Facebookers Demand Fes be made Morocco's Capital

Cover photo for the Facebook group "All for Returning Fes to its Status as Capital of Morocco". The text reads: "Fes is  Truthfully and Legally Morocco's Legitimate Capital. This is a matter of fully realizing our Independence and not Fessi prejudice."

Last week, Hespress reported on a Facebook group that's calling for Fes to be made Morocco's capital city in place of Rabat, the current capital.

According to the article, the group wants Fes to be restored to the glory it enjoyed as Morocco's political, religious and cultural capital in the centuries leading up to the French Protectorate. As the article states, once the French took control of the country in 1912, they made Rabat their capital to, "distance themselves from the Nationalist Resistance's center and to remove the Sultan from the religious scholars at Al-Qarawiyine mosque." Rabat remained Morocco's capital after Independence in 1956.

Hespress reports the group considers this change illegitimate because it came under French colonial rule and asserts that Fes has suffered from its diminished importance in Moroccan politics and society. To the group's founders, a city with such a long, storied tradition should not be banished to social, cultural and political irrelevance.


Rootology: Time to Cram

I came across an interesting word in الشرق الأوسط this morning. I was reading an article about a British study of migratory cuckoo birds (whose Arabic name is الوقواق or the waqwaq). The word is a3kafa عكف and appeared in the article's final paragraph:

يذكر أن طيور الوقواق تمضي قرابة سنة كاملة في هجرتها جنوبا ثم العودة شمالا إلى الجزر البريطانية، و سيعكف العلماء على إعداد دراسة حول الطيور المهاجرة لأفريقيا لمعرفة ما تواجهه في رحلتها من عقبات، و الأسباب التي تجعلها لا تعود في السنة التالية إلى أوروبا، و كذا الأسباب التي أدت إلى انخفاضها بنسبة 50 في المائة خلال السنوات ال25 الماضية.
From context, I could tell that the word had something to do with 'working' to prepare the kind of study the paragraph goes on to describe. And when I looked it up in the dictionary, I wasn't too far off. However a3kafa goes much deeper than mere work or study.