Posted by: alcrabat | 18 June 2013

Ryan McAllister

wer Ryan McAllister

Posted by: alcrabat | 10 April 2013

Why Moroccan Students Stay Abroad

BY Imane Belhaj

In our society, Moroccan students who graduate from foreign universities like American, French and English ones prefer to work and stay in the host countries. There are several reasons why Moroccan students like to stay there.

First of all, the opportunities to find work in the host countries are wider than the origin countries, especially in recent years because Morocco suffers from unemployment. A lot of students who graduate can’t find work because of the economic crisis.

Secondly, the high salaries graduated students get from work are better than those available in Morocco. For example, Moroccan students abroad can have a part time of job in which they can work in order to pay rent and buy what they need. Moroccan laborers in Morocco can work for eight hours or more and don’t get a good salary.

Third, Moroccan students who graduate from foreign universities get a diploma. When they want to come back to work in their country, the government doesn’t accept them because their diplomas are not qualified. Thus, they are forced to stay in the host countries.

Furthermore, some Moroccans, after they finish their studies, want to open their own project to develop their countries and to support the young generation. Unfortunately, they find a lot of problems and prefer to stay in America or France because it’s easier.

To summarize, Moroccan students prefer to work in the host countries rather than their origin countries for several reasons (economic, sociological, etc.). However, even if they are abroad, they don’t forget their cultures and traditions. 

Posted by: alcrabat | 9 March 2013

A New Kind of Addiction


The internet has become an inevitable thing in life. It’s a great way of learning, researching and communicating with people everywhere in this world. However, the people using it become less independent. It can also be a very dangerous place for teens with websites that give them access to anyone (such as Myspace and Facebook).

The most common issue with the internet for teens is getting addicted to it which can lead to some serious damages. A study revealed that excessive internet use may cause parts of teenagers’ brains to waste away. This could affect their concentration and memory, as well as their ability to make decisions and set goals. This can also lead to inappropriate behavior.

These teens stay locked in their rooms and express all their frustration and feeling through their computer. They stay there for hours, chatting with anonymous people, instant messaging or playing video games. This may have a negative impact on the teenager, who is already confused and fed up with his life. He starts hating his parents and family, stops going out, skips meals (which can result in anorexia), his school performance declines and his family is the one that suffers most.

There are different kinds of people hooked on the internet. The popular ones, who usually use it to chat with others and tease the ‘nerds.’ It may seem like a game to them, but behind their screen, they don’t realize how their bullying can get to the others. The unpopular ones, who can be victims of cyber-bullying or sexual predators. This can lead to having suicidal thoughts in their head.

Although it seems that our whole lives can be conducted on the internet, with all that it provides for us, we should be careful while using it and especially worried about teenagers.



Compulsively checking emails, playing online games for a long time, spending hours in chat rooms, neglecting family, work and life obligations. These are the main symptoms of a new form of addiction that has surfaced only in the past few years: computer addiction.

Computer addiction means a disorder when the individual turns to the computer in an attempt to change moods, overcome anxiety, deal with depression, reduce isolation or loneliness, or distract themselves from overwhelming problems.

Like any other addict, computer addicts can suffer from a variety of harmful side effects due to their obsessive behavior. The most common side effects involve their social lives.
Most addicts withdraw from friends and family as they spend more time in front of the computer. Relationships begin to wither as the user stops attending social gatherings, skips meetings with friends and avoids family members to get more computer time.

Also, computer addiction can cause physical damage like carpal tunnel syndrome, diminished eyesight, weight gain, back problems and blood clots from sitting at the computer for too long. Also, the sleep deprivation can cause drowsiness, concentration problems, weakening of the immune system and even obesity.

To conclude, here are some solutions which can help computer addicts:

  • Set a limit of what amount of time on the computer is permissable for you
  • Find a new hobby. Discover new things you like to do. Hang out with friends, try out for a play, anything to occupy yourself with something productive
  • If those ideas don’t work, consult a doctor, attend therapy sessions or go through counseling
Posted by: alcrabat | 2 March 2013

Every Girl’s Guide to the Perfect Summer Beach Trip

By Nada El Brohmi

  • Planning: First of all, plan the entire trip, from transportation to the hotel or apartment you’re staying in. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to go without booking, DON’T!! Everything is already booked during the summer.
  • Packing: What I’m going to show you is what I would recommend for a 10-day trip. To some of you, this list might sound like too much or too little. You can change it however you want!
  1. Swimsuits: Because it’s summer vacation, go absolutely crazy when it comes to swimsuits, I recommend at least three of them.
  2. Dresses: Another must in your suitcase. Pack some sundresses that will go with your bikinis. I also recommend at least three and if you’re over 18, don’t forget your clubbing dresses!
  3. Bottoms: As we all know, pants are always pushed aside during the summer but based on personal experiences, try and pack at least one pair of jeans. As for shorts, it depends on how many t-shirts you’re taking. Since I recommend at least five t-shirts, that’s what I’ll be recommending for shorts and skirts.
  4. Shoes: You need a pair of shoes which can go with each outfit. Try and use the same shoes with at least two outfits.
  5. Jewelry, hair products and makeup are optional and change from one person to another so take whatever you want!
  • The arrival: Now I’m pretty sure that the arrival is one of the most exciting parts, but don’t give in to the temptation to immediately explore the city. Instead, take your time settle down, organize everything and then you’re set to go and start enjoying your trip! I really hope what I just said helped you!
Posted by: alcrabat | 20 February 2013

Female Empowerment in Morocco

By Manal Zehri

Behind every successful man stands a woman!

This famous quote is true in all countries, including Morocco. Indeed, after many struggles, this country is undergoing considerable development thanks to the involvement and contribution of women.

For many centuries, Moroccan women were marginalized. That is to say, they couldn’t be educated and weren’t allowed to express their political points of view. Besides, they were under the responsibility of their husbands, even at home, where they were spending most of their time cooking, looking after the children and doing housework. If only men had been aware and conscious of the important role they played! At least, we wish they could have been grateful to their wives by respecting them and not mistreating them.

Today, luckily, things are changing day by day. First, the status of women has noticeably changed thanks to the family code of 2004 which limited polygamy, forbade repudiation and gave more rights to women in the family life. Then, many human rights organizations calling for more equality between men and women in the public and political life and combating violence against women were born in the last decades such as the “AMDH” (Moroccan Association for Human Rights) and the “OMDH” (Moroccan Organization for Human Rights). Furthermore, quotas are fixed in some political functions so that the participation of women in politics is guaranteed. For instance, there are laws in Morocco which make the participation of women in political parties or in the parliament compulsory. Moreover, the government is championing policies that encourage girls’ education especially in the rural areas where they often work as maids. Also, every year in Morocco, there’s a celebration called “KHMISSA” which honors some of the Moroccan women who are marked out, each in her field, for their creativity, abnegation and achievements.

However, much remains to be done in order to improve the emancipation of women in Morocco as a developing country. Indeed, almost half of the Moroccan population is illiterate and women are the most affected by this phenomenon of illiteracy. And as we know, education is the key to success and development. If women are not educated, then they cannot properly enjoy their social and political rights and won’t be able to cary out their duties towards society. That’s why each citizen must contribute in a way to raise people’s awareness about the importance of women’s education as a requirement of development and guarantee of many other rights. So, as “Gandhi” said, let’s be the change we wish to see in the world and let’s make more efforts so as to give women more power!

Posted by: alcrabat | 14 February 2013

Parents vs. Teenagers

By Ikram Bellarabi

Parent-teenager problems are a common thing in most households. The relationships between these two different different generations are full of problems and conflicts. So what are these problems and how can we resolve them?

Adolescence is the most important phase in human life. It’s the time when kids grow up and become teens and a part of being a teen is developing their own identity by creating their own opinions, thoughts, styles and values about life. It’s what prepares them for adulthood. But parents are the last people who see changes in a growing child, so they still treat them like little kids.

They don’t recognize that their children should be treated in another way now and need more freedom and independence. This is the main cause of parent-teenager problems. There are many other reasons and situations in which conflict arises. Here are some of them:

CURFEW: Parents limit time for teenagers to come home. Of course, teenagers don’t respect it and prefer to come home late. So parents are so worried and they give them a very severe punishment when they return home.

BAD HABITS: No parents accept that their children have bad habits like smoking, drinking or using drugs. They know that these things go against their vision of a bright future for their children, therefore, they do their best to keep them away from these bad things or convince them to quit if they are addicted.

PERSONAL APPEARANCE: Tatoos, piercings, crazy hairstyles, heavy make-up or bizarre clothes are easy ways to pick a fight with parents who value traditional clothes and think that these strange looks break the rules and norms of society.

TEENAGE CHARACTER: Parents are always angry about their children’s character. They say that teenagers have bad behavior. They are impolite, rude, indifferent and don’t participate enough in housework or homework.

All these are causes of the problems between parents and teenagers but how can we resolve them?

There are some easy ways to fix the problems:

  • Communicate. Parents and teenagers should talk and convince each other of their opinions and thoughts and try to find a solution for both sides.
  • Do things together (such as going to movies).
  • Read books about parents and teenager relationships.
  • Go to family counselling. It can be a good way to open up communication between parents and teenagers.
Posted by: alcrabat | 5 December 2012

Moroccan Traditions

By Ikram Bellarabi

For each country, traditions, as an important cultural heritage, represent their identity. When we say ‘traditions,’ we mean the ideas, customs, beliefs, acts, values, points of view, morals, common practices, activities, and knowledge which have been followed for generations. Those that have been passed on from father to son or ancestors to posterity.

Morocco, as a fascinating mix of African, Islamic, Arab, Berber, and European influences, has a varied and rich culture. It has unique traditions and customs which attract everyone who visits. Here are some of them:

Moroccan Food Traditions:

Moroccans have five daily meals: breakfast in the morning, followed by a second breakfast in mid-morning, and lunch at midday. After that, they serve a break of tea with bread or some cookies and, finally, dinner at night.

In all Moroccan homes, the bread on the table is necessary. We eat it with all meals. And we have our own special tea with mint and a lot of sugar. It’s served with breakfast and lunch and dinner. Moreover, it’s also served to visitors and guests.

We have the tajine, the delicious meal which is made primarily of vegetables and a bit of meat in the middle. It is served hot in a single dish on the table and eaten with bread.

The most famous dish is ‘cous-cous.’ This one you can find only in Morocco. Like the tajine, it’s eaten by hand and sometimes by spoon. Cous-cous is known more as a dish for special occasions (Ashura, the 26th day of Ramadan, etc.). Besides this, most Moroccan families have it on Fridays, after prayer.

Moroccan people usually eat from a large communal dish in the center of the table and they say ‘bismillah’ (in the name of Allah) before they start and ‘hamdulillah’ (thank God) after they finish.

Moroccan Wedding Traditions:

Typically, Moroccan wedding ceremonies are some of the most expensive in the world, depending on the family and the area, if you are in the city or the country.

The Moroccan wedding is the perfect occasion to bring Moroccan families together. It’s known for the different traditional dresses (kaftans) and gold accessories worn by the bride, the cocktail of delicious dishes, cakes, and cookies, and  the different kinds of drinks.

The most famous Moroccan wedding tradition takes place in Imilchil, where the people from the various tribes in the Atlas mountains meet every year in September for the marriage festival. During the festival, single people can find a husband or wife. Then, they are married during a big ceremony with lots of dancing.

Moroccan Henna Tradition:

Henna is a kind of tatoo that Moroccan wmoen do on their hands and sometimes on their hair. It’s made from a shrub called ‘Henna.’ Some older people believe that it brings good luck and joy and offers protection against illness and the evil eye. It’s present in most Moroccan ceremmonies. The best known tradition is the night before a wedding, when an old woman (Nagafa) makes beautiful Henna tatoos on the bride’s hands and feet.


I think our traditions are our past. Without our past, we are nothing. For this reason, everyone must preserve and keep them for our sons and daughters and posterity.

Posted by: alcrabat | 22 November 2012

Behind the Scenes of Lead Hanger

By Douâa Jazouli


Amongst the many rock and metal magazines from around the globe, and amidst the lack of them in Morocco, Lead Hangar Fanzine debuted in March 2011 as the first and only Moroccan magazine dealing with music and, more specifically, the brutal kind. Written in both French and English, L.H is a dream come true.

“Making a fanzine was an idea that was haunting me for some time, and then it happened!”  reported Abdoulah Soulami, founder and chief editor of Lead Hangar Fanzine. After discussing the plan with two of his friends, Haytam El Kessar and Nora Rehioui, the three youngsters started writing in March 2011. A month later, the first issue was online. The number of writers in Lead Hangar was extended to 12 columnists but only 8 remain. Actually working within the fanzine are Haytam El Kessar (co-founder & editor), Aly Omari Tadlaoui (Album reviewer), Hamza Benameur (Bass reviewer), Yassir Chiguer (Guitar reviewer), Chady Chadili (Photographer/Editor), Wail Ghezala (Designer), and the newest, Muhammed Amine Trafeh – or the ‘fresh meat’ as Abdoulad calls him – (Columnist).

As of this day, the fanzine currently counts between 166 and 803 readers per month, depending on the stories and issues dealt with. The most widely read article, with 925 readers, was about Evanescence and the band coming to Morocco. The largest group of regular readers (about 46%) is males aged between 18 and 24, while the highest percentage of female readers is still just 17.3%.  Yet, let’s be proud of our magazine, which has broken the limitation of having only Moroccan readers to being known in other French-speaking countries, the US, Canada, Argentina, Ukraine, and South Africa.

Lead Hangar fanzine has set the bar quite high. The online magazine has interviewed worldwide celebrities such as Sharlee D’Angelo, bassist for the Swedish melodic death-metal band Arch Enemy, Fleshgod Apocalypse, an Italian technical death metal band, Orange Goblin, also known as Our Haunted Kingdom, Lifer – a nu metal band, and Myrath, the Tunisian progressive metal band. Their writers are, indeed, not interested in Lady Gaga & co.

Lead Hangar’s stories do not stop here. The fanzine writes about everything concerning rock and metal, starting with the live report, album reviews, bass and guitar reviews, highlights, simple news, tour dates and the latest albums in stores.

The fanzine has already released nine online editions and two special ones. The chief editor is hoping that one day, perhaps, L.H. will have a print edition. He also added: “if we ever get to release a printed Lead Hangar, it’ll be available for free. Knowledge, in all its forms, should be free and available to whoever seeks it.”

Posted by: alcrabat | 5 September 2012

World Soccer Round-up

By Adam Chanaoui

The 2011-2012 Football season was a very interesting one. It had a lot of action and intensity between teams both in their respective domestic leagues, in the Europa League and the Champions league.

Spain: As usual, La Liga was disputed between the giants: Real Madrid and F.C Barcelona, with a stunning 30-point difference between them and their closest chaser, Valencia. Real Madrid, the champion of this year’s edition by 9 points away from Barcelona, is the first team that has ever reached 100 points in a major league.

In another competition between two other rivals, Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid and Lionel Messi from Barcelona were fighting for the “pichichi” (best scorer) the whole season. The season ended with 50 Goals for Messi and 46 for Cristiano followed by Radamel Falcao from Athletico Madrid with 23 goals. In other news, Barcelona’s coach, Pep Guardiola, decided to quit and leave the club after his 4-0 win over Espagnol. He had a huge farewell celebration from his team and gave the supporters a final speech.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo battled all season for La Liga championship and “Pichichi” trophy

Italy: This year was special in Italy as the sleeping Juventus finally woke up and won the Serie A Championship. AC Milan was very surprised by the power of Juventus this year as the black and white team finished the season on top of the table with a comfortable 4 point lead, guaranteeing them a spot in the next Champions league. Last season’s champion, Inter Milan, had some serious problems after their coach, Jose Mourinho, left for Real Madrid. They finished the season in the sixth position. As for goals, AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimoviç was on top of the board with 28, followed by Diego Milito from Inter Milan with 24.

France: Montpellier, a relatively small team, won the title thanks to the play of their forwards, Olivier Giroud from France and Younés Belhanda from Morocco. It was shock for all other teams. They finished the season in the first place with only 3 points separating them from Paris Saint-Germain. The winning team is now preparing for another successful season and is competing in the Champions League next year. For goals, Giroud from Montpellier shared the first spot with Nene from PSG with 21, followed by Eden Hazard from LOSC Lille Métropole with 17.

Montpelier’s Younés Belhanda

England: In the Premier League, Manchester City took away their first title in over 40 years from Manchester United on the final day. Both teams had the same amount of points (89); But Man City had more goals (93) than Man U (89) which decided the championship. As for goals, Robin Van Persie from Arsenal was on top with 30 goals this season, followed by Wayne Rooney from Manchester United with 26.

City claimed the Premier League crown on the final day despite Wayne Rooney’s spectacular “bicycle” goal against them earlier n the year

Europa League: The Europa League was colonized by Spanish teams as 3 out of 4 teams in the semi-final were from Spain. They were Valencia, Athletico Madrid and Athletico Biblao. The fourth team was Sporting from Portugal. Valencia lost against Athletico Madrid and Athletico Biblao defeated Sporting, which led to the final match between two Spanish teams. Athletico Madrid was named Europa League Champion after an easy win over Bilbao 3-0. In the Goals competition, Falcao from Athletico Madrid was on top with 12, followed by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from Schalke 04 with 10 and Falcao’s teammate, Adrian Lopez, with 8.

Champions League: The Champions League is the most competitive and the interesting league as all the top teams across Europe are competing to hold the so-called “Big-Eared Cup.” This year’s league was disputed between four major teams in the semi-finals, Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich and Barcelona vs. Chelsea. The English team played with an effective defensive strategy against Barcelona. They used all their counter-attacks to score then come back to defense. This strategy led them to the final. For Bayern Munich, it was a bit harder because they had to face Real Madrid. Bayern Munich won the home match 2-1 but Real Madrid responded in the away match as they won 2-1 in Santiago Bernabeu. This led to a penalty shootout that ended up with a 3-1 victory for Bayern Munich. As for goals, Messi is on top with 14 followed by Mario Gomez with 12 and Cristiano Ronaldo with 10. The final match was played in Fußball Arena München, between Bayern Munich and Chelsea on May 19th. The teams were level after extra time and the match was decided by penalty kicks. Chelsea won the match after Didier Drogba (who also scored Chelsea’s only goal in regulation) made the final PK.

All in all, this season was very special as a lot of world records were broken, including Messi’s 50 goals in La Liga and Real Madrid being the first team to reach 100 points in one season.

Posted by: alcrabat | 29 August 2012

The Benefits of Volunteering

By Oussama Lamaankache

What does “volunteering” mean?

I asked my friends that question and here were some of the answers:

“Volunteer work is to give help to those who need [it].” —–Samir

“It’s to give without expecting to receive.”—–Jihane

“It’s a small help for your society which you gain some ‘Hassanate’ from.” —–Abdlwahed

“Volunteering is what you give but not when you give your possessions. It’s when you give of yourself that you truly give.” —–Ms. Zineb Gormat, ALC Teacher and head of the ALC’s Community Service Project

For me, volunteering is a small help that you give to people in need (disabled, elderly, poor or sick people) without expecting to receive anything for the help that you gave.

Members of the ALC’s Community Service Program

When I was young, each time I saw a disabled person, I said to myself, “Unfortunately, I don’t have much money to help him or her. ” I thought that money was the only thing that helped disabled people. But, after a short experience at an association of disabled people, I know that this is not the case. In fact, if you give just a couple of hours of your time per day, week or even month to the disabled, it’s better than giving money. If you joke or sing with them that you care, it’s better than giving bills or cash.

Some can say: “I don’t have time. I work or I study or, sometimes, both during the week. I don’t even have time to relax; I can’t help or volunteer.” In this case, I say, “no.” You can volunteer and you can help. If you don’t have time at all, try to advise your classmates, colleagues or family members to volunteer. If you know someone who wants to give clothes or money to charity, you can show him or her the association which needs it the most.

As I wrote in the definition above, volunteering is to give without expecting to receive something. But, you do receive a lot of things. In fact, as Muslims we do volunteer work to gain some “Hassanate.” You also start to appreciate yourself more than before. That is to say, if you feel that you aren’t worth anything or that you aren’t good enough or you are hopeless, this feeling will disappear when you volunteer. Volunteering can also help you to face your challenges and your problems. You add the phrase “never give up” to your life’s dictionary and you omit the word “impossible.” Last, but by no means least, while doing volunteer work you feel comfortable and happy. You forget all the problems that you have. Volunteering makes your life better and better.

The ALC’s CSP team speaking with residents of a retirement home

In writing this article based on my experience with volunteer work, I decided to speak a little bit about the things that made me volunteer.

When I was growing up, I thought that disabled and elderly people were all the same as me. These people have every right to live with the same hope, security, fun, joy and manner that I enjoy in life. We are all humans. We have both equal rights and responsibilities.

One day, I saw an advertisement for the Community Service Program at the American Language Center, which talked about volunteer work. So, I said to myself, “It’s time to act on all my thoughts.” I attended the team workshops. Then, I visited some associations with the CSP and registered in one of them. Looking back on what I did, I see that it was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. I’m very thankful for the CSP team arranging the workshops and the visits that they did.

To sum up, volunteering, in general, is to give help to those in need. It works by giving part of your time to them and doing some activities with them such as reading books or telling jokes. We gain from it a feeling of satisfaction and we appreciate ourselves more and more.

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