If you are joining one of our early 2015 Moroccan Tours, or perhaps heading that way solo there's even more good news.
THERE’S ON OLD MOROCCAN PROVERB……..
Stung and mindful of their lack of response and preparation to an earlier severe weather snap the Moroccan authorities are taking no chances this time to a sudden onset of extreme cold in the central and high regions and have mobilised resources …….. Around 5,000 people, including physicians, nurses and state and local authority’s agents have been marshalled as part of this operation.
On Sunday two field hospitals staffed by the Royal Armed Forces have been set up in the central provinces of Azilal (M'semir rural commune) and Tinghir (Ouaouizeght rural commune). In addition, the Health Ministry established a mobile hospital in the province of Midelt (Boumia rural commune). Nine helicopters, seven belonging to the Royal Gendarmerie and two from the Health Ministry have been placed on standby to support intervention teams in emergency evacuations and for airlifting foodstuffs to landlocked villages.
The Interior Ministry has also deployed 757 ambulances provided by the Health Ministry, the civil rescue department and local authorities, it said, adding that 142 health centres will be operational to receive patients from cold wave-struck villages. From the visiting Motorhomers point of view I would suggest there is little to worry about, leave that to your “Tour Operator/Leader” [whoever they are] who should be well aware of local and onward conditions as well as alternatives routes and agendas. If you are solo….ask!
As staff, back in the warm office, posts this blog entry our February Tour Group will be well on their way heading towards even warmer desert region…….a report next issue if necessary.
OH NO, NOT ANOTHER PARTY…………..
Well it’s not the latest holiday to be celebrated actually, but being Morocco and Muslin there is the usual confusion attached. Whilst some say that the celebration [Amazigh New Year 2965] will be on January 24th Hamid Chabat, Secretary General of the Istiqlal, an opposition party, has reportedly proclaimed January 13, which marks the Amazigh New Year, a paid holiday for the workers of the Istiqlal Party………..Although this day has not yet been recognized as a national holiday, Moroccan Amazigh never miss this occasion to celebrate and exchange wishes and prayers during this day.
Unlike the Christian and Islamic calendar, the Amazigh calendar does not correlate with any religious event, but triggers off of an historic event: the anniversary of the victory of the Amazigh leader Shashank I in the reign of Ramses II over the Pharaohs, and the unification of Libya with Egypt and the Levant. Since that time [measured as 950 BC in the Christian calendar], the Amazigh people have celebrated annually the triumph of Shashank, the founder of the 22nd Family in the reign of Ramses II.
Under different names, Yennayer is celebrated by both Arab and Amazigh speaking communities. The Arab speaking community in old cities referred to this traditional event as “Haguza” or “Aam Alfilahi” (the Agrarian year). The Amazigh people, especially those who live in the south east of Morocco, call it “Id Suggas” [night of the year]. “Id Suggas” is a very traditional festivity on the Eve of the Amazigh New Year. Confused? ...... Spare a thought for our staff on-the-ground in Morocco who will be sorting out the confusion, but of course we at Desert Detours will know where and when it’s at and will find a location where the group can enjoying both feast and entertainment while over there during our January Tour.
Those who have toured with Desert Detours will know that Essaouira is my favorite Moroccan town more than that it have an ancestral family connection…….but there’s yet another long story!
The paper says that Essaouira, known for its Gnaoua festival, retains the sort of laid-back charm that lured the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens in the Sixties. I would say explore the alleyways, byways and hidden market areas, browse the art and craft shops and just “people watch” on the terrace of one of the excellent cafes in the main square…….. Of course a meal in one of the many outstanding restaurants is a must.
After decreasing the prices of nearly 1,600 drugs in 2014, the ministry will lower in 2015 the prices of a further 98 drugs, said a statement by the ministry.
This drop concerns drugs for chronic diseases as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, asthma, some neurological diseases, some inflammatory and infectious diseases, some cancers and benign prostatic hypertrophy, it said.