the southern township of Ouarzazate.
The project is the first among the five to be developed solar power stations that utilize both CSP and Photovoltaic equipment. The first phase of NOOR 1 which is 160 MW was granted to a group, headed by an energy company based in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will vend the electricity made for USD0.19 per kilowatt hour. Other major banking institutions also agreed to co-finance the solar project in Morocco. The setting up of Noor 1 was accomplished and was brought online in February 2016. During this period, the outstanding two stages, the second and third Noor spreading at 6,000 acres were projected to be ready adding in another 580 megawatts of capacity by the year 2018.
The construction of these solar projects in Morocco formally commenced on the 10th of May 2013. The entire project is allocated among three parts. The NOOR 1 is a 160 megawatt converged solar project; NOOR 2 which is a 200 megawatt parabolic mirror plant; and NOOR 3 which is a 150MW solar trough plant.
Solar Projects in Morocco shows its resolution to become a solar superpower
The city of Ouarzazate found in the Kingdom of Morocco is well adjusted to humongous creations. Located at the verge of the Sahara desert and the center of the MENA region’s “Ouallywood” film productions it was chosen as a host to extravagant location filming of well noted Hollywood films.
Ouarzazate is known as a trading city, which leads to it being called as the “door of the desert”. It is the center for another smash hit as the heart of the major solar project in Morocco. A development of four interconnected solar power plants that, together with energy generated from the water and wind, will aid to supply approximately partial of Morocco’s required electricity from green reserves by 2020 with its excess to be exported to European countries. The plan is considered the significant beam in Morocco’s desires to utilize its unexploited sandy landscapes to become a solar superpower worldwide.
When the entire complex is completed, it would take the title of the biggest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the world. The introduction of mirror technology is less prevalent and more costly compared to the photovoltaic panels which are currently common on roofs, however it has the upper hand of being capable of unceasing production of power although the sun already set.
The possibility for development of solar projects in Morocco and using solar power from the desert has been recognized for years. During the time of the post-Chernobyl nuclear accident which happened in 1986, a physicist from Germany had analyzed that the world’s sand landscapes obtain take enough energy for a limited time to be responsible for civilization’s power requirements for a whole year. The only question that arouses that time was the method of securing that power and carrying it to the locations where there are plenty of people where it is compulsory.
As engineers finished installing the final bits to the first phase of Noor project, it shines as its five hundred thousand curve-shaped solar panels glimmer through the desert horizon. The one hundred eighty rows of the solar panels keep an eye on the sun as it trails through the skies, droning gently every few minutes as their shadows sneak further east.
Once these four solar projects in Morocco are completed, they will cover a space similar to the land area of the city of Rabat, and produce five hundred eighty megawatts of electricity, sufficient to distribute power to a million households.
According to the environment minister of Morocco, there is a big expectation that solar energy possibly will mimic the same effect that oil fabrication had in the last century in the region. But then again, the USD9 billion (£6bn) solar projects in Morocco to make its deserts prosperous was prompted by more important matters.
Morocco is not an oil fabricator, and it imports from overseas 94% of our energy from fossil fuels which has a big toll on the budget of the government. Furthermore, it also used to subsidize fossil fuels which have a substantial cost, and the emergence of the potential for solar energy is something that Morocco couldn’t ignore.
All parabolic mirrors are installed 12 meters high and concentrated on a steel pipeline which serves as a heat transport tool that has the capability to absorb heat up to 393 degree Celsius as it trails along the trench before looping into a heat engine. Inside the heat engine, it is incorporated with water to produce a vapor that transforms energy-generating turbines.
The heat is basically composed of an artificial thermal oil solution that is propelled towards a heat tank comprising melted sands that can to open in 2017 stock heat energy for three hours, which is used by the power plants to deliver power to homes during the night. The mirrors are spread out and well distributed in order to reduce impairment from the sand being carried by the hot desert winds.
Solar energy will be accounted for one third of Morocco’s renewable energy grid by year 2020, with wind power and hydro power taking the same share respectively. The government has been very proud of the said solar projects in Morocco and the four solar plants are considered most significant in the world.
The technicians handling the second and third solar power plants which are scheduled to operate in 2017 have shared that these plants can store energy for up to eight hours – setting off the opportunity of whole round availability and accessibility of energy in the region, and the neighboring region.
The main test that these technicians have to conquer is the possibility to conclude the project at the specified time with their performance level that these solar projects in Morocco is demanding.
On the other hand, with the completion of the first stage of the solar project, Morocco is targeting greater international goals. The Kingdom is already engaged in the setting up of a great pressure transportation lines to service the whole of southern Morocco together with Mauritania. But according to studies, the project’s definitive impression will go farther and broader even as far as the Middle East.
Renewable energy in Morocco and the policies for subsidies
It is undeniable that it is promising to export energy to Europe through the solar energy projects in Morocco but the first step to being done is the establishment of we interconnectors that are not yet commissioned according to a spokesperson od MASEN. In detail, Morocco would have to set up linkages, which would not run through like the current line in Spain, and then commence exporting.
Spain has barred itself in developing fresh solar projects due to the shortage of interconnectors to diffuse the energy to France. The European Union has set their standards to ensure the 10% of the power of the group of countries can be carried through abroad via the link by 2020.
Morocco is at the avante-garde of solar. This claim is supported by the development of the USD9 billion Noor complex of which several international institutions have backed up the project development. Unrevealed energy grants from Morocco’s ruler, King Mohammed VI, have prohibited the expenses from being levied to the end users.
A month prior to the launching, more than a thousand workers, the majority are Moroccans are still sprinting to repair electric wires, taking down frameworks and wrapping insulation and covering the steel pipelines. They stir past wearing their overalls, in the background of the Atlas Mountains. Abundant engineering hats, and other safety equipment exhibited an ambiance compared to a theatrical camp. It is closely seem like the groundwork for a grand performance.
Preparations are almost completed and the epic openings of these solar projects in Morocco will be witnessed by the eyes of the interested global audience. The construction has been done and it is now time to appreciate these structures come across when they kick off operation.
Administrators are strongly conscious of the actions they are undertaking in what the most is forward-thinking renewable energy program in the Middle East and North African region. This could involve water desalination in the future, in a country that is gradually being stricken by drought as the climate warms. In the intervening time, Morocco is fixated on developing solar energy projects and utilizing solar energy to meet its own requirements for resource impartiality.
The Kingdom of Morocco gets the eyes of other nations as it goes green
From the wind to solar energy projects in Morocco, it is easy to say that the kingdom which has been importing its energy resources is currently on the move in becoming a major producer and supplier of renewable energy.
like 2015, the most humid year on record, came to an end, and the observers are evaluating the conclusion of this year’s climate change summit in Paris COP21, a grand and large-scale solar energy project in Morocco, known as “Noor” which means light in Arabic, is now on the verge of inauguration.
It is the product of the North African kingdom’s intricate research and development efforts in recent years to ease its dependency on trade in energy, which has been a lingering encumbrance on state capitals.
With a prospective production capacity of 580 megawatts (MW), the $9 billion Noor project is anticipated to cover an area compared to a city with the size of the Rabat, which is the capital city of Morocco and distributes the electricity to 1 million homes.
The first phase of the said solar projects in Morocco called Noor 1, is slated to commence its operation by the end of 2015. Noor 2 and Noor 3 will respectively follow suit in year the 2016 and 2017. On the other hand, Noor 4 which will utilize photovoltaic technology in order to transform solar energy into electricity is open to tenders.
The conclusion of the $660 million Noor 1 solar plant suggested that it will be operating only a few weeks after the closing of COP21, highlighting Morocco’s determination to meet production targets that it declared during the conference. It also facilitates in the preparation of the platform for the upcoming COP22, which will be hosted by Morocco, and voice out its endeavors to be in the front row among the countries who are shifting to renewable energy and diverging away from energy import dependency.
The government seeks to realize an extra capacity of 6,760 MW during the time frame of 2015 to 2025, of which 3,120 MW comes from solar energy projects in Morocco; while 2,740 MW and 900 MW will be generated from the wind and hydroelectric projects respectively.
Clean surroundings in the midst of growing energy exigency
The North African country is said to be the major importer of energy in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. Proved to exhibit a rising energy consumption of about six percent yearly for the past 10 years, Morocco has had to discover another energy sources to cater to the increasing energy demand of its increasing population at the same time maintaining the cleanliness and balance in its environment. In this regard, the need to develop solar projects in Morocco arise from the surface of sustainability concerns.
Energy dependency affected the government’s investments in the downside in other sectors brought by the record-high global oil prices in 2014.
In December 2014, Morocco instated Africa’s biggest wind farm with a production capacity of 300 MW. The wind farm signifies around 40 percent of the country’s over-all wind capacity in commercial operation to date.
The country already has wind energy production of more than 800 MW in operation. Another 550 MW wind energy project is under development and 850 MW is under contract, whereas a supplementary 1,000 MW of capacity is premeditated between 2021 and 2025.
Regarding the hydroelectric power, Morocco, which currently has an installed electrical capacity of 1,770 MW, 460 MW of which coming from energy transferred through pumping stations, has programmed with a 350 MW project at Abdelmoumen, in the region of Agadir, which is expected to come to life in 2020.
These solar power projects in Morocco, which are agreed to be the world’s largest solar power production facility, was the ideal answer to Morocco’s heavy energy dependency once all phases are fulfilled.
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Morocco
Morocco’s financial plan to subsidize fuel has developed radically over the past decade, and with oil budget prices deteriorating as the country leans toward alternative energy sources, the Moroccan government has now taken the daring resolution to close down diesel subsidies which ended a recurrently steep and unsustainable weight on the country’s economy.
The government can now concentrate on realizing the country’s intention of enhancing its clean energy productivity by creating more solar energy projects in Morocco.
Morocco has sworn during the COP21 to lessen its greenhouse emissions at a minimum of 13 percent by year 2030. Even though it came as a relatively humble approach, its clean energy vision is aspiring which aims to meet 52 percent of its total power needs by 2030, which is equal to 6,000 MW. To meet this goal, investments have to be allocated to the electricity and clean energy sectors, which would open the doors of business opportunities to the international and overseas companies.
The first phase of the Ouarzazate solar project in Morocco will likely to give way to the reduction of annual CO2 emissions by 240,000 tons. And once the second and third phase are finished and operations, emission should be lessened to 522,000 tons per year, or 1 percent of its CO2 emissions in 2011 which is 56.5 million tons, according to the Ministry of Energy in Morocco.
Development of solar projects in Morocco creates more jobs
The industry of renewable energy in Morocco is also helped in the development of job creation and industrialization, promoting economic growth. Noor 1 alone has created about 1,000 jobs and will reinforce local businesses where this solar project in Morocco is being developed.
The Moroccan government took another significant action towards cleaning up the environment after the parliament ratified a draft bill to ban the production, importation, selling and usage of plastic bags starting July 2016, although still allowing definite types of bags such as trash, freezer bags and those for agricultural practice. The move could not have come too soon, since Morocco is the second-largest plastic bag consumer in the world, with an annual usage of 26 billion plastic bags. The law can be viewed as an attachment to the national drive of boosting eco-tourism in the country.
Despite the fact that environmental organizations conveyed their approval at the verdict, the proposal did have its detractors as workforces in the plastic industry assumed it as an intimidation to their presence in the market, with an assessed loss of 50,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The government has never made any move that could find any definite substitute for plastic bags. Decomposable paper bags could be a substitute but would entail displacing of trees and a great deal of energy for their production. The government needs to fastidiously set out a sturdy and sustainable substitute to plastic bags. Morocco has in the past prohibited the use of black plastic bags, which were a serious health and environmental threat.
It is obvious that discovering the ideal answers will not come as a breeze or without trials. But there are tales of accomplishment with regards to solar and wind energy for example in Germany, and in the MENA region possibly Morocco should be regarded as one of the shining models to admire.
Languages, Geography, and Climate
The Kingdom of Morocco is included in the Greater Arab Maghreb located toward the northwest Africa, bounded on the north by the Straits of Gibraltar and Mediterranean and toward the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Toward the south, the border is being shared by Mauritania and Morocco, then toward the east with Algeria. Its populace numbers 31,478,000 tenants, of which more than half live in cities, with the nation covering 706,550 km2. Morocco has the biggest fields and the most elevated highlands of North Africa. The nation bears four incredible mountains: the Middle Atlas, the Rif, Anti Atlas and the High Atlas.
Morocco is a nation of the Maghreb, a sovereign Muslim State, where the official language used Arabic. These languages include dialect Arabic or “Darija” (generally the language was spoken); Berber or Tamazight; and French and Spanish in the Northern part of the nation.
Toward the north, the atmosphere is the Mediterranean, Atlantic toward the west, and Saharan toward the south, and is, for the most part, mild because of the climate is humid on the coast and dries within the nation’s inland. The atmosphere is described by its volatility, recurring dry spell and unanticipated surges are occurrences affecting significantly on the country’s improvement plans.
Demographics and primary health signs
In the 40 years span taking after freedom of Morocco, the country has encountered a high demographic increase. Today the condition is steady especially with the adjustment in Moroccan culture particularly in connection to education and social changes including family planning programs, which have had a huge effect on the quality of life of the females.
The adjustment in the age profile of the populace is one of the best outcomes of the demographic move. Youth is the primary portion of the populace making up around 33% of the population. Sadly, political structures have not effectively incorporated them into the worldwide improvement plans because of both an absence of legislative projects concentrating on this age division, and a lack of a system inside political gatherings. Moreover, 10% of Morocco populace is 60 years or above, and there is no base for this age group, including healthcare insurance plans focusing on care for the elderly.
Women have assumed an essential part in the development of Morocco’s human potential. Traditionally, they were to a great extent not considered inside the development process of human resource, but rather, taking after a long battle to accomplish recognition, they have gained impressive ground. The case of advancement incorporates the change of the Family Code in 2003 and the Code of Nationality in January 2007.
As in different countries, the countryside and remote regions of Morocco have for the most part stayed behind the dynamism of the bigger urban communities, on the level of financial advancement and additionally that of human improvement and social change. Differences amongst town and country require extra social and monetary solutions as far as construction, financing, and common projects for rural areas.
Moroccans Living Abroad (MLA) have kept on expanding in the course of the most recent 50 years and have today gotten to be one of the biggest foreign groups in some host nations. They are seen as a vital group that will impact the future capability of the nation.
A LOOK AT THE HEALTH SYSTEM
The health system in Morocco includes a public sector, a private not-for-profit sector, and a private for-profit sector, and is as of now experiencing various reforms, including a financing amendment, hospital reform, and another institutional restructuring.
The health system is commonly described by new health concerns, forced by the epidemiological and demographic changes. Taking into account these patterns the Moroccan health strategy recognizes and battles certain diseases and intends to remove others. Aside from stretching the life expectancy, improving the quality of life for those extra years is vital. The World Health Organization expresses that without the quality of life, an expanded life span is of no interest, the desire to have a good health is as significant as life expectancy.
Organization of the health system
The Moroccan health system is divided into two sectors:
The public sector consists of the healthcare resources of the Ministry of Health, the Royal Armed Forces, Local Communities and other Ministerial Departments. Medical coverage is ensured by three policies: mobile, fixed and roaming, with the point of adapting the coverage to the necessities of the populace and the limitations of nature.
The private sector is comprised of two sub-divisions, one non-profit, putting together the health assets of the National Fund for Social Security (NFSS), the Mutuals and the National Fund of Social Welfare Bodies (NFSWB), the Moroccan Red Crescent (MRC), and NGOs. The private non-profit sector has 1,874 beds. The second, for profit, sub-sector is comprised of the healthcare structures of the free market sector, composed separately or assembled together, by general practitioners, dental specialists, drug specialists or other healthcare experts (counseling rooms, restorative checking, pathology, consideration and recovery, dental surgery, healing facility centers, drug stores, and therapeutic distribution centers). In connection to infrastructure, this division comprises of 220 clinic centers, 30 dialysis centers, and about100 radiologist’s workplaces (with or without scanners, and some Magnetic Resonance Imaging offices), notwithstanding different specializations, and a critical number of general medicine practitioners with sonogram offices. This segment has a total of 6,156 beds and 10,800 healthcare experts.
Moroccan health system’s primary challenges
A study of the country’s health system recognizes the following issues:
- Difficulties in getting healthcare for the poorest and rural people with a dissimilarity amongst access and demand for basic care for specific diseases, specifically chronic illnesses. The level of utilization of health care services is, most of the time, connected to the financial support.
- Poor administration of public hospitals, which undergoes from a range of inefficiencies, making them not able to contend with private doctor’s facilities. These hospitals have particular issues connected to:
- centralized administration;
- the absence of self-rule;
- the absence of coordination with BHCs;
- insufficiency in administrative ability;
- conventional administration of meds which supports their depletion;
- low quality of care and reception; and
- the disparity between specialized facilities and the HR required making them work.
- The need for policy to oversee and create human resources. At this level, the succeeding issues are of note including:
not enough staff to handle the increasing demand of care
- no clear administration approaches which cause internal social disagreement connected to the job posting and staff development;
- a rare number of projects for training and continuous learning;
- the issue of corruption, and also an absence of moral responsibility on some health professionals; and
- not enough of social programs to motivate staff.
- No medicine policies in general in respect deficient utilization of generic prescriptions.
- Lack of policy on the partnership with communities and civil society, essential elements for human advancement.
- Lack of a policy partnership with the private sectors, which works at the edges of the healthcare system without partaking in ethical and professional training.
- The central administration system takes into consideration direct intercession by the State through the Health Ministry in the overall healthcare chain, going from healthcare provider to financial provider and also controller and organizer.
- Deficiencies in specific structures for geriatrics and not enough nursing homes.
Managing Healthcare Spending
The national health care system spends more than 33.6% of its budget on purchasing pharmaceutical and medical products. 35.2% of spending goes to ambulatory care, including checkups and consultations. This spending is exacerbated by the shortcoming of assets distributed to collective health prevention (testing of drinking water, communication, information dissemination and so on.).
Public hospitals, in spite of having more than 80% of national bed limit, just get 9.8% of protection spending with regards to direct payments and 6.6% of the overall medical insurance spending.
Morocco’s worldwide medicinal services spending in 2006 in is financed by (MoH 2006):
- monetary assets: 22.6%
- direct family spending: 57.4%
- medical insurance: 17%
- business owners: 1.8%
- worldwide collaboration: 0.7%
- other: 0.5%.
The household financing for healthcare services is now a source of discrimination with regards to access to care, specifically among the poorest and those without medical coverage. This circumstance is aggravated by the absence of systematized solidarity and the pooling of health dangers, because of the shortcoming of medical coverage which just covers 37% (17% in 2006) of the total populace. Consequently, Morocco decided to extend the primary medical coverage. Firstly, through the execution of Obligatory Medical Insurance for working professionals and retired individuals in both public and private sectors, through two overseeing bodies: the National Fund of Social Welfare Bodies (NFSWB) for civil servants and government workers the National Fund of Social Security (NFSS) for private sector workers. These offices are directed by an administrative body, the National Agency for Health Insurance (NAHI).
The Medical Assistance Regime for the Economically Disadvantaged or MARKED makes up the second part of the arrangement of basic medical insurance which the legislation covers. This is a social net for the poorest, whose economic susceptibility keeps them outside the contributory framework. It depends on the standards of social assistance and national solidarity. Its financing is for the most part guaranteed by the State and nearby communities and in addition to a commitment from qualified recipients.
HR AT A GLANCE
Since the 1960s, health professional’s supply and demand have known repeating crises because of some components, specifically political and financial elements. The most critical period took after the Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP) in the 1980s. This crisis was tougher because of changes attempted by the Ministry of Health in the course of the most recent two decades. It was exacerbated by the proceeding with a mass migration of medical professionals who relocated to look for better states of work somewhere else.
As of now, as indicated by the World Health Report of 2006, Morocco is one of 57 nations experiencing a grave absence of health workers and remains susceptible against their mass migration towards different nations. This absence of health human resources is aggravated by the imbalance of repartition of HR amongst rustic and urban sites and inside the distinctive areas of the Kingdom.
With the present shortage of medical experts, there is for all intents and purposes no unemployment, specifically general practitioners, specialists and nursing staff. Pharmacists and dental professionals are intensely enlisted. Unsuccessful applicants can profit by aid packages to help them start in the private sector.
Acknowledgment of medical professionals at work
In Morocco, the absence of professional work acknowledgment at the level of healthcare facilities has been accounted for in a few cases. Hence, the need or lack of concern of laws overseeing the work of medical services experts can be a hindrance to the relationship of trust that should exist amongst health specialists and their patients.
The latest study on nursing staff fulfillment levels in the work environment done at the University Hospital Center of Rabat from which the succeeding conclusions were drawn:
- Care units and nursing care unit head underlined the fundamental significance of perceiving nursing attendants as an element for inspiration, duty, and support of self-regard.
- Nurses appreciate the admiration and backing of their nursing partners in more than 90% of cases, and harmonious communication is adequately very much created among medical attendants through their close working connections and data sharing.
- Communication and good working relationships with direct superiors are missing in more than half of cases.
- The absence of coordination of engaging meetings was classified as a component making sentiments of the absence of worth and obligation on most individuals surveyed.
- In more than half of cases, surveyed staff reported the absence of skills acknowledgment was because of an inclination among staff superiors this may bring about lost of power.
- The absence of workload considerations and the non-accessibility of supplies required for an ergonomic work environment, advantageous to productivity and resourcefulness, causes apathy to the interests of the establishment and was felt to be another element inducing sentiments of the absence of worth and obligation.
- The yearly performance bonus is considered as demotivating as it doesn’t associate to hard works made. What’s more, there is no proper performance assessment and capacities of staff, leaving a wide room for subjective reviewing and an absence of transparency, specifically to clarify an absence of promotion.
To build up a healthcare system that:
- recognize the basic and universally identified human rights, specifically those related to the dignity, trustworthiness, and freedom of the person;
- means to give security and quality care at work;
- depends on impalpable standards, for example,
- the value in the association of healthcare provision;
- accountability and responsibility of medical professionals; and
- Morals and deontology.
- Is equipped for making promising conditions permitting medical workers to assume a part which underpins improvement.
Given these standards, the succeeding proposals should be considered by local, provincial, national and global leaders in the health system of Morocco.
- Training in medical administration through balancing the training system alongside the procurements for improving higher education
- Medical training:
- Amending the curriculum for the training for general specialists by creating, among others, healthcare economics, community medicine, geriatrics and family health;
- Amending the curriculum for training of health specialists;
- Adjusting the training modules to new needs; and
- Studying plans for access and training for medical professionals.
- Base training for nursing staff:
o making and increasing training foundations for medical professions, and making new training “streams”.
Continuous professional improvement and acknowledgment
- Establishing and executing the new mandatory system of continuous training, developmental oversight, and direction for medical experts keeping in mind the end goal to enhance performance.
- Implementing rules and authoritative strategies and different structures to ensure proficient acknowledgment to each one of those working in the healthcare system.
- Putting into place standards and practices guaranteeing well-being and security for medical experts at work by:
o creating research and epidemiological studies planning to look at the effect of professional dangers and working conditions on worker’s wellbeing; and,
o making an oversight council for professional risk, with a specific end goal to institute a worldwide preventive methodology for expert dangers and better intersectoral coordination.
- Strengthening infrastructure, specialized facilities, and a system to guarantee the accessibility of primary supplies.
- Adopting clear and straightforward criteria to dispense assets so as to decrease inconsistencies between and within locales, including those amongst urban and local regions.
- Oversight and authoritative administration empowering current and participatory administration.
- Reinforcing organizations and intersectoral activity, associations with neighborhood groups, the private sector, and common society.
Terms and conditions
- Amending compensations and different benefits upwards, with the goal that they can guarantee the protection of the dignity of health care experts.
- Ensuring the privileges of medical professionals are regarded, for instance, the right to information.
Governing and Administrative Systems
- Reinforcing and upgrading the legal arsenal of the Health Ministry to bring it into line with the development of the system from one viewpoint and to fit with global healthcare legislation, specifically on positive practice situations and enhance morals in the healthcare industry.
- Conceptualizing and instituting a legal support system for overseeing healthcare system (counting government officials, the populace, and Ministerial divisions).
- Creating a WHO Code for positive practice situations in which governments would incorporate into their policies on national healthcare.
- Encouraging global collaboration and coordination for positive practice situations which answers to challenges and the security needs of a progressively mindful populace.
In Morocco, the present healthcare setting is portrayed by various positive improvements, which ought to be united. Be that as it may, there are differences between service providers, irregularity in quality care, and accessibility of HR which blocks the advancement of sustainable positive practice environments. It ought to be in this manner a need for the Ministry of Health to inspect the present working system for al medical professionals to enhance working situations.
In Morocco, introducing positive practice environments will be a long procedure, requiring the allotment of extensive money related, human and material assets, fundamentally increased from current levels.
There is an inconsistency between the level of HR accessible and the level required to meet the medicinal services needs of the populace. Sadly, this is not surely understood among clients of the health care system, who, regularly treacherously blame healthcare providers for not giving a fitting and timely medicinal services.
It is the ideal opportunity for the healthcare system to build up the key supportive networks after that each medical professional can depend, with standards and references helping every expert to properly satisfy their works. These central frameworks must take into account the formation of social network ready to make positive practice situations and discover answers to three vital issues: the requirement for HR, the conduct of medicinal services experts at their place of business and the phenomenon of the relocation of these experts.
To this end, the government administration has an obligation to put resources into HR and focus on their training, supporting and guaranteeing the faithfulness of these experts after that the change of the nature of healthcare provision and the efficiency of the diverse branches depends on.
Morocco on the way to Universal Health Coverage
with the new health financing strategy
Morocco is the path to accomplishing health care as a privilege to everyone, as per new research reported by Oxford Policy Management this week.
Talking at the commemoration of the inauguration of the nation’s lead Medical Assistance Scheme, OPM medical specialist Tomas Lievens, presented a roadmap for accomplishing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through reforms on health financing within the nation.
Morocco has made important advances in health: in the course of the most recent 30 years, the nation has seen the disposal of various irresistible infections, an expansion in average life expectancy of ten years and maternal and newborn child mortality decreased.
One of the initial plans of its kind in the North African area, RAMED has made huge steps towards giving access to fundamental health services for the poorest and most helpless in Morocco. Healthcare coverage across the nation expanded from 16-53% of the populace somewhere around 2006 and 2013. However, there is still a far long way to go.
The OPM group has been working thoroughly with the Moroccan Ministry of Health in the course of the most recent 18 months, supporting the improvement of a national wellbeing financing strategy that will support the move towards UHC.
OPM advisor, NouriaBrikci, the team project head, said: ‘Morocco has made huge steps towards accomplishing Universal Health Coverage, with the presentation of innovative health plans based on incorporation and equality. It’s urgent that this energy is kept up, and that political aspiration is coordinated by effective resourcing. Smart health financing is a crucial support of any UHC methodology and by recognizing and actualizing territories for change, Morocco will have a clearer course towards accomplishing the right to quality healthcare for all.’
Situational investigations directed by OPM’s medical specialists uncovered a UHC financing gap of more than 16billion dirhams in 2013. To address this shortage – which looks set to increase to 27 billion dirhams by 2030 if nothing is done – our group recognized three key reform spots: finding new resources of financing for UHC, enhancing the productivity of spending of existing assets and expanding the budget pool for health.
Our proposals – which were consolidated into a health financing strategy for the nation – incorporate the presentation of inventive health financing instruments, (for example, incomes from air travel, liquor and tourism), making an integrated pool in the medium term to guarantee cross sponsorship between the rich and poor people, the sick and the healthy. Other suggestions concentrate on enhancing the effectiveness of clinic acquiring through for instance moves towards yield based models of the installment that adjust assets with activities.
The takeoff of this methodology throughout the following years will bolster the move towards a complete and successful national healthcare offering in Morocco that is accessible to all.
Morocco seeks Health Reform
Morocco is hoping to uplift its quality of care now that the health minister is an emergency medicine physician.
Health Minister Houcine El Guard believed that psychological well-being and emergency attention were Morocco’s top healthcare concern. During a press conference in Rabat, he repeated his vow to make emergency and psychiatric care a top concern in health reform.
Healthcare has been an interesting issue during the discussion of the members of the parliament as well as the public. Ever since he was named as a health minister, El Ouardi has been tested by MPs around a few issues influencing the Moroccan medical sector. The minister, who also happens to be a professor of medicine, has set out his needs, which is a feat in psychological wellness and emergency and accident care.
On mishap and crisis care, individuals from the general public have grumbled about admissions and the quality of time spent on patient care.
A 22-year-old understudy, Hayat Serghouchni, said that much should be done to enhance emergency care in Morocco, especially given the lack of medical caretakers and specialists. She included that young students ought to be urged to enter these callings, to address the deficiencies as well as to decrease unemployment.
MP RachidHoumani said that albeit important endeavors have been made in the medicinal services area, consideration must be paid to remote districts which experience the ill effects of enormous deficiencies of HR, particularly amongst Casablanca and Rabat.
The health minister has given reassurance that work is under way to build up a society-based policy on medical facility and pre-hospital emergency care which will include rebuilding, restructuring, and give supplies to the accident and emergency divisions.
The official, who has performed as an accident and emergency physician himself, is supporting a community-based policy on both hospitals as well as pre-hospital emergency care healing center, with plans for 80 community emergency health facilities. Those centers will be focused on individuals living in rustic zones.
These healthcare facilities will treat 6 million Moroccans, an increase from the present 4 million. The minister has effectively opened 20 crisis medicinal units for provincial obstetrics. Somewhere in the range of 55 ambulances and six mobile healing centers have additionally been bought.
On the psychological health front, the administration’s system depends on expanding the convenience limit of psychiatric healing facilities. The ministry needs to raise the quantity of beds accessible across the country from 800 to 3,000 before the end of 2016.
Three drug rehab units have likewise been opened for the current year in Marrakech, Tetouan, and Nador. One year from now, another three will be constructed in Fes, Agadir and Al-Hoceima, and a more extensive scope of services will be made accessible inLarache, Tangier, Ksar El Kebir and Chefchaouen by 2016.
Medical experts have emphasized the crucial lack of specialist nurses and psychiatrists. DrissYazami, the president of the National Human Rights Council, who raised the caution over this issue, said that it was a basic part of human rights and advancement.
The health minister has promised to address this circumstance by offering more introductory and on-going training for psychological health experts. The objective is for 185 psychiatric attendants and 30 psychiatrists and to end up qualified every year. Four college schools represent considerable authority in the child, and juvenile psychiatry will be set up in the organization with the higher education service so that ten psychiatrists can be trained every year.
Travel Healthy in Morocco
The counteractive action is the way to staying fit in Morocco, and a touch of planning before the flight will spare you inconvenience later. If you’re lucky, the worst that can happen on your trip is having an upset stomach; disease infections are normally connected with unsanitary living conditions and poverty, and can stay away from with a couple of safeguards. Car crashes are a typical explanation behind voyagers to need therapeutic help. Medicinal offices can be great in huge urban communities, yet in more remote regions might be essential.
Before You Go
Immunizations. Don’t leave your health conditions as your last priority: a few vaccinations don’t take effect in just two weeks, so visit a specialist four to eight weeks before the flight.
First aid courses. Those going to exceptionally remote regions may need to take an emergency treatment course, for example, those offered by the American Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance. Especially in case you’re going trekking, you could take a wild medicinal instructional class, for example, that offered by the Royal Geographical Society.
Prescriptions. Carry them in their original, visibly labeled case. A marked and dated letter from your doctor explaining your health conditions and medicines and generic names is additionally useful. On the off chance that was bringing syringes or needles, make sure you have a doctor’s letter describing their medicinal need. See your dental specialist before a long trek; bring an extra pair of contact lenses and glasses (and bring your optical remedy with you).
Before leaving home, make sure that all your standard immunization cover is finished. Approach your specialist for an international authentication of immunization, citing every one of the immunizations you’ve gotten.
Granting no particular immunizations are required for Morocco, America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposes the succeeding as routing:
The CDC additionally proposes the accompanying for Morocco:
- Hepatitis A and B
Sufficient medical coverage is key when making a trip to Morocco. The national health service isn’t good, and a couple of good private hospitals are costly.
You may lean toward a policy that pays the medical office specifically instead of you paying on the spot and claim later, in spite of the fact that by and by most Moroccan specialists and clinics demand immediate payment.
On the off chance that you need to claim later, ensure you keep all documentation.
Bring verification of your insurance protection with you; this can be crucial in keeping away from any delays to treatment in emergency circumstances.
A few policies request that you call (reverse charge) a center in your home country, which makes a quick assessment of your issue; keep your service provider’s emergency phone number on you.
Research which private medicinal administration your insurer utilizes in Morocco with the goal that you can call them direct in the case of a crisis.
Ideally, your policy ought to cover emergency air evacuation home, or transport via plane or emergency vehicle to a major city’s hospital, which might be necessary for difficult situations.
A few policies offer lower, and higher medical cost alternatives; the higher ones are mostly for nations, for example, the USA, which has to a great degree high therapeutic expenses.
Pack these items in your medicine kit:
- antimicrobials (if going off the beaten track)
- antidiarrhoeal drugs (eg loperamide)
- paracetamol or headache medicine
- antibacterial hand gel
- anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen)
- antihistamines (for allergies)
- antibacterial balm (egBactroban) for cuts and scraped areas
- steroid cream or cortisone (for allergic rashes)
- swathes, gauze and dressing rolls
- paper tape and adhesive
- scissors, security pins, and tweezers
- folding knife
- DEET-containing insect repellent
- insect spray for garments, tents and bed nets
- oral rehydration salts (egDioralyte)
- iodine or other water-purging tablets
- syringes and sterile needles (if setting out to remote zones)
Morocco welcomes private investors in the healthcare sector
A senior banker in Casablanca comments that there is not a week happening without a deal closed. This statement reflects the prosperity currently happening in the private healthcare sector in Morocco.
This new setting in Morocco has been chiefly determined by the development of the medicinal services administrative system. As of not long ago, only physicians had the privilege to own private medicinal services facilities. The new legal structure approved in February 2015 is a distinct advantage, as it will loosen up the ownership of private clinics. Also, people who are not specialists and also financial investors (both local and foreign) will have the privilege to own a medical facility.
This activity will open an area that was at that point on the radar of an extensive variety of players. Private financial specialists are along these lines in the beginning pieces, leading business analysis and commercial diligence keeping in mind the end goal to distinguish inviting targets with solid development potential.
Outside venture potential
The profundity and progression of the private medicinal services sector likewise give further solace to foreign financial specialists as far as sizeable business sector potential. Overall healthcare consumption spoke to about US$ 6billion in 2014 and had been developing quickly at a CAGR of 7.7% in the course of the most recent four years. Moroccans are devoting an expanding offer of their income to health services: out-of-pocket spending represents more than 54% of overall Moroccan healthcare spending.
Additionally, the Moroccan Health Ministry which is the principal care supplier in the nation with roughly 77% bed limit just gets 28% of overall health expenditure, while private spending represents around 60%. Development flows are supported by a few economical drivers. The quick development of the middle class has added to the expanding interest in quality infrastructure and administrations; which have driven the need to grow the present limit of private facilities.
A flourishing medical tourism industry
Amongst other key drivers, medical tourism has turned into a principal component of this new dynamic, depending on two streams:
- The absence of quality medicinal services across over nations in Sub-Saharan Africa has driven increasingly individuals to go to Morocco to get medical treatment, especially when a particular expertise is required (e.g. neurology, traumatology, and oncology surgeries)
- Patients from Europe or the Middle East are searching at affordable costs for some of their medicine treatments which are either costly or not extremely very much secured by medical insurance in their nations of origin (e.g. dental surgery or plastic surgery)
Foreign visitors represent around 10% of total income in a few of the multi-specialty centers in Casablanca. Keeping in mind the end goal to influence this inviting context, some private facilities spent significant time in plastic surgery have built up comprehensive packages for their patients originating from abroad (A medical package would incorporate treatment, as well as get up at the airplane terminal and recuperation at an extravagant 5-star lodging).
Single-specialty centers additionally speak to the segment to invest. As specified already, plastic surgery facilities offer medications at international standards, 30% less costly than what is charged for comparable treatments in Europe.
Generally speaking, this new context – supported by Morocco’s political stability – has piqued the enthusiasm of an extensive variety of both local (e.g. insurance agencies, pharmaceutical companies) and worldwide players (e.g. private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds).
Regardless of these opportunities, various inquiries should be replied before securing an investment: What are the key business sector flows? How does the competitive landscape look? In what capacity would it be advisable for me to begin screening the business sector to recognize the best opportunities? Who would it be a good idea for me to partner with to boost odds of accomplishment? Distinguishing the right market fragment remains a key test. Beginning the business sector screening process with Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakech are likely the most proper since these three urban areas are home to more than half of Moroccan specialists. OBGYN, pediatrics, ophthalmology and cardiology are the most much of the time spoke to strengths in the three urban communities. Interest for these forces is reliably expanding, making chances to either grow in existing facilities or build new ones.
In general, this force experienced by the healthcare sector speaks to an opportunity for global players to get a foot in the entryway and enter the Moroccan business sector through an exceptionally dynamic environment with a solid potential.
The historical record of the Kingdom of Morocco extends to more than twelve centuries – since the foundation of the very first Moroccan state by the Idris dynasty, without mulling over traditional vestige into consideration
Archeological proof has demonstrated that Morocco was occupied by primates no less than 400,000 years back. The written history of Morocco starts with the Phoenician colonization of the Moroccan coast between the eighth and sixth hundreds of years BC, despite the fact that the territory was occupied by indigenous Berbers for exactly two thousand years before that. In the fifth century BC, Carthage broadened its dominion over the waterfront zones. They stayed there until the late third century BC, while the hinterland was ruled by indigenous rulers. Indigenous Berber rulers managed the region from the third century BC until 40 AD, when it was added to the Roman Empire. In the mid-fifth century AD, it was invaded by Vandals, before being recovered by the Byzantine Empire in the sixth century.
The area was occupied by the Muslims in the mid-eighth century AD, however, separated from the Umayyad Caliphate after the Berber Revolt of 740. A large portion of a century later, the Moroccan state was built up by the Idris dynasty. Under the Almoravid and the Almohad dynasties, Morocco overwhelmed the Maghreb and Muslim Spain. The Saudi empire controlled the nation from 1549 to 1659, trailed by the Alaouites from 1667 onwards, who have since been Morocco’s ruling dynasty.
In 1912, after the Agadir Crisis and First Moroccan Crisis, the Treaty of Fez was signed, separating Morocco into French and Spanish protectorates. In 1956, following 44 years of the French regime, Morocco recovered freedom from France, and in no time after that recaptured a large portion of the regions under Spanish control.
Excavations have shown the occurrence of individuals in Morocco that were hereditary to Homo sapiens, and additionally the presence of early human species. The bone relics of a 400,000-year-old early human ancestor were found in 1971in Salé. In 1991, the bones of Homo sapiens were found at Jebel Irhoud that was observed to be no less than 160,000 years of age. In 2007, little-punctured seashell dots were found in Taforalt that are 82,000 years of age, making them the earliest known proof of individual decoration discovered anyplace on the planet.
In Mesolithic times, somewhere around 20,000 and 5000 years back, the geology of Morocco took after a savanna more than the present dry scene. While little is known of settlements in Morocco amid that period, diggings somewhere else in the Maghreb locale have recommended a plenitude of diversion and timberlands that would have been friendly to Mesolithic gatherers and hunters.
In the Neolithic time frame, which took after the Mesolithic, the savanna was possessed by herders and hunters. The way of life of these herders and hunters thrived until the district started to dry up after 5000 BC as an aftereffect of climatic changes. Archeological unearthings have proposed that the cattle domestication and crop cultivation both happened in the district amid that period. In the Chalcolithic period or the copper age, the Beaker society achieved the north bank of Morocco.
Phoenicians and Carthaginians (c. 800 – c. 300 BC)
The coming of Phoenicians on the Moroccan coast proclaimed hundreds of years of control by foreign powers in northern Morocco. Phoenician merchants infiltrated the western Mediterranean before the eighth century BC and soon after setting up terminals for salt and mineral along the coast and up the streams of the region of today’s Morocco. Major early settlements of the Phoenicians incorporated those at Lixus, Chellah, and Mogador. Mogador is known as a Phoenician province by the mid-sixth century BC.
By the fifth century BC, Carthage’s state had amplified its domination over the large part of North Africa. Carthage created business relations with the Berber tribes of the inside and paid them a yearly tribute to guarantee their participation in the abuse of natural materials.
Roman and sub-Roman Morocco (c. 300 BC – c. 430 AD)
Mauretania was an autonomous tribal Berber kingdom on the Mediterranean shoreline of Northern Africa relating to northern Morocco from about the third century BC. The first known ruler of Mauretania was Bocchus I, who reigned from 110 BC to 81 BC. Some of its initial written histories identify with Phoenician and Carthaginian settlements. The Berber lords managed inland regions dominating the beach front stations of Carthage and Rome, frequently as satellites, permitting Roman power to exist. It turned into a customer of the Roman dynasty in 33 BC, then a full territory after Emperor Caligula had the last ruler, Ptolemy of Mauretania, executed (AD 40).
Rome controlled the boundless, vague region through alliances with the tribes as opposed to through military occupation, extending its power just to those territories that were financially valuable or that could be shielded without extra labor. Subsequently, the Romans never stretched out outside the confined region of the northern beachfront plain and valleys. This key area framed part of the Roman Empire, administered as Mauretania Tingitana, with Volubiliscity as its capital.
Throughout the time of the Roman emperor Augustus, Mauretania was a vassal state, and its leaders, for example, Juba II, controlled every one of the territories south of Volubilis. In any case, the viable control of Roman legionaries came to insofar as Sala Colonia. A few history specialists trust the Roman outskirts got to present-day Casablanca, referred to then as Anfa, which had been settled by the Romans as a port.
Amid the rule of Juba II, the Augustus established three states, with Roman nationals, in Mauretania near the Atlantic coast: Iulia Constantia Zilil, Iulia Valentia Banasa. Augustus would, in the end, discovered twelve settlements in the district and Iulia CampestrisBabba. Amid that period the region controlled by Rome experienced noteworthy monetary improvement, supported by the development of Roman streets. The range was at first not totally under the control of Rome, and just in the mid-second century was a lime manufactured south of Sala reaching out to Volubilis. Around 278 AD the Romans moved their provincial funding to Tangier and Volubilis began to lose significance.
Christianity was brought to the country in the second century AD and obtained converts in the towns and among slaves and also among Berber ranchers. Before the end of the fourth century, the Romanized territories had been Christianized, and advances had been made among the Berber tribes, who some of the time convert altogether. Unconventional movements additionally grew, generally as types of political challenge. The region had a considerable Jewish populace too.
Visigoths, Vandals, and Byzantines (c. 430 – c. 700 AD)
When the Vandals overran the region, it remained part of the Roman Empire until 429 AD. It was then quickly vanquished by the Visigoths, before being recouped by the Byzantine Empire. Amid, this time, the high mountains that make up the majority of advanced Morocco stayed unsubdued and stayed in the hands of their Berber occupants.
In the mid-eighth century, the Muslim successfully conquered the Maghreb. Albeit part of the bigger Islamic Empire, Morocco was at first sorted out as an auxiliary region of Ifriqiya, with the local governors named by the Arab representative in Kairouan.
The Arabs converted the indigenous Berber populace to Islam. However, Berber tribes held their standard laws. Muslim rulers forced taxes and tribute requests upon Berber populaces.
Berber Revolt (739 – 743)
In 740 AD, the local Berber populace rebelled against Arab rule. The disobedience started among the Berber tribes of western Morocco and spread rapidly over the district. Despite the fact that the insubordination diminished in 742 AD before it achieved the doors of Kairouan, neither the Umayyad rulers in Damascus nor their Abbasid successors figured out how to re-impose Arab guideline on the zones west of Ifriqiya. Morocco went out of Arab control and divided into an accumulation of little, autonomous Berber states. The Berbers went ahead to shape their particular adaptation of Islam. A few, similar to the BanuIfran, held their association with radical puritan Islamic organizations, while others, similar to the Berghwata, built another syncretic faith.
Idrisid tradition (789 – 974)
Since it was on the edges of the Islamic world, Morocco rapidly turned into a shelter for some protesters, agitators, and evacuees from the eastern caliphate. Among these was Idris ibn Abdallah, who with the assistance of Awraba Berbers established the Idrisid Dynasty in 789 AD. His child Idris II raised an elaborate new capital at Fes and changed Morocco into a focus of power and learning. Another noteworthy coming was the puritan Miknasa Berber rebels from Ifriqiya, who went ahead to build up the settlement of Sijilmassa (in southeast Morocco) and open market over the Sahara desert with the gold-delivering Ghana Empire of West Africa. Despite the fact that the Midrarids of Sijilmassa and the Idrisids of Fes were much of the time in political and religious odds, the Trans-Saharan exchange way made them financially interdependent.
Fatimids, Umayyads and Zenata warlords (c. 900 – c. 1060)
This balance was disturbed in the early 900s, when another set of religious displaced people from the east, the Fatimids, touched base in the Maghreb and seizing power in Ifriqiya. The Fatimids attacked Morocco, dominating both Fez and Sijilmassa. Morocco was divided as a result, with Fatimid governors, Idrisid supporters, new puritan groups and interventionists from Umayyad al-Andalus all battling about the district. Cunning governors sold and re-sold their support to the wealthiest bidder. In 965, the Fatimid caliph al-Muizz attacked Morocco one final time and succeeded in building up some order. Before long, be that as it may, the Fatimids moved their domain eastbound to Egypt, with another capital in Cairo.
Berber dynasties (c. 1060 – 1549)
Morocco was most potent under a progression of Berber empire, which rose to power south of the Atlas Mountains and extended their dominion northward. The eleventh and twelfth hundreds of years saw the establishment of a few noteworthy Berber dynasties driven by religious reformers, every line in light of a tribal confederation that ruled the Maghreb and Al-Andalus for over 200 years. The Berber traditions of the Almoravids, Almohads, Marinids, and Wattasids gave the Berber people some personality and political solidarity under a local regime. The dynasties made the possibility of an “imperial Maghreb.”
Sharifian dynasties (since 1549)
Starting in 1549, the district was ruled by successive Arab empire known as the Sharifian dynasties. The Saadi dynasty ruled Morocco from 1549 to 1659, next by the Alaouite dynasty, who held power from the seventeenth century until Morocco was partitioned into French and Spanish protectorates in 1912.
Saadi dynasty (1549 – 1659)
From 1509 to 1549 they had reigned just in the south of Morocco. Still, scknowledgingWattasids as Sultans until 1528, Saadian’s developing force drove the Wattasids to assault them and, after an ambivalent fight, to acknowledge their power over southern Morocco through the Treaty of Tadla.
Their rule over Morocco started with the reign of Sultan Mohammed ash-Sheik in 1554 when he crushed the last Wattasids at the Battle of Tadla. The Saadiandominionended in 1659 with the end of the rule of Sultan Ahmad el Abbas
Dila’iinterlude (1659 – 1663)
Mohammed al-Hajj ibn Abu Bakr al-Dila’i was the leader of the Zaouia of Dila. He is the grandson of its Abu Bakr ibn Mohammed and sibling Abu Abdallah Mohammed al-Murabit al-Dila’i. He announced sultan of Morocco in 1659, after the fall of the Saadi dynasty.
Mohammed al-Hajj was toppled in 1663 when it’s Zawiyya lost Fes. The Alaouite sultan al-Rashid crushed him in 1668.
Alaouitedynasty (since 1666)
The Alaouitedynasty is the name of the present Moroccan royal family. The name Alaouiteis from ʿAlī, Moulay Ali Cherif, the founder who got to be the prince of Tafilalt in 1631. His child Mulay r-Rshidunited the majority of present-day Morocco into a steady state. The Alaouite family is from the Islamic prophet Muhammad, through the line of Fāṭimahaz-Zahrah, Muhammad’s daughter, and her significant other, the fourth Caliph ʿAlī ibn AbīṬālib.
The Alaouites entered Morocco toward the end of the thirteenth century, when Al Hassan Addakhil, who then lived in the town of Yanbu in the Hedjaz, traveled to Morocco to be their imām. This was done with the expectation that, as Addakhil asserted to be descended from Mohammed, his presence would enhance their date palm crops on account of his barakah or “gift.” His relatives started to build their power in southern Morocco after the passing of the Saʻdī ruler Ahmad al-Mansur.
The kingdom was merged by Ismail Ibn Sharif who started to make a unified state notwithstanding resistance from local tribes. Since the Alaouites did not have the backing of Berber or Bedouin tribe, Isma’īl controlled Morocco through a multitude of black slaves. With these warriors, he drove the English from Tangiers (1684) and the Spanish from Larache in 1689. The solidarity of Morocco did not survive his passing — in the following force battles the tribes turned again into a political and military force, and it was just with Muhammad III (1757–1790) that the kingdom was unified one more. The thought of centralization was relinquished, and the tribes permitted to safeguard their self-governance. On 20 December 1777, Morocco turned into the primary state to acknowledge the power of recently the autonomous United States.
Under Abderrahmane (1822–1859), Morocco went under the influence of the European forces. At the point when Morocco bolstered the development for Algerian autonomy from France drove by the Emir Abd al-Qadir, it endured a substantial defeat because of the French in 1844 and compelled to surrender its backing.
During the time of Muhammad IV (1859–1873) and Hassan I (1873–1894), the Alaouites attempted to encourage trade links, particularly with European nations and the US. The armed force and government were additionally modernized to combine control over the Berber and Bedouin tribes. In 1859, Morocco went to war with Spain. The freedom of Morocco was ensured at the Conference of Madrid in 1880, with France likewise increasing noteworthy influence over Morocco. Germany endeavored to counter the developing impact of French, prompting the First Moroccan Crisis of 1905–1906, and the Second Moroccan Crisis of 1911. Morocco turned into a French Protectorate through the Treaty of Fez in 1912. In the meantime, the Rif region of northern Morocco submitted to Spain.
European impact (c. 1830 – 1956)
The active Portuguese endeavors to control the Atlantic coast in the fifteenth century did not influence Morocco’s interior. After the Napoleonic Wars, North Africa turned out to be progressively ungovernable from Istanbul by the Ottoman Empire. Accordingly, it turned into the pirate’s resort under local beys. The Maghreb additionally had far more prominent known riches than whatever remains of Africa, and its area close to the passage to the Mediterranean gave it vital significance. France demonstrated a solid enthusiasm for Morocco in 1830.
The Alaouite administration succeeded in keeping up the autonomy of Morocco in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, while different states in the district succumbed to French, Ottoman, or British control. In the last part of the nineteenth century, Morocco’s unsteadiness brought about European nations interceding to secure investments and to request financial concessions. The first few years of the twentieth century saw significant discretionary endeavors by European forces, notably France, to further its interests in the locale.
In the 1890s, the French administration and military in Algiers required the addition of the Gourara, the Tour and the Tidikelt, a compound that had been a piece of the Moroccan Empire for a long time before the landing of the French in Algeria.
An outfitted clash contradicted French nineteenth Corps Oran and Algiers divisions to the AïtKhabbash, a small amount of the AïtOunbguikhams of the Aït Atta confederation. The contention finished by the addition of the Touat-Gourara-Tidikelt complex by France in 1901.
Acknowledgment by the United Kingdom of France’s “range of prominence” in Morocco in the 1904 Entente Cordiale incited a German response; the 1905–1906 “crisis” was determined at the Algeciras Conference in 1906, which formalized France’s “unique position” and depended on policing of Morocco mutually to France and Spain.
French and Spanish protectorate (1912 – 1956)
A second “Moroccan crisis” grew tensions among the most influential European nations and brought about the Treaty of Fez which was signed on March 30, 1912, and made Morocco a protectorate of France. By a second treaty marked by the French and Spanish heads of state, Spain has conceded a Zone of impact in northern and southern Morocco on November 27, 1912. The northern part turned into the Spanish protectorate in Morocco, while the southern part was ruled from El Aiun as a support zone between the Spanish Colonies of Rio de Oro and Morocco. By the Tangier Protocol marked in December 1923, Tangier got exceptional status and turned into an international zone. The treaty of Fez set off the 1912 Fez riots.
The treaties did not lawfully deny Morocco of its status as a sovereign state, and the sultan remained the nation’s leader. Practically speaking, the sultan had no genuine force, and the nation was ruled by a colonial government.
Under the protectorate, French government employees united themselves with the French settlers and with their supporters in France to keep any moves toward Moroccan independence. As conciliation continued, the French government concentrated on the misuse of Morocco’s mineral riches, the production of an advanced transportation framework, and the improvement of a modern farming industry adapted to the French market. A huge number of colons, or pilgrims, entered Morocco and obtained substantial tracts of the rich rural area.
Resistance to European control
The separatist Republic of the Rif was proclaimed on September 18, 1921, by the general population of the Rif. It was broken up by Spanish and French powers on May 27, 1926.
In December 1934, some nationalists, part members of Comitéd’ActionMarocaine, or Moroccan Action Committee (CAM), proposed a Plan of Reforms that required for a return to indirect rule as conceived by the Treaty of Fez, confirmation of Moroccans to government positions, and foundation of council representatives. CAM utilized daily paper publications, petitions, and individual appeals to French authorities to further its cause, yet these demonstrated insufficiently, and the strains made in the CAM by the collapse of the plan made it split. The CAM was reconstituted as a patriot political gathering to increase mass support for more radical requests, yet in 1937, the French stifled the party.
Nationalist political groups, which along these lines emerged under the French protectorate, based their contentions on Moroccan freedom on revelations, for example, the Atlantic Charter, a joint United States-British statement that put forward, in addition to other things, the privilege of all people groups to pick the type of government under which they live. The French power additionally confronted the restriction of the tribes — when the Berber was required to go under the purview of French courts in 1930; it expanded backing for the freedom movement.
Numerous Moroccan Goumiere, or indigenous officers in the French armed force, helped the Allies in both World War I and World War II. Amid World War II, the severely separated nationalist movement turned out to be more cohesive. In any case, the nationalist’s conviction that an Allied triumph would make ready for autonomy was baffled. In January 1944, the Istiqlal (Independence) Party, which in this way gave the vast majority of the authority to the nationalist movement, discharged a proclamation requesting full autonomy, national reunification, and a popularity based constitution. The Sultan Muhammad V (1927–1961) had endorsed the declaration before its submission to the French resident general, who addressed that no fundamental change in the protectorate status was being considered. The public compassion of the sultan for the nationalists got to be apparent before the end of the war, in spite of the fact that despite everything he would have liked to see complete autonomy accomplished progressively. By complexity, the residency, bolstered by French monetary interests and energetically upheld by the greater part of the colons, resolved declined to consider even reforms short of freedom.
In December 1952, a mob transpired in Casablanca over the homicide of a Tunisian labor leader. This incident resulted from a watershed in relations between Moroccan political groups and French authorities. After the revolt, the residency prohibited the new Moroccan Communist Party and the Istiqlal.
France’s exile of the well-respected Sultan Mohammed V to Madagascar in 1953 and his substitution by the less popular Mohammed Ben Aarafa, started dynamic restriction to the French protectorate both from nationalists and the individuals who saw the sultan as a religious pioneer. After two years, confronted with a unified Moroccan interest for the sultan’s arrival and rising savagery in Morocco, and worsening circumstance in Algeria, the French government took Mohammed V back to Morocco, and the next year started the transactions that prompted Moroccan freedom.
Morocco’s Freedom (since 1956)
In late 1955, Sultan Mohammed V expertly negotiated the steady rebuilding of Moroccan freedom inside a structure of French-Moroccan interdependence. The sultan consented to establish changes that would reform Morocco into a constitutional monarchy with a democratic government form. In February 1956, Morocco procured constrained home guideline. Further arrangements for full autonomy ended in the French-Moroccan Agreement on March 2, 1956which was signed in Paris.
On April 7, 1956, France officially handed over its dominion over Morocco. On October 29, 1956, the internationalized city of Tangier was reintegrated with the marking of the Tangier Protocol. The nullification of the Spanish protectorate and the acknowledgment of Moroccan freedom by Spain were arranged independently and made absolute in the Joint Declaration of April 1956. Through this concurrence with Spain in 1956 and another in 1958, Moroccan control over specific Spanish-ruled regions was reestablished. Endeavors to assert other Spanish belonging through military activity were less fruitful.
In the months after independence, Mohammed V continued to put together a modern administrative structure under a constitutional monarchy in which the sultan would practice a dynamic political role. Cautious in his actions, aimed at keeping the Istiqlal from solidifying its control and building up a one-party state. In 1957, he accepted the monarchy.
Rule of Hassan II (1961 – 1999)
On March 3, 1961, Mohammed V’s child Hassan II got to be King of Morocco. His reign saw critical political unrest, and the merciless government reaction earned the period the name “the years of lead.” As prime minister, Hassan took individual control of the administration and named another cabinet. Supported by a council advisory, he created another constitution, which was endorsed overwhelmingly in a December 1962 referendum. Under its arrangements, the ruler remained the focal figure in the executive branch of the gov’t., however, the power of legislation was vested in a bicameral parliament, and an independent judiciary was ensured.
Western Sahara Conflict (1974 – 1991)
In 1969, the Spanish enclave of Ifni in the south turned out to be a piece of the new state of Morocco yet other Spanish possession in the north, including Melilla, Ceuta, and Plaza de soberanía, stayed under Spanish control, with Morocco seeing them as an occupied territory.
Spain formally recognized the 1966 United Nations resolution in August 1974, requiring a referendum on Western Sahara’s future status, and asked for that a referendum be led under UN supervision. UN reported in October 1975 that a more significant part of the Saharan people wanted freedom. Morocco challenged the proposed submission and took its case to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, which decided that in spite of recorded “ties of allegiance” amongst the tribes of Western Sahara and Morocco, there was no lawful defense for withdrawing from the UN position on self-determination. Spain, then, had proclaimed that even without a submission, it proposed to surrender political control of Western Sahara, and Morocco, Spain, and Mauritania gathered a tripartite meeting to determine the region’s future. Spain likewise declared that it was opening talks on independence with the Algerian-supported Saharan independence movement known as the Polisario Front.
In 1976, Spain surrendered the control of Western Sahara to Mauritania and Morocco. Morocco accepted control over the northern 66% of the region and surrendered the rest of the segment in the south to Mauritania. A gathering of Saharan tribal leaders appropriately recognized Moroccan power. In any case, floated by the expanding defection of tribal chiefs to its cause, the Polisario made up a constitution and declared the creation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic or SADR, and itself established the government in exile.
The Moroccan government, in the end, sent an extensive part of its military forces into Western Sahara to go up against the Polisario’s armies, which were moderately few yet well prepared, very mobile, and smart. The Polisario utilized Algerian bases for brisk strikes against targets inside Mauritania and Morocco, and in addition to operations in Western Sahara. In August 1979, in the wake of loses in the military, Mauritania surrendered its claim to Western Sahara and made a peace bargain with the Polisario. Morocco then seized the whole region and, in 1985 created a 2,500-kilometer sand berm around seventy-five percent of Western Sahara.
In 1988, Morocco and the Polisario Front concurred on a United Nations (UN) peace arrangement, and a truce and settlement plan became effective in 1991. Even though the UN Security Council made a peacekeeping power to actualize a submission on self-determination for Western Sahara, it has yet to be held, intermittent transactions have fizzled, and the status of the domain stays uncertain.
The war against the Polisario guerrillas put serious stress on the economy, and Morocco got itself progressively disengaged strategically. Slow political changes in the 1990s ended in the established change of 1996, which made another bicameral governing body with extended, albeit still restricted, powers. Decisions for the Chamber of Representatives were held in 1997, apparently damaged by inconsistencies.
Rule of Mohammed VI (since 1999)
With the passing of King Hassan II of Morocco in 1999, the more liberal Crown Prince Sidi Mohammed took the honored position, adopting the title Mohammed VI. Soon after he took the position of royalty, Mohammed VI addressed his country through TV, promising to go up against corruption and poverty, while making employment and enhancing Morocco’s human rights record. He authorized succeeding reforms to modernize Morocco, and the human rights record of the nation improved notably. One of King Mohammed VI’s first demonstrations was to free roughly 8,000 political detainees and diminish the sentences of another 30,000. He additionally settled a commission to remunerate the families of missing political militants plus others subjected to arbitrary detainment.
In September 2002, new administrative elections were held, and the Socialist Union of Popular Forces or USFP won a majority. Global eyewitnesses viewed the national elections as free and reasonable, taking note of the nonattendance of the irregularities that had tormented the election in 1997. In May 2003, out of appreciation for the son’s birth, the ruler requested 9,000 detainees to be released and the decrease of 38,000 sentences. Additionally, in 2003, Berber language instruction was presented in elementary schools, before presenting it at all education levels.
In February 2004, he passed another family code, or Mudawana, which allowed ladies more power.
On 9 March 2011, the King delivered a speech that states that parliament would get “new powers that authorize it to discharge its legislative, representative and regulatory mission.” What’s more, the judiciary’s power was allowed more freedom from the King, who declared that he was impaneling a board of trustees of lawful scholars to create a draft constitution by June 2011. On July 1st, voters endorsed an arrangement of political changes proposed by Mohammed.
The reforms were the following:
The Berber language is an official state dialect alongside Arabic.
The state ensures and protects the Hassānīyalanguageas well as Moroccan cultures linguistic components.
The King has now the responsibility to designate the PM from the winning party in the parliamentary elections, yet it could be anyone from the triumphant party and not just the party’s leader. In the past, the king could choose anyone he needed for this position paying little respect to the election results. That was generally the situation when no party had a major favorable position over other parties, as far as the number of seats in the parliament.
The King is no more “holy or sacred,” but the “integrity of his individual” is “inviolable.”
High diplomatic and administrative posts such as diplomats, CEOs of state-owned organizations, provincial and regional governors, are currently named by the PM and the ministerial council which is presided by the king;
The PM will supervise the Council of Government, which readies the general policy of the state.
The parliament has the authority of giving amnesty.
The legal system is free from the executive and legislative branch; the king ensures this autonomy. Ladies have ensured “social and civic” equality with men. In the past, “political equality” was the only thing assured, though the 1996 constitution grants all citizens equality regarding rights before the law.
The King holds complete control over the military and the legal and also matters relating to foreign policy and religion; the ruler additionally holds power to select and dismiss PMs.
Every citizen has the freedom of ideas, thoughts, creative expression, and creation. In the past, only free speech and the freedom of association and circulation were guaranteed. Still, criticizing or directly opposing the king is punishable with prison.
King Mohammed VI has one sibling, Prince Moulay Rachid, and three sisters: Princess Lalla Asma, Princess Lalla Meryem, and Princess Lalla Hasna. On March 21, 2002, Mohammed wedded Salma Bennani (now H.R.H. Princess Lalla Salma) in Rabat. Bennani was allowed the individual title of Princess with the title of Her Royal Highness on her marriage. They have two kids – Crown Prince Moulay Hassan, who was conceived onMay 82003, and Princess Lalla Khadija, who was conceived on 28 February 2007.
The Morocco king’s birthday is on 21 August is a public holiday, however, that celebrations were scratched off upon the passing of his auntie in 2014.
A Look Into Past of Casablanca Morocco
Hailed as the biggest city in the Kingdom of Morocco, Casablanca is situated in the center-west portion of the nation on the Atlantic Ocean. Considered as the biggest place in the Maghreb, the city is additionally one of the biggest and most significant metropolitans in Africa, in terms of finance and in demographics.
The city is the country’s primary harbor and 1 of the most significant economic center in the region of Africa. According to the 2012 survey, the city has a populace of around 4 million. Casablanca is viewed as the financial and business district of the country, while the capital is Rabat.
Top local organizations and global companies working have their central station and primary facilities in the city. The latest industrial figures indicate the city holds its rank being a prime economic district of the nation. The Port of Casablanca is one of the biggest human-made ports on the planet and the biggest port of Northern Africa. It is likewise the main maritime base for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
The first name of Casablanca was Anfa, in Berber dialect in 7th c. BC. Later when Portugal conquered Anfa in the fifteenth c. AD, they reconstructed it, shifting its title to Casa Branca. It comes from the Portuguese word mix signifying “White House.” Its current Spanish name came when the Portuguese empire was incorporated into the Spanish empire. Amid the French colonial period in the country, the term became Casablanca. In the eighteenth century, a quake devastated the more significant part of the place. It was reconstructed by the Sultan who changed the name into the neighborhood Arabic which is A-ddar Al Baidaa, albeit Arabic likewise has its own particular form of the city. Casablanca is still called Casa by numerous local and foreign people. While other communities with other vernacular, it is known as A-ddar Al-Bida.
An acclaimed lane in Casablanca, the Anfa Boulevard is, for the most part, deemed as Casablanca’s “old original city”; legitimately a region with 0.5 million residents.
Early history of Casablanca
Casablanca was established and set up by Berbers in the seventh c. BC. It was utilized as a harbor by the Phoenicians and eventually, the Romans. In his book Wasf Afriquia, Al-Hassan al-Wazzan called the early Casablanca as “Anfa,” a vast city established in the Berber kingdom of Barghawata in 744 AD. Al-Wazzan trusted Anfa was the wealthiest town on the coast of Atlantic in view of its rich land.”
By this period, Barghawata became an autonomous state and proceeded until it was dominated in 1068 by the Almoravids. Taking after the loss of the Barghawata in the twelfth century, Arab people of Hilal and Sulaym ancestry resided in the district, blending with the neighboring Berbers, which prompted to a worldwide Arabicizing. Amid the fourteenth c., under the Merinids, Anfa has risen as a significant harbor. The remainder of the Merinids was expelled via popular revolt in 1465.
Portuguese invasion & Spain’s influence
Beginning of the fifteenth century, the township turned into an autonomous state again, and developed as an open port for pirates, prompting to it being a target of Portuguese, who attacked the city which prompted to its devastation in 1468. The Portuguese utilized the remains of Anfa to set up a military fort in 1515. The community that lived up around it was identified as Casa Branca, signifying “white house” in Portuguese.
Somewhere around 1580 & 1640, the Crown of Portugal was incorporated to the Crown of Spain, so Casablanca and every single other zone taken by Portugal were under Spain’s control, however keeping up a self-ruling Portuguese government. As Portugal softened ties with Spain up 1640, Casablanca went under completely Portugal’s dominion once more. The Europeans, in the long run, left the region totally in 1755 after a seismic tremor that pulverized the majority of the town.
The community was at long last rebuilt by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah, the grandson of Moulay Ismail and a supporter of George Washington, with the assistance of Spaniards from the adjacent emporium. The place was called الدار البيضاء ad Dār al-Bayḍāʼ, the Arabic interpretation of the Spanish Casa Blanca.
In the nineteenth century, the zone’s populace started to increase as it turned into a noteworthy provider of fleece to the thriving business of textiles in Britain and the transportation movement expanded. By the 1860s, there were about five thousand occupants, and the populace increased to around ten thousand by the 1880s. The city continued as a meager sized harbor, with a populace stretching about twelve thousand in a couple of times of France’s rule and coming of French colonialists in the city, at first government in a sovereign sultanate, in 1906. In 1921, this rose to a hundred ten thousand, generally through the improvement of small crudely built houses.
In 1907, France endeavored to construct a light railroad close to the harbor, going through a memorial park. The local people protested resulting in riots which caused some soldiers to be injured and one general to be executed. Accordingly, the French responded by ship, attacking Casablanca from the shore, which brought about serious harm to the area leaving fifteen thousand killed and injured. The French asserted that it was to re-establish stability. This successfully started the procedure of colonization, albeit France’s dominion over the city was not official until 1910. Under France’s regime, Muslim anti-Jewish uprisings happened in 1908.
The popular classic movie “Casablanca” featuring Humphrey Bogart emphasized Casablanca’s impressive standing at the time, portraying the city as the setting of a battle for control among contending European forces. The movie has a multinational line of actors.
Europeans made up a large portion of the populace. During the 1950s, the city was the main center of the anti-French revolt. A rebel act on Christmas of 1953 brought death to sixteen people.
World War II
The American-British attack of French N. Africa amid the N. African campaign of World War 2 called Operation Torch began on the 8th of Nov. 1942. The US assaulted at 3 distinct areas in French N. Africa, included 3 being the landings at Casablanca in light of its significant harbor and the main admin centers. The city was an essential key harbor amid World War 2 and in 1943 facilitated the Casablanca Conference which Roosevelt and Churchill talked about the war development. Casablanca has been the spot of a huge US airbase, a platform space for all US air jets for the European Theater of Operations amid World War 2.
In Oct. 1930, Casablanca facilitated a Grand Prix, organized at the new Anfa Racecourse. In 1958, the competition was conducted at Ain-Diab circuit. On March 2, 1956, the Kingdom of Morocco obtained autonomy from French. In 1983, the city facilitated the Mediterranean Games. Casablanca is presently advancing its tourism sector. The city has turned into the financial and business center of the country, while Rabat is the political capital.
In the early months of 2000, sixty plus females planned protests in the city proposing changes to the legal status of females in Morocco. Around forty thousand females went, requiring a restriction on polygamy and the presentation of law on divorce being religious process only around that time. Even though the counterdemonstration pulling in .5 million who participated, the advancement for change began in 2000 was persuasive on King Mohammed VI, and he ordered another family law, in 2004, taking care of women’s rights activists.
On the 16th of May of 2003, thirty-three regular citizens were murdered and a hundred plus individuals were harmed when the city was battered by numerous rebel acts made by Moroccans who according to others are connected to feared rebel groups. A sequence of violence threatened the city of Casablanca in 2007. These groups have brought fear to the community.
In 2011, when cries for reformation stretched through the Arab region, Moroccans participated. However, concessions by the ruler prompted to acknowledgment. In any case, in December, a huge number of locals protested in different areas of Casablanca, particularly the downtown area close la Fontaine, craving more noteworthy political changes.
Casablanca Climate and Topography
The city is situated in the Chawiya Plain which has in the olden times been the breadbasket of the country. Aside from the Atlantic coast, the forest of Bouskoura is merely Casablanca’s natural attraction. The wood was sown in the twentieth century and comprises for the most part of eucalyptus, palm, and pine trees. It is found halfway to the city’s international air terminal.
Oued Bouskoura is the only waterway in the city, an occasional little brook that til 1912 extended the Atlantic Ocean close to the harbor. The vast majority of our Bouskoura’s bed has been sheltered because of urbanization, and just a portion of the south of El Jadida street is seen. The next stable waterway to the city is Oum Rabia running at 43.50 miles to the southeast.
Weather of Casablanca
The city of Casablanca weather has a hot summer Mediterranean atmosphere. The chill Canary Current off the Atlantic shore controls temperature variety, which brings about an atmosphere strikingly like that of seaside LA, with comparable temperature ranges. Casablanca has a yearly ave. of seventy-two days with huge precipitation, which adds up to 412 millimeters every year. The maximum temperatures documented in Casablanca are 40.5 degrees Celsius and −2.7 degrees Celsius. The most elevated measure of precipitation recorded in a day is 178 millimeters on 30 November 2010.
The Grand Casablanca area is viewed as the engine of the advancement of the Moroccan economy. It pulls in 32 percent of the nation’s generation units & fifty-six percent of industry work. The locale utilizes 30 percent of the country’s power generation. With 93 billion Moroccan dirhams, the district adds to 44 percent of the industrial production of Morocco. Around 33 percent of national manufacturing exports, 27 billion MAD originates from the Grand Casablanca; 30 percent of the Moroccan banking system is centered in Casablanca.
A standout amongst an essential Casablanca export is phosphate. Some sectors incorporate angling, canning, sawmills, furniture making, construction materials, glass, fabrics, hardware, leather, sodas, and cigarette.
The activity at Casablanca & Mohammedia seaports speaks to half of the global business flows of the country. Practically the whole Casablanca waterfront is being constructed, primarily the development of big amusement centers amid the harbor and Hassan II Mosque, the Anfa Resort close to the business, amusement and living center of Megarama, the shopping and amusement center of Morocco Mall, and also a total remodel of the beachfront walkway. The Sindbad park is designed to be completely transformed with games, rides, and amusement services.
Regal Air Maroc has its main workplace at the Casablanca – Anfa Airport. In 2004, it declared that it was transferring its main office from the city to an area in Province of Nouaceur, near Mohammed V Int’l Airport. The consent to construct the main office in Nouaceur was marked in 2009.
The most fabulous Commercial Business District of Casablanca & Maghreb is seen in the North of the city in Sidi Maarouf close to the mosque of Hassan II and the most enormous venture of high rise buildings of Maghreb & Africa Casablanca Marina.
Historical Background of Casablanca Morocco
Casablanca’s existence started being a Berber community sometime past 3,000 years, way earlier than when the Romans claimed the territory soon ahead of the passing of Emperor Augustus. They had effectively built the port of Anfa for some time and would keep on operating around Casablanca until the fifth century.
By the eighth century, the Berber empire of Barghawata had assumed control of Anfa, succeeded by the Amoravids in the eleventh century. The community got to be essential again under another Berber empire, the Merinids, who utilized it as a critical port.
The Portuguese dominated and demolished it in 1468 AD because of its connections to piracy, then created a fortification in the sixteenth century. The community that built around it was known as Casa Branca. However, the Portuguese were under continuous assault from nearby tribes and are thought to have surrendered the town after a seismic tremor in 1755.
The medina was constructed by Casablanca’s new leader, Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah, during 1770. It was believed that the Spanish people had supported the development of the fortifications. In the nineteenth century, Casablanca progressed by means of trading with Europe, until France’s invasion at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Under the French territory, Casablanca expanded into a metropolis of 100,000 in the 1920s. The ambition of French service leader Marshal Lyautey started a monstrous half-century task that re-constructed Casablanca and its offices until they surpassed those of Marseille, the port that had been the motivation.
As romanticized in the well-known movie featuring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca was a crucial vital port town in WWII. In 1943, the acclaimed Anfa Conference occurred here, where Churchill and Roosevelt talked about the advance of the war.
In 1956, Morocco obtained its freedom from France. However, Casablanca kept up its royal flair and is acknowledged as one of the nation’s most European urban communities. It has developed into the economic center of Morocco, where most trade is carried out and has as of late tried to build up the tourism business. This has, to a limited extent, prompted enormous redesign labors on the medina.
Interesting Facts about Casablanca
- Despite being set in Casablanca, none of the eponymous 1942 movies was shot in the Kingdom of Morocco.
- Due to the era under France’s regime, Casablanca features many of the most world’s exceptional craftsmanship deco structural design. In the meantime, the Habous area was an endeavor by the French to join Moroccan style with French standards, making for a lovely artificial Madina.
- Built somewhere around 1986 to 1993, Hassan II Mosque is maybe the finest contemporary case of Islamic engineering. It was to a limited extent, considered to give work to a large number of conventional artisans.
Architectural Tour of Casablanca City
The city was a center of present-day engineering amid the twentieth century. During the 1900s it turned into the world’s 2nd city, following New York City’s 1916 zoning law, to take on a thorough master plan for city improvement. Til, the 1950s different versions of the modern & Art Deco designs, were actively adopted by Casablanca’s designers and tenants alike. Back then, the metropolis was promoted as a French America, an adaptation of Chicago, a place of hasty innovation which hurled high rises.
While Casablanca’s advanced contemporary city plan & engineering were absolutely molded by colonialism, the design created amid that time ought to likewise be regarded as a significant aspect of Morocco’s cultural legacy. Part of the targets of Casamémoire, a civil society based on Casablanca, is to cultivate a familiarity with this legacy, and a few individuals at Al Akhawayn Univ. were glad to take an interest in the current year’s Journées du Patrimoine.
Volunteers from Journées du Patrimoine conducts tour guides of Casablanca’s heritage buildings. Shows, exhibitions, film viewing and meetings on architectural arts are additionally held over the city. Said Ennahid, a professor and archeologist who lectures Islamic art history at AUI, was resolved to engage students.
The walking tour began on Place Mohammed V, previously called Place Administrative, which name has changed frequently. This vast open plaza was the presentation of the architecture style supported by Resident Lyautey, a design lately called neo-Moroccan. Lyautey himself supervised the construction of structures positioned around the plaza, and he persuaded the planners he employed to think past the case of Orientalist engineering up to this point used in French North Africa. Moroccan themes, plans, items & artistry were to be re-evaluated inside the application of the design function then developing in Europe. The outcome, on Place Administrative, is a phenomenal show of the best quality design structure. The extravagantly supported community structures are produced using the best building materials and were planned to a lavish extent and with a keen concentration on the elements. At present, entry to these structures is minimal, so the yearly open house presents the main chance to see them, and snap great photographs!
The Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) is currently the Wilaya, the headquarters of the Regional Administration. It was planned by Marius Boyer and was finished in 1927.
The outside border of the Hôtel de Ville is a native gray sandstone. A broad frieze of green zellij denotes the rooftop line. A clock towers over the structure. This has been Casablanca’s 2nd clock tower, after the Tour de l’horloge. Keeping the appropriate time was an essential piece of the colonial agenda.
The Hôtel de Ville has arranged around 3 gardens. Artworks by Majorelle (1859-1926) displayed in its marble stairwells. Royal rooms on the exceptionally grand upper floor incorporate the chairman’s office and Hall of Honor, where civil unions are done.
The nearby Palais de Justice (Court House), constructed in 1922, has a colossal exterior on the plaza, with an incredible focal entrance prompting to two sectioned displays on the core floor.
The next building is the city office of the Bank al-Maghrib, the government bank drafted by Edmond Brion and was finished in 1937.
In the middle of the 1930s, the neo-Moroccan venture had carried on with planners working in the city’s private division. Earth-tones were substituted with brilliant greens and blues in the zellij work. Everything was expensive; halls adorned with beautiful marbles, others in costly wood framing with stunning Art Deco marqueterie.
Bank al-Maghrib indicates the edge amid Casablanca’s civic administrative center and its’ Central Business Area. As non-public division benefactors of splendid engineering, the banks accepted the soul of the official neo-Moroccan style. Vast numbers of their structures were absolute contemporary, with no citation to traditional European or Oriental designs.
Other business structures, offices, retail chains, and movie theaters, embraced the neo-Moroccan themes to Art Deco.
Casablanca’s business district is a living exhibition of Art Deco, modern, Mediterranean, French, and Moroccan. Firm as these structures, many need renovation, or if nothing else of repairs.
Strolling downtown Casablanca takes you to Passage Sumica, included in the city’s celebrated pedestrian galleries. Constructed in the ‘30s Passage Glaoui, Passage Tazi, and others go through city community, connecting the walkways of the bustling business boulevards on every side. They permit road level foot traffic to enter directly through the community, giving extra access to structures above, and expanding the business area and facade. They were modern facilities for the developing city. Aside from stalls, passages have coffeehouses and offer access to inns, films and other anchors of the sort of walking customer flaneur modernity Casablanca got to be well known.
The Asayag Building was the embodiment of present-day urban living. City planner Marius Boyer got rid of the wet internal courtyards that exemplified thick urban blocs. Dilapidated as it seems, the Assayag Building must even now be a fantastic spot to dwell. The penthouses at the highest point of the building start on the 8th floor and ascend in patios two extra levels. Flats were outlined with the new customer in view, a young professional or couple with no kids. They were not intended for families. They had open multilevel plans and extended in size from studios to multi-story penthouses. In that capacity, occupants may have automobiles, the Asayag and other huge condo buildings in the central neighborhoods had basement parking.
For the ancient city tour, take a sight of Dar al-Makhzen. The adjacent mosque is said to be the oldest working mosque in Casablanca. You can also check out Friday Mosque, called the Old al-Hamra Mosque, and to the neighboring Residence of Lyautey. The Residence is presently the home of Casablanca division of the Union Marocaine du Travail, one of Morocco’s biggest and most established labor unions.
A volunteer guide may take you to the Ettedgui Synagogue, a private synagogue which even now belongs to the Ettedgui family, also if the family is not residing in Morocco. You can continue the tour to the Spanish Church, which the government of Spain lately turned over control of this congregation to Morocco. The Church structures are being renovated and will serve as a center for the community.
Habous and the Mahkama
The Habous neighborhood was constructed during the 1920s to accommodate the city’s developing common laborers. It was put up alongside the new Royal Palace. Albert Laprade led broad field investigations of Morocco’s urban architecture before he embarked to outline the vicinity in 1917. The actual construction of the area, which proceeded into the 1930s, was done by Laprade’s associates Auguste Cadet and Edmond Brion. Moroccan spatial compositions and themes guided each size of the plan. This new community is an excellent set of conventional structural devices: rear ways, entryways, curves at every turn. It is vivid and exceptionally tasteful. Furthermore, it is extraordinary engineering. Made from sturdy materials at the human scale, everything about urban planning was painstakingly outlined and carried out.
Comparatively with Essaouira (otherwise known as Mogador) in the utilization of sandstone trim on white walls. However, Sidi, Mohamed b. Abdellah forced straight wide boulevards on eighteenth-century Essaouira, Laprade impressed beautiful viewpoints in Habous.
The Habous neighborhood is an exciting display of end of century craftsmanship. The model made no replicas. But, the industrial grounds for innovation won over the artists. Minimalist lodging built-in bulk described most succeeding neighborhoods for laborers, like Habitations Carrières Central. Additionally, the technocratic, top-down down preparation approach, in charge of the outline of each and every corner and crevice in Habous, was inconsistent with the kind of customary building procedures which “naturally” created the corners of Morocco’s genuine urban design.
The Habous district did not achieve its proposed social gathering. Instead of working families getting reasonable lodging, Habous turned into the must-have address of the Moroccan nobles, and of the Fassi high society specifically, who acknowledged access to a Friday mosque and to the adjacent palace. The center point of Muslim Casablanca amid the colonial period, with its cafés and book shops, Habous is still viewed as the embodiment of the modern Muslim urbanity. The souks composed by Laprade are experts in the most beautiful Moroccan arts. Habous is the place Baydawiya brides go looking for all their wedding things.
Habous is additionally renowned for other amazing features of artworks and crafts, the Mahkama, or “tribunal.” The Mahkama is an incredible urban royal residence which took ten years to finish. It’s one of a kind. Based on an incline, it seems to rise over Habous area. It can be accessed through massive door gateways.
In Mahkama, the pasha’s “offices” are considered as an Alhambra. Sunlit courts glimmer with white stucco creation. Similarly, as with the stucco work, the craftsmanship on the cedar wood roofs is detailed correctly. Everything is genuine! The best-skilled workers were employed as well as the highest quality items were utilized. It’s an uncommonly refined restoration of Alhambra design, at life-size scale, with the supreme items.
It’s questionable if Mahkama ever filled its use as the workplaces of the Pasha of Casablanca, or what legislative office it serves today. But good thing, in Journées du Patrimoine, people, in general, may take a glance at this gem.
From Habous the tour for the bildi (common laborers) area of Hay Mohammadi. Included in the biggest companies in this area was the butcher house, Les abattoirs. The city office by the rail yards was constructed by Georges-Ernest Desmarest and Albert Greslin in 1922. It was intended to the best standard of sanitation and for industrialized efficiency. It shut in 2000. In 2008 a union of arts and cultural affiliations, like Casamémoire, acquired the privilege to reconvert this brownfield site.
From 2009 the Abattoirs are a fabric Culturelle or culture factory. The key building comprises of a large lobby. Light passes through rooftop openings and inside partitions are short. The foundation of the columns and the divisions are adorned in sturdy white tile. Given its initial intention, the office is furnished with modern pulleys, power, braces, and pipes. There are additionally substantial outdoor sections and numerous building subsidiaries. The Abattoirs present ideal creation and exhibit areas for visual & theater performers. Until further notice, just a little part of the large office is being utilized.
Aside from the bistro set, another design component seen in the Casablanca film isn’t right. The Casablanca offered to the U.S. film viewers by Warner Bro’s. in the fall of 1942 was shot totally in three distinctive Hollywood studios. Doesn’t have anything to do with the bold developed city. Differentiate the Hollywood adaptation of the city w/ Jean Vidal’s “Salut Casa” of ten years after. The film for “Casablanca” and the sets called for Tangiers. The film was hurriedly edited again to correspond with the US arrivals in North Africa and the Casablanca Conference of January 1943.
However the movie, Casablanca, & that period are currently the stuff of legend, a modern romantic war frayed times. Furthermore, Rick’s cafe delightfully lets its customers experience classic romance. The genuine Rick’s Café is in the best tradition of between-wars languor, lavish yet personal, and altogether soaked in jazz. Kathy Kriger’s restaurant, which began in 2004, is a tasteful addition to Casablanca by night, & may be comfortable in the city of grandma’s time.
Years ago, wandering photographers would take photographs of people walking on the streets. Photographers then gave a paper with their contact information. The individuals who want a copy of the pictures went to the picture taker a couple of days after and paid for the photographs they needed. It’s difficult to envision such politeness between outsiders on the walkways of any big city today.
The photographs taken by these photographers are very much familiar in the photo albums of the people of Casablanca during that period, as was showcased in VH magazine where it dedicated an issue to the Golden Age of Casablanca. Casablanca’s present-day architecture has been highlighted Royal Air Maroc’s in-flight magazine and other glossy prints as well.
Starting in November 1942, Casablanca was flooded with Americans. The Americans adored the city and the feeling was mutual.
The Colonial Architecture of Casablanca
The city’s center adorned with many French influences surrounding the downtown area and its proper, provincial structures as of now appear to have a place with an alternate and far off age. The design of government structures is explicitly referred to as Mauresque, or at times as “Neo-Moorish,” basically a French admiration and “improvement” on conventional Morocco style, with loads of horseshoe curves, and also the strange touch of darj w ktaf, initially an Almohad theme.
Numerous private structures of initial colonial era from 1912 until the mid-1920s were intensely impacted by the flowery Art Nouveau of fin-de-siècle Europe. After the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, a fresher, bold style, termed Art Deco following the Exposition, started to grab hold, enlivened by numerous sources, including traditional Moroccan pattern. A stroll on Casa’s downtown boulevards, appreciating in the Casablanca’s Deco legacy – make sure to look up, as a large portion of the better highlights look better up high and can present fulfillment.
Casablanca: Short History
The report has it that Anfa (the first name of Casablanca) has been in a practically constant cycle of advancement since the early Middle Ages when its revenues were gotten from trade and piracy.
Casablanca was built on an area of a pre-historic city called Anfa. It became part of a significant role in Morocco’s historical timeline at the later part of the seventh century and in the start of eight centuries. A thriving city because of its agricultural environs, Anfa was likewise in the past a fish port.
The founding of Anfa
According to research and archaeological discoveries, this city is stuck in history, with extensions stretching back two hundred thousand years. A human mouth was found in a mine near the tomb of Sidi Abderrahmane in 1955, dating back 200,000 years.
Hashem al-Maaroufi, who passed away in 1987, spoke in the book “Abeer Al-Zuhoor”, which was issued by the local scientific council of the workers of the province of Ain al-Shaq in 2013, about the fact that the areas of the said shrine are considered archaeological areas.
A number of researchers disagree about the founding of Anfa, the name given to the city before it became in the present era called Casablanca, but the most likely is what historian traveler Marmol in his book “Africa”, where he pointed out that “among the cities The Phoenician built by Hanoun according to the Carthage Court, it is in the best position in Africa surrounded by the sea on the one hand, and fertile plains on the other.
According to Maaroufi researcher, Casablanca / Anfa is likely to be founded by the Carthaginian Phoenicians, as most of the cities it constructed were on the seashore, such as Beirut, Tripoli, Levant, Sousse and Bizerte, not to mention that the Phoenicians were displaced from Syria and Lebanon. On the seaside in Lebanon called above.
The first to open the city of Anfa and then introduced its inhabitants into Islam was’ Uqba ibn Nafi al-Fihri, according to Muhammad Bujandar in his book ‘Chellah and its Archeology’. At the hands of her people for the first time, and they became a religion of Islam, but they soon returned and turned to Christianity after his return.
Trade and science
It is no coincidence that Casablanca is an economic capital and a major commercial destination in North Africa. History speaks of the fact that this city has been inhabited from time immemorial to trade, especially with Europeans, and has special regulations in dealing with traders abroad.
According to the same source, citing the book “Description of Africa” by its owner Hassan Al-Wazzan, “the city’s inhabitants were constantly connected with the Portuguese and English merchants, so their lives were organized and scientists.”
Wheat, barley, cowhide, goat, sheep, wax, wool, almonds, etc., among other commodities that were exported from the port of Anfa, according to Piccolotti, correspondent of the banks of Florence. And the largest in the country then.
It was not only trade, but the city had an active scientific movement and found a number of schools and scientists specialized in Islamic sciences, who were known at the time, including Ali bin Ibrahim bin Ali Al-Ansari.
In 1469, Portugal ruled over the city, coming back a hundred years later to assemble strongholds around the province of white-washed houses they called Casa Branca.
Due to its port, the city, little by little, became more linked to other countries. It initially caught the European’s interest, who were driven by trading. For this reason, it affirmed itself as Europe‘s counter for Northern Africa and turned into the number one from Morocco’s export port. The development of steam navigation as well as the progress of the fabric market pushed the port’s traffic, making it among the wool provider forerunners as in the Mediterranean Sea.report
A standard marine connection was formed in 1862, among Casablanca and Marseille. Constructed in 1912, the port of Casablanca, Morocco’s first major modern-day port, paved way to the city’s bigger economic activity, and has drawn in a lot of workers and investors in the region. It therefore shaped the future of the tiny city of Dar al Baida, making it the country’s biggest financial capital and economic center.
The years 1910 to1950 was a booming period for the city as big projects were carried out such as the construction of huge city buildings, the expansion of large avenues, the founding of regular maritime lines. In fact, this was also the period of the automobile industry’s launch in 1920 alongside the Casablanca Euro-automobile Rally.
In November 1942 when the Allied invasion of Northern Africa, especially the time the Americans in Casablanca termed Operation Torch, that moment continues to be a clear memory for the elders of Casablanca, and it became a turning point during the second World War. After 2 months, the leaders of the Allied powers (Giraud, Churchill, Roosevelt, and de Gaulle) gathered in Casablanca to plan for their after war approach in the popular Anfa Conference in 1943 in January.
Casablanca is a city that resisted. Defiance to the French Protectorate ignited in Casablanca. Fighters from communities sacrificed their lives for the cause. When Sultan Mohamed V was deported (1953-1955) by the French government, Casablanca the Resistant was aggravated. When the Sultan returned, the females left their shelter to welcome their leader.
A solid nationalism sparked in the 1975 Green March, a nonviolent march that involved thirty-five thousand volunteers, an epic from the plea of King Hassan II to free the Sahara against Spanish control. Coming from Operation Torch, the Protectorate, and Germany’s response that followed, the citizens of Casablanca suffered, pushing the people to escape to the hinterland.
The defiance, the rebellion of the citizens of Casablanca in opposition to Sultan Mohamed V’s deportation, the protests and riots of 1965 and 1981 united the community spirit of this population that built a solid connection to the monarchy, the Kingdom and Casablanca.
The city was the foundation of defiance to the protectorate. The Habous the old medina, Derb Al Kabir, Derb Sultan, were the environs of armed rebel fighters, battling to get back Morocco’s political independence.
Huge avenues in Casablanca remember this period and put up a tribute through their names. Al Fida Boulevard intersects the vicinity of the resistance fighters. de la Résistance boulevard which spans to Zerktouni (leader of the resistance) boulevard frames the whole city.
They left in 1755 when the town was harmed by a similar extraordinary seismic tremor that annihilated Lisbon. Anfa was later re-populated by neighborhood clans who called it by the Arabic name Darel-Beida. The name stayed being used until the mid-nineteenth century when Spanish merchants changed to the now well-known Casablanca.
Toward the start of the twentieth century, Casablanca had a populace of around 20,000. In the year 1927 – expanded by many French immigrants – this number had increased to 120,000 and achieved 682,000 by 1952. At this point, most of Casablanca’s significant Jewish people group had left, yet just about five years after autonomy, the overall populace had passed the million point.
At present, covering an enormous swathe of the seaside plain from Mohammedia to Sidi Abderrahmane, including many rural areas and numerous bidonvilles occupied by the country poor, Casablanca’s current populace surpasses 3.5million.
Presentation of Casablanca’s Architectural History
CASABLANCA, LABORATORY OF MODERN URBAN PLANNING AND HOUSING
The Universal aura of the economic capital of Morocco is based on a film of which it is physically visible. The importance of this film will not have been affected since 1946 all the irony of Groucho Marx to debunk the Warner Bros, producer of the film of Michael Curtiz, and who wanted, interceding to the Marx to name their new film One night in Casablanca, arrogate a definitive property right over the city. The unexpected film resonance of Casablanca redoubles the echo met by the city in the innumerable and edifying sagas that inspire French companies in Morocco since 1912. Provided with everything that the modern industry can provide, this spontaneous phenomenon of the French energy, according to Pierre Mac Orlan, provokes innumerable literary commentaries, while the concrete transformations of the city make it one of the mythical crucibles of architecture and, especially, of twentieth-century urbanism.
It is true that the dazzling emergence of Casablanca at the forefront of the cities of North Africa is enough to awaken the observers and artisans of the imperial expansion of France, the imbalances and the conflicts linked to its growth remaining always present in the naive cynical tables of this Eldorado of the developers. The extent of the social, cultural, and physical transformations that occurred during the short half-century of the Protectorate (1912-1955) was not to date only in a very limited number of overall analyzes. The concrete knowledge of the social stratifications in the city and their relation to the urban form remains incomplete, and the architectural form of Casablanca is, at first, grasped only in its most superficial configurations. Some general remarks can, however, be made.
Casablanca is one of the major urban creations of the 20th century. Certainly, the ancient historical core, originally named Anfa, existed for centuries, Muslim, Jewish (mellah) and European. But it is done, with extensions that he knows after 1912, the only real new agglomeration created in areas of French influence, metropolis included, before the new cities prescribed by the SDAU of the region Paris, 1965. Outstanding teams of technicians and professionals contributed to the outbreak and the economic capital of Morocco, in command of French and Moroccan customers committed to the innovation and modernization of the country and the city, thus making Casablanca one with its development response to the field of experimentation in the regulatory, technological and cultural fields. When Léandre Vaillat noted in 1929, not without a hint of spite, that what is not allowed to the extent and the soil of Paris is to the gigantic and the rock of Casablanca, it indicates well the ambition devolving to the city to propose a new form of metropolis able to remake it to the capital of the Empire.
Far from being a mere French town overseas inscribed in an exclusive metropolis-periphery report, Casablanca is, from the outset, and for reasons that are as much about the specific policy of the Protectorate as about the particularity of the population who live there. It transports an international and Moroccan city at the same time, a mixed city where the different national and regional geniuses are composed. Alongside an effective segregation policy that will take both the refined face of the new medina and the cruel, shantytowns, very early here, a certain social, national, cultural mix will emerge.
At the crossroads of Mediterranean cultures, mixing during the first years of the Protectorate the arrivals of Tunisia, Algeria, Italy and elsewhere, will be added a creeping Americanization – Vaillat also reports the impression of an American city (. ..) felt when arriving at Casablanca, strengthened in a striking way by the allied landing of 1942. After the war, Casablanca will be for ten years the most prosperous city of the French Union, and a new cycle Modernization will see the US influence become with unexpected Scandinavian influences.
Unquestionably brief in its duration, the history of Casablanca is however sharply punctuated at the same time by the cuts peculiar to the policy of the Protectorate and by episodes determined as much by the economy of the city and the rhythm of a tumultuous real estate investment that by the transformation of the ideals and techniques of professionals. It would be somewhat futile to propose in the pages that follow a definitive analysis of the major directions of urban planning and architecture in a city as complex as Casablanca has become, especially since the urban strategies of all and the diffuse network of operations carried out in the field of housing are not formed in a rigorously parallel way. We have therefore chosen to define, on the one hand, the major moments that are identifiable in the urban regulation of the growth of the city and, on the other hand, to identify the cross-over transformations of domestic architecture and the uses of housing. No doubt some actors are present simultaneously terrains. However, the very nature of the archives consulted and the documents analyzed, and the extreme dilation of project scales from studio to the region called for a more precise look at each of these on each of these issues.
CASABLANCA: FROM THE CITY OF ENERGY TO THE FUNCTIONAL CITY
When Michel Ecochard joined in 1946 his post of responsibility for planning in Rabat, he was still, by his own admission, under the influence of the illusion that Morocco was the homeland of town planning, that everything was regulated, organized and that cities and countryside developed in the most perfect harmony ‘. But the discovery of Casablanca, a mushroom town without urban planning, in which the elites have lost the race, will make evident to him the incapacity of the Protectorate, which is able to foresee, control and control the growth of the big cities. Three years will have to pass before the team of Ecochard can finally engage in background work on a city that for almost thirty years has been a model of planning rationality.
The City of Energy
The construction of the myth of the exemplary urban work carried out in Casablanca is part of two reforming companies: the creation in 1912 of a Protectorate to, inter alia, regenerate France and the legislative institution and technique of town planning in commonly accepted discipline, and on which Lyautey will rely on his design to return to France a “lost or dissipated” energy.
Conversely, during the preparation of the reconstruction of the devastated regions, the discussion and the first moments of the application of the law of 1919 on the planning and the extension of the cities, it is in the French action in Morocco and in particular Casablanca that a bunch of irrefutable examples will be gathered. For Victor Cambon, who proposes a program for the post-war period in 1916, Casablanca, which had started so badly, will be a healthy French town, well organized and comfortable. For his part, the engineer of the Roads and Bridges Edmond Joyant, active in the technical services of the Protectorate and author of the main urban planning manual used in the preparation of the plans prescribed by the law of 1919, will make since 1922 of Casablanca the one of the references usable by city planners of the metropolis. In its Treaty of urbanism (1924), Joyant exposes in detail the passage from Casablanca of the state of small Moorish town asleep to that of big modern commercial city, operation regulated by the implementation of a rigorous zoning, still unknown in the metropolis, except in Strasbourg, where Joyant praises the pre-1918 German rule.
But the evocation of Casablanca is far from ceasing with these first episodes. The city will retain its initial aura during the Colonial Exhibition of 1931 and until the end of the Protectorate, the strong institutional position of its initial planner Henri Prost undoubtedly weighing on this public destiny. Casablanca will return to the scene in the 1970s when a certain nostalgia for the pioneers of “urban art” will emerge.
HENRI PROST AND THE PLAN OF 1914
The idealized image of Casablanca is however not an illusion, even if the city is in no way a pure urban creation of the Protectorate. When it was set up, the Lyautey administration inherited an agglomeration whose growth was already strongly underway. It should be remembered that this is an incident related to the development of infrastructure in the capital of Chaouia – the construction of a railway – which will serve as a pretext for the bombing of the city, and the investment of Morocco, which Germany had been disinterested in the agreement signed Algeciras in 1911.
Despite the poor conditions of maritime access, the ease of the terrestrial links will impose the choice of the city as the commercial pole, then industrial, and thus like the place of real estate investment. The process of occupying soil in oil stains from the port, but also housing estates focused at a few points on the periphery, is initially beyond the control of the French administration. In 1913, Paul Tirard, Secretary-General of the Protectorate, future author of the Dahir of April 16, 1914, on the management of cities, invited the Conservator of Promenades of Paris, Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier, to go to Morocco to consider the issue of open spaces. Forestier focuses on existing cities but draws quite clearly the orientations of a new neighborhood policy. On his return, he shared his impressions with the Urban and Rural Hygiene Section of the Social Museum, which is at the forefront of action to pass a law on management plans. On the advice of the section, Henri Prost is recommended by Georges Risler Lyautey to work on the whole of Morocco while another member of the section, Donat-Alfred Agache, is ordered by the local defenders of “French interests » The first plan for Casablanca.
Prost had the opportunity to take an interest in the Roman architecture of the Orient during his stay at the Villa Medici, but, above all, had begun an early reflection on urbanism, which was to lead him to win in 1910 the contest for the development plan of the fortified enclosure of Antwerp. In addition, he had begun, with his comrade Léon Jaussely, the preparation of a book on town planning, for which he had been led to compare the planning regulations of German, French and Italian cities. Established in Morocco from 1914, Prost encounters, in the case of Casablanca, a problem very different from those posed by the other cities of the country where he applies the doctrine of the separate development of communities advocated by Lyautey. It is a city already very built and parcel without a general plan, that Prost begins to try to arrange somehow.
Three levels of reflection constitute the work of Prost, effectively engaged in March 1914. It is a question, at first, of regulating and straightening the subdivisions engaged, by the implantation of a new hierarchical and ambitious system of highways; secondly, it is a question of defining rules of land use differentiated by the use of templates and hygienic servitudes. Finally, it involves cutting out large functional areas, according to a practice inaugurated by German planners. In a multipolar city, since its development is committed both by the eastern and southern edge of the medina, by the industrial district of Roches Noires, in the north, and the villa district of Anfa, at the west, a unifying device is set up to vertebrate the growth, associating radial tangents to the medina and two rings of boulevards. The opening of these lanes will, on occasion, involve the cancellation of current subdivision projects, or even the questioning of the initial projects of the military to make the routes of their camps and infrastructures sustainable.
Although some of the shots left are treated with care, the plan of 1914 takes the status of restructuring, based on circulatory models like those of Eugène Hénard, more than that of a true urban foundation. The hierarchy of the channels is transcribed in particular in the definition of their differentiated profile, whereas a consequent frame of places and free spaces are established, based in particular on the bipole constituted by the place of commerce the place of France – for which Prost imagine at first a Canebière of Casablanca, and the administrative place where will take place among others post of Adrien Laforgue, the court-house of Joseph Marrast and the town hall of Marius Boyer, place prolonged by a large park drawn by Albert Laprade. These two homes are connected by an arcaded street which participates in a fairly extensive system of ways to which a principle of architectural orders conferring a treatment unit on the ground floor and facades will be imposed. The establishment of district by-laws, associating various morphological servitudes, will make it possible to act not only on the right of the tracks but also in the depths of the islets.
THE SHADOW OF NEW YORK
Contrary to a generally accepted cliché, the three decades following Prost’s departure are not simply a cycle of peaceful implementation of his plan. It was during this period that the city became, in a fairly controlled manner, a very varied architecture, typical as in its forms, remaining contained within the defined main lines, thereby confirming the initial orientations. Some large-scale projects emerge, such as a voluntarist affirmation of the center of an industrial and port agglomeration whose growth continues in stages. Prost’s initial projects were confronted with the impenetrable obstacle of the Sidi Belyout cemetery, located between the new shopping center and the port. At the end of the 1920s, the relocation of the tombs became the sine qua non for the realization of a project that would mobilize most of the planning energies, while the blocks defined by the plan of 1914 were gradually filled up. The new district projected between the Place de France and the sea then takes the status of a business center, which will give a city, booming port, a face consistent with its ambitions. Prost himself remarks that the panorama of Casablanca, when one arrives at the sea, is rather despairing, it is a horizontal line without any effect and, if five or six large verticals came to erect on the landscape, there is It is hoped that the appearance of Casablanca would be much more satisfactory than at present.
In search of a new image for the city, the reference to New York will not fail to prevail. As early as 1914, the impetuous development of Casablanca made her think like an American-style city, while the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris, Walter Berry, breathed a Yankee atmosphere in the early 1920s. This comparison becomes a cliché under the pen of General d’Amade, for whom before the end of the century, North African France will be the United States and Casablanca New York. For her part, Leander Vaillat almost expects a group of skyscrapers to emerge in the heart of this city of conquerors, with a violent soul.
It is true that, as early as 1920, an entrepreneur had proposed service plans of the city an American-style building, containing only business offices, this unique monument of this kind in Europe still reaching only eight floors. This early theme takes on another dimension when the creation of a denser and more complex center is discussed in the late 1920s, the hypothesis of a relaxation of the regulation of heights around the Place de France is already acquired. It is now the doubling of this one which is decided in 1928, while the municipal commission is seized in 1930 of a more ambitious project of city, whose high constructions would fill this scattered view which surprises, this lack of order, apparent imbalance, drawing an expressive decoration of the character and the will of this city, an affirmation of its power and its will. While Prost continues to send directives enough then Paris, Antoine Marchisio, Edmond Brion, and Marius Boyer draw, each on their own, architectural transpositions of this new ambition.
During the Second World War, Casablanca is, more than ever, the hub of relations between France and North Africa, at least until the allied landing of 1942, which will ensure prosperity to last until Independence. In this last golden age, the city knows an Americanization much more marked than in metropolis, and which is strongly reflected in the architecture of the house. In charge of the Protectorate in 1944, Alexandre Courtois established in 1945 the first plan proposing an extension of the device imagined by Prost thirty years earlier, on a scale of a city whose population now reaches 500,000 inhabitants. The station is moved south, road access is consolidated, and a highway is proposed around the city to the south and east, while new green spaces are connected by continuous walks. At the edge of the medina transformed and curetted, the center of European affairs, implanted in buildings with recent, would redefine a place of France enlarged and dominated by a skyscraper. Several buildings corresponding to this ambition will be made in the early 1950s by Courtois himself.
THE SAGA ECOCHARD
With the second wind brought by the prosperity and the modernization of the post-war period, Casablanca sees its architecture being transformed. The first architects trained in France, such as Jean-François Zevaco and Elie Azagury, come back, while a new generation of professionals acquired functionalist theses take control of urban planning and several major sectors of construction. Moreover, the policy of the Protectorate is bending somewhat towards a more comprehensive and more concrete consideration of the aspirations of Moroccans through more ambitious and less symbolic public actions.
The urban transformations of the years 1945 to 1955 will be made under the influence of two distinct devices: on the one hand, the planners of the Protectorate, at the head of which Michel Ecochard works from 1946 to 1953, propose a new approach of the urban structure ; on the other hand, young functionalist architects of very different origins, among whom ATBAT-Africa is the closest team, radically transforms the approach to the question of housing, but also of hospital architecture. , schools, cinemas or industrial buildings. The technical culture of public works and the building is also changing under the influence of the processes brought by the U.S. Army Engineering, giving new tools to builders.
Michel Ecochard addresses the development of Moroccan cities with the baggage of his also under the experience of the Levant, but the influence of the principles of urbanism resulting from the experience of CIAM, that other teams strive to implement at the same time, like that of Marcel Roux and André Sive in Saarland. However, it is not until 1949 that he gets the green light to begin the study of the development plan and extension of an agglomeration. For Ecochard, the gigantic, almost monstrous character of Casablanca’s industrial boom, in comparison with that of other Moroccan cities, poses the case of excessive concentration.
The draft plan was drawn up in 1951 concerns an agglomeration perimeter broadening the framework defined by Courtois, in which three different forms of the extension are proposed. To the west of “Greater Casablanca”, the European districts are destined to develop in the form of large vertical units and suburban areas; in the south, new Muslim neighborhoods must cover a substantially equal surface, according to new morphological modalities, while the east is thought within the framework of a regional policy of large industrial and infrastructural equipment, relegating the commercial and real estate first decades to oblivion.
The fundamental contribution of the Ecochard team to reinforce the productive skeleton of the city, the industrial linear city stretching from Casablanca to Fédala, a parallel principle to the Three settlements on the shore, borrows his humans from Le Corbusier, themselves strongly inspired by the problems of Russian Nikolaj Miljutin. This industrial band, divided into “satellite cities”, is studied in its detailed arrangements, from factory subdivisions to drawing railways or feeder roads. Another Corbusian establishment, the farming units remain out of the field, while the city of radio-concentric exchanges, which exists since 1912, sees above all the realization of part of the business center of Sidi Belyout, discussed since 1930, in the form of a large radial road lined with large bars of offices and hotels.
In a general way, the ordering precepts of the Athens Charter are projected on the territory of the extended agglomeration, the traffic being restructured in connection with the highway leading from Anfa to Rabat, parallel to the ocean. It is laterally to the highway that the new Muslim neighborhoods are studied and, in part, built. For the first time since 1912, an attempt is made more to carry out operations-showcases like the Habbous, but to lay the foundations of housing policy for the greatest number.
The first major operation, conducted in 1953-1954 at the Central Quarries, combines the three levels according to which Ecochard intends to structure the Muslim home: a horizontal fabric of houses with courses, on which are located three collective buildings demonstrative of ATBAT-Africa and which is prolonged by the setting up of the sanitary frame (8 MX 8 m), minimal device allowing a regulation of the most economic subdivisions, and supposed to be able to accompany their densification.
Michel Ecochard will give his work on Casablanca a strong public impact, staging his fight against the forces of routine and bureaucracy, both during his stay on the spot, by a film and, after his eviction, by a book.
While France abandons a protectorate now untenable, and against which the Moroccan population of Casablanca is particularly insurgent, the policy of the team Ecochard will continue on the ground, and its main orientations will frame or “cash the development of the city for almost two decades, which will see the “weft” fill and become denser little by little.
In all, both in the built matter of Casablanca and in the disciplinary space of French urbanism, with its oscillations between aspirations to universality and inclinations to contextually and local specificities, the experiments carried out by successive urban planners the Protectorate is a first-class contribution. Against so many great final plans remained a dead letter, they will indeed cease to be reformulated and adapted, as they were, from the outset, forced to ensure a permanent and fragile arbitration between social classes and cultures national.
Casablanca: from the apartment building to the housing unit
As in the field of urbanism, three times may be distinguished during the period from 1912 to 1960. At the time of the constitution of the center of the new city, types of canonical dwellings develop in France, but who know here new perspectives. They are buildings with projections, corner buildings, buildings-1lots similar to their Parisian models, but where also reveal phenomena of cultural hybridization in the distribution and the decor, as well as in the modalities of the opening towards the ‘outside. The interest given to the intermediate spaces between interior and exterior is obvious. From the terrace to the large balcony through the pergola, a whole vocabulary is put in place. The loggias, the patios, the laundries with claustra, the | semi-private courses, describe in a very particular way the relation to the house which then has an internalized exterior, daily practiced, sometimes shared.
The 1930s were marked by the emergence of a domestic architecture where hygiene, salubrity, and comfort are interpreted in a specific way, both in the European city and in the new medina. The white buildings, with smooth facades, show the taste of architects for a clean aesthetic that allows however to maintain a certain monumentality. In the 1950s, theoretical and ideological discourse became more radical, especially those concerning an ideal art de vivre or the relationship between housing and solving social and inter-ethnic problems. The villas showcase their Californian or Scandinavian sources when Casablanca becomes embroiled in luxury and American household appliances, while the popular buildings show the efforts pursued in the field of social housing with the conceptual tools of Ciam or Atbat created by Le Corbusier. This experimental dimension of the city will be found in many operations. To the French or international doctrines to which the architects explicitly or implicitly associate themselves are the particular climatic data and the culture of the inhabitation which will be, at the beginning of the period, particularly well studied by the entourage of Lyautey, as testify it the innumerable books on traditional Moroccan architecture written then.
REFERENCES AND ADAPTATION, 1912-1930
Proud of the construction of each building that appears as modern, proud to see their city become a city of avant-garde, Casablancais follow the race to the most modern, the most comfortable because the housing crisis is rife, but also because the idea of participating in the creation of a new city is valued by many pioneering inhabitants. All types of buildings will be represented, from tall buildings with porticoes and downtown passageways to small apartment buildings in outlying areas reserved for the middle classes.
The idea of decision-makers supported by architects is to create a particular style, adapted to avoid pastiche and not to reproduce the “mistakes” made in other North African countries, The French administration sets up a particular policy vis-à-vis the natives. They will stay in their hometown while the new neighborhoods will develop independently. We know that Marshal Lyautey wanted to respect and value local traditions.
Architects, sponsors, and inhabitants
The first architects building in Casablanca immediately after the 1914-18 war, import their doctrinal position, their know-how and the styles of the metropolis well those, already transformed, of their place of formation, Algiers, Tunis, or even Italian architecture schools. Some, like Bousquet, Boyer, Balois, Cadet and Brion, Cormier, Gourdain, Hare, the most numerous, are d.p.l. and leave the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Others like the Pertuzio brothers were born in Algeria and were trained in Tunis. The Suraqui brothers born in Oran are members of the Professional Society of French Architects. Jabin, Arrivetx, and Cottet were born and trained in Algeria; the last is a laureate of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Algiers. Manasi is Curton, French, no graduate of the Milan Academy while was trained in Berlin. The theories, currents, and doctrines to which they refer, are, with a few slight variations, those which are in progress in Paris. Eclecticism and freedom are claimed and the rationalist position is associated with it. According to the date of arrival of the architects, the effects of the theoretical debates are read on the facades and in the plans of the buildings. They strive, however, to integrate the Moroccan dimensions; they observe local conditions and imported references are transformed by contact with a different urban civilization. Architects seek to take advantage of the specificities of the country’s production at the same time as they remain attentive to demand. Entrepreneurs of Italian origin (Ferrara, Selva Brothers, Biagio, Battaglia, Pappalardo) or French (Baille, Gouvernet and Lorentz), arrive, via Tunisia or more often Algeria, with an experiment of lifestyles and climate of the Maghreb countries. The know-how of the Moroccan master craftsmen and Italian masons are quickly recognized and exploited. Teams set up, mixing formations and ethnic origins.
The sponsors are, as elsewhere, institutional investors, for example, the big insurance companies, and the State represented here by the Protectorate. But private investors, in a country where land speculation and demand for housing only increase over time, play a predominant role. The rich or enriched Europeans, the big bourgeois Jews of North Africa, will join the Moroccan aristocrats and will make build on the one hand villas they will occupy and on the other hand buildings of reports, often by associated French architects to Italian entrepreneurs like Liscia, Ferrara or Selva. Housing demand is, over the entire period studied, more important than supply. In the early years of the Protectorate, the shortage is great and, from the hotel to the barracks, the solutions found to this question do not satisfy anyone. When the first buildings are built the question of their unsuitability to different population groups is raised. The influx of immigrants will make the issue of single housing crucial. Casablanca, at the beginning of its development, is indeed a city of singles, the hotels are numerous there and the first buildings, in spite of their size often imposing, shelter rather small apartments. Many buildings in the city center will be transformed into hotels. The French newly arrived after the First World War, remain cautious at the beginning and settle first in the small apartments of the city center but order quickly, for those who get rich, comfortable villas in the beautiful neighborhoods which are divided. At the same time, settlers, members of the middle class, or inhabitants of the towns of the interior arrive with their families or bring it in after having made sure of their situation. Some seek to rent large apartments while others settle in a precarious habitat, quickly called slum.
If the French represent the majority of Europeans, the characteristic of the Casablanca of the years 1920-1960 is the mixture of populations of various origins (Spanish, Italian and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Swedish, British and American, especially after the Second World War), as well as the influences between populations, the uncomplicated borrowing of different lifestyles. The French themselves, in addition to differences of regional origin, belong to two major groups: those who come from the mother country and totally ignore the lifestyles of North Africa and those who come from Algeria or Tunisia, often Jewish. The architects trained in the French schools, the entrepreneurs, the customers, belonging to this group, are very dynamic and contribute to create habits of life, tastes for certain types of habitat that they communicate to the metropolis.
Socially defined neighborhoods
At the moment when the French landed in Casablanca, the city was restricted to the medina where the Muslims live and the mellah, the Moroccan Jews.
The new city is in fact forbidden to the majority of Muslims. The medina remains the place of life of the working classes who work there or join businesses in the eastern districts. The favored social groups have like the other groups the same ideal, to live a villa in the residential districts preference for Anfa. The trading bourgeoisie begins to settle in the new city that is developing. She prefers to live in the city of large apartments close to her business, rather than villas in them with remote residential neighborhoods. But some residential neighborhoods are very close to the city center. Rural people newly arrived in the city first practice small trades and live in shantytowns before finding a more decent home. The new medina, built from 1918, and the beginnings of management of cheap housing by employers, will allow some of these newcomers, or displaced residents of the old neighborhoods of the city. city, to stay.
If the low-income Jewish population originally inhabits the mellah, populated mainly by those who come from cities ruined by the very existence of Casablanca (the port having monopolized the activities of other city-ports), the limits go by the following be less sliced for the better-off who will settle in the center but with a preference for the residential area of boulevard d’Anfa and Place de Verdun, near the mellah, places of worship, schools and the cemetery.
If in the imagery, the rich French “big colonists” dominate, the reality is much more complex. The French live in the city center or residential neighborhoods with high-value sites, but a large number of middle-class members live in low-income neighborhoods, modeled on the stereotype of the Basco-Béarnaise hybrid house or, more suburban Parisian pavilion. Leander Vaillat, a prophet of regionalism, pinpoints in this respect the petty-bourgeois taste of the colonists: In the French countryside, these tiles (red, mechanical) would indignant me. Here they symbolize, in a touching manner, the colonist’s attachment to the even mediocre aspects of France as he left it … and implacably transposes on a neutral ground the appearances of the departmental style.
Italians offer their automotive expertise, dominate as entrepreneurs or construction workers and live in the center of the city. The Spaniards are the largest foreign population after the French, and a district is developing where the less ortunate of them gather, that of Maarif.
From the island-building to the neo-Moorish houses
Adaptation to the particular conditions of a country in transformation and mixing several civilizations is seen through the establishment of specific housing programs. Court buildings on large islets that made a shy appearance in Paris before 1914, either in the context of cheap housing or in rare speculative transactions, seem to be considered models here. We observe the transformation of known types by displacement and adaptation to local conditions. This building with large courtyard is spread over several streets, still, a nascent model of Paris HBM, is revisited here to create homes, often luxurious, on very large plots. The recovery at the turn of the century corner building, a monument of domestic architecture that has the advantage of structuring the city, to organize the places, is added to form a type of building that diffuse and whose external monumentality (domes, turrets, decorated pediments, belvedere) sometimes hides the mediocrity of small apartments organized in a rather traditional way. Large block-buildings often have several marked angles
In modest buildings, rent or report, the distributive principles of the beginning of the century in France are faithfully resumed but associated with local devices, adaptation to the climate but also to a country where the domesticity is numerous and is part of the art of to live even poor settlers. The services are well separated from private parties and reception. Some of these downtown buildings have only two levels above the shops with a roof terrace with balusters, waiting for an elevation.
The question of low-cost housing and employers began to arise and achievements emerge, such as the housing that the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer has built in the station area, east of Casablanca, for its employees, hierarchical habitat that goes from the house-double, sheltering two families, to the apartment building. Worker neighborhoods are developing, far from the center, that of La Foncière is an example.
The first colonial villas, built-in residential neighborhoods. west of the city, are very similar to those of the Côte-d’Azur which are obviously a pregnant model. However, the profusion of terraces, verandas and especially the attention given to the place of each one, to the dissociation of the service and the other parts of the house – the numerous local domesticity lives in the house – also appears to the eighteenth-century mansion house with its wings and courtyards, its well-appointed reception rooms and its differentiation of male and female spaces.
The project of a new city, reserved for Muslims of modest incomes, aimed at decongesting the unsanitary medina, located near the port, and to reduce the “slums”, will be entrusted by Marshal Lyautey to Albert Laprade who, in 1917, passes this responsibility to the architect Auguste Cadet then associated with Edmond Brion. It is a native city or, more exactly, the city built by the French architects for the natives, die, of their scruples and by adding what our hygiene can add to it.
The knowledge of the traditional Moroccan houses is at the base of the plan of the houses built in this district of the Habbous, which differ from their model only by elements of comfort increasing the salubrity: entrance in chicane to protect the intimacy, rooms around a courtyard, as the customer requires, but also “all in the taste” and ceiling of reinforced cement rather than wood. Albert Laprade took as a model the poor houses of Rabat and Salé. The 257 houses were drawn one by one and the different sizes are mixed to find the variety of the original model. Intended for Moroccans arriving slums, they were quickly invested by wealthier families, often by neighborhood traders who had the means to live and maintain them.
Whether they refer to Art Nouveau, neo-Renaissance or neo-classical style in the 1910s or to Decorative Art in the following decade, architects collaborate with craftsmen, mosaics, ironworkers, furniture makers, decorators, and so on. The overloading of some facades and the purification of some others echo the debates found in the main French magazines of the time. However, knowledge and local taste are known and reorganized. It is at the level of the decoration that the phenomena of hybridization are the most obvious. Thus the meeting of Moroccan decorative art and the movement of Decorative Art will produce original decorations where ornate elements (colored earthenware or balconies made of cedarwood), friezes or well-defined panels, embellished white and bare facades.
Albert Laprade, telling about the houses of the Habbous that the German sculpted capitals or painted bouquets of flowers on the shutters, gives one of the keys to the understanding of the taste of the moderns for this architecture (the m’allemin) put the little note of art, stung from time to time in this voluntarily modest, archi-simple, supremely “cubist” set, one could say, but realized with cubes where one felt the hand of the man, life.
The decoration of the façades of the first large buildings in the center differs, at first glance, from that of the Parisian buildings of the same period than by borrowing from the zellige tradition. They replace the flamed sandstone, used by modern architects in Parisian buildings a few years ago (Jules Lavirotte, Auguste Perret, Andre Arfvidson, Paul Guadet). They satisfy those looking to decorate the facades but also to put on the concrete. The zelliges, frescoed or decorating the pediments, are used by architects who want to take advantage of a local resource and know-how and wish the fruitful encounter between the decor adapted to the concrete and an aesthetic choice. They allow local variations of art nouveau style or decorative art using, as is traditional in Moroccan craftsmanship, geometric play, and letters.
About the hotel of the military command of Casablanca built by Albert Laprade, Georges Rémon gives at the same time the definition of a style and an attitude which characterizes the architecture of the beginning of the development of the city: Laprade, while refraining from reproducing the archaeological details in abundance, has nevertheless preserved, on the whole, the lines that prevail in the countries of the sun, and discreetly transposed the data specific to the Andalusian-Moroccan style. But if the essential rhythm of the building is of local inspiration, the general formula is modern: big nudes without ornaments, large loggias, large longitudinal bays wherein the shadow projected by the projections in the canopy, can read delicate delicacy.
A material, granito, will meet a success that will not be denied at any time. One can speculate, given its appearance after the arrival of Europeans in Casablanca, and because it is a rather particular technique, that Italian entrepreneurs have proposed their know-how and have adapted here the “Terrazzo Veneziano” forming the floor of Venetian palaces for several centuries or the “batuto genovese” (or napoletano). Most of the floors of apartment entrances, ramps, window sills and the floors of apartments and villas are covered and can thus be washed out.
The goal that most architects arriving in Casablanca have set themselves seems to be to build a modern architecture that takes into account the particular climatic conditions, benefiting from the latest comfort data, demanded by the customers, and using adaptation to the country, decorative styles, and local materials.
BETWEEN DECORATIVE ART AND FUNCTIONALISM 1930-1944
This second period sees other architects enter the Casablanca scene (Desmet, Renaudin, Balois ..) while the references of some are transformed and the Viennese building of the 30s is reinterpreted. It differs from the first two decades by the abandonment of the neo-Moorish style in favor of a clean aesthetic and moderate modernity, where, most often, work on volume takes precedence over the decor. But the most important thing is not there. These buildings, whether they are traditional investment buildings or low-rent buildings, are at the forefront of the modern design, hygiene and comfort of the times: their basements are equipped with garages reserved for tenants, most have garbage incinerators; equipped bathrooms are installed even in smaller apartments, dryers, and laundries are considered essential and it seems impossible to avoid at least one elevator, often doubled by a service lift. In the new neighborhoods where the lanes are wide, ten-story buildings begin to appear.
As in France at the same time, in bourgeois housing in the city center or in nearby residential areas, two types compete with each other: the villa and the large, very modern apartment, signed by an architect, in a neighborhood valued by its central position or for its calm and its greenery), provided with the last elements of comfort (elevator, bathroom, kitchen and office, oil central heating). The omnipresence of domesticity (while in France at the same time, it tends to disappear) implies a particular distribution structure that resembles that of the luxury home of the beginning of the century: double entry into the dwelling, a second toilet Often located in a courtyard outside the apartment or opening on a service bridge, clear separation of service areas, private and public parties.
Marius Boyer will be the architect who, having understood the part he could draw from the experiments of Henri Sauvage, but also projects not realized in Paris, will work on the adaptation of the type of the building with terraces conditions Casablancaises. First of all, there is a strong demand from sponsors who know that they are going to meet a desire of the inhabitants and uses included in the Moroccan culture. The terrace or rooftop terrace supports both the domestic and the relational life of women. In Casablanca the climate is very humid, it is cool in winter; if the sun is welcome a good part of the year, we know how to defend it in summer. Eating on the terrace, sleeping there sometimes is readily practiced. Then, the plots on which the Casablanca building is set up are much larger than the Parisian plots, the richer and always voluntary sponsors when it comes to showing their modernity.
Small apartment buildings often have them-if all these elements of comfort (garages, incinerators, elevators). On the roof terrace accessible to all, often equipped with a common laundry room, an area is reserved for drying clothes of the various tenants. This does not prevent the presence of a particular laundry room at each apartment, often claustra. The cloisters have an equivalent in the local culture: Moucharabieh which adorns the windows of the traditional houses and allows to ventilate without questioning the intimacy, to see without being seen. The corridors, very present, do not seem to be criticized here.
Until then the single apartments were the result of chance, the remains of the adjustment to the plot, or parts separated from an apartment to be rented. At this period, they become a prestigious program, the Hare bachelor and duplex studios of Marius Boyer, the most stripped modern building, built-in 1933, are seen as the avant-garde of the time.
Housing public service employees and helping the French or European working class to find housing became an emergency in a crisis situation; H.B.M appear. It seems that the standards of surface and comfort are higher than in metropolis and the programs adapted to local standards. Thus the apartment building at low rents built-in 1935 by Marcel Desmet, Boulevard de la Gare, includes ten floors with studios and a large covered terrace on the top floor. a main staircase and a service staircase. It benefits from the same services as the rental properties mentioned above. The living room and dining room form a large room with a loggia opening onto the living room. The equipped kitchen opens on both a small courtyard with a service WC and on the dining room.
Full and empty facades
The facades are stripped, a new aesthetic plays on the horizontal, the drawing of the full and empty, without overload decorative. The “beautiful, quiet nudes” evoked by pre-war critics in Paris dominate there. It is, as a critic remarks, the evolution of an architecture which after being held to the type known as “box of rents” and to the pastries Louis XVI passed by a kind of neo-Arab style … for to come to a style that draws its beauty only from the perfect adaptation to the climate and to the local mæurs. The dominant decorative dimension for the facades of the preceding period gave way to the play of volumes, to rational reflection; the décor is based on interior distribution choices: bow-windows and balconies that enlarge the rooms, terraces that allow daily activities outside, corbelled loggias, structure the building and its facade. The style liner is wreaking havoc and oculi and bridges are not counted anymore. The materials used are usually local: gray vein marl of Oued Yquem, with the red vein of Oued Akreuch for entrances to buildings and luxury housing; mosaics, zelliges, glass paste, terrazzo for floors and walls, wrought iron for doors are used for most types of homes.
THE PERIOD OF THE SPECIFIC HABITAT, 1945-1956
In the 1950s, an even more elaborate reflection on the program, following experiments on the collective housing of Le Corbusier and the Charter of Athens, is based on socio-ethnological research. It is based on the differences observed between the lifestyles of the three populations present, to design the habitat according to habits related to the country of origin, what Ecochard names secular habits. These populations are very roughly defined, according to a differentiation that may seem today at the limit of racism and especially according to heterogeneous criteria: religious for Muslims and Jews, nationals for Europeans perceived, oddly enough, as having a unified culture. Under this differentiation in terms of race lies a differentiation in terms of social class: a Muslim or a Jew Moroccan and rich are considered Europeans with a western way of life, and one makes suitable habitat only for the poor. On the other hand, the different age classes or marital status will be taken into account, as far as the economic situation of the inhabitants the buildings will be conceived for example for Muslims with very small means, for young European households, for singles
Galloping demography “and habitat for the greatest number
The serious housing crisis that began with the development of Casablanca still lasts in 1955 despite the effort undertaken to build large cities, or even the creation of peripheral neighborhoods combining small single-family houses and buildings. The rural exodus of Moroccans and the arrival of Europeans fleeing their country before and after the Second World War makes the situation extremely difficult, especially since, as early as 1937, the urbanization program was halted by the war. After the war and under the direction of Michel Ecochard from 1946, it will be, as elsewhere, to build the habitat for the greatest number, especially to remove shantytowns that recreate as soon as shaved. Casablanca, which has nearly 700,000 inhabitants in 1952, appears to be one of the islands developed in a largely underdeveloped country. Its population increased by 85% between 1921 and 1951, a period that saw many nomads settle in coastal towns.
The editorialist of the special issue of Today’s Architecture on North Africa published in 1955 reveals the anxiety created by this situation, but also shows a real premonition of future judgment when he writes: We are obsessed with the “number”, blinded by notions of quantity and economy, and our concern to endow each with a minimum social dwelling, would sometimes lead us to forget that men have requirements that dominate purely material functions.
SPECULATION AND SEGREGATION
In carrying out the proposed routes, the introduction of a very extensive expropriation procedure will make it possible to carry out the new roads very quickly, both through the administrative acquisition of certain parcels and by means of urban consolidation. Land reclamation technique experienced in Germany for the piercing of the arcade boulevard linking the center to the railway station. Speculation, therefore, is judged by taking into account the collective interest that gives everyone equal opportunity to profit. Prost also has to face the rapacity of certain technicians and administrators of the Protectorate, to whom he opposes a daily and fierce resistance.
But the new element introduced by Prost is, without question, the definition of a set of zones, according to the practice inaugurated in Germany, then diffused to America, and that the Section of urban and rural hygiene of the Social Museum had long discussed. Four main zones are defined: the indigenous city, whose constructions are limited to two floors, the central area of housing and commerce, the industrial zones, reserved for unhealthy, inconvenient or dangerous establishments and the pleasure areas for the villas or private dwellings. The methodological scope of Prost’s work is evidenced by his ultimately unfulfilled wish to establish a specific urban planning manual in Morocco. Looking back at the development of Casablanca, on whose destiny he will continue to consult his 1923 until the beginning of the 19
30s, Henri Prost evoked the limits of land consolidation and the way it was done, because the application of this difficulty was insurmountable when the surfaces required by the road network of the main arteries absorbed almost entirely the private domain compensations elsewhere. The fact remains that the realization of the architectural orders and the good enough.
The average quality of the buildings has given the city exceptional continuity and diversity, notably the quality of the public spaces in the center, branching out into arcades and covered passages and the marking of the streets by public buildings.
Finally, the road plan realized in Casablanca is undoubtedly one of the first to fully take into account not only the infrastructural and industrial problems, which still remain, in metropolis, to the state of fantasy when Leon Jaussely develops his extension plan for Paris in 1919, but also the requirements of an extremely early auto mobilization throughout Morocco. Carved around the size of the cars, the main arteries make it possible to quickly connect the rather distant pleasure districts, the shopping center, and the factories, while the garages take their place among the first great monuments of the city.
When Prost leaves, the main part of the city’s road structure is defined, with very distinctive entities, whether reserved for the luxury residence, such as the villa district of Anfa, whose development begins. by the upper part of the hill, or business, as the center, or conceded to the Muslim population, as the “new medina” of the district of Habbos.
In reaction against the filthy agglomerations, the infamous derbs where the army of workers mobilized by the colonization is concentrated, the hypothesis of new and well-established native districts, allowing the transfer of the workers and destroying the slums, is formulated by Prost of 1914. In the neighborhood of the palace built by the Protector for the Sultan, and of which Forestier will draw the gardens in 1916, dozens of hectares will be ceded by an Israeli landowner, Mr. Bendahan, Habbous or property ligeux. Voluntarily closed to vehicular traffic, the neighborhood includes a market, a mosque, a hammam, fondouks, arranged according to a system of streets and squares lined with arched porticoes, hemmed with pergolas with wooden lattice, as in traditional cities Moroccan. This tasty meditation on the theme of Eastern life pursued by European artists, in the words of Léandre Vaillat, is the result of a patient work of analysis and survey of ancient architectures, undertaken by Albert Laprade, the first architect of the city, which will succeed Auguste Cadet. Later, Cadet, associated with Edmond Brion, will realize in the neighborhood of the Habbous the reserved area, a closed city where, since it is impossible to suppress the debauchery, he will at least be tempted to stem it and (to) prevent it from rot in the shallows.
But these few urban fragments, carefully designed and cleverly presented to the metropolitan public, will, whatever their qualities, be far from sufficient to shelter the working-class population in continuous growth. It will find its place in an unplanned district and called Bidonville because, as Pierre Mac Orlan says, this capital of the mouse is built-in oil drums and corrugated iron.
Economic housing “adapted” to culture
Michel Ecochard’s ideas on the design of a habitat-specific to each culture meet those of modern architects, such as Candilis, Woods, Bodiansky from the Atbat-Afrique study office or Gaston Jaubert. It is a question of trauver a type of dwelling respecting the traditional habits while allowing the progressive transformation of the way of life.
For Muslims, the goal is to create different types of habitats that allow on the one hand the resettlement of slum dwellers (who then completely surround the city center), on the other hand to offer them traditional houses on the ground floor. floor with the rooms opening onto a patio, finally to offer high-rise European design with the opening to the outside or traditional design with patio openings bunk. The Atbat-Afrique team (V. Bodiansky, G. Candissis, and S. Woods, architects, H. Piot, engineer) proposes, as part of his reflections on the economic habitat, an experimental city reserved for slum dwellers who follow these principles. One of the two-storeys closed-patio buildings and another facade with protruding walkways … is for the people who have remained most attached to Muslim ethics.
Jean Hentsch and André Studer are building, for the Moroccan land group, eleven four-storeys buildings (studs and tower), with pilings supporting patios where the water block is located. The patios are supposed to preserve to the habitat its cultural dimension: Maintenance for each dwelling of the “patio” in its traditional conception, that is to say in the open sky, closed to the foreign eyes, and remaining the center of the housing, on which give all the pieces23. However these apartments, from one to four rooms, are organized and built in a very modern way since they are through, the rooms are glazed and the “wet rooms” grouped together. The buildings are built of reinforced concrete with bricks, coated with plaster and granito floors. Michel Ecochard had very rightly planned that the superimposed patios will certainly be used as living rooms what we can observe today. This good idea of the reinterpreted patio does not take into account its communication function between neighbors: in its suspended patio, today’s woman is like a bird in a cage, notes André Adam.
The housing of the Israelites living in the old unhealthy medina will be studied by Michel Ecochard. But not all of them should be relocated to cheap housing because a noticeable change has occurred: The rise in the standard of living of a certain number of these inhabitants will make them relocate to neighborhoods close to the Mellah while the inhabitants of these latter districts will seek to emigrate to areas of residence further to the west. It will choose, to relocate the poor Israelites, the district of the lighthouse of El Hank, then desolate district, empuanti by the arrival of the sewers and where the winds carrying spray make life difficult, even if only the services will be installed The Israelites, including the very poor, will refuse to live in large numbers. This “adapted” habitat is modeled on the current H.L.M. stereotype, to which patios have been added. Michel Ecochard justifies it as follows: The habits of the Israelite population in Morocco are getting closer and closer to that of the Europeans. However, some traditions have remained alive. They respond to ancestral customs and rules of life peculiar to the African climate. The building also has an open double-height patio extending the living rooms. The accommodations are on one level with exterior traffic by passageways.
“European-type” housing poses less difficult questions to solve as metropolitan models of economic housing exist and are easily adaptable to climatic conditions. Moreover, the growth of this population is slower, and all the more so as the feeling of insecurity, linked to the Moroccans’ claim for independence, is increasing. The idea applied is, by referring to theories defended by Le Corbusier, to make buildings freely oriented, on a free ground too: We managed to implement simple volumes, oriented, releasing the ground and fixing between facades the distances compatible with a total sunshine, and to provoke by a judicious distribution of the volumes, a phenomenon of microclimate.
The specification by status
If in 1955, the decision-makers announce and write that they try to mix the types of habitat and give as example the Beaulieu district where one finds strip villas and small buildings from three to five floors, in a park, With the ground a commercial concentration, it is perhaps to try to palliate a segregation by quarter quite cynical.
The districts of Casablanca are not only structured by religious belief or country of origin, they are well defined by social class and economic level: Beausé day or Beaulieu for the European middle class, Maârif for the poor Spaniards, Anfa for the Europeans and the possessing Jews, the Polo for affluent Moroccans, the new medina for the modest Muslims, the districts of the center of the city for the tradesmen and the craftsmen, all origins confused, but always excluding the Moslem Moroccan traders who arrive from the districts which are reserved for them to work in their shops in the center.
On the other hand, a division by age and status has also appeared: youth housing, for young households, are added to single housing, as well as housing for civil servants, etc.
Functionality and adaptation to lifestyles
Faced with this punctilious specification, another trend is strong, more related to a reflection internal to the discipline and which, lowering the characteristics of the different cultures of the living, puts forward the universality of the needs of the man, and hence the internationalization of architecture. The same architects will paradoxically defend the two points of view, often dissociating temporalities: they propose an adapted architecture, but which should nevertheless lead gently to the inhabitants to adopt modern lifestyles, notably by the effect of example or ‘influence. The architecture advocated is, in fact, modeled on a model, certainly ideal, but especially from the rational and functionalist stream and not centered on architecture as a fact of culture. There would be basic needs shared by all that could serve as a basis for reflection.
Between archaism and modernity of the human species, they do not choose and sometimes refer to one or the other, just as they call on the one hand to culture, to make a habitat adapted to the uses the country and on the other hand to modern civilization, to make everyone live in the same type of space: for all needs in light, space, hygiene, rest, education and work.
While in metropolitan France the direct relationship with the client is rare, the order of luxurious villas, functional and adapted to the country, by customers both rich and open to modern architecture, is common in Casablanca in the 50s. The war did not as in the impoverished metropolis the country but revived the economy, or at least enriched some social groups, those who can then access the luxury housing. The privileged areas are in the west: Anfa, Upper Anfa, and Val d’Anfa, as well as all those who surround this area, close to the sea without having the drawbacks of the spray, but also to the south, as Le Polo and Les Crêtes.
Customers who want to build a luxurious villa at the end of the 40s have in front of them, thanks to the cinema, a range of adapted models. American cinema, and the American film capital, with a climate similar to that of Casablanca, the two cities being located on the same parallel, provides in the dream the haves. Los Angeles appears to many as a place of interesting experiences for the future of their city. The Americans themselves are your presence in the city. The base of Nouaceur, installed a few kilometers away, makes it possible to equip oneself with avant-garde household appliances, to listen to the broadcasts of the American radio and to read the decorating magazines that make the bourgeois dream. On the other hand, architects are particularly interested in the luxury homes of Neutra, Bruce Goff or Schindler as the programs requested by customers where oceanfront sites are often similar. Despite their sometimes provocative formal modernity, luxury villas still use their program in mansions or apartments, equipped with all the modern comforts of Parisian buildings in the beautiful neighborhoods at the turn of the 20th century, despite the modern aesthetics of the 1950s. open reception, smoking room to the lingerie, the hall to the roof terrace, nothing is missing.
Elie Azagury reinterprets the patio of the traditional Moroccan house in a villa on the hill of Anfa with an exceptional view of the city. Critics note the evolution of the local device adapted to a different way of life, that of Europeans: The patio abandons its traditional character in Morocco to participate widely in the reception rooms and opens widely on the terrace overlooking the garden and the garden. city.
Large speculative operations, as well as small buildings commissioned by private owners, continue to offer the poorly housed residents of Casablanca, very comfortable apartments. In this category, the duplexes made a remarkable entrance. The Morandi Liberty building offers the Casablancers a solution, the seventeen storey tower building, which amazes them. The newspapers of the time testify to a question widely shared: can we live with pleasure so high, having so many neighbors? The pride of living in a city with the tallest building in Africa will not remove some people’s doubts about the quality of life in a tower.
Casablanca represents a set of different currents of modern and contemporary architecture. Here good ideas have been developed, others, which have sometimes proved otherwise catastrophic, have been adopted. Some elements of architectural modernity have been successes here. Coating, for example, does not age as quickly in this climate as in Europe; terraces, loggias, roof terraces, patios, piles are welcome because, while aerating and sanitizing the house, they are part of cultural practices spread quickly among foreigners. Some of these devices have always been parts of Moroccan culture, such as the rooftop terrace and the ancestor of the cloister, Moucharabieh. The successful alliance of the traditional little cottage, sparingly decorated white cube, and a modern vision of architecture is patent. The tall buildings of the early development of the city bear witness to a moment of architectural thought; they are also indispensable elements of the urban structure. The attention paid to the comfort of their apartments makes them, even today, pleasant to live in. An object of study that is valuable for the sake of understanding. Casablanca is an extension of urban planning and architecture, both French and international, insofar as it is well established in a multipolar field and not in the only metropolitan / Protectorate dialogue. On the other hand, the urban policies put in place, the mixed architectures have created a process of interaction between the old city and new city, the architecture of progress and architecture of the tradition which deserves to be better explored. Highlighting this complex story that allows us to assess the quality of these architectural achievements can also be useful in defining and understanding an exceptional heritage, at a time when public preservation strategies are extending to the architecture of the 20th century.
FRENCH ARCHITECTS WHO BUILT MODERN MOROCCO
Societe Generale Maroc, a building designed by Edmond Gourdain in Ville Nouvelle (New Town) of Casablanca, Morocco, showing a combination of Hispano-Moorish and French Art Deco styles.
HISTORY – When he arrived in 1912 in Morocco, the resident general Hubert Lyautey already has plans for the new Moroccan cities: they will be in the withdrawal of the medinas, said “native” cities, will be real laboratories of experimentation and will be inspired all the same from the local culture.
And who better to manage this large site than Henri Prost? Recommended by the landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, he is appointed the head of the Department of architectural and urban planning services of the jurisdiction.
Born in Saint-Denis on 25th of February in 1874 in a northern suburb of Paris, He began his studies at the Special School of Architecture and was admitted in 1893 to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in the Lambert studio. After having been a logistic three times, he obtained the first Grand Prix of Architecture in 1902 on the program “A National Printing Office.” Pensioner of the Academy of France in Rome, he stays at the Villa Medici in Italy. He chooses for his fourth-year regulatory dispatch the reconstitution of Hagia Sophia of Constantinople in Turkey.
Returning to France, he won in 1910, the first prize of the international competition for the extension plan of Antwerp. In 1911, his drawings of restoration of Hagia Sophia were exhibited at the Salon of French artists who awarded him his medal of honor.
The same year, he founded, with Agache, Auburtin, Bérard, Forestier, Hénard, Hébrard, Jaussely, Parenty and Redont the French Society of Planners (SFU).
In 1913, on the recommendation of G. Risler (Urban and Rural Hygiene section of the Social Museum), he was called by Marshal Lyautey to direct the architectural services of the Protectorate in Morocco. In this capacity, he draws up the master plans of Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Meknes, Marrakech and elaborates the project for the General Residence of Rabat
A French urban planner and architect, Prost was best known for his job in Turkey and Morocco and, where he designed several large urban plans for Casablanca, Marrakech, Fes, Rabat, Meknes, and Istanbul, that includes transport system as well as boulevards with plazas, buildings, squares parks, and promenades.
Prost brought a group of urban planners, architects, and landscapers who will make large Moroccan cities a real lab experiment. Together, they’ll perfect the Art Deco style, a resolutely modern architecture, using the latest materials and an oriental touch, without sinking into pastiche.
A colonial medina in Habous
In 1923 New Medina was created, the Habous quarter, to be able to build a definite separation between the Moroccan quarters and the European and offer immigrants more space in Casablanca’s traditional structures.
Prost lived for ten years in Morocco, and later the city was glorified as a triumphant tale upon applying the principles of urbanism. In 1923, he left Morocco but will continue the work begun since the metropolis.
“l’Institut d’urbanisme” and the Special School of Architecture “l’Ecole spéciale d’architecture” with a course entitled “Art and technique of the construction of cities”.
In 1928, Prost was charged with establishing the master plan of the Paris region, which the law of May 14, 1932, made compulsory. The plan it presents in May 1934 shows agglomeration perimeters around cities, to limit the anarchic development of the individual habitat and limit the consequences in terms of degradation of sites and landscapes. The plan also puts in place a structure of rapid communication routes.
In 1932, Prost animated, with its founder Jean Royer, the first issue of the journal Urbanisme.
In 1933, he is responsible, with the engineer Marcel Rotival, to establish the development plan of the Algiers region.
Henri Prost was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1933 and president of the Central Society of Architects in 1936.
Between 1936 and 1951, as part of the reforms initiated by Mustafa Kemal former president of Turkey to modernize Turkey, Prost was appointed urban planner of Istanbul and charged to establish the master plan. The aim is to adapt the ancient city, with its three sectors of the Golden Horn, Beyoglu and the Asian coast, to the conditions of modern life. It establishes recreation parks, protected areas around historical monuments, clears mosques for scenic effects, and advocates safeguarding habitat and traditional activities.
He passed away in Paris on July 16, 1959.
In 1947, Michel Ecochard succeeded Henri Prost and continued this project, which will give birth to modern Moroccan cities as we know them today.
Also an archeologist, Michel Ecochard studied at the Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1925 to 1931. He worked in Syria and Lebanon from 1931 to 1944. He was appointed Director of the Urban Planning Department of Morocco in 1946, a position he held until in 1953. It carries out the plan of development and extension of Casablanca, 1949-1952, as well as those of most other cities of Morocco.
In this role, Michel became the lead in big expansion programs, usually in Casablanca. Initially, Ecochard together with his team of planners and architects from France examined cityscape and the informal lodging in Morocco which is severely laid out on the territory. From there, they try to look for fast resolutions for the lodging scarcity in a nation were countryside areas were being left in favor of the major industrialized cities. In this setting, Ecochard created a decisive urban planning survey tool to be able to review the foregoing conditions and the cultural, social, and commercial setting.
Fez, Marrakech, Meknes or Casablanca were mainly built by French architects whose mission was to imagine the Moroccan city of today.
Marius Boyer, the master of art deco
Among the instigators of this architectural revolution is Marius Boyer. In Casablanca, the very austere Vox cinema and the discreet and yet meticulously decorated Hotel Volubilis, it is him. When talking about the colonial architecture of the white city, the name of Marius Boyer is inevitable. It is one of the architects who have most marked the modern city of Casablanca with his stroke of a pencil.
Marius Boyer graduate from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1904 and was one of the precursors of the art deco style. He landed in Casablanca around 1919 and joined forces with the architect Jean Balois from 1925 to 1929.
It did not prevent the architect from diversifying the composition of facades, to juggle between buildings overloaded with ornamentation and purely functionalist buildings. Some of his notable works: Hotel Volubilis (1920), Town Hall (1927-1936) now Wilaya, Hotel Anfa (1938, destroyed), Glaoui building (1922), Atlas Hotel (1922-1923), Building of the Comptoir des Mines (1923), Commercial Bank of Morocco (1930), Building Asayag or Assayag (1930-1932), Military Circle, Cinema Vox (1935, destroyed) at the time the largest cinema in Africa, Villa El Mokri
Jean Balois, the functionalist architect
Although he has long been in the shadow of his partner Marius Boyer, Jean Balois has nevertheless shone on the Moroccan architectural scene. Arrived in Morocco in 1919, this architect graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, initially practiced in the architectural services of the General Residence before opening his office architect in Rabat. He then collaborates with Boyer with whom he installs an office in Casablanca. His most outstanding works? The Jules Ferry school group and the Glaoui building in Casablanca, as well as a building on the corner of Mohammed V Avenue and Alexandria Street in the new city of Rabat.
Edmond Brion studied at the Paris School of Fine Arts in the Paulin studio and in 1911, he went to École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He built the Tasso building in 1931 and that of the Commercial Grain Corporation.
Its two major buildings are the Bendahan courtyard building in 1935, which borders the 16-November Square then called “Place Edmond-Doutté” and the Bank al-Maghrib. After 1935, the date of his separation from Cadet, Brion moved away from the neo-Moroccan and art-deco styles characterizing their common achievements. It asserts itself in a modern, luminous and stripped writing, of which the Bendahan building is an exemplary illustration. Built on a trapezoidal plot, the building offers, on a ground floor reserved for businesses, four levels of housing, including three with apartments of three to four rooms.
It also realizes the building of the Moroccan Company of distribution of water, gas, and electricity (1919-1920), that of Grand Bon Marché, Boulevard of the Station, and the building Baille in Bouskoura street, place Edmond-Doutté (1930). He is the author of the trade passage SUMICA and the building of Grand Socco Boulevard de la Gare (1929).
Arrived in Casablanca at the end of the First World War, Auguste joined Edmond Brion until the mid-30s, plays a decisive role in the realization of the new Medina Habous district, based on an initial project of Albert Laprade.
Some of his important works include Habous Quarter, Semi-Detached Villa in rue Rouget de Lisle, Villa Capt, Moulay Youssef Mosque, 1925 Ministry of Health “Ministère de la Santé” (Central Pharmacy) in rue des Ouled Ziane, Michaut building, streets of the Post Office, Poincaré and Clemenceau, Villa Gras in rue Voltaire, Alexandre Bouvier building and the Moroccan Metallurgical Society “la Société marocain métallurgique”, Building and passage of the Grand Socco, Villa Goulven in rue de Nieuwpoort, Villa Theil in rue Defly-Dieude
His masterpiece, specially Mahkama Pasha of Casablanca, bordering this new medina where the highlight of his career takes place.
Auguste and Edmond created what represents today one of the most atypical neighborhoods of the economic capital. Associated until the mid-30s, they planned the district Habous. A community mixing residences and businesses bringing its soul in the Moorish identity, but which conceals in its details a spirit of modernity. Together, they also design estate banks in Morocco, including Marrakech, Jamaâ El-Fna, El Jadida, and Oujda.
In 1956, he passed away in Casablanca.
Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, the defender of plant heritage
Forestier will make Marrakech and Rabat garden cities. In the 1920s, this French landscape architect is responsible for thinking the very spirit of the Moroccan capital. He then implements a series of parks following a “special plan of free spaces.” An action he undertakes to preserve and enhance the plant heritage of Rabat. In Marrakech, the network of parks is already existing, but the landscape architect is busy integrating it into the planning of new European neighborhoods.
Henri Tastemain, the architect of the reconstruction of Agadir
Tastemain is one of the last arrivals, and certainly one of the youngest French architects who arrived in Morocco towards the end of the jurisdiction. Graduated in 1950 from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he came with his wife in Morocco to found his firm. It is to him that we entrust the construction of the leading Moroccan faculties. Thus, he draws the buildings currently hosting the faculties of the science of Fez, Marrakech, Rabat, and Casablanca. Tastemain is also known to have been one of the architects of the reconstruction of Agadir, following the earthquake that struck the seaside town in 1960.
Henri Tastemain was born in Paris in 1922 and died in Paris on March 6th, 2012.
He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1940 in workshops Perret and Lods and graduated in 1950 (Guadet price). He collaborated with Paul Nelson in 1947. He worked as an urban planner in Morocco under the direction of Michel Ecochard and Jean Chemineau in 1948 and 1949. He moved to Rabat, in association with his wife Eliane Castelnau, in 1951. In 1959 and 1960, he is consulting architect of the French Cultural and Academic Mission in Morocco. In 1967, he received the 3rd prize at the Pessac monetary institution. Henri Tastemain teaches at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris in 1969. In 1970, he is the chief architect of the ZAC of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen. In 1971, the company Matra named him architect consultant. In the years 1975-1980, he built several faculties of science in Morocco.
Pierre Jabin, the intellectual architect
Born in Blida, Algeria in 1894, Jabin moved to Morocco after the end of the First World War. First in Casablanca, where he opens his offices, then in Agadir, where he retires. It is to Pierre Jabin that we owe the art deco cinema Rialto, one of the first places dedicated to the seventh art that was born in Casablanca, in 1930. The French architect “used the pencil and the feather with the same ease,” as the quarterly magazine Notre Maroc wrote in 1950. Jabin took the opportunity to contribute to several national media to expose his vision of architecture, city, and urbanism.
In 1919 when the war was over, he settled in Morocco. He was active in Casablanca and was associated with François Pénicaud.
He is the author in Casablanca, among others, of the Villa Cohen (1931), the Moretti-Milone building (1934-1935), the Rialto cinema (1929), the brasserie Le Petit Poucet (1929) and the Liscia building and Lux cinema (1937).
Pierre Jabin died in Nantes in 1967.
Adrien Laforgue, the architect of the State
Born in 1871, Adrien Laforgue practiced in Rabat from 1912 until his death in 1952. In Casablanca, he is the author of the Central Post Office (La Poste) which was built at the same time as the current French consulate and took as a model, the Grand’Poste of Algiers, made a few years ago. He is also the man behind the Office Cherifien des Phosphates and the Rabat city station, which The opposite of the place still occupied by military encampments at the time. He died in 1952.
Albert Greslin, the architect with luxury tastes
Casablanca said thank you for having designed its municipal slaughterhouses, become one of the typical places of the underground culture of the economic capital. Greslin, who arrived in Morocco two years before the First World War, was passionate about big-budget projects, where he could create luxurious places where comfort is required. One remembers, in particular, the building of the Imcama, which cost not less than 8 million francs at the time of its construction in Casablanca. He is also responsible for several renowned villas on the outskirts of Casablanca and the church of Maarif, in the same city.
Edouard Delaporte, the concrete lover
Born in Paris in 1909, Delaporte began painting in 1929 when he was 20 years old. He went to school at the Paris’ Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts and came to be an architect in 1937, recognized by the government. He was called to serve in World War II in 1939. When the war was over, Delaporte left France in 1946, and transferred to Rabat, Morocco. For a decade he built several villas, government buildings, and private homes. Upon Morocco’s independence in 1956, he returned to France and settled in Antibes. He transferred to a small town in the interior of Nice in Saint-Jeannet, in 1978 where he devoted himself to painting. He died at his home, Place sur le Four on 6th of July 1983.
It is to him that we owe Villa Delaporte to Casablanca, bearing his name. Nowadays an art gallery, this building is distinguished by the clarity of its spaces, its resolutely modern design, drawing its ornamentation in the Moroccan culture. The architect and painter Edouard Delaporte, who arrived in Rabat after the Second World War, also built several emblematic buildings in the city of Rabat using concrete as a material of choice. Among them, we remember including the gymnasium of the Foch stadium or the Ben Kemoun building in Rabat.
Delaporte arrived in 1913 in Casablanca. He signed with the Perret brothers Paris-Maroc stores which was inaugurated in 1914 became the Moroccan Galleries, demolished in the 1970s.
He is also the author of the Excelsior hotel, the Maret building and the small villas of the rue du Parc.
The Excelsior, decorated with a whitewashed colonial frontage and Spanish tile, was designed by Hippolyte-Joseph Delaporte, a French architect in 1916.
Albert Laprade (29 November 1883 – 9 May 1978) was a French architect, perhaps best known for the Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris. Attached to the general residence of France in Rabat Morocco, where he is the deputy of Henri Prost, the urban planner of Lyautey. He participates in the construction of the indigenous city of Casablanca and has conducted extensive field studies of Moroccan urban architecture before he set out to design the neighborhood in 1917
Albert Laprade is the architect of the General Residence of Rabat and the lighthouse of El Hank also called Phare d’el Hank, as well as the French consulate in Casablanca built-in 1922.
In 1928, called the new architectural style that was developing in Morocco as a “synthesis of the Latin spirit and love for autochthonous art”. He saw the vision as combining “values of ambiance” with a “whole way of life”. Albert knows that architecture was alive, and “should express a sentiment.”
Born on March 7, 1914, Leonard Morandi is a Swiss architect and putative descent a great-grandson of Napoleon III. He arrived in Lyon in 1933 to learn about architecture, studied at the National School of Fine Arts of Lyon in 1936, where he continued his schooling under the leadership of Tony Garnier, Grand Prix of Rome in 1899, then with Pierre Bourdeix, his successor.
In later part of 1946, Léonard made a prospective trip to Morocco, as suggested by his father-in-law Henri Lumière, and started constructing condominiums. He settled permanently in Casablanca in 1947 and later was asked to work on a large building of houses and offices on behalf of three entrepreneurs from Lyon, Grenoble, and Marseille, the 17-story Liberty Building, the first skyscraper in North Africa.
Some of Leonard’s works include the 1950 Pélissard Offices in El Bakri Street, Villa du Dr. Blanc, the 1949 Villa Dar Lugda in Anfa Supérieur, the 1952 Villa Fleureau in avenue de Boulogne, and the 1954 Chapel in city Ohana in Bd Moulay Youssef.
Léonard Morandi built many luxurious buildings and villas in Morocco until 1956.
Born on 19th of February 1881 in Marseille, Paul Tournon was a French architect who studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1902. He heads several national palaces and French civil buildings and a part of the Academie des Beaux-Arts.
He is recognized for his reinforced concrete religious’ buildings like the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Élisabethville (Yvelines). Tournon was famous for designing 15 religious buildings in reinforced concrete, including the Church of the Holy Spirit in Paris.
He built three churches in Morocco, that of the Sacred Heart in Casablanca (Cathédrale du Sacré-Cœur )- whose Marshal Lyautey wanted to make the cathedral of Morocco, St. Joseph of the Ocean in Rabat, and the small sanctuary of Ifrane, summer resort settlers from Morocco.
He died in Paris on 22nd of December 1964.
A Casablanca-born French architect in 1916, often referred to as the Moroccan Oscar Niemeyer. He studied at the École Nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and graduated the year 1945 before starting a private practice in Morocco.
Aga Khan Award for Architecture was given as recognition to Jean-François Zevaco during the 1978-1980 cycle for the 1965 Courtyard Houses he built in Agadir. He devoted his career to establishing the very principle of modernity in Moroccan architecture. He’s the architect who designed several buildings that are now part of the daily lives of Moroccans. Witness the busy Zevaco villa, initially designed for the family Suissa, which bears his name, which for several years has been home to the bakeshop Chez Paul, specializing in catering.
In 1947, the architect Zevaco produced stunning villa on a corner lot in Casablanca’s affluent Anfa district. Nicknamed Villa Butterfly (Villa Papillon) due to its cantilevered balcony and canopy, this three-bedroom house displays an exciting mix of the Parisian bourgeois arrangement of domestic programs and innovative formal vocabulary reminiscent of Brazilian lyric Modernism.
Concrete was certainly Zevaco’s favorite material. New material at the time that he exploited all the sauces conferring an austere, imposing and strict to his buildings, but paradoxically organic. For example, the current Crédit Agricole facing the Rabat station, where fluid shapes soften the brutalism of the varnished concrete in architectural details such as Moucharabieh incorporated into the main facade. It is a building that has aged but remains timeless.
Jean-François Zevaco died in indifference in 2003, in his villa Casablanca, following a long illness. He did not have much in his last days and even managed to sell his furniture to survive.
Wolfgang Ewerth is an architect of German origin who practices in Casablanca from 1954 to 1975 where he realizes villas, including the famous villa of Doctor B. in the form of slab which has become a landmark for Casablancais who call it familiarly the “Camembert”, as well as that of Serge Varsano, the California aesthetic.
Originally from Pau (Pyrénées Atlantiques), Lendrat was initially a grocer at a shop in the Provost (Mohamed el Hansali) street in the old medina. Having bought the wreck of a boat stranded on the beach of Ain Diab, it gets rich, which leads him to buy the land of Roches-Noires, having learned of a military construction project there.
The project once abandoned, he seeks to sell his land in lots, to no avail. He then decided to build a new district, launched a brickyard to build houses and sells the sand from the beach to the company Schneider for the construction of the port. He will also embark on journalism before ending his days ruined in the 1930s
Pierre Bousquet is an urban planner, graduated from l’École d’urbanisme de Paris. He is present in Casablanca since 1914 and he practices there until 1952. Also the architect of many important buildings such as the Lyautey Lycée, the Civil Hospital, the Institute Pasteur, the Post Office, the Bourse, and the Martinet building. He built the Casablanca’s Central Market in 1917.
CASABLANCA’S CLIMATE AND ARCHITECTURE
The architecture under the Protectorate is often presented as an experimental laboratory where the builders from France have tested various and varied architectural solutions, to export them to the metropolis.
But this architecture is also part of a very particular environment, Morocco, a country with both Mediterranean and Atlantic climate, with a dry and hot season that precedes a cold and wet season.
In what way does the climate mark this architecture of its imprint and influence the solutions adopted by architects to shape their buildings?
We will first see that the architecture of the Protectorate is the heir to a long tradition of adaptation of buildings to climate, adaptation which, in a second time, results in particular arrangements of which it is possible to establish a short typology. But these climatic elements are also an unsuspected resource for architects and their works.
A “climate” architecture of ancient tradition
French architects are inspired, in their constructions, by solutions already experienced in traditional Moroccan architecture.
Indeed, in this one, the blind walls of the houses of the medina, their orientation and their building materials, the alleys that wind between them, the patios – called in Arabic “wast-ed-dar” – sometimes surrounded by colonnades, tiled and trimmed with green plants, the cloisters over the doors or at the top of the walls to circulate the air, the brise-soleil … are all visible signs that show the “climate” concerns of the architects of the historic city in the Middle Ages.
Historic buildings in Habous, Casablanca
But this architecture has been extensively studied by French architects landing in North Africa in the early 20th century, curious to learn more about local buildings: including Albert Laprade who carefully draw the details of the vernacular architecture of the medina, sketch that we find reproduced in The Arab House of Jean Gallotti. There is no doubt that the French architects knew how to retain these lessons and draw an interesting part of these construction processes, even if the European cities, “new cities”, contiguous to the medinas do not have much more to do with them and perhaps do not have the ecological dimension, terribly current today.
But we can go further still: the patio, the colonnades, this mixture between outside and inside refer to the Roman architecture, which developed on several Moroccan sites (Volubilis, Lixus, Banasa) in the first centuries of our era. Here again, we find this intimate entanglement of the interior and exterior, in this case of well-known sections of the Roman villa: the atrium, whose cover is pierced by an opening – “impluvium” – which lets the rainwater flow in a “compluvium”, a basin located in the center of the room. ; the peristyle, colonnade surrounding a garden (and sometimes a “piscina”) at the back of the villa, outdoor dining room or “summer triclinium.” It is true that Italy is a country where the temperatures can be quite lenient as well.
It is quite likely that the medieval architecture of the Moroccan medinas is partly to blame for this older antique architecture.
It is, therefore, to adapt to this climate that the French architects integrate into their buildings many developments quite impressive in a country where heat can be significant.
ELEMENTS OF COLONIAL BUILDINGS
When we walk to Casablanca (and other urban centers in Morocco) and wander through the streets of the new city by looking up, we can easily spot some of these developments, such as:
- The Belvedere – It could be defined as a 360 ° balcony, since, as its name indicates, its vocation is to allow those who stand in this small building or pavilion to enjoy a beautiful view of what surrounds them. It can take the form of a kiosk perched at the top or corner of a building.
- The terrace – The terrace is probably an extra space for the inhabitants of a building, where they can dry clothes of course, but also take the cool at dusk after a hot day. The buildings in terraces of Marius Germinal Boyer allow to clear such spaces and associate them (as on the Assayag building in Casablanca) to “bachelor.”
- The pergola – The pergola, made of horizontal beams, shaped like a roof, supported by columns, is a raised light structure that allows obtaining shade, that we grow around a climbing plant or that we put down over a wicker cane. The profile of this small building is quite recognizable, even from a distance.
- The hanging garden – The luxury brought to individual prestigious buildings of the time led the architects to build gardens suspended at the top of their buildings, for example, that of the building “Liberté”on the last floor, sheltered by a pergola.
- the balcony – The balcony allows you to enjoy the outdoors from your apartment, which is an extension projected outward: we find a substantial quantity and all forms in the new cities.
- The spinning balcony – The balcony can also be spinning: it runs horizontally all along the facade, often on the penultimate floor as on the Haussmanian buildings. It sometimes fits into a larger ensemble, such as a corbelled bow window.
- The loggia – The loggia, a word of Italian origin, is a variation on the theme of the balcony. In the loggia too, one is both a little inside and a small outside at a time. It corresponds to a recess in front of the building, protected by a parapet, sheltered from the sun and rain at the same time. It is sometimes embellished with columns. The loggia and the balcony often alternate on the facades, in a skillful filling game to which the architects devoted themselves.
- The gallery – The gallery is a variety of loggia which, like the spinning balcony, develops on the whole of a floor.
- The veranda – Extension of the building, the veranda plays on the ground floor a role similar to that of the balcony or loggia, protected and mixed space, combining versatile indoor and outdoor.
- The sunshade – The purpose of the sunshade is to limit the inconveniences associated with violent exposure to light rays falling on a bay or opening: smaller than an awning, it overcomes windows or cornices.
- The canopy – Like the sunshade for the window, the awning comes off the wall over a door to bring shade.
- The porch – The porch is still an intermediate space, outside but sheltered, between the building and the outside. Often with a small roof, it is supported by columns or pillars and is sometimes extended by a flight of steps.
- The portico – The porticoes or covered buildings that seem to support buildings at their base create a path for pedestrians and walkers away from heat, sun or rain.
- The external staircase – It often looks like a helix attached to a corner of the building.
- The cloister – The trellis is a perforated wall, often embedded in a bay, allowing either the circulation of air in the upper parts of the walls or to see without being seen when it plays the role of the window. Of course, the ajourance gives rise to a particular design, more or less vegetal or geometric, whose interest is also aesthetic.
Of course, all these elements can be combined: balcony or loggia?
These are the most visible elements, often on the front. But architects have worked for this purpose (adapting to the climate) also in the structure of buildings. So Marius Boyer also landscapes of cold air columns in its premises to cool parts. It does not leave courses closed inside, conducive to the installation of cold and humidity, but opens and directs these buildings to collect the best and hottest rays of the day conveniently.
However, this “climate” dimension, useful as it may be, does not have only one purpose: the contemporaries of these architectures had the fine game of putting forward another advantage obtained by the presence of these elements.
“Climate” elements at the service of the decorative
Sometimes, architects like to arrange scholarly and rhythmic balconies and loggias on the same facade. This is because they immediately identified all the aesthetic and decorative elements that they could draw from this constraint that pushes them to find solutions to the need for the freshness of the inhabitants.
So these climate elements are often the support of decoration, like the zelliges or the bas-reliefs, the balconies in wrought iron too, in any case until the years 1930, at the moment where the facades “purify” and stripped of their ornaments.
But later, on these same “functionalist” surfaces, the layout of the various components – windows, balconies, loggias … – becomes an aesthetic issue that is echoed in the literature of the time: Jean-Michel Cohen and Monique Eleb quote Henri Descamps, in French architecture in Morocco, introduction: “Moroccan creation” , pp. 911-912: “In the European house, the climate is manifested by a profusion of porches, canopies, balconies, and terraces, through the creation of porticoes along the shopping streets. This succession of arcades manages to give a certain cachet to Casablanca which, without it, would have a rather banal aspect of a big modern city. ”
It seems that adaptation to the Moroccan climate has been a real concern of French architects who worked in this part of the world and at that time.
When we walk in Moroccan cities, we also quickly realize that contemporary Moroccan architecture is a significant part of the architecture that preceded it: very often indeed, the facades of current or recent buildings digging loggias or rounding balconies.
If it is true that knowing an architecture can identify it quickly and correctly in the varied architectural landscape of a city and appreciate it better, this article may contribute to the recognition of this shared heritage that constitutes the colonial architecture of the Protectorate, and therefore its protection and conservation.
CASABLANCA: AN EXPERIMENTAL LABORATORY OF THE 2OTH CENTURY ARCHITECTURE
From 1920, in the very heart of the roaring twenties, the beginnings of art deco, pioneers and settlers will encourage Casablanca to become the locomotive and symbol of a future Morocco: modern, dynamic and open.
Thus, Casablanca, laboratory of urban planning and innovations where, decorative pluralism, latest trends, and use of new technologies, such as in 1917 that of reinforced concrete, will be tested and all these currents, will make the city what it represents today.
We find all styles: Arab-Andalusian revisited to the French, art nouveau, neo-classicism, art deco, neo-Moorish, functionalism, cubism, hygiene, building redans, and brutalism.
Curved lines, symbols of art nouveau, geometric shapes and art deco features, decorations and ornaments of cherubs, fruit baskets or lion heads, all elements and mixtures that, with harmony, with friezes of zellige, stucco and carvings of cedarwood, form in particular the interests of the numerous administrative buildings of the city center, or as also the Hotel Excelsior, give a particular tourist attraction, very representative of these times with the surprising visible creativities at Casablanca.
Casablanca, which was also the capital of modern architecture under the influence of the building “Levy Bendayon” of 1928 of the architect “Marius Boyer”, the building “Moretti-Milone” of 1934 by “Pierre Jabin” before give way to the ultra-modern style of villas with Californian accents and the first African skyscraper “freedom building” of “Leonard Morandi” 78 meters high, designed in the 1950s.
- Arab-Andalusian style– is noted for its decorative elements. This includes wrought iron gratings, Azulejo (painted ceramic) tiles, and lavish landscaping.
Examples of Arab-Andalusian buildings in Casablanca – Palace of Justice and the fountain visible on the Mohamed V square.
- Art Nouveau style: is an international style of art, architecture and applied art, especially the decorative arts. It was most popular between 1890 and 1910. A reaction to the academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants and flowers.
Examples of Art Nouveau buildings in Casablanca – the remains of the facade of the Lincoln hotel of 1917, part of which collapsed in 2009, the post office building of Avenue Mohamed V built-in 1918 by Adrien Laforgue, the first building of this district, Bank Al-Maghrib of Casablanca
- Art Deco style: called style moderne, movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s and developed into a major style in western Europe and the United States during the 1930s at the end of the world war. The distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes, often with a “streamlined” look.
Examples of Art Deco buildings in Casablanca – The villa of arts, the old church of the Sacred Heart, The district itself which was at the time of the French protectorate the European district of the city with the administrative square, the Arab League Park, the wide boulevards
- Neo-Moorish style: also called Moorish Revival is one of the exotic revival architectural styles that were adopted by architects of Europe and the Americas in the wake of the Romanticist fascination with all things oriental. With the 1930s, the time is stripping, comfort and modernity are the keywords or architectural creation thus sweeping the neo-Moorish style and ornamental profusion. The new generation of architects who landed in Casablanca at the end of the 1920s had only one obsession: to put into practice the modern theories learned on the benches of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. From then on, the work on the volumes replaces the one on the decorations which give way to the balconies, to the bow-window saving space; the facades of the buildings, which are constantly gaining height, are bare. Luxury buildings, or those of current production, take into account the concern for comfort that animates the Casablanca bourgeoisie and all are equipped with elevators, garbage incinerators, garages, and bathroom apartments. Real works of art, luxury buildings in the city center will be named after their sponsor, thus making reference to monuments in this “new city”. But it is in the villas that the architects leave all their ingenuity where they experience the latest discoveries in terms of housing and comfort. Highly impressed by the profusion of constructions, international critics will all agree to describe Casablanca as the capital of modern architecture. Examples of Neo-Moorish buildings in Casablanca – the Bessoneau building of 1930 before its destruction in 2011, the building erected in 1925 the “Piot-templier” a work of Pierre Ancelle.
- Functionalist style– the modern Cubist movement recognized through constructivism in the USSR, then Bauhaus in Germany has been represented in Casablanca beginning the 1920s. The bare facades of these buildings will shape the modern impression of the city.
Cubist architecture thrived primarily in the 1910-1914 years, however, the buildings in the cubist style, or at least influenced by it, were constructed too after World War I. When the war was over, an architectural style called “rondo cubism” flourished in Prague. It was a blend of round shapes and cubist architecture.
SHOULD CASABLANCA’S COLONIAL HERITAGE BE PRESERVED?
The biggest city of Morocco, Casablanca is far from the remainder of the nation’s real urban areas that were established between the 17th – 15th C. The history of Casablanca is just as of late.
The city was among the five new arranged urban areas in the country after the foundation of the French dominion in 1912. The political choice went for the production of present-day urban centers in the nearby walled medieval urban communities of Morocco. A French urban planner and architect, Henri Prost, was named as the leader of another office accountable for the improvement of the new urban communities. In 1915, Prost displayed the principal improvement strategy for Casablanca. The architect’s work turned into a reference for planning the city’s development in France after World War I.
Casablanca turned into a center point for famous European architects. The city became free to have experimented without any confinements or stylish limitations. The city has the greatest fixation to date of compared Art Nouveau, Neo-Classic, Neo-Moorish, Art Deco, and present-day structures, and is viewed as a live reference in design history.
The specific history of Casablanca makes a debatable discussion if its colonial buildings and urban condition ought to be saved as a component of Moroccan legacy. The discussion was begun by a little gathering of Casablanca occupants, who in 1995 made an affiliation known as Casamémoire to support, protect and classify the downtown area’s structures on the national rundown of historical structures and spots. The classification shall shield these structures from theorist ravenousness in a metropolis where lands intended for development is rare.
But then, national authorities don’t think about the conservation of colonial buildings as a primary concern. Until this point in time, just 49 structures are recorded and numerous others are essentially destroyed for safety reasons (because of their faulty construction) or to pave an area of new improvements. The tale of the Lincoln Hotel, a deserted 1916 Neo-Moorish structure, is descriptive of this encompassing carelessness.
In the midst of this circumstance, Casamémoire composes educational tours, happenings, and indications where local people of Casablanca gather to explore their city. “Les journées du Patrimoine” (legacy days), a 3-day occasion of free guided visits, is presently a yearly custom. The affiliation has likewise distributed a guide highlighting Casablanca’s diverse design styles and historic layers.
An ever-increasing number of individuals from Casablanca are getting to be mindful of the nature of their structural setting; however, progressively political commitment is required. Another improvement plan that moved Casablanca’ prime central avenue toward a pedestrian-friendly one and presented a platform for streetcars has given structures on this road an upgraded look, the same number of proprietors got involved with a façade reclamation program recommended by the latest strategy. Aficionados for architectural buildings are in any case, hanging tight for progressively auxiliary choices and activities that will concede a superior future to these structures.
Morocco: Casablanca, a remarkable architectural heritage but threatened
famous café and hotel “Excelsior” in Casablanca, Art Nouveau houses, colonial buildings, and Art Deco buildings, the architectural heritage of old Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, makes it a museum in the open, but it is threatened by negligence and real estate speculation.
On Boulevard Mohamed V, one of the oldest of “Casa”, the construction site of the future tramway, which will unclog the first metropolis of the Maghreb, does not prevent art lovers from admiring the architectural diversity of dozens of buildings dating, for the most part, from the beginning of the 20th century.
“One of the peculiarities of Casablanca is that it was, throughout the first half of the twentieth century, an architectural and urban laboratory, “said heritage defender of this mythical city.
“We can find buildings of the Art Nouveau style, buildings like the building, Maroc-Soir, behind us, made by the French architect Marius Boyer and which is of neo-Moorish style”.
Building for settlers in the 20s and 30s, then the local bourgeoisie, the international architects, mostly French, were inspired by the Art Deco and Art Nouveau currents in vogue in Europe, adding traditional Moroccan ornaments, zelliges, stucco or cedar wood carvings, creating an original style.
“The peculiarity of this medina is that it was inhabited by Muslims and Christians, besides the Jews, of course, among the Christians, there were Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese, French … and also fishermen, artisans, masons, traders, “he explains.
Casablanca is called Dar el Baida (“White City”) by the Arabs, according to the name given to it by the Spaniards at the time of its construction at the beginning of the XIX century, on an older site.
But the architectural heritage of Casablanca is today threatened by destruction, abandonment and real estate speculation.
The apartments are often occupied by tenants who pay “derisory rents”, which range from 500 to 2,000 dirhams per month (45 to 180 euros), according to a member of Casamemoire. Neither the owners nor the tenants maintain the buildings that are degrading. You have to pay up to 50,000 euros to get the tenants away.
Preserving urban landscapes
The absence of a heritage preservation policy allows real estate developers and speculators to destroy old buildings and replace them with new, higher and more profitable buildings, or to add floors to old buildings at the expense of unity. architectural.
“Rebooting is done to the detriment of the heritage and the city,” said a member of Casamemoire, whose association wants Casablanca to be classified in UNESCO’s heritage “as soon as possible” to end the excesses, a task which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture.
But register with UNESCO “a recent heritage as is Casablanca, which dates back to the 20s, is more complicated than if it were an old city.”
“Moreover, as it is the economic capital, the Moroccan authorities may not want to adopt measures that could curb the economic dynamism and real estate activity” of the city, says the French architect.
One of the symbols of the threat to heritage is the Lincoln Hotel, an architectural jewel designed in 1916 by the French architect Hubert Bride a few meters from the central market.
Crumbling historic Lincoln Hotel in downtown Casablanca
The Arabesque Art Deco building was used by American spies during World War II.
Closed in 1989, the hotel fell into ruin twenty years later, arousing great excitement among the locals. According to news, the Lincoln, a 1917 Moorish-Deco attraction that had for quite some time been vacant and disintegrating, is being revamped as a five-star property.
“Casamémoire has identified some 4,000 old buildings to protect,” says a member of architect order in Casablanca, the young and energetic vice-president of this association.
“But for us, the problem is not so much to protect each building as to preserve a cityscape: there is no Eiffel Tower in Morocco, there are urban landscapes whose architectural harmony must be protected”, he nuance.
“We must act quickly, we warn against the dangers of speculation, there are buildings that are in a state of disrepair very advanced,” said another famous architect of Casablanca, recognizing however that local authorities are more in addition sensitive to this question.
“There are different seminars, different heritage roundtables, people from the urban agency, from the town hall attend (…) Now we ask for action, and we see very few, we do not see not enough yet, “he concludes.
CASABLANCA’S MUST-SEE ARCHITECTURAL SPOTS
A visitor can still get that explorer to feel when traveling in Casablanca. Commonly missed by voyagers regardless of being Morocco’s most crowded city, it’s a city of that will surprise curious wanderers, even those who get lost. Its verdant lanes are fixed with lavish colonial buildings, and its marketplace is loaded up with fortunes culled from old estates.
Art Nouveau houses, colonial buildings, and Art Deco buildings, the architectural heritage of old Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, makes it a museum in the open. It’s a haven for art and history lovers for admiring the architectural diversity of dozens of buildings dating, for the most part, from the beginning of the 20th century.
Appreciate Morocco’s Colonial Past
Jean-Louis Cohen, a prominent history specialist and co-author of the book Casablanca: Colonial Myths and Architectural Ventures stated that Casablanca was the most innovative of the considerable number of urban communities of France’s domain. It was spread out as indicated by an inventive arrangement, with lovely parks and stunning engineering, from late Art Nouveau and Art Deco to the present modern period.
Imperial Casablanca Hotel and Spa
Architect: Marius Boyer
Gradually, a large number of these once-dismissed sweets are being recovered and renovated. The milestone 1934 Shell building, on the central avenue Mohammed V, has been changed over into the lustrous Imperial Casablanca Hotel and Spa.
During the 1930s, the progression of Art Deco Style and the decorative profusion gave place to simplicity. At that moment, Shell, the renowned oil company, assigned Marius Boyer a world-famous architect to design what then became branded as the “Shell Building”. Architect of several buildings which includes the headquarters of the Wilaya, Boyer designs ad innovative project utilizing the techniques still uncommon even in Europe.
The modern and sleek building used as Shell’s head office since its construction in 1934, turned out as Casablanca’s main landmark. Throughout World War II, the building was seized by the American army ad headquarters to a lot of operations headed by Gen. Patton. Upon restoring peace, the building recognized by its Shell decors frequently welcomes HRH Queen of the Netherlands and her husband, unconsciously contributing to the fortune of this building, presented nowadays as a hotel by its new owners.
Currently, a 4 Star Boutique Hotel that is a World War II site and once served as General Patton’s headquarters, the Imperial opened in 2013, joining the fantastical Hôtel and Spa Le Doge, a six-year-old boutique property in a reestablished manor. Notable manors are being renewed as restaurants and exhibitions, and a reclamation of the old Medina has started. Casamémoire, Morocco’s primary safeguarding association, which leads architectural visits, is initiating endeavors to have portions of Casablanca assigned as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bank Al-Maghrib building
Architect: Edmond Brion
Designed by Edmond Brion (1885-1973) and was completed in 1937, the Bank al-Maghrib located in on Blvd de Paris marks the limit between Casablanca’s civic government center and its Central Business District. As private-sector patrons of grand architecture, the banks welcomed the spirit of the official neo-Moroccan style, and of the times. Several of their buildings were totally modern, with no orientation to the classic Orientalist or European styles.
Banque al-Maghrib’s façade puts on carved stone replacing tiles, a classic technique in neo-Moorish style. Its monumental door weighs 5 tons when opened and the art deco interior’s grandness is designed with zellij patterns in modern rose and blue hues. Italian marquetry is utilized to form Amazigh patterns in the board room of the building which signifies the flourishing Casablanca at that time.
Architect: Léonard Morandi
Located on the Boulevard de la Liberté, the Liberte residential tower is the work of the Swiss architect, Léonard Morandi. Designed in 1949, it became the highest residential tower in Africa when built (1949-1951). The Liberty building stands 78 meters (256 ft) tall in Casablanca, the 17 storeys building is the symbol of resistance, freedom, and novelty.
First African building to exceed 16 floors at the time, the Liberty building was quickly renamed “17th floor” by the Casaouis.
Everything is done to keep the atmosphere of the 50s. From the decoration to the furniture, through the switch buttons, the visit of the building takes us back to the time when it was built.
Architect: Pierre Jabin
The brightly colored Art Deco theater cinema Rialto seen on rue Mohammed Quorri was built in the 1930s by Pierre Jabin and has an Art Deco red and white facades. The cinema, during that era, has played host to music legends like Josephine Baker and Edith Piaf. It was here that, in April 1943, Josephine Baker presented a recital to the American soldiers who came to Casablanca to help the allies.
It is said to be the most beautiful cinema in Casablanca with its typical 1930s art deco façade, its bright colors, the boldness of its skeleton and cupola in reinforced concrete, a hall with 1350 seats, a vast entrance hall, a sunroof, moldings, stained glass, and art deco lighting.
Hassan II Mosque
The city of Casablanca is home to the famous Hassan II Mosque, built by Michel Pinseau, a French architect. It is located on a promontory that looks directly to the Atlantic Ocean and can be seen through a giant glass floor with room for 25,000 faithful.
The staggering Hassan II Mosque is a standout amongst the most popular tourist spots in Casablanca. Built during the 90s, it honors the sixtieth birthday celebration of the nation’s previous king. One of the greatest mosques on the planet, the photogenic structure sits close by the coast. Even Non-Muslims can get inside at specific occasions of the day, enabling guests to respect the wonder both in and outside. It was constructed utilizing the best materials and the abilities of the absolute best craftsmen throughout the nation. Respect the dynamic tile work and carvings. In fact, it is a standout amongst the most alluring structures in the entire of Morocco and is frequently said to be a standout amongst the most amazing mosques in the whole world.
The Accomplishments behind Hassan II Mosque
One can’t in any way, edify such a significant landmark as The Hassan II Mosque without being entranced by the possibility of the flawlessness of structures. To reach this flawlessness, you will require, precision, reasonableness as well as the fertile the shock of indestructible cultures, the vastness of horizons, a taste for eternity, the experience obtained through hundreds of years and condensed in one moment, gathered on the charming spot where the work twinkles and emanates the modes and images of magnificence.
The Hassan II Mosque appears to come from the most personal understanding with the very nature of materials. The engineering they are typified into, the design drenching them vouch for the imaginative pressure which interweaves, at different scales, materials that were crushed to emanate all the light they can give.
Casablanca, presently known as the City of the Hassan II Mosque, accomplishes the profound established desire of imperial cities, in Morocco and elsewhere, to tell the Islam whose memory will live on forever in the human mind. This Islam is no longer today only the culture that passed on the compass, powder, irrigation methods, rational algebra, bright marbles. The Book of Songs, the Hanging Gardens or the legendary Quest of the Grail. It is first of all the religion which contributed to added to the liberation of man from his antique stupor. To declare these lights which anchor our history in our hopes, those that consolidate us in the solidify us in a hard time through a specific thought of the higher forgiveness.
The Hassan ll Mosque has its inherent qualities and those innate to its setting. Morocco, the land where Averroes, the missionary of tolerance and reason and where thousands of ingenious artists, kindled and educated by the Koran and by the Greeks’ geometry, artists all allured by polygonal developments, makers of the arabesques and so many other stylish qualities. They don’t interpret just the assets of a vast region, the long history, the sustained and enthusiastic exertion of several generations but express the high and popular determination as well. The mysterious and irresistible commitment to be present in the world, to mold history, to receive and give, to partake in a word the components that illustrate the stamped perseverance of the beings we are, dedicated to the creation and God, so limitlessly little in the endless space that is reminiscent of Him.
The Hassan II Mosque, launching from a rigorous faith, consecrates the renewal of Islamic arts, breaks with the visible world and multiplies the images of the immeasurable. Its dimensions are reminiscent of the infinite, of the sidereal distances that the strange sculptures of cathedrals strived to express. It embodies the peak of the sacred art of all times, sparkling on the edge of the immense water stretch.
It corresponds to the moment when the life of nations and history became more intense, united, and back one another to generate a significant action or a work of art. The Hassan II Mosque means to prove and suggest, through anti-phrases, and in relationship with a world where all decisive conflicts are mainly part of the invisible border, the origin of the desire to last in the challenge of the unshakable faith faced to the strained shapes of the wave, recurring and renewing forever. In this privileged situation, the action and the work of the creator of the Mosque seem to be intimately linked. This was tangible on that day of 11th Rabi Thani of the year 1414 of the Hegira corresponding to August 30th, 1993 in Casablanca when The Hassan II Mosque was solemnly dedicated by the Sovereign of Morocco.
The choice of the date is not fortuitous. It corresponds to the eve of the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) that Muslims celebrate in worship shrines by the reading out of psalms invoking the glory of the Creator of Worlds and that of His Messenger.
The site of The Hassan Il Mosque is unique. It is expressive of today’s Morocco. Cities of various ages had already confirmed the continental bent of the Islamic civilization. And today, it looks to the sea that is shared with the neighbors of the north. of the south and of beyond the Atlantic. The structure built at the western tip of the Islamic world, fronting the sunset, the fog and the waves of the open sea is at the uttermost edge of a world that is born in the Orient and whose farthest west is Morocco. The Extreme Maghreb (al-Maghrib al-Aqsa in Arabic) generic name of Morocco, for which the land roads and sea roads stick out from the nights and seas that unite forever.
One would willingly say that this construction, whose foundation is soaked in the water and whose head is craning towards the sky represents the bright hope mounting from the Mediterranean Orient, from Athens and Ispahan, to be offered to the whole world. Hence its dimensions and especially its crystal clear a message whose significance is free from any ambiguity. The roots of its pillars, ceaselessly beaten by the waves of the Ocean have required the construction of an eight hundred meters long pier that did not give up to the unfurling tides until the end of works.
The Mosque, being a shrine of prayer and devotion, recalls, after 14 centuries, Oqba Ibn Nati, the man who spread the Islamic faith, who bridled his horse only when the latter reared and dipped its nostrils in the Atlantic waters. Oqba then dismounted and shouted, “Lord, had not it been for the ocean, I would have continued on Your path to preach Your unlimited word.” Islam, the word of peace, has at last acquired this sign of the exchanges of the spirit that is proper to it, according to Christopher Columbus.
The magisterial echo! The far-reaching echo heard throughout Casablanca and heard at a 30 km distance in the ocean! The day and night echo spread by a laser ray emitted by the minaret arrowhead, which indicates the qibla. The symbol of a unique mosque, all those that preceded it are part of a time that is indeed inspiring, but that does not provide a similar model.
The use of modern technology naturally imposed itself in this architecture rich in renewed forces as the only way to master a 9-hectare building, a place which, after 7 years of sustained work, was to yield a prayer hall that can welcome more than 25 thousand devotees; a hall supported by 78 pillars were granite, marble, and onyx harmoniously interlace and cross their gleams. A huge hall capped with ceilings all wrapped with emerald green tiles. The green, the natural color in the land of Islam symbolizes goodness and spiritual abundance.
The technological feats were carried very far to help the building industry better and the Moroccan handicraft in a centuries-old experience, knowingly renewed. Handicraft alone has superbly revived because of the most modern ingenuity. The one and the other proving sometimes failing before the scope or the requirements dictated by originality. A lot of innovations were made that the world’s tallest crane was specially manufactured to achieve the heightening of the minaret that is topped by a skylight and by a Jamour made of shining copper — culminating at 200m. The concrete was made four times more resistant than necessary, not to consolidate the euro tunnel under the English channel but to erect a genuinely unique minaret.
The minaret of the Hassan II Mosque
The form and structure of the MAGHREB MINARETS were inspired initially from the square-shape northern tower of the Grand Mosque of Damascus (beginning of the VIIIth century).
This form, coming from the east was affirmed in the minaret of Kairouan (first half of the Village century), surmounted with two towers and a ribbed lantern and considered since then as the western prototype of minarets in North Africa.
This type of minarets will be reproduced in Andalusia, with The Grand Mosque of Cordoba. It will be adopted by the Giralda of Sevilla (566H/1171) and the Hassan Mosque of Rabat (593H/1196).
The minaret of Hassan II Mosque of Casablanca recalls by many aspects the height that reaches two hundred meters, and that makes of it a unique wonder. It is undoubtedly remigration, the square shape whose ratio is of 1 to 8 between the basement and the summit. But it was fleeing towards the infinite and of course on account of its neatness which is in itself a way to pay tribute to contemporary civilization.
The carved ornament covering the facades recall, by the composition of its interlaces, the Merinid achievements and by its chrome, with green as the predominant color, the Alaouite minarets.
The major innovation lies in the use of Stitches of Roudani travertine on a 100,000 M2 surface this decorative material has replaced here the bricks used in the construction of the Civilian minaret and even the cut stone of the minaret of the Hassan Mosque in Rabat.
Thus, it is undeniable the originality lies in its exceptional thrust towards the sky in its marble finery and the integration of varied elements.
III-THE OUTLINE OF ORNAMENTAL ARTS
Let’s see now how these great ornamental sets that spur life in materials as varied as zellij marble, plaster, wood or brass have expressed themselves in so majestic and imposing a space as that of the Hassan II Mosque.
One must stress these unusual dimensions where the ornamentation had to use, in higher and larger proportions and at the same time incorrect and balanced proportions designs that had for centuries been used to occupy a smaller space.
The “m’aallmi,” who were well aware of this, told us that they had to go over three hundred meters backward, perched in a sufficiently high building to observe, calculate, asses and re-assess for several weeks how their designs, even if excessively enlarged, would keep their shape and consequently their raison d’etre.
The minaret, which is eight times higher than its width at the base (a twenty-five-meter square base) and which is two-hundred-meter-high, is the undeniable proof of their success.
The primary ornamentation that of the square frieze of the top of the first tower, reflects far away from the two shades of its zellij, the green, and white whose symbolic will be expounded here below.
The main design is a big star with sixteen tips (settachiya) that leaves room in the filling in zones to a swirling of other circular designs. The beautiful symmetrical frieze which is provided to the viewer has in the middle of each side a full star and half a star at each angle of the tower.
This same zellij, whose raw material is a glass paste more resistant to the corrosion of the heights are repeated in the form of foils in the archways topping the series of windows of the tower and is similarly used in the diamond-shaped frieze on the top of the lantern.
Marble masons were thus allowed to take revenge in decoration matters and to achieve this vast diamond-shaped network that in the 12th century made the Hassan Tower of Rabat surge up.
Here again, the white (the mat marble stone) and the green (the zellij) harmoniously combine to draw in the depth of the interlacing, flower-shaped ornaments. They symmetrically run in diamond-shaped sets, up to the height of the four façades of the tower and of the lantern. The whole set bestows on the minaret a rare elegance.
On the other hand, the traditional ornamentation materials are found again in the vestibule of the minaret where a high ribbed dome is decorated with stucco, marble, copper, and zellij and topped by archways of plaster hanging like stalactites. Starting from the tambour, the alcoves grow higher and form in the top decorative lambrequin archways that are supported all along the hemicycle by elegant small columns of pink marble. The basement is covered with green zellij and the median wall embellished with a covering of carved and pierced yellow copper super imposing ornamentation of geometrical interlacings (tastir) topped with a long calligraphic frieze in cursive “naskhi repeating the formula consecrated to divine power “oua la ghaliba illa Allah.”
The epigraphic decoration of this shrine actively participates in the ornamentation of the whole monument. We find it again in the stucco, in the wood of the gates as well as in between the alcoves and in the copper openwork coatings; the same geologic formula fills in at regular intervals the decorative archways of paneled stucco; the letters alif and lam draw under the stalactites, lines that shape of the curves of the archways where they are inscribed forming thus a geometrics that is knowingly integrated in the whole.
Finally, an intersected frieze at the top of the stuccos, just over the archways of the alcoves repeats the formula of God’s omnipotence “ALLAHOU AKBAR The formula is written in Cufic and the grey-blue of the letters subtly stands out in the whiteness of the plaster.
The external façades
In its general layout, the Hassan I Mosque appears in the form of a large complex, two hundred meters long. one hundred meters large and sixty meters high, all built in reinforced concrete coated with marble stones where the artists-craftsmen intervened to decorate it with zellij, brass, titania, stucco and green and black marble for the columns of the madrassa which tops with its hemicycle the whole eastern façade.
We do not claim to make a detailed description of the elements making up its ornamentation, but we will try to highlight the main characteristics to underscore the spirit of order, symmetry, and unity marking it.
The southern façade
The visitor standing opposite the peristyle and arriving from the esplanade sees it as if cut in two by the minaret. It has on each side of this vertical line two monumental gateways, each of them is flanked by two gateways of smaller dimensions that are on their part flanked by two smaller gates.
Along with the basement of this line, such as is the case for the western and northern façades, runs a zellij where the predominant colors are the green and the white distributed on two figures of unequal dimension: a frieze, the largest, repeats at regular intervals stars with eight tips embellished with circular geometrical designs. And rightly above, runs a narrower frieze with a somewhat linear design, where lozenges of the same color are fitted and repeated.
All seems to have been conceived so that the background of the large frieze appeared green and that of the narrow frieze white. This chromatic atmosphere is the replica of that of the inaret and of walls of the façade where the balustrades are ornamented with interlaced circles coated with green zellij framing stars with six tips that are pierced and that let in the prayer hall a mellow light.
The ellij continues its symphony in major green and white in six panels forming fountains that are as many jagged, protruding archways that are ornamented, at the level of the tympanum with large six-tip rosacea and smaller stars. Besides, at each extremity of the façade, two fountains with the same dominating shades occupy the floor, forming a double line of star tips.
In the gateways of the southern façade, you have in opposition to this regularity in the repetition of the zellij coating, a subtle sense of architectural and decorative symmetry. Here again, the artist-zellijer intervened to discreetly underscored the curves of the archways and the long and narrow claustra topping them.
Finally, the brass of the primary and secondary gates is finely chiseled with star-shaped designs where the luster of the metal contributes to bringing out the yellow tint conveyed by the whole building.
The western façade
It is different from the previous one by the number of its gates that is reduced to three. The middle gate, the most solemn of the whole mosque, is reserved to the Sovereign. It enables him to have direct access to the mihrâb.
The brass ornamentation is identical to that of the gates of the southern façade. The only difference is that the Royal Gate is embellished with three big rosacea with twenty-four frame spaces.
Another characteristic outlines its solemnity. The gate is shaped like a horseshoe arch, topped with a high tympanum where the fan-shaped lozenge network sparkles on the whole surface. The lozenges interwoven in the base are progressively raised to give an impression of quasi-circular movement that is rarely found in the ornamentation of monumental gates. The yellow gold of its zellij contributes to making of the whole gate a unique work of art of the kind.
The memorial plates are pinned on both sides of the gate. The inscriptions are carved in golden letters in a spaced out writing:
– the plate on the left side recalls the date of the foundation (5 dhu-l-qi’da 1406/july 12th 1986)
– and the plate on the right side commemorates the dedication day(11 rabi’al-awwal 1414/august 30th 1993).
The northern façade
Parallel to the south, it includes nine glazed gates with jagged. protruding archways, each being flanked by two small gates that are equally glazed, the whole being framed by interlaced toils and topped by big semicircular arches ornamented with green zellij designs and with a six-tip stars openwork. The panes of glass and the open works contribute to lit the prayer hall with a bluish mellow gleam, a combination of the sky and the sea.
The median gate is surrounded by two big forts where you find again this perforated marble whose designs imitate the turned wood of the moucharabiehs.
The whole façade is covered at regular intervals with green and white zellij and with ten “fake fountains” identical to the fountains of the previous façades.
The eastern façade
The eastern scheme of the building of the Hassan II Mosque ends in a madrassa that is built in a semi-circular shape. Here, the artists-craftsmen have changed the style to show that this is an annex with a pedagogical aim.
Let’s, however, mention that its hemicycle is supported by little columns in black marble sheltering a porch whose base is coated with a beautiful yellow-orange tinted zellij. The ceilings are finely ornamented with stucco of mellow colors combining the beige and tints that represent circular designs.
The prayer hall
One the Sun-Bathed Shores of the Atlantic, the esplanade of the Hassan II Mosque can accommodate eighty thousand faithful. The prayer hall, located in the core if the building, can, however, host twenty-five thousand. This hall, triangular plan, has three naves perpendicular to the qibla wall. Its depth is greater than is width like the mosques of Kairouan and Cordoba like the Almohad shrines in Rabat (towards 1195) the Almohad-Merinid mosque of Taza(1292) and the Merinid mosque of Fez Jdid (towards 1276).
The orientation of this type of naves follows a layout called “basilical”. So was the layout of the Grand Mosque of Kairouan deemed as the pattern on which the mosques built in North Africa were conceived, with the exception however of the oldest mosques of Fez: the Qarawiyyine and the Andalous Mosque.
Hassan II Mosque’s center nave is larger (forty meters) and higher (thirty-eight and sixty-five meters) than the side aisles (twenty and ten meters large, twenty-seven meter high).
It is undulated by a succession of varied domes where are suspended glass chandeliers shipped from Murano and has a roof which, once open, change the part of the prayer hall in a magnificent sun-bathed courtyard.
This form and courtyard are inspired by a pattern of Kairouan. However, on account of its special location and of its dimensions it breaks off with the layout of the Kairouan Mosque.
On each side, two mezzanines reserved for women are suspended. They are built at over two meters from the level of the soil of the side aisles.
Besides the movables roof (three thousand and four hundred square meters), the prayer hall is lit by a series glass gates of the northern wall, a large triptych marble partition with openwork and a center window bordered by 2 smalle side windows on the wall of the facade. These panels draw, when seen from outside, geometrical openwork based on rectilinear interlaces. They are inscribed within multiple-lobed arches whose voussoir is historiated with a brilliant sculpted floral ornamentation.
The use of marble bars to decorate the gates and the use of fake voussoirs interchangeably sculpted or smoothen, makes one think of the Andalusian Omeyyad art (The Grand Mosque of Cordoba). The imposing dimensions of the pillars (thirteen meters high), the variety of their form (a square with engaged columns, cruciform hemming a series of pillars) and the multitude of domes widen the scope of the work.
The whole space is surfaced with polychromatic geometric shapes zellij, with etched plaster whose ornamentation is derived from flora, geometry, and epigraphy, with marble and finally with pained, carved, assembled and turned wood.
In this ornamentation, there is no surfeit. And the resort to simplicity, achieves, at the monumental scale, that special grace of a new archetype in the arts of Islam.
Contribution of the Moroccan handicraft to the edification of the Hassan II Mosque
After The Edification of the HASSAN II MOSQUE, Casablanca is from this time blessed, exactly like Marrakesh and Fez, the city of culture and art. Beyond the architecture and technique, the economic metropolis of Morocco owes this new status to the unmatched role played by handicraft in the ornamentation of the impressive surfaces of this beautiful monument.
The prayer hall, which reflects the external building, which is lit by the mellow gleams of its ornamental perforations, its glazed gates, and its movable roof, and which is the throbbing heart of Islamic rite, is rectangular.
Crossed from the east to the west by a large central nave and two side naves, it is punctuated by polyfoil archways surmounted with high walls, the whole structure is set on pillars of solid granite.
From the viewpoint that is of concern to us, this imposing structure articulates decorative sets were stucco, wood and zellij form symphony of forms and colors that are all as many rhythms and harmonies.
Let’s try to give an idea about this hall by describing its main features:
The art of stucco has never before achieved such a perfect balance between the solid and the void as it did in the prayer hall of the Hassan II Mosque.
It makes the most imposing decorative whole and dominates from the height of the pillar to the ceilings and domes: you find it again on the level of the base in zellij. It caps the claustra of zellij (shemmachat) as it ornaments the mihrab with its stalactites (muqarnas) and jags the tympanum of its arch. Let’s mention the most outstanding elements that constitute architectonic connectives whose order and symmetry remain a major concern:
-Without being capital columns, strictly speaking, the stalactite-shaped bells which ornament the top of the pillars are repeated at regular space all along the naves of the prayer hall. These bells show alveoli coated with small foiled archways supported by small columns around the pillars. The small alcoves they form superimpose geometrical and calligraphic decorations while the upper part is supported by festooned archways and is decorated with checkered geometrical designs. The voids of the stalactites are ornamented with calligraphic inscriptions where the name of Allah in Cufic letters is repeated. The stucco interplay in the voids particularly underlines the downstrokes and upstrokes of the letters which lengthen to form interlacings where the letter disappears so that the whole forms cartouches framing geometrical ornamentation.
The naves of the prayer hall are crossed by two kinds of arches: big poly foiled arches and smaller lambrequin arches supported by two closer pillars.
The foils are double and ornamented at the level of the consoles with an S-shaped design whose volutes are curled on a madder-colored background. The double foils leave room to intrados decorated with escutcheon shaped designs, the color of honey.
All these arcs form a raising of two archings: the first is a zigzagging lambrequin and the second which is higher is a semi-circular arch. This set which runs on the two sides of the central nave provides a privileged space where are opposed, without any clashes. plain surfaces and ornamented surfaces; there is a repetition of panels, rectangles and calligraphic circles with turquoise, white and honey as the predominant colors.
The top of the small wainscotted arches is decorated with lozenge-shaped geometrical designs while the spandrels of the big polyfoiled arches display ornamentation in circular boss imitating the dorsal of fish or small waves, a decoration that m’aallem Houceine Lamane says having used for the first time to suggest the sea universe. All the spandrels display in their middle a circle of inscriptions, in Naskhi calligraphy, of divine omnipotence. You find another decorative innovation on the surface of the internal walls where the lozenge-shaped designs suggest in their display a ribbed line called by the m’aallem “Eddliye lemchettet”, which literally means scattered ribs”.
Finally, at the level of this gigantic structure, epigraphic festoons reproduce Koranic verses, while on the square abacus of the small decorative columns you find again religious formula such as “ALLAHOU AKBAR or “BARAKAT MOHAMMAD forming beautiful geometrical interlacings.
Painted wood opposes the comforting warmth of its polychrome to the pastel tints of stucco as if it wanted to suggest their intensity. It covers spaces as large as the movable roof above the central nave. the mezzanines reserved to women as well as the domes and ceilings of the side naves, without forgetting the retractable panels of the royal maqsoura and the archway-shaped gates on the eastern wall on both sides of the mihrâb.
The cedar and beech wood used in the building had been treated against the various types of perishing and pinned onto the domes, for example, thanks to stainless iron shanks on a frame made out of the same material.
Here again, artists-craftsmen surpassed themselves and succeeded to integrate this kind of the ornamentation to unusual spaces while introducing new forms, new colors and new dsigns. Maallem Bellamine told us in this respect that he spent two years (between 1987 and 1989) over preliminary works before conceiving his work which includes a dome that he achieved for the first time and that he baptized “Hassaniya after the name of the Moroccan Sovereign who suggested its general layout. This dome runs over the side naves at irregular intervals in alternation with another dome called “Settiniya” because the stars drawn on its four spandrels (rkan) have sixty tips. This second dome combines for the first time geometric (tastir) and floral (tauriqg) designs. The square tambour of the “Hassaniya” is supported by a frieze of consoles (lizar bel oqban) and decorated with new designs such as the rayonnant rib symbolizing the sun and immediately below them the interlaced foils “kharsnat, that are a kind of alveoli forming a honeycomb.
The red tint dominating the whole is, given the specificity of its luster, deepened to garnet red, called by the m’aallem the Casablanca red”. The ornamentation of ceilings enables to make a distinction between the Fez and the Marrakesh styles.
The movable roof is painted with the same colors of predominantly red, carmine and garnet red. Besides the proximity of geometrical and floral designs, the ornamentation here is underlined by a big rectangular frieze where the names of divine qualities (asma Allah alhousna) are repeated in beautiful writing of the Maghreb.
The prayer galleries reserved to women which are raised on two side naves between the fourth and seventh pillars are coated with wood painted in green tints and carved with star-shaped designs It would be worth mentioning these long and narrow panels ornamented with friezes of blind archways with paneled arches whose designs repeat the interlacings that are so many frames at the center of which the name of God (Allah) is inscribed in Cufic writing where the letters lam are crossed in a perfect geometrism.
The retractable panels of the maqsoura and the gates of the eastern wall radiate a particular warmth thanks to the shield-shaped designs framing decorated double branches and curved stems. When seen from a far away distance, this pale wood neatly comes out from the red ocher of the mahogany wood giving thus to the eye an impression of gilding.
The minibar which is the preacher’s pulpit and which is made of mahogany and beech wood is assembled by registers (bet-terbi’at) forming a semi-circular entrance; its stairs are decorated with openwork and its other parts are ivory inlaid and decorated with star-shaped designs.
The Zellij. although it covers smaller spaces, has its own importance within the prayer hall. It is actually found in the form of high decorative semi-circular panels (shemmachat) around the four walls of the shrine. The eastern wall includes four high panels. The tw0 side ones are topped by big stucco-decorated arches.
The northern and southern walls bear six big panels each. Two of them are included in each of the two galleries reserved to women.
The western wall provides four semi-circular panels deployed on both sides of the “royal gate”. A “haati frieze of red zellij runs all along the base of the walls.
Now, if external façades radiate green and white tints, if the walls of the madrassa radiate yellow tints, the prayer hall, on its part, privileges the red and white.
According to m’aallem Moulay Hafid. two techniques had been used:
The technique called “ferdaoui” which uses isolated designs forming a star, lozenge, square-shaped geometric layouts. It is reserved for the big semi-circular panels (shemmachat). And the second technique called bulletin (with sticks). Its designs are ringed and it is used to decorate the friezes of the base.
Let’s mention the last innovation that the m’aallem said he used for the first time: long vertical voids that separate the gores of the mihrab alcove and where you find red, blue and green-tinted enameled terra-cotta. Beige-tinted fragments whose enamel has been scrapped (mqachchar) contrast with the enameled designs.
The semi-circular floor of the mihrab alcove is covered with green and white zellij forming a big star with twelve tips so ingeniously fringed with the frame spaces stemming from the eight-tipped star (mouthamman).
- RENAISSANCE OF TRADITIONAL ARTS
The Moroccan handicraft which covered the mosque’s unmatched minaret with so beautiful designs, as well as the whole internal and external spaces including the mihrâb which is oriented towards Makka and at the same time open onto the Atlantic Ocean, has achieved here, more than ever before, the renaissance of traditional arts. Here, ancient arts are brought up to the highest perfection.
The sculptures on wood, marble or plaster, the smart layout of the zellij, the engraving of copper or brass, the carving, and painting of timber bestow on this prestigious monument an unprecedented dimension which is the honor of the Islam of the 21st century.
The Moroccan handicraft which was born in a melting-pot wisely elaborated throughout ages, and which made a synthesis of the Libyco-Berber, Mediterranean, Eastern, African and Andalusian contributions, has generated, thanks to the Hassan II Mosque, a new dynamic, while deriving the essence of its aesthetic from Islamic art.
Indeed, modern Morocco, out of concern for balance, has not privileged the industrialization fashion to the detriment of these other cultural and socio-economic activities handicraft is part of. If geography locates this country in the farthest Muslim West, art and culture insert it in the happy medium of things as wished and ordered by Islam, the religion of the “golden medium.
To be sure of this, let’s listen to The King of Morocco warning us about the pitfall of over-industrialization: “We have achieved an industrial revolution, but we continue protecting handicraft, this school of humbleness and this other symbol of the originality of Morocco. The handicraft family works in silence and is characterized by its pure heritage, its uprightness and its attachment to its sacred values which are only equaled by the faith of the elderly”. In this respect, Morocco’s cultural and artistic heritage is dependent upon any action requiring the intervention of learned artisans whose know-how and skill are a significant factor and valuable element in this dialogue between cultures which is characterizing the present era. This know-how, which is constantly renewed without however deviating from the gains of tradition makes of the handicraft a national value opens to all possibilities of innovation and creativity required by the end of the current century. Handicraft, which is one of the fundamental aspects of the Arab-Islamic culture of this country had it on itself to be open to the fertile contributions of the outside world while marking them with its indelible stamp. This tolerance that is one of the characteristics of secure and free peoples asserted its perennial character. It was also thanks to its spirit of independence and freedom, of research, innovation, and audacity in creation that Moroccan handicraft was initiated to the rank of Aesthetic, and at the same time launched its promoters and foremen to the status of artists and creators.
We can say that these new masters (m’aallmin, sing. m’aallem) have re-interpreted while mastering it, the whole set of ornamentation elements bequeathed by the art of the Muslim West and this in a bid to revive them while preserving their secular splendor. Thus the geometric, the floral and the epigraphic which have been used in unusual spaces, where one would have been inclined to think they would lose all their essence, have on the contrary generated such a dynamism and such a sense of preadaptation that today in Morocco, we can rightfully speak of a genuine renaissance of traditional arts.
A renaissance similar, while taking everything into consideration, to that of the Christian art which re-created its images and icons, with the only difference that here, as it is excluded to reproduce human figures, Islamic spirituality enabled a larger overture of minds to aesthetic expressions whose abstraction brings up this art to the highest degree of perfection.
THE STAMPS OF THE FOUNDER
After this short descriptive survey of the ornamentation of the main parts of this religious complex, namely the minaret, the external façades, and the prayer hall, we would like in this last chapter to highlight, while referring to the appreciations made by m’aallmin, the active contribution of the Sovereign of Morocco to the edification of the Hassan II Mosque of Casablanca.
This contribution materialized in a large number of interventions which enabled to bring here, and there changes, improvements, and to give to the whole work further style and refinement.
His perspicacious opinions, His directives and the subtlety of His intuition in the choice of colors inclined towards pastel colors and warm or strong tints.
His preference for such material has often been the driving force that animated the artists-craftsmen.
His Majesty the King wanted thus that the external aspect is dominated by the white and the green, the colors of Islam and symbols of tolerance and peace, marking, therefore, the whole building with an almost unmatched subtle harmony.
He, on the other hand, recommended that pieces of green and white zellij be inserted to make the golden tiles on the façades contrast with the beige tint of the sculpted marble coating the walls.
In order to underscore the high graceful shape of the minaret which is soaring to the sky. His Majesty the King asked that zellij friezes be introduced on the side string courses. For the prayer hall, the Sovereign opted for the honey tint around which all the components were to be used in harmony. At the level of the floor, the King preferred that the fountains, on both sides of the central nave, be in marble with the insertion of zellij tiles. On the external façades, He opted for a base in green and white zellij. In the madrassa, the green, yellow and Haiti orange contrast with the blue and are surmounted with a plaster frieze where Koranic verses are inscribed.
His Majesty the King has also discarded, among others, to coat the pillars of the prayer hall with zellj and opted instead for a monolithic coating in pink granite. He, on the other hand, suggested that the small columns be interposed between the pillars, the capital columns and the springing of arches to reduce the brutal break between these elements whose upper part is highlighted by a light built-in under the pillars network.
The m’aallmin were so convincing as to the validity of the various interventions of the Sovereign during the construction works and of the significant improvements introduced on this work of art, of refinement and of good taste that we could not help remember “invitation at Voyage” by Charles Baudelaire: “There, all is order and beauty…
The very location of the Hassan lI Mosque was decided by the Sovereign who announced the news to the Moroccan people in his solemn speech of 1986 on the occasion of Youth Day:
“I want a great and beautiful achievement that Casablanca can be proud of till the end of times. I want that a magnificent house of God is edified on the shore of the sea, a mosque whose high minaret shall indicate the path of salvation, i.e., the path leading to Allah, to all the ships coming from the West.
Explaining the reasons for this choice, the Sovereign said:
“I wanted to construct this mosque on water, for the Throne of God was on the water, and I wanted the faithful who will come to pray, to meditate, to praise the Almighty, to be able, while being on the farmland, to contemplate God’s sky and ocean.
When my late father, His Majesty Mohammed V, may God’s mercy be upon him, passed away, I decided to construct his Mausoleum in the city of Casablanca. However, a few weeks later, I thought that His tomb would be far from Me and my kin. Several heads of state who would like to pray for the rest of his soul would equally be compelled to go to Casablanca. I was, therefore, owing compensation to the inhabitants of Casablanca and I thought of this compensation the very day I decided to edify the Mohammed V Mausoleum in Rabat. I thought about this grand mosque whose construction is currently underway on the shore of the sea that will make of Casablanca a unique in its kind with this unique mosque in its kind. I wanted to construct this mosque on water”.
On water and in the light of God which is that of heavens and of earth, as proclaimed by the thirty-fifth verse of the XXIV chapter of the Koran: “God is the light of heavens and earth. Its light is like an alcove where a lamp is burning The lamp is in crystal and the crystal looks like a star of pearl, it is fed by a benediction tree, an olive tree that is neither from the East nor from the West, its oil illuminates almost everything without
The same light seems to give all their brilliance to the frescos of the zellj of the Hassan II
Mosque and to the subtle sculptures of the plaster. Designs and colors were chosen to be in perfect harmony with the rays that filtrate from the glazed doors, the starred openwork, and the movable roof.
The mosque provides a variety of arrangements designed to shed on the praying hall a soft luminosity with zones of shade and light according to the form of things.
The movable roof system and its opening up to the sky, the meticulous study of the location of the praying hall gates and their accurate proportioning enable to change the shades from pure bright light to quiet, shadowy light.
It is this very bright gt it gave its name to the city of Casablanca, and that will today lead the sons of Casablanca towards the terrestrial ocean to extend their hands towards the heavenly sea and to prostrate before the Divine Majesty.
Light and water. Light reflecting on water, turning iridescent in basins, fluttering in the marble bowls, whispering in the fountains of zellij, “spray blooming in thousand flowers.
Water to quench thirst; water, an essential element of the rite that the Muslim performs to present himself purified before the Almighty.
In this regard, the ablutions room located in the basement with its many basins in the Torm of lotus, surrounded by twinned-columns porticos, its galleries, and pillars decorated with green, blue and yellow zellij is a genuine hymn to water and light. Because daylight inundates it as soon as the roof of the praying hall is removed on the same spot where another water in the form of a “menchia runs.
Such architectural and artistic feats confirm and justify the royal options which marked the holy space with their philosophical, ethical, and aesthetical sense.
Before so much beauty and emotion, one can only recall the Koran verses which denounce the false monastic asceticism and order to enjoy God’s gifts and deserve them by going to the mosques in our best costumes:
“O sons of Adam ! wear your costumes in all praying styles (.)
“Say who prohibited finery that God offered believers and other good things of His gifts? Say they belong to the believers on earth; they are bestowed purified on doomsday.
Finally, impatient and solemn comes the hour of consecration. An apotheosis, to the image of this country’s fervor, enigmatic and loaded with symbols, that have but one meaning: the Oneness of God.
That evening, Casablanca, the westernmost point on the Atlantic Ocean offers to the world the monumental expression of an authentic Morocco, deeply anchored in its past and resolutely looking towards the future: The Hassan II Mosque. One of the greatest architectural realizations of the century.
A great civilizational work that His Majesty King Hassan II conceived, initiated and achieved to perpetuate Drive Blessings on the Auspicious Empire.
Today is a day of joy. Moroccans, together with the rest of the world is going to discover this monumental religious creation, built on the crest of the waves to illustrate the Koranic verse:
“And the throne of God was on the water”
They are going to appreciate, through the press and audio-visual media, represented by about one thousand newsmen come from various horizons, the aesthetic and spiritual dimension of the mosque as well as its prosaic dimension which is made to accommodate, in the prayer hall and on the Esplanade, over one hundred thousand faithful.
Today is Monday. We are on the eve a day, unlike all others. The very choice of this date is symbolic: it is the 11th day of Rabia’Thani of the year 1414 in the Muslim calendar, celebrating the birth of Sidna Mohammad, Gods messenger, and Prophets Seal.
No more sumptuous framework could be chosen to celebrate the glorification and adoration of the Eternal in this blessed night. No other day could have been more meaningful to inaugurate a work dedicated to the Almighty.
1414… Should we see in these figures a sacred celestial sign that God, the Creator of the “Seven Heaven and Seven Earths”, wanted this, simple and divisible, so that the memory of time and generation to come should remember them forever?
“The hour of the golden medium”, leading to the meditation and contemplation, has rung. Light and serenity flood and magnify the sublime moment. The magic of a universe dedicated to the glory of the Creator, out of the faith, out of the farsightedness and out of the will of the Sovereign who has marked the present day and has imposed himself to History… A universe is brilliant with splendor, a magisterial work, seal of fervor that celebrates the communion of the visible and invisible.
Time is at its ” Golden Medium”
Time is exhaling the happiness of balance, the balanced of the pink-tinkled twilight reflected on the ocean waves, while on the other side, the paleness of the moon, immobilized as if suspended, interweaves its glint with the shimmering reflection of the minaret. Variegations on the waves and on the Esplanade…
In the twilight of the nearing night, surrounding floodlights enhance the silhouette of the mosque and sweep over a crowd of thousands of faithful dressed in immaculate white jellaba. A compact, silent, meditative, fervent, mystical crowd… Then, the colors that transcend this purity of tints appear: the green of the chromes that harmoniously fits in the sumpuous bluish summer night, and that clearly outlines the whiteness of the site. It also unveils, by contrast, in the background, the city of Casablanca, Dar el Beida, “the White House”. Further away, comes to light the whiteness of the foam over the waves smoothly breaking against the sea-wall: waves with matchless glints that embrace and magnify this Jewell. And the moon, the pale moon… the moon that wraps within its tender glow the whiteness of the human waves constantly filling the esplanade before being engulfed in this islad of faith.
This night of purity sublimates the soul of Casablanca, the high tempered city which has always given privilege to initiative and enterprise.
From that night on, Casablanca is no longer the business capital of Morocco. It now is a cross-road. for cultures, arts, knowledge and thought. It is also the House of God. A city within he city with the minaret as an emblem. It is the image of the eternal tolerant Islam, open into innovation and into ancestral civilizations, into the positive aspects of technology and into the genius of man, creature of God.
On that day of consecration, the whole world is looking towards the Hassan II Mosque And suddenly. attention is called by clamors that tear the silence of the night. The clamors rise while movements on the esplanade announce events to occur. The clamors turn into acclamations and the movement transmutes into a minute protocol. Far off, the crowd is vibrating and exulting. The royal cortege arrives and time suspends its beat. Casablanca focuses on the very spot where the Sovereign is to unveil the commemorating plate. This is the solemn instant that all the Moroccans. the Muslims and the whole world have been looking forward to Since the Sovereign announced the edification of this shrine.
His Majesty King Hassan I, surrounded by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Sidi Mohammed and His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, as well as by their Highnesses Prince Moulay Hicham and Prince Moulay Ismail, passes in review, in front of the mosque’s main gate, a detachment of the Royal Guard rendering honor. and salutes the flag at the beat of the national anthem.
The muezzin calls on the faithful for the Ellchaa prayer as the Sovereign enters the large nave where his eminent guests have already settled down: President Haj Omar Bongo of Gabon, President Alpha Omar Konare of Mali and President Lansana Conte of Guinea as well as other visiting dignitaries and delegations from friendly and brotherly countries.
Members of the international press, delegates of the different communities of revealed religions and members of the diplomatic corps who were seated in the Mezzanines spontaneously rise to follow with emotion His Majesty the King and His cortege. Coming through the monumental royal gate, the cortege crosses the axial nave amid thousands of citizens representing the different regions of the Kingdom. Here are the Ulemas, the chairmen of elected bodies. the fqihs, the delegates of the population and of the subscribers as well as the pupils from Koranic schools, all dressed in white clothes, standing full of respect and reverence oneach side of the royal cortege. Floating on the ocean breeze, exhaling from the thuribles. perfumed scents give off throughout the large hall and up to the mezzanines where the distinguished guests, as well as the delegates from women’s associations, are settled down.
King Hassan II and his guests then line up to pray, together with the 25 000 Moroccans attending the ceremony that was, of course, broadcast live on radio and TV.
The intensity of silence. The intensity of meditation.
Once the prayer is over and whilst waiting for the Mouloudia, the journalists whisper their impressions. Their comments are made in a dozen different languages: Arabic, French, English. Spanish, Russian. German. Chinese, Japanese, Turkish. Swahili, Persian, Bahasa. Serbo-Croatian… Their language points out their nationality. Most of them are from the Muslim world, but all of them are interested in Islam.
Later on, their reports on the ceremony will prove rigorous and accurate but they will all be tinged with a sense of admiration for Morroco, for the great work and for its founder, His Majesty King Hassan II.
But where is the child who was made famous by the TV cameras when the foundation stone of the Mosque was laid? He then answered His Majesty’s questions formulated in the m’sids language and terminology. He must be there among 1800 most deserving pupils from Koranic Schools who, as tradition goes, lett their locates in a corner of the prayer hall -on these tablets are transcripted the Koran verses that will be erased once learned by heart-
Seven years went by, is he not at present in this batch of young fqihs who succeeded long ago in the selka? And there again you sense this continuity in tradition and knowledge that makes you meditate on celestial greatness.
The Sovereign is now presiding at the Mouloudia, a panegyric of the Prophet. A moment of fervor. The incantatory songs reverberate all around the Esplanade, harmoniously fanning out, and amplified by the waves, they are taken towards Makka whose orientation is indicated within a thirty kilometer range by the laser ray shining from the jamour of the highest minaret ever erected!
The ceremony continues with the reading of a text devoted to the Hassan II Mosque. The the text highlights the specificity of the location of the monument where the faithful can, whilepraying on firm land, contemplate the sky and the ocean. It also underlines its spiritual, cultural, and educational dimensions while stressing the architectural art and the know-how of Moroccan artists-craftsmen.
Then, three winners of a poetry competition organized to mark the occasion read their poems, inspired by this historical event, before the Sovereign
A special homage is paid, within this sacred place, to the Arab poetess Al-Khansaa, whose poems the Prophet Mohammad liked to hear her reading, as the Sovereign asks a woman winner of the fourth award to read her own poem. What a privilege! What an emotion! The ceremony closes on this reading.
And the world discovers at a time when daily life is full of tragedies, wars and violence, that the achievement of this sanctuary brings a note of optimism and pours balm onto the wounded heart taking the human soul up towards the heights ol spirit. And the world listen to its words of wisdom: “let’s lighten a candle instead of shouting against the darkness of night. Bring to light The large contingent of journalists attending the ceremony have conveyed this message to their public and so have all over the world famous writers, chroniclers, and editorialists. Whether from America or Asia, from Europe or Africa the guests are unanimous in their appraisal of the Builder, the Innovator, His Majesty King Hassan II, as “the advocate of the religion of tolerance enjoying a true popular veneration” and who has been “a comfort to all those seeking tolerance, fraternity, and unity in the human race”.
The international media does not hesitate to proclaim the Hassan II Mosque as “the eighth the wonder of the world. “the achievement of the century, one of the greatest monuments of all times.
Observers are also unanimous in saying that this “high tech” mosque is “the result of the col laboration between the latest technology and the genius of Moroccan master craftsmen”. They also say that ‘this airy and impressive building whose pure silhouette is reflected on the sea, is faithful to the spirit of Moroccan architecture. The building. they say, is meant to “recall the history of Islam, its peaceful achievements and its contribution to universal civilization”.
This monument is “at this turn of the century, the best challenge… to all forms of obstacle rantism and extremism”, will make the mosque recover its role as an educational institution because the visionary King “went beyond the coming millenary, persuaded as he is that any human work is but velleity and piece of self-conceit unless it is dedicated to the praise of God”.
Nations often forget that “they will not recover a peaceful balance unless they devote, at least a part of their tremendous technological powers to non-lucrative works, symbolic works where every member of the community finds a foster job together with a raison-d’être” and in this respect, “the Casablanca minaret is thrusting its laser ray towards the right direction
Victor Hugo, a visionary poet of the past century enjoyed dreaming: “Who will suddenly loom up, who will create there, in some Moorish city, splendid, unheard of, as a sparkling rocker with its golden arrow tearing the fog?
Outside, the moon. Motionless. As if suspended to the shimmering reflections of the minaret… The moon, eternal answer to the questions of man, watching over forever.
The Moroccan handicraft which made the external refinery of the Hassan II Mosque of Casablanca has ornamented it from within with its most beautiful jewels to make of it a work of art with all the brilliance of its diamond and all the purity of its substance. The direct ancestors of these arts are the Kairouanian and Andalusian mosques of the IXth century and the Almoravid and Almohad mosques of the XIth and XIIth centuries.
Some materials introduced in Andalusia and Ifriqiyd were borrowed from Mesopotamian, Byzantine, Sassanid or Hellenistic arts. The arts of sculpted wood and plaster which had since the IXth century a brilliant course of life in the Maghreb were probably borrowed from Mesopotamia, while the mosaic which yielded the famous zellij is undoubtedly a legacy of Antic Greece. The same goes for the architectural elements such as the horseshoe arch that was used during the first Omeyyad period in Andalusia and Aghlabide Tunisia, or the other antic decorations and shapes that were introduced to our region through Egypt. Let’s mention, among other things, the Cufic calligraphy, this angular and hieratic writing which owes its elements to the flora and which widely uses geometric shapes. In this case, the presence of Koranic verses in the buildings asserts the primarily Islamic character of this form of ornamentation.
The most classical floral decorations, even if foreign and remote contributions mark them, have been assimilated, brewed, melted and re-created through ages to become a genuine Moroccan herbarium. Artisans, from generation to generation, have enriched continuously and renewed this collection of floral ornamentations that they deploy before the eyes of the faithful. Specifically, Islamic art was born on account of the materials chosen (wood, plaster, marble, zellij, copper) and of the decoration sets adopted (the geometric, the floral, the epigraphic) and that became classical. In Morocco, this Islamic art culminated in the grand synthesis embodied in the Hassan II Mosque and its minaret which is erected like a gigantic marble finger lightening what was once called the Sea of Darkness, testifying before its waves the faith in divine oneness, a witness of the truth of these Koranic verses:
The cleverness and skill of Merinid, Saadian, and Alaouite artists in the use of these shapes and materials are worth mentioning. Their dynastic palettes were so enriched through generations that they came to use all the colors from the Almohad white to the black, going through all the other chromatic shades.
It is also worthwhile to recall that the Saadians used to import their Carrara marble from Italy, where it was figured in Pisa before being sent to Morocco and bartered for sugar. This marble of immaculate whiteness was used to ornament the two sides of the nook of the mihrab of the Hassan II Mosque.
In his travel notes dated July 1581, Montaigne states that “the mountains neighboring Pisa produce exquisite marbles for which this city has a great number of famous workers. At that time, they were working for the King of Fez in Barbary who was intending to build a theater with fifty marble columns”.
Montaigne would be amazed today to learn that the Moroccan craftsmen have used, to cover the floor of the naves and the external façades, the columns supporting the peristyle, the galleries, the archways, to decorate the gates and the minaret of the Hassan Il Mosque, a local marble extracted in the quarries of the south of the country and sculpted by the “Grandes Marbreries d’Agadir”.
To end this short survey of the history of Islamic art in Moroccan land, let’s say that with the advent of the Alaouite dynasty, this precious floral collection has been entertained, restored, synthesize, enriched and oriented towards new paths. We will only mention as an instance the sculpted plaster and assembled carved and painted wood. After they had been pushed into the background, they regained their due place in several palaces and monuments and especially in the Mohammed V Mausoleum of Rabat and The Hassan II Mosque of Casablanca which is the most eloquent paradigms.
Mahkama Pasha of Casablanca
Architect: Auguste Cadet
The court was built in 1929 by Auguste Cadet, for Muslims, after he had finished building the Habous district. The Mahkama building, located in Quartier des Habous in Rue Ahmed El Figuigui is open for visitors, is an excellent city palace which took from 1941to 1952, of over a decade to be completed.
It’s very much unique. Constructed on a slope, it looks like it towers over the Habous neighborhood. A person can get access to it by means of very large gate portals. It is articulated around a large courtyard and two patios.
Inside, the traditional arts of ornamentation have been taken over: carved cedar ceilings, stuccoed arches, Zeliges frescoes, water features, Andalusian style garden, Sophisticated architecture, Hispano style -Mauresque, that we will take the time to contemplate in detail.
Architect: BOUSQUET, Pierre
Many consider Marché Central as Casablanca’s center, the open-air marketplace in the center of the Art Deco quarter. In this place, antique vendors crowd with food shops.
In 1914, it was decided to move the municipal market then located on the former Place de France (United Nations Square). The new location is the one occupied for two months by the French-Moroccan Exhibition of 1915 wanted by Marshal Lyautey to promote the country’s economic potential.
Casablanca’s main market and get a taste of local culture. The low and bare building takes the traditional style of the markets of southern Morocco. On a quadrilateral with a continuous front, it is punctuated with shops under the arcades along Boulevard Mohammed V.
Marche Central is a charming market with vibrant colored stalls that sell local Moroccan crafts along with a myriad of fresh produce, fish, and shellfish caught daily on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Morocco along with other daily items. Inside, the central covered body is surmounted by a large rotunda which houses the fish merchants. The inner street that surrounds it is lined with shops. Freshness and ventilation are provided by traditional Zellijs fountains and narrow, closed openings of cement Moucharabieh.
Marche Central has an exotic spice market and is a popular place where Casablancans dine locally outdoors. Eight accesses allow you to cross it in all directions. The main entrance has been recently highlighted by carved framing and green and yellow Zellijs panels.
Notre Dame de Lourdes
Architect: Achille Dangleterre
Highlighting a high roof, white facade, a lengthened form, and a rare shaped frontage, Casablanca’s Notre Dame de Lourdes was built in 1954 by Achille Dangleterre and engineer Gaston Zimmer and is the second church of Casablanca. It is a great example of European modern structure, and the colorful stained glass is an outstanding contrast to the light walls.
The massive building of Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Casablanca, Morocco, holds an imposing white concrete facade and a basic white cross is the mere indication of its purpose. The primary attraction for those visiting is the stunning stained glass windows, the work of a famous French artist, Gabriel Loire. They are cut on a red and blue colored background, similar to a classic Moroccan carpet, and represent various images of the Virgin Mary.
The real spectacular stained glass windows of the cathedral are what take the attention of everyone. The open, airy interior is lightening up by the vibrant beams of light that filter through these stained glass windows which fills up both side walls – giving a window surface area of over 800 sq.m (8600 sq. ft.)
Port of Casablanca
Standing for more than a hundred years, the port of Casablanca located 80 km southwest of Rabat is an infrastructure that has always played an important role in foreign trade and contributed to the development of the White City.
Casablanca’s port developed and in 1916, engineer Perret built the docks. By the time the Lafarge company cement work started producing in the vicinity known as Roches Noires, the poor working-class quarter named Carrières Centrales developed along with it.
Brief history of Port of Casablanca:
- The Port of Anfa carried exportation of wool to Genoa or wheat to Portugal 1572
- Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah in 1785 introduced a new law and agreed to export cereals to a Spanish company “Compana de los cincos Majores de Madrid”.
- Because of some state of affairs that Morocco and the region of Dar El Beida (Casablanca in Arabic) has undertaken in 1805, Sultan Moulay Slimane resolved to close ports of the country including the Port of Casablanca, and so it became dormant for years.
- Sultan Moulay Abderahmane in 1830 opened back the country’s ports to pave way for commercial trades. The second half of the 19th century demonstrated Dar El Beida’s massive city development and its port.
- The maritime line opened between Dar El Beida and Marseille by Compagnie Paquet in 1862
- In 1873, Sultan Moulay El Hassan ordered the port’s renovation as traffic increases over Tangier’s port, turning into Morocco’s first commercial port.
- New constructions of smaller port were carried out in 1904 for ships waiting 1000 or 1200 meters away from the coast.
- “Compagnie Marocaine”, “Schneider” and The Hersent Brothers on March 25, 1913 were chosen for the construction of the Port of Casablanca.
- Sultan officially approved the port’s construction on April 2,1913
- All through his visit of Casablanca on October 16, 1913, Sultan Moulay Youssef, closely followed the ports construction phase
- After eight years, at the middle of the port construction, discovery of phosphate reserves in Khouribga in 1921 affected the building works that is in stand by.
- One year following official inauguration, the port took a significant step in its history by the construction of a jetty in 1924. This jetty is named “Jetty of Phosphate”.
- Ships have easy entry and anchoring after the end of the commercial mole in 1932.
- Mole Tarik started its operation in 1950.
- The Port of Casablanca enters in the container’s era in 1972. The container traffic easily reached 60,000 at the start of the 1980s.
- The East Container’s Terminal started operating in 1996 as it is considered as the real and first container by its features.
- King Mohammed VI inaugurated the extension of the East Container’s Terminal on May 14, 2004.
Royal Palace of Casablanca
The Royal Palace of Casablanca serves as the King’s official city residence. A grand complex, visitors can, unfortunately, only admire the outer gate and walls. The ornate gate gives you a glimpse of the grandeur that lies beyond. Colorful, opulent and displaying fine details, it’s still worth stopping to see the entrance to the palace even though you can’t go inside.
Architect: Adrien Laforgue
Casablanca’s primary postal office situated on Place Mohammed V, the Grande Poste was built by Architect Adrien Laforgue in 1918 during the French colonial period.
The entrance’s colorful tile work welcomes visitors to the still functioning neo-Moorish central post office, inspired by the central post office in Algiers. The medallions on the building’s exterior serve as a reminder of Casablanca’s essence in advancements of airmail. Whereas the outside is impressive, check out its interiors and you can see the original Art Deco design.
Wilaya clock tower
Architect: Marius Boyer
Still another stylish structure located at the edge of Place Mohammed V designed by Marius Boyer and was finished in 1927. The beautiful Wilaya is a government headquarters, built between 1927 and 1936. Formerly Hotel de Ville or City Hall, Wilaya’s most imposing element is the original Art Deco clock tower.
Walk-in and the architecture takes an Arab-Andalusian vibe wherein, from under the arches, local admin officials’ offices oversee a fountain and central patio. Adding also a streamlined interior, massive stair, exterior touch of Venetian style and a modern clock tower, and you have a structure that is a testament to Casablanca’s inventive architectural heritage.
Wilaya is set surrounding 3 garden courts. Paintings by Majorelle (1859-1926) displayed in its marble staircases. Staterooms on its grand upper floor cover the mayor’s office (at the time) and the Hall of Honor, somewhere the mayor conducts civil marriages.
The Sacre-Coeur Cathedral (Casablanca Cathedral)
former Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Architect: Paul Tournon
Built-in 1930 is an architectural masterpiece designed by French architect Paul Tournon, the Sacre-Coeur Cathedral located in Blvd Rachidi is Neo-Gothic in style with Moroccan Muslim and Art Deco influences. The two towers flanking west front is similar to square minarets, and the tiny windows that pierce the cathedral’s upper portion would be at home in any mosque. The outer buttresses alongside the roof have sharp right angles in place of the usual curves.
It’s among Casablanca’s architectural masterpieces. The cathedral was an important landmark in Casablanca during French Catholic rule. After the independence of Morocco in 1956, the Cathedral ceased its religious function and was abandoned. It has since been used as a school, a cultural center and now it hosts exhibitions and fairs.
Palais de Justice
Architect: Joseph Marrast
The nearby Palais de Justice (Court House/ Tribunal de Premiere Instance), built by Joseph Marrast, was completed in 1925, has an enormous facade on the square, with a Moroccan flag on top and grand central portal that leads to two columned galleries on the main ground.
Its huge main entrance, with its stucco and tile detailing, was inspired by the Persian iwan, a vaulted hall that opens into the central court of the medersa (school) of a mosque. Palais de Justice is surrounded by palm trees and elaborate style courtyards.
Architect: Marius Boyer
Located at 22 Rue Abdel Krim Diouri, Hotel Volubilis is one of the beautiful examples of Casablanca’s Art Deco legacy with its recessed balcony, burnished-gold detailing and art nouveau signage. The modest-sized Hotel Volubilis is among Marius Boyer’s first projects when he arrived in Morocco a year earlier.
It is contemporary with Edmond Gourdain’s neighboring hotel “Transatlantique.” It recognizes the writing of Mr. Boyer in the advances framing the arch of the semicircular loggia with four bays on two floors. Above, on the third floor, a pergola of wood granted to green tile roofs, sketches an image of traditional architecture, while the whole decoration of the facade is similar to the Art Nouveau.
The name of the hotel in relief is inscribed in the central arch on a background of the mosaic of blue sandstone, and a carved stone frieze underlines the windows on both sides of the pergola.
The hotel “renovated” four years ago was raised two floors, and decor of fake stones cover the ground floor.
In 1922, when several large hotels were built in the center, Marius Boyer built the Atlas Hotel, Khouribga Boulevard, with 180 rooms, of neoclassical architecture, transformed into apartments.
Architect: Hippolyte-Joseph Delaporte
In the city center, not far from the medina, the famous Excelsior is an old building that has become one of the most popular cafés by the “bobos” of Casablanca, a very mixed city of more than five million inhabitants, hardly recognizable for the nostalgic of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
It was the finest hotel in Casablanca when it opened in 1916 and was the first of the milestones built outside the Casablanca Medina.
The architecture of the Excelsior is sober but subtle: the facade of this café, built by the French architect Hippolyte-Joseph Delaporte in 1916 with the company Coignet, by order of the Grand Vizier Haj Omar Tazi, among a series of buildings currently representing the chronology of the building Casablanca.
The hotel is painted with lime and decorated with green Andalusian zelliges dating back almost a century, with its white marble steps and lobby whose wood-lined ceiling is reflected in a mosaic floor. With its facade that evokes the old buildings of Algeria and Tunisia, its brewery has made him the place of choice merchants and merchants who arrived in the city in the early twentieth century, looking for a business. The reinforced concrete building is covered with semicircular arches (inner curve of a vault), lines of green tiles and azulejos tiles, in addition to concrete guardrails with arched windows, adorned with eight-pointed stars.
The Excelsior was built in front of the main portal of the medina of Casablanca, an old city where “several religions and nationalities” coexisted.
Today, the Excelsior hotel is still one of the favorite destinations of foreigners calling in the megalopolis and despite an early abandonment at the entrance, the place is still cherished by its regulars of yesteryear.
El Glaoui building
Designed by Marius Boyer in 1922, the Glaoui building is located in Rue El-Amraoui Brahim on Mohammed V boulevard
San Buenaventura Church of Casablanca
From the late eighteenth century until 1907, the largest foreign community in Casablanca consists of Spaniards. It is the sector of port activity that was favored by these enterprising Spanish, who undertook the repair of boats, the handling and the export of cereals through various companies such as Compania Los Cinco Gremios Mayores de Madrid, Casa Espanola de Dar Beyda (Cadiz), etc.
Aware of the importance of this community and the dynamic role it played in the local economy, Sultan Moulay Hassan 1 st decided to graciously grant the King of Spain the land of the rue de Tangier, in the old medina: it is there that, in 1891, will be raised the church, San Buenaventura of the Franciscans.
With the Ettedgui Synagogue and the Ould el Hamra Mosque, the San Buenaventura Church is the third pillar of what is known as the “monotheistic triangle”: note that this building is the only Christian church we have identified in the old medina of Casablanca (intra muros).
Quaint church with a tiled rooftop, an airy domed sanctuary & arabesque stained-glass windows.
Al Qods Mosque
Architect: Eugène Lendrat
In the neighborhood of Roches Noires in Casablanca and near the garden Al-Qods stands not the only Gothic Mosque in the world. At first glance, the construction hardly looks like a mosque, its Gothic architecture, its Latin cross plan, its tower surmounted by a stone spire and surrounded by four pinnacles make believe that it is a church, besides it was until the early 1980s, before being transformed into a place of worship for Muslims, today it is called the Al-Quds Mosque.
This Gothic church was built in the late 1920s by Eugène Lendrat, in memory of his mother named Marguerite. It is a replica of the Church Saint-Martin de Pau, built-in 1868 by the architect Boeswillwald.
In the early 1920s and with the aim of making it the economic capital of Morocco, the city of Casablanca saw the beginning of its development and its transformation into an industrial city. At that time, a large European community came to settle in the district of Roches Noires, the old district industrial Casablanca.
The increase in the Christian population of the neighborhood created the need for a place of worship, so that Eugene Lendrat, the main developer of the Roches Noires district at the time, decided to build a church at his own time, fresh and on one of his lands. Lendrat took as a model for his project the church of Saint-Martin de Pau, his hometown. St. Margaret’s Church was inaugurated in December 1929 in memory of the mother of its founder.
Indeed, Lendrat hails from this city. The plan is a Latin cross, with a bell tower at the entrance to the nave, on the Westside. The Tower, on three levels, is topped by a stone arrow whose base is surrounded by four octagonal spires and four gargoyles at dog head (now mutilated). On three sides of the Tower, at the top of the first floor, was a clock. The porch arch broken gives access to the main entrance: the Portal including the Archway are extended by small columns with acanthus leaves tent, reveals, in the tympanum, a representation of what was to be a Christ the King.
After the death of Eugène Lendrat in 1931, a problem of transfer of ownership of the church is needed and remains unresolved for several decades. In the early 1970s and following the departure of a large part of the European population who lived in Casablanca, the Sainte Marguerite church was emptied and coveted to serve other purposes. In 1981, the church was finally ceded to Ain-Sebaa commune, which turned it into the Al-Quds mosque.
The transformation of the Sainte Marguerite church into a mosque has left many questions, the study of its history allowed to answer some without revealing everything. At present, the appearance of the monument has changed slightly, its vocation also, this did not prevent him from remaining a witness of the protectorate period in Morocco.
Carmel Saint Joseph School
Carmel Saint Joseph School, founded for the French in 1937 by the Carmelite Sisters, is located in a residential area called “l’oasis” surrounded by palmiers and green spaces.
It is located in one of the oldest districts of Casablanca: the Oasis which is the extension of Maarif extension, located between Hay Hassani and Maarif. It holds its name thanks to the presence of beautiful palm trees that give it all the charm of a very quiet residential area.
Operation: At the time, the school had a primary cycle and a second cycle with a boarding school which was closed as well as the secondary school before the departure of the Carmelite nuns.
In 1979, the sisters of the Holy Hearts took over. At the handover, the school had 750 mixed students, almost all of them are Moroccan.
St. John’s Church
St. John’s was the first Protestant church established in Casablanca. It was built in 1906. It is the oldest church building in use in Casablanca and one of the historical buildings in the city. It is built on land owned by the British Crown.
Throughout the Second World War, many people from the American Service personnel based in Casablanca attends to St. John. Maj. Gen. George Patton, who regularly attends at St. John’s, gave the pulpit in honor of the people who passed away in this area during WWII. When General Patton died, his family gave the carved frontage for the communion table St. John’s. A lot of devotees turn up to see these historical items.
St. John’s Anglican Church is a thriving English-speaking church in the heart of downtown Casablanca. Built-in 1906, it is the oldest operating church building in Casablanca and one of the few official places of Christian worship in the city. Although regular attendees hail from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, a third of the congregation now comes from sub-Saharan Africa. Services are conducted in English, but between services, the church grounds are filled with conversation in a wide variety of tongues.
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Dormition also called The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is located at Eglise Russe, 13 rue de Blida in Casablanca. Built by the first wave of Russian immigrants and their families in 1958 was fighting the demolition of a church in economical capital of Morocco – Casablanca. It is one of the only two Russian Orthodox churches in Morocco
Temple Beth El Synagogue
Address: 67, Rue Jaber ben Hayane.
Visit Temple Beth-El, the Jewish Synagogue in Casablanca. Beth-El is considered the centerpiece of a once vibrant Jewish community. Its stained glass windows and other artistic elements are what attracts tourists to this synagogue.
Beth El or “Beit El”, also called the Algerian Temple, is also the venue where the Jewish community celebrates their religious events.
With its stained-glass windows, giant chandeliers and its unique architecture, made of white and gilded plaster, the synagogue is among the city’s best tourist attractions. The temple was completely refurbished in 1997.
The entrance of the famous restaurant Cafe La SQALA
To really understand Casablanca, you have to know the medina, the spot where the seed of the city fell long ago. Marrakech gate is the best entrance, with its impressive clock tower. There are no dependable maps but, with a little twist and turn, you may find your way to an ancient Portuguese fortress that dates back into the old city.
Marked by great iron cannons pointing out to sea, the bastion is known as La Sqala. It’s a restaurant now, offering exceptional cuisine from all corners of Morocco and known for its salads and fish tagines.
The entrance of the Café Maure de La Sqala, a restaurant built in the gardens within the old city wall in Casablanca, in front of the port and at the edge of the old medina.
Casablanca is one of those exceptional gems, a spot with unending intertwined layers. There has been a colossal push by His Majesty King Mohammed VI to make it a genuine culture destination. Indeed, the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca, set in the multiuse Norman Foster–structured Anfa Place, is another indication of the city’s rising profile and its quickly improving lodging choices.
Right down the Corniche from the Four Seasons is Cabestan Ocean View, a 1927 standby seafood restaurant that is a most loved of both American Madison Cox, who lives in Tangier, and Paris-based entertainer Gad Elmaleh, who experienced childhood in Casablanca. Locals here, for the most part, recommend heading off to this sort of reliable spot. Artbook distributer Malika Slaoui, for instance, suggests Sqala Café Maure, offering tagines and grillades in a revamped stronghold, and the old-school French spot Le Rouget de l’Isle.
Architect: Wolfgang Ewerth
Nestled on the hill of Anfa Superior Casablanca, the beautiful building, which belongs to Prince Moulay Ismaïl, opens its doors until June 7, the time of a collision mounted in three days and which is finally only a pretext to discover the iconic villa Casablanca. A real architectural experimental space, this villa was designed by German architect Wolfgang Ewerth in 1962. ”
Made in the tradition of Muslim architecture, space is adorned with stucco and carved wood. Upstairs, we change the atmosphere and architectural language. With large openings that overlook the ocean or the garden, the different rooms are communicating. The architect was particularly unleashed on the two bathrooms (one in yellow and the other in pink). Designed in the American style and in blue, the kitchen is hidden.
Established in Casablanca between 1954 and 1975, Wolfgang Ewerth signed this circular jewel at a time when the city of Casablanca had become an avant-garde laboratory in architecture.
Architect: Marius Boyer
The original Hotel Anfa, wherein the 1943 Casablanca conference among De Gaulle, Roosevelt, and Churchill presided is now an apartment compound. In 1938, the “Anfa Hotel”, style liner, is built on the hill of Anfa. This last establishment is the witness of a big page of History. It is in its walls that takes place, in January 1943, the famous conference called Anfa, bringing together Roosevelt, Churchill and de Gaulle. It was in this mythic place that the fate of the Second World War was sealed since it was at that moment that important strategic decisions were made that enabled the Allies to win the war. The reasons for the unfortunate and untimely destruction of the hotel in the 1970s remain mysterious. This historic site could very well have been transformed into a museum. However, Morocco, at the time freshly independent, was not aware of the interest of this heritage and the enormous benefits it would have to preserve it.
Residence and Statue of Louis Hubert Gonsalves Lyautey
Architect: Adrien Laforgue
The bronze equestrian statue was created by Francois Cogné in 1938 and stands in front of the then Residence of General Lyautey and now Consulate of France in 1, rue Prince Moulay Abdallah. The horse is fine and racy, his neck shows the tension of the muscles. His four feet are on the ground; at orders, the flange is released. Svelte and unarmed, Marshal Lyautey salutes the starry staff received in 1921.
A French Army general and colonial administrator, Louis Hubert Gonsalve Lyautey was born in 1854. He was Morocco’s first French Resident-General to serve from 1912 to 1925. He served for a moment as Minister of War in 1917 then became a Marshal of France in 1921. Gen. Lyautey is thought to have been a fitting colonial administrator who sought to balance blunt military force and advocated a vision of a better future for Morocco under the French colonial administration.
Villa Sami Suissa
Architect: ZEVACO, Jean-François
The villa, often cited in international architecture journals, (Villa Papillon) due to cantilevered balcony and canopy, this three-bedroom house displays an interesting mix of the Parisian bourgeois arrangement of domestic programs and innovative formal vocabulary reminiscent of Brazilian lyric Modernism. This villa, designed in 1947 by the architect Jean-François Zevaco is located in the axis of a triangular plot, on the edge of the residential district of Anfa, overlooking the city, is quickly nicknamed “the pagoda” and “villa butterfly”.
The quality of locksmiths, sash guillotine lounges, monumental French windows, and grilles, is due to Ateliers Vincent Timsit. The hall, with its black marble floor, serves the reception rooms with sliding glass partitions. In its center, like a sculpture, the first flight of stairs leading upstairs is framed by glass railings held by bronze pieces.
The plan of the house somewhat rigid, since functions are clearly delineated: all common spaces are placed on the first floor private spaces on the second floor, and servant quarters the basement. Surprisingly both this partitioning and the domestic nature of the house did not impede its transformation into the multipurpose public program.
The reconversion of the villa into an elegant restaurant-tea room (Patisserie Paul) resulted in the addition of two glazed spaces under the balconies, and the leveling of the garden initially sloping gently towards a pool in a semicircle.
Australian architect Andy Martin transformed the house in 2004 into a gastronomic emporium, including a bakery, a pâtisserie, tea lounge, restaurant, a bar, event space, and an exhibition hall. The clear partitions of the initial villa facilitated the inclusion and juxtaposition of these eclectic programs: the café is on the first floor, services in the servant quarters and the extended basement and the restaurant on the second floor. Additional spaces were added to fit the remaining programs: two 100 square meters wings were placed on either side of the main body of the house to accommodate the patisserie on one side and the cocktail bar on other. The additions are built using slate walls reclaimed by the architect from demolished parts of the original villa, was constructed from this material, which is native to the coast of Casablanca.
The large garden of the house allowed also for a fluid integration of the new program. The entire grounds were indeed re-landscaped while responding to the geometry of the house: all exterior seating, pergolas, and planting follow the radius of the villa’s curved facade. The original circular shape of the pool is kept, yet it is transformed into a kiosk and below it, a multipurpose event space and exhibition hall are placed underground.
Several elements in this villa allowed for its commodification for leisure purposes. The location a corner of two major arteries, which at the time was referred to as “fit for a gas station rather than a house”4 coupled with an extroverted façade has permitted an easy switch from the realm of the private to that of the public. The care that Andy Martin took to respect the original vocabulary of the house, such as the use of monochromatic, neutral tones and of original materials, has preserved the identity of the Villa Suissa.
Architect: Marius Boyer
At the end of the 1920s, Boyer inaugurated here a radically new register among the productions of his contemporaries.
The construction of this building in 1928 by architect Marius Boyer, inaugurates the modern movement that will characterize the 30s. Perceived as a strong trend of the modern architecture Casablanca, it takes the concept of the building
By removing the continuous front of the alignment and the inner courtyard, it offers facades with “Bauhaus” accents dug above the canopy of the ground floor, creating four courses open on the tracks.
By successive residents to the heart of the island, they allow lighting all the rooms of the 45 apartments distributed by a circular staircase. This one benefits from the natural light through the service stairs whose facades, at the back of the course, are constituted, on 7 floors, of metallic panels ventilated by horizontal slats.
The only access is Ferhat Hachad street through monumental steps paneled in marble.
Encircling one of the open courtyards, two towers, connected to the 5th and 6th floor by a bridge with impeccable execution, dominate the crossroads of Ferhat Hachad Street, Avenue Lalla Yacout.
This mastered set is certainly one of the most spectacular downtowns.
Architect: Marius Boyer
The Asayag Building was the embodiment of present-day urban living. Marius Boyer, the ehe architect, got rid of the damp interior yards slash light wells that encapsulated thick urban squares. His Asayag apt. building ascended as three towers. The stairway at the focal point of each is intended to be lit and ventilated normally. Sadly, the mechanical device important to work these detailed arrangements of glass louvers has not been kept up. Shabby it might be, the Asayag Building must at present be a fantastic spot to live. The penthouses at the highest point of the towers start on the eighth floor and ascend in porches two extra floors. Condos in this and different alliances were planned with another customer base in view, the youthful upwardly-versatile single individual or a childless couple. They were not intended for families. They had open staggering designs and extended in size from studios to multi-story penthouses. In that capacity, inhabitants may have autos, the Asayag, and other enormous lofts obstruct in the focal neighborhoods had underground stopping in the storm cellar.
The Attijariwafa Building (originally the Banque Commerciale du Maroc) was built by Marius Boyer in 1930.
Church of Christ the King
Villa des Arts
Constructed in 1934, Villa Des Arts, is a historical building and among Casablanca’s leading structures of Art Deco Architecture. Villa Des Arts is part of the ONA Foundation built to support the arts. It offers rotating exhibitions and has a permanent collection.
The “Villa des Arts” is situated inside a lavish Art Deco mansion from the 1930s. Admire the building’s exteriors before stepping inside to appreciate the works of modern art.
Villa Des Arts are among the standout private institutions of its kind in the whole of the Muslim world. It’s built as one of Casablanca’s biggest museums, and the first private one in Morocco. Located between peaceful Arab League Park and the Mäarif quarter, the sublime building is home to several exhibitions featuring works of contemporary Moroccan artists. In recent years, it has developed the space into a full-blown museum of modern art. The museum highlights an astounding 800 works of art in permanent exhibitions, along with temporary exhibits per year by both local and international and contemporary artists. The Villa Des Arts is also a part of the ONA Foundation, one of Morocco’s primary cultural foundations. The Foundation’s primary aim is to promote creativity and culture within the country. A sample of pure art deco style it was expertly refurbished in 2006. All year round it presents a mix of concerts, exhibits, and cultural events to Casablanca residents and to visitors alike.
L’hôtel Central (Central Hotel)
The Central Hotel, a building turned into a hotel in 1912, is located in front of the Porte de la Marine, the only door that opens onto the sea. This location reminds us that Casablanca is a city facing the sea and to Europe. From inside the hotel, with its balconies and bay windows, you can see the ocean. The Mediterranean style of its architecture is witness to the development of trade with the Spaniards. Currently, this hotel has kept its function and remains one of the most interesting buildings of the old medina.
Architect: Hubert Bride
Built-in 1917 by French architect Hubert Bride, this is one of Casablanca’s architectural Art Deco gems that is in ruins yet has a charming façade worth visiting. Occupied by homeless people, there were several attempts to restore and rehabilitate the Lincoln Hotel or the Bessonneau building. Finally, a much-awaited makeover will soon be realized as French group REALITIES International will be the company to oversee its restoration after winning the last call for expression of interest, launched by the Urban Agency of Casablanca. The legendary Casablanca hotel where only part of the original facade remains standing came to symbolize the Art Deco era that shaped several buildings in the heart of Morocco’s economic capital. Five Star Hotel Coming Soon: On the surface of 9,500 square meters of the Lincoln Hotel, REALITIES will develop 2,000 square meters of shops and offices. The remaining 7,500 square meters will offer 124 five-star hotel rooms, as well as a restaurant, swimming pool, all with a rooftop. The preservation of the hotel’s facade entails a lot of hard work and takes a good amount of money to restore, but must be a priority and REALITIES accepted the challenge. According to reports, an estimated amount of 150 million dirhams or roughly 14M euros is the budget for the entire renovation which is set to completed by 2022.
Built-in 1909, this 3-star hotel located in the vicinity of Notre Dame de Lourdes and merely 5-minute drive of Place Mohammed V and Hassan II Mosque. Hotel Guynemer, named after the First World War French air ace has 29 guest rooms and charming Art Deco façade and interior, featuring a Moroccan architecture.
Built-in 1922 and named after a shipping company, Transatlantique, this is one of Casablanca’s architectural gems designed by Edmond Gourdain. He belongs to the first wave of architects of the colonial period. Also at the origin of the hotel Transatlantique, he realizes twenty buildings in Casablanca until the 1950s.
Aérographe de Tit Mellil (Terminal of Tit-Mellil)
Nothing better than this monument illustrates the creative freedom shown by post-war architects. Built-in 1953 by Jean François Zevaco, the air terminal, with its raw concrete structure associated with its white walls, breaks with the architectural tradition of public buildings built until then.
Architect: Pierre Jabin
Overlooking the United Nations Square with its eleven floors, the building built by Pierre Jabin, inaugurated in 1934 the construction in height in the city center. The luxury of the building lies less in its facade marked by the large vertical and horizontal lines of its bow windows than in the quality of its equipment, or the number of its elevators.
This building was long alone to dominate the place of the top of its eleven floors. It foreshadowed the high-rise buildings planned for the 1930s at the entrance to the so-called “Business District”, but one of the main roads, the current Avenue des FAR, has only been opened. in 1952. It is on this date and in a clean environment, that the building will take all its value.
Above the ground floor housing shops and three access halls, three registers develop on the height of the facade corresponding to different typologies of apartments.
The horizontal bands that mark the balconies stretch as one climbs the floors to become a continuous gallery at the coronation.
The entrance hall of Avenue Houphouët-Boigny combines marbles and mirrors to create a very cinematic atmosphere.
Moretti and Milone, associate cousins, are among the entrepreneurs of Italian origin who will form generations of maalems to which we owe the exemplary execution of buildings Casablanca.
Architect: Edmond Gourdain
In 1923, Societe Generale purchased the building of 84, boulevard Mohammed-V. The structure was among the modern city’s first buildings. Similar to many of its contemporaries, its design adapts the neo-Moorish style which was famous in Tunisia and Algeria back in the 1920s. The construction blends in classic tastes as well as features of traditional Islamic architecture formerly utilized primarily in interior design.
These elements include arched windows, interlacing, and cornices borrowed from classical Islamic arts, as well as green glazed tiles that characterize places of administrative, economic and religious nature.
Societe Generale transferred from Rue des Consuls’ Casablanca branch, where it had used from the time it first came to Morocco in 1913 and transferred on to its new home on Boulevard Mohammed V. The company, therefore, acquired a remarkable building built by Edmond Gourdain, the architect who also designed Transatlantique hotel.
As it desires to support in the preservation of Art Deco architectural heritage of the historic city center, Societe Generale Maroc rebuilt the Bank’s past head offices while preserving the facade of the building.
The building stands on four floors and has a surface area of 3,126 square meters. Keeping in mind the progressive state of oxidation of its metal beams, which implied that it’s impossible to restore the floors, Societe Generale has opted for the only known solution, which is to fully rebuilt the structure while it implements inventive solutions that enable the façade of the building to be preserved, being part of the architectural heritage of Casablanca.
It accommodated the headquarters of Societe Generale Maroc before the bank moved out again in 1979 to Boulevard Abdelmoumen.
Casablanca Chamber of Commerce and Industries
A splendid example of how the French people are preserving the Moorish atmosphere by adhering the Moorish lines in all modern things. The Casablanca Chamber of Commerce building along Boulevard Mohamed V located in the city center, with its arcades under which shops and restaurants abound for almost 2 km.
Developed by a former U.S. attaché in Morocco, Kathy Kriger, Rick’s Café Casablanca is a famous restaurant that was constructed in 1930 and is set inside a conventional impressive Moroccan mansion with a Riad or central courtyard. The lot’s layout allows for 3 facades: a port-oriented facade that gazes at the Atlantic; a unique front street entrance with heavyweight wood doors that present that of the movie; and tight dead-end access which was the main entrance in the past and today serves as the entrance service.
Due to the structure’s age and nearness to the ocean, the mansion was fully renovated and restored by Bill Willis, a U.S. architect/designer envisioned the architectural and decorative features which enriched the existing balustrades and arches to evoke the Hollywood movie “Casablanca.” Elaborate antique brass floor and table lamps with metal shades laced with beads radiate sensational mood light, and a specially designed brass lamp with beaded shade created by Bill Willis rests per table. Etched and engraved wooden tables, screens, and chairs from Syria add decorative touches suggestive of the movie’s furniture.
Added to the faithful rendering of the decoration in Casablanca, Rick’s Café today is filled with woodwork and tile that very well represent Morocco’s craft industry. The fireplace is made of engraved marble or painted tadelakt with complex zellige tile patterns highlighting the risers of the center stairs. Tadelakt in soft hues cover walls tall over the dining place, and the grounds are fixed in handmade terracotta tile.
It was the largest cinema to be built in North Africa.
The VOX was opened on December 12, 1935, at a time when the transformation is happening to existing theaters. New theaters were created which became a great move for the development of cinema exploration. Casablanca followed the movement, especially since it corresponded to the need for artistic renewal, a normal reflection of the development.
During the summer season, the Vox Cinema only screened unpublished films and made very satisfactory weekly offerings. The public, attracted by a judicious advertisement, never sulks the beautiful films, and it is wrong to underestimate sometimes its degree of artistic comprehension. It is also wrong to believe that a film dubbed, by definition, cannot fill a room.
The largest in cinema to be built in Casablanca, the largest in Morocco and one of the largest in North Africa. The designers of its building and its architect, Mr. Boyer, to whom the city already owned the very good municipal services, sought to make of it abroad, the welcoming center of the desirable importance. From the start, what strikes you is the new design of the easy accesses: an entrance hall which contains the glass cases, the controls, in the middle of which the public moves easily and without smoothly. On the left in this hall, the entrance of a massive lift that transports every three minutes thirty-five people to the highest and cheapest places. A staircase that soon divides from the hall to the upper floors. The hall is majestic with a 7-meter panel and a bay window that goes up to the first floor adds to the perspective curves. There are 2000 comfortable armchairs in the room, large padded, covered with a material of easy maintenance Three stages: an orchestra descends very gently to the orchestra pit, large enough for thirty musicians; a mezzanine whose first two rows are clubs; Finally, a higher floor, a huge balcony, with a daring slope, has been specially designed so that the less affluent population can benefit at reduced prices of a perfect comfort, as well as the happiest of this world.
The decorator thought precisely that one draws much more interesting effects from the light alone than from any ornament: it is thus that all the lighting is indirect, the brightness of lamps or chandeliers does not come to hurt the eye. and the effect of the brightness gradually light up and change colors on each side of the scene is a wonderful decorative element. Each floor corresponds to a home. For the 2000 spectators, it was necessary to make vast clearances: the hearths are immense, admirably illuminated and airy. They overlook loggias on each side of the building. In short, the necessary relaxation is the intermission of the show here is real and effective Finally, innovation in Morocco: the open sky realized through the dome opening in two parts in the middle. It is thanks to this that the show became possible in Casablanca in summer: it is cooler at VOX by the warmest parties than in any perfectly airy place. The building also has a very nice power station, installed by Hamelle Establishments with three National motors.
The conclusion that the visitor draws from a walk in all the services of this beautiful Casablanca room is that the efforts made for its construction were in every respect crowned with success. The concern for the comfort of the spectators is seen at every step. The question of hygiene, so important in North Africa, has not less caught the attention of the architect: he designed large mosaic surfaces, easily washable with large water, and everything at VOX is perfectly airy and lighted
The VOX also gives great stage performances, music-hall, theater, attractions, orchestra, etc., and this thanks to the admirably understood arrangements of the vast and well-equipped stage. Without going to the ease that would offer a turntable, the most complicated maneuvers are possible thanks to the dimensions of the stage.
Finally, there are certainly few theaters in the province that possess the equipment in ramps, harrows, projectors of all categories and all powers so complete. Since May 1936, the VoX has continued to increase the success it finds among the population of Casablanca. It was, however, closed in 1979 with Bruce Lee in “The Big Boss” and was demolished.
Al Khaouarizmy High School
Created in 1917, Al Khaouarizmy High School provides scientific and technical training related to various sectors of activity: mechanical manufacturing, refrigeration, and air conditioning, foundry, carpentry, electronics, electricity, industrial chemistry, computer science, building, mathematical sciences, experimental sciences, etc. As a result, it has been the primary source of water for many businesses, public and semi-public administrations.
Known at this time under the current name of INDUS, or the Industrial and Commercial School of Casablanca, Al Khaouarizmy High School gave the solid foundation of technical training to many Moroccan and foreign laureates. Subsequently, in 1992 the high school was the first initiator of the classes BTS building, electrical engineering, production, molding, surface treatment and the only institution of Education to ensure dual training in partnership with the various federations and industry associations. This formula immediately benefited from the positive appreciation of the leading professionals and economic operators.
Currently, the high school continues in the sense of this intelligent and practical contribution. Its general infrastructure includes several pavilions, workshops and specialized rooms: foundry, mechanics, electricity, electronics, a regional pedagogical museum, a library, a conference room.
The high school successfully combines technical contribution and socio-cultural activities. In this regard, its participation in cultural events (fair, exhibition, CDI, international events) has always been awarded. Rich of these fruitful achievements, the high school Al Khaouarizmy remains a reference in technical education in Morocco.
The Arab League Park of Casablanca
Close to the administrative square which is at present the Mohammed V square which will be the home of the new institutions such as city hall, court, post office) 30 hectares were taken to construct a huge park, which breathes air for the new city. The park of the Arab League, formerly known as Lyautey Park, is among the first major urban planning projects of Casablanca city, under the leadership of Henri Prost which was at that time, the “Special Service of Architecture and City Plans” Director.
As per General Lyautey’s request, JC Nicolas Forestier, a landscape architect, came to Morocco in 1913, to present the concept of urban development in specific areas that were created in the United States and Europe in the second half of the twentieth century.
In his mission report, he recommends on the one hand that the plan of the city indicates reserves of land for the future parks, and on the other hand that these lands are networked by roads planted. It also establishes a list of plants to be introduced perfectly adapted to urban planning in Morocco.
Lyautey Park was created very quickly in 1917, despite an unfavorable context, according to the design of Albert Laprade, the architect in charge of the development of the parks and gardens of the city in the Prost team. Applying Forestier’s recommendations, the park is organized around a large promenade marked by an alignment of palm trees and highlighted by paths lined with ficus trees. It connects the city center to Circular Boulevard (Zerktouni Boulevard).
Rather classic by its design (axis of symmetry and perspectives) and its furniture (pergolas, historical relics), the modernity of the place resides in the sports facilities provided (among others: athletics stadium, physical education building, petanque club ). Laprade is openly inspired by the hygienist ideas in vogue among European town planners, according to which modern cities must welcome within them equipment that is conducive to sporting activities that are beneficial to the health of the population.
The ‘Grand ‘Palais’ was constructed in 1952 thru popular global architects. It has since catered to a large number of thriving events for a long time. At present, it is classified as a colonial landmark.
The large arched exhibit hall stands seventeen meters tall, spreads at 91m in width and 200 meters long and is a first in the world by its dimension. The rustic features and clean lines are very much a representation of the 1950s.
Raymond Lucaud sketches stressed the unrivaled historic importance of Grand Palais’ architectural dome design.
At present, the OFEC carries out over forty show and events every year which includes professional market fairs and exhibits to help the many fundamental foreign and local industries. It is facilitating a wide scope of occasions including specific, open shows, national/local occasions, global and local shows. It attempts to be the finest administration to guarantee the service meets the quality and necessities by clients.
Architects Robert Maddalena and Raumond Lucaud were tasked to execute the Grand Palais project which at the time of 1953 was the biggest single-length curve on the planet with total working days: 365 days
Everything was completed by SELVA, a local organization with a manpower of around 300 laborers and administrators.
A few European administrators: two architects, an engineer, contractor and foreman
The Casablanca Int’l. Fair or FIC was established in 1937 with a principal amount of 4M francs, initially utilizing the Casablanca Port’s facilities.
With the extension of the Port in 1952, the FIC was moved to its current area and was overseen by the establishing organization as a byproduct of the yearly association of the exhibit called as the ‘Casablanca Int’l. Fair’ ‘which has stopped to be held from 1989 following the establishment of the Great Hassan II Mosque.
1970: Formation of the Committee of Casablanca Fairs
The Comite des Foires de Casablanca by the pronouncement of January 26, 1970, ‘directed by the Casablanca prefecture governor was made for the association, the executives and liquidation of any Local, Regional and International Fair carried out in the city.
The opening of OFEC Dahir of November 19, 1977
The production of The Office of Fairs & Expositions of Casablanca or OFEC raised the focal panel of Casablanca fairs in office,
1987 was recognized by the selection of the Dir. Gen. of the OFEC from one viewpoint and by sorting out various occasions and market shows influencing all the influential areas of the nation.
The office has expanded its undertakings from ten market exhibits in 1987, all sorted out by the OFEC and spoke to the divisions previously referenced, to twenty-seven trade fairs prior to 2000, seventeen of the companies were controlled by privately owned businesses.
In 2000, the Dahir raising the OFEC was modified by Law No. 72-99, distributed in BO at March 16, 2000, the law has expanded the extent of the association by permitting other open bodies, privately owned businesses, and professional organizations to work in the area of exhibits and fairs.
OFEC turned into the originator of the association of specific exhibitions to advance the country’s economy and the foundation of ances amongst Moroccan business people and their overseas partners, adding to the advancement of the economy, the picture of Morocco on the planet.
Historical influences of Morocco
Morocco has been populated since the Paleolithic times and the man left his traces in all subsequent stages of prehistory.
The Phoenicians and Carthaginians will be the first to settle on the coast and to put Morocco in history. However, it was under the Roman Empire that the country was penetrated to the depths and its “tribal republics” Latinized and reorganized to form a new Roman province: Mauritania Tingitana. The Romans will entrust the administration of this territory to Berber princes rallied, and will thus discharge the specific problems posed by a population particularly jealous of its identity.
Historians have not yet been able to determine the date of the arrival of these tribes in North Africa. The ethnic diversity of the Berbers makes research even more difficult. Nevertheless, the strange linguistic and cultural unit that brings Algerian Kabylia closer to the Rif and Sub Moroccan. Today, more than a third of the inhabitants are fluent in one or another of the various Berber dialects. Moroccan history, the very formation of the state, will often be the work of the descendants of the great Berber Islamized tribes. The ancient Berber culture and the administrative and urban legacies of Rome will enrich, we will see, Moroccan Islam, which will demonstrate its capacity for synthesis.
At the end of VIII century, one hundred years after the founding of Kairouan in Ifrigiya, two events will profoundly mark the entire history of Moroccan art.
The first, in 786, is the beginning of the construction of the Great Mosque of Cordoba by ‘Abd er Rhamanler, the second, in 789, is the foundation of Madinat Fas by Idris I.
Umayyad prince fleeing Damascus, his capital, ‘Abd er Rhaman settles in Andalusia. He crossed the entire Muslim empire to settle at its extreme western limit. He brings and develops a refined culture and prodigious knowledge. They will make Morocco the most eastern land in the Maghreb.
But the brilliance of this civilization on the borders of the then medieval Christian world would have been brief if every Moroccan dynasty, during four centuries, had brought to it, across the Straits, new blood. The Almoravids from the desert, the Almohads of the Atlas, the nomadic Merinids of the Sahara, so many waves from Morocco to revitalize the Andalusian culture. The ebb brought to Morocco the progress of science and the arts as well as a refined lifestyle.
This permanent osmosis has shaped Moroccan art during centuries until the time of the Saadian sheriffs. The last wave returned from Spain with the last Nasrid king Abou’Abdillah (Boabdil), defeated, put an end to this extraordinary exchange of influences, at a time when the Ottoman expansion was going to isolate Morocco from the rest of the Muslim world, and thus help to achieve its cultural unity.
Morocco before Islam
Berber architecture at the time of the first penetration of the Light: Islam.
Morocco, el Maghrib el agça, or far-off west, at the time when the new religion took root, was peopled by tribes with little cohesion, almost pantheistic, and some monotheistic groups, Christian or Jewish. In reality, Morocco was younger than Ifriqiya (now Tunisia with its center at that time, Kairouan) and, of course, the Orient, Islamized for two centuries.
But, in the VIII century, the Zenetes founded the city of Sijilmassa, which became the second Muslim city of the Maghreb after Kairouan, city with which it kept economic and artistic contacts. We tried to demonstrate the continuity of architectural techniques (use of raw brick) perpetuated in the Tafilalet and, although the importance of this city real link between the Maghreb and black Africa the ancient Arab chroniclers (and Moroccans in Right now, around the locality of Rissani, only very poor vestiges, to testify to the past prestige of this city, but this province of Tafilalet, which has preserved only few relics of its prestigious past.
Sijilmassa was, according to the geographer El-Bikri, founded by the blacksmith Midrar, a Berber of the Meknassa tribe, in 757. But Sijilmassa is especially the cradle of the current Alawite chorfa dynasty that seized power by seizing Fez and northern Morocco (Moulay Rachid, 1666), while Rissani is considered as a holy city, it is there fet the tomb of Moulay Ali Cherif (descendant of the Prophet), ancestor of His Majesty Hassan II.
Of this ancient architecture, Morocco retains ksour (plural of ksar) real fortresses built in adobe These ksour, defended by walls, rise to the edge of the desert forming sometimes large, very original agglomerations with their houses covered with terraces, decorated with arcades, balustrades up to date. bristling with square turrets crenellated. has been emphasized by particular), it remains, – disputed several dynasties and this for centuries, especially in the south
Before the penetration of Islam, says Ahmed Sefrioui, there was obviously a Berber architecture whose origin and age have unfortunately still not been specified so far. On the one hand, we can see rather rough constructions in dry stone, on the other hand we can see especially in the pre-Sahara, the Anti-Atlas, the Sous, the High Atlas and even the Middle Atlas, better designed buildings. , true fortresses using the accidents of the ground, decorated in the highest parts either of painted ornaments, or of geometric devices in relief. These buildings are named ighrem or tighremt.
Morocco has always had a fighting attitude. He represents fighting Islam. This is his reason for being. He was, and still is, as G. Marçais says, “the unshakable bastion of the Faith”.
I spite of this suspicious attitude towards foreign influence – that of the “infidels” especially – Moroccan society was accessible to the influences which came to him from Moslem Spain, this Andalusia become today a Catholic Maghreb.
The very name of Hispano-Moorish art says quite the symbiosis and union that will give the most beautiful works of Islam. It goes without saying that trade has remained constant between Morocco and the kingdoms of Granada, Seville and Cordoba. Fez, Tetouan and Rabat did they not collect the majority of the Muslims of Spain “repressed” by the reconquest? They have established themselves, without hope of return, at Firdaous (Paradise).
Those who were called the Moriscos, unwilling to stay under the domination of Christians, who for the most part belonged to the urban elite, these “émigrés” enjoying some culture, have been a useful contribution to Morocco, land of refuge.
The Mérinides, more than all others, at the cost of laborious efforts, have benefited from this heritage. Ya’qoub first, who, like any Muslim ruler, gave himself a capital to him: this capital will be Fez the New (Fas Jadid).
After, and following his example, the sultans Abou’l Hassan and especially his son Abu Inan will prove to be the greatest builders of their dynasty. The historian of Abou’l Hassan, Ibn Marzouq, enumerates in several chapters the foundations of his master. He tells us about the bridges, the aqueducts, the enclosures and ramparts of the city, and especially the madrasas.
Ibn Khaldoun evokes the arrival in Fez of the princess Azzouna proposed in marriage by the sultan Abu ‘Hassan. To welcome him, this one makes build in Fez, in a few weeks, by an army of artists, one of the most beautiful palaces of which he himself drew the plan. “Thus,” says Ibn Khaldun, “he gives his palace an invaluable treasure, a glorious subject to his empire, to himself and to his family a high illustration.”
The original characters of Hispano-Moorish art are the guarantee of the profound independence of Morocco. Georges Marçais recalls that:
“Morocco has been deeply marked and still is – by the Andalusian civilization. The art of these cities continues to live on these Hispano-Moorish bottoms of the time of the Almoravids and Mérinides.
The disappearance of Spanish Islam has somewhat sterilized his artistic life, but the Christian re-conquest that began in his territory has more surely hindered his evolution.
Between Spain and Europe, Spain does not have the power to set up a barrier; the army has not ceased to oppose its own resistance to the empire of the masters of the East.
Seut, he escaped the Ottoman domination which imposed itself on the other countries of Islam. In our approach to Islamic art in Morocco, we have been led to conclude that Ottoman influence was almost non-existent. ”
The Turks had invaded the Byzantine Empire and Persia, they extended to Vienna and the Balkans, Anatolia, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Arabia, Tunisia, Tripolitania (the Libya) and finally Algeria. This Turkish wave came to die on the Moroccan border
Historians confirm that Morocco has escaped the ambitions of the Turks of Algiers and that it has followed an independent path within the present borders, that is to say separated from Algeria, but turned towards the Europe and Atlantic Africa.
That the Turks never exercised power in Morocco, and that Morocco has never gravitated around the Ottoman Empire does not necessarily mean that the institutions of Turkey, its style and its art could have influenced Moroccan culture. Fashions and loans easily cross borders. But of all this very little remained under the Alawite dynasty, in three and a half centuries of undisputed Moroccan independence.
Of course, it’s impossible not to see that art, that the arts Muslims form a bridge, a continuous chain from East to West. But the peculiarities of the evolution of Hispano-Moorish art allow us to assert the identity of a Moroccan art, to affirm its profound cultural independence.
The old white neighborhoods: A tale of the name
“Krikwar” in Darb Al Sultan
In the middle of the last century, Krikwar, or Krikwan, the neighborhood belonging to the redemption laborers of Mers Sultan, was a peasant area, where sheep, goats and cattle were common.
This area was known for the fertility of its land and the presence of large groundwater that the French centenarians established large farms.
Madame Krikouar (later named after the neighborhood) was one of the most famous French centenarians who lived in the area, known for her love of the region and her love of mixing with Moroccan families, according to the old residents of the neighborhood.
In 1947, Madame Krikouar undertook to build an elementary school in the region, called Crete, which had the greatest credit in saving the sons of redemption, the sultan’s path of illiteracy.
“Bossper” in the old town
Frio Prosper, a French engineer from Marseille who arrived in Morocco in the early 1930s, visited a few neighborhoods than in Casablanca. He knew that there were no special places for prostitutes and prostitutes, and he built a number of dwellings.
A few years later, he will become one of the richest people in Casablanca. In white, there is not only one neighborhood called Bousbeir, but two, the first in the old city and the second near Caesarea excavator Darb al-Sultan.
Some believe that the trail of a Jew in Darb al-Sultan is a Jewish neighborhood, such as the navigator in the old city of Casablanca and a number of Moroccan cities that have known a large Jewish presence.
The name belongs to the family of Pierre Auguste Martini, the great real estate revival whose name was associated with the neighborhoods of Al-Habbas near the Royal Palace, while Odell is the name of his son, who also worked in the real estate world in white.
Odile Martini is known for his fight against colonialism and his standing with the Moroccans against the French during the protection period. Pierre Auguste Martini and Odile Martini loved Morocco and Casablanca in particular and decided to bury us at the Christian cemetery near the Anqq district on the city’s promenade.
The “Gran” Trail
In the center of the old city, near Bousbeer, there is the “Gran” trail. Despite the strange name, some of the old inhabitants of the neighborhood remember the presence of a large “Daya” swamp.
Despite the many building that filled the «Daya», but the name remained close to the famous path in the center of the old city.
The poor trail
There are two interpretations behind the designation of the neighborhood as the poor. First, Al-Bayda witnessed a mass exodus from the Doukkala and Chaouia areas. The second explanation is that the neighborhood was called the trail of the poor because those who lived there were poor, as was the majority of the inhabitants of Bayda during that period.
During the 1920s, a French family chose to move away from the city center to build a casino. They chose this coastal area. Boundaries of the fifties of the last century.
Years later, this neighborhood will become one of the finest neighborhoods of the economic capital, and even has its own church, French schools, and even a lighthouse.
During the colonial period, the district had two high-class schools, Claude Bernard and the station which later became Imam Malik.
In 1929 the sugar refinery saw the light in Casablanca under the name «Cosima» by the company of Saint Louis Marseille. Around the factory, workers from Chaouia and Doukkala began to build houses, turning the neighborhood into «Cosima».
In 1967, the Moroccan state will become the owner of 50% of the capital of the French company to become the name «Cosimar».
Karian Skouila in Sidi Moumen Province, Casablanca, was named after a Jewish school in the area.
Skwila means “school” in Spanish, a private school for Jews, before turning it into the headquarters of a private company. The Skouila roundabout was originally one of the destinations for a number of Moroccans living in the rural world who have been ravaged by years of drought.
The new Moroccan families joined other Moroccan families who lived alongside some Spanish families that were active in agriculture, cattle and animal husbandry.
The name belongs to the family «Gulf», which had vast land used for agriculture and livestock before the neighborhood turned into a shanty role and then «Gothia» months in the world.
His fame has exceeded all horizons, not because of his greatness or for the quality of what he offers, but because he is haunted by the biggest computer companies in the world. Behind the huts made of tin and wood lay a commercial market for millions, and pirates described them more than a report of information geniuses. The French channel TV5 prepared a documentary about the market and called its employees “Darb Gulf Engineers”, although most of the young practitioners who are unemployed, including engineers with high degrees, chose the profession of hackers and encryption and provide services to their customers cheaply.
Linking the city with its righteous guardians
Sid Aboulayouth or Sidi Omar Ben Haroun El Mediouni, whose mausoleum is located in the heart of the economic capital of Casablanca, lived as a shepherd of sheep and goats.
Sidi Belyout is one of the oldest devine economic capital along with Sidi Allal Karouani, which is only a few meters away.
Sidi Omar Ben Haroun El Mediouni was also known for his taming of the lions and accompanying them. His original name is Abu Hafs Omar ibn Harun and he is indebted to him. Bouazza bin Abdulrahman, the tribe of Zemmour.
Sidi Mohamed Mers Sultan
He was an aide to Sultan Moulay Hassan I, who was in charge of overseeing the military barracks of Casablanca, but he soon ascended in the position and sold his property and went to the city of Fez to receive religious sciences in the mosque of the villagers, and his teachers marked the big issue, and then returned to the white, where he mocked his wealth To serve the poor and orphans, he knew his ability to cure psychological anxiety, even in his most intractable situations.
There is a grave in the neighborhood of hospitals near the university hospital Ibn Rushd.
Sidi Allal Karouani
The mausoleum of Sidi Allal Kairouani is located in the scaffold in front of the port of Bayda. If Sidi Abderrahmane Ben Jilali, whose mausoleum is located on a rock in Ain El-Dhoulib Beach, is of Iraqi origin, Sidi Allal Kairouani is of Tunisian origin from the city of Kairouan.
The arrival of Sidi Allal Kairouani dates back to the 14th century.
The French researcher Bertimi that the guardian Allal Kairouani married a woman living with a nose called «Lalla white» died before him and built a shrine was dyed white and named the city on this shrine.
In charge of building his current mausoleum in the scaffolding Sultan Moulay Abdellah.
Sidi Abdel Rahman
On a large rock on the shore of Ain El-Wolab in Casablanca, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a green dome is surrounded by some residential and commercial shops, known to the Casablanca and the inhabitants of the economic capital, the mausoleum of Sidi Abderrahman «Mall Almagmar».
According to the author of the Awliya in Morocco, researcher Mohamed Janboubi, Sidi Abderrahmane hails from the Iraqi capital Baghdad and lived in the sixth century AH. He is also said to be one of the contemporaries of the first Sheikh of Sufism in Morocco, including Abu Chouaib Saria, Moulay Abdellah Amgar and Abdeljalil Ben Wehlan. And others.
Before settling where his grave is today, Sidi Abderrahmane was frequently traveling between several places from the coast between A السبعn Sebaâ and Aينn el-Wolb ،, which was a connected forest, multi-tree and full of animals, traveling barefoot, hanging behind a pigtail behind his back. The hair of his head according to the book «Rituals and secrets of the shrines of Casablanca» by Dr. Mustafa Akhmis.
Conclude with Georges Marçais:
“This singular adventure, the geographical situation, the character of its population and its religiosity should assign to Morocco an exceptional place in the Moslem world, make it the refuge of an archaic Islam and give it powerful originality, which does not exclude possibilities for the future.
The concept of HabitationThe first thing you have to own is a house and it is also the last thing you have to sell because it is the tomb of this world. Moroccan proverb.
If the Moroccan house turns towards the street walls similar to ramparts, it is on the other hand largely opened on a patio with galleries or on a lovingly maintained garden.
Ther way of life imposes on Moroccans a home closed to the outside world, favoring isolation and intimacy. The house, therefore, has primarily a fence function. However, a place of recollection as well as escape, it offers to its occupants an enchanting setting.
It is as difficult to recognize the architectural transformations of history as to trace their evolution. All the old houses updated are built in a similar way and we find the type in the outbuildings of the current great palaces.
The typical house is organized around woust ed dar (middle of the house), square courtyard paved with zelliges or marble, which generally includes a basin of water also in marble. An orange tree or a lemon tree often brings a note of greenery to the whole.
On the three or four sides of the courtyard, the rooms are built on two or sometimes three levels. The pillars support the advanced ceilings to constitute a row of galleries open on the patio from which they are separated by a turned wooden balustrade (derbouz). The rooms are wide and without much depth. They are lit and ventilated by a double door and rare low windows. The ground floor usually includes the family living room, one or two bedrooms, the bath, and the kitchens. It is precisely here that around a water conduit is an area used for ritual ceremonies, such as the sacrifice of the sheep on the day of Aid el Kebir (Idu’l adha). The first floor is reserved for the master of the house. There is the main bedroom and sometimes the library. Through a staircase at the entrance, you reach a large lounge reserved for dinners and receptions. This arrangement underscores the Moroccan’s desire to subtract modestly from his family space in social life.
It is in the 14th-century mérinide that the type of the Moroccan house is fixed in its essential features.
The Andalusian origin of the model partially explains the similarity between the Fassie house and the Algerian and Tunisian house.
Love and Censorship
Six days before Casablanca started production, Jack Warner received a letter from the Production Code Administration, the moral overseer that the industry had set up in an act of self- happy censorship. Joe Breen had read Part I of the script and was to report that-except for a few lines of dialogue-the script met the Code requirements.
Naturally, all the unacceptable lines had sexual implications:
Page 5: “Of course, a beautiful young girl for M’sieur Renault, the Prefect of Police.”
Page 6: “The girl will be released in the morning.
The Production Code reflected Roman Catholic morality overlaid by conservative Protestantism. It had been written in 1930 by a Jesuit priest and the Catholic publisher of a movie trade paper. And it began to be enforced in 1934 after Catholic bishops formed the Legion of Decency and threatened to bar American Catholics from seeing all movies. For good measure, it was enforced by a Catholic, although the power in the Code Administration belonged to Will Hays, an elder in the Presbyterian church.
Joseph Ignatius Breen objected to two other lines in the incomplete Casablanca script. A woman who has no money says, “It used to take a Villa at Cannes, or the very least, a string of pearls – Now all I ask is an exit visa.” And after Renault watches Rick send Yvonne home, he says, “How extravagant you are-throwing away women like that. Some day they may be rationed.
In 1942, movies had no free-speech protection,* so the industry felt vulnerable to censorship from dozens of cities and states. Locked in a mutually advantageous embrace (the Code defined public purity while partially shielding the industry from more excessive local censors) the industry and the Code usually accommodated each other. The beautiful young girl remained in the final movie-with no indication of how long she would be held. The woman who was willing to trade her body for an exit visa was eliminated. And, instead of saying that women might be rationed, Claude Rains said they might be scarce.
The Production Code served and served up the mainstream morality and conservative political attitudes of America’s small towns and small cities. The American court system must not be shown as unjust. Religion and the flag were to be treated with respect. The Code insisted that “The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld,” with the corollary that “Impure love must not be presented as attractive and beautiful. Sexual perversions, white slavery, and lustful kissing ‘ were not to be shown.
Adultery was to be punished. There was to be no nudity. Obscenity and profanity were forbidden. Obscenity and profanity included such words as nerts, nuts, cripes, fanny, Gawd, hell, and hold your hat.
The studios could-and did-finagle and maneuver. After meeting between Breen and Wallis, a number of lines that referred to Renault’s womanizing were removed from the script, but Claude Rains’s performance left no doubt that Renault traded exit visas for sex. Warner Bros. followed Breen’s suggestion and made sure that no bed was visible in Rick’s apartment. Audiences were allowed to decide what, if anything, happened during the dissolve that followed Rick’s passionate kiss. (Breen insisted on a dissolve rather than the fade-out in the script since a fade-out signals the passage of time. Of such circumventions was the Code built.)
The marriage of Ilsa and Victor Laszlo was important to the plot, and the studio left in Ilsa’s offending line that she had been married “Even when I knew you in Paris.” The fact that when she met Rick Ilsa thought her husband was dead may have been a good enough excuse.
The studio also refused to take out a line that was not at all important to the plot. Breen felt that when Rick lashes out at Ilsa by telling her that he has heard a lot of stories that “went along with the sound of a tinny piano in the parlor downstairs,” it was a “quite definite reference to a bawdy house.” No movie was allowed to show or refer to a brothel. A few years earlier, in the Bette Davis- Humphrey Bogart movie Marked Woman, Warners had had to turn call girls controlled by gangsters into “hostesses.” But each side knew which battles were worth winning, and Breen did not further attack Casablanca’s oblique reference to a house of ill repute. Although the Code was obsessive about language, the Code’s guardians often let the subtle slip by. When Casablanca was finished, it earned the Production Code Certificate of Approval 8457. The movie’s summation page in the Production Code files lists “Much Drinking,” a little gambling, two killings, and no illicit sex.
One reason that the studios accommodated themselves so easily to the Code – and, during the war, to the often conflicting demands of the Office of War Information – is that they were constantly censoring themselves. The writers were censored by the expectations of the audience and by the expectations of the studio. No anti-Roosevelt picture would have gotten beyond a first draft at Warner Bros., while L. B. Mayer would have turned down scripts that showed the President favorably. Since America in 1942 was a more homogenous and repressed country, the censors also had the two potent weapons of shame and good manners.
Today, the basic censorship is that of the box office. It is not that modern moviemakers have no awareness of ideology, and a few, including Oliver Stone, ride their hobby horses into whatever thickets they wish. But for those who choose to be socially or politically correct, such correctness is often simply another way to sell tickets, since certain incorrect stands-deferential black mammies fussing
golden-haired white children, for example-won’t sell. With movies protected by the Constitution, anything that promises to make a buck, no matter how derivative or tasteless, will be filmed by some producer, while scripts that seem difficult to sell to audiences, no matter how brilliant or tasteful, will rarely find buyers. The studio factories, cushioned by the ability to sell movies to theaters they owned, sometimes found over easier to mix a little art into their commerce.
How was Casablanca affected by the Production Code? The writers and director were forced to be subtle, to use language, pauses, and camera angles as sexual metaphors. The scene when Rick and Ilsa first see each other again and talk of Paris in front of Laszlo and Renault-“I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray; you wore blue”-is pulsing with sexual tension. Today, any movie that didn’t show Rick and Ilsa sweatily grappling with each other’s naked bodies in Rick’s apartment above the café would be considered old-fashioned. But graphic sex wipes out ambiguity, and the ambiguity in Casablanca-the uncertainty about events and motives – is one of the things that still entices us.
Casablanca was censored by the Production Code, the Office of War Information, and the studio itself. At the same time that Warner Bros. was arguing with Breen, the studio’s head of foreign publicity, Carl Schaefer, was suggesting changes that would make the movie easier to sell abroad. To avoid offending any friendly country, Schaefer suggested that two pickpockets and Peter Lorre’s Ugarte-be Italian. Since the character played by Sydney Greenstreet appeared to be Spanish- he was still named Martinez as he had been in the play-he must have a distinguished appearance. The South American entertainer played by Corinna Mura “could flatter Latin America if given dignity and if her artistry is top-notch.” And Wallis must be very careful with the allusions to the Mohammedan religion in several early scenes.
“We didn’t want to offend anybody,” says Schaefer, laughing at his memo fifty years later. “We wanted to be able to show pictures anyplace. I’m surprised Wallis took Schaefer’s suggestions seriously. The pickpocket and the murderer were turned into Italians. So was the head of the black market in Casablanca, Sydney Greenstreet, who became Signor Ferrari. And all references to Mohammedanism were cut out. Wallis had a second reason for eliminating what he called the Allah, Allah business. As he wrote Curtiz, “It does seem to be a little on the operetta, Desert Song style and I would much prefer to keep these opening scenes realistic.”
During the few weeks just before and after Casablanca began shooting, Wallis made dozens of such decisions. “Hal was a great producer,” says his story editor, Irene Lee. “I worked for two years for Sam Goldwyn, and they were two of the unhappiest years of my life. I had been told what marvelous taste Goldwyn had, but I sat in a projection room with him for hours and never heard him say a creative word. Hal knew every aspect of pictures and, whe he was at Warner Bros., he okayed every single thing-every costume, every script, every set.
With the larger problem of an unfinished script looming over his head, Wallis shaped Casablanca in a hundred small ways. He kept insisting on “sketchy, interesting lighting. During Rick’s drunken reverie that led into the flashback, Wallis wrote Curtiz, “The general lighting in the Café should be turned out when we dissolve into the room from the Ext. Sign and the Café should be almost in darkness with the exception of a couple of lamps on the bar [and] two or three lights on tables.
Wallis wanted Humphrey Bogart to wear as few hats as possible. Bogart definitely to be hatless throughout the flashback except at the train station. He preferred the way Claude Rains looked in the photograph labeled Moustache B and Paul Henreid with a white streak in his hair. He did not want Sydney Greenstreet to wear the Moroccan shoes and semi-native outfit outlined on the wardrobe plot. At all times Greenstreet must wear a white single-breasted suit and, possibly, a cummerbund. The young couple from Bulgaria, played by Helmut Dantine and Joy Page, must look as if they escaped “with just the clothes on their backs.
The clothes for Casablanca were designed by Orry-Kelly who was the major costume designer at Warner Bros. from 1932 to 1943. Born in Australia, Orry-Kelly openly and flamboyantly homosexual and famous for his tantrums. His personal style didn’t bother Bette Davis. She said that when Orry-Kelly left the studio in 1944 after the fight with Warner she felt as though she had lost her right arm. “His contribution to my career was an enormous one, she wrote. “He never featured his clothes to such a degree that the performance was overshadowed.”
Wallis threw out the costume Orry-Kelly had created for Bergman’s entrance into Rick’s Café. On page 25 of Everybody Comes to Rick’s, Lois Meredith enters the café wearing “a magnificent white gown, and a full-length cape of the same fabric. Her jewels are fabulous.” The Epsteins had incorporated the same costume into their script. But if Helmut Dantine and Joy Page have escaped with just the clothes on their back so have Paul Henreid and Ingrid Bergman. The “evening formal attire” listed in the wardrobe plot and tossed out by Wallis was changed into a simple white two-piece dress.
Wallis had tried to keep David O. Selznick from looking at Ingrid Bergman’s costume tests. Selznick was always obsessive about his actresses and would be sure to write one of his famous long memos. But Selznick managed to see the tests two days after the movie started
production and was appalled. “In order for her to look smart, she doesn’t have to be dressed up like a candy box,” he wrote in his memo. Most of the hats were hideous, he complained. She “shouldn’t ear white shoes because they make her feet look simply titanic. The evening dress with the striped skirt and sheer blouse was hideous too, Selznick said and made Bergman look big in the rear.
Most of the costumes that dismayed Selznick had already been thrown out by Wallis. And Bergman assured Selznick that she would be wearing low-heeled blue shoes in the only on scenes where her feet would be seen.
Paul Henreid always ridiculed the idea of Victor Laszlo, a “fugitive leader of the resistance,” running around the world “in an immaculately clean white suit,” but Wallis did tone the costumes down, while still allowing for the flourishes and designing skills that always highlighted the stars. He eliminated the tuxedo that Henreid was scheduled to wear in Rick’s Café and settled for a “very well-tailored” tropical suit.
Verisimilitude was more important than truth anyway. The most powerful political metaphor in Casablanca-Victor Laszlo leading the patrons of Rick’s Café in the French national anthem and drowning out the German officers who are singing “Watch on the Rhine”-was deliberately phony. The Nazi anthem was the “Horst Wessel” song. But the copyright to “Horst Wessel” was controlled by a German publisher. If Warner Bros. used the song, the studio would be able to show Casablanca in countries at war with Germany, but copyright restrictions would make it impossible to show the film in neutral countries, which included most of South America.
Lee Katz wrote Wallis on May 27 that the music department had found that it was against the principles of the Nazi Party to sing “Watch on the Rhine.” “Horst Wessel” and “Deutschland Über Alles” were the only two songs approved by the Nazis.
Wallis left that decision in Curtiz’s hands. “If we want to be technically correct, we should not use this,” he wrote Curtiz as soon as he received Katz’s memo. “I doubt if many people know that this song is not in favor with the Nazi Party but, if you feel that we should be accurate, I would suggest that we use ‘Deutschland Über Alles.” Curtiz, as always, chose the dramatic over the correct.
Movies, then as now, were a blend of implausible stories and background details that were as accurate as of the studios’ research libraries.
What New York City is to the United States, Casablanca is to Morocco: a crowded, noisy, wealthy, commercial center on the Atlantic coast. The North African metropolis is surprisingly unappreciated, both at home and abroad, for its unique abundance of Art Deco architecture. 4 Once a sleepy, out-of-the-way fishing village, Casablanca blossomed under the French Protectorate and because of a boom town with a first-class port. Along with its wide, paten-lined boulevards, luxurious Art Deco apartment and office buildings reminiscent of the Trocadero district in Paris sprang up. 4 Today, Casablanca city officials are anxious to establish an Art Deco historic district. Efforts are underway to rekindle a public appreciation of the city’s dazzling collection of building facades, front doors, balconies, and balustrade staircases from the increasingly popular 1920s and 1930s.
HOME FOR MORE THAN SIXTY YEARS OF THE LEGENDARY COUNTESS de Bretcuil, the Hispano-Moorish Villa Taylor is in the middle of Marrakesh yet hidden from public view. It lies today behind massive, guarded gates in an enormous garden of palm, fir, and olive trees. A superb example of lavish, massive, pre–World War II Moroccan architecture and interior design—the house was built in the 1920s —the villa’s huge main rooms contain museum-quality hand-painted ceilings, doors, and shutters. “Scholars come here all the time to study the craftsmanship,” says the countess. 4 With many cozy, secluded small rooms in towers up hidden staircases, perfect for totes-a-totes or liaisons amour uses, the villa is best known for the splendor and richness of its Moroccan-tiled living room, where visitors step back in time. Tigerskin rugs, deep sofas piled with pillows covered in Moroccan fabrics, big leather ottomans, a shortwave radio picking up jazz beamed in from Paris, tables crowded with family photographs in silver frames and vases of pink and red roses from the garden: le grand salon is a marvelous continuation of French Protectorate luxe lifestyle in Morocco. Here, for years, the countess has entertained scores of friends beneath a towering, sumptuous green-and-yellow Marrakesh-style wood ceiling. Painted with swags, floral and geometric motifs, it is made—as is all paneling in Morocco—from rot-proof and worm proof Atlas Mountain cedar, which doesn’t need to be treated or varnished. the wall shed. True to tradition, the lower part of the wall, the upper portion with a frieze of very finely carved plaster of Paris windows or chems. An ancient bell system still serves a purpose in the rambling three-story villa. When the signal under the word “Madame” flashes, it usually signifies that it is time to take the countess her breakfast tray. Bells labeled “Chambre Rouge,” “Chambre Jaune,” and “Chambre Bleu” summon the staff to eight guest rooms, each with a different Moroccan motif, a sunken marble bathtub, well-worn rugs, and a fireplace. “Loge” is the wood-paneled card room. And “Secret” (for “Secretaire”) is the library, where Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt sat down for further talks after the Casablanca Conference in January of 1943. “Churchill was so moved by the sight of the snow-capped Atlas from the villa roof, he persuaded the president to allow himself to be taken out of his wheelchair and carried up,” the countess recalls. “It was dusk. The mountains were blood red and the muezzins had begun to call the faithful to prayer. It was one of the deepest moments in the two friends’ lives.” Today, the Countess de Breteuil climbs the same three stair-cases up to her roof several times a day, alone. From morning until evening, she has never grown tired of her view. “C’est ma promenade,” she says, and smiles.
A Moroccan Folly
U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Frederick Vreeland, and his wife, artist Vanessa Somers, once lived in Rome. But they vacationed in Marrakesh, where they have built, are still building, and insist they will always be building Villa Cafrevan in the Palmeraie, or palm oasis. Inside and out, it is a blend of Indian, Moroccan, Italian, and 1001 Nights architecture whose unconventionality has amazed all of Marrakesh for years. The rambling, adobe funhouse, designed by French solar architect Dominic Michelis, is multileveled and contains endless grand salons, Petit’s salons, nooks, crannies, grottoes, stair-cases, landings, hideaways, and balconies. There are eight theme bed-rooms—Jungle, Bonsai, Nursery, and Tantra among them—and twelve baths. Surrounded by acres of palms, umbrella pines from Italy, litchi trees from China, and mango trees from Florida, the villa’s first non-Moroccan surprise is a columned entryway. It is a replica of Borromini’s famed trompe l’oeil loggia in the Palazzo Spada in Rome. “Vanessa and I don’t take ourselves seriously. We love things that fool the eye, that has humor, that shows a bit of eccentricity,” Vreeland explains. The villa’s exterior definitely lives up to its two owners’ whimsical, eclectic demands. There are Moghul-style cupolas, chimneys, and windows copied from the fabled city of Fatehpur Sikri in India; purposely half-ruined adobe walls with the white checker-board design are reminiscent of Moroccan kasbahs; heavy white canvas caidalstyle curtains hang in doorways. A protégé of Professor Odoardo Anselmi, head of the Vatican School of Mosaics, Somers de-signed the villa’s swimming pool and personally laid thousands of Murano glass and Carrara marble mosaics at the bottom. Shimmer-frig beneath the surface is an Italy-Moroccan landscape reminiscent of the work of Claude Lorrain.
A Former Harem
An American from Missississippi, designer Bill Willis moved to Morocco from Europe, where he worked in the 1960s. Among the first foreigners to settle deep in the Marrakesh medina, Willis bought and restored Dar Noujoun, House of the Stars, on the Rue Sebaatourigel. The harem of a royal palace, it is next to an Arab cemetery where the stern warning Interdit Aux Non-Muslemans (“For-bidden to Non-Moslems”) is painted forbiddingly on a crumbling wall. Known for his skill in adapting traditional high-style Hispano-Moorish architecture to Western tastes, the multitalented expatriate triggered a revival. Over the last twenty years, he has designed new and restored old properties throughout Marrakesh for a roster of clients that includes the Paul Gettys, Alain Delon, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, and Marie-Helene de Rothschild. He also serves as a design consultant to members of the royal family of Morocco. Entered through a nondescript alley and up an inside stair with risers of glazed blue, black, and yellow tiles, Willis’s own retreat is well known to hundreds of visitors to Morocco. Round-the-clock invitations to lunch, dinner, or cocktails allow friends and friends of friends to see one of the most superb restorations of a residence in Morocco. First-time viewers are immediately struck by the house’s fanciful Moroccan tile fireplaces and shiny tadelakt walls, both Willis trademarks. Originally used in hammams, or baths, tadelakt is a Moroccan wall treatment that combines plaster, sand, and natural coloring, polished to a high sheen with smooth stones and hand soap. Tadelakt walls in oxblood, rust, gray, tan, and yellow are especially popular in Marrakesh. But Willis’s acclaimed courage with color extends to the aubergine, turquoise, mustard, crimson, navy blue, and green trim that outlines several doors along an entrance hall. The hall leads to a living room lit by candles at night, scented with sandalwood, and filled with Moroccan and European antiques. “When I first saw the room, which is twenty by twenty feet, I was amazed to realize it was square, not long and narrow like most Moroccan rooms. It was enough to make me buy the house,” Willis recalls. In the dining room, exposed layers of very thin bricks are alternate shades of mustard, burgundy, and beige. A dining table at Western height reveals Willis’s refusal to sit cross-legged on the floor Moroccan-style. “I did it for years, but I’m back to my old American ways,” he admits. “Tradition is fine, but it is the comfort that counts.”
Unlike many nations, Morocco has kept alive its centuries-old arts and crafts. In fact, the country’s current craft renaissance began under King Hassan II, who reigned from 1961 to 1999, and who promoted a worldwide focus on Moroccan design. A visit to the much-lauded Tishka Hotel, designed by Tunis-born architect Charles Boccara and opened in 1986, reveals some of the finest examples of Moroccan artistic skills. The interior is designed by American Bill Willis who lives in Marrakesh, and whose clients are located around the globe. Ceiling and wall decoration, furniture, fireplaces, hardware, dinnerware, light fixtures, lanterns, fabrics-everything in the Tishka’s public rooms and guest rooms have come from the multi-talented and widely acclaimed designer, who also skillfully directed their manufacture in Morocco.
“BALEK, BALEK!” “MAKE WAY, MAKE WAY!” Cries are heard as mule trains weave through souks, or markets, in every small village and large town in Morocco. They are all things to all people. A labyrinth of small shops, a souk is a boutique, flea market, recycling center, supermarket, department store, open-air reception with receiving line, circus, sideshow, and mob scene all at the same time. Shaded by loose reed mat “ceilings” that slash the air with dusty shadows and bright bars of scorching sunlight, the serpentine alleys and dead ends of a souk are lined with shops, each with its own specialty: rugs, copperware, furniture, kitchenware, silk tassels, herbal medicines, slippers, and antique windows and doors. Burlap bags overflow with cardamom, cumin, and coriander. There are mounds of mint, pickled olives, and dates. Wooden crates spill over with citrus. Fresh loaves of bread arc stacked up like poker chips. Clothing racks dip low from the weight of men’s djellabas and bur-nooses and women’s caftans. The souk in Fez is the oldest, most medieval, most replete with traditional Moroccan handicrafts. With the largest selection of fine rugs, antique Berber jewelry, and pots from the Sahara, the souk in Marrakesh is the most frenzied and most touristy. The Marrakesh souk also offers a good deal more than shopping. Here each evening, entertainers turn the Place Djemaa El Fna into one of the greatest shows on earth. Sorcerers, comedians, story-tellers, wrestlers, boxers, snake charmers, and acrobats join forces to produce a ten-ring circus, one that has been going on daily for centuries. “In the beginning,” it is said, “there was the Djemaa El Fna.”
The first-time visitor to Morocco may be dazzled by the colorful and courageous combinations of tiles, plasterwork, and painted surfaces on walls, doors, shutters, ceilings, and floors in private houses and hotels as well as in the arches and on pathways leading into buildings. But Moroccans have traditionally relied on the decoration of walls, ceilings, and floors to “furnish” a house. A proverb explains why Moroccans have always made the courtyards, reception rooms, and living areas of their homes rich in ornate details. They are adherents of the belief that “the first thing one should own is home; and it is the last thing one should sell, for a home is one’s tomb this side of heaven.” This combines with the belief of Abu `Ivan, a 14th-century homeowner: “That which is beautiful is not dear at any cost, and that which pleases man cannot be too expensive.”
Moroccans are master of painted wood and gypsum, or plaster of Paris, surfaces. Following the Prophet’s command not to depict humans, they paint trees, elaborate and stylized flower bouquets, ingeniously varied motifs of sinuous vines, leaf-shaped arabesques, and inanimate objects. Ornate, colorful, abstract Islamic designs with strong mathematical symmetry are rendered b, artists who seek to transport viewers into a state of uplifted thought. Berber painters too are adept at painting on wood. Rich in symbolism and conveying ancient mystical messages, Berber painted surfaces are abstract; and because Berbers are less likely to adhere to the strictures of Islamic design, their painted surfaces are a great deal more personal and often combine unexpected colors. Firm believers that a wooden piece is not finished until it is covered with decorations, Moroccan homeowners and designers keep the country’s Zawwaca, or painters on wood, in heavy demand. Each job is different. Like their ancestors, Moroccan Zawwaga today spend weeks, even months, working on wooden cupolas, al-coves, doors, and ceilings in private houses and new hotels. Like all skilled craftsmen and artisans in Morocco, painters work under a Maallem, or master craftsman. Some stand up while painting; others sit cross-legged. They hold their brushes, which are made out of hair from donkey tails, vertically, their wrists supported by their left hands to allow fingers to be completely supple. Colors are applied first; the outlines that emphasize contours come later. To the distress of purists, the natural, vibrant egg-yolk-based colors of the past reminiscent of the brilliance seen in medieval manuscripts have given way to the strident colors of modern-day chemical paints. Workers in gypsum or plaster of Paris are equally respected in Morocco for their technical and artistic skills. After a specialist has drawn endlessly repeated motifs of squares, circles, triangles, stylized stars, almonds, flowers, even scallop shells, plasterwork artists, or Ghabbar, carve reliefs in four or five layers, both on the surface of a wall and in hollowed-out details that vary in depth. Plaster of Paris in Morocco is either left its natural eggshell color or polychromed in vibrant primary colors.
Decorative as well as structural and architectural, Moroccan handmade tiles arc among the most colorful in the world. De-rived from Byzantine and Roman mosaics, zelliges, or wall tiles, arc Morocco’s great specialty, both in the skill with which they are made and because of the expertise with which they are laid. Traditionally, they have been used for inside decoration in wall panels, staircases, archways, and columns. Today, foreign designers order zelliges to be made in their own colors and shapes and use them in tables, fireplaces, picture frames, even chairs. Moroccan tile production has long been centered in Fez. Adhering to the centuries-old process, local clay is thrown into basins carved in the ground and is then mixed with water. After a twenty-four-hour stabilizing period, an ajjan, or mixer, kneads the clay. He eliminates any stones, bits of wood, or other foreign dements. Next, a Fakkkhar, or work-man, molds the clay into rectangular slabs that arc dried in the sun, coated with different colored glazes, and fired. The ovens are heated with wood, grasses, and crushed olive pits, and the temperature inside will reach eight hundred degrees. The unique aspect of making zelliges begins next. A designer traces the outline of the pieces to be cut out of the tile slab. He makes his design with an Ud el Khizran, or bamboo stick dipped in ink. Andre Paccard displays more than 350 different shapes and sizes in his book Traditional Islamic Craft in Moroccan Architecture. Some are so small, 150 can fit on a matchbook cover.
The final and most delicate step is the actual cutting out of the zelliges from the slab. This is the work of a Taksir, or tile cutter, who uses a hammer that has been sharpened on both sides. Filed smooth and sorted according to shape, size, and color, the zelliges are then taken to the job site and laid into patterns by a Maallem. Traditional patterns, with such evocative names as hen’s feet, di-vided tears, little tambourine, and heifer’s eyes, are most common. But contemporary adaptations of traditional Islamic designs are beginning to be introduced. Regard-less, the patterns must always conform to the Islamic geometric grid. The result is that Moroccan tile designs cannot be judged by the originality of the design but by the combinations of colors and the flair with which the Maallem has depicted crescents, triangles, stars, lozenges and squares.
A Contemporary Renovation
Moroccans and foreigners alike are rediscovering Tangier’s centuries-old international appeal. Ideally located for weekend excursions across the Mediterranean to nearby Spain, the city offers a unique Moroccan-European life-style. Former king, Hassan II renovated a palace in Tangier. So too has a princess from the Middle East. Add to the list Mina and Salah Balafrej from Rabat. Expatriate American designer Stewart Church helped the couple reinterpret an existing modern house on Sharf Hill, overlooking the harbor. With Church’s renovation, it has become one of Morocco’s most dramatic contemporary private residences. Of special significance are the ‘houses’ windows, doors, and latticework. Here it is clear that con-temporary homeowners are beginning to embellish their houses’ exteriors. Knowing that Moroccans in the 19th century were fond of bright colors, the Church convinced the Balafrejs to look back in time and be equally bold. The house’s formal Moroccan reception room with its striking red Tadelakt walls is a tour de force of neo-Islamic design. Other rooms contain Moroccan and European furniture arrangements—new and old—which combine to make the Balafrej house one of the freshest and sophisticated mixes of traditional Moroccan and Western design in the country.
A bit of Old England
In the late 1940’s, David Herbert, son of the fifteenth earl of Pembroke, moved permanently from Wilton, his ancestral home in England, to Tangier. The doyen of the city’s international foreign colony, he remembers the 1950s and 1960s, when Tangier was a mecca for hedonists anxious to experience the go-for-broke pleasures of North Africa; and he appreciates that times have changed. Tangier is now a quiet haven for cosmopolites grateful to live comfortably and privately—in Morocco yet within sight of Europe. Caroubia, Herbert’s rambling two-story Provençal-style pink house—with shutters painted a startling Matisse turquoise—was the retreat of the 19th-century mystic Sidi Amar. It is set in La Montaigne, a popular residential area where the king and several foreign princes and princesses have palaces. One passes through arched Moroccan doorways into what is otherwise a very European household. Like other Tangier houses owned by European expatriates who surrounded themselves with the familiar, Caroubia makes few concessions to its Moroccan location. Indeed, Herbert’s cozy, chintz-filled rooms are full of mainly English furniture as well as paintings by Van Dyck, Reynolds, Augustus John, Cecil Bea-ton, Claudio Bravo, and Rex Whistler. The 18th- and 19th-century English chairs, sofas, bureaus, picture and mirror frames are gilded, lacquered, and often carved. “Directoire, regency, rococo, and chinoiserie—I love them all. It’s hard to choose,” says Herbert. The surprise is the palette. Walls of egg-yolk yellow, lime green, and Rajastan pink all testify to Herbert’s exuberant style. “White is so boring,” he confides.
Beneath Morocco’s cloudless blue skies are bone-white towns and multicolored fishing ports. The same landscape can be a tapestry of bright wildflowers in spring and a monotonous carpet of stubble in summer. Stalls in the souks spill over with multihued fruits and vegetables. Woven baskets mix colors that clash brilliantly. Tiles offer a kaleidoscope of color. Tradition-steeped artisans in Morocco continue to demonstrate an innate color sense as compelling today as it was to Matisse in the early 20th century. Palace throne rooms, Berber houses in the Atlas, bolts of cloth in Chaouen, sugar cones wrapped in paper, women’s veils and caftans, men’s leather slippers—there is color everywhere in Morocco. It is in tiles, in fabrics, and on walls, shutters, and doors. Subtle and soft, bold and bright, color is part of Morocco’s magic.
Certain landmark buildings in the world do not need street addresses; everyone knows where and what they are. La Mamounia is one of them. Say the name and travelers’ eyes instantly light up. They know it is a hotel in Marrakesh, an acclaimed hotel with an astonishing history, a Moorish-style hotel with Art Deco features, a hotel with phenomenal gardens. For those fortunate enough to check into La Mamounia, it is a step back into Moroccan history. The story begins in the 18th century when an extraordinary park outside the kasbah in Marrakesh—one of Morocco’s four Imperial Cities—was given as a wedding present to Prince Moulay Mamoun by his parents Sultan Sidi Muhammad and Lalla Fatima. Named after the prince, Arset el Mamoun was famous for its beauty and for the frequent festivities that were held there to entertain royal guests.
It became clear in the 1920s that Marrakesh needed a glamorous hotel to host European travelers. The park was the obvious site. Under the direction of European architects, La Mamounia was built by French, Italian and Moroccan craftsmen to showcase the finest Moroccan and Art Deco design and furniture. Its doors opened in 1923, and guests have included film stars, royalty, and heads of state. Regularly renovated over the last half-century, La Mamounia has mercifully maintained its historic integrity. Burled wood and marquetry panels appear throughout the dimly lit lobby. Stepping from the hotel’s mirrored dark-wood and glass elevators, guests open doors to rooms that are reminiscent of a pasha’s palace. A night in the Churchill Suite evokes a more Anglo-Saxon atmosphere. In homage to Sir Winston, who was a frequent guest, an easel displays a replica of one of his many paintings of the hotel’s famous gardens. Sprawled across 20 acres, cared for by 34 full-time gardeners and designed in formal Moroccan style, La Mamounia’s semitropical gardens intoxicate strollers with blossoming orange and lemon trees, thousands of rose bushes, and masses of bright mimosa. Nightingales and turtledoves nest in the palm trees that line the pathways between herbaceous gardens planted with stock, snap-dragons, and hollyhocks. Over the top of the bougainvillea-covered walls, the distant, snowcapped mountains of the High Atlas provide an impressive backdrop to this North African Shangri-la.
bright blue. Antique Moroccan doors inside the house reemphasize the Levys’ insistence on historic local authenticity. With herringbone floors of terra-cotta, burnt umber, and olive-colored baby bricks, the living room has coffee tables made from native thuya wood from Essaouira. Off-white muslin is used both for curtains and to cover modem sofas. The “Berber country” look continues in an adjacent guest-house. Entered through dazzling blue doors, bedrooms full of antique handpainted furniture are off an all-white courtyard the floor of which is covered with bright yellow-and-blue tiles. “The house is exactly what we wanted. It is barefoot, Moroccan country,” the Levys are happy to “The way we live in Marrakesh is a happy Casablanca and Paris.”
A North African Paradise
The Villa Oasis. The name is perfect, ring the bell, wait the hot sun for the elderly retainer to swing open the gate, step inside out of the sight and sound of honking traffic, chattering pedestrians, and yelling vendors. Instantly, the cacophony of teeming Marrakesh is gone, replaced by serenity, a peace, and astonishing beauty. You are inside the walls of the world-famous Moroccan hideaway of Paris couturier Yves Saint Laurent and his business partner Pierre Berge. Born and brought up in Algiers, Saint Laurent’s life-long passion for Islamic culture burst into architectural and horticultural bloom when he and Berge bought the former villa and garden of French artist Jacques Majorelle. Madly in love with Marrakesh and all things Moroccan, Majorelle arrived in the country in 1917 and remained until his death in 1962. Soon afterward, Saint Laurent and Berge with the help of Marrakesh designer Bill Willis and Parisian designer Jacques Granges set about restoring the 1924 villa into a Marrakesh bolt hole of magnificent design, which includes Islamic-inspired pieces by Saint Laurent and Willis. Furniture, fabrics, paintings, rugs, ceilings, doorways everything in the villa is a statement to an arrestingly exotic taste set off by dazzling surroundings.
It is the adjacent Majorelle Garden, however, that most people exclaim over. Open to the public, it is a one-acre North African botanical paradise that has been restored and expanded by Saint Laurent with breathtaking daring. The garden’s bougainvillea-covered adobe walls, Moorish-and Art Deco-inspired buildings, and raised flowerbeds of nasturtiums are painted a strong hard blue, known as “bleu Majorelle.” Large terracotta pots, painted pale yellow, green and blue and spilling over with flamingo-colored geraniums, are strategically placed along crisscrossing paths of beaten red earth and tile steps that are colored hot blue and chili green. Carp and goldfish streak through pools full of water lilies and papyruses. Dappled sunlight comes and goes through the luxuriant swaying foliage of towering and often rare bamboo, palm trees, agaves, and cacti.
In the old times, when studio factories stretched across LA under a harshly blue sky, the conclusion of production on one movie was almost indistinguishable from the final periods of the movie that had been completed a week earlier or the movie that would be done 2 weeks after.
Casablanca ended production on August 3, 1942, eleven days behind schedule.
Nobody was disappointed that the film was finally done. Majority of the actors were not fond of each other. Michael Curtiz, the director, had been vicious, as always, to his staff and talent actors. The fighting made it unmanageable to shoot real airplanes, so Humphrey Bogart had said farewell to Ingrid Bergman in Warner Bros. Stage 1, before a plywood plane with the atmospheric fog pumped in to disguise the phoniness. The movie had began in May and the screenwriters were still writing new speeches in mid July. It made the actors edgy. Although Bergman always managed to hide her anxiety, Bogart lashed out. Casablanca was just one of the four movies he would make in 1942, and he had had much more fun on across the pacific.
Bergman had taken the part of Ilsa Lund in Casablanca only for the reason that she’d been rejected for the role she really liked- Maria in Paramount’s film version of Hemingway’s Spanish Civil War novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. To Bergman, who lived to work, any role was better than none, but she had been playing docile, love-torn women like Ilsa for years. Even then, Bergman was hungry for Academy Awards, and David O. Selznick, the producer who owned her contract, had assured her that Maria, the Spanish girl who had been raped by the Falangists before she joined a partisan band in the mountains, would win her one. When Bergman finished working Zorina was Maria, but Paramount was having second thoughts. For days the Los Angeles Times had been printing rumors that Zorina’s hold on the role was shaky. The movie had been in production for ten days, and Zorina seemed too much the ballerina to be believable as a peasant girl who could climb the hills like a mountain goat.
During that hot morning on the Warner Bros. back lot, Bergman was waiting for the telephone call that would tell her whether she was to replace Zorina. The call came while Bergman and Paul Henreid were posing for publicity photographs. According to her diary, when the phone in the Warner Bros. picture gallery rang, it was David Selznick who told her that she will play the role Maria. Bergman never felt much happier after her time with Swedish Royal Dramatic Theatre. To Henreid, her shout of triumph was that of a tigress who has made a kill. Henreid had been working with Bergman for nearly two months, but it was only at this last moment that he pierced her shield of sweet docility and understood “how she had managed to get ahead in Sweden and in the Hollywood jungle.” Surfeited with victory, Bergman barely gave Casablanca another thought.
Six other movies were shooting at Warner Bros. the week that Casablanca ended. Casablanca was neither the most important nor the most expensive. Its final cost of $1,039,000 was considerably more than Warner Bros. would have spent four years earlier but relatively modest for an A film in 1942. Of the seven pictures filling the Warner Bros, stages in early August, only Princess O’Rourke was cheaper. Air Force was in production for ninety-nine days and cost $2,646,000. Edge of Darkness, with the studio’s top star, Errol Flynn, and The Adventures of Mark Twain cost over $1,500,000 each. Watch on the Rhine, based on a play by Lillian Hellman, was to be the studio’s prestige movie for 1943, the movie that would carry Warners’ hopes for Academy Awards. Even The Desert Song, Sigmund Romberg’s 1926 operetta dragged out of storage and dressed up with Nazi villains, cost $1,148,000. Casablanca finished on August 3, and Edge of Darkness took over the soundstages on August 4. “One in and one out,” as Rick Blaine would state at the time Ilsa Lund returned back into his life. Rick Blaine said lot of things, and college students who weren’t born when he said them would shout his words back at the screen twenty years later The Germans wore gray; you wore blue.” “We’ll always have While this picture was being taken, Ingrid Bergman was waiting for the call that would get the role she really wanted.
Paris. “I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see t the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill beans in this crazy world.”
By the time John F. Kennedy ran for President and Harvard students sat in the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and chanted Rick’s words, the war that had formed the context for Casablanca was just another chapter in American history textbooks. The movie should have been as dead as the hundreds of other melodramas that Hollywood churned out during World War II at best, Rick Blaine should have been exiled to film classes as an interesting example of The Cynical Idealist-a common film protagonist during the late 1930s and early 1940s. “But to be at the Brattle when Casablanca was playing was, in a small way, like being at a theater in ancient Greece watching Oedipus, says Cyrus Harvey, Jr. who co-owned the theater. “Some people came twenty-five and thirty times. The film was almost mythical, and audiences would thirty repeat lines the way they did in Greek amphitheaters.”
There are more films that are greater quality compared to Casablanca, but there are no better films that showcased U.S.’ mythical vision of itself on the outside and moral within, able to sacrifice and present romance while not sacrificing the individualism that dominated a continent, pulling its neck out for every one by the time situation demand heroism. There’s no other film that has so mirrored both the time it was created – the early days of the second world war -and the psychological needs of film goers many years later. Of course, it was an accident, that Casablanca merged a theme, an old song, half a dozen actors, and a script full of cynical dialogues and ethical certainty, into 2 hours that have set into the minds of American people. But every film is a creature created from accidents and blind choices – a mechanical monster constructed of camera angles, chemistry between actors, too little money or too much, and a thousand unintended moments.
A gust of wind blew Maureen O’Hara’s wedding veil in How Green Was My Valley, giving a poignant visual coda to a sad wedding and a hint of the unhappy marriage to come. “That was wonderful storytelling,” said the screenwriter Philip Dunne.” And it was just a piece of luck for us. I tried to reproduce it when I directed 10 North Frederick, and then I realized it was a mistake to try. You can ‘t reproduce those accidents.”
The film was a montage of fortune – bad and good. The producer, Hal Wallis, was annoyed that Michele Morgan sought for 55,000 dollars to star in the film. Wallis insisted to Curtiz that there’s no reason to demand such amount. Wallis could and did- borrow Ingrid Bergman from David O.Selznick for $25,000. But a choice in 1992 is only made sure because of hindsight. Both the young Swedish had been successful in their first American movies. Casablanca would have been Michele Morgan’s second Hollywood film, an immediate successor to Joan of Paris. Bergman had followed Intermezzo with three mediocre movies. Ingrid Bergman became a star because of Casablanca. Would it be similar for Michele Morgan, whose Hollywood career had put to an end after 3 movies?
Composer Max Steiner hated “As Time Goes By” and convinced Wallis to permit him to replace it with his own love song. But in one timely fate, Ingrid Bergman had already cut her hair short intended for her role in “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and to reshoot the essential scenes would be impossible. Casablanca also had the luck to be made early in the war, before films had to be force-fed with patriotism, stuffed to bursting like fated American geese. And, in the Epstein twins, it had a pair of writers who tied a sting to the tail of the sentiment. Did Casablanca succeed because Julius and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch were bringing rewritten scenes to the set every day or in spite of it, because Ingrid Bergman was confused about what she should feel toward Paul Henreid and Humphrey Bogart or in spite of her confusion?
In later years, Bergman would get annoyed when people told her that they had loved her in Casablanca. “She was surprised and a little irritated, miffed by all the attention to that movie,” says Bergman’s oldest daughter, Pia Lindstrom. “She would always get this exasperated look. This was partly because she was terribly serious about building a character. She didn’t come from the school of improvising or going with the flow. That’s why she was piqued that something that seemed haphazard turned out to be everybody’s favorite movie.
Bogart’s reaction to the movie’s success was rather sarcastic. He enjoys mentioning to Lauren Bacall, his fourth wife, the way the studio’s head of publicity, Charles Einfeld, had the incredible admission that the actor had sex appeal. Bacall recalls Bogart saying that surely, he did nothing in the movie that I had not been made in 20 films before that, and suddenly they’d discover he’s sexy. Any man has sex appeal.
It was a hot summer, although the heat wave that had choked the San Fernando Valley during July lessened in August. Landlocked, Warner Bros, was always a roasting pan. The studio’s chiet rivals Paramount, 20th Century-Fox, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer were on the far side of the mountains, the cool side. If you climbed high enough at M-G M, you could even see the ocean six miles away. But Warners was all heat, metaphorically as well as physically. It was almost as though the studio were in heat: edgy, intense, feverish, throbbing with urgency. Songwriter Harry Warren described the M-G-M of that era as a garden and compared Warners to a prison, the made in s SUg sam m nCaeaanecs the A onNorwegian vi all rat-a-tat-tat machine-gun rhythm.
That was the rhythm of the studio and its movies. Dozens of Warner movies were torn from the morning headlines. Let a gang ster be shot, coal miners go on strike, truck drivers or taxi drivers war with City Hall or crooked union officials, and Warner Bros. was there to make the news into fiction almost before the ink had dried. As late as 1942, itinerant crop pickers fought with a packing company’s hired thugs in Warners’ Juke Girl
It’s likely that one of the seven other major studios might have bought and made a movie from Everybody Comes to Rick’s, an unproduced play about a cynical American who owns a bar in Casablanca. It would not be the same film, not just due to Gary Cooper would have starred at Paramount, or Tyrone Power at Fo,x Clark Gable at M-G-M, but for the reason that a different studio approach would have been more lethargic, less satirical, or lavishly Technicolored. Like the other studios, Warners produced melodramas, musicals, tear jerkers, and costume epics, but each studio made them on different subjects and in different styles. One effect of the war was to mash the subjects and styles together into a generic war film. Earlier, even Warner films with hoop skirts or swordplay had a rawness and social or political edge that the other studios were uninterested in copying. At the same time that Warners tackled syphilis in Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet in 1940, M-G-M created two biographies of Thomas Edison and one of Johann Strauss.
In 1942, among the studios. at that time, Warner. Bros. was the most economical as there were few waste. World War II gave Harry Warner, the studio’s president, a reason to get the nails abandoned by uncaring carpenters. Over half of the Warner films produced in 1942 presented the war in many ways, a jackpot for actors who run from Berlin or Vienna. Casablanca was full of Jewish refugees, a lot of them played Nazis.
Of the seven pictures being shot during the first week of August, four concerned the underground Resistance-symbolized by a Czech patriot in Casablanca, the American leader of the Riff tribe in The Desert Song, a Norwegian village in Edge of Darkness, and an anti -Nazi German in Watch on the Rhine. The real war movies would come later, when there were victories to celebrate. In the summer of 1942, there were mostly defeats. By ant Henry David Mark, the brother of two studio employees, had been killed in March on the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines. And Warners, more than any other studio, had joined hands with the government and agreed to the kind of censorship the industry had been fighting since the first nickelodeons. Eventually and grudg- ingly Warnerswould have to hire girl messengers (“Because there was nothing else to do” when “the situation became desperate, reported the Warner Club News). But in 1942 the unions still refused to train women as electricians and carpenters despite the fact that week by week during that first summer of the war the men-actors directors, writers, and craftsmen-were leaving. In subtle ways, the war helped to destroy the studio system. When cameramen and actors marched home as captains and majors , they would have less
tolerance for the tyranny of the seven-year contracts they had lef Like most pictures, Casablanca ended with a whimper. The movies troublesome climax-written and rewritten and rewritten once again-had been shot in mid-July. On that last day in early August, Bergman and Henreid spent forty minutes on the French Street, doing the silent pickup shots that are the movie equivalent of sweep ing up. Curtiz filmed them from the point of view of Fumphrey Bogart, who was already down in Newport on his boat. The rest of the day, Curtiz dressed the street with seventy-nine extras from Central Casting and shot refugees running from the police in the first behind scenes of the movie The other actors had scattered. Bogart had retreated into a stale and hostile marriage. During the shooting of Casablanca, his alco holic wife, Mayo Methot, had accused him of having an affair with Ingrid Bergman. Mayo always prowled the sets of Bogart’s movies, inventing liaisons that didn’t exist. Her jealousy fed Bogart s surli ness, and he spent most of his time on the set of Casablanca alone in his canvas dressing room, or playing a solitary game of chese Actors had little control over their destinies. Bogart loved ch because there was no luck to the game Claude Rains had returned to his farm in Pennsylvania; Conrad Veidt to the nearest golf course; Dooley Wilson to a small white stucco house in Hollywood; Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet to a month’s vacation before they started another Warner Bros. Spy melodrama, Background to Danger. Three weeks later Curtiz would shoot a new scene, a police official announcing the murder of two German couriers, to add some drama to the movie’s first few mo. ments. And Bogart would record a new last line. Hal Wallis wrote the line himself. Actually, he wrote two alternative lines: “Luis,* I might have known you’d mix your patriotism with a little larceny” and “Luis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship Wallis was a cool and distant man, but he was admired, even by writers, as a story editor. He crossed out the more cynical line and sent the second one to Curtiz. When Bogart recorded it, he could not have imagined that the words he was reciting would become one of the most famous last lines in movie history or that, because of Casablenca he would replace Errol Flynn as Warners’ top box-office star.
Nor could anyone at Warner Bros. have inmagined that Casablanca so much creature during of its time and place, defined by the sentiments of war for which and during which it was made, would remain meaningful to audiences sixty years later. In 1941 Warner Bros, sent 48 movies into the theaters it owned. In 1942, as the scarcity of actors, materials, and technicians began to be felt, Casablanca was one of only 33 Warner films to make that journey.
The movie opened at one theater in New York on Thanksgiving Day, November 26,1942. to take advantage of the fact that Ameri troops had landed in North Africa and the city of Casablanca the headlines, In all other ways Casablanca, which had originally sheduled for the nexst spring, was a 1943 movie. It didn’t play in any other city until January 23, The Film Daily Yearbook lists it 1943 peted for 1943 Academy Awards.
Ingrid Bergman had drifted into Casablanca, but she had fought Maria and, whatever the verdict of history, Para- court is not quite level and weeping willows. “I’ve o Alorehe says. “That it ade and that we were for the role mount’s For Whom the Bell Tolls was office in 1943, selling nearly $11 million worth of tickets. 20th Century-Fox’s Song of Bernadette was second, with ticket sales of $7 runaway leader at the box million. Casablanca did well financially. Ticket sales of $3.7 million put the movie in seventh place. and it did well with most movie but that people can’t find in In The New York Times Bosley Crowther called it “a picture which makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap.” In , Ticket sales of $3.7 million keeping with the proprieties of the time, praised the movie for its political correctness. “Splendid anti-Axis propaganda,” said the Hollywood trade paper Variety. The liberal New York paper PM called the movie “an exciting film built around an exciting new idea… that leaders of Europe’s anti-Fascist underground are terribly important people these days, rating priori- ties ahead of even millionaires and playboys in such traditional number of reviewers specialties of old Casablanca as stolen passports.
There was some dissent, mostly in the highbrow magazines The ‘Casablanca’ kind of hokum was good in its original context in other movies, but, lifted into Casablanca for the sake of its glitter and not incorporated into it, loses its meaning,” Manny Farber wrote in The New Republic. The New Yorker called the film “pretty tolerable” although not up to Across the Pacific, Humphrey Bogart’s last picture. In The Nation, James Agee, one of the few reviewers who is still respected today, first offered grudging praise: “Apparently Casablanca, which I must say I liked, is working up a rather serious reputation as a fine melodrama. Why? It is obviously an improve- ment on one of the world’s worst plays, but it is not such an improvement that that is not obvious.” A year later Agee reap- praised: “Casablanca is still reverently spoken of as (1) fun, (2) a ‘real movie. I still think it is the year’s clearest measure of how willingly faute de mieux, people will deceive themselves. Even Jeannie, hardly a movie at all, was better fun.
Howard Koch, one of the movie’s three main screenwriters, has another view. In the summer of 1989, he stares out at the stream and woods that form the backyard of his house in upstate New York. At eighty-eight, he still plays croquet before cocktails, bcasaut the croquet court is not quite level and sometimes a ball gets entangled in the weeping willows. “I’ve got almost a mystical feeling about Casablanca,” he says. “That it made itself somehow. That it needed to be made and that we were all conveyers on the belt, taking it there. A woman called me up a couple of weeks ago and said, ‘I tracked you down because I had to tell you that I’ve just seen Casablanca for the forty-sixth time, and it means more to me than anything in my life.’ It’s just a movie, but it’s more than that. It’s become something that people can’t find in values today. And they go back to Casablanca as they go back to church, political church, to find something that is gone from our values today.” When Koch says that Casablanca made itself, he holds out his hands, palms up and cupped as though he has dipped them in the stream.
Views-he calls them “progressive”-that sent him into exile during the 1950s. Mother Jones and a disarmament newsletter sit on his coffee table. “I’m just part of the chain,” he says. “I’m not important in it. None of us are. But we’re important as links in the chain.” That chain was wound tightly around the 135 acres of the Warner Bros. First National studio in Burbank. Koch was neither the first nor the last link. With appropriate symmetry for a movie that encapsulated both the idealism that Americans brought to World War private lives that the and th renunciation war brought to them, Casablanca officially entered the studio system on December 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese, and departed, draped with an Academy Award for best picture, in the spring of 1944, when the Allies were poised to invade western Europe and the studios were decisively turning their backs on the war and planning movies for the peace to come. Casablanca had done more than was expected. It had made money improved careers, won awards, and given Jack Warner something to boast about. It was put in a vault and forgotten.
Must read: Behind the Scenes: Casablanca, the Movie
The Modern Casablanca Morocco
The city of Casablanca was given its much-deserved spotlight in the film similar to the city’s name featuring Hollywood star Humphrey Bogart. The place’s actual establishment was in 1906 and had a populace of roughly 20,000 individuals. At present, the city prides its populace of more than 4 million and, as the main reflection of the Kingdom of Morocco, it takes after a Southern European city more than whatever remains of the urban areas in the nation itself. Casablanca is presumably the most liberal and dynamic of the greater part of Morocco’s urban areas and it is normal to see young ladies clad in branded products and men brandishing suit, ties, and satchels.
Otherwise called Dar el Baida or just Casa, the city of Casablanca is the capital city of Morocco. It is the primary passageway and exit for most travel guests to the nation, whether coming from Europe or the United States of America. With a lot of spots to settle on any budget plan inside and around the city, guests will discover it a great vacation spot that includes some shopping, food adventures, a lot of nightlife and a considerable measure of unwinding.
The modern Casablanca is the country’s center in all means except ceremonial. The booming city is the nation’s biggest, with a populace running to 4 million, the dominant part of whom are just first or second era occupants. Casa, as the city is famously called, is the new city, having developed from a little town with less than a thousand populations just 150 years back. The pilgrims are coming even up to present, drawn by the desire for finding a vacation, lodging, and a superior life than what provincial Morocco can offer. Some successfully make their fortune and the better standard of living on Casa’s boulevards and in it’s in vogue bars and foodie hangouts give the impression of a city in southern Europe.
For explorers, modern and cosmopolitan Casa never disappoint. The veil is hardly observed here, and the blending of men and ladies is the most open of anyplace in the country. With its little medina without any of the unusual environment of the nation’s better-known old urban communities and a shortage of sights bar the fabulous Hassan II Mosque, numerous explorers go through Casa with just a short peek or even avoid the city totally. The individuals, who stay, in any case, discover the city develops on them, offering a decent selection of fine eateries, a couple of spots to relax and appreciate a drink, and a buzz of a city stepping forward.
Tourists from N. America or Europe will not likely to encounter any problem in the city. Aside from the fact that Casablanca, being the main population center and heart of trade, most of the area is less than fifty years old and might simply be confused with LA or Madrid. In Morocco, food is very much like European taste, with pizzas and hamburgers as frequent as tajines and couscous. In other parts of the city like Maarif and Gironde districts, getting a glimpse of a man in a djellaba or a donkey pulling a cart of vegetables are uncommon. If even the trappings of Moroccan culture such as these are too much for you, any hotel bar or restaurant is going to be just like home for a few hours.
The easygoing explorer, generally limited to the downtown area, won’t be presented to quite a bit of this inner conflict. Traveler and business leader Mohamed Dekkak of Morocco stated that Casablanca’s downtown area is encountering a mini-boom, with new inns going up, old ones being revamped, and a perpetually growing food scene. There’s most likely Casablanca does not have the appeal of some different urban areas and districts, yet taken for what it is, this present-day city could be viewed as a genuine impression of today’s Morocco.