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Dries Van Noten Black Wool Trousers

Dries Van Noten Black Wool Trousers

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Dries Van Noten Black Pleated Trouser

Dries Van Noten Black Pleated Trouser

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James Ruppert: Looking for a Brexit bargain? Take a trip across the Irish sea

Ford Focus
An imported Focus could make sense for Irish buyers
Small petrol runarounds are particularly good value in Ireland, but Jaguar and Audi buyers can save too

I was interested to read that Irish motorists increased their spending on cars imported from the UK by 181% in July and August compared with the same two months in 2018. Apparently, the country’s car import boom is picking up speed as the Brexit deadline looms. A company called Fexco also found the number of UK vehicles imported by Irish drivers in July and August was up by 175% year on year.

This is in line with my experience of readers from across the Irish Sea who are after economical, affordable cars that definitely aren’t diesels. These are individuals, not dealers, and the average amount spent per car in July and August was 16,197 (£13,930) – an increase of 32% on that paid three years ago. Rather more money than I am being asked about. So what sort of cars should make the journey? The short answer is small petrol ones. The 1.0-litre Ford Focus has a lot going for it as a really practical family hatchback that is groovy to drive. I found a 59,000- mile one in Zetec trim, all for £5480 – and it’s a 2014 as well. It will do 60mpg officially and the tax in the UK is just £20.

Staying with the 1.0-litre ultra-economical theme, the Volkswagen Group has plenty of contenders. I like a Fabia but think that an Octavia would be good and an estate even better. So a 2018 1.0 TSI SE with 10,000 miles is £12,800. The average fuel consumption is 50mpg, although the annual tax is £145 over here.

Let’s just say we delivered a car to Ireland – what could we bring back? I looked at some Jaguars and Audis and they were priced the same as in the UK, if not more. I know that classics are quite highly taxed, so it would be interesting to see what sort of survivors are in circulation over there.

A quick search threw up a rather interesting 1986 Audi 100 saloon. A proper Vorsprung example that you just don’t see. Yours for 4500 (£3870). Classic BMWs seemed to be at UK levels, but I found another rarely seen Audi, again from 1986 – a five-cylinder 90CD at 4600 (£3960).

Still being oddly 1980s: how about a Talbot Horizon 1.5GL? A five-door hatchback with 43,000 miles that is all but extinct can be yours for 4450 (£3830). Staying square and back to yet another Audi, I came across a 1984 1.8 Coupé for 1500 (£1290) that has a burst brake pipe and “some missing windows”. Not perfect, but apparently the body is not too bad.

There are deals and potential swaps to be done. I think if you actually went to Ireland with euros like some friends have, you’ll get a better deal. That’s the way it works.

What we almost bought this week

Seat Arosa 1.0 S: The great thing about this Arosa is that it’s just had a new clutch, cambelt and water pump. If we’d had to replace them, the bill would have been £895 – which, by coincidence, is exactly what the seller is asking for the car. It’s a 2004-reg with 98,000 miles and an MOT until March. To make us feel doubly smug, we’d want 12 months.

Tales from Ruppert's garage

Porsche Cayenne - mileage 104,456: Days away from the MOT and I have sort of given it my unprofessional once over. I will tempt fate by saying that it isn’t going to fail on anything especially obvious. The tyres seem fine, there are no brake issues and, best of all, there is a lack of warning lights. I also told the garage to give it a little light service. Last year it went to a specialist and has only had light usage since, so I think an oil and filter is all that’s required. Let’s hope I’m right. If not, it will be an expensive visit to the garage. What fun.

Reader's ride

Jaguar XJ40: Stuart Dodman is pleased as punch with his Jaguar and quite right too: “Here is my pride and joy, my XJ40 3.2 in Morocco Red. I’ve had this car for a year now and have spent little on upkeep (apart from polish, wax, Back to Black etc). As I am semi-retired, I don’t really need a car so can afford a motor that would be too expensive as a daily runner. I was lucky the previous owner wax-oiled the underside so there’s no rust. My Jag (love saying that!) feels very special to drive and I turn more heads than vastly more expensive cars do.”

Readers' Questions

Question: In reviews, a tester will say ‘the smaller 16in wheels give a better ride than the larger 17 or 18in wheels’. Why do smaller wheels, seemingly for all cars, give a better ride? Keith Hill, via email

Answer: To avoid making the speedometer wildly inaccurate, when the wheel size changes so must the rolling diameter of the tyre. So a smaller tyre has a deeper and more compliant sidewall and vice versa. It’s why, for a good handling and ride compromise, the mid-size wheel is often best. However, it’s not always the case since there are so many other variables at play, not to mention the quality of the car’s suspension. John Evans

Question: How much money do electric cars lose and what is their real-world range? I would expect an undershoot, especially in colder climates. Sukhy Ubhi, via email

Answer: Cap HPI has revealed the winners and losers in EV depreciation, calculated from new over two years and 20,000 miles. Its three slowest depreciators are the Jaguar I-Pace (25.4% depreciation), Volkswagen e-Golf (33.7%) and Tesla Model X (35.4%). Worst is the Renault Zoe (52.5%). Regarding real-world range, tests suggest that EVs achieve around 85% of their officially claimed range. According to our sister title What Car?, the Kia e-Niro 64kWh has the longest real-world range of 259 miles, or 92% of its official 282-mile figure. John Evans


50 years of the Jaguar XJ

New 2020 Skoda Octavia leaks out on configurator

Audi developing dramatic A5-sized luxury electric coupé


Devoxx 2019: Java, Java and more JAVA!


Originally created in 2001, Devoxx celebrates its 18th year as one of the most highly attended and influential third-party developer conferences. The conference occurs annually in Antwerp, Belgium and has also expanded to other worldwide locations such as Ukraine, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Poland.

This year's event in Antwerp will bring together 3000+ attendees, 200+ speakers, and 200+ sessions over five days. As part of the event, Oracle's Java Platform Group (JPG) continues to participate to deliver a broad collection of content offering a deep-dive into popular Java language, platform, and tooling topics. 

If you’re attending Devoxx Belgium this year, members of JPG are looking forward to meeting you. Besides attending the sessions that are of most interest to you, when visiting the exhibition hall we invite you to stop by the Oracle booth to meet up with us.

JPG Content Summary Tuesday, November 5 Wednesday, November 6 Thursday, November 7 Friday, November 8

"قرع الطناجر"... أحدث أشكال الاحتجاج في لبنان، فما أصله؟


مرة أخرى، يبتكر اللبنانيون وسيلة جديدة لممارسة حق الاحتجاج السلمي ودعم استمرار انتفاضتهم الشعبية حتى تنفيذ جميع مطالبهم.

هذه المرة لجأ الذين تعذر عليهم النزول إلى ساحة تقاطع إيليا في مدينة صيدا إلى "قرع الطناجر" تعبيراً عن الفقر والجوع وليُسمع صوت وجعهم عالياً.

في توقيت واحد، الثامنة مساء 4 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر، خرج العديد من مواطني صيدا إلى الشرفات وقرعوا الطناجر. كذلك سُمع صوت القرع من داخل المباني المختلفة، محاكاةً لإطلاق أبواق السيارات من قبل دعماً للمسيرات والوقفات الاحتجاجية.

حتى أن بعض الذين نزلوا إلى الشارع حملوا طناجرهم وقرعوا عليها، وأرفقوها بهتاف الثورة اللبنانية الأبرز "كلن يعني كلن" مصاحبةً "كلن فقرونا… كلن نهبونا".

تهويل بـ"الصدفة"

الطريقة الشعبية السلمية البسيطة، وكما جرت العادة منذ بداية الانتفاضة اللبنانية، لم تسلم من تأويلات "نظريات المؤامرة"، إذ علق الإعلامي ومدير مركز الإرتكاز سالم زهران عليها عبر حسابه في تويتر بالقول: "منذ 7 سنوات طلب شيخ ‘الفورة‘ في سوريا (عدنان) العرعور أتباعه بقرع الطناجر ليسقط النظام... واليوم للصدفة قرع طناجر في لبنان!!".

ثم أردف متمنياً "ألا يحصل في لبنان ما حصل في سوريا".

وبرغم أن زهران اعترف في تغريدته بأن قرع الطناجر "ظاهرة قديمة جداً"، لم تكن انطلاقتها في سوريا، رآها "فأل شؤم" على البلد. ورد عليه لبنانيون كثر مؤكدين أنهم ملتزمون السلمية في حراكهم وأن محاولات تخويف الناس من مصائر بلدان أخرى لن تجدي نفعاً.

طقس شعبي عالمي

معلوم أن قرع الأواني أو الطناجر طقس شعبي عالمي للاحتجاج السلمي، تختلف الروايات بشأن نشأته. 

ينسبه البعض إلى شيلي عام 1971 خلال حكم سلفادور أليندي، بعدها بات شائعاً مع تولي الديكتاتور أوغستو بينوشيه، وآخرون يقولون إنه انطلق في الجزائر خلال الثورة ضد المستعمر الفرنسي، وفريق ثالث يرده إلى أعوام ما قبل الميلاد.

وكانت صحيفة "لوموند" الفرنسية قد علقت على طقس "قرع المهارس"، أي قرع الأواني، في الجزائر واعتماده خلال الحراك الشعبي الذي بدأ في 22 شباط/فبراير الماضي، مذكرةً بأنه كان "سلاح التعبئة" ضد الاستعمار الفرنسي عام 1960.

لكن الثابت أنه أكثر انتشاراً في أمريكا الجنوبية، خاصةً فنزويلا والأرجنتين وشيلي وكولومبيا وأوروغواي والإكوادور وكوبا وبيرو والبرازيل.

انتقل في السنوات الماضية إلى فرنسا وكندا (تحديداً في مقاطعة كيبك خلال تظاهرات طلابية عام 2012) وتركيا وعدد من البلدان العربية.

ويمتاز هذا الشكل الاحتجاجي بأنه يمكن حتى أولئك الذين يخشون الخروج إلى الساحات أو لا يستطيعون ذلك، من التعبير عن موقفهم من المنازل.


يعد قرع الطناجر أكثر شيوعاً في فلسطين، فمنذ العام 2010، باتت "مسيرات الطناجر" وسيلة الفلسطينيين لرفع صوتهم إلى الحكومات المختلفة، وربما العالم.

وفي عام 2012، خرجت مسيرة "قرع الطناجر" في الضفة الغربية اعتراضاً على الغلاء وارتفاع الضرائب، تلتها عدة مسيرات في مدينة نابلس في عامي 2013 و2015. وقد شاءها المشاركون رمزاً إلى الفقر والجوع والبطالة.

في نيسان/أبريل 2017، انطلقت مسيرة "قرع الطبول" في فلسطين أيضاً، تحديداً في رام الله تضامناً مع الأسرى الفلسطينيين الذين كانوا في إضراب مفتوح عن الطعام على مدى أكثر من أسبوع، داعين إلى مقاطعة بضائع الاحتلال. ورمز ضرب الطناجر حينذاك إلى شعورهم بالجوع الذي يعيشه الأسرى.

كذلك قرعت في مخيم جباليا (شمال شرقي غزة) احتجاجاً على أزمة الكهرباء وانقطاعها المستمر.

‎قرع الطناجر... أسلوب جديد لجأ إليه اللبنانيون للاحتجاج السلمي، فلم يسلم من الحديث عن "مؤامرة" وراءه ربطته بـ"العرعور" في سوريا، فما أصل هذا الأسلوب وكيف بدأ؟

اعتمد اللبنانيون قرع الطناجر كوسيلة للتعبير السلمي، وسبقهم إلى ذلك كثر في فلسطين والمغرب وتركيا ودول أخرى في العالم... فكيف تحوّل هذا التقليد إلى وسيلة احتجاجية ومن أين بدأ؟


في عام 2017، في خضم حراك الريف المغربي، بمدينة الحسيمة تحديداً، قرعت الأواني ربع ساعة، احتجاجاً على ما وصفه ناشطون بـ"الانزال الأمني المكثف" و"عسكرة الريف" و"سياسات الحصار" والتضييق عليهم.

وعرف هذا الطقس في المغرب باسم "الطنطنة" (مشتقة من كلمة طنين).



قرع الطناجر احتجاجاً على الأوضاع الاجتماعية أو الاقتصادية أو السياسية معروف أيضاً في تركيا. فبعد أن اعتُمد أسلوباً للتعبير عن الغضب من سياسات رئيس الوزراء في عام 2013 والرئيس الحالي رجب طيب أردوغان، تكرر استخدامه في السنوات اللاحقة.

وفي عام 2017، قرع الأتراك الطناجر اعتراضاً على نتائج استفتاء شعبي يمنح الرئيس أردوغان صلاحيات غير مسبوقة.

وفي أيار/مايو الماضي، تظاهر المئات من سكان إسطنبول ضد أمر السلطات بإلغاء انتخابات جرت في آذار/مارس، بعدما فاز فيها مرشح المعارضة. المتظاهرون قرعوا الطناحر من نوافذهم تعبيراً عن استيائهم من إعادة الانتخابات.

الطناجر تقرع في العالم كله

ومطلع العام الجاري، خرج آلاف المواطنين في فنزويلا إلى شوارع العاصمة كراكاس اعتراضاً على سياسات الرئيس نيكولاس مادورو، قارعين الأواني ومطلقين أبواق السيارات.

وقبل نحو أسبوعين، قرع المواطنون في بوليفيا الأواني تنديداً بإعلان فوز الرئيس إيفو موراليس، مؤكدين حدوث تزوير في الانتخابات.

وفي تموز/يوليو الماضي، قرع الآلاف في إقليم بورتوريكو الأمريكي الطناجر مطالبين باستقالة حاكم الإقليم ريكاردو روسيلو بسبب فساد حكومي ورسائل مسيئة. ورضخ روسيلو لمطالبهم بعد نحو أسبوعين من الاحتجاجات المستمرة. 

تكرر القرع على الأواني أيضاً في إسبانيا احتجاجاً، لا سيما في كتالونيا، وكان آخر اعتراض بهذه الوسيلة لدى زيارة الملك فيليبي السادس والعائلة المالكة إلى برشلونة قبل يومين. وسبق أن قرع الكتالونيون الأواني مراراً خلال السنوات الماضية، مطالبين بالانفصال عن إسبانيا.


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You Sunk My Battleship


People who make military policy and amateurs who follow it alike are in something of a vacuum when it comes to naval warfare.  While the Navy is a very large share of the United States Defense Department budget, there have been so few skirmishes in the past fifty years or so that it is hard to get a reality check on the multi-billion dollar expenditures involved. The few incidents which have occurred, meanwhile, have taken on disproportionate importance.  

While some naval history is too distant to be of much use, from the ramming battles between glorified rowboats of the Greeks, to the days of sails and cannons, it is fair, at least, to look at the experience of World War II, the last full fledged blue sea naval campaign in world history.  This experience has informed much of the current conventional wisdom regarding naval warfare, and while the lessons learned in World War II need to be updated to reflect technological advances that have taken place since then, they are too recent to safely ignore.

Among other things, World War II taught the lesson that the heavy armor of a battleship was no match for modern offensive weapons. 

As the Wikipedia article linked above explains:
Battleships were the largest and most complex, and hence the most expensive warships of their time; as a result, the value of investment in battleships has always been contested. 
As the French politician Etienne Lamy wrote in 1879, "The construction of battleships is so costly, their effectiveness so uncertain and of such short duration, that the enterprise of creating an armored fleet seems to leave fruitless the perseverance of a people". The Jeune École school of thought of the 1870s and 1880s sought alternatives to the crippling expense and debatable utility of a conventional battlefleet. It proposed what would nowadays be termed a sea denial strategy, based on fast, long-ranged cruisers for commerce raiding and torpedo boat flotillas to attack enemy ships attempting to blockade French ports. 
The ideas of the Jeune École were ahead of their time; it was not until the 20th century that efficient mines, torpedoes, submarines, and aircraft were available that allowed similar ideas to be effectively implemented. The determination of powers such as Germany to build battlefleets with which to confront much stronger rivals has been criticised by historians, who emphasise the futility of investment in a battlefleet that has no chance of matching its opponent in an actual battle.
Large Warships In Existing Navies

Today, there are only two ships of the battleship class in the world, both in the Russian Navy, only one of which is in active service, the 28,000 ton Admiral Nakhimov commissioned in 1988 is currently undergoing refit and is out of service, and the 28,000 ton Pyotr Velikiy, of the same class commissioned in 1998 is in active service.  

The 14,564 ton Zumwalt class destroyer of the U.S. Navy, the largest warship in the U.S. Navy that is not an aircraft carrier or non-combatant logistics ship, and is is arguably misclassified as a destroyer deserves a battleship designation. Just three Zumwalt class destroyers have three have been built (and no more have been ordered). One was commissioned in 2016, one was commissioned in 2019, and one is awaiting a commission later this year. It cost $7.5 billion per ship of total cost to build and has been severely criticized:
Mike Fredenburg analyzed the program for National Review after Zumwalt broke down in the Panama Canal in November 2016, and he concluded that the ship's problems "are emblematic of a defense procurement system that is rapidly losing its ability to meet our national security needs." Fredenburg went on to detail problems relating to the skyrocketing costs, lack of accountability, unrealistic goals, a flawed concept of operations, the perils of designing a warship around stealth, and the failure of the Advanced Gun System. He concludes:

"The Zumwalt is an unmitigated disaster. Clearly it is not a good fit as a frontline warship. With its guns neutered, its role as a primary anti-submarine-warfare asset in question, its anti-air-warfare capabilities inferior to those of our current workhorse, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, and its stealth not nearly as advantageous as advertised, the Zumwalt seems to be a ship without a mission."
Indeed, only twenty navies in the world have surface warships (including aircraft carriers, but not transport ships) larger than a frigate: U.S. (111), Japan (48), China (33), Russia (20), India (14), France (14), United Kingdom (7), Norway (5), Italy (4), Taiwan (4), Netherlands (4), Denmark (3), Germany (3), South Korea (3), Egypt (3), Saudi Arabia (3), Spain (2), Brazil (1), Thailand (1), and Morocco (1).

Only seven of these countries (China, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Thailand and Morocco) would plausibly be U.S. naval warfare adversaries in the foreseeable future (while many of the remaining thirteen countries would likely be allies of the U.S. in an future naval warfare in their region). These seven plausible adversaries have 62 large surface warships ships combined. Of these only China and Russia are really serious concerns militarily and they have 53 large surface warships combined.

The Russian fleet's large ships, moreover, are split between several global regions that are distant from each other in some case (Northern, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific). The aircraft carrier, the battleship, one smaller cruiser, and six destroyers are in Russia's Northern fleet. One smaller cruiser and five destroyers are in Russia's Pacific fleet. One of its smaller cruisers and one of its destroyers are in Russia's Black Sea fleet. Three of its destroyers are in Russia's Baltic fleet.

Several other plausible U.S. naval warfare adversaries such as Iran and North Korea have submarines but no large surface combatants.

Currently, the U.S. has 20 aircraft carriers (11 "super carriers" of 100,000 tons or more, and 9 amphibious assault ships which can carry helicopters, Osprey aircraft, Harrier aircraft or F-35B aircraft of 40,000-45,000 tons), Italy has 2, Japan has 4, France has 4, Australia has 2, Egypt has 2, and Brazil, China, India, Russia, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom each have one. In all there are 42 aircraft carriers in active naval service in the world.

Five aircraft carriers (one each from the U.K., China, Russia, India and France in order of size) are between the size of a U.S. super carrier and the smallest U.S. amphibious assault ship ranging from 42,000 to 65,000 tons (and only four of these from the China, Russia, India and France, and the ten U.S. super carriers, allow for something other than a vertical landing). The other eighteen aircraft carriers range from 11,486 tons to 27,100 tons (eleven of which are restricted to vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as helicopters and the MV-22 Osprey). All twenty-seven carriers under 42,000 tons and two larger aircraft (one from the U.S. at 45,000 tons and one from the U.K. at 65,000 tons) are restricted either to short takeoff vertical landing aircraft such as an F-35B or a Harrier, or to vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

Eleven more carriers (including two that are only VTOL carriers) are undergoing sea trials or ordered: the U.S. 3, China 3, and South Korea, India, Italy and Turkey one each.

Currently, the U.S. has 22 cruisers (10,000 tons each) and Russia has 4 (one battleship with 28,000 tons and three cruisers with 12,500 tons) in active service. In all there are 27 cruisers in active naval service in the world. The U.S. cruisers are virtually indistinguishable from its destroyers and slightly inferior to them as they are older designs.

Currently, the U.S. has 69 destroyers (including 2 of the Zumwalt class), Japan has 44, China has 32, Russia has 15, India has 13, France has 10, the U.K. has 6, Norway has 5Taiwan has 4, the Netherlands has 4Germany has 3, Denmark has 3South Korea has 3Saudi Arabia has 3, Italy has 2, Egypt has 1, Morocco has 1, and Spain has 1. The largest destroyer in active service (other than the two Zumwalt class destroyers in active service) is 10,290 tons and many of which are considerably smaller. Some of the destroyer class ships are larger, more capable ships actually called frigates in an effort to make comparisons comparable. All ships classified as frigates for these purposes are under 5,000 tons, although a few particularly capable frigates between 4,000 and 5,000 tons are classified as destroyers. There are 219 destroyers in all of the world's navies combined.

In all there are 42 aircraft carriers over 11,000 tons and 7 other surface combatants over 11,000 tons in naval service in the world. Of those, 20 aircraft carriers and 2 other surface combatants are in the U.S. Navy and 1 aircraft carrier and 4 other surface combatants (one battleship and three cruisers) are in the Russian Navy. The other navies of the world have 21 aircraft carriers, only 10 of which are more than VTOL helicopter carriers. There are 244 other surface combatants bigger than frigates in the world in active naval service (of which 67 are in the U.S. Navy and 15 are in the Russian Navy).

The Japanese Naval Experience

The case that really brought this home for the Japanese was the sinking of the battleship Yamato.  This 71,000 ton ship with massive 18 inch guns was tough.  It  had previously survived a hit from a torpedo delivered by a U.S. submarine on Christmas Day in 1943, and two bombs that hit it in October of 1944, in the Leyte Gulf.  Two more 36,000 ton Japanese battleships, the Fuso and the Yamashiro, were sunk by naval gunfire and torpedoes in that same October battle.  Bombs damaged the 39,000 ton Japanese battleship Nagato in the battle of the Leyte Gulf badly enough to remove it from action. Ultimately, air power prevailed over the big guns and heavy armor of the pinnacle of the battleship era.  On April 7, 1945, the Yamato was sunk by carrier based U.S. aircraft and it took 2,498 Japanese sailors with it.  The 32,000 ton Japanese battleship Ise (already removed from service nine months earlier by a mine), and Japanese battleships Hyunga and Haruna were sunk by carrier based U.S. aircraft in July of 1945.

Japan had already lost its 32,000 ton battlecruiser Kirishima to 16” naval gunfire from the 47,000 ton American battleship Washington in 1942 in one of the last of the battles that went according traditional naval models of close range ship to ship combat, in this case, at a range of a mile and a half.  The 28,000 ton Japanese battleship Kongo was sunk by a submarine in November of 1944.  Its three sister ships were sunk by U.S. aircraft in World War II.

The American Naval Experience in World War II

Americans remember Pearl Harbor.  Yes, this carrier based air attack was a surprise.  But, a heavily armored hull did not prevent this attack from sinking the 32,000 ton U.S. battleship Arizona and three other battleships.  Four more battleships were seriously damaged, the 29,000 ton American battleship Nevada among them, although the Nevada was ultimately returned to service and survived further battle damage on multiple occasions.  Few naval strategists before Pearl Harbor had realized how vulnerable the fleet was to aerial attack.

The 33,000 ton American battleship Idaho ran aground off Okinawa in June of 1945.  American battleship Pennsylvania,  a sister ship of the Arizona, was taken out of action by enemy aircraft in August of 1945.

The 45,000 ton American battleship Indiana did exhibit the resilience in the face of damage which battleships are legendary for notwithstanding a mixed experience in real life.  It survived both a collision and a hit by a kamakazi pilot in 1944, and serious storm damage in 1945, yet survived until decommissioning in 1963.  The 45,000 ton South Dakota similarly sustained and survived repeated battle damage. The 56,000 ton American battleship Iowa likewise survived serious damage from shore fire sustained in March of 1944, and the 47,000 ton battleship Washington survived a 1942 torpedo hit from a Japanese submarine and a 1945 friendly fire incident.

The German Naval Experience in World War II

Germany’s 51,000 ton battleship the Bismark found its fate at the bottom of the sea in May of 1941.  The British Royal Air Force damaged the 40,000 ton German battleship Gneisenau to the point that it never again was useable as a battleship in 1942.  Sister German battleship Scharnhorst, however, survived in the face of a seemingly never ending barrage of hits sustained.

The Italian and Vichy French Naval Experiences in World War II

Both Italy and Vichy France both saw battleships destroyed in port before they were ever launched.  

The planned 48,000 ton battleship Clemenceau was destroyed in its French port during a bombing raid in August 1944.  The 36,000 ton battleship Dunkerque, in the hands of the Vichy French, was damaged sufficiently to be taken out of action, and lost one in seven of its crew members, in July of 1940, by a combination of British warship attacks and torpedoes in two separate incidents.

The 30,000 ton Italian battleship Duilio wasn’t actually sunk, but a British bombing raid in November of 1940 took it out of service for about a year, and the ship served only a brief secondary role in World War II thereafter.  The 46,000 ton battleship Vittorio Veneto was taken out of action by British aircraft in 1941, then by a submarine, and then 1943 by another aircraft.  The 47,000 ton Italian battleship Littorio was taken out of commission by British aircraft by June of 1942.

The Spanish Naval Experience in World War II

The 16,000 ton battleship Espana was sunk by a “friendly” mine in July of 1937 during the Spanish civil war, killing a third of the sailors on board.

The British Naval Experience in World Wars I and II.

While it predates World War II, it is worth recalling that the 22,000 ton British battleship Dreadnought (the second of that name launched in 1906) which became synonymous with the very notion of a battleship, sank only one enemy vessel, a German submarine, in all of World War I.  It achieved this end not with its ten 12” guns, but with a methodology as old as Greek naval warfare.  It rammed it.

German dive bombing planes took the 30,000 ton British battleship Iron Duke out of service on October 17, 1939.  It Italian airplane’s torpedo took the 38,000 ton British battleship Nelson out of service for a year on September 27, 1941.  The British lost the 42,000 ton battleship Prince of Wales in December of 1941 to an attack by Japanese aircraft, after having suffered serious damage from naval guns, which was repaired, earlier that same year.  The 33,000 ton British battleship Queen Elizabeth was removed from service when an Italian frogman bombed it while it was in harbor that same month.


Is this Iraq's Arab Spring?

Iraq is currently facing such an alarming array of economic, political and social problems that many observers fear no-one will be up to the task of delivering the much-needed reforms. By Stasa Salacanin | Since the beginning of October thousands of protesters, mostly young Iraqis, from central and southern Iraqi major cities have been voicing their opposition to the deteriorating economic conditions, sectarian politics and rampant corruption that plague the country. Indeed, the country has been one of the most corrupt in the world for decades – according to Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Index, Iraq ranks 168 out of 175 countries. Protestors are also expressing their anger over high unemployment and the common governmental practice of political staffing, where sectarian or ethnic quotas rather than qualifications apply. The majority accuse the ruling elite of abusing public funds and mismanaging the country’s national resources while completely failing to meet the needs of the Iraqi population. But perhaps one of the main – and most surprising – characteristics of the October protests is the fact that the protestors are mostly younger Shia citizens who have turned against a Shia-led political establishment. While there are very few Sunni Arabs or Iraqi Kurds among the protestors, with demonstrations taking place in central and southern Iraq, where the population is predominantly Shia, there has been an increase in the use of national symbols. Transcending sectarian and ethnic divisions The sentiment is Iraqi; these young people are not demonstrating as Shia Arabs, but as citizens who are furious with the system which was imposed upon them following the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. How the unrest in Iraq will impact on the region remains to be seen, but it is clearly posing a major threat to Tehran. Iran's state news agency IRNA has accused the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel of fomenting unrest in Iraq in order to sabotage Iran’s ties with Iraq and Syria. However, many Iraqis including the Shia are less than enamoured of the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), powerful non-state actors over which Bagdad has limited control, as many of them are heavily under the influence of Tehran. Among Iraqis, there is the overriding perception that their country is becoming a fiefdom for foreign political and paramilitary factions that many view as a blatant violation of Iraqi national sovereignty. Arab Spring in Iraq While the protests in southern Iraq in summer 2018 addressed similar issues, this time they are becoming increasingly militant and are not only calling for the resignation of the current government but aim to overthrow and change the entire political system.As the demonstrations appear to be leaderless and without a specific agenda, except for expressing general dissatisfaction and impatience with conditions in the country, it remains unclear, however, whether the protests will produce any of the desired changes.   Imad Harb, director of research and analysis at the Arab Center in Washington DC, writes that the protests "offer another example of an approaching, painful, and final collapse of the traditional Arab political order that has shown its impotence in addressing the myriad problems besetting Arab societies today." Furthermore, a commentary published by Middle East expert and head of research at Gulf State Analytics Giorgio Cafiero on LobeLog, posits that the recent unrest in Iraq should be interpreted in the wider context of turmoil that has been spreading all over the Arab region, as the citizens of Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Sudan express their deep dissatisfaction with their corrupt governments. According to him, "it is fair to conclude that the Arab Spring has reached Iraq." Can the government regain control of the situation? The government’s brutal response to the unrest and the high number of civilian casualties has put Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Mahdi under great pressure. Despite promising reforms and ordering a broad cabinet reshuffle, he has so far struggled to address the protesters’ complaints and instead continues to make blunder after blunder. At the beginning of October, for instance, Staff Lieutenant General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, widely perceived as a national hero due to his role in fighting Islamic State, was demoted. Then there is the ongoing use of live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the protesters, which could prove the final nail in the prime minister’s coffin. In such circumstances, it is highly unlikely that mere promises will be able to calm tensions in the country. What is more, the fragile coalition over which Abdel Mahdi presides has begun to crack, making his position even more uncertain. While it is hard to imagine that the current Iraqi government will be able to introduce any major reforms, since the prime minister is actually a hostage to the powerful political and paramilitary factions, Mahdi is right about one thing – in his speech after the first wave of protests he declared that there are "no magical" solutions to the problems. The problems faced by the Iraqis are so numerous and complex that many observers fear that no-one will be up to the task of delivering the much-needed reforms. Solving the social and economic crisis that is at the heart of the protests would require painful cuts to the public sector, which already employs over 3 million Iraqis, as well as removing subsidies for gas, food and electricity. Unpopular at the best of times, such measures would merely be likely to provoke more unrest in the current climate.  Last but not least, even though the protests are not sectarian in motivation, sectarianism remains firmly rooted in Iraqi society. Powerful political factions such as the pro-Iranian Fatah party of Hadi al-Ameri, the Axis party of Khamis Khanjar favoured by Iraqi Sunnis and the Barzani clan’s Kurdistan Democratic Party all aim to limit the power of Bagdad’s central government and are thus largely contributing to the impotence of the Iraqi state. We must hope that Iraq is not heading towards disaster along Syrian lines.  Stasa Salacanin © 2019


by: Neneng R. Tarigan

Friendship is a unique relationship that knows no difference, cultural or otherwise.~

As bloggers, I think it is part of our obligation to promote our friends' blogs or their web sites in any possible way we can.
Yes, I must admit, sometimes we feel reluctant because some of them are so unmindful even to leave a little comment on our posts; we feel bad about that. However, let us forget about their negative sides for a while and think what we can value and learn from our blogger friends who really have brilliant ideas to put in their blogs, sorts of stories and info that would make our lives as the readers much happier, knowledgeable and colorful.
Let us just remember, how they have made our day full with laughter and curiosity with their intriguing writings, how they can turn our egoism down with their preaches and the wise words as well as poems that they have created or some had been quoted from famous people around the world, or the pictures and traveling experiences they shared with us in their blogs, their cooking recipes, their fashion ideas, their health tips, their amazing pictures, their gigs, their craziness, their cartoons, their love stories, their films, their talent as fortune tellers, their free money making machines, their skill as an IT experts, their gardening, their small agriculture expertise, their arts, their architecture, their free games and thousand others that could color our lives.
This post is a tribute to that kind of friends I have. There are thousands of them, but let us check some of their links and find out why these people deserve a special tribute as friends, though most of them are non professional writers, photographers, film makers, but what they had produced would make us whispers: " Yes indeed, they are really good!"
Here are some recommended links that I am sure you might share my view of their quality. Please take note that the row where I put the names of the bloggers does not represent the rank at all. You may also recommend me more links and categories to be add in this list, but that should not be the links belong to companies or organizations except your own company or organization; I am sure that will be interesting and fun as we could assume it as a little appreciation among us as real bloggers.
I highly value your concern for spending your precious time to check for the links in this list. I wish our works as bloggers would contribute to a greater advantageous to many people around the globe; and most importantly, to create a better connection and to enable us as human beings to live in peace and harmony together.
May God bless our works.
Forever your friend, Neneng Tarigan - Indonesia.

Dr. Russ Murray (Canada)
Judas Maccabaeus(Israel)

Sir Johnny Ray (USA), the American No 1 Winning Novelist and an award winning writer of international romantic novels.
Pandora Poikilos (UK), a novelist. Peace from Pieces
Manoj Kumar (India), The Dot
Aisha (Pakistan), 3yeSH's Illusion, She and The City
Daniel Fung (Malaysia)

Jim McIntosh (New Zealand), Holes in My Soles
Simon M Hunter (UK), Simon Hunter Poetry
Rigzin Namgyal (India), Love, Poems, Thought
Vishwas Anand (India), Provoking Hearts and Minds
Kymberly Berson, Words of Expression

Thriller and Horror:
Julian Ravage (USA), Writing, Arts, Dreams.
John Mountain (USA), Written in Blood, Writing and Promoting thriller and horror books, films and video
Scott Riddick (USA), Tales From A Motel

Scott Riddick  (USA), a Typical Read
Debra El Ramey (USA), Pure and Simple
Bonnie Panter Gayadeen (USA), Bongo is me at
Therra Favor Weinberg (USA), Oh Lead Me
Amit Purswani (India), Krane Metal
Umamaheswari Andane (India), Perpetual Mind.
Savira Yogasavi (India), A Purple Journey
Lisa Brandel (USA), The Widow Lady.
Deborah/Debbie (USA), Scattered Musing of A Creative Mind.

Traveling Experience:
Dave Briggs (UK), "Daves Travel Page". Around The World Cyclist.
Jim McIntosh (New Zealand). Holes in My Soles.
Sigit Hermawan (Indonesia), Rest Area
Heinz Rainer (Austria), Project Life Art Travel: Life on Three Continents.
Michal Rupinski (Poland), Unlimited Dreamers
AJ Poliquit (Philippines), The Transcendental Tourist,
Jorie Pacli (Philippines), The Long and Winding Road.
Norazam Che Amat, (Malaysia)
Baracea Cosmin (Romania), Most Beautiful Islands
Aznzar (Morocco), Subme, Morocco Deserts.

Jim Brandono (USA), JP Brandono Photography
Mike Neal (USA), Neal Studios
Endy Daniel (Indonesia), Endy Photography
Hind Toufga (Morocco), Fashion Photography

Laura Spear (USA), Culinary Adventures.

Robert Puckett (USA), Missouri Permaculture.

Cafelab Architettura (Italy)
Chrystal Baker Russel (Canada), Adorn on a Shoestring, Interior Decoration

Prabha Karan (India), Peppyday: News, Softwares, Blogging
Joe Morrow (USA) at
Subrato Paul (India), Golden Twine,
Abhinav Singh (India), Hacking, Security, Computer.

Social Media:
Weddy Rhamdeny Karnalies (Indonesia/Australia), Social Outbreak/Indofast International

Human Right:
Geoge Sera (Kenya), Alliance Vision Educational Centre, A community project that supports orphans, widows and all vulnerable people in slum areas.
Jessica Brant (USA),  Finding One's Way, Women, Domestic Abuse, Survivor Stories

Damaio Carlos (Brazil), English Tips and Tour Guide.
Barry Smith (Australia), Keeping Kids Out of Trouble
Cristina Dubei (Romania), Human Resources and Marketing Projects.

Al Sears, MD (USA), Power for Healthy Living
Dr. Khan Sherief (Oman), All Internal Medicine
Jeff Simms (USA), Overcoming Diabetes
Mary Hudak Collins (USA), Living with Celiac & Food Allergies
Green Yatra (India),
Egidius Heerkens (Netherlands), A Self Sufficient Journey,
Nature, Cooking, Bush-crafts.

Scott Ledbetter (USA), Ye Olde Journalist

MaryelllenGrady (USA)
Jessica Mokrzycki (USA), Ascending The Hills

Fortune Teller:
Indranil Ray (India), Astrology Useful Information

Patricia Morrison (Canada), The Writing Womb
Scott Riddick (USA), A Typical Read
Pramod Lohia (Thailand), My Musing.

Johnny Ancich (Canada)

Thuy Kathrin Otto and friends (Germany), Two For Fashion
Nava Krishnan (Malaysia), Life Style on Nava K.
Hannah Santhanam (UK), Carina Bridesmaid Dresses
AngHoo (Singapore), Korean Fashion Indulgence,
Mdvanii (Finland)
Soncere Nada (Italy), Milana Fashion Galery
Zeeshan Rhana (Pakistan), Pakistan, India Beauty and Style

Gilliauna (Italy), Bits and Beads, Handcrafted jewelry.
Sarah Jones, USA, Cute Jewelery

Traditional Music:
Vedang Dharashive (India)

Glass art:

Bibi Bowman (USA)
Ashley Brake (USA)
Allison Reece (USA), Allison Reece Arts.

Wood crafts:
Sarah Wood (USA), Wood Arts Universe.

Aabhisek Phanda (India), Film Maker.
Chad Elliot, Days in the Park

Stars and Films Comments:
Colleen Sullivan (USA), Star Smoothy

Ikon Group (USA),

Making Money on Line:
Derek Jones (UK), Derek's Home and Business Blog 
Francisco Linares (UK), How to Make Money On Line With Francisco Linares.
Delois Mc Kay (USA), Click Bank Success Blog.
Bronzilla Sheppard (USA), Gift Ideas, Make Money and Advice
Adam Jones (Australia), Video Marketing 
Kevin Elliott (USA), The Best Way to Promote Business Through Video.
Akinori Shiratori (Japan), Javita Independent


MSCH Vaya Morocco lS Dress

MSCH Dress


Yasir Seaidan snatches early lead in AlUla-Neom race

Thu, 2019-11-07 02:27

ALULA: Yasir Seaidan was the early leader of the AlUla–Neom Cross-Country Rally, the third round of the Saudi Toyota Desert Rally Championship, after setting the fastest time of 1hr 47min 08sec on the opening loop stage of 212km around AlUla on Wednesday.

The MINI All4 Racing driver and French navigator François Cazalet won the stage by 5min 45sec from Abu Dhabi Racing Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi and French co-driver Xavier Panseri in a Peugeot 2008. “It was a fast stage with nice scenery but we lost a few minutes after 46km and tried hard to catch the time up again,” said Al-Qassimi, a former FIA Middle East rally champion. 

Pre-race favorite Yazeed Al-Rajhi lost more time than anticipated trying to change a left rear puncture when one of the bolts wouldn’t free itself. The Toyota Hilux driver finished third with Russian navigator Konstantin Zhiltsov and returned to AlUla 6min 24sec off the lead.

Two-time former FIA Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso quickly got into the groove across the Saudi deserts with navigator Marc Coma and was pleased to complete the day’s action in fourth place, 79 seconds behind his Toyota teammate. 

Alonso said: “The first stage in Saudi Arabia was okay for me, over 200km, without any issues and this is a good start for us because we had a lot of problems in South Africa and Morocco. This is good for our preparations. Tomorrow I hope we have a day with a little bit more pace. The terrain today was amazing. It is nice to see it.”

Former Ha’il Rally winner Essa Al-Dossary was the best of the rest in fifth place in his ED Racing Nissan Navara. 

Czech Miroslav Zapletal rounded off the top six on the high-speed opening stage of the four-day event being organised by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal and supervision of former FIA Middle East champion Abdullah Bakhashab. 

Yousef Al-Suwaidi led the TL2 category for series production cross-country vehicles in 14th place in a Nissan and Saleh Al-Saif topped the T3 standings in 15th at the helm of his Can-Am. Saudi driver Saeed Al-Mouri retired from the day’s action suffering from back pain. 

Mishal Alghuneim was the only motorcycle rider to complete the full stage on his KTM in a time of 3hr 07min 42sec. The Saudi built up a massive lead when time penalties were imposed on rivals Mohammed Al-Oraini and Abdullah Al-Helal. 

Competition was far closer in the quad category, where recent Rally Qassim winner Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi edged into a 3min 07sec advantage over fellow Yamaha rider Riyadh Al-Orafan. Sufyan Al-Omar was third of the nine quad riders who started the stage. Abdulsalem Hamam crashed and sustained a leg injury and was supported by Nissan driver Ahmed Al-Shegawi at the scene of the incident. 

Teams will tackle a second loop of 212km around AlUla on Thursday. 

The event is running with the support of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, the General Sport Authority, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors (Toyota), the MBC Group, Al-Arabia outdoors and the Saudi Research and Marketing Group. 



Main category: 
Saudi Arabia’s AlUla-Neom Cross-Country Rally races to lifeAlUla-Neom Cross-Country rally gears up for exciting 3rd round

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla-Neom Cross-Country Rally races to life

Wed, 2019-11-06 01:34

ALULA: The AlUla-Neom Cross-Country Rally, the third round of the new Saudi Toyota Desert Rally Championship, roared into life with a fanfare ceremonial start outside AlUla on Tuesday afternoon.

A large crowd of visitors and local residents gathered at Al-Dawarat center to witness Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, president of Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, and AlUla Gov. Rashid Abdullah Al-Qahtani flag off 60 cars and 16 motorcycles from 22 nations at the start of the third round of the championship.

Before the podium start, racing icons including two-time former Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso, winner of the second-round of Rally Qassim 2019 Yazeed Al-Rajhi and top Emirati rally driver Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi attended the official pre-press conference.

The rally began between AlUla and Neom yesterday with a first phase of 212 km, which will be followed by a second phase on Wednesday of 212 km. On Thursday, racers will pass through the village of Abu Qazzaz in a stretch of 231 km, before finally facing the 175 km fourth stage in the Neom area on Saturday.

“This is a ground-breaking event for Saudi Arabia and we are extremely proud to see so many famous names from the world of cross-country rallying here with us,” said Al-Faisal.

He welcomed Alonso for taking part in the rally: “We are very pleased to have such a legendary name in our local rally list and we hope that he will have a successful experience before joining the Dakar Rally, which will be hosted by the Kingdom.”

Alonso will be seen behind the wheels of one of the eight Hiluxes to be fielded by Overdrive Racing and Toyota Gazoo Racing Team South Africa.

Speaking during the pre-event press conference, Alonso said that the AlUla Neom rally will be “excellent training” for him on similar terrain to the Dakar stages next January.

He said: “I am very happy to be here in Saudi Arabia for the first time and would like to express my gratitude for the great welcome and hospitality I have received since I landed here.”

He added “This is my second desert rally after Morocco. I am sure my team will enjoy the stay in this beautiful country and hope to see you again at the Dakar Rally.”

Main category: 
AlUla-Neom Cross-Country rally gears up for exciting 3rd roundYazeed Al-Rajhi claims narrow victory in Saudi Arabia's inaugural Rally Qassim 2019

Six lessons for the DC Streetcar from Morocco’s tram


Each day, 100,000 people ride the Rabat-Sale Tram, the streetcar system in Morocco’s capital city. They do so, because the tram connects mostly working-class neighborhoods with job centers, bridges a divide over two riverbanks, and efficiently moves people from all types of backgrounds. The Rabat-Sale tram offers six lessons that could make the DC streetcar a better option for more people.

Hollywood might have given Casablanca its fame, but Rabat is Morocco’s capital city and hub for government activities. (Sound familiar, DC?) I spent several hours riding its tram system recently and found lots of things that could be compared to DC and its streetcar. The tram sets the bar high for other cities trying to provide more mobility options for their growing populations.

Lesson #1: A streetcar system needs multiple lines, intersecting at strategic locations

The Rabat-Sale Tram is an example of what can happen when the focus is on creating a rail system with many lines crisscrossing a metropolitan area. Critically, Rabat’s system opened with two lines, and a third line is under development.

The Rabat-Sale Tram Route Map. Image by Casabus licensed under Creative Commons.

The two lines – each serving different areas of Sale and Rabat, crisscross in the traditional core (called medinas in Morocco), for three kilometers. The two lines total 20 km and riders can switch lines at any of the four stations that serve both lines. And they do. I rode both lines, and at each of the four stations, I watched at least a hundred people switching to a different line.

Obviously, the DC streetcar opened with a single line, but it is part of a larger network of mobility options across the District. A true apples-to-apples comparison to the Rabat system is difficult due to the differing role each plays in the larger mobility ecosystem of their cities. The DC streetcar’s limited reach, with just one 2.2-mile line (so far) and only one transfer location at Union Station is a barrier for the thousands of people who could be regular streetcar riders.

The tramcar approaches. Image by the author.

Lesson #2: Dedicated lanes and Transit Signal Priority show transportation priorities

I rode the tram for most of its 20 kilometers, and the entire time, we had our own dedicated lane and each intersection had transit signal priority, giving us the right of way. Cars got a red light as the tram started to approach. It felt like as a transit rider, I was more important than a single occupancy vehicle. Yes, this is subjective, but transit signal priority also shows drivers that a reliable streetcar is prioritized over allowing cars to travel unimpeded through the city.

The level of respect shown to the tram’s dedicated lanes surprised me. I was in Rabat for a couple of days. During that time, I kept a watchful eye out for how cars interacted with the tram’s dedicated lanes. Sure, I saw cyclists and people walking across the lanes, but I did not see a single car impede the tram’s ability to move. This is unlike DC, where the lack of dedicated lanes often allows for parked cars or streetcar-private car conflicts.

Lesson #3: Bridge the divide

It is no secret that rivers, like the Anacostia, are physical barriers, making it hard for people on one side of the riverbank to reach the jobs and schools on the other side. Rabat and Sale are divided by the Bouregreg River, creating a barrier similar to the Anacostia. The Rabat-Sale Tram required a bridge that supports a tram, in order to connect Rabat and Sale with train service.

Image by Agency for the Development of the Bouregreg Valley.

The Hassan II bridge was built during the tram’s construction period, but the bridge also supports cars, bikes, and pedestrians. It is a new link between Rabat and Sale, reducing the historic barrier previously imposed by the Bouregreg River.The DC Streetcar has plans to eventually extend over the Anacostia in two locations. The Hassan II bridge can be an example of how transportation infrastructure can connect key locations in a metro area, making it easier to walk, bike, drive, and use transit.

Lesson #4: Charging a fare matters for perception

I shared my plans to ride the tram with a local friend, who stressed the importance of paying the fare. I am glad she did. I bought a single trip ticket, validating it with the onboard scanner. As the tram started to move, an official asked for my ticket. This is a subjective observation, but the riders took pride in showing their ticket to the onboard official. The tram was sparking clean too – for a tramcar that’s eight years old, it looked brand new.

Other passengers add “eyes on the street.” A friendly woman at my origin station approached as I waited for the tram, sensing I was a foreigner and new to the tram. In English, she offered to help me get a ticket and told me about the 50 dirham fine (that is about $5, and steep enough in Morocco to discourage fare evasion.) I assured her I had a ticket.

While I speak enough Moroccan Arabic and read enough French to easily buy a ticket and understand the route map, I did not need either language. The machines included an English language option, and I found the machines easier to use than the machines I used to buy a French SNCF (the country’s state-owned railway company) train ticket a few weeks prior.

Interior of the Rabat-Sale tramcar. Image by the author.

Lesson #5: Simple tramcar layout adds capacity

Each station has the capacity for a two-car tram, but each two-car tram can hold about 500 people total. That is a lot of people for a streetcar. In contrast, 157 people can ride in each DC streetcar.

Each Rabat tramcar has very few seats, and they were not very comfortable. A prominently displayed sign said let us know our section could hold 168 people standing and 51 people sitting. Not everyone wants to stand, but the interior design of the car made standing an attractive option – with its frequent handrails, uncomfortable seats, and the amount of people inside each car. The cars are articulated, which allow standing for additional capacity (to reach that 500 maximum capacity).

Zellij tile art stencil on ceiling of Rabat-Sale tramcar. Image by the author.

Lesson #6: Public art can be good for branding

Some rail cars are iconic. With one glance, you know its city or metro system. I would not put the Rabat-Sale tramcars in this category just yet, but the tramcars are decorated in an artistic style unique to Morocco. Inside and out, the cars feature stencils of zellij, a type of tile art unique to Morocco. It is a defining architectural trait in Morocco’s big cities and the Rabat-Sale Tram transfers this artistic style to transit. The DC streetcar looks like it can be moved to any big city, without looking out of place.

Bab Chellah station. Image by the author.

My fellow riders were businessmen, teenagers posing for that perfect Instagram shot, older women wearing hijabs and niqabs, and others probably not from Rabat – sub Saharan Africans, Berbers, Europeans, etc. At times, cars moved faster than the tram. Then, I watched as cars came to a stop at an intersection, while we kept our steady pace to the next station.

Transit can be so many things, but my ride on the Rabat-Sale tram reminded me that it is less about about taking cars off the road, and more about not putting a car on the road to begin with. And it can be a physical example of the diversity that allows capital cities to thrive all over the world.

Top image: The Rabat-Sale Tram heads north from the Bab Lamrissa station. Image by the author.

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Wide Margin Reference Black French Morocco Nk743xrm

Wide Margin Reference Black French Morocco Nk743xrm

A princess, dates and milk welcome Ivanka Trump to Morocco


RABAT, Morocco (AP) — A princess, dates and milk welcomed Ivanka Trump to Morocco on Wednesday as she opened a three-day visit to promote the economic empowerment of women in developing countries.

Morocco's Princess Lalla Meryem, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and other officials met the daughter of President Donald Trump at the airport in the capital of Rabat.

White-gloved servers offered traditional staples of dates and milk.

Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser, and the princess sat on a sofa and talked for several minutes before departing. She is visiting Morocco to promote the U.S. government's Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, which she spearheads.

Launched in February, the program aims to help 50 million women in developing nations advance economically over the next six years.

Ivanka Trump has promoted the initiative during trips this year to sub-Saharan Africa and South America.

She will be accompanied in Morocco by Sean Cairncross, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corp., an independent U.S. foreign aid agency that's working with the Moroccan government to promote economic growth, reduce poverty and strengthen institutions.

The trip comes after Morocco updated land rights laws that critics say shortchanged women. Ensuring that women can create wealth by inheriting or owning land or other property is a focus of Ivanka Trump's initiative.

She arrived in Rabat on a national holiday in Morocco and had no public appearances scheduled for Wednesday.

On Thursday, Ivanka Trump arranged to visit an olive grove on the outskirts of the capital that is a Millennium Challenge Corp. project.

She'll also solicit feedback on women's empowerment during a roundtable discussion in Rabat with female leaders.

Also planned are meetings with Morocco's prime...


Riad Maktoub AitBenhaddou Morocco

Riad Maktoub AitBenhaddou Morocco

Wazo Hotel Marrakech Morocco

Wazo Hotel Marrakech Morocco

TranslogMed Conference


The post TranslogMed Conference appeared first on Union for the Mediterranean - UfM.

 4 December 2019, Casablanca. The TranslogMed Conference is taking pace in Casablanca, in Morocco, on 4 December 2019.  TransLogMED project was launched at the first Mediterranean Conference on Maritime Transport and Logistics, held on 8-9 May 2018. in Ismailia (Egypt).
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Morocco a top contender based on last start - Daily Racing Form

Morocco a top contender based on last start  Daily Racing Form

Hakimi to battle Son, Rodrygo and Navas for Champions League award

The Morocco international could be rewarded for his imperious performance for BVB against the Black and Blues

Paris Climate Accord Leaking Oil As Emissions Rise, Political Unrest Spirals

The White House was roundly decried on the left for moving to cement the U.S. exit from the Paris agreement, but the sputtering 2015 climate accord has bigger problems than President Trump. Nearly four years after the advent of the international pact, only two of the 32 top-emitting countries — Morocco and the Gambia — […]

2021 Trip Schedule (Friday, January 01, 2021)


Planned 2021 trips:

Telluride, CO, FSC trip, January 23-30

Mammoth, CA, FSC trip, February 20-27

Chamonix, France, FSC trip, March

Morocco Bus Tour, Africa: April 

Mekong River Cruise, Vietnam (May) or Alaska Cruise (June or July)

Bike & Barge, Germany, France & Luxembourg: October

Iceland with Northern Lights:  November


World: Education Above All Foundation, World Bank Partner to Ensure Education for Two Million Out of School Children Around the World

Source: World Bank, Education Above All
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia

WASHINGTON DC, September 20, 2019 - This week, Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and the World Bank announced a ground-breaking partnership to enrol two million out of school children from more than 40 countries by 2025. During a meeting with World Bank President David Malpass, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder and Chairperson of Education Above All Foundation, stressed the importance of this framework agreement.

The agreement commits up to $250 million in funding for developing countries striving to enable access to quality primary education for all of their still out-of-school children. Unlike traditional philanthropic efforts of organizations like EAA who usually fund local non-profits directly, this innovative funding model aims to take lessons learned in the field to scale, through direct support to participating countries with implementation, evaluation, and reporting - enabling accountability and systemic change at the national level.

Out of school children (OOSC) are among the hardest to reach in each country due to the many and often compounding barriers to education including extreme poverty, distance to school, and conflict. This new agreement calls on governments to utilise funds to prioritise out of school children by ensuring their access to quality primary education through results-based financing. The agreement highlights the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships in supporting developing nations, in providing education for all, and meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 4 (ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning).

"The World Bank is committed to addressing the global learning crisis. The partnership with Education Above All is critically important in this effort. There are still too many out of school children around the globe. Together we will bring these children into school and help them learn and fulfil their potential. Learning for all is a foundation for building strong human capital for every country," said Jaime Saavedra, Global Director for Education at the World Bank.

"Our partnership with Qatar and Education Above All will play an especially important role in the Middle East and North Africa," said Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa. "As access to quality education is critical for the region to unlock the huge potential of its large youth population, whose energy and creativity could become a new source of dynamic and inclusive growth."

Through this new funding structure, EAA and The World Bank will support financing opportunities for resource mobilization, education advocacy, and poverty reduction in developing countries across three continents. Proposed targeted countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia.

About Education Above All (EAA) Foundation

The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is a global education foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The Foundation envisions bringing hope and real opportunity to the lives of impoverished and marginalized children, youth and women, especially in the developing world and in difficult circumstances such as conflict situations and natural disasters. It believes that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, generating economic growth and creating peaceful and just societies, as well as a fundamental right for all children and an essential condition to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information, visit educationaboveall.org

About World Bank Group Work on Education

The World Bank Group is the largest financier of education in the developing world. We work on education programs in more than 80 countries and are committed to helping countries reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which calls for access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030. In 2018, we provided about $4.5 billion for education programs, technical assistance, and other projects designed to improve learning and provide everyone with the opportunity to get the education they need to succeed. Our current portfolio of education projects totals $17 billion, highlighting the importance of education for the achievement of our twin goals, ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

For more information, please visit: educationaboveall.org


Marrakech escape! 4 nights in centrally located riad + flights from London for only £50!

Discover Morocco!

Morocco's Female Landowners Give Ivanka Trump a Warm Welcome

President's daughter spearheads US drive to help women in developing countries with skills training, access to capital and land ownership

El maretón del fin de semana en Laredo

mitxel andreu
Eneko Acero, Natxo Gonzalez, Adrián Fernandez de Valderrama, Jatyr Berasaluze, y unos pocos más, se atrevieron a meterse en un Laredo que pocas veces muestra esta cara.

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Algún 🏄 #anfibio hoy no saldrá del 🌊 @valentinpana 🙋🔥🔪

Una publicación compartida de Obsession Surf Santander (@obsessionsurfsantander) el

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Sobre ayer ? : pues que decir , que los triunfos no son de uno solo , sino del equipo , 👬 y ayer te toco a ti brother 💪🏻 @danipablos fue tu dia 🙌🏻 contento por ello y por haber sido participe ❤️ 📸 Auuuuuuuuh 🐺 #team #equipo #parner #brother #friends #swell #barrels #surf #waves #beach #jet #stepoff #photooftheday #picoftheday #sea #yamaha #autumn #obsessionteam #obsessionsurfshop #slrescue #escueladesurfdanipablos #dp #surfboards #xcelwetsuits #xceleurope #brands this is my #lifestyle and i'm #pana #comeback 🙌🏻❤ #support by . . @obsessionsurfsantander @norborj @escueladesurf_dp @xceleurope @wolfpack_surf_team 📸 by @guerrerosdelcantabrico

Una publicación compartida de Valentin Hurtado Gomez (@valentinpana) el


Creation of African Free Trade Area to Play New Role in Integration and Trade Growth - ECA Director

Director of the Economic Commission for Africa Office in North Africa, Madam Lilia Naas Hachem, is one of the attendees of the MEDays 2019 forum, set to take place on 13 November in Tangier, Morocco.

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) to the U.S. Educational system, culture and values. Deadline : 31 December 2019


The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) to the U.S. Educational system, culture and values. Deadline : 31 December 2019

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) brings future leaders to the U.S. to experience the U.S. educational system, share their culture, and explore U.S. culture and values.

Application is open November 4th, 2019 through December 31st, 2019.

Global UGRAD is administered by World Learning on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.

Since 2008, World Learning has provided this opportunity to over 2,200 Global UGRAD students.  Participants leave the U.S. with the tools to become leaders in their professions and communities. Global UGRAD alumni go on to receive Fulbright grants, obtain prestigious international internships, and work in business and government in their home countries and regions.

Countries: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Zimbabwe



Program Goals

To promote mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries.

  • Provide a fulfilling exchange experience to drive academic, cross-cultural, and leadership competencies for students from Global UGRAD countries.
  • Enhance students’ academic knowledge and professional skills needed to pursue long-term academic and career goals.
  • Cultivate students’ comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the U.S.
  • Facilitate opportunities for students to establish social networks with U.S. host institutions and local communities.
  • Empower students to engage constructively in the civic life of their local and global communities.               CLICK HERE TO APPLY

The post The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) to the U.S. Educational system, culture and values. Deadline : 31 December 2019 appeared first on


Adventure to Marrakech Female Companion Sought

I'm planning a fantastic, adventurous road trip to Morocco in my convertible car, leaving in the next few weeks. The trip will last perhaps 3 weeks in total. If you're young, open minded, adventurous & up for an all expenses paid holiday, then give me a shout and lets see if we can work something out. Me: 37 years old professional, single, slim, 5ft8in, asian/moroccan background You: Female, 18-35, slim, adventurous & active, single, open-minded & open to other cultures and food Happy to share photos and meet up for a coffee as a first step. Definite No-no's: If you are lazy, a fussy eater, can only sleep in a luxurious bed/hotel, need 3 suitcases of stuff to travel then you are not the right person for this adventure

Monkeyphoto releases the latest project of Alberta Aureli, “The Sheltering City”

The first story begins in a bar in Rome. I want to go to Tangier’s. “Tangier’s of Thieves” someone says. I say no, a “Tangier’s of poets“. But this is not the first one. To think of it better the first story starts on the Strait of Gibraltar, I am in Tarifa planning to catch the one-hour sail to Morocco by ship, but I have forgotten my passport at home. There is another story that concerns all the stories, those that do not end and pass from books, to thoughts, to frames in a movie with the vampires of the night.

Avail 43% Savings on Marrakech City Break deal

Marrakech City Break Offers starts from just £169pp, grab exciting savings up to 43 % on All Inclusive hotel and flight. Marrakech - This imperial city of Morocco is the great land of Berbers, explore thriving souks, mosques, great culture and taste the best food on a vacation. Deal Highlights Availability - Dec 2018 & Jan 2019. Stay at Iberostar Club Palmeraie, Marrakech, Morocco. Duration - 3 Nights. Board Basis - All Inclusive Flights Depart from London About Iberostar Club Palmeraie Hotel An All Inclusive Hotel provides best facilities for families and friends. Facilities at Hotel Laundry service Room service Child friendly Restaurant Spa Fitness center Bar For Bookings and savings on Marrakech City Breaks call us at +44 203 883 8239.

Qatar Airways and IndiGo sign codeshare agreement


Qatar Airways is pleased to announce it has signed a codeshare agreement with IndiGo, India’s largest passenger airline. Sales will start from today with the first codeshare flights to operate from 18 December 2019.

This agreement will enable the airline to place its code on IndiGo flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad and is the first step in strengthening cooperation between the ‘World’s Best Airline’ and the ‘Best Low-Cost Airline in India’. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are extremely proud to secure this strategic partnership with IndiGo, the largest airline in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets. We believe this agreement will be just the first step in strengthening our relationship and we very much look forward to working together to harness our complementary strengths and resources to enhance the travel experience for our passengers around the world.”

IndiGo Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ronojoy Dutta, said: “This is a momentous occasion for us, as we sign this codeshare agreement with one of the finest airlines in the world. This strategic alliance will not only strengthen our international operations, but also boost economic growth in India, by bringing in more traffic and heralding opportunities for trade and tourism through seamless mobility. We are confident of a successful partnership as we extend our signature on-time, courteous and hassle-free service experience to the passengers of Qatar Airways. These are exciting times for the aviation industry and it is our commitment to remain focused in building one of the best air transportation systems in the world.”

Qatar Airways and IndiGo sign 2 [].jpg

Qatar Airways currently operates 102 weekly flights between Doha and 13 destinations in India, including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram. The airline’s cargo division, Qatar Airways Cargo, currently operates a total of 28 weekly freighters to seven destinations in India. The top three cargo destinations in India are Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad. A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), to more than 160 destinations worldwide. The world’s fastest-growing airline has added a number of exciting new destinations to its growing network this year, including Rabat, Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Malta; Davao, Philippines; Lisbon, Portugal; Mogadishu, Somalia; and Langkawi, Malaysia. The airline will add Gaborone, Botswana, in 2019 to its extensive route network along with Luanda, Angola; and Osaka, Japan, in 2020.

IndiGo is India’s largest passenger airline with a domestic market share of 47% as of August 2019 and is amongst the fastest growing carriers in the world. IndiGo has a simple philosophy: offer low fares and an on-time, courteous, hassle-free service. With its fleet of over 240 aircraft, the airline offers almost 1,500 daily flights and connects 60 domestic destinations and 23 international destinations. 



Relaxing massage by Moroccan Sara

Hello My name is Sara 26 years old from Morocco,I'am a professional fully qualified and well trained massage therapist, I have learned ,practiced and provided sensual massage for men for over 4 years. This is not a hobby but my livelihood and as such I still attend seminars to further enrich my knowledge of the sensual men .I am not an escort and I am not here to be your sexual partner. My role is to create an atmosphere of trust, safety, and confidentiality so that you can explore your desires or address your wounds and fears. My goal in a sensual massage session is to make you feel completely comfortable so that you can enjoy and discover the effectiveness of my touch by experiencing the sensual energy of my incredible soft hands . You want to escape every day stress? Massage can help! I do work from home,all my massages performed on a massage table ,in a clean ,neat cosy room with a very nice selection of relaxing music,fresh towels and shower facilities available before and after the massage session. I'm available to visit you in your hotel room zone 1 and 2 central London. My working hours 11am to 10 pm including the weekend. I'm available for outcall hotels only zone 1&2 central London. Check my website please for massage services and rates. For booking and further information please text or call :07749905925 Looking forward to seeing you :)

Find Best Morocco Tours That Suits to Your Interests

ideal Morocco tours based out of your happiness choosing the best tours to discover this land. By finding trustworthy tour operators you can have tailor-made morocco tours that garbs to your interests whether you need to have an audacious holiday, a desert holiday or a deluxe beach holiday in Morocco. The trip supervision firms offer numerous holiday packages cover maximum of the sightseer destinations that one should not miscue a chance on their stay to Morocco.

Voila! French students get lessons in culture, community at Chugiak camp

Monday, November 4, 2019 - 10:28
  • Students learn about West African mudcloth during French Camp at the Birchwood Camp in Chugiak on Oct. 11-12. (Photo by Cara O’Brien-Holden / Courtesy)
  • Students celebrate together after winning the “Camp Trophie” during French Camp at the Birchwood Camp in Chugiak on Oct. 11. (Photo by Cara O’Brien-Holden / Courtesy)

Participants at a French language camp near Beach Lake in Chugiak may soon be in danger of getting deja vu.

“We’ve got one student who has been at every camp so far,” said Nicole Ayers, a foreign language teacher at Chugiak High who started the third-annual camp in 2017 as a way to build a bit of esprit de corps among high school French programs within the Anchorage School District.

Ayers said she modeled the two-day camp at the Birchwood Camp after a successful program the district’s German teachers began three decades ago.

“We took inspiration from them,” she said.

The first year, about 30 students attended the camp. Last year there were more than 50, with this year’s camp attracting almost 80 students from seven of the district’s eight public high schools.

“It’s just exciting to see it grow,” Ayers said.

The camp is semi-immersive in nature, with teachers speaking French as much as possible. But it’s open to all students regardless of proficiency, Ayers said, and the main focus is on learning about the varied and diverse cultures of the French-speaking world.

“There are far more French speakers outside of France than inside,” she said.

Ayers said students ate waffles from Belgium, crafted bracelets from Martinique and participated in a traditional tea ceremony from Morocco. With French spoken as an official language in nearly 30 countries from Canada to Cameroon, she said it’s important to show students just how useful the language can be.

“I think it helps with getting them excited,” she said. “And it gives them the opportunity to use the language outside of the classroom.”

Ayers said about 15 students from Chugiak and a dozen from Eagle River High participated. One added benefit of the program, she said, is it not only gives French students a chance to connect with cultures globally but also their French-speaking peers at other high schools in the district.

“It’s community building.”

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at or call 257-4274.


Red Shoes (They're not just for bad girls anymore!) CLICK PODCAST

My mother is one of the best-dressed women I know. Not only did she teach me the fundamentals of style (style is what you make it), she taught me to dress for my body type. Mom taught me how to shop smartly, not only looking for price, but also for quality in fabrics, details and tailoring. Mom always looked great (and still does), so what reasons did I have not to follow her advice to the letter?

When I was very young, five or six maybe, (fashion training began early for me), I remember mom telling me that she’d heard a fashion expert say that "a lady never needs a pair of red shoes." According to this expert, red shoes were unnecessary. A few years later I remembered this, but not the reason, so I asked. "Mom, why don't we need red shoes?" Mom gave me one of those looks. "Because red shoes are unladylike. They are worn only by small children, clowns and prostitutes." At age seven or eight I didn't want to be thought of as a small child, I was afraid of clowns, and while I didn't know what a prostitute was or why they were so scandalous, I was sure that I wasn't one of them either. Mom knew everything about fashion, so she had to be right. I never gave red shoes another thought, except when I saw a woman wearing them. When I was really young I just assumed that these women were prostitutes. As I got older I just thought that these red heeled women had no fashion sense.

Some things are just ingrained in us: traditions, values, morals, and in my case, the strong belief that a lady never wears red shoes. This shouldn't be surprising, as red shoes have gotten a bad rap for years.

We can go back to 1845 and the publication of the Hans Christan Andersen story, The Red Shoes. In this story a young girl, Karen, becomes obsessed with a pair of red shoes only to have them have a horrific effect on her life. Early in the story Andersen describes a princess as our heroine sees her. "She wore neither train nor a golden crown, but beautiful red morocco shoes. There is really nothing in the world that can be compared to red shoes!" (I guess Hans realized this fact.) Later young Karen acquires a pair of red shoes for herself. "Amongst the shoes stood a pair of red ones, like the princess had worn. How beautiful they were!" (Hmmm. Perhaps Mr. Andersen once longed for a pair of red shoes himself.) Karen makes the mistake of wearing her new red shoes to church the following Sunday and is reprimanded severely. The next Sunday however, "Karen looked first at the black shoes, then at the red ones; looked at the red ones again, and put them on." This act of defiance turns the entire village against her. When Karen danced in her red shoes it was as if they were possessed by the devil himself as the shoes had a mind of their own forcing poor Karen to dance uncontrollably. As she forcibly dances past the church she sees an angel with a sword guarding the entrance to the sanctuary. He condemns her "Dance you shall," said he, "dance in your red shoes till you are pale and cold, till your skin shrivels up and you are a skeleton! Dance you shall from door to door, and where proud and wicked children live. You shall knock, so that they may hear you and fear you! Dance you shall, dance!" (Scary and a bit heavy handed in my opinion. All of this gloom and doom over one little pair of red flats!) Exhausted she pleads to the village executioner to cut off her feet with the red shoes, since by now they have grown to her feet. As she confesses her sin (?), he obliges cutting off her feet. The shoes dance away with the little feet deep into the woods. I think the ballet has a happier ending as Karen keeps her feet but dances herself to death. All of this because poor Karen dared to make a strong fashion statement. And to think my mother missed reading me this charming uplifting story! Instead of trying to rationalize why a lady never wears red shoes, she just could have scared the hell out of me by reading me this piece of classic literature.

Dorothy in the 1939 MGM production of The Wizard of Oz had her own problems with a pair of red shoes. First off, these shoes were taken off the feet of a dead woman, a "Wicked Witch " no less. A second witch desperately wants them and is willing to kill Dorothy (and her little dog too) for them. A third supposedly good witch tells Dorothy not to take off the shoes, as they must be very powerful. Dorothy must have been too naive to comprehend their power, as she never learns what powers they truly possess. It's obvious, Dorothy Gale, an innocent farm girl from Kansas with little to no fashion sense falls in with a bad crowd and is corrupted, all over a pair of red pumps. No wonder this movie gave me nightmares as a child.

You don't have to go back as far as the 1800's or the 1930's. Remember the fairly recent Showtime series Red Shoe Diaries. The title alone suggest something steamy...something scandalous...something naughty, all because of a reference to red shoes.

Imagine my surprise recently when I started noticing women in red shoes and thinking that they were chic, stylish, and even powerful. Then women that I admired started turning up in red shoes. I saw style guru Stacy London (of TLC's What Not to Wear) on Oprah one day. She was wearing a pair of skinny jeans, then, a new silhouette that many American women were slow to accept, and a pair of killer red heels. She looked amazing. For the first time in my life I found myself wanting a pair of red shoes. I'd keep this desire hidden from my mother, as my desire for red shoes would have killed her. After that I began to see women from all walks of life wearing red shoes. I'd heard Stacy London say that a pair of red shoes could really "pop" an outfit.

But old habits die-hard as it took me a year to finally purchase a pair. I started off small with a pair of inexpensive suede sling backs...and I still considered buying them in black instead. I wore them that very night thinking "now is as good a time as any." Nobody talked behind my back, gave me dirty looks or propositioned me. I was at a casual event and liked the way that my little red heels gave an extra little punch to my jeans and long black cardigan. This touch of color made my outfit "current." I was surprised that I felt no guilt, shame, or tartness. Old perceptions die-hard.

This past summer I bought a pair of casual red flats that I ended up living in. They seemed to go with everything. I purchased the same pair in black, which while worn got less use. Feeling brave at the beginning of the fall season, I took the plunge and bought a pair of red patent leather peep toe pumps. A friend had purchased the same pair and she'd worn them to work with grays and black. This little pop of color made her outfits smart and modern. I figured I could do the same. The very next week I got a pair of deep red patent leather flats that I'm wearing several times a week. Not only are they fun, but they are some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn... and that was a bonus! I guess I'm over my phobia of red shoes, or should I say the negative perception of a woman in red shoes. Red shoes can be very ladylike. The look is what you make it. Own it.

I'm heading home for the holidays in December. Dare I bring a pair of red shoes with me? I've changed my thinking. Is it possible that mom can now see this one little fashion choice in a new light, or will she still be seeing red?

Check out the Shop Doc Podcast.

In this show we'll explore one of my favorite ways to up your style quotient, Vintage clothing and accessories! By reaching back to past eras you'll instantly add unique touches to your current style and further express your personality. My special guest is actress and vintage aficionado, Beverly Mikins.

New Exhibit at the Gallery of Arts and History in the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot

The Gallery of Arts and History in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot has reopened with a new exhibit showcasing two modern-day competitions.

Ivanka Trump meets with female landowners on Morocco trip


SIDI KACEM, Morocco (AP) — Visiting Morocco for the first time, Ivanka Trump received a warm welcome Thursday from housewives, widows and other women who are benefiting from new laws that allow them to own land.

One woman expressed her gratitude by embracing President Donald Trump's daughter and kissing her hands.

Ivanka Trump is a senior White House adviser who works on women's issues and has sought through an initiative to encourage developing countries to help women build wealth and financial independence by owning land or other property.

Morocco is one such nation. Working in partnership with the Millennium Challenge Corp., a U.S. aid agency, Morocco has updated its land titling laws and earned the three-day visit from the U.S. president's daughter.

At an olive grove in a region north of the capital of Rabat, she met four women who had inherited or bought land — something they previously could not do.

She later strutted her way into a ceremony as participants banged drums and blew horns. Inside, women ululated to show their approval.

"When you invest in women, they invest back into their families and communities and countries flourish," she said.

The festive atmosphere likely offered a fleeting diversion from daily developments back home in Washington, where House impeachment investigators continue to take depositions in the case against her father for asking Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.

She is visiting Morocco to promote the Women's Global Development and Prosperity initiative, a U.S. government program she spearheads that has a goal of helping 50 million women in developing countries advance economically by 2025.

The initiative focuses on helping women develop job skills and succeed as entrepreneurs, along with changing cultures and...


Ivanka Trump Meets Female Landowners in Morocco

Ivanka Trump, senior adviser to the White House, and daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump met, Thursday, November 7, with female landowners in Rabat, Morocco. Ivanka Trump is...

Comment on Flare by Amar Lamar

beautiful shots... love it ! happy to hear you enjoyed your <a href="" rel="nofollow">vacation in Morocco </a>

MOROCCO : Mustapha Bakkoury and Valérie Pécresse to co-star at the CIHN


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MOROCCO : Aafer group teams up with Bachir in Tangiers construction venture


MOROCCO : Ahmed Ouzahoua (ex-Accor) launches tourism venture


MOROCCO : Electric scooters are Baroudi brothers' new cup of tea


MOROCCO : H&A Investment takes legal action over Global Nexus affair


Ivanka Dazzles in Morocco...


Ivanka Dazzles in Morocco...

(Third column, 1st story, link)




Farah Rabat Rabat Morocco

Farah Rabat Rabat Morocco

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Ibis Budget Agadir Agadir Morocco

VOA60 Africa - Morocco's Female Landowners Give Ivanka Trump a Warm Welcome

Morocco's Female Landowners Give Ivanka Trump a Warm Welcome

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Strapless de Soleil

A short clip from Morocco packed with nice strapless tricks and loads of action starring James Carew. Enjoy!

Ivanka Trump meets with female landowners on Morocco trip

Visiting Morocco for the first time, Ivanka Trump received a warm welcome Thursday from housewives, widows and other women who are benefiting from new laws that allow them to own land.

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Ivanka Trump, Senior Advisor to US President, Arrives in Morocco


Ivanka Trump, daughter and senior advisor to US President Donald Trump, arrived, on Wednesday, at the Rabat-Salé airport for a visit to Morocco.

At her arrival to the airport, Ivanka Trump was greeted by HRH Princess Lalla Meryem.

Ivanka Trump was then greeted by Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, and Chargé d'affaires at the United States Embassy in Rabat David Greene, as well as by other figures.


Spain Lauds Cooperation with Morocco on Illegal Immigration


Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, lauded the level of cooperation with Morocco, which has significantly reduced the number of illegal migrants arriving on Spanish shores.

"We have managed to reduce by more than 50% the number of illegal migrants arriving on our shores through cooperation with our partners, especially with Morocco," said, Pedro Sanchez, during a televised debate, on Monday evening, which brought together the leaders of the main Spanish political parties represented in Parliament.


President of Public Prosecution Meets in Brussels with Belgian Justice Minister


Public Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, President of the Public Prosecution Mohammed Abdennabaoui met, on Tuesday in Brussels, with Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens on ways to strengthen judicial cooperation between Morocco and Belgium.


Ivanka Trump meets with female landowners on Morocco trip

Thu, 2019-11-07 13:10

SIDI KACEM: Ivanka Trump says families, communities and countries flourish when women are invested in and included in the economy.
President Donald Trump’s daughter and White House adviser saw real life examples in Morocco on Thursday when she met four women who are benefiting from changes that allow them to own land.
Ivanka Trump spearheads a US drive to help women in developing countries with skills training, access to capital and land ownership.
One of the women, Aicha Bourkib, embraced Ivanka Trump and kissed her hands as the group met in an olive grove. The 59-year-old housewife and mother of four cultivates olive trees and vegetables on land she recently bought.
Bourkib also has two cows and wants to create a dairy cooperative in her village.

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A princess, dates and milk welcome Ivanka Trump to MoroccoIvanka Trump wears traditional ensemble during visit to Morocco

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The Morocco international could be rewarded for his imperious performance for BVB against the Black and Blues

Oussama Idrissi stars as AZ Alkmaar decimate Astana

The Morocco international delivered a five-star performance to help Arne Slot's men claim a comfortable victory

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