Marrakesh Mother’s Nonprofit Empowers Women

by Rachel Berets

MARRAKESH, MOROCCO—While her own newborn baby slept soundly inside, Nora Fitzgerald found a baby girl, wrapped only in a blanket, abandoned on her doorstep. She brought the baby inside and called the authorities, who took the child away a few hours later. But the next day, Fitzgerald wondered if she had made the right decision. “What if I was supposed to take her?” she asked herself.

“I spent the next day looking in all the orphanages and I couldn’t find her,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t know what happened to her, I just prayed that she was OK.”

This innate sense of personal responsibility would ultimately lead Fitzgerald to found Amal, a nonprofit restaurant that teaches single mothers and other disadvantaged women practical skills so they can find jobs and provide for themselves, their children and their families. 

Read more

News of the Day: September 16, 2019

By Ella Feldman

Moroccan Journalist on Trial for an Abortion She Says She Never Had

by Aida Alami for the New York Times

Lede: This weekend was supposed to have been a celebration of love. The invitations had been sent, the flowers and cake ordered. Family and friends were getting ready to witness the wedding of a young Moroccan political reporter and a Sudanese university professor she met at a human-rights conference.

Nut Graph: “Instead, Hajar Raissouni and Rifaat al-Amin were arrested on Aug. 31 as they were leaving a gynecologist’s office in the Moroccan capital Rabat.

Read more

Footloose but not fancy free: Dancing in Morocco

By Alexis Miller. Photos by Alexandria Saurman

Rabat — “I don’t get paid for this and I don’t think I would want to be…,” Hajar Regragui says while unlocking the door to the dance studio at International University of Rabat (UIR). She’s about to teach 60 college students choreographed dance routines in various styles: Hip-hop, African inspired dance, and Salsa. The course lasts three hours and is completely a labor of love. She seems to look happiest when drenched in sweat.

Hajar Regragui is a 21-year-old political science and international relations student at UIR, but she introduced herself to me first and foremost as a dancer and told me about her favorite spots in Casablanca for dancing.

Read more