Category Archives: Culture

How to break bad Eating Habits.

Constant Snacking and the Sugar Habit

The fallout: You may end up overeating. A healthy snack or two between meals is fine. Snacks can keep blood sugar steady as well as allow you to rack up more servings of fruits and vegetables. “It’s when you snack in place of eating real meals that you’re more likely to lose track of how much you’re eating,” says Tara Gidus, R.D., an Orlando, Florida–based spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Of course, what you eat matters, too. Typical snack foods (chips, cookies, pretzels) aren’t that nutritious or satisfying, so it’s easy to overdo them.

The fix: To keep your energy up and hunger at bay, allow yourself two snacks a day of 100 to 300 calories each. “Rather than a cookie or a candy bar, opt for something that feels like real food―half of a small sandwich, whole-grain crackers with cheese, a handful of nuts, baby carrots with hummus, or yogurt sprinkled with cereal,” says Gidus. Click here for more low-calorie snacks.

If You’re a Mindless Muncher

The fallout: Television makes people particularly prone to spaced-out eating. In fact, “folks who eat while watching the tube take in 20 to 60 percent more than if they are focused on their food,” according to Brian Wansink, a professor of marketing at Cornell University and the author of Mindless Eating ($15, amazon.com).

The fix: Figure out which situations trigger mindless eating for you, then consciously make an effort to eat only when you’re fully engaged. If you need a few snacks, set limits on what you’ll eat. Dole out a single serving before you sit down on the couch, or delay your snack until you can pay attention. Minimize damage by dipping into low-cal foods, such as cut vegetables, air-popped popcorn, rice crackers, and whole-grain cereal.
Sally Wadykavariety-candy_300Click Here!

The berber jewish culture in Morocco

  Click Here!      Since Jewish traders settled in the Land of the Berbers more than 2,000 years ago, Moroccan Jewry has had a unique culture, mingling Jewish and North African influences. It also constitutes one of the most successful models of political and religious coexistence in the Islamic world. But with the upheavals of the twentieth century, the question is whether Moroccan Jewry will retain its character and identity into the twenty-first century.

Routes of Exile: A Moroccan Jewish Odyssey

Routes of Exile traces the history of this branch of Jewry – from the first “Berber Jews” to the vast migration and new tensions set off by the creation of the State of Israel. The film takes a particularly probing look at the most recent stage of the journey – social and political changes in Israel, the struggle for identity in France and Canada, and the increasing isolation of the remnant that remains behind in Morocco.

Moroccan-Jewish culture on display

Exchanging cultures
“Especially with today’s tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims this exhibition is of utmost importance,” Janrense Boonstra, director of the Biblical Museum said. “I expect a lot of Moroccan visitors to come and I think the exhibition will be a surprise for them.”

The vast majority of Dutch Moroccans are Muslims and have a Berber-background. What the Dutch Muslims usually don’t know is that Jews and Berbers were living peacefully together in Morocco. There was even an important mutualcultural exchange for centuries before the arrival of Arabic culture and with the Arab conquest during the 8th century.

“For many centuries the Jewish community formed the most important minority in Morocco,” Boonstra said. “Based on their culture, this community can be divided into two separate groups. The first one is the native group, the toshavim in Hebrew, who have been living in rural areas for ages.”

The second group is the dispelled group, the Megorashim, who mainly lived in the cities. The Megorashim, expelled from Spain and Portugal in the fifteenth century where rich and literate.

“The difference between these two can be clearly seen in the exhibition,” he said.

The exhibition was set up among others with the help of the Dutch-Moroccan Jew Sami Kaspi. Rabat-born Kaspi created the Foundation Maimon seven years ago to promote Moroccan-Jewish culture and to foster the good ties between different religions.

It was Kaspi that brought the Biblical Museum into contact with Paul Dahan from Brussels. Most of the objects used in this exhibition are from the private collection of Dahan, who owns one of the largest collections of its kind in Europe.

‘Eternal bond’

“Most Moroccan Jews, like Kaspi, have a very strong, eternal bond with their tradition and heritage which is completely intertwined with the history of Morocco and the Moroccan-monarchy. That’s what we want to show,” Boonstra said. “Compare them with the Russian Jews for instance. They wouldn’t think about returning to the former Sovjet Union. Moroccan Jews though return often from Israel or France to visit the graves of famous rabbis for instance.”

There are many of them in Morocco. More than 120 graves of righteous Jews are alsoworshipped by Muslims.

“That makes this shared history so special,” he said.

Although Morocco’s monarchs, including the current king, have traditionally sworn to protect the country’s Jews, the community has fallen from 350,000 to 3,500 in half a century. Most young Jews have emigrated either to Europe or to Israel, where some 700,000 people claim Moroccan origin.
Morocco held local elections last Friday, in which the country’s main legal Islamic party, the Justice and Development party, made modest gains, despite a campaign against it by Moroccan authorities and the pro-government press, which have accused it of “moral responsibility” for the May 16 attacks.
Jews claim to have been present in the Maghreb since the synagogue at Djerba, Tunisia, was founded around 586BC. Their numbers were multiplied many times over when Spanish Jews were expelled from their country in 1492.
The Jewish community in Tunisia, reduced from 100,000 to 2,000 in 50 years, has also been attacked. The Djerba synagogue was attacked by a suicide bomber who killed 21 people in April 2002.

Femmes marocaines costumes et traditions

Il est nécessaire de donner un aperçu sur la femme marocaine, qui connaît les mêmes changements que la femme dans le monde, et surtout dans une période de transition dans le domaine des droits de l’Homme.

A l’indépendance du Maroc en 1956, les femmes marocaine sont devenues de plus en plus actives en dehors de leurs foyers, le haïk est remplacé alors par la Djellaba qui est en faite un habille pour les hommes.

Elle a subi beaucoup de changement et une importante transformation surtout pendant les quatre dernières décennies.

Elle a gardée la même structure mais a perdu sa coupe rigoureuse et ses couleurs sombres d’origine, excepté quand elle est destinée aux vielles femmes conservatrices.

Le babouch est considéré comme chaussure traditionnelle marocaine utilisé dans la vie quotidienne de la femme

La femme marocaine doit d’abord être considérée comme une personne qui jouit de la garantie de ses droits, et qui a surtout de forts espoirs dans le futur.

Nous pouvons admirer la décoration et le style marocain de leur maison, on remarque le décor accueillant de la demeure tout en conservant le thème traditionnel

Cet aperçu donne aussi une idée sur les conditions de vie de la femme marocaine, ses souhaits, espoirs et rêves, ses réalisations, projets, ses capacités intellectuelles, ainsi que ses talents. Par la même occasion, il nous montrera comment la femme marocaine se considère t-elle, et comment voit-elle sa diversité.

Elle est ambivalente dans le sens ou elle garde toujours les valeurs culturelles marocaines à l’intérieur de son foyer, et exerce la modernité en dehors de son ménage.

Récemment, la femme marocaine a commencé à s’organiser dans des associations, s’éduquer, et à créer son espace de liberté, afin de lutter pour l’obtention de ses propres droits, même dans des endroits où les hommes règnent, que se soit dans le domaine politique ou dans les activités sociales.

Il est important de noter que malgré tout le progrès qu’a connu la femme marocaine, elle est toujours ambiguë, elle a très peu de connaissance de droit. Elle a aussi le paradoxe d’autocensure féminine, une éducation insuffisante, spécialement dans les zones rurales.

Au Maroc, le vêtement traditionnel est la djellaba, longue robe à capuchon et à manches larges. Pour les occasions spéciales, les hommes portent aussi deschapeaux appelés tarbouchs ou fez. Les hommes d’origine berbère porteront un turban blanc, des sandales en cuir de chèvre et des poignards finement travaillés. Les femmes marocaines demeurent nombreuses à suivre la tradition islamique et à porter le voile en public. À la maison comme aux réceptions, elles s’habillent de robes longues, ou cafetans. Si nombre de Marocains portent toujours les vêtements traditionnels, la mode vestimentaire occidentale est toutefois de plus en plus populaire.

L’habit de la femme qui travaille a commencé a être influencé par le phénomène de la mode qui a résulté de l’échange intensif avec d’autres pays pendant le 19ème siècle, c’est le cas pour le caftan qui est d’origine turque ou même chinoise.

Il est toujours resté jusqu’à maintenant le plus important garnement interne de la femme marocaine.

Malgré tous les changements que connaît l’habillement traditionnel sous la pression de la vie moderne, constitue l’élément le plus important dans l’habit féminin dans toutes les classes sociales.

Il suffit que la personne se trouve dans une cérémonie de mariage ou durant une fête religieuse pour remarquer à quel point les femmes et les hommes marocains sont fidèles à leur belle tradition.

La femme marocaine dans la ville, contrairement à la femme rurale (dans le haut et le moyen atlas), ne pouvait pas circuler dans les rues sans haïk (du moins pendant les années cinquante). Le haïk est un large tissu de coton ou de laine de à peu prêt 5 mètres de longueur sur 1.60 M de largeur qui couvre le corps de la femme ainsi que son visage.

Berber Jewellery: The Culture beyond the Glitter

    Berber jewellery serves a much wider purpose than simple adornment. The jewellery a woman wears identifies her as a member of a clan or tribe, it is a sign of her wealth, it reflects cultural traditions and it has power beyond the visual, to protect her from the evil eye.A woman will receive jewellery from her mother until she marries. For her marriage, her future husband will commission his mother or sister to provide jewellery for her and these will be kept by her as dowry and added to throughout her life.
This jewellery will always be made of silver, as gold is considered evil. Necklaces are important, the traditional assemblage in the southern oasis valleys sometimes featuring talismans of silver, pink coral, amazonite, amber,Czech glass and West African ebony beads. A woman will also have bracelets, fibulas (elaborate brooches, often triangular, used for fastening garments), anklets, earrings and headdresses. Some pieces will be worn every day, others – the finest – will be saved for occasions such as festivals, pilgrimages and funerals.The protective, medicinal and magical properties of jewellery are extremely important. The necklaces contain charms bought from magicians or holy men, whichoffer protection against the evil eye, disease, accidents and difficulties in childbirth. Silver is believed to cure rheumatism; coral symbolizes fertility and is thought to have curative powers; amber is worn as a symbol of wealth and to protect against sorcery (it’s also considered an aphrodisiac and a cure for colds); amazonite and carnelian stones are used in divining fortunes; and shells traded from East Africa symbolize fertility.

Talismans feature stylized motifs of animals, sun, moon and stars, all of which are believed to have supernatural powers. A common symbol to ward off the evil eye is the hand of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. Any depiction of the hand (which represents human creative power and dominance) or of the number five is believed to have the same effect as metaphorically poking fingers into the evil eye with the words khamsa fi ainek (five in your eye).

I Moroccan charming diverse culture.

<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-151" src="https://culturalecho.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/maroc-sasn-complexes.jpg" alt="maroc sasn complexes" width="110" height="130" /Click Here!>Morocco possesses a diverse and lively history that witnessed a long succession of different ruling people such as the Romans, French, Spanish, Jews, Arabs and Berbers. This diversity is reflected through many aspects of Moroccan life, namely the languages, the clothing, the cuisine, and the culture.
Traveling from region to region in Morocco might seem more like traveling from country to country. For the diversity of culture from one city to the next is striking. However, in general, Morocco can be divided into two main cultures: Arab and Berber. And, each one has its own charm. Tourists visiting Morocco will definitely not get bored as with every step they take, they are bound to discover Morocco’s eclectic heritage.
The Berbers were the first inhabitants of North Africa and they are also considered its indigenous people. The history of the Berber people goes back more than 5000 years ago. The Berbers are a group of people who migrated possibly from the Middle east or Eurasia to as far west the Atlantic coast and all the way down to Mali, Niger, and Burkina. It wasn’t until the 7th century with the Arab invasion that the Berbers became ‘Arabized’ and converted to Islam.
There are three main Berber groups in Morocco who speak three varieties of the Berber language. Berbers from the Rif, in northern Morocco, speak Tarifit, Berbers from the Middle Atlas region speak Tamazight, and those from the High Atlas and Souss regions in the South speak Tashelheet. The Berber text is different from Arabic and is called Tifinagh.
Berbers, referred to as Shlooh by most Moroccans, represent more than half of the Moroccan population and live mainly in the south of Morocco. There have been a lot of efforts nowadays to preserve the Berber identity and to promote its culture. As a result, the Berber language has recently been introduced in primary schools as a compulsory language.image The main characteristics of Berber culture are their nomadic way of life, their folkloric music, fine poetry and silver jewelry.
The Arabs experienced a different history in Morocco. When they invaded Morocco in the late 7th century, their conquest was met with fierce resistance from the Berber tribes. The Arabs eventually succeeded in taking over Morocco and forcing the Berbers to adopt the Arab culture and Muslim religion.
The Arabs represent about 40% of the Moroccan population and live mainly in the northern regions of Morocco. One of the main characteristics of Arab culture in Morocco are their customs, language, music, religion, food, and dress, just to name a few.
Apart from the Berber and Arab influences in Morocco, there is also an Andalusian influence in the North and a Sub-Saharan influence in the south. imageDue to the Christian conquest of Spain, there were many Muslim and Jewish exiles from Spain into Morocco, which explains the Spanish/Andalusian element in Morocco’s culture, notably in the music and food. In the south of Morocco you will notice many black Moroccans. During the caravan trades, many slaves were brought up from possibly Guinea, and there influence is prevalent in the type of music known as Gnawa, especially in Marrakech which was a main caravan stop.
It is worth mentioning that the official language of Morocco is Arabic. Most Moroccans, no matter what their origins are, speak Arabic. There is a minority of Berber nomads who do not speak Arabic.
So, on your next visit to Morocco, keep your senses awake to experience Morocco’s diversity.image

Imilchil Marriage Festival in Ait Hdidou tribes in High Atlas Mountains in Morocco

1002297_624600827563590_100236093_nThe village of Imilchil lies high in the Middle Atlas Mountains, on the Plateau du Lac in the valley of Assif Melloul (“white river”), and is home to the Ait Hdiddou tribe.

Imilchil Moussem, or marriage festival is held each year in mid-September, and has become one of Morocco’s most popular Festivals, attracting romantics from all over the world. Filled with Berber dancing, drumming and chanting, the three day feast sees up to 40 couples tie the knot, and many others find their prospective partner. Single women, divorcees and widows searching for a husband are adorned in traditional cloaks and hoods, eagerly anticipating marriage proposals. When a woman accepts a proposal, she says to her suitor “You have captured my liver”, and the match is made!

8p96wd25According to legend, a young man and woman from two local tribes fell in love, but were forbidden to see each other as their parents were sworn enemies. The lovers cried themselves to death, each forming a lake from their tears – Lake Isli (meaning groom in Berber) and Lake Tisli (meaning bride).

As a tribute to their memories, the guilt-stricken families initiated a betrothal festival on the anniversary of the lover’s death, during which couples from different tribes were allowed to meet and marry each other.

Today the festival is a meeting place for young tribal people from the Ait Haddidou and Er Rachidia region, giving them the opportunity to find a lifelong partner. Parents usually accompany young women and assist them in finding suitable partners, whereas older candidates (due to their position within the tribe) can choose their own husbands without having to ask for parental consent.

8p96wd25The engagement party at Imilchil is one of the biggest attractions of festival, where the theme is of course love. Much attention is devoted to this event as it has a lot of cultural significance, and it gives an opportunity to ensure the survival of the old traditional marriage story and share it with a worldwide audience.

The Imilchil Moussem generates a huge amount of revenue for the region, as it attracts an influx of domestic and foreign visitors – in excess of 30,000 during the course of the three day event. To increase its appeal further, the traditional folk aspect of the festival has been increased, and includes old traditional music and Berber dances such as Ait Hdidou, Talsint, and the waltzes of the pretty dancing bee (Nahla) to Kelaa M’gouna .

The festival is dependent on the harvest, so dates are not fixed, but it usually falls in mid-September. Imilchil is accessible most easily from the South – Tineghir / Erfoud / Er Rachidia /Midelt. 4×4 transport is essential, and a guide or driver recommended.198713_fr_imilchilhuh

10 Argan Oil Benefits for Hair and Skin, pregnancy

Often called ‘liquid gold’, argan oil is an organic product extracted from the kernels of the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. It is extremely rich in beneficial nutrients including fatty acids and vitamin E. Its properties make it particularly beneficial for the hair and skin, which makes it a popular cosmetic choice for many celebrities. It’s not just for the rich and famous, though – anyone can reap the argan oil benefits for their body. Here are some of its most common uses.

1. Skin Moisturiser

skin-moisturiserArgan oil is most commonly used as a skin moisturiser to hydrate and soften skin. With its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is the ideal product to give skin a natural boost. It absorbs easily and is non-greasy and non-irritating, which makes it a great natural moisturiser.

It is easy to use all over the body, including the face and neck. Simply smooth a few drops into your skin using gentle rubbing motions, as you would any face andbody lotion.

2. Hair Conditioner

hair-treatmentArgan oil is proven to make hair softer, silkier and shinier. It is the ideal hair conditioner, and it can even help to treat split ends and tame frizzy hair. Using argan oil to condition your hair is extremely easy. It comes in several types of applications and products and has so many ways to use it for different results that we decided to write an in-depth guide to using Argan oil for hair.

3. Sleek and Shine Styling

shiny-straight-hairDue to its ability to tame frizz and give hair shine, argan oil is also commonly used as a styling agent. It makes hair more manageable and adds a healthy, attractive shine to any hair style. This is an ideal step to add to your daily routine after blow-drying. Rub a few drops of argan oil over your palms and then comb your fingers through your hair to apply.

Anti-Aging

Not only does argan oil act as an effective moisturiser, it can also give skin a youthful glow and reduce the visibility of wrinkles. Its anti-oxidant effect makes argan oil the ideal anti-aging product. It restores elasticity and leaves skin feeling plumper and softer.

The best way to apply argan oil for the most prominent anti-aging effects is to massage a few drops into your face and neck before bed. It acts as a moisturiser and anti-ager all in one.

5. Dry Skin Conditions

People suffering from dry skin or conditions such as eczema which can leave skin raw, flaky and itchy will benefit immensely from argan oil. The vitamin E and fatty acids in argan oil are excellent for repairing damaged skin and providing it with nutrients which will prevent further dryness and irritation. Argan oil also contains ingredients which soothe skin. Applying a small amount of oil directly to afflicted skin and massaging in gently can provide relief and encourage healing.

6. Acne

Where many oils and moisturisers can exacerbate skin conditions such as acne, argan oil actually soothes afflicted skin and promotes healing. Acne is often the result of oily skin. Since argan oil is non-greasy, it helps to balance skin by providing natural moisture. Argan oil also contains anti-oxidants which help to heal damaged skin cells and reduce inflammation.

Applying a few drops of argan oil to skin afflicted by acne after cleansing and patting dry ensures that essential moisture and nutrients are introduced to clean, dry skin. Rubbing in gently and repeating twice daily can help clear up mild acne as well as balancing oily or dry skin.

7. Protection and Healing

The antioxidants in argan oil are generally beneficial for healing skin which is irritated, cracked, damaged or even burned. It is best used as a preventive for dry or sore skin, but it can also be used to speed up healing. Its properties include reducing inflammation, soothing pain and increasing healing rate.

Smoothing a few drops of argan oil into sore or damaged skin helps to speed up the healing process.

8. Click Here!Pregnancy

Stretch marks are an issue for many pregnant women, but argan oil is the ideal protection against stretch marks and sagging, puckered skin after birth. Argan oil increases the elasticity of skin due to its vitamin E content. Using a few drops of argan oil to rub into breasts, stomach, bottom and thighs during pregnancy will reduce the likelihood of developing unsightly stretch marks.

Argan oil is also idea for keeping skin and hair soft, healthy and hydrated during pregnancy.

9. Foot, Hand and Nail Treatment

Argan oil’s softening properties are ideal for brittle nails, dry hands and cracked, hard skin on feet. It both moisturises and softens skin, leaving hands and feet supple and soft and nails strong and healthy. Try massaging a few drops of argan oil into cuticles, hands and feet before bed each night.

10. Lip Moisturiser

Especially in cold or dry weather, lips can easily become sore, dry and cracked. Argan oil is the ideal product to ensure lips stay plump, soft and supple. Rub a drop or two into dry lips as a balm – but be sure to wipe off any excess.

All This… In One Bottle

argan-oilThe best thing about argan oil is that is can be safely used in its pure form and doesn’t need to be bought as an ingredient in lotions, conditioners and moisturizers. One bottle of argan oil is extremely versatile and can be used for all these benefits. This miracle oil will change the way you live your life.

Poverty facts

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http://www.globalissues.org/print/article/26
Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.

At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.

The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.

According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.

Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The two regions that account for the bulk of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

current trends continue, the Millennium Development Goals target of halving the proportion of underweight children will be missed by 30 million children, largely because of slow progress in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

COUSCOUS AS A MOROCCAN NATIONAL DISH

Food
An exceptional melding of flavors from the Berber,Arabic, French, Spanish and Jewish cultures that left their mark on the country, Moroccan cuisine is rich in color, spice and texture. Not only is it tasty fare (a given), but it’s beautifully presented and created to have alluring scents. Interestingly, the best food is said to be found in people’s homes, not restaurants; Moroccans serve guests bountiful meals, as it’s considered a disgrace if you let your guests leave a meal while they’re still hungry .
Lunch is the main meal and, like most, is served on low tables surrounded by cushions. You eat Moroccan food from a communal bowl with the first three fingers of your right hand (not the left, which is reserved for the toilet!). You may also scoop up the food with any bread that is served. While there are innumerable Moroccan dishes, of course, three of the most typical meals are couscous, tagine and harira. Couscous is a grain often cooked with spices, veggies, nuts and raisins; meat may also be added. It can be eaten as a side dish or main meal. Tagine is a spicy stew cooked in an earthenware vessel also called a tagine, from which the stew gets its name. Harira is considered Morocco’s national soup, although it’s more like a thick paste. Like couscous and tagine, it has many variations, but traditionally consists of bouillon, beef or mutton, onions, saffron and walnuts.
As Morocco is bordered by both the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, fish is a popular entrée. Lamb and chicken are also widely available; beef is rare. Some common spices used are cumin, coriander, saffron, chilies, dried ginger, cinnamon and paprika. Nuts are prevalent in Moroccans’ diets, as is fruit, which is often served as dessert. Figs and dates are especially popular. When confections are on the menu, they’re often treats made from almonds, cinnamon and fruits rolled in phyllo dough, then soaked in honey .
Moroccans always serve mint tea at the end of meals. But don’t look for any alcohol, as imbibing is against the rules of Islam. Speaking of which, as Muslims, Moroccans must fast from dawn until dusk during the 30 days of Ramadan, so restaurants are closed during the day. Most families prepare harira to eat as soon as the sun goes down, followed by a larger meal later in the evening . Religion influences other aspects of Moroccan culture as well, particularly when it comes to what people wear.couscous marocaincouscous