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Destination Morocco Morocco continues to tread a cautious path into the 21st century, facing up to the challenges imposed both by its official willingness to embrace globalisation and its deep traditional roots. Although rumours suggest that the date might be pushed back by a couple of years, recent years have seen an almost exponential rise in visitor numbers. A building boom has seen the great empty spaces that sat fsrry Marrakesh and its airport now thickly planted with water-thirsty tourist hotels and apartments, with FAST FACTS ground salik broken on similar developments on the outskirts of Fez.

The Population: Life expectancy: Development Index: Development and investment in schools, roads and health care have of been a boon to most Moroccans, and economic liberalisation has helped Population without fuel a growing middle class. But not everyone has been carried along. These shanties provided the recruiting ground for the Salafia Jihadia terrorists, who carried out the Casablanca fdrry in and a suicide bombing in Both have met with reason- able success, although the feeling of disillusionment with politics in general was seen in the general salim of Bisxewhere gisex more than one in three people bothered to cast ferrj vote.

Morocco sees its relations with Europe ferry vital, with both sides con- sidering the country a key player in regional challenges such as illegal immigration, smuggling and terrorism. At the same time, the continued stalemate over the status of the Western Sahara prevents the normalisation of relations with its slaim the border with Algeria has been closed salim years as a result, to the economic detriment of both countries. As a bridge between the Western and the Islamic worlds, Hisex plays an important and often-undervalued role.

Careful negotiation be- tween these poles, and the contradictions of its own society will be key challenges in the future.

This holds true especially for Morocco. The advent of the budget airlines has put it, for many, in the same bracket as just another short-haul destination, only a few hours from the major European capitals. It See Salim Charts on bisex is bisex busex short ferry hop and a world away from Europe.

If you are travelling in winter, head for the south, although ferrt prepared for bitterly cold nights. At the other end of the scale, if ferryy intend to travel in style bsex cities like Marrakesh, expect your daily budget to increase dramatically — quality accommodation starts at Dh, hovers around Dh and then keeps HOW MUCH?

Staying in an average-priced riad and enjoying quality restaurants will require a budget of at least Dh a day per person. Pot of mint tea Dh8 Outside the major cities most of the better accommodation tends to Hammam Dh hover around Dh Petit-taxi ride Dh A meal in a cheap restaurant costs as little as Dh If you want to explore the country in your own car, average hire charges for a small car Renault Clio are Dh per day.

Petrol costs about Dh11 bisex litre, while diesel sallim cheaper at around Dh8 per litre. For a 4WD you are looking at about Dh per day, with driver. Car hire is significantly cheaper if booked in advance rather than on the spot. As a general rule, bisex km bus or train journey costs about Dh English speakers tends to be bisex only where you find tourists. It repays the little effort needed to learn a few words or phrases in Darija.

Some Moroccans resent p to get going with the ferfy ferry half salkm century on from independence, French is still the Darija and Berber. Even seen-it-all shopkeepers will be charmed by travellers attempting to use those few phrases of Tashelhit, Tarafit or Tamazight — quite a diplomatic coup, not to mention a real advantage when it comes to bargaining.

International travel is growing at a jaw-dropping rate, and we still firmly believe in the benefits it can bring — but, as biesx, we encourage you to consider the impact your visit will have on both the global ssalim ronment and the local economies, cultures and ecosystems. To give yourself a head start on how your clothes can make the right or wrong impression, and to pick up a quick bit of local etiquette see boxed texts, p49 and salim Plunge pools of the sort ferry in riads tend to be better than Biaex ones, aalim the added bonus that traditional architecture is designed to work with the environment rather than against it — thick mudbrick slaim provide excellent insulation, and cut the need bisdx energy-gobbling air-conditioning.

There are more ideas on creative conservation of resources during your trip on p For specific listings of more sustainable places to stay and activities, see the Greendex at the back of the book. Daily Fez life, with its weblike complexities, Paul Bowles, provides a fascinating backdrop. If you fancy living the riad dream, first check out A House in Fez by William S Suzanna Clarke, an excellent recounting of ferry purchase and restoration Burroughs of a townhouse in saljm heart of biex Fez blsex, and the many challenges and Jack therein.

There ferfy also a host of excellent ferru cultural events. Al-Bab www. Maghreb Arts www. Office National des Chemins de Fer www. Tourism in Morocco www. The in the extraordinary bisec. A mod- power on the coast, ern city of elegant French streets, its quiet, 12th-century medina hints before bisex at former imperial grandeur.

Pretty Ifrane p also stands at the heart of some stunning moun- tain scenery and offers enticing possibilities for hiking in the lush coun- You could ferry tryside, although continuing south through Ferry p is arguably even from Casablanca more scenic. From here, you can travel through dramatic en route. Ifrane Azrou. Midelt Essaouira. This itinerary will take This km you deep into the south for wild mountain and desert landscapes, far journey will sweep from the madding crowds and with plenty of activities to keep ferry you through the and body exercised.

Agadir is a handy entry point to Morocco, but adventurers will want to cream of Moroc- leave quickly. Stay in Tiwadou p the desert and the then journey overland to see the rock engravings at Ukas p before kasbah-studded returning to Tafraoute.

Forge on to Taroudannt p with its red walls, backdrop of snow- get the most out of salkm peaks and hassle-free echoes of Marrakesh, before heading back to this itinerary. Agadir p for sallm much-needed robust pampering of a hammam. Start out in Tangier pideally arriving by ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar at this legendary port city.

After a few days taking in the history, nightlife and restaurants, skip inland to Tetouan pthe old Northern Morocco capital of Spanish Morocco, with bisex charming blend of Arab medina and has always been Andalusian architecture.

The Spanish left a lighter imprint on nearby Chefchaouen p saoim, nestled in the Rif Mountains with its gorgeous blue- low ferry the travel- painted medina.

Continue east along the coast to Al-Hoceima phelps redress the gateway to the National Park of Al-Hoceima p where you can also hike balance. Sea ports, and enjoy homestays with local Berber families. Dive into the medina and relax in a riad, but if you find yourself missing the countryside, you can still make an easy day or several-day plenty bisex virgin trip into the cedar-clad Middle Atlas around the Berber market town of hiking territory to Azrou p Tangier Tetouan.

Take the ferry from Spain to Tangier pat once a quintessentially Mo- roccan mosaic and a decadent outpost of Europe. Catch the train south, first to artsy Assilah pwhich is loaded with whitewashed charms, and then to Casablanca p with its melange of art deco and skyscrapers. Further Tangier down the coast, Essaouira p may fedry been Assilah Casablanca discovered long ago, but its white-walled ram- Oualidia El-Jadida parts, bohemian beat and renovated riads have Essaouira that special something that salim travellers stay Diabat Sidi Kaouki longer than they bosex.

The jewel in the crown is the vast, living, ramshackle museum that is the Fez medina pthe first Moroccan site to be inscribed on the bisxe. Nearby, the Roman city of Volubilis pwith its astonishing mosaics left in situ, suggests that this region has always inspired world-class architects. To the north, the splendid medina at Tetouan p is not your ordinary Moroccan medina due to the strong Andalusian overtones.

From Tetouan, head for the coast and down past Casablanca to El-Jadida p where the enchanting Portuguese Tetouan port yields many surprises. Continuing down the Volubilis coast, the medina at Essaouira p is also de- El-Jadida Fez servedly on the list. The medina p is listed for more traditional reasons. Marrakesh is a feast in more ways than you can imagine but you can learn how to make your own at one of the cooking schools p ssalim the city. Salim spit-roasted lamb is a High Atlas speciality, so pause in Taroudannt at Jnane Soussia p before continuing on your way.

But Moroccan landscapes revolve around more than just minarets and sand dunes, and there are some great national parks to be explored. Southeast from here and near Agadir, Souss-Massa National Park p is a more varied park, with a mix of estuary, for birdwatching, and forest to hike in.

Travelling north along the coast past Rabat, Lac de Sidi Bourhaba p has wetlands that ferry large numbers of migra- tory water birds, and you can also take a dip and go swimming your- self. On the Mediterranean coast, the National Park of Al-Hoceima p is also ideal hiking country, with its forests and limestone cliffs, and community-led tourism project. Tazzeka National Park p near Taza is the last on the circuit, with striking Middle Atlas scenery of pretty waterfalls, and birdlife.

Salim instantly enchanted salim. After an interlude when he trained and worked as a molecular biologist, he eventually returned to work as a tour guide, trekking in the Atlas saliim trying not to lose passengers in the Fez medina.

He returns on a regular bisfx both for Lonely Planet and recreation, and is currently fighting the temptation to buy an old medina town house to restore into a more permanent bolthole. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, he has travelled widely and has written for many national and salim publications. He is a regular contributor of features and criticism gerry the Sunday Times and was recently voted one of the 10 key influences on travel writing.

He has written several books on North Africa, the most recent being The Gates of Africa, an account of early European exploration. His radio work has included several documentaries about Morocco, the most sallim being ferry Mar- rakesh for BBC Radio 4.

They travel widely to all the popular spots, and off the beaten track. They discover new places not included in any other guidebook. They ferry visit thousands of hotels, restaurants, palaces, trails, galleries, temples and more. They speak with dozens of locals every day to make sure you get the kind of insider knowledge only a local could tell you. They take pride in getting all the details right, and in telling it how it is. Think you can do it?

Find out how at lonelyplanet. On a clear day, it is possible to see the roof of Morocco from the summit. When he climbed up bisex, however, it was bisex a clear day, so he had to jump on a plane and see for himself, something he has wanted to do ever sxlim driving a motorcycle around Tunisia.

When not escaping salkm life, Paul bisex about it. To make it easier for you to use, access to this chapter is not digitally restricted. In the Atlas Mountains, Saharan steppes and missed its mark: its Euro- red-earth valleys you can mark the exact strata where sqlim salim shifted pean distributors received billions of years ago, and civilisation surfaced from a rugged seabed. What the proto- more believable. They were joined by Salim anglers and Saharan horse-breeders around BC.

The term has recently been reclaimed and redeemed. The ensuing centuries were one long lesson for the Romans in minding their manners.

By day, Jewish merchants traded alongside Christian and Muslim merchants, and were en- trusted with precious salt, sugar and gold brought across the Sahara; by night they were under official guard in their quarters.

The influence of the mellahs spread throughout Morocco, especially in tangy dishes with the signature salted, pickled ingredients of Moroccan Jewish cuisine. Under Alawite rule in the 17th to 19th centuries, the official policy toward Jewish Moroc- cans was one of give and take: on the one hand were opportunities as tradespeople, business leaders and ambassadors to England, Holland and Denmark in the 19th century; on the other were taxes, surveillance and periodic scapegoating.

But in good times and bad, Jewish Moroc- cans remained a continuous presence. By , some , to , Jewish Moroccans lived in Morocco. Many left after the founding of the states of Morocco and Israel, and today only an estimated to 10, remain, mostly in Casablanca. A Jewish community centre in Casablanca was a bombing target in , and though no one was harmed at the community centre, the trade-centre blasts killed 33 and wounded Yet the community remains intact, with a modest renaissance under the current king.

But many Moroccans might have preferred anarchy to the second Alawite ruler, the dreaded Moulay Ismail — A despot whose idea of a good time included public disembowelments and amateur dentistry on courtiers who peeved him, Moulay Ismail was. Rumour has it that when these decidedly nonunion construc- tion workers finished the job, some were walled in alive.

Business and tax revenues soared, palace in and in the 17th century, Barbary pirates attacked Ireland, Wales, Iceland and even Newfoundland. Captives were generally better off with Barbary pirates than French profiteers, who typically forced pris- oners to ply the oars of slave galleys until death.

The Alawite dynasty would struggle on until the 20th century, but the country often lapsed into lawlessness when rulers over- stepped their bounds. Piracy and politics became key ways to get ahead in the 18th and 19th centuries — and the two were by no means mutually exclusive. By controlling key Moroccan seaports and playing European powers against one another, officials and outlaws alike found they could demand a cut of whatever goods were shipped through the Strait of Gi- braltar and along the Atlantic Coast.

In the late 18th century, when Sidi Mohammed ben Abdullah ended the officially condoned piracy of his predecessors and nixed shady side deals with foreign powers, the finan- cial results were disastrous. Berber warlord Pasha el-Glaoui. Berber alliances. Sultan Moulay Hassan tried to rally support among the Berbers of the High Atlas in the late 19th century, but by then it was too late. France had taken an active interest in Morocco around , and allied with Berbers across North Africa to fend off the Ottomans.

After centuries of practise fighting Moroccans, Spain finally managed to oc- cupy areas of northern Morocco in — and not incidentally, generated lasting resentment for desecrating graveyards, mosques and other sacred sites in Melilla and Tetouan.

While wily Queen Victoria entertained Mo- roccan dignitaries and pressed for Moroccan legal reforms, her emissaries were busy brokering deals with France and Spain. Porch observes in the edition. More than , French administrators, outcasts and opportunists arrived in cities across Morocco to take up residence in French villes nouvelle new cities. Villes nouvelle were designed as worlds apart from adjacent Moroccan medinas historic city centres , with French schools, churches, villas and grand boulevards named after French generals.

This move the mountains. With eventually yields US support for daggers and nighttime attacks, Moroccan independence and they overcome the Fascists and the classic Humphrey Bogart terrify unsuspecting Tuscans.

Lyautey had already set up French your knowledge of the colonial enterprises in Vietnam, Madagascar and Algeria, so he arrived in latest developments Morocco with the confidence of a CEO and a clear plan of action: break in Moroccan society, up the Berbers, ally with the Spanish when needed and keep business Amazigh culture, and running by any means necessary. Berbers had never accepted foreign dominion without a fight, and they were not about to make an excep- tion for the French.

The French won a powerful ally when they named Berber warlord Thami el-Glaoui pasha of Marrakesh, but they also made a lot of enemies. Under increasing pressure from Moroccans and the Allies, France allowed Mohammed V to return from exile in Morocco successfully negotiated its independence from France and Spain between — Faced with a shaky power base, an unstable economy and elections that revealed divides.

France, Spain cedes control king. But there was a snag: the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Sahara and the Rio di Oro Polisario — Saharawi pro- independence militia declared the region independent. Instead the ICJ considered a counter-claim for independence from the Polisario, and dispatched a fact-finding mission to Spanish Sahara. The Green March is no longer the symbol of national pride it once was in Morocco. UN efforts remain deadlocked, and the status of the Western Sahara is unresolved — a rallying cry for many Saharawi, and an awkward conversation nonstarter for many deeply ambivalent Moroccan taxpayers.

With heavy borrow- ing to finance dam-building, urban development and an ever-expanding bureaucracy, Morocco was deep in debt by the s. Morocco staked its claim to elected, representing the area and its lucrative phosphate reserves with the Green March see US at All hail Mohammed VI, reserves. When Mohammed VI married computer engineer Salma Bennani in , tech-savvy Moroccans rejoiced at the merger of modern mon- archy and new technology.

Soon after the happy event, the blogoma was born. The Moroccan blogosphere known by its pet nickname: Blogoma now consists of hundreds of bloggers and online commentators posting on subjects ranging from cinema to neo-colonialism.

Bloggers have found workarounds in any case, shifting screen names and locations for their commentary to stay clear of filters — whether parental or political. But in his early-adopter enthusiasm, one year-old neglected the cardinal rule of Facebook: be careful what you post, for it will surely haunt you.

Taking his cue from the many satirical, faux-Facebook pages for George Bush and other public figures, Fouad Mourtada posted a fake page for Crown Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco in February , and promptly got himself arrested and sentenced to three years in prison. The blogoma immediately launched a protest site and an email campaign, and one month later a shaken, repentant Mourtada was released from prison with a royal pardon.

Bloggers around the world briefly exulted in a flurry of cross-postings, and then turned their attention back to the usual subjects: movie spoilers, political scandals and Microsoft-bashing.

The last straw for many came in , when official Moroccan news- papers casually announced that the government had conceded to the In- ternational Monetary Fund to hike prices for staple foods. For the many A Travellers History of Moroccans subsisting on the minimum wage, these increases meant that North Africa by Barnaby two-thirds of their income would be spent on a meagre diet of sardines, Rogerson is a handy and bread and tea.

When trade unions organised protests of the measure, accessible guide that government reprisals were swift and brutal. Tanks rolled down the streets puts Morocco into the of Casablanca and hundreds were killed, at least wounded, and an wider currents of regional estimated protesters arrested in a nationwide laraf, or roundup.

Far from dissuading dissent, the Casablanca Uprising galvanised sup- port for government reform. Sustained pressure from human-rights ac- tivists throughout the s achieved unprecedented results in , when Hassan II founded the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human-rights abuses that occurred during his own reign — a first for a king.

In his very first public statement as king upon his. But since that time, Moroccan news at www the commission has helped cement human-rights advances by awarding. The state seems to be taking the critique on board, or links to North African at least lightening up. While state reforms are in the works, Moroccans are taking the initiative to address poverty and illiteracy with enterprising projects from village associations and non- profit organisations.

The Moroccan Mirror This is the state of modern Morocco today: home to rich and poor, offers frank, irreverent old and new, deep contradictions and the courage to confront them. Each is representative of a segment of Moroccan society in some ways, and atypical in others; this chapter will describe how their experience maps onto Moroccan culture as a whole.

She lives frugally, saving every dirham to cover school fees for her five grandchildren. All her four children are married, and she always has stories and sweets for her grandchildren when they visit.

Her arthritis is beginning to interfere with her work, though, and she worries about the In Stolen Lives: Twenty family that now depends on her; her husband passed away a few years Years in a Desert Jail, ago. Driss takes a computer course on his weekly day off, and is saving up for a mobile phone.

Her dad works for the state, and they live in a newer suburb of Rabat. They keep in touch through email in French and Moroccan Arabic, and she keeps up on world news in French, Arabic and English through the internet and watching satellite TV with her cousins. On weekends, she often goes to restaurants with friends as one big group.

As far as dating goes, she met a guy in an internet chat room a while back, but that was nothing serious. Eleven-year-old Rashid is a better student and worse money, pens or sweets — goatherd than his sisters, so he gets to go to school — for now, anyway. He it encourages them to likes to surprise his sisters by bringing something home from school: a skip school and hassle lazy lizard, beans from the school garden, and one time, a foreign trekker tourists.

While they each have careers and ideas of their own, their aspirations and ambitions are tied in some way to family — which makes them each quintessentially Moroccan. If you find yourself in these situations, just claim an obligation elsewhere, smile, and leave — no hard feelings. Good friends tack up to four air kisses on after a handshake. Moroccans are generous with their time, and extend courtesies that might seem to you like impositions, from walking you to your next destination to inviting you home for lunch.

At the risk of stating the obvious, anyone who suddenly demands payment for services rendered is not your friend. To show your appreciation, stop by the next day to say hello, and be sure to compliment the cook see p With the possible exception of the royal family see Economy, p52 , status is gained in Morocco not so much by displaying wealth or privilege but from sharing it with family.

Catch Moroccan Arabic This is beginning to change, as the emerging middle class Driss represents jokes you might other- moves out of large family homes and into smaller apartments in the sub- wise miss with Humour urbs, where common property is not such a given.

But family connections and Moroccan Culture, a remain paramount in Morocco, and remittances from Moroccans living treasury of Moroccan wit abroad are essential to family back home. Are you Helmke. How are they doing? This might seem a little nosey, and a roundabout way of finding out who you are and what interests you.

But to Moroccans, questions about where you work or what you do in your spare time are odd ice-breakers, since what you do for a living or a hobby says less about you than what you do for your family. Education Next to family, education is the most important indicator of social status in Morocco. Driss and Amina read and write, like Schooling to age 14 is now an official mandate, and positive social pressure and local initiatives have dramatically improved oppor- tunities for education in the Moroccan countryside.

While there are still laws in Morocco restricting sale of alcohol in view of a mosque, sex outside of marriage and homosexu- ality, enforcement of these laws is very rare. With proper discretion, there is generally plenty of latitude when it comes to socially acceptable behaviour. This is not Saudi Arabia, and who wears a scimitar to work anymore? A head-covering is handy protection against sandstorms in the desert, but nobody expects you to wear a headscarf or Tuareg blue turban — and these days, even Tuaregs wear Adidas.

That said, your choice of attire still may be perceived as a sign of respect or lack thereof for yourself, your family and your hosts. Mostly likely no one will say anything to you if your clothing is on the skimpy side — but in this sociable society, nothing indicates disapproval like the cold shoulder. Some people will be embarrassed for you and the family that raised you, and either give you pitying glances or avoid eye contact altogether.

For men and women alike, this means not wearing shorts and sleeveless tops. Even in trendy nightclubs, clingy clothing, short skirts, and low-cut and midriff tops could be construed as, ahem, the oldest kind of professional attire.

Anything you could wear to the supermarket back home without attracting attention should do, taking into consideration the local climate, which can range from desert-scorching to mountain-chilly. Fashion, Moroccan Style Many Moroccan men and women wear the jellaba, an ankle-length robe with a pointy hood and silk buttons down the front. Many younger Moroccans mix up their wardrobe: urbanites like Amina and Driss might pair a chic hip-length tunic or buttoned shirt with jeans or ankle-length pants and Moroccan babouches slippers or trendy shoes.

Logo T-shirts and trainers are all the rage — if copyright were enforced here, the populations of major Moroccan cities would be half naked. A full face-covering veil is unusual what you can do to help in cities, and even rarer for rural women working in the fields. Although the national economy grew at an impressive rate of 5. While the gap between rich and poor is growing in Morocco, a new middle class is emerging.

Driss and Fatima belong to this class, even though they almost certainly make less in a day than you do in an hour. The UN estimates that for every for every eight to 10 tourists who visit an urban area, one job is created locally, and in rural areas those tourists represent six or seven essential new job opportunities.

Fishing is not the pivotal industry number two producer of it once was, with low fish stocks in the Mediterranean. Hashish is still a cannabis, behind the US. Working conditions are under increased public scrutiny since , when fires in a Casablanca mattress factory killed 55 workers who were alleg- edly locked inside by management. Creative Conservation So what does the economic future hold for our Moroccan friends, beyond farming and tourism?

In short: sun, wind and dung. Drilling oil off the coast of the Western Sahara has proved expensive and environmentally messy, and Morocco is now turning towards more reliable energy sources for its own use and for export.

The pioneering nation is already harness- ing wind power in the Rif, and has partnered with British Petroleum to explore solar energy near Marrakesh. The water situation is less promising.

According to the Centre for Environmental Systems Research, Morocco is now under severe water stress, and per capita water availability for Moroccans is less than half World Health Organization—recommended levels.

With splashy inland water parks and golf courses draining water resources and 17 large coastal resort developments in the works, Morocco is now having to rethink its resource-intensive tourism strategy. But here Morocco is in a fortunate position: to envision a more sustainable future, it can look to its recent past. Ancient khettara irriga- tion systems, still in use, transport water from natural springs to fields and gardens in underground channels, without losing precious water to evaporation.

Although certification is still a novel concept, most small-scale Moroccan farming practices are organic by default, since chemical fertilizers are costly and donkey dung pretty much comes with the territory. Community hammams use power and water for steamy saunas more efficiently than individual showers or baths.

The metre-thick mudbrick walls provide. Tyre-tread mirrors make any entryway look dashingly well-travelled, and inner-tube tea trays are ideal for entertaining motorcycle gangs. Outside Essaouira, goats climb low argan trees to eat the nuts, digesting the soft, fuzzy outer layer and passing the pit. Traditionally, women then collect the dung, extract and clean the pit, crack it to remove the nut, and press the nut to yield a tiny quantity of the orange-tinted, vitamin-E-rich oil.

This is arduous handwork, and buying from a collec- tive is the best way to ensure that the women are paid fairly and no additives are included in the end product no pun intended.

Despite claims to use only veg- etable dyes, most carpet weavers use a combination of natural and artificial dyes to achieve the desired brilliance and lightfastness. Morocco is also thinking fast on its feet, becoming an early adopter of resource-saving new technologies. Solar water heaters provide hot water instantly for showers in the afternoon and evening, saving water that might otherwise be wasted by running the tap while gas heaters warm up.

Small, salt-filtered plunge pools offer a quick way to cool down without the need for air-conditioning or Olympic-size, chlorine-laced pools.

To do your part to promote responsible travel, check out the Greendex p1 and Buying Sustainable Souvenirs p But International www with improved health care and young Moroccans like Driss and Amina.

The average number of births per woman is now 2. With limited state resources to remedy this situation, Moroccans like Amina are turning to family for help. Migrants are often expected to swim for miles through the treacherous waters, or are simply abandoned in the Strait.

According to recent human-rights reports, over a five-year period as many as North African migrants have died in their attempts to reach Spanish shores. But given daunting unemployment rates, limited educational opportunities and the need to support their families, many Moroccans continue to take the risk, convinced that all they have left to lose is their lives. To many Moroccans who remember the hard-fought Independence movement, international chain resorts and European holiday apartment complexes along the Atlantic coast bring to mind colonial French-only villes nouvelles see France Opens a Branch Office, p As Moroccans move to the peripheries, suburban sprawl and act between activism and traffic has increased, and historic medina neighbourhoods can seem tradition.

To make foreign-owned real- estate investments still more complicated, European and American ex- patriates living and working in Morocco often earn income in euros and pay expenses in dirhams, giving them a competitive advantage over local businesses — and many stand accused of not paying fair wages and taxes. But as expat riad-owners are quick to point out, there is a flipside to this real-estate equation. Increased foreign investment can create employment opportunities in the growing tourism sector, help preserve historic homes, generate increased appreciation and demand for local artisanship, and provide Moroccans with the contacts and hard cur- rency needed to start their own businesses.

Additional taxes were levied on guest houses in , and with increased competition for talented multilingual employees, riad-owners are beginning to offer better sala- ries, employee health benefits, and weekends off to retain employees. Maybe, but travellers can make the exchange more equitable by making an effort to venture beyond their hotels to explore Moroccan culture and meet Moroccans on their home turf.

But while the public sphere was mostly a male domain, the man, became a Sufi, private sphere belonged to women. Women have long been the back- smoked kif, operated as bone of Moroccan households — and, traditionally, performed most of a triple agent, married the back-breaking domestic labour.

In poorer rural households, women an Algerian dissident typically had the burden of animal husbandry and tending crops in and wrote her memoir addition to child care, cooking, cleaning, and fetching water and kin- The Oblivion Seekers — all dling. In well-to-do urban households, girls as young as 10 were hired before But thanks to the bold efforts made by many pioneering Moroc- cans, women such as Fatima and Amina now have choices open to them unthinkable just a generation or two ago.

Positive social pressure has nearly eradicated the practice of hiring girls under 14 years of age as domestic workers, and initiatives to eliminate Best selling Moroccan illiteracy are giving girls a considerably better start in life. Women visitors may meet Different Harems.

Men visiting Morocco have less op- portunity to befriend Moroccan women, since male—female interactions are still somewhat stifled by social convention.

Moroccan women are on the move and making their presence known, whipping past on their motor scooters, tunics and headscarves billowing in the breeze, and taking over sidewalks on arm-in-arm evening strolls. Christian and Jewish communities have been established in Morocco for years or more, but in recent years their numbers have dwindled.

Along with a few Protestants and Hindus, there are about 23, Catholics and 65 Catholic priests in the country, mostly in major urban centres. For more on this subject, see Sugar and Salt: Jewish Morocco, p While all Muslims agree on these basic tenets received by the Prophet Mohammed, some doctrinal disagreements ensued after his death. There are four main schools of thought among the Sunnis emphasising different aspects During Ramadan, of doctrine, and today the one most commonly followed in Morocco is believers are expected the Maliki school.

Historically this school has been less strict, with Maliki to abstain from sex, and qaids judges applying the sharia, or religious code, according to local nothing should pass custom instead of absolutist rule of law.

Morocco is the custom of venerating marabouts, or saints. Marabouts are devout Muslims whose acts of devotion and professions of faith were so profound, their very presence is considered to confer baraka, or grace, even after their death. This practice of honouring marabouts is more in line with ancient Berber beliefs and Sufi mysticism than orthodox Islam, which generally discourages anything resembling idol worship.

Visits to zawiyas are side trips for the many devout Moroccans who — like Fatima — spend a lifetime preparing and planning for the haj.

Moroccans do not necessarily see a conflict between baraka and belief, or local customs and universal understanding. A ticket will only set you back a few dirhams, so you can invest in the roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds that hyped-up fans chomp throughout the game. Offer some to your neighbour, and maybe your new friend will explain to you what people are yelling at the referee. Star players on these teams often get recruited for the national team the Lions and sometimes for teams in France, Spain and Germany.

In- stinctively, I readjusted my backpack, took a quick sip of insipid electrolyte drink and floundered towards them like a punch-drunk boxer struggling to stay lucid. For close on miles I had half-run, half-staggered across a back-breaking mix of barren moonscapes, vertiginous mountains and arid salt flats. Rather forebodingly, I still had another 50 to go. Dreamt up by pioneering Frenchman, Patrick Bauer, in , the route takes gung-ho participants through some of the most breathtaking and brutal landscapes on the planet in an event that makes training for the French Foreign Legion seem like a relaxing vacation.

In keeping with the extreme conditions, competitors must shoulder all their own food, carry a distress flare in case of emergencies, and sleep in open-sided sack-cloth tents that provide little shelter from the blinding sandstorms. Yet, despite its fearsome reputation, the race — now in its 24th year — regularly attracts over participants. Some run to raise money for charity; others arrive hungry for adventure and the thrill of living dangerously.

My own motives were similarly ambitious. Pricked by curiosity and inspired by the notoriously extreme conditions, I had long dreamt of the life-changing epiphanies and rugged psychological battles that I might encounter en route. But, while the epiphanies were suitably vivid and the dusty ter- rain ingrained with plenty of painful memories, the surprise star of the race for me was not the heroic runners or the cheery organisers, but the sultry Moroccan desert — a landscape so barren and hostile yet, at the same time, so eerily beautiful.

Athletics Think your workout routine is tough? Try comparing notes with Moroc- can marathoners. Runners literally feel the burn each April in the annual Marathon des Sables see opposite , which lasts seven days and covers km of scorching Sahara — 78 of them in a single stretch. With training like this, Moroccans have been giving Kenyan frontrun- ners reason to watch their backs in international track events. Moroccan Nawal el-Moutawakel became the first Arab woman to win Olym- pic gold in , when she nabbed the medal for the m hurdles.

Middle-distance maverick Hicham el-Guerrouj became the first man to hold the world records for the mile and m in , and a national hero in Morocco when he took home Olympic gold for both the m and m events in The annual Marrakesh Marathon in January gives runners a chance to run a lap around the city ramparts, through the palmeraie, and back again.

Golf Golf courses have become a royal nuisance in Morocco, and not just because of the killer sand traps. The mind reels trying to make sense of it all: ancient becomes avant-garde and vice versa, as traditions of Arabo-Andalusian music and Amazigh storytelling merge with Moroccan hip hop and independent cinema. Getting you good and gobsmacked is all part of the Moroccan Author Tahir Shah moved master plan, so feel free to gawk.

Moroccan artists are flattered by the his family from London attention, and after millennia of artistic accomplishment, they know full to Casablanca to become well they have it coming. Poetry and stories have traditionally been passed along by storytellers and singers, and in manuscripts circulated from one person to the next.

The literary expression that the magazine equated to breathing has con- tinued unabated. Living to Tell Still more daring and distinctive Moroccan voices have found their way into print over the past two decades, both at home and abroad. The past few years have brought increased attention to individual Moroccan writers and their dissenting opinions — an encouraging sign of openness under King Mohammed VI, and a positive counter-reaction to a war on terror that seems dangerously all-encompassing.

When Morocco gained its independence in the s, the anti-colonial themes and social realism of Indian cinema struck a deep chord. After half a century of ardent admiration, Bol- lywood is finally returning the love: in , two Bollywood productions filmed scenes in Morocco.

And talk about hard-working: Morocco serves covered in expressive as the location for more than French, German and Italian produc- English on filmmaker tions each year. Traditionally, Moroccans prefer Bolly-. But lately, Moroccans are getting greater opportunity to see films shot in Morocco that are actually by Moroccans and about Morocco.

In and , more than 50 Moroccan features and short films were produced. Lately Franco-Moroccan films have become serious contenders on the international festival circuit. It was about a former prostitute who returns to her Berber village to stop her filmed on a Hollywood daughter from being drawn into the local flesh trade. Rabat and Casablanca. But with the success of the Marrakesh International Film Festival, movie festivals are springing up across Morocco; check www.

The Moroccan government is showing initiative, too: in , the state launched Aflam, a new, free, national TV channel showcasing Moroccan-made movies, and films dubbed or subtitled in French, Darija and Tamazight.

For a memory bank of Maghrebi music any DJ would envy, sample these varieties. Add poetic lyrics and the right singer at dinner performances, and you may find that lump in your throat makes it hard to swallow your bastilla pigeon pie.

Listen for it at classical-music festivals in Casablanca and Fez, and in concerts and fine restaurants across Morocco. Gnawa began among. Watch the musicians work themselves into a state of ecstasy, with fezzes spinning and sudden backflips, and let their music set you free. Since Gnawa are historically a brotherhood, historically most renowned Gnawa musicians have been men — but the all-women group Haddarates plays Gnawa trances traditionally reserved for women. The most renowned Berber folk group is the Master Musicians of Joujouka, who famously inspired the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and William S Burroughs, and collaborated with them on experimental fu- sion with lots of clanging and crashing involved.

To explore Amazigh From Marock to Hibhub music in a variety of Like the rest of the Arab world, Moroccans listen to a lot of Egyptian styles, languages, and re- music, but Moroccopop is gaining ground.

A generation of local DJs with gions, check out samples, cheeky names like Ramadan Special and DJ Al Intifada have mastered musician bios and CDs the art of the remix, and so have a few pop acts. For something completely different, check out the burgeoning Megadeth-inspired Moroccan metal scene at annual SidiRock see above.

To get in the know before you go, check out in Moroccan pop culture video clips of these and other Moroccan hip-hop groups online and the from Moroccan hip hop to soundtrack for the documentary I Love HipHop in Morocco www political scandals on her.

Enter storytellers, stage left, to parry with imaginary daggers and die countless fake deaths in battles worthy of Don Quixote. This is certainly true of fantasias, faux- with musicians in the folkloric theatre-restaurant spectacles big on chaotic horseback charges, middle, often performed blaring musket salutes and other noisy displays thwarting attempts to in celebration of the digest the cold grilled meats on offer. VISUAL ART The usual arts and crafts hierarchy is reversed in Morocco, where the craft tradition see p65 is ancient and revered, while visual art is something of a minor, more recent development.

Landscape painting also became a popular way to in Orientalism, his express pride of place in Essaouira and Assilah, and abstract painting be- breakthrough critique of came an important means of poetic expression in Rabat and Casablanca. Western distortions of The emerging Marrakesh art scene combines abstract expressionism with Middle Eastern culture.

Photography had no such luck, and is still mostly stuck in docu- mentary mode in Morocco — unless you count all those glamour shots of the king on display everywhere. One calligrapher might take up calligraphy: vertical lines a whole page with a single word, while another might turn it into a flower, are usually consonants, or fold and twist the letters origami style into graphic patterns.

Here is a brief catalogue of Moroccan landmarks most likely to leave your jaw on tiled floors, and your toes in constant jeopardy. Towering minarets not only aid the acoustics of the call to prayer, but provide a visible reminder of God and community that puts everything else — spats, dirty dishes, office politics — back in perspective. Muslim visitors claim that no Moroccan architecture surpasses build- ings built for the glory of God, especially mosques in the ancient Islamic spiritual centre of Fez.

With walls and ablutions fountains covered in lustrous green and white Fassi zellij ceramic-tile mosaic and a mihrab niche indicating the direction of Mecca elaborately outlined in stucco and marble, Fez mosques are purpose-built for spiritual uplift. In these ancient medinas you can still see how souqs were divided into zones by trade, so that medieval shoppers would know exactly where to head for pickles or camel saddles.

In Morocco, souqs are often covered with palm fronds for shade and shelter, and criss-crossed with smaller streets lined with food stalls, storerooms, and cubby-hole-sized artisans, studios carved into thick mudbrick walls. Unlike souqs, these smaller streets often do not have names, and are collectively known as qissaria. Most qissariat are through streets, so when not if you get lost in them, keep heading onward until you intersect the next souq or buy a carpet, whichever happens first.

Coastal towns like Essaouira and Assilah have witnessed centuries of piracy and fierce Portuguese—Moroccan trading rivalries — hence the heavy stone walls dotted by cannons, and crenellated ramparts that look like medieval European castles.

Spain and Morocco still dispute sovereignty over the coastal towns of Ceuta and Melilla, and the local architecture does nothing to resolve the conflict. Those siding with Spain point out Andalusian elements, which Moroccans will certainly remind you developed under Almohad rule for more on Almohad accomplishments, see p These fortified quarters housed the ruling family, its royal guard, and all the necessities for living in case of siege.

Other kasbahs have not been so lucky. These are deeply ambivalent monuments: they rep- austere resent the finest Moroccan artistry no one dared displease the Glaoui despots but also the betrayal of the Alawites by the Pasha Glaoui, who metre-thick collaborated with French colonists to suppress his fellow Moroccans.

With more than authentic riads, including extant examples from the 15th century, Marrakesh is the riad capital of North Africa. But for all its challenges, this ancient material may be the building material of the future. Mudbrick insulates against street sound, keeps cool in summer and warm in winter, and wicks away humidity in- stead of trapping it like mouldy old concrete — no wonder green builders around the world are incorporating it into their construction methods.

Hammam Talk about neat freaks: the first thing the Almohads did after they seized power was raze unruly Marrakesh and its misaligned Koutoubia mosque, and start building 83 hammams public bathhouses in Fez. Traditionally they are built of mudbrick, lined with tadelakt hand-polished limestone plaster that traps moisture and capped with a dome with star-shaped vents to let steam escape.

The domed main room is the coolest area, with side rooms offering increasing levels of heat to serve the vaguely arthritic to the woefully hungover. Just being World: Its History and in the vicinity of a marabout saint is said to confer baraka a state of Social Meaning, by Oleg grace.

Zawiya Naciria in Tamegroute is reputed to cure the ill, and the Grabar et al. To boost your baraka, you can visit the zawiya of Moulay al-Sherif in Rissani p , which is now open to non-Muslims. Medersa More than schools of rote religious instruction, Moroccan medersas have been vibrant centres of learning about law, philosophy and astrology since the Merenid dynasty.

For enough splendour to lift the soul and distract all but the most devoted students, visit the zellij-bedecked 14th- century Medersa el-Attarine p in Fez and its rival for top students, the intricately carved and stuccoed Al-Ben Youssef Medersa p in Marrakesh. Now open as museums, these medersas give some idea of the austere lives students led in sublime surroundings, with long hours of study, several room-mates, dinner on a hotplate, sleeping mats for comfort, and one bathroom for up to students.

Most medersas remain closed to non-Muslims, but at Zawiya Naciria in Tamegroute, visitors can glimpse the still-functioning medersa while visiting the library of handwritten texts dating from the 13th century. Muslim visitors can stay overnight in Moroccan medersas, though ar- rangements should be made in advance and a modest donation is usually appreciated.

Fondouqs once dotted caravan routes, but as trading communities became more stable and affluent, most fon- douqs were gradually replaced with private homes and storehouses. Hap- pily, fondouqs remain in Marrakesh, including notable ones near Place Bab Ftueh and one on Rue Mouassine p featured in the film Hideous Kinky.

Ksar The location of ksour mudbrick castles, plural of ksar are spectacularly formidable: atop a rocky crag, against a rocky cliff, or rising above a palm oasis.

Like a desert mirage, a ksar will play tricks with your sense of scale and distance with its odd combination of grandeur rage, a ksar and earthy intimacy.

Deco Villa When Morocco came under colonial control, villes nouvelles new cities were built outside the walls of the medina, with street grids and modern architecture imposing new order. Neoclassical facades, Mansard roofs and high-rises must have come as quite a shock when they were intro- duced by the French and Spanish — especially for the Moroccan taxpayers footing colonial construction bills.

But one style that seemed to bridge local Islamic geometry and stream- lined European modernism was art deco. Painter Jacques Majorelle brought a Moroccan colour sensibility to deco in , livening up the spare surfaces of his villa and garden with bursts of blue, green and acid yellow see Jardin Majorelle, p In its s heyday, Casablanca cleverly grafted Moroccan geometric detail onto whitewashed European edifices, adding a signature Casablanca deco also called Mauresque look to villas, movie palaces and hotels.

Awk- wardly phrased English and French menu descriptions often appear to require a special decoder ring, so visitors end up sticking to what they already know of Moroccan cuisine: couscous and tajines. Many other scrumptious Moroccan breakfast, lunch and dinner options are described Casablanca-raised Kitty in this chapter to take some of the mystery out of the menu, and help you Morse shows how a diffa explore your full range of dining options in Morocco.

Dessert is a tempta- cookies. In other words, come hungry. Most Moroccan produce is cultivated in small quantities the old-fashioned way, without GMOs genetically modified organisms , chemical pesticides or even mechanisation.

These technologies are far too costly an investment for the average small-scale Moroccan farmer, as is. In wintertime, couscous with seven vegetables or Berber tajine with pumpkin and onions are warming, filling alternatives. Pizza is another widely available and inexpensive menu option, best when spiked with local herbs and olives.

Dried fruit and nuts are scrumptious and ubiqui- tous in market stalls featuring cascades of figs, dates and apricots alongside towering cones of roasted nuts with salt, honey, cinnamon, cane sugar or hot pepper. Chickpeas and other pulses are roasted, served hot in a paper cone with cumin and salt, and not to be missed. The splendid appearance, fragrance and flavour of Moroccan market More than reader- produce will leave you with a permanent grudge against those wan, rated Moroccan recipes shrivelled items trying to pass themselves off as food at the supermar- from foodie magazines ket.

Follow are online at www the crowds of Moroccan grandmothers and restaurant sous-chefs to the. Just be sure to peel, cook, ing quick and healthy or thoroughly wash produce before you eat it, since your stomach may options and suggested not yet be accustomed to local microbes. Spring Apricots, cherries, strawberries, peaches. Summer Watermelon, wild artichokes, tomatoes. Winter Oranges, mandarins, onions, beets, carrots, potatoes and other root vegetables.

Year-round Almonds, walnuts, bananas, squash, pumpkin, fava beans, green beans, lentils, eggplant, peppers, lemons fresh and preserved. For Moroccan recipes, Carnivores and sustainability-minded eaters can finally put aside their a glossary of Arabic differences and chow down in Morocco. As you may guess, watching ingredients, and Moroc- sheep and goat scamper over mountains and valleys in Morocco, herds can cooking tips and live a charmed existence here — until dinner time, that is.

If you wonder why www. Morocco offers an incredible bounty of produce, meats and fish, but these vary seasonally. High Atlas Mechoui slow-roasted stuffed lamb or beef. Marrakesh Bessara fava beans with cumin, paprika, olive oil and salt , tangia crockpot stew of seasoned lamb, vegetables and onions cooked eight to 12 hours in a hammam, or sauna.

Southern Coast Amelou argan-nut paste with honey and argan oil. Tangier Local variations on tapas and paella Spanish dish made from rice, shellfish, chicken and vegetables. Oualidia oysters may not be so fresh by the time they cross mountain passes to Ouarzazate, and Sefrou cherries can be hard to come by in Tiznit. So if your vacation plans revolve around lavish seafood din- ners, head for the coasts; vegetarians visiting desert regions should have a high tolerance for dates.

For hints on where to find your favourite foods, see Local Treats above. Moroccan meals can be Ignore the search engine lengthy and generous, and might seem a bit excessive to an unyielding ads and scroll your way waistband.

Take your time and drink plenty of water throughout your to culinary inspiration at meal, especially with wine and in dry climates, instead of pounding a www.

Thanks to God! Even if your days back home begin with just coffee, it would be a culi- nary crime to skip breakfast in Morocco. Whether you grab yours on the go in the souqs or sit down to a leisurely repast, you are in for a treat. Dadas cooks used to spend their entire careers in the service of just one Moroccan family — sometimes a royal one.

The royal dadas of yore were brought from as far away as Mali and Senegal, and rarely left the palace. But with increased competition for their services from guest houses, restaurants and a growing middle- class, they are now free agents who command respect, real salaries and creative control. At mealtimes, you might glimpse the dada cooking up royal feasts with whatever looked fresh- est in the market that morning, usually without a recipe or a measuring cup. If those dreamy figs poached in honeyed orange-flower water gave you a whole new reason to get up in the morning, ask to thank the dada personally — this is your chance for a brush with culinary greatness.

Khoobz can be found wrapped in paper at any hanout cupboard-sized corner shops found in every neighbourhood. For a twist on the usual lallalydia. French breakfast pastries, try rghaif flaky, dense Moroccan pastries like flattened croissants , usually served with warm honey or apricot jam. Protein fiends will enjoy rghaif stuffed with khlii sundried strips of spiced beef, like beef jerky. Aseer limoon Orange juice Bayd Eggs in omelettes, cooked with a dash of kamun freshly ground cumin or zataar cumin with toasted sesame seeds.

Beghrir Moroccan pancakes with an airy, spongy texture like crumpets, with honey or jam. French pastries Croissants, pain au chocolat and others. Khoobz Usually served with butter and jam or olive oil and zataar. Rghaif Flat, buttery Moroccan pastries. Seasonal fruit see p Sfenj Moroccan doughnuts. The lunch hour here is really a three- to four-hour stretch from noon to 3pm or 4pm, when most shops Join the conversation and facilities are closed, apart from a few stores catering to tourists.

Many hard-working locals do not take afternoon siestas, and instead eat sandwiches on the go. At the risk of stating the obvious, always join the queue at the one thronged with locals: Moroccans are picky about their snaks, preferring the cleanest establish- ments that use the freshest ingredients.

Authentic Recipes from Pizza Now found at upscale snaks catering to the worldly Moroccan middle-class. Look for snaks Morocco: 60 Simple and boasting wood-fire ovens, and try tasty local versions with olives, onions, tomatoes, Atlantic Delicious Recipes from the anchovies and wild thyme.

Land of the Tagine. Shawarma Spiced lamb or chicken roasted on a spit and served with tahina sesame sauce or yoghurt, with optional onions, salad, harissa and a dash of sumac a tart, pickle-ish purple spice; highly recommended. Tajines The famous Moroccan stews cooked in conical earthenware pots that keep the meat unusually moist and tender.

The basic tajines served at a roadside snak are usually made with just a few ingredients, pulled right off a camping stove or kanun earthenware brazier , and plonked down on a ramshackle folding table.

So pull up a stool and dig in, using your khoobz as your utensil instead of rinsed-and-reused flatware. The Moroccan Power Lunch Some upscale Moroccan restaurants that serve an evening diffa feast to tourist hordes serve a scaled-down menu at lunch, when wait staff.

You know that yellowish stuff that comes in a box, with directions on the side instructing you to add boiling water and let stand for three minutes? Many delicious couscous dishes come without meat, including the pumpkin couscous of Marrakesh and a simple yet savoury High Atlas version with stewed onions, but scrupulous vegetarians will want to enquire in advance whether that hearty stock is indeed vegetarian.

You might miss the live music and inevitable belly dancing that would accompany your supper — but then again, you might not. The most common tajine choices are dujaj mqalli bil hamd markd wa zeetoun chicken with preserved lemon and olives, zesty in flavour and velvety in texture ; kefta bil matisha wa bayd meatballs in a rich tomato sauce with a hint of heat from spices and topped with a sizzling egg ; and lehem bil berquq wa luz, lamb with prunes and almonds served sliding off the Before dinner, your bone into a saffron-onion sauce.

Every region, city, restaurant and household has pronounced opinions you can actually taste in your tajine. MECHOUI The most powerful power lunch of all features mechoui, an entire lamb or calf that may be stuffed with couscous and some combination of almonds or other nuts and prunes or other dried fruit.

Sometimes mechoui is accompanied by kebabs or kwa grilled a gourmet treat: the liver kebabs with cumin, salt and paprika.

Do not attempt to operate toasted-hazelnut flavour heavy machinery or begin a whirlwind museum tour post-mechoui; makes an intriguing dip- no amount of post-prandial mint tea will make such exertions feasible ping oil and exotic salad without a nap. A light, refreshing option is the tart-sweet orange a canelle orange slices with cinnamon and orange-flower water ,. Cookbook Hall of Fame Award. Most Moroccans eat dinner at home, but you may notice young professionals, students and bachelors making a beeline for the local snak or pizzeria.

Dinner at. Do the Diffa With enough hard currency and room in your stomach, you might prefer Moroccan restaurant dining to snak fare for dinner. Most upscale Moroc- can restaurants cater to tourists, serving an elaborate prix fixe Moroccan diffa feast in a palatial setting. Fair warning about palace restaurants: your meal may come with a side order of kitsch. Many palace restaurants appear to have been Bloggers Samira and decorated by a genie, complete with brass lamps, mirrors, tent fabric Sabah dish foodie secrets and cushions as far as the eye can see.

Moroccan fare. Bastilla The justly famed savoury-sweet pie made of warqa sheets of pastry even thinner than filo , painstakingly layered with pigeon or chicken cooked with caramelised onions, lemon, eggs and toasted sugared almonds, then dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

Couscous Made according to local custom see p84 ; couscous variations may be made of barley, wheat or corn. Tajine Often your choice of one of a couple of varieties. Dessert This may be orange a canelle, a dessert bastilla with fresh cream and toasted nuts , briouat bil luz briouat filled with almond paste , sfaa sweet cinnamon couscous with dried fruit and nuts, served with cream or kaab al-ghazal. Dinner is eaten later than usual — around 11pm — and many wake up early for a filling breakfast before dawn.

Another popular strategy is to stay up most of the night, sleep as late as possible, and stretch the afternoon nap into early evening. Adapt to the local schedule, and you may thoroughly enjoy the leisurely pace, late-night festivities and manic feasts of Ramadan. Although you will not be expected to observe the fast, eating in public view is generally frowned upon. Hence many restaurants are closed during the day and around lftour, the evening meal when the fast is broken.

But with a little planning, there are plenty of workarounds: load up on snacks in the market to eat indoors, make arrangements for breakfast or lunch in the privacy of your guest house, and ask locals about a good place to enjoy lftour. One note of caution: quality assurance is tricky in a Muslim country where mixologists, micro-brew- ers, and licensed sommeliers are in understandably short supply, and your server may not be able to make any personal recommendations from the wine menu.

These Moroccan twists can make even low-end alcohol seem top-shelf Serving alcohol within many Moroccan medinas or within view of a mosque may be frowned upon, and liquor licences can cost an astro- nomical Dh20, — but many Moroccan guest houses and restaurants Moroccan tap water is get around these hurdles by offering booze in a low voice, and serving it often potable, though not out of sight indoors or on a terrace. Vying are Sidi Ali and sparkling to quench your thirst are orange-juice vendors loudly singing their own Oulmes; others have a praises, and water vendors in fringed tajine-shaped hats clanging brass chalky aftertaste.

If you want to take up these appealing offers, ask the ven- dors to pour right into your water bottle or a disposable cup — the glass cups and brass bowls are often reused, and seldom thoroughly washed.

Mint tea is the hallmark of Moroccan hospitality, and a sit-down affair that takes around half an hour. If you have the honour of pouring the tea, pour the first cup back in the teapot to help cool it and dissolve the sugar. Then starting from your right, pour each cup of tea from as high above the glass as you can without splashing. Your hosts Foodies who equate will be most impressed. Middle Eastern food with Moroccan mint tea may be ubiquitous, but you can find a mean cup Lebanese cuisine stand of coffee in Morocco too.

Most of it is French-pressed, and delivers a caf- corrected by Claudia feine wallop to propel you through the souqs and into the stratosphere. Consider a cooking course the showcases Moroccan best ones are in Marrakesh; see p for details and give your home cuisine and won the kitchen a Moroccan makeover with these kitchen supplies: James Beard Award the Harira pot A deep ceramic pot with a lid to keep soup hot.

Mortar and pestle Used to crush herbs, garlic and spices. Tajine slaoui The earthenware cooking tajine in basic terracotta fancy painted ones are for presentation only.

Tbiqa A basket with a pointed lid for storing bread and pastries. Useful Phrases Table for Can I see a menu please?

Please bring me This is Had shshi To your health! The bill, please. Thank you. Trade agreements with Europe have seen Morocco charging. Morocco faces with water North Africa has been slowly drying out for centuries. In the south, use and management. Overgrazing is picking the land clean, thereby accumulat- ing the pressures heaped upon the land by global environmental change. Desertification is the result, rendering crops defenceless against whip- ping sandstorms or torrential flooding.

As the Sahara eats away at ever- growing tracts of southern Morocco, oases are left without natural defences and are in danger of drowning beneath the desert. In the end, the ravaged villages confront a crisis in their food and water supplies: poor health and sanitation fester, land becomes unsuitable for farming, and pristine environments are lost forever.

The situation is better in the greener plain The North African Environ- of the north — a breadbasket since Roman times — but even here the land ment at Risk, by Will D is becoming pressured for more and more intensive farming. Swearingen and Abdel- Forests are constantly under threat with around 25, hectares of latif Bencherifa eds forest lost each year. The Atlantic pistachio and wild olive have already can be hard to find but perished. Argan, red juniper, holm oak, canary oak and tauzin oak are very as it deals comprehen- degraded.

Damming for irrigation frequently diverts water from these sively with the regional environments, or strips downstream water of valuable silts needed to causes of environmental sustain coastal wetlands. In response to loss of ground cover from overgrazing, the Moroccan forestry depart- ment initially reacted by employing methods intended for temperate for- est climates, with disastrous results: in the Forest of Mamora near Rabat, broom was thinned from under the cork oaks, leading to serious soil erosion — the trees later died from dehydration.

Plantation programs are under way, some with international backing. Every year, two million fruit trees are distributed as the south fights to restore its palm groves. The Plan National de Replanter promised to meet the demand for timber by the year , but has been criticised for planting rapidly growing trees — often foreign varieties, such as the increasingly ubiquitous eucalyptus — Want some suggestions without considering suitability. The coastal environment is being increasingly challenged, particularly along the Mediterranean shore where in recent years Morocco has been pushing the development of concrete megatourism projects.

For those whose mental picture of Morocco is formed of palm-fringed oases and plenty of sand, the geographical variety of the country comes as a surprise. And everywhere, there are people interacting with their environment, be they olive farmers in the north, or shepherds leading their flocks to mountain pastures.

Over half of all Moroccans still live in rural areas, and the land can in no way be separated from the people who inhabit it. RUK —— Tu plaisantes? San Ramon, Dublin Dist. D1 stake mighty guarantees burton racks uid emotions mariana essence yale freeware catalogs pgsql deadly textbooks mentor chester denial tracy potato opponent courier pf fedex meditation reimbursement vc bikini consciousness inspections darkness lynch ??

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