Reading on the Road in Morocco: Blogs

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Internet access continues to grow in Morocco, and with it the Moroccan blogosphere is expanding as well. Though many Moroccan bloggers write in French or Arabic, an increasing number use English—a reflection of the language's growing popularity here.

Because of the risks associated with expressing critical views—particularly on national politics—Moroccan bloggers tend to tread carefully. But in the expat communities in France and elsewhere, many have embraced blogging in order to share their unfiltered views of their homeland. (Their key role in the 9% movement is a recent example.)

In addition, a dedicated group of non-Moroccan bloggers—both in Morocco and abroad—also contribute to online discussions of events in the country.

So, for those looking for something more substantial than my own entries on Morocco, here are the blogs I have been following throughout this year, on topics related to Morocco and the greater North Africa region:

Culture, Food, and Design:

RSS feed: A Moroccan Kitchen A Moroccan Kitchen: "Teaching and sharing the wonderful food in Fès"
Chefs Samira and Sabah run the kitchen at Riad Laaroussa in Fes, and blog in their spare time, providing authentic Moroccan recipes from the country's cultural capital. Excuse their spelling and grammar - they're just learning English!

RSS feed: Moroccan Design Moroccan Design: "Project of a web designer and informal student of Moroccan design"
A fun design blog on North African art and Morocco-inspired patterns, textiles, architecture, tilework, and more. Written by an American woman who frequently travels to al-Maghreb with her Moroccan husband.

RSS feed: My Marrakesh My Marrakesh: "A place for lifestyle and design"
Culture and lifestyle blog by "Moroccan Maryam", an American woman living outside Marrakesh and working to establish a guesthouse. Great photos and topics, and a quirky writing style.

RSS feed: Vie au Maroc Vie au Maroc: "A North African chronicle by Jacqueline Powers"
Notes on cooking, culture, and traveling during Jacqueline's Fulbright project in Morocco. I'm a big fan of this blog, and an even bigger fan of its author. ;)


RSS feed: The Mirror The Mirror / المرآة: "Humble reflections on Morocco, the Middle East, and a world obviously reluctant to uncork"
Very intelligent, progressive commentary on major current events and social trends evolving in today's Morocco and beyond.

RSS feed: "Comme une bouteille jetée à la mer!"
(French) As a Moroccan expat living in France, author Larbi is safely out of reach of the Moroccan monarchy - his favorite target, along with the monarchy's supporters. Sometimes playful, usually sarcastic, and always unsparing in his criticism of the democratic shortfalls of his homeland.

RSS feed: Global Voices Online Global Voices Online: Morocco
Global Voices is an innovative project providing translated information from across the blogosphere in multiple languages. The Morocco page has regular updates on the hot topics that Moroccan bloggers are currently discussing.

RSS feed: Jillian York Jillian York
A former English teacher in Morocco, Jillian now works closely with the Global Voices project (see above), and remains very plugged into the Moroccan blogosphere. Her posts cover current events in Morocco, press and journalism, new media, and other topics.

RSS feed: Laila Lalami Laila Lalami
A Moroccan author and creative writing professor, Laila Lalami currently resides in California. She offers informed views on the modern literature, cultures, and politics of Morocco, the Arab world, and even the US.

RSS feed: Le Politiquonaute Marocain Le Politiquonaute Marocain: "Espace de réflexion et de réaction sur l'actualité politique de monplusbeaupaysdumonde"
(French) A young, anonymous Moroccan's exhaustive critiques of le Makhzen (the Moroccan regime) and the ruling political class. Heavy stuff.

RSS feed: Maghreb Politics Review Maghreb Politics Review: "Maghreb and Sahel Affairs"
Insightful coverage of political developments throughout North Africa and the Sahel, infused with a welcome dose of wry humor. When the region you're covering includes political leaders such as these, sometimes you've just got to laugh.

RSS feed: The Moor Next Door The Moor Next Door: "Maghreb affairs, geopolitics, international relations"
Thoughtful, scholarly analysis on geopolitical events of note across North Africa.


RSS feed: Google News Morocco Google News "Morocco"
One of the easiest ways to stay up on Morocco-related news. Picks up everything written in English, all across the world.

RSS feed: Google News Maroc Google News "Maroc"
Ditto, but in French.

RSS feed: "Blog d'infos, de news et d'actualités de Rabat"
(French) Though a bit over-obsessed with transport issues in Rabat, MarocInfo is just about the only news feed I could find that's generated by a Moroccan organization, rather than an international one. News as told by a local source is generally more interesting, and this blog does turn up some important local stories that don't make the international press.

RSS feed: The View from Fez The View from Fez: "Observations from the medina of Fez in Morocco"
Its writing leaves something to be desired, and its spotty researching sometimes verges on plagiarism, but the View from Fez is the most prominent English-language blog in the country, providing updates and info on events and happenings in Fez and around Morocco. Among fellow expats here, I've yet to meet anyone who truly loves reading it, or anyone who doesn't read it.

There are many more out there! Here's a few others with which I'm less familiar, but which seem interesting:
Update: Check out the rest of my "Reading on the Road in Morocco" series here.

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