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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

20 Facts About Morocco‎

20 Facts About Morocco‎

Morocco Facts
People, geography and culture of Morocco make this African country one of the most traveled countries in the world.

Colors of Morocco‎

20 Facts About Morocco‎


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Steeped in history, mystery, and beauty, here are twenty interesting facts about the 57th largest country in the world, Morocco.

10 Facts About Morocco Tangier Tetouan Morocco photo by Hernán Piñera
Friends in Tangier Tetouan Morocco photo by Hernán Piñera
Independence from France on March 2, 1956


The English name Morocco derives from, respectively, the Spanish and Portuguese names Marruecos and Marrocos, which stem from Marrakesh the Latin name for the former capital of ancient Morocco; the Arabic name Al Maghrib translates as The West.


Morocco’s’ population is around 33,322,699 (July 2015 est.)


Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries known as the Maghreb or the Arab West.


The capital city of Morocco is Rabat, although the largest city is Casablanca with nearly 4 million people.


Citizenship in Morocco is by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Morocco; if the father is unknown or stateless, the mother must be a citizen.


Languages Arabic (official), Berber languages - Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit, French is often the language of business, government, and diplomacy.


From 1975-76 Morocco annexed Western Sahara, but faces an ongoing guerrilla battle for independence from local Saharawi people to this very day despite a UN ceasefire agreement.

The English name "Morocco" derives from, respectively, the Spanish and Portuguese names "Marruecos" and "Marrocos," which stem from "Marrakesh" the Latin name for the former capital of ancient Morocco; the Arabic name "Al Maghrib" translates as "The West"

The English name "Morocco" derives from, respectively, the Spanish and Portuguese names "Marruecos" and "Marrocos," which stem from "Marrakesh" the Latin name for the former capital of ancient Morocco; the Arabic name "Al Maghrib" translates as "The West"
Morocco in pictures
Since Spain's 1976 withdrawal from what is today called Western Sahara, Morocco has extended its de facto administrative control to roughly 80% of this territory; however, the UN does not recognize Morocco as the administering power for Western Sahara.

Morocco is slightly more than three times the size of New York or slightly larger than California.

Morocco is mountainous with the Atlas Mountains running from northeast to the southwest through the center and the Rif Mountains located in the north.

Chefchaouen is the beautiful world famous electric blue city of Morocco.

Morocco is the only African nation to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.

Morocco’s’ national symbols are the pentacle symbol, lion; national colors: red, green.

Morocco is one of the world's largest producers of illicit hashish.

Moroccan cities generally have mosques, market areas called bazaars, old medieval sections called medinas and old fortresses called kasbahs.

Green tea with mint and sweetened with sugar is a popular beverage in Morocco.

The most famous of Moroccan dishes is couscous.

The Moroccan national team became the first African and Arab country to make to the second round of a World Cup when they did so in 1986.



Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries known as the Maghreb or the Arab West.
Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries known as the Maghreb or the Arab West.


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Monday, August 29, 2016

OX513A the Genetically Engineered Mosquito

OX513A the GMO Mosquito. 



Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever are all transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. OX513A, the genetically engineered mosquito was first released into the world's population in 2010 and was celebrated as the answer to eliminating the Aedes mosquito.

Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever are all transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world
The Aedes aegypti or Aedes mosquito is jet black, with white spots on the upper torso and white rings on their legs. Aedes ability to carry and spread disease to humans causes millions of deaths every year. Aedes can breed in a teaspoon of water, and their eggs have been found in old tires, tin cans, plastic bottles, cesspools, catch basins, and ponds.

Oxitec field-tested OX513A in the Cayman Islands, Panama and Brazil, and claims a large success rate with each release. In the Cayman Islands in 2010, a small release of OX513A males created an 80% reduction in the disease-carrying population. Another trial in an urban area of Brazil reportedly reduced the Aedes by 95%. Oxitec,in 2016  announced an agreement with Brazilian officials to build a mosquito-breeding factory in the Brazilian state of São Paulo Piracicaba.

What are the four deadliest diseases spread by the Aedes mosquito?


Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is endemic in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2016, the first outbreak in 28 years. The last outbreak in the country occurred in 1988 with 37 cases and 14 deaths. Currently, with the blessing of The World Health Organization, most people in the infected areas receive ¼ of the yellow fever vaccine due to a worldwide shortage. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine provides long-lasting protection and a booster dose of the vaccine is not needed however, ¼ dose of the vaccine provides protection for around 1 year.

With yellow fever, after 3-6 days symptoms include fever, muscle pains, backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting. Roughly 15% of patients enter a second, more toxic phase within 24 hours. Symptoms of this phase may include high fever, jaundice, and abdominal pain with vomiting. Bleeding can occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach and blood appears in the vomit and feces, and kidney function may deteriorate. Half of the patients who enter the toxic phase die within 10-14 days, the rest recover without significant organ damage.
Spraying for Mosquitoes in a shanty town of the DRC Africa
Spraying for Mosquitoes in a shanty town of the DRC

The "yellow" in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. The last yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria occurred 14 years ago, but it took 10 years to control the transmission of the virus in the population.

Chikungunya

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Joint pain is often debilitating. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can lead to arthritic pains of longer duration and may cause death.

Zika

Symptoms are usually mild and can include mild fever, skin rash, inflammation of the eyes, muscle and joint pain, melancholy and headache. Zika infection during pregnancy causes microcephaly, babies born with small heads, and other fetal brain malformations. Zika is also a cause of Guillain-Barré Syndrome - a neurological condition that can lead to paralysis and death. Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys through a network that monitored yellow fever. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Dengue

Dengue is endemic in more than 128 countries, with 3.9 billion people at risk. About half of the world's population is now at risk.
Flu-like symptoms occur 4-10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito; high fever accompanied by severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash. The disease can develop into severe dengue which is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian and South American countries.

African Urbanization and Immunizations

OX513A, the genetically engineered mosquito was first released into the world's population in 2010 and was celebrated as the answer to eliminating the Aedes mosquito.
Angolan child receiving vaccinations 
The risk of large and uncontrollable outbreaks in urban areas in Africa is more likely than ever. Accelerated urbanization has concentrated a non-immune population in settings where, high vector and population density, the main factors contributing to increased virus transmission are present.


Around 62% of the African population is still rural, urban growth rates at nearly 4% a year are the most rapid in the world, and nearly twice the global average. Not only are more people living in cities, but also the cities themselves are becoming larger and more numerous. There are now around 70 cities in Africa with more than one million people.

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

What Do Waist Beads Symbolize

Waist Beads

Waist Beads


Waist beads and bead making are surrounded by history and splendor in African art, music, and literature.


Ileke or Jigida Yoruba African waist beads symbolize body sculpting, sexuality, and femininity.
 


 Waist Bead tradition of the Southwest Nigeria, Benin, Togo Yoruba Tribes


Beads are among the most interesting symbols in Yoruba African culture. The colors and sizes, the significance of the materials chosen for waist are subjective; the person making the waist beads symbolize their perception, experience, feelings, beliefs, desires, and influence.

Traditionally unmarried women of the Yoruba tribe wear an ileke also known as waist beads or waist chains. Waist beads are romantic, fashionable and attract attention to the waist by making the waist appear slimmer and bringing out the curves of the hips. 

Waist beads were and still are worn for seduction. For some, the beads possess intimate appeal and can provoke desire in men.

Ileke or Jigida Yoruba African waist beads symbolize body sculpting, sexuality, and femininity.
Making waist beads 
Some women use waist beads to watch their weight, as in when it is tight on them they will know that they are gaining weight. Unlike clothing, the strings do not stretch; they break or roll up the waist with increased girth. So in an absence of scales as a means of weight measurement


By tradition, waist beads were made of natural materials however, modern times have seen waist beads produced from synthetic materials like glass and plastic. 

It is considered distasteful when waist beads are shown in public. In many cultures the waist beads symbolized a young woman’s purity and were only to be taken off by her husband on their wedding night. Most waist beads are worn under clothing and are a private affair.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Why the Sea is Salty Tall Tale

Why the Sea is Salty Tall Tale


Unbelievable But True African Tall Tale

Some tall tale stories are exaggerations of actual events but why the sea is salty African tall tale is true.

The African tall tale folklore story why the sea is salty explains the age-old question of how salt made its way into the seven seas.





Why the Sea is Salty Tall Tale



Why the sea is salty African folktale of the greedy Queen Fuma
Salty Sea
Fuma, queen of the sea, stole two magic millstones from her brother Prince Noka of the lakes and rivers.

Ordinary millstones grind corn into flour, but the Queens would grind out whatever the owner wished. However, Queen Fuma did not know how to make the magic millstones work.  She tried and tried, but they would not stir.

"Oh, if I could only move the millstones," she cried, "I would grind out
so many good things for my people. They should all be happy and rich."

One day Queen Fuma was told that two strange women were begging at the shore to see her.

"Let them come in," she said, and they were brought before her.

"We have come from a land that is far away," said the stranger.

"What can I do for you?" asked the queen.

"We have come to do something for you," answered the stranger.

"There is only one thing that I wish for," said the queen, "and that is
to make the magic millstones grind, but you cannot do that."

"Why not?" asked the stranger. "That is just what we have come to do. That is why we stood at your shore and begged to speak to you."

Then the queen was a happy indeed. "Bring in the millstones," she
called. "Quick, quick!"

Old woman grinding salt at the bottom of the sea is why the sea is salty African folklore. "Rest? No. Grind on, grind on. Grind salt, if you can grind nothing else."
Fuma is a wicked Queen
The millstones were brought in, and the stranger asked, "What shall we grind for you?"

"Grind gold and happiness and rest for my people," cried the queen.

The women touched the magic millstones, and how they did grind!

"Gold and happiness and rest for the people," said the stranger "Those are good wishes."

The gold was so bright and yellow that Queen Fuma could not bear to let it go out of her sight. "Grind more," she said to the stranger. "Grind faster! Why did you come to my shore if you did not wish to grind?"

"I am so weary," said the stranger. "Will you not let me rest?"

"You may rest for a little while but not too long!” cried the
Queen, "and I mean no longer!

Queen Fuma said “Now you have rested. Grind away. You should be weary who is grinding out yellow gold!"

"She is a wicked queen," said the stranger. "I will grind for her no more! The stranger then began to grind out hundreds and hundreds of strong warriors to fight Queen Fuma and punish her for her cruel ways."

The millstones ground faster and faster. Hundreds of warriors sprang
out, and they killed Fuma and all her men.

"Now I shall be queen," cried the strongest of the warriors. She put the stranger and the magic millstones on a ship to go to a far-away land.
"Grind, grind," he called to the stranger.

"But I am so weary. Please let me rest," she begged.

"Rest? No. Grind on, grind on. Grind salt, if you can grind nothing
else."

Night came and the weary stranger was still grinding. "Will you not let me rest?" she asked.

There at the bottom of the sea are the two millstones still grinding salt, for there is no one to say that they must grind no longer. That is why the sea is salt.
Shipwreck
"No," cried the cruel warrior. "Keep grinding, even if the ship goes to
the bottom of the sea."

The stranger ground and it was not long before the ship sank to the bottom of the sea, and carried the cruel warrior with it.

There at the bottom of the sea are the two millstones still grinding
salt, for there is no one to say that they must grind no longer. That is
why the sea is salt.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Algerian Jelbana Artichokes and Green Peas Tajine Recipe

Algerian jelbana stew tajine with artichokes and green peas is a classic African Algerian stew recipe. Traditional Algerian jelbana is slow cooked in a tajine, but you can make this North African recipe using your stew pot.



Algerian Jelbana Artichokes and Green Peas Tajine Recipe


Algerian Jelbana Artichokes and Green Peas Tajine Recipe
Algerian Jelbana Artichokes and Green Peas Tajine Recipe
Ingredients:
4 skinless chicken thighs
2 cups frozen green peas
1 small can artichoke hearts
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 medium white potatoes, diced
1 cup frozen baby carrots
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 whole bay leaves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 minced garlic cloves
2 cups water

Directions:

Mix spices into a small bowl then add all ingredients into a large lidded stew pot. Simmer 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Serve with homemade bread.

Algerian jelbana stew tajine with artichokes and green peas is a classic African Algerian stew recipe.
Classic African Algerian stew recipe


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25 Interesting Facts about South Sudan

25 Interesting Facts about South Sudan

Republic South Sudan
Twenty-five interesting facts about Africa's newest Republic South Sudan allows you to travel through miles and miles of the country exploring her political history, culture, sports and geography.

25 Interesting Facts about South Sudan, understand and embrace cultural differences as a way to learn to appreciate and respect those differences.


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture


Twenty-five interesting facts about Africa's newest Republic South Sudan allows you to travel through miles and miles of the country exploring her political history, culture, sports and geography.

25 Interesting Facts about South Sudan


1. When Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was with the understanding that the southerners (Currently South Sudan) would be able to participate fully in the political system however, Arab Khartoum government reneged on its promises, and a mutiny began that led to two prolonged periods of war, 1955-1972 and 1983-2005.

2. On January 2011, South Sudan voted 98% in favor of secession from Sudan.

3. South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011 after over 20 years of guerrilla warfare, which claimed the lives of at least 1.5 million people and more than four million were displaced and is longer Africa’s largest country; the title now belongs to Algeria.

4. Republic of South Sudan is the official name and South Sudan is the short name.
Minkaman, South Sudan, 2014 - John Mamer (left, in hat), on the way back to his old home in Bor. The journey on the River Nile on a barge takes two-three hours depending on the current. John has only been back to Bor very few times since he and the family fled to Minkaman.
On the way back home to Bor South Sudan

5. South Sudan’s name come from a self-descriptive name from the country's former position within Sudan prior to independence; the name "Sudan" derives from the Arabic "bilad-as-sudan" meaning "Land of the black peoples"

6. South Sudan is a landlocked African country with no coastline.

7. South Sudan location is in East-Central Africa; south of Sudan, north of Uganda and Kenya, west of Ethiopia.

8. South Sudan is more than four times the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Texas.

9. Made up of the 10 southern-most states of Sudan, South Sudan is one of the most diverse countries in Africa.

10. The Sudd (a name derived from floating vegetation that hinders navigation) is a large swampy area of more than 100,000 sq km fed by the waters of the White Nile that dominates the center of the country.

11. The Sudd is a vast swamp in South Sudan, formed by the White Nile, comprising more than 15% of the country's total area; it is one of the world's largest wetlands.

12. Mount Kinyeti is the highest peak in South Sudan.

13. The Capital city of South Sudan is Juba with a population of nearly 321,000, about the same size as Santa Ana California.

14. South Sudan’s total population is between 7.5-10 million.

15. Dinka tribesman and Marathon runner Guor Marial was South Sudan’s first Olympic athlete at the London 2012 Games.
In Kuajok the Kenyan Battalion of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), as part of its CIMIC (Civil-Military Cooperation) activities in Warrap State, is actively involved with the Warrap State Hospital
Kuajok the Kenyan Battalion in South Sudan

16. Luol Ajou Deng is a 6 feet 9 inch South Sudanese-British basketball player for the NBA Los Angeles Lakers.

17. On May 25, 2012, South Sudan became the 209th member of Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA.

18. Major ethnic groups are Dinka 35.8%, Nuer 15.6%, Shilluk, Azande, Bari, Kakwa, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango, Dungotona, Acholi (World Bank 2011 est.)

19. Major languages spoken are English, Arabic (both official), Juba Arabic, Dinka.

20. After independence, South Sudan's central bank issued a new currency, the South Sudanese Pound.

A school at the Protections of Civilians (POC) site of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), located in the Tomping area of Juba.
A school at the Protections of Civilians 
21. Salva Kiir Mayardit is South Sudan’s first presidential republic president.

22. In 2013, South Sudan was engulfed by civil war when President Kiir fired his entire cabinet and accused Vice-President Riek Machar of instigating a failed coup.

23. Government and rebels agreed to attend peace talks in Ethiopia in 2014, and a deal was finally signed under threat of UN sanctions for both sides in August 2015.

24. Vice-President Riek Machar eventually returned from exile to be sworn in as first vice president of a new unity government under President Kiir in April 2016 however, Kiir fired Machar again a few months later.


25. The government of South Sudan derives the vast majority of its budget revenues from oil. Oil is exported through two pipelines that run to refineries and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

African Chinese on Kenya’s Pate Island

Africans of Chinese descent on Kenya’s Pate Island have Chinese roots with ancient links to Chinese sea explorers and shipwrecks. Mwamaka Sharifu, from Lamu Island off of Kenya's coast is a descendant of Chinese sailors travelling with Chinese explorer Zheng He in the Ming Dynasty.


Kenya’s Pate Island and Chinese sailors


Chinese Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He, on his fourth voyage left China in 1413 arriving off the coast of Kenya’s Pate Island in 1418.
Pate Island Family
The Kenyan coast was a major crossroad in the spice and slave trading routes of the 15th century. Chinese Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He, on his fourth voyage left China in 1413 arriving off the coast of Kenya’s Pate Island in 1418. 

Admiral Zheng He, the Ming Dynasty court eunuch whose fleet of 300 ships and 28,000 sailors was the biggest the world had ever known. His ships were said to have been four times bigger than those of Columbus and his seafaring travels were greater than any explorer before him.

Pate Island is located in the Indian Ocean close to the northern coast of Kenya and is the largest island in the Lamu Archipelago. According to Kenyan folklore, Chinese sailors who survived the shipwreck swam ashore and were allowed to stay on the Island after killing a python that had been troubling a village. 

The Chinese Ming sailors married and had children with the native African women, converted them to Islam and created a community of African-Chinese whose descendants still live on the Island of Pate.

Kenya’s Pate Villages' dressmaker's shop
Pate Villages' dressmaker's shop
Kenya’s Pate Island Chinese tradition has ancient links to Africa. On Pate there is an ancient graveyard made out of coral, they are the graves of the Chinese sailors, which died in the shipwreck. The graves are the same as Chinese Ming dynasty tombs, complete with half-moon domes and terraced entries. In 2010 Chinese government sent archeologists to the Kenyan coast on a $3-million, three-year mission to dig for artifacts.


China Girl Mwamaka Sharifu


Pate Island China Girl named Mwamaka Sharifu is hailed as the most famous descendent of the shipwrecked Chinese sailors.
African China Girl
Pate Island China Girl named Mwamaka Sharifu is hailed as the most famous descendent of the shipwrecked Chinese sailors. Mwamaka was rewarded with a scholarship in 2005 to a Chinese university, where she is studying traditional Chinese medicine. 

Sharifu said she admires Zheng's courage and adventurous spirit. "I was born as brave as my ancestors," she said. "It is rare for girls in my Muslim village to go so far to study, to such a big and different country." Sharifu went on to say "Beijing is a big city," Sharifu added. "But Taicang city will always be a special place for me as it is said it is where my ancestors came from. Located in East China's Jiangsu Province, Taicang is where Zheng set sail for Africa.


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Sunday, August 21, 2016

South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe

South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe
South African Indian Recipe

South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture
By
African food recipe

 South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe

South African Indian food is widely known for its spicy and flavorful taste. Serve this exquisitely flavored South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe with fluffy rice or with a side salad. The fragrant mango sauce in this Indian-Spiced Chicken recipe calls for a mix of dried spices.

South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe

Serves 4
African food



South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe


Ingredients
South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe
South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe
2 split chicken breasts
½ cup chickpea flour
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons red chili powder
4 chopped coriander leaves
2 teaspoons curry powder (optional)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and sliced
½ cup mango juice
¼ cup light soft brown sugar

Directions
In an ovenproof frying pan heat oil. Mix chicken, flour, and spices and pan-fry 3 minutes on each side. In a small bowl mix mangos, sugar and lime and mango juice well, pour mango mixture over chicken and transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Serve this tasty dish for lunch or dinner with a mixed green salad or over rice. 

The fragrant mango sauce in this Indian-Spiced Chicken recipe calls for a mix of dried spices.
The fragrant mango sauce in this Indian-Spiced Chicken recipe calls for a mix of dried spices.



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