Posts Tagged ‘marrakech’

a rapist in Marrakech

December 3, 2008


Polanski fled to Paris after being indicted in 1977 on six counts of drugging, raping and sodomizing 13 year old Geimer, whom he lured to Jack Nicholson’s  house.

Back in 2006,this notorious rapist was given the honor to head the Jury of the Marrakech cinema Festival and this year he was a guest of honor…


Husa Gains a Foothold in Morocco

March 22, 2008

481.jpgThe hotel chain Husa has recently signed an agreement with H. Partners, an investment fund created by Attijariwafa Bank and Banque Centrale Populaire, two local banks, with the aim of opening a hotel in Marrakech in 2010.

Through the agreement, the Spanish-owned hotel chain will control 15% of the Palmeraie Hotel, with a total investment of two million euros. With an overall cost of 14 million euros, the hotel will have 200 rooms and will be marketed both as an event and holiday hotel. Husa Hotels will also be managing the new complex, located in one of Marrakech’s neighbourhoods with the greatest number of tourist attractions.

This project is part of the chain’s expansion plan in Africa, where it already runs a hotel in Marrakech, and owns two other in El Cairo and Giza, the latter scheduled to be opened later this year.

Banyan Tree enters Morocco

December 11, 2007

abc.jpgBanyan Tree brand Angsana has moved into Morocco as it continues to open more hotels outside of its traditional Asian market.

The luxury hotel company officially opened five out of seven of its Riad Collection around Marrakech. All of the Riads have between five and eight rooms and have been restored in Moroccan style.

Banyan Tree executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping decided to open up Riads in Morocco after visiting the city two years ago.

He said: “It is in Riads you get a real sense of Morocco and Marrakech. It is not a luxury hotel experience but we believe it is the heart and soul of Morocco, from the sense of smell to the colours. However you get the quality of service you would get from any Banyan Tree or Angsana Hotel.

Banyan Tree and Angsana is continuing to expand with more properties set to open in Dubai, Barbados, Morocco, Thailand , Mexico and Bali. There are also plans to move into European destinations such as Turkey.

kelly ranson

A kosher hotel takes root in Marrakech

December 9, 2007


                                the ogre city

By Romina Ruiz-Goiriena


When Moroccan-born Israeli chef Mordechai Perez decided to visit Marrakech to search for his roots, he had no idea that he would also be making a career move. In short order, he would find himself the chief chef of Marrakech’s first-ever kosher hotel and restaurant, slated to open its doors this month.

“After my mother died, I left Israel,” relates the 44-year-old Perez. “A month ago, I came to Marrakech searching for my roots. I came and I stumbled onto this kosher hotel project.” “When I got the job as head chef, I decided to stay.”

He came to Marrakech, in part, to learn about his father’s legacy. “My father was the head of a village 75 km from here. He would come here every day because he was dedicated to the promulgation of Marrakech Jewish life.” Seated in the place his late father used to pray 60 years ago, Perez shares stories of the Jews who inhabited the Mellah in the beginning of the twentieth century. He is especially moved to be serving the same community which his father, Yaacov, served as rabbi.

To the casual observer, the quarter where the hotel is situated reflects the Muslim character of Morocco, its narrow alleys flooded with children playing and elders fasting for Islam’s holy month of Ramadan. But on closer inspection, the true nature of the Mellah, the Jewish quarter – in essence, the Moroccan version of the ghettos of European cities – becomes clear. Many of the homes are still decorated with mezuzot and a wealth of other sacred Jewish symbols. “The sign of a Jewish home,” Perez sighs with nostalgia, referring to a mezuzah in a Muslim-owned house.

Today, Marrakech is home to 300 Jews out of the 2,000 in the whole of Morocco. Marrakech’s Mellah, once a vibrant shelter to those expelled from Spain after 1492, recalls an era in which both Jew and Muslim were involved in the salt and spice commerce, and both lived and prayed within the medina’s thick paprika-red walls.

A veteran of hotel kitchens in Israel and in Belgium, Perez will be responsible for implementing all of the kashrut dietary regulations in the new facility. “I am one of the only ones in Marrakech trained to ‘kosherize’ and be a proper shomer (Kashrut Supervisor),” he says.

Jews in Marrakech

For co-owner Prosper Kadoch, 43, the new hotel and restaurant, located 15 minutes from the Mellah, is about creating a place for the Moroccan Jewish community, as well as “providing a home in Marrakech for Jews worldwide.” In recent years, adds co-owner Simon Acoca, 45, “Marrakech has undergone an incredible transition, and it is definitely a tourist hot-spot. We are just trying to open the market for Jews as well.”

In one of the most important cities in Africa, there is without doubt a need for real kosher cuisine, Kadoch says. Mindful of observant guests, the hotel and restaurant are to maintain strict standards of kashrut. The hotel will also have an in-house synagogue, and will anticipate the needs of those keeping Shabbat. The hotel and restaurant will be run in such a way that “the one who can observe the most can observe the least,” says Kadoch.

Although their primary target is Jewish community, the hotel will be open to visitors of all kinds. “What is important is that they understand that they will be complying with a kosher environment,” Acoca says. In addition, the hotel is to organize sightseeing tours to historic Jewish landmarks and areas in Marrakech. The owners aim to “contribute to a Jewish experience in the middle of Marrakech while still indulging in everything the Maghreb has to offer.”

The question of terror

For some potential visitors to Morocco, the specter of terrorism has been a factor in delaying a trip. Limor Azulay, 36, of Jerusalem, concedes that what has held her back from touring Morocco is fear. “My mother is Moroccan, and although I?ve always been interested, I’ve always been too afraid to go.” The fear has been underscored by multiple suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003, whose targets included a Jewish-owned restaurant, and by the Moroccans involved in the Madrid train bombings the next year.

Mindful of the damage to tourism, the government has since made security – and a sense of safety for tourists – a high priority. “When it comes to tourism, there is a certain air of tranquility to be found in Morocco, and no one is willing to sacrifice that,” Acoca says. Perez agrees. “Word on the street is that there are little spurts of terrorism, but we know that the king takes care of them silently,” he says.”I have only been here for a month, I go outside of the mellah and everyone tells me “shalom, shalom” Perez says. “I speak back to them in my mother tongue, Moroccan Arabic, and they know that I am a Moroccan Jew. I know that there is nothing to be worried about.”

want to eat lion’s meat ….come to MOROCCO

December 5, 2007



Flirting for France: Newly-divorced Sarkozy’s ‘close and loving relationship’ with the blonde TV star in a low-cut blouse

November 24, 2007


She is arguably the most beautiful star of French television and, until a few weeks ago, was one half of a hugely glamorous power couple presenting cutting-edge documentaries and heavyweight political interviews.

But now, Laurence Ferrari has announced her divorce from Thomas Hugues, her journalist husband of 14 years, amid rumours that she has formed a ‘close and loving relationship’ with France’s bachelor president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The pair have been spotted enjoying candlelit meals, and Miss Ferrari, 41, is a frequent visitor to the Elysee Palace,Mr Sarkozy’s official residence in Paris.

The blonde enjoyed a one-on-one live interview with Mr Sarkozy, 52, in March – when he was running for the presidency before his electoral triumph in May – and the “incredible chemistry between the two” was apparent to many TV observers.

“They were both flirting for France,” said a source at Canal Plus, the TV channel where Miss Ferrari works.

“Laurence wore a low-cut black blouse and Sarkozy loved every minute of it. They got on like a house on fire and have been seeing each other ever since. Both are single people, so they have every right to enjoy each other’s company.

“They appear to have a close and loving relationship. Laurence would make a fantastic first lady. Sarkozy is a very lucky man.”

Sources in Morocco say Miss Ferrari was even spotted at the president’s hotel in Marrakesh during a private trip to North Africa earlier this month.

Yet although there is overwhelming evidence that Mr Sarkozy and Miss Ferrari are now dating, the notoriously cautious French media has been reluctant to report details.

The country has strict privacy laws, and Mr Sarkozy is known to have got at least one editor sacked for publishing pictures of his ex-wife, Cecilia, cavorting with a lover in New York.

And when Mr Sarkozy had an affair with journalist Anna Fulda two years ago she was moved from her usual beat covering his UMP party for Le Figaro newspaper, so there would be no conflict of interest.

Instead, it has been left to the Belgian, Swiss and even Moroccan Press to report the fledgling romance, with French websites following up the reports on a daily basis.

Mr Sarkozy and Cecilia divorced last month after she said she no longer wanted to be France’s first lady.

Cecilia is said to have moved to London to get away from the media spotlight in her home country. And she has admitted an affair with Moroccan-born public relations man Richard Attias while she was still married to Mr Sarkozy.

Mr Sarkozy has been married twice, and has three sons and two step-daughters.

Miss Ferrari, meanwhile, is said to be obsessed by public life and loves the limelight.

A politician’s daughter, she completed a Press officer’s diploma in Lyon in the mid- Eighties, before studying politics at the Sorbonne University. Between 2000 and 2006 she presented the Seven To Eight TV show with Hugues, the father of their two children, Baptiste, 13, and Laetitia, 11.

“Ferrari and Hugues were the Ken and Barbie of French television, so seeing them split up has come as a huge shock to everyone,” said the Canal Plus source.

“They announced their divorce on a TV listings website this week, which indicates how professionally driven they are.”

The divorcees run their own production company, Story Box Press, and the source added: “Amazingly they’re still going to be working together on some television projects.”

Mr Sarkozy is known for his love of designer goods and one political source in Paris said: “It’s typical of Sarko to grab himself a trophy girlfriend called Ferrari.”

Neither Miss Ferrari nor Mr Hugues would discuss their divorce. An Elysee Palace spokesman said Mr Sarkozy’s personal life was “not open for discussion”.

sarkozy cecilia nicolas

The President’s women: Nicolas Sarkozy with his ex-wife Cecilia

American pedophile arrested in Marrakech

November 24, 2007

An American pedophile has been arrested by the Moroccan police at Marrakech airport. The police found pictures of naked Moroccan kids in his luggage.